Is ‘coaching’ overpriced?

by Jordan Malik on August 24, 2014

Hi devoted readers, I need your help! 23456

Basically I’m asking: Do you think coaching services are worth their +/-$3,000 investment?

By ‘coaching’ I mean this: Many of my peers currently offer one-on-one Amazon or eBay seller help that runs (generally) $1,500 to $5,000.  He/she will spend a few hours a week with you (phone and web), for multiple weeks, hand-holding you during the selection or discovery of products to sell (via one or more methods like retail, wholesale, etc), where to look for products, how to buy, the entire listing and selling process, dealing with customer service issues, tracking your sales and profits, and growing your business.

But here my 3 concerns with that coaching (this is just my opinion):

1.) I’m not entirely sure there’s a need. The ‘nut’ of what you’re getting with coaching is hand-holding and step-by-step advice. But that’s already accomplished to a great degree (albeit not a personalized one) with (for instance) Amazon seller courses for $299 or less.

2.) I think coaching is (generally) overpriced. If I were to hire a coach for (say) $5,000, I think the coach should be doing everything for me for a short period (account sign-up, creating new products, finding me ideal products to sell, product listing, customer service, etc.) and then sending me videos/documents of all those recurring activities so I know exactly what to do after the coaching service ends. Today’s $1K-$5K+ coaching doesn’t offer that (to my knowledge)

3.) You may not get the coach you’re expecting. I’m not going to reveal the coaches’ names (by the way, there are many legitimate ones), but when you buy a popular guru’s coaching, you’re (generally) not getting the actual guru. It’s someone (presumably very qualified) who works for him her. In other words, if you sign up for “John Doe Coaching”, you’re not getting John Doe on the phone anytime. You’re getting “Jane Smith” or whomever to coach you.

By comparison (I’m not trying to sell you on this, just showing you): I offer a service where a customer can schedule 15 minutes or more with me for what is (comparably) a mere fraction of the cost of coaching. I analyze the customer’s situation (poor sales, don’t know where to start) and point them in the right direction. If they get lost along the way, they can schedule another call with me. Their total investment is generally under $150. My coaching doesn’t give the step-by-step hand-holding and weekly/daily calls, but, do they really need that?

I would LOVE to get some feedback from you, how do you feel about $3,000+ seller coaching? I want to be proven wrong.

-Jordan

P.S. The above is not intended as a slight to any current coaches out there. Also, the above is my opinion now - it’s subject to change!

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Online arbitrage endorsed by a multi-millionaire

by Jordan Malik on August 22, 2014

(Nothing to sell to you here. Just inspiration) FastCompanyCover

Have you heard of Jeremy Schoemaker? He’s one of my idols (among Richard Branson, David Lee RothSeth Godin and Batman).

Schoemaker is an infamous entrepreneur who has made hundreds of millions of dollars with his Internet ventures, blog, and his mega-earnings from Google Adsense.

He’s also a best-selling author and is the ‘most influential person on the internet‘.

Here’s where it gets interesting:

A reader just asked him what he would do if he lost all his fortune. 

His answer (in a nutshell):

Online and offline arbitrage (buying products low and reselling them high).

He cites the huge inefficiencies in the marketplace (meaning: opportunity for buying low/selling high is everywhere).

You can read the article right here (he talks about ‘our’ business about halfway down.)

Cool, huh?

-Jordan

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I failed once. Hard. Here’s my story.

by Jordan Malik on July 30, 2014

CNBC recently interviewed me for a story, ‘11 common reasons small businesses fail’.  898989

My failure had nothing to do with my companies today — CNBC had me talking about my first ‘real’ company from 15 years ago.

(The story doesn’t mention that my company’s cofounder was an idiot savant and primarily responsible for the downward spiral).

Anyway. things are on the up for me today (as I hope they are for you), but I’ll bet you can glean some helpful hints (whether you sell on Amazon or not) if you ever want to work ‘for yourself’.

Here’s the entire article (it’s in a ‘slideshow’ format) – I’m quoted in slides 3 and 4.

(I’ve copied where I’m quoted, below if you’re just interested in reading that. I’d love your feedback, so please add a comment below):

Overconfidence:

Sometimes the critics of a new business concept are right: Founders are wasting their time on an idea that’s a dud or is ill-timed—and haven’t done enough testing or market research to find that out …

Ask Jordan Malik. The entrepreneur from Levittown, New York, co-founded LookTrade in 1999, a tech start-up that helped companies run their own online auctions. It imploded in 2001, during the dot-com bust. ‘The reality is, everyone was doing the eBay thing,’ he said, looking back with 20-20 hindsight.

Malik learned from his mistake. He left the start-up world behind and eventually got a job at a major advertising agency, selling products on eBay and Amazon on the side. In 2009, after losing his job, he dove back into entrepreneurship and started what became a group of five small businesses to help e-commerce merchants improve sales and profits, offering systems he developed to do so. The sites include FindSpotter.com, which tells merchants what to sell on Amazon and where to find it. Today they collectively generate more than $500,000 a year in revenue for the solo entrepreneur.

‘I advise entrepreneurs not to be bullheaded about an idea when everyone is saying the idea doesn’t work,’ said Malik, now 43.

A poor pricing strategy:

What consumers tell market researchers they are willing to spend doesn’t always sync up with reality. Until you test your pricing in the marketplace, it’s hard to tell if potential customers will actually pay what you plan to charge.

One reason entrepreneur [Malik] believes LookTrade failed was that there were cheaper solutions for setting up an online auction than what it offered. ‘If people wanted a customized solution, there were options that cost about $19.95 a month; our solution was in the thousands,’ Malik said. While he and his partner debated whether to revamp the business model, the start-up petered out. ‘We were so determined, we burned through our cash,’ he said.”

(Source: CNBC, 11 common reasons small businesses fail, 7/30/14)

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How to win the Buy Box (Amazon sellers)

by Jordan Malik on July 24, 2014

Some Amazon sellers (like you) find themselves unable to get ‘buy box’ exposure when they are among other merchants (including Amazon) selling the same exact product.

(Sellers ‘win’ the buy box when a buyer selects “Add to Cart” on the main product page AND the item displayed says, under ‘In Stock’, “Sold by [Amazon Seller's name]“). See an example here.

Amazon/eBay megaseller Skip McGrath just shared his strategy for getting the buy box, in his latest newsletter

(You don’t have to buy anything from him to learn from him.)

Get his free tips by going here and then then selecting “Newsletters -> Current Newsletter” – The first linked post at the top of that page is:

1. How The Buy Box on Amazon Works and How You Can Win It

also check out (the same page)

4. Setting up and Organizing Your eBay or Amazon Business

-Jordan

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My used book profit proof (and you can easily top me)

by Jordan Malik July 11, 2014

If you’ve given up on sourcing and selling used books, don’t: Essentially, you’ve been lied to (or you got the wrong information). My videos below explain everything. But if you don’t do anything, at least read these 5 things: Just read the very entertaining and informative ‘squeeze page’ from Peter Valley (the author whose book I’m reviewing in […]

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The ‘new’ Woot.com: Can Amazon and eBay resellers profit?

by Jordan Malik July 10, 2014

The original founder of Woot.com (who sold his company to Amazon) has resurfaced with “Meh.com“, and it looks to bring back the fun that early Woot fanatics loved so much (which is reportedly missing from Amazon.com’s Woot today). In this video I take a look at the potential of sourcing products from Meh.com and reselling […]

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FREE profit-boosting tips for Amazon & eBay Sellers

by Jordan Malik June 26, 2014

Skip McGrath just shared many of his Amazon/eBay money-saving/profit-boosting tips in his mid-June 2014 newsletter. (You don’t have to buy anything from him to learn from him.) Get his free tips by going here: 1. How to Increase Profits in Your eBay and/or Amazon Business also check out (the same page) 4. Coping with The Summer Slowdown -Jordan  

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How I’m Cashing-in with “Back to School” (Copy me)

by Jordan Malik June 25, 2014

Back-to-school is the U.S.’ second-biggest shopping season (yes, you read that right. Bigger than Halloween).  There certainly is a big/crazed shopping frenzy (the first video below will show you some of my own ‘profit proof’). You can (like me) make some steep profits from easily-sourced, low-cost merchandise for this year’s ‘Back to School’ shopping season. But you have […]

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You CAN post a video review of your product on Amazon BUT ….

by Jordan Malik June 25, 2014

Update 10:30A 6/26/14 - Some of my readers (scroll down) weighed in with Amazon’s terms and conditions which still (depending on how you read it) prohibit review submissions by those with a “financial interest” in the product. So if you submit a video review, do it at your own risk. Alternately, ask a friend/whomever has bought the item to […]

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These 32 toys are worth a (real) fortune

by Jordan Malik June 20, 2014

Remember begging for a toy when you were a kid? If you were like me, your parents said ‘NO’ because, well, ‘they’re junk’. You’ll get the last laugh here. See, I thought I wrote THE book on valuable toys you can find locally and resell on Amazon or eBay. But I missed most of these (this […]

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