Carlos Alvarez is an Amazon Marketing Consultant and Teacher. He is the CEO of Blue Bird Marketing Solutions and Founder of Wizards of Amazon.
Twelve years ago, he took the “plunge” and decided to sell full time on Amazon, didn’t know he would create, let alone grow his brands into nine figures a year in gross revenues. And nine years ago he had no idea his love for online selling would be rivaled only by his passion for digital marketing.
In this episode, Carlos shares his mission to empower brands to take advantage of selling on Amazon as well as help entrepreneurs break the shackles of their nine to fives and achieve greater financial independence through Amazon and digital marketing.
Why you have to check out today’s podcast:
- Find out how to achieve greater financial independence through Amazon selling
- Learn how to choose the right Amazon business model
- Learn how to sell on Amazon and achieve greater financial independence
“Merch is probably one of the newest, most attractive models that Amazon has. I don’t believe anything is ‘get rich quick’, but this has to be the closest thing to a money tree in Amazon that I’ve seen.”
– Carlos Alvarez
Increase Your Pricing Knowledge: Become a Champions of Value INSIDER!
To sign up go to insider.championsofvalue.com.
01:55 – What are the different business models he teaches on how to play or compete in Amazon
03:08 – What is a Private Label business model
06:52 – How do you take off what you sell on Amazon platform to your own platform
09:10 – What is a Resale Business and how does it differ from Private Label
10:53 – What is Amazon FBA?
13:33 – What is an arbitrage business model
15:01 – What is the pricing and value consideration of an arbitrage model
15:56 – What is Merch by Amazon and why it is considered as the money tree in Amazon
19:18 – What is Self-Publishing business channel and how does it work
23:47 – What is a good thing about Kindle in Amazon
24:51 – What is Carlos’ business and how does he make money
25:53 – Carlos’ best pricing advice
“Merch is very exciting! I don’t treat it like a business. And if I did, it would just make so much more. I have this really as a side thing on Amazon, but the revenues that it makes, and if you did treat it like a business and you dedicate some to it, it can be a lot more attractive than even what I said.” – Carlos Alvarez
“Buy low, sell high.” – Carlos Alvarez
“Depending on your business model, you can sell your Kindle books for free. How does that work? What happens is when someone downloads your book and they’re much more likely to download it and take a risk on it, when it’s free. Amazon’s gonna pay you a royalty for that download and the amount of pages consumed. So it can be a very lucrative model and everyone feels like they won. Well, so with Kindle you can add links. So you can do a form of lead gen there, send people to a landing page, your YouTube to your podcast.” – Carlos Alvarez
Resources / Links:
Connect with Carlos Alvarez:
Connect with Mark Stiving:
Full Interview Transcript
(Note: This transcript was created using Temi, an AI transcription service. Please forgive any transcription or grammatical errors. We probably sounded better in real life.)
Mark Stiving: Hi, everybody, we recorded this podcast and we’re publishing it as well, during the coronavirus pandemic.
I’m personally tired of studying and talking about it and listening about it.
Instead, I really want to focus on something that makes me happy. And that’s pricing.
So I’m glad that you’re with me. But I do have a couple of requests before we jump into the episode. Number one, would you please stay safe. Wash your hands often try really, really hard not to transmit this to anybody else.
And number two, do something nice for somebody who’s less fortunate or in a tough situation. I’ve heard many different ideas. But the one I like the best that’s pretty consistent with what we tend to talk about here is if you have restaurants in town that you really like you’d like to frequent. Go buy gift cards. You’re essentially loaning them money, and boy, could they use that loan right now. And then cash or gift cards in later after this. pandemic is over with.
So hopefully you’ll do those two things. Now it’s time for the episode.
Carlos Alvarez: I’m a fan of pricing higher than my competitors. For me, I love ads. I love running ads. There’s a saying somewhere that you know, and when things are going good, you should run ads. When things are going bad, you must run ads. So, right now with things the way they are, I’m doubling down on my ads while other people are stopping and since I have a higher price point than a lot of them, I feel like I’m protected.
Mark Stiving: Welcome to Impact Pricing, the podcast where we discuss pricing, value, and the magical relationship between them. I’m Mark Stiving. Today, our guest is Carlos Alvarez. Here are three things you want to know about Carlos before we start. He’s founder and CEO of Bluebird Media and Marketing Solutions. He’s the founder of Wizards of Amazon. What an awesome name and he is an Amazon marketing consultant and teacher. Welcome, Carlos!
Carlos Alvarez: What’s going on, Mark? Yes. Thank you so much. Wizards of Amazon. The name came from just being totally random. Few friends and I hung out having a drink. I said it and they said that’s awesome. And I said the domain is not going to be available for that. And I looked at GoDaddy and there you go!
Mark Stiving: Oh man, it’s perfect. That’s perfect. Okay, so I want to tell my listeners real quickly, almost always when I start one of these podcasts I pretty much know where we’re going to go and what we’re going to talk about. In all honesty, I have no idea where this is going to go and so I’m excited to learn about Amazon, Amazon business, trying to compete on Amazon and I assume we’re also, talk a little bit about eBay if we need to as we get from this. So you teach people how to play or how to compete on Amazon. Are there two, three, four different business models that you tend to teach? Just one business model?
Carlos Alvarez: I predominantly, I’d say there are four or five private labels, which creating your own brand, which is 85% of my Amazon business. And then we have wholesale, which is really just Amazon resellers purchasing from brands wholesale to resell it on a profit on Amazon. Then there’s an arbitrage model, either retail arbitrage, online arbitrage where people are finding deals in stores or online. And then flipping them, reselling them at a profit. Merch by Amazon, which is about going on four years old at this point, which is Amazon’s print-on-demand channel. And finally would be self-publishing. So I don’t mean writing a Stephen King novel, pretty popular is actually for people to hire ghostwriters, virtual assistants, to crank out books on specific topics, upload them to Amazon for free, and then make royalty commissions off them, moving forward. So those five are predominantly the channels that I teach.
Mark Stiving: So the last two I don’t get. So let’s talk about the first three first.
Carlos Alvarez: I love the way you think. You caught me off guard there. That’s good. I love it.
Mark Stiving: And so on the private label, describe what you actually mean by that.
Carlos Alvarez: Private labels. A term that was created by, I don’t know who in the Amazon scene to say I’m going to get a product usually from overseas or China or wherever, but it can be domestic. Getting a product from overseas, putting your own brand name on it, maybe your own fancy, nice packaging and importing that into the country. So that’s yours. You had to purchase the GS1 UPC barcode. You needed to create the packaging. You probably got a trademark on the name. You have a little bit of IP there, a little bit of skin in the game. You create your photos. Hopefully, you do some good branding and social media and you don’t neglect everything, real-world marketing. Some people just look at Amazon, though, and you launch that product on Amazon. It’s yours. It’s an asset. If you do really well, you could sell it, you can exit if you don’t do well, you went all in.
Mark Stiving: And typically you buy inventory for that business model?
Carlos Alvarez: Absolutely. For the private label model, yes, you buy inventory.
Mark Stiving: Yeah. So it’s a higher risk model, but probably a higher reward model, as well.
Carlos Alvarez: Absolutely. Yeah. I mean you go all in. Well, you don’t go all-in with your whole 401k, but whatever you put in, if it doesn’t work, you lost.
Mark Stiving: Understood, understood. And so I was coaching a company the other day and one of the reasons why I find this topic so fascinating is they were incredibly successful in selling their product on Amazon. And that was the only place they sold it. They didn’t sell it anywhere else. And then Amazon decided they were going to create a version of that and sell it as Amazon basic. And other people entered into their marketplace and they’re asking, well, how do I hold my price up with that? So how should they be thinking about that? Well, the majority of people that get into the private label on Amazon, unfortunately, that’s really what they do. Amazon’s the end all be all. And when somebody buys from you on Amazon, they’re really not your customer. They’re Amazon’s customers, which is why I think it behooves you to create off Amazon marketing, landing pages, email, and social media so that you can air quotes here, own that customer. That’s your business as a customer. The people that don’t do that and that are in a, let’s just call it a bath towel, a white bath towel, that’s something that almost every household has. If they successfully sell white bath towels on Amazon, when Amazon basics decide, you know, we’re getting into bath towels, that’s the one they’re going to pick. Now, if this person was in to, I mean, just multicolored psychedelic bath towels, tie-dyed.
Mark Stiving: Can we do tie-dyed bath towels?
Carlos Alvarez: Yeah, we’ll do tie-dye. We’ll do tie-dye bath towels. Amazon’s not gonna enter that. It’s too small. If you’re selling ketchup, yeah, Amazon’s probably going to sell their own ketchup, but they’re not gonna sell turmeric-infused ketchup. It’s not a big enough market. So it’s something you need to pay attention to when you’re selling a private label. And some people like to demonize Amazon on that. I’d like to say if I was Amazon and I saw that this was doing good, I would want to sell that, too.
Mark Stiving: Well, an Amazon has all the data to see what’s selling. I mean, they’re in such a fantastic position from that perspective.
Carlos Alvarez: Yeah, definitely.
Mark Stiving: Then, and so how do you recommend, let’s say I’m selling a white bath towel and I sell it on Amazon, someone decides to buy from me. How do I get them, obviously I’m going to deliver through Amazon and all that, but how do I get them off the Amazon platform onto my platform world? Whatever I built on the outside world.
Carlos Alvarez: Sure. I would start thinking before the sale first so that, say you’re running Facebook ads or you have a local meetup on the topic or farmer’s markets trade shows. It just goes on and on that wherever you’re running your ads or your traffic to is some sort of landing page and perhaps on that landing page you’re offering a discount code there that they can enter their email address for. They can then use that code and go to Amazon for it. So if they want the code, they’re going to give you a real email because they need to receive it, and then when they receive it, they can use that code on Amazon, but at least they’re, you’ve pixeled them. You have their email address and you can continue the relationship. Now post Amazon becomes a little trickier because now you’re playing with a little bit of Amazon’s terms of service and it’s their customer, so they don’t want you reaching out to them outside of the buyer-seller message board. You’re not allowed to ever redirect them to a website off of Amazon. They don’t even want Amazon customers to feel like they’re being sold to. So there’s no way to really upsell them without flirting with breaking the rules. What a lot of people do is they’ll put like a, like an insert, like follow us on social media or go here to get a warranty. But I mean who would get a warranty on a bath towel?
Mark Stiving: Right, right.
Carlos Alvarez: So something that’s working well for me, but I’m really in the experimental stage on it. I don’t know if you know your listeners listen to this six months from now, and I’m like, that’s horrible. And is Amazon’s really invested in Alexa?
Carlos Alvarez: Yeah, I do. So they’re really invested in Alexa, so I’ve been creating flash briefings and Alexa custom skills so that I can get the customers who already have their card loaded on Alexa and funnel them that way because now I can continue the relationship via voice.
Mark Stiving: Yeah. So the key is to somehow build that relationship and it’s so funny. Let’s step away from Amazon for a second. Anybody who’s selling through a distribution channel, they don’t own the customer. And you’ve got to find a way to own the customer if you’re going to build this relationship and do the upsell, cross sell continued relationship with them. So excellent. What’s the resale business? When you say resell, what does that mean?
Carlos Alvarez: I throw that word in there in the Amazon space, if you’re amongst a bunch of Amazon sellers, we just call it wholesaling. But if you’re not accustomed to sell it or you don’t know about selling on Amazon, that’s going to sound weird because wholesaling is really, if you have products and you are wholesaling them to other resellers or stores as Amazon sellers, we refer to it as wholesaling, which is identifying products on Amazon based on their bestseller ranking and a few other, I don’t want to totally geek out here on this, but based on a few other factors on the page that allow us to determine approximately how many sales is this product having per day on Amazon.
How many sellers are truly competing on that best price? Adding your number to that mix and then dividing to determine what your share of sales could be and you’re like, okay, well I see that I can get 10 sales per day on X product. Let me now count, but you don’t know that’s a good thing or not because if you can’t buy it at a profit, then it’s a dud. So now you go online, you find the brand, you call them, you email them and you open up that account with them and you’re like, look, you know my, I’m the best thing since peanut butter. I have a small business and blank, blank, blank. I’d like to resell your products.
They say yes, they give you a price list and you realize, okay, now I can, I would sell 10 of these a day at $6 profit per. And they’re like, wow, this is like a little mortgage here. I like this. So what else do you have in your catalog? And you then order from them, ship it to FBA and resell it. So that’s why I call it as a reseller, an advantage there is, you know, unlike private label, you don’t take the photos, you didn’t do the marketing that was already an established velocity and demand on Amazon and you’re just piggybacking.
Mark Stiving: So what’s FBA mean?
Carlos Alvarez: Fulfillment by Amazon. It’s Amazon’s network of warehouses. So if you are living in a trailer or an efficiency, but you wanted to grow this business that had 10,000 skews and required a 25,000 square foot warehouse, you wouldn’t need it. You would just send those products to FBA, their warehouses, they warehouse it, they charge you a very, very small fee for them. And then when a sale comes, they pack it, they ship it, and they deliver it to the customer in two days.
Mark Stiving: Yup. Okay. So I have to say as a pricing person, I despise that business model.
Carlos Alvarez: I’m sure. I’m absolutely sure.
Mark Stiving: And the reason is because what we’re doing is we’re going out and matching whatever the lowest prices out there as opposed to trying to create value and find ways to sell it higher prices. We’re just saying, Oh look, there’s an opportunity. And in fact, they kind of reminds me of a Bezos quote, your margin is my opportunity.
Carlos Alvarez: They’re 100% right. You’re 100% right. Which is why I gravitate more towards private label. I like creating that brand, adding value, selling it. I like having more control. Yeah. The reselling and arbitrage model. If you don’t like reselling, you’re going to hate arbitrage. Well, I’m not actually, I think I like arbitrage, but if I know what it is, let’s hear about arbitrage and I’ll tell you why I think I like it.
Time out for a quick ad.
Our goal at Impact Pricing is to help you become a champion of pricing and value.
This will undoubtedly increase your impact at your company. It’ll help you get promoted and make your company more profitable.
And now we have an unbelievable offer to push you even further down that path. We just released our new insider program where you get access to all of our current and future courses.
If you just take the courses we currently have released that’s over $2,000 in value. The good news is we release courses that are really faster than one every two months. That’s faster than anybody’s been able to take them. At least so far.
You get access to everything for the low price of just $100 per month. That’s a small portion of the raise that may come with your next promotion.
To make this offer even more irresistible. We offer you your first month for only $5. Try a few courses, see what you learned that’s valuable. We are confident you’re going to want to stick around.
Oh, and did I mentioned you get access to office hours? One hour a week I get on zoom and answer questions from our insiders. Considering I charge $1,000 for one-hour pricing consultation that makes this a no brainer.
Go to insider.championsofvalue.com. To sign up to take advantage of our special $5 offer. Use the promo code ‘INSIDENOW’.
This special offer will end at the end of April 2020. Join me and your colleagues as a Champion of Value Insider. I’ll see you on the inside
Carlos Alvarez: Okay, so the example I give to new sellers selling on Amazon, and for you, this will be one Oh one but arbitrage is really just if you know I’m going to use Miami as an example cause I’m from Miami, but if you know on the West side of Miami, they’re selling oranges for a buck and you know on the East side of Miami they’re selling them for three bucks and you can buy them and resell them to this other person who’s going to resell it at a profit. You know of those price differences, you are doing arbitrage.
Now in Amazon, you have retail arbitrage and online arbitrage. The difference is retail is you’re walking into the store, but you can do this in almost any store. You scan the barcode of the product with Amazon’s app and it will tell or are there some other paid apps? But the Amazon app is free and it’s good and it will tell you this is selling for this on Amazon and you look at the shelf and you see, okay, I could get this for four bucks. Amazon, it says it’s selling for 16 after fees. I’m going to be left with 12 as an example.
I really liked that model. And you add it to your shopping cart and you continue doing that in the retail store online and then you send it to FBA online you would use hopefully tools unless you’re just a masochist. You would go through these target.com and all these other stores. You’d scrape them with a tool. It would put it in like a Google sheet and then you would be able to filter, you know what makes sense, what doesn’t. Same principle though. You see how I can get this for four bucks delivered to my house for free online. I could sell it for 16 same things.
Mark Stiving: Nice. And so you know why I like that model and I’m not sure that that makes sense, but I like it because I think the person doing the work, Oh God, maybe I don’t, I was just, I think the person doing the work is adding value to the channel, but what they’re really doing is they’re finding the lowest price products that are available at lower prices out there.
Carlos Alvarez: Yeah. They’re finding pricing inefficiencies with retail stores just because they’re just so far behind and some still resisting e-commerce and Amazon as a whole.
Mark Stiving: Yeah, I’m not sure I like or dislike it except I’m still gonna sell it the most aggressive price probably.
Carlos Alvarez: Yeah. Well if the other models outside of private label, if you want to sell this widget for 20 and everyone’s selling it for 15 you just won’t get any sales.
Mark Stiving: Yup. So, okay. Makes sense. And what’s Merch?
Carlos Alvarez: Merch, probably one of the newest, most attractive models that Amazon has. I don’t believe anything is get rich quick, but this has to be the closest thing to a money tree in Amazon that I’ve seen.
Mark Stiving: Okay. Wait, wait, wait. If the audience suddenly hears a beep, it’s cause I didn’t want to share it with you but go ahead.
Carlos Alvarez: That’s good. I’m stealing that from my podcast.
Mark Stiving: Okay, go ahead.
Carlos Alvarez: I’m going to say with Merch, how could I say this? Well, it’s printed on demand. They did not invent print on demand. That’ll be self-publishing. They do books as well, but this is shirts, hoodies, sweaters. Now they have pop sockets and they’re rolling out more stuff. You’re going to either create a design or hire a VA and get a design created and you’re going to drag and drop it on this shirt template or whatever template you pick.
Pick five colors that you think look good with yours. All super easy to do. Add a title to bullets and hit enter. When you do within 24 to 48 hours, that shirt will be available to sell on Amazon with all of its traffic and you set the price that you want this shirt to sell and you’re in charge of doing all of your marketing and advertising. Say you set the price at 1999 which is a sweet spot, I feel, you’re going to make a royalty when it sells for about $7 and 25 cents but you do not buy any shirt stock. You do not ship, there is no fee for the program. You don’t do anything, you don’t even deal with returns.
You’re not even responsible for returns. So it’s really, now it’s a numbers game. When you first get in that program, you have 10 slots or tier one you need to get an aggregate of 10 sales and within a 30 day period and then they’ll bump you up to tier 25 opening up 15 more slots and you keep going to where you have thousands of slots and it’s great. I’m up to about a little over 15,000 designs that are up there and technically I would have to do some lifestyle changes, but technically at this point, I could pay all of my bills with it.
Mark Stiving: Wow. So the audience expects an Impact Pricing t-shirt to be up really soon.
Carlos Alvarez: Yes.
Mark Stiving: I have no idea if I’m going to go through that effort, but I still find it totally fascinating. Oh my gosh!
Carlos Alvarez: Definitely!
Mark Stiving: So if I could create a saying, whatever the saying happens to be, right. Win more deals at higher prices is something I say a lot. And people love that and they want to wear it on their tee-shirts and, and so I could put that up on an Amazon Merch program and it didn’t really take any time. People can buy it and it puts money in my pocket.
Carlos Alvarez: Yes.
Mark Stiving: Gosh, that’s incredible!
Carlos Alvarez: Yeah, it’s very exciting! I don’t dedicate, I don’t treat it like a business. And if I did, it would just make so much more. I have this really as a side thing on Amazon, but the revenues that it makes, and if you did treat it like a business or dedicate some time to it, then it can be a lot more attractive than even what I said.
Mark Stiving: Wow. Okay. Awesome. Awesome. I love that. That’s worth the price of this podcast. That’s all I got to say. Okay. Okay, the last one is self-publishing. Let’s hear it.
Carlos Alvarez: Self-publishing used to exist on two platforms on Amazon, create space.amazon.com and kdp.amazon.com Kindle direct publishing. They merge the two to where it’s all now KTP. So just in case I mentioned create space, you have an idea that I just had a little brain part or something, but Amazon began with books we all know, but Amazon is also the largest self-publisher in the world by far.
And you can upload just simple as a word document that you uploaded. You can upload your book and within 48 hours it would be available for purchase. Now that could be a paperback that they print, bind and send. That could be a Kindle book that you want to sell.
You could have it in, you know, interpreted or translated into other languages and using someone on Fiverr or Upwork or your, I guess your freelancer site of choice. And next thing you know, you’re selling your how to grow tomatoes indoors book in Germany. You can have an audiobook format if you’re, if you’re handy with videos, you could create videos and upload it and it will be available on Amazon prime video direct, endless! You can create CDs for people that still use CDs. And now the same thing. You set a price, you make a royalty off each sale.
Mark Stiving: Okay. So I wrote a book in 2011, I’m writing another book or two right now and I’ve got to say this one doesn’t sound as easy because writing a book is really hard. And then from what I remember the first time we published it, writing it was probably the easiest part, right? Then getting somebody to edit it and do the page layout and the cover designs and the, I mean there’s so much that goes into making a good-looking book. I can’t imagine me just uploading a word document. I mean, it’s gotta be way more to it than that.
Carlos Alvarez: Most definitely. I should have clarified in the beginning back if you’re like, I’m trying to create a book and I’ve been trying to create it for five years. Yeah, it’s a painstaking process. But I don’t have any books up under my name just because of that. Maybe it’s that, you know, perfectionist thing and, but oh absolutely. I don’t want to take away from the writing process.
Being an author. That is a hard, hard process. You’ve got to get the right editors. What I’m referring to mostly, an Amazon self-publishing as a channel to make some money is a very popular model on Amazon, which is you are hiring a virtual assistant at an entire book upload or Amazon will run your $225 and you’ll make royalties on it for life and you’re going to go ahead and hire someone on Upwork that already knows how to crank out these 25 to 50 page books and pick a topic. Maybe it’s a topic that’s kind of related to your industry, maybe it’s totally unrelated. A good friend of mine has almost 200 books published that are on paranormal erotic romance. I mean, and this is a straight-laced person.
You’d never guess these things fly and the costs, I mean you recoup your costs within like five to six months and then you’re just making interest in a way is how I look at it. You’re just getting paid interest for life on these things. So I mean using a ghost writer, you know, structuring it to the ghost writer knows that this is your content now that you’re going to be reselling, getting the editor also, you can go all in on a book for two 25 editor cover art, 25 to 50 pages that are written. I do put that in a category separate from, you’re an author writing your own book.
I imagine if you were going to write a book on pricing, you’re not going to hire that out to some random person for 50 bucks cause you’re not going to have your name on that. And that’s where I’m at with the book I’d like to write, but as a just selling channel similar to print on demand Merch, that’s where I was coming from.
Mark Stiving: Hmm. Interesting. Okay, so I’m not going to do that one.
Carlos Alvarez: That’s okay.
Mark Stiving: I might with my own book if I can’t get a good publisher for it or if I choose not to use a good publisher for it.
Carlos Alvarez: Something you mentioned though, like the easy part about writing the book, the marketing of the actual book is yeah, it’s an art. Amazon has a very robust ad platform that you can take advantage of and most people don’t know how to take advantage of. So there would be a fit there.
Mark Stiving: Yeah. So I could see that. Now I don’t know about you and what your goals are for your business. In my world, we tend to write books, not because we’re going to make money on it because we almost never do. Yeah. We write books because it generates leads and builds brand and builds reputation. So at least in my mind, the reason I do this, yeah.
Carlos Alvarez: Since there’s pricing, spot pricing, one cool thing about Kindle is a lot of people, and again, depending on your business model, you probably wouldn’t want to do this, but you can sell your Kindle books for free.
And if you’re an unknown author and you’re cranky, your model is to crank out a lot of books, it’s strange because you go on Amazon and you see all these Kindle books for free and you’re like, Whoa, Whoa. How does that work? And what happens is when someone downloads your book and they’re much more likely to download it and take a risk on it, when it’s free, Amazon’s gonna pay you a royalty for that download and the amount of pages consumed.
So it can be a very lucrative model and everyone feels like they won. Well, so with Kindle you can add links. So you can do a form of lead gen there, send people to a landing page, your YouTube to your podcast.
Mark Stiving: You know, there’s just not enough time to do everything. That’s the problem. So, tell me, we’re going to have to wrap up here just a second. But what is your business? How do you make money? Well, I guess you make money selling Merch.
Carlos Alvarez: I know that, but I have five private label brands myself. I’ve been selling full time for 14 and a half years. One of my, I guess quirkiest or the one that a lot of people in my space know me for is I have a brand of live insects.
Well, I’m already a brand. One of the things that I sell is live insects, and the live insect brand alone did over $40 million in gross sales last year on Amazon. So it’s one of those strange, you know, niches that you get into and you’re like, okay, I’m here, I’m doing good. But I also have other physical product brands that I make money on, and then the marketing consulting management side of the business for other sellers. So yeah, that’s where my money comes in.
Mark Stiving: Yeah, and I don’t know about you, but I would find the marketing, the teaching other people how to do this. Fascinating and fun.
Carlos Alvarez: Oh yeah.
Mark Stiving: Excellent. Excellent. All right, Carlos, thank you so much for your, Oh wait, wait, wait. I always end with a question. Even though you’re not a pricing guy, what’s one piece of pricing advice you would give our listeners that you think could have a big impact on their business?
Carlos Alvarez: That’s an awesome question. I know after this, I’m going to have like 10 better answers, but I’d probably have to go with a cheesy one. If it’s a pricing one, which is buy low, sell high, I mean do that.
Mark Stiving: Oh, there we go. That sounds like arbitrage. Doesn’t it?
Carlos Alvarez: Buy low, sell high. Let me see. Pricing advice. Nothing witty, but I’m a fan of pricing higher than my competitors. For me, I love ads. I love running ads. There’s a saying somewhere that, you know, and when things are going good, you should run ads. When things are going bad, you must run ads. So right now with things the way they are, I’m doubling down on my ads while other people are stopping and since I have a higher price point then a lot of them, I feel like I’m protected by that.
Mark Stiving: So, and as times come back, you’ll take off and grow much faster than they did than they will.
Carlos Alvarez: Definitely, and on Amazon, while people do price cheaper, it’s very price sensitive. There’s lot of industries, you know, if my wife was, we just, we have two young kids and if she was looking for a new anti-colic nipple to go on the bottle and we saw one thing for $4 and 99 cents and another one for 25 bucks, we would buy the $25 one because it’s just not, yeah. Like I don’t want a $4 nipple on my kid’s mouth, you know, it’s so something, not everything on Amazon is going to be affected that way.
Mark Stiving: Yeah, exactly. And you know, my pricing advice is always to try to figure out how you’re going to make value and value is often perceived, right. The value could be a perception in higher price says it’s a higher quality or it could be higher quality photos or higher quality text. Right. I love the text that you read that you know is from someone who doesn’t speak English, right?
Carlos Alvarez: What’s that example with the Yeti? The Yeti, the high priced Yeti tumbler. A rambler. A mug. The mug. It’s like a $50 mug. Walmart has an identical mug. Same factory and I think it’s six bucks.
Mark Stiving: So, but do you believe it? Come on. It’s Walmart, right? All right, Carlos, I’ve, I’ve enjoyed this a ton. Thank you very much for your time. If anyone wants to contact you, how can they do that?
Carlos Alvarez: I guess three best ways. If you’re on Facebook, Wizards of Amazon, Facebook group, Instagram at Wizards of Amazon, and I’d love to text with you or chat on the phone. My number is (305) 902-1283.
All right, episode 64 is done. My favorite part of today’s podcast had to be learning about Merch. I might actually try that one. And what was your favorite part? Please let us know in the comments or wherever you download and listen to the podcast. And while you’re at it, would you please give us a five-star review? Those help us immensely and it helps other people find us. Don’t forget, we have the free community for all of the content that I create and put out. It is at community.championsofvalue.com. I mean, if you have any questions or comments about the podcast or about pricing in general, feel free to reach out to me, firstname.lastname@example.org. Now, go make an impact!Tags: Accelerate Your Subscription Business, ask a pricing expert, pricing metrics, pricing strategy