Google is becoming the place people research products, while Amazon is what most people use as the final destination when it comes to ordering.
Right now, there’s over 2 million Amazon sellers trying to capture their stake in the billions that Amazon does in revenue. And just like in the world of gaming, only a small percentage of these sellers out there are actually making money on the platform.
Former world-ranking gamer and co-founder of Domazon, Steve Tinkle, believes that there is one thing you need if you want to succeed as an Amazon seller. You must understand the unwritten rules of the game before attempting to claim any level of success in it.
After testing his theories on hundreds of products across multiple categories, Steve decided to offer his take on listing creation and management to other sellers as a service. And just like that, Domazon was born.
I recently sat down with Steve and discussed the steps he took to learn what is necessary to win the game of Amazon selling:
1. Work on your side hustle
Just like video games, Domazon wasn’t Steve’s full time project. In fact, it all started as a side hustle. At the very beginning, Amazon wasn’t even on his radar. He first got tuned in when a friend was selling products through Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) and was displeased with the results.
Steve’s friend knew there had to be a problem because another seller was having much better success with a similar product. Unsure of what to do, his friend reached out to Steve and brought him on board to help solve the riddle and improve the listing’s performance.
Steve approached this project the same way he approached competitive gaming. Learn, plan, execute and adapt. Figuring out how to successfully sell this product was a challenge that, if accomplished, would bring the same level of satisfaction as winning a game against an online opponent.
His strategy to success followed the formula that has brought him enormous success with video games. The approach was simple: create a perfect listing in the eyes of Amazon’s algorithm, develop the perfect launch strategy, execute the perfect marketing strategy and tweak as needed to achieve rapid growth.
In just 12 months, Steve’s system was working in a way that nobody expected. He managed to make one listing generate five figures in revenue per year and turned it into a full product line grossing over eight figures.
It became clear to Steve that there was an enormous amount of opportunity to succeed on a high level if you have the rules down.
2. Build a team and delegate
Once Steve saw the potential for this success, he decided to start selling products on his own. But after hitting a few roadblocks, Steve recruited friends to his team. Working with the right people was another lesson that he learned from his gaming days.
Through gaming, Steve learned that he should let team members do what they are good at and focus on coordinating the collective struggle in the same direction. The skill of managing a team of remote players during live gaming action proved an incredible asset once put to use.
One of his first hurdles was the cost of fulfilling a rather large order from a manufacturer in China. A friend saw the opportunity and agreed to finance the order. Steve guaranteed that he would double his money within nine month, but sales went so well that he was able to pay back the debt in under two months.
3. Struggle, but build resilience
Steve says they don’t call it Amazon for nothing. He feels the online marketplace is a jungle. It’s often hard to defend the attacks of others and survive. The last hurdle turned out to be more like a continuous struggle than a solvable problem.
Steve says that Amazon as a company isn’t always the easiest with whom to work. With so many active sellers, sorting through truth about term of service (TOS) violations and maintaining a sense of true justice is a challenge.
Steve explained that when he started to get more sales and increased the ranking on his keywords, that other competitive sellers would game the listings by upvoting negative reviews down voting positive reviews, posting fake reviews and more. He felt that just like in the world of gaming, sometimes the players attack each other to win.
Steve doesn’t support these “black-hat” tactics, but he has learned to deal with them to protect his business. Through all of the struggle, he developed a set of policies, procedures and principles that have helped him keep his sanity and guide his business decisions.
Steve had stated that a smart person learns from their mistakes, but a wise person learns from the mistakes of others. And Steve uses that statement as the core foundation to his business, by helping others achieve the best results possible through real-world experience.
Have you had success by taking gaming principles and applying them to business? I’d love to learn more! Comment below.