Build a lifetime income by developing innovative products that you sell through retailers, ecommerce, and big box stores, around the world.
Selling your product B2B through RETAILERS can grow revenue as much as 1000X greater than your revenue on Amazon, and change your life!
But the most critical part of making big money from products begins way before sales. That's where our training starts. At the very beginning. And it ends with products in the stores.
We teach you. Step-by-step.
- 1You MUST start with the right product. It should be unique, profitable, and have proven customer demand. You will learn product evaluation and use decision gates to increase probability of success
- 2Manufacturing should be at the best price while maintaining quality and meeting deadlines. You will learn how to source, how to negotiate, and how to manage your factory remotely. (Very important during covid-19 travel restrictions.)
- 3Packaging needs to be optimized for sales, maximum shelf impact, product protection, and warehouse efficiency. You will create compelling packaging and branding that speaks to the customer.
- 4You will learn 'Sell-To' and 'Sell-Through' marketing to build brand awareness, educate customers, and drive sales. You are in the big leagues - marketing is much more than targeted Facebook ads and building a mailing list.
- 5You will learn how to sell beyond online platforms to sell to in-store retailers from independents to big box stores. We'll show you how to build your own sales force, how to get in front of buyers, how to sell to US retailers when living halfway around the world, and we'll prepare you to handle logistics from ASN's to EDI connectivity. Doing it all with proven methodology.
You will learn everything about starting and building a product-based business. From identifying winning products to getting onto retail shelves. Over 50 hours of classwork in a small-sized class, filled with details you will not find anywhere else. No gimmicks, no hollow boasting. Real actionable information.
Are you looking to build a product based business? Allow me to tell you about the program. Let's chat. No pressure. No sales. Click here.
Hello, I'm Steven Selikoff.
I am a product guy. My products have been sold online, in catalogs, and in retailers. They have been featured by the Today Show, Forbes, Paris Vogue, Good Morning America, and even included in the gift bags at the Oscars.
I LOVE developing and selling products - and I would love to help YOU build and succeed with a product-based business that you too will love, and that will change your life as well.
The information you will learn in this program is different than any other course available.
We offer Three Options to take you to the next step in your career.
Let's develop your product together.
Six month dedicated one-on-one weekly sessions, PLUS the Masterclass.
The ultimate in accountability and fast track success.
(For people who already have an invention or new product idea.)
Together we take your product or invention every step to ensure profitability, quality manufacturing, and putting you in front of buyers. - giving you the best chance for success.
This program requires prior approval
Concierge program providing a combination of online classes, videos, 1:1 coaching, and individualized attention while learning in a supportive family of fellow entrepreneurs.
- Additional Courseware not included in book
- Fourteen weeks of group classroom sessions (self paced)
- Fourteen weeks of videos (self paced)
- Continuous enrollment, so you can continue attending or drop in whenever needed.
- Interviews with experts and industry leaders
- Homework and assignments
- Case Studies
- Product Review and Evaluation
- Access to our networks of professionals
- Help with prototyping and sourcing
- Discounts on professional support services
55 minute personalized 1:1 coaching session.
- Need help with one of the topics in the book?
- Do you want to know if you are ready for retail?
- Need a product assessment?
- Want to bring an invention to market?
- Have you been contacted by a retailer or distributor?
- Do you need better pricing?
Coaching sessions include Product Differentiation, Customer Validation, Sourcing From China, Negotiation, Managing Factories, Sales to Retailers, Remote Factory Management, Finding Unique Products, and much much more.
Want to know more?
Here are some questions that other people have asked.
If you have even a little success selling Amazon FBA (despite the black hat tricks, questionable reviews, suspensions, and competitors) then you will find selling unique products much simpler and more profitable.
The primary difference is the business model.
Amazon FBA is based on finding a successful product that someone else is selling, copying that product (perhaps modifying it slightly) and attracting a percentage of the original product’s customer base into buying your version instead.
As many Sellers already know, the tools aren’t always accurate, the category may become saturated with competitors, and the only control you have over price is to lower it. Amazon FBA is often described as the copy-cat model or the me-too method.
Our business model is to develop and sell unique products with proven customer demand and high profitability. This is the business model Peter Theil describes in Zero to One, and Seth Godin writes about in Purple Cow.
This allows you to build a brand, sell on Amazon without competition, control your price, and open up opportunities to sell to in-store retailers from specialty retailers to big box stores.
Yes. The central core of the entire program is to have products that are successful and sold across all retail channels. That means specialty stores, independent retailers, small chains, regional chains, catalogs, ecommerce, hybrid ecommerce, and even big box stores.
One of our mentors, Tim Bush, is the most respected retail sales consultant in the US with unmatched experience. You will learn from him, be able to ask questions, and get to know him. When you are ready to make the leap into Big Box stores and need to hire a retail consultant at your side (or representing you in your place), you will already have a relationship with the best in the business.
For small chains and independent retailers, we will teach you five different methods of selling, including methods you can use when located halfway across the globe. And again, we bring in experts who have “been there and done that. Real experts with real experience.
One of the fun ways of getting product into specialty stores and small retailers is trough the Marts in Atlanta and Las Vegas. Here is a video of me introducing the Las Vegas Mart during the bi-annual Gift Shows.
No. That is a myth. It costs the same as FBA to start.
We teach you how to source at a 7X to 10X minimum multiplier. That means your product is 1/7 to 1/10 the retail price. (In comparison, most FBA courses teach you to source at 1/3 of retail price.)
We teach you how to negotiate terms so that you pay a small amount such as 15%, upfront and the balance 60 days after BOL. (Most FBA courses teach you to pay 30% upfront and 70% upon completion.)
And since you won't have to do Amazon giveaways and expensive PPC, the start up costs may often be less than Amazon FBA.
Don’t worry if finance is Greek to you, (I went to the top business school in the US and I still hate accounting) we have training that anyone can easily understand.
The bottom line is that the cost of selling to in-store retailers is no more than Amazon, and in many situations, lower in cost and easier to pay for.
And, in anticipation of when you grow large enough to get million-dollar purchase orders and need to pay for inventory, we teach methods to finance your product stock.
We won't let you face the price of success without training.
No. That is a myth.
Amazon FBA allows any person to list any item for sale. In contrast, when you sell to through in-store retailers, the corporate buyer or store manager must choose to carry your product. Some people are confused and think that means in-store retail is riskier because buyers and managers may say no.
It is true that they might say no, but that makes in-store retail LESS risky.
Just because an item can be listed on Amazon does not mean that it will sell well. On the other hand, if a manager or buyer decides to sell your product, it means that in their professional opinion, your product has a good chance of making money. It’s like they bet their money on your success and have given you the seal of approval.
Amazon FBA gurus suggest that it is less risky because you copy a product that has proven sales success. However, the risk of FBA does not lie in the product. The risk lies in the number of competitors all selling the same product that you choose. Look in any Facebook group. Seller after Seller complain about products that seemed good when they looked at the tools, but by the time they receive their products from China the category has become saturated. Or worse, the sales are low and/or the profits are minimal.
We focus on unique products without competitors.
That is why the choice of product is critical. And that is why we say that success begins long before the sale.
We work with you from the beginning and put your product concepts through evaluations and phase-gates (just like Apple) to ensure that your product will have proven customer demand and objective data before you invest any money in production. When you reach the point of sales, we do everything we can to ensure that your product will be wanted by store managers, buyers, and most importantly, customers!
Our goal is for you to make money. Not just to rush any available product into an online listing.
In the US, Walmart is the largest retailer. Amazon is number two, followed by Walgreens, Costco, Kroger, CVS, Home Depot and others.
Sure, many gurus selling Amazon courses scream that Amazon is 60% of retail (or more) but Jeff Bezos recently testified in front of Congress, and in sworn testimony he declared that Amazon accounts for only 4% of the US retail market. (This is an increase from April 2019 when he sent a "correction" about market share to his investors. )
The gurus do not want you to know the true figures, but you can Google his testimony and watch it yourself.
60% of Amazon Sellers do not make over $100K! That is FALSE.
First, the harsh truth. There is absolutely no guarantee that anyone will make any money. Whether doing FBA or our method. Selling products, like any other entrepreneurial venture, contains risk and there are no promises of success. Even successful companies face unexpected problems. I am sure that the owners of Corona Beer wish that the virus had a different name.
But… it is possible to calculate the probability of success of selling on Amazon. And according to Jeff Bezos himself, it is much less than sixty percent.
There are 9 million total Sellers on Amazon. Of that there are 2.3 million considered Active (which means 6.7 million quit or fail within 90 days of creating a listing.) [source: MarketPulse]
There are 200,000 Amazon Sellers making $100K in sales or more. [source: MarketPulse and Bezos’s testimony to Congress]
There are 30,000 Amazon Sellers making $1MM in sales or more. [source: Bezos’s testimony to Congress]
Simple arithmetic tells you that only 2.2% of people who sign up to sell on Amazon make over $100K in sales. And only 00.3% make over a million dollars in sales. (60% of which are Chinese)
And it gets worse. These figures are for sales, not profits. Jungle Scout claims most people make 30% profit, but their calculations do not include PPC.
Developing unique products is NOT a guarantee of success. But we will personally work with you along every step. Our team has over 50 years’ experience between us. You will go through objective evaluations again and again to ensure the best probability of success.
It will take LONGER to bring a product to market using our method, but I am confident that you WILL have a better opportunity to make much larger profits than the FBA method.
Does not happen when you sell unique products to retailers.
That's an Amazon problem.
No. Retail is not dead.
Retailers have taken a gigantic hit. Many stores have been closed and shuttered, yet were obligated to continue paying rent. This has been too much for many retailers and many have closed.
But in-store retail is still alive. Many people, including myself, are still getting large orders from big box retailers. Many people, including myself, are still getting orders from specialty stores and independent retailers.
Retailers are still buying new products for their customers. Buyers are still looking for new products that customers have not seen yet.
Year-over-year retail sales has grown 9.3%
Covid has caused ecommerce shopping to increase 50% to 15% of US sales. But in-store retail remains 85%.
Curb-side pickup is offered by 70% of big box retailers. Owners are creatively looking for other ways to offer products. Customers are eager for goods. Retail is still strong, and retailers are proving to be resilient.
It takes a while to bring new products to market. Retail is getting stronger every day. By the time your products are ready for sale, retail will almost be back to its former glory. In-store retail is perfect for launching new products. Better than ecommerce. Ecommerce is only a small portion of the retail market. Before covid, in-store retail was almost 90% of the retail market, and during covid it continues to be almost 85% of the retail world.
Retail is far from dead. Despite the easy stories of pundits, retail will roar back. And when it does, you and your product will be poised for growth that will change your life.
You will love selling on Amazon without competitors. You will make lots of money. And frankly, Amazon is still the best platform for some types of products.
Book a standardized coaching call and simply notate that you want a product evaluation.
We will review your product and its potential for success off Amazon and ecommerce. And it won’t be a sales pitch. Product Development Academy is unique because it is small and intimate. There is no reason to have you in the program if you are not ready.
The Masterclass covers fourteen weeks of videos plus weekly classroom sessions where we will discuss your progress, answer questions and roundtable with other entrepreneurs. Because the course pace is up to you, you can progress through the fourteen weeks at a faster, or slower, pace if you prefer.
You will learn how to identify unique winning products, validate customer demand, ensure profitability, design and engineer your product, identify factories, negotiate effectively, manage your factories remotely, and protect your business IP, establish supply chain / logistics, and build sales across all channels including independent retailers, chains and big box stores.
The core team is myself and my two mentors; Tim Bush, and Dave Vaillancourt. Between us we have over fifty years’ experience creating and selling unique products.
We also have interviews from trusted professionals and top experts - some of which have been featured on CNBC, Fox Business News, and the BBC, as well as recognized specialists you may already know.
One of the most frequently heard comments from students is that Product Development Academy fills in all the knowledge gaps that people did not even realize that they had. We are enormously proud of that and would love to list all the topics we cover. Unfortunately, we can’t. There are just too many.
So here is the next best thing. A poster.
Click on the image to download. It's big, yet as huge as it is, the poster lists less than half of the topics we cover.
The program is perfect for you.
Inventions and innovation is a risk. Risk can be, and should be, minimized or mitigated. You will learn to minimize risk with phase gates, DVT, EVT, and PVT, as well as advice from globally recognized experts.
The value of your invention will be objectively measured through market viability. Profitability will be validated. And the license and purchase value of your invention will be increased greatly by market proof. Not the evaluation of a handful of men around a table, but true customers demanding your invention as a product. Nothing is a powerful as hard, objective proof that customers are willing to pay for what you created.
Besides teaching you about manufacturing and sales, we also teach validation processes, profitability, IP protection (more than just a patent) and of course, marketing and sales. All of these decrease the risk you face as an inventor.
As an inventor you start the program with an idea and possibly a prototype. The validation process then allows you to objectively evaluate your concept and determine if it is viable and profitable.
You can then progress with your product, learning about IP protection (there is more than just a patent) and bring your product to market. At that point you can decide if you want to invest in the sales and marketing of your invention, or if you want to license it. The advantage you will have when licensing after having proof of sales, is that many companies who would have ignored you will now be eager to meet with you. In addition, when you have proof of sales, the amount offered for licensing can be 10 to 100 times higher.
You do NOT need to give up one for the other. They are different.
Many participants have taken FBA courses, or are in the middle of, an Amazon FBA courses. The important thing is,
The methodologies are different, and the business models are different. But the skills you will learn in Product Development Academy will help build success in the me-too Amazon methods.
One program is steak, and the other is fish. You can enjoy one, the other, or both.
I have a very interesting hobby. I blow glass. I am not very good but I have a very patient instructor. He enjoys teaching new glassblowers because, as he explains it, “they do not come to class with any bad habits, misinformation, or f-cked up shortcuts.”
I feel the same way. I love new students. People who are new to developing and selling products are eager to learn, and do not have to overcome or re-learn bad habits or other problems.
This is not an FBA course. This is not a Licensing course. There is no other course like this and enrollment is purposefully kept very low.
The course is expensive because it is worth it. We teach you to develop unique products and price them appropriately based on customer value. Just like the products we develop, the price of this course is based on value and being the only course like this in the marketplace.
- The course is unique.
- The value of the education is very high.
- The number of active students is kept very low.
- Everyone gets personal attention.
- You are welcome to continue attending class after the formal 14 weeks are over, for the lifetime of the program.
Note: We rarely offer discounts. However, the current price can always be locked in with a deposit, and the price at the time of deposit will be honored even if the publicly available price increases.
I hope you join us.
You do not have to leave.
The classwork portion of Product Development Academy Masterclass lasts 14 weeks, but your involvement continues as long as you need it, and as you develop your business.
You are welcome to continue attending classroom sessions either as a regular visitor, or an occasional drop-in. The support will continue. There is no additional charge.
All I ask is that you respect that my primary focus will be on the current students until everybody’s questions are answered. Then after the current students are addressed, I will continue with alumni.
Once you join you are part of the family.
Every member has to sign a mutual NDA.
You can share your product details in the group if you wish, or keep the information to yourself. It is your choice. If anyone shares confidential information within the group, it is protected. The same applies to information that you may talk about.
Details of the China trip will be posted after the covid travel restrictions are lifted.
The trip will be in conjunction with the Canton Fair, and will focus on sourcing manufacturers and factories, not sourcing products for Amazon FBA. This provides a different approach to attending the Canton Fair which may be new to people who have attended in the past.
This gives us a different perspective and some very cool opportunities. I don't want to give away secrets, but our trip will be unlike any other China Trip offered.
If you are interested in attending the Canton Fair as an Amazon Seller, and would like to attend with a group, I highly recommend joining an Amazon FBA centric trip such as the well known and very successful China Magic Trip.
Do you have more questions? Let's chat. No pressure. No sales.