Is your VA cheating on you?
When you decide to scale your Amazon business and hire a virtual assistant (abbreviated as "VA" for the rest of this article) to source products for you online , it's important to know that they're committed to working for you and only you. If your VA "double dips" (shares the leads they find for you with another employer) you will find yourself buying products that are much more likely to tank and cost you money.
So here are some quick and easy ways to make sure that your VA is working for only you and not sharing your leads.
#1 Make it crystal clear that your VA works for you and only you.
A rule of thumb, if a VA isn't good enough to be profitable while working full time hours (40+) they aren't good enough to hire. So that being said, they should be working for you full time.
Even if you're brand new to selling, 40 hours of VA wages per week is typically a sound investment.
An assistant working full time for you has no excuse to work for another employer sourcing products.
Make it crystal clear in your job description when you post it that you will not allow your VA to work for other employers and that they cannot share the leads.
Remind them frequently that if they want to work for someone else, they need to let you know so you can find a new VA.
#2 Pay your VA what they're worth.
Paying overseas assistants is tricky.
Click the image below to read a great article from OnlineJobs.Ph regarding wages in the Philippines (where a majority of Amazon VAs are from) compared to wages in the United States.
It's very tempting for an overseas assistant to "double dip" and get paid twice for the same amount of work if they feel like their employer is low balling them on their pay.
Is double dipping the end of the world? No, but like I said a minute ago, it isn't good
You're literally paying someone to lose you money. So pay your VA what they're worth. I recommend at least $5 an hour. If they're not worth that, then they're not worth hiring at all.
#3 Utilize a productivity tracking software
If you can see that the VA is actually logging hours sourcing for you, then you have a better chance of them not cheating on you. Now they could be doing this for the other seller that they're working for, but this is going to decrease the odds of that because you'll know that they are at least sourcing for you.
Platforms like Upwork and Onlinejobs.ph have screen tracking built in. There are other 3rd party softwares as well.
Hubstaff is a great solution if you want random screenshots of your assistants screen during working hours. Check out the quick video below explaining the features provided by Hubstaff.
#4 Train Your Own VA from Scratch
Many of the VA's that are already out on the market that know how to source are already sourcing for somebody else.
I recommend that you find someone who has never even heard of Amazon product sourcing or has never done it.
Create a job posting on a site like Freelancer.com and hire an assistant based on their past reviews NOT on their past sourcing experience.
You can find a VA who's good at various other Amazon administrative tasks but you're going to want to teach them how to find the leads themselves so you know that, at least from the beginning, you're getting all those leads because they don't yet have a skill to promote to other employers.
If you want your VA to master Tactical Arbitrage, I highly recommend you check out the program Christopher Grant and I put together:Tactical Arbitrage Academy. If you purchase access, you can share it with your assistant and you can ensure they have a complete understanding of online arbitrage and the Tactical Arbitrage software.
#5 TRack what happens to your products after you buy them.
If you're getting leads from someone and they're consistently good on the surface but they're tanking when you list them, something might be up.
You have to know what leads typically look like. When you find a lead yourself does it usually tank? Hopefully not.
Your bottom line won't lie to you. Some occasional tanking is inevitable, however, if everything is tanking you probably have a problem.
#6 Give Positive Reinforcement
Make sure that your VA knows that they're appreciated and that you value the fact that they're being honest.
Let them know that their honesty is greatly appreciated and that you value them not just as employees but also as human beings.
So that's it. Most VAs will be loyal and ethical but it's important to not be naive and know how to prevent your VA from cheating on you!