Staring an Amazon FBA business

homie

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Be interested to see what the product is. Really hope it's something innovative and interesting and not just a pair of socks being resold with a picture of a dog on it or something. (no offense)
 
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Jon

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Be interested to see what the product is. Really hope it's something innovative and interesting and not just a pair of socks being resold with a picture of a dog on it or something. (no offense)
 
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Maifax

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Be interested to see what the product is. Really hope it's something innovative and interesting and not just a pair of socks being resold with a picture of a dog on it or something. (no offense)
No offense is taken.
I'd love to do something really brand new, but for the first product, I intentionally chose to tweak (and hopefully improve) something existing to limit my risk.

The sad reality is that building something brand new requires more capital & time than I'm able to give.
 

Jon

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No offense is taken.
I'd love to do something really brand new, but for the first product, I intentionally chose to tweak (and hopefully improve) something existing to limit my risk.

The sad reality is that building something brand new requires more capital & time than I'm able to give.
Gonna guess.

personalised / themed hot drinks container?
 

Maifax

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So follow up to my previous post the next step of the journey takes us through quality check, listing and getting my first sale!

We left off before with the product winging its way through the air to my door..

Inspecting the product
So the shipment arrived in the middle of January & thankfully the shipping agent has sorted all the taxes etc as they had promised (I've heard some horror story's that sometimes they say they will do this only for people to be stung by the customs officer when it hits the port)

On inspection, some of the boxes had been damaged in transit, but thankfully the product inside was fine. I fed this back to the factory and we agreed to address that on the next batch if and when that happens.

This did mean that I needed to rebox the product. So I scoured the internet for boxes of the right dimensions and ended up spending £50 on a set of 10 from davpack.co.uk.

When these arrived I repacked the product neatly and then got all but 15 of them shipped to Amazon warehouses via their UPS service (which cost me another £40)


Getting Some professional Photos
I had already contacted 6 agencies about getting some pro product photos done & had shared a brief of what I thought I wanted to get some quotes. Of those 6, 3 replied within the week (the others have replied since) and I selected the one that gave a good price (£270), had great images on their website and was situated very close to where I work.

So taking two units from the product I had kept back I went to the photographer's studio, dropped the items off and left him to it.

About a week later my product had been checked into the Amazon warehouse, but I hadn’t heard from the photographer. So I chased him up and loaded some crappy MS paint edited images as a placeholder until I had the real deal. A few days later the photographer sent me the photos, some of which were great and I loaded them up to the Amazon website.


Getting Ranked & getting reviews
Phew. It's taken a lot of time, effort and money to get to this point – but the real hard work is only just beginning with selling the product.

There are three ways for customers to find your product on Amazon – Sponsored listings/adverts, Organic ranking or direct search.

I don’t have the budget or time to build a brand off amazon right now (am researching how to approach this though) & without any sales, I don’t have any organic ranking

So that leaves me with sponsored listings/PPC or vouchers through the Amazon platform –basically pay to play - but we don’t want to start spending money until we have a listing that we are proud of!


Aside – due to something in the amazon back end, I need to contact their customer support to make certain changes to my own listing & sometimes I can't even do that - because I don’t own the brand trademark! All in the Amazon back end feels awful and is really limited - which i guess is why so many listings on their website look shit.


Anyway, after a week of back and forth on amends, I finally have a listing that I’m happy with & since this Monday (3rd Feb) the product is up and for sale with PPC (pay per click) running at max budget £70 for the week, to try and get the product to organically ranked in this category.

I’ve also lowered the price slightly & created money off vouchers in the hopes of getting some quick sales to then translate into reviews as social proof that the product is as good as the images make out.


Very early stats - In just under two days since starting the PPC campaign, I have had the advert served to 536 users, 12 of which have clicked through (2.2% - which is apparently pretty good) and one person has bought a product at full price (8% conversion –average is apparently c.9.8%).
No one has bought any product through the voucher offer.
Definitely not enough data points to get excited about, but it’s a start.


My plan now is to wait out the week – review the PPC campaign and tweak the keywords it targets and then run another PPC for next week. I will then repeat that next week and the week after to optimise the campaign ready for a more focused push in March.
I have not yet reached out to family and friends for supplementary reviews, if I am struggling to get organic sales traction through the more traditional route I may call on them for help to at least get my investment back (at least that's the hope!)


What Next?
The next product idea is to create my own pillow mist, it's not an uncompetitive niche on Amazon, but I think many of the offerings out there are very "meh" and we are hoping we can make a product that blows most of them out the water.
My wife is acting as the chief tester and product consultant on this - and is loving the trying out all the samples I'm getting from competitors and potential manufacturers.
If I can get the first product to work - this will hopefully be my second launch.
 
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homie

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Sounds good so far, apart from the frustrating amazon back end. You've made an early sale so that's encouraging.

Off topic, but should you live near an Amazon warehouse do they let you drop products off to them yourself rather than have to pay for a courier?

So follow up to my previous post the next step of the journey takes us through quality check, listing and getting my first sale!

We left off before with the product winging its way through the air to my door..

Inspecting the product
So the shipment arrived in the middle of January & thankfully the shipping agent has sorted all the taxes etc as they had promised (I've heard some horror story's that sometimes they say they will do this only for people to be stung by the customs officer when it hits the port)

On inspection, some of the boxes had been damaged in transit, but thankfully the product inside was fine. I fed this back to the factory and we agreed to address that on the next batch if and when that happens.

This did mean that I needed to rebox the product. So I scoured the internet for boxes of the right dimensions and ended up spending £50 on a set of 10 from davpack.co.uk.

When these arrived I repacked the product neatly and then got all but 15 of them shipped to Amazon warehouses via their UPS service (which cost me another £40)


Getting Some professional Photos
I had already contacted 6 agencies about getting some pro product photos done & had shared a brief of what I thought I wanted to get some quotes. Of those 6, 3 replied within the week (the others have replied since) and I selected the one that gave a good price (£270), had great images on their website and was situated very close to where I work.

So taking two units from the product I had kept back I went to the photographer's studio, dropped the items off and left him to it.

About a week later my product had been checked into the Amazon warehouse, but I hadn’t heard from the photographer. So I chased him up and loaded some crappy MS paint edited images as a placeholder until I had the real deal. A few days later the photographer sent me the photos, some of which were great and I loaded them up to the Amazon website.


Getting Ranked & getting reviews
Phew. It's taken a lot of time, effort and money to get to this point – but the real hard work is only just beginning with selling the product.

There are three ways for customers to find your product on Amazon – Sponsored listings/adverts, Organic ranking or direct search.

I don’t have the budget or time to build a brand off amazon right now (am researching how to approach this though) & without any sales, I don’t have any organic ranking

So that leaves me with sponsored listings/PPC or vouchers through the Amazon platform –basically pay to play - but we don’t want to start spending money until we have a listing that we are proud of!


Aside – due to something in the amazon back end, I need to contact their customer support to make certain changes to my own listing & sometimes I can't even do that - because I don’t own the brand trademark! All in the Amazon back end feels awful and is really limited - which i guess is why so many listings on their website look shit.


Anyway, after a week of back and forth on amends, I finally have a listing that I’m happy with & since this Monday (3rd Feb) the product is up and for sale with PPC (pay per click) running at max budget £70 for the week, to try and get the product to organically ranked in this category.

I’ve also lowered the price slightly & created money off vouchers in the hopes of getting some quick sales to then translate into reviews as social proof that the product is as good as the images make out.


Very early stats - In just under two days since starting the PPC campaign, I have had the advert served to 536 users, 12 of which have clicked through (2.2% - which is apparently pretty good) and one person has bought a product at full price (8% conversion –average is apparently c.9.8%).
No one has bought any product through the voucher offer.
Definitely not enough data points to get excited about, but it’s a start.


My plan now is to wait out the week – review the PPC campaign and tweak the keywords it targets and then run another PPC for next week. I will then repeat that next week and the week after to optimise the campaign ready for a more focused push in March.
I have not yet reached out to family and friends for supplementary reviews, if I am struggling to get organic sales traction through the more traditional route I may call on them for help to at least get my investment back (at least that's the hope!)


What Next?
The next product idea is to create my own pillow mist, it's not an uncompetitive niche on Amazon, but I think many of the offerings out there are very "meh" and we are hoping we can make a product that blows most of them out the water.
My wife is acting as the chief tester and product consultant on this - and is loving the trying out all the samples I'm getting from competitors and potential manufacturers.
If I can get the first product to work - this will hopefully be my second launch.
 
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Maifax

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cheers homie.

Next time I'm planning to dispatch direct from the factory - I only got it sent to me to make sure the quality was good across the entire production batch.
 

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Hi @Maifax,

I used to sell products on Amazon. I stopped because each time I found a niche, Amazon ended up selling the product themselves and it's impossible to compete with them. The European Commission has launched an investigation against Amazon as they have been using the marketplace sellers data to decide what products to stock themselves.

In my experience developing and selling your own product is the way to go with Amazon. If you import a new product and it works, Amazon will eventually sell it themselves, and at a much lower price.

Good luck.
 
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Maifax

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Thanks for the heads up. I didn't know they were doing that - but it makes sense - if I was in their position I would be tempted to do something similar
 

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