Monday, December 11th, 2017

Amazon Business Update – My 1st Product Is Live

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Progress

Progress

I’m really excited to make this blog post!  This post comes as result of months of planning, execution, and waiting. Every since I learned about how it was possible to sell your own private labeled product on the Amazon Marketplace, I’ve been obsessed with coming up with my own product and putting my business training to the test.  I mean, if thousands of people (vendors) are doing this on a daily basis, with some making this their full time business, I was sure that this was something that I could tap into to make a great smart part-time income. Right?

I started off researching the hot selling products within each of Amazon’s major product categories.  My search criteria centered around products in the top 1000 who had little to no competition and could be easily and quickly sourced from China.  After weeding through a list of close to 30 different products, I settled on 3 products that I would be pushing to market.  This blog post will focus on the 1st product that was successfully listed on Amazon. Without stating the exact product I’m currently selling, I hope to be able to relay as much as I can about how things are currently progressing.

Since this item is in the fitness market, I was able to find quite a few factories in China that catered to this niche.  Using this to my advantage, I was able to negotiate a per unit cost down from an average $5.00 per unit price to a final of $2.10 per unit for a total of 2000 units.  This price included shipping from Shenzhen, China to my front door.  As you can see below, the math adds up to a total of $4200.00.  This price also included the cost of private labeling the product with my own name and logo.

Per Unit Cost

Per Unit Cost

As I stated above, I had all the items sent to my home in the US instead of being shipped directly to Amazon.  This decision came as a result of some advice given to me by some seasoned Amazon sellers / mentors.  Basically since this was my 1st go round with private labeling a product AND I’ve never dealt with any of these factories, I’d need to ship the final products to my home for me to physically go through and check product quality. This was probably the most simplest and yet best piece of advice that I’ve received in this business so far.  By shipping the products to my home, I found that out of the 2000 units I ordered, only about 1850 of them were actually viable to be resold on Amazon as the rest were either damaged via shipping or from defective production.

Removing the defective units from my initial shipment potentially saved my Amazon account from some really negative feedback during a time when I was attempting to establish my product and brand as a viable choice.

Quality Assurance Testing

Quality Assurance Testing

Checking and repackaging the shipment took over 2 weeks.  Mainly because I needed to find the time to open each of the 12 shipment boxes from China and painstakingly go through each of the 2000 items to check quality.  Given that I have a full time job and various family commitments, I believe that 2 weeks was actually pretty quick.  It also helped that my wife, not wanting the boxes to stay in in our living room any longer than they had too, helped me check through the shipment and repackage everything.

Now that all the boxes were repackaged in their own set of boxes, the next part of the process was to get them shipped out to Amazon.  Amazon uses UPS as their preferred shipping partner.  Given this fact, you are able to ship products to their fulfillment warehouse relatively cheaply.  Amazon provides you with a set of pre-paid shipping slips that you will utilize to send your products to their various warehouses across the US.  My products were shipped to 3 different places across the US.   I assume this is to minimize shipping times for their customers.  My next problem was getting everything over to the USP store.

Local UPS Store

Local UPS Store

Since I don’t own a truck or SUV, I found that the best solution to get my shipments from my house to the USP Store was to utilize UHAUL.  I took advantage of their weekend discount of $29.99 to rent a truck that would allow me to transport the boxes from my house to the nearest UPS store that was like 3 miles away.  It took about an hour and a 1/2 to weigh boxes, insert packing slips, seal and load all the boxes on to the U-Haul truck.

Load'em Up!!

Load’em Up!!

20130705_094515

Ready To Go Go!!

Finally the boxes were out of my garage and living room and on their way to Amazon!!

First Week’s Sales
========================

It only took about 3 days after my shipment had arrived and been processed by Amazon before I noticed I was getting sales.  I forgot to mention early on in this posting that I was selling this product for an initial price of $10.99, however, after a couple of sales at that price, I decided to experiment and increase the price to $12.99. From what I’m able to discern, this price change had no effect on the amount of sales I’m getting.  At the moment, my product has been listed on Amazon for approximately 2 weeks.  Below is the sales data over this time period.  One thing to note about these sales is that they were achieved WITHOUT any optimization of my product listing.  Listing optimization is one of the key factors that separates mediocre listings from those listings that sale 100s of items at day.  This being said, I have a lot more work to do to make this listing successful.

Current Sales Data

Current Sales Data

Some of you may be wondering what’s my real profit per sale of each item.  Well the long of the short is this.  While item is listed at $12.99, Amazon takes out a total of $4.65 per order as their listing and fulfillment fee.  This leaves me with $8.34 profit per order.  Nothing that’ll get me rich in small numbers, but with a well optimized listing and getting my product ranked within the top 1,000 in my category, I’m sure I can easily pull between $300.00 to $500.00 in daily profit for this product.

Currently my Amazon ranking is:  Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #37,945 in Sports & Outdoors

One thing to note, given the current pricing structure, I’ll need a total of 504 sales to fully recoup my cost of sourcing this product.  However, I’m optimistic this won’t be an issue in the next few weeks.

Well I hope this is a good overview of what it took to get my 1st product out onto the Amazon Marketplace.  I’m currently going through this process again for my 2nd product.  Given the various gotcha’s I learned during this 1st iteration, I believe the 2nd product should go swimmingly well ;-).

Comments

18 Responses to “Amazon Business Update – My 1st Product Is Live”
  1. Dax Deegan says:

    Hey,

    Great post and congrats on getting your product launched along with your first sales.

    I wanted to let you know that you can call UPS to pick up the boxes from your home. There’s a small charge (usually less than $10), but it’s cheaper and easier than renting a U-Haul. You can set the whole thing up from the UPS website.

    Good luck going forward!

  2. Tish Thorpe says:

    James, I’m so excited to read this post. I celebrate your success to date. I will definitely share this post with my husband because it will really help him with a similar venture.
    Perfect timing. The details of your process and “visual aides” are invaluable. Kudos and good luck on this and future endeavors.

    Warmest regards,
    Tish “Ma T” Thorpe

  3. Dan G. says:

    This is so exciting. Dude, you are just a machine with this stuff. I’ve never seen someone tackle new ideas with so much intensity. Incredible.

  4. admin says:

    Wow, didn’t know that!!!! Thanks for the info. I’ll definitely set this up this week once my next product shipment comes in.

  5. Yolanda B. says:

    Great job James! It’s cool to watch your business evolve the way it has. I’m sure this will be very successful.

    I also wondered why you didn’t have UPS just pick up all those boxes but figured you had your reasons. Also, your profit number is off since you should also subtract the cost of the unit, UPS shipping to the warehouses, rental of the truck, and other overhead expenses (split between all the units).

    I’m proud of you! God bless!

  6. admin says:

    You are right Yolanda. If I account for all my overhead, them my per unit cost increases by a whopping $0.15 cents ;-).
    Thanks for pointing that out though. Keeping me honest.

  7. Charlene says:

    I am so proud of you! Keep up the good work!

  8. E'dwina says:

    Great job as always James!! One question, I noticed that you went through each item checking for quality. What exactly were you looking for? Broken items during shipment? Open packaging? Are these type of quality issues common based on your experience and research?

  9. admin says:

    Yeah I was just being anal that’s all. Specially since this was my 1st product experience. Yeah I was looking for broken parts and open packaging (which I found a lot of). We ended up having to either repackage things back into their original packaging….or just throw stuff away..

    Based on my research, yes these are the types of problems YOU WILL encounter… And GIRL did I!

  10. Gary says:

    The 150 defective units that couldn’t be resold, were you able to report that back to the production company? Did they send you new units? or did you merely gave them a pass? …basically did the production companh do anything to supplement/compensate you for the defective units?

  11. Nate says:

    This is just 1 of 3 projects. Keep it going. I know that you will meet you goals. Thanks for the blog. It’s a constant reminder of achievement through strength and perseverance.

  12. admin says:

    Thanks Nate!

    Trying to lay the foundation for the family in the future.

  13. Josh says:

    Hi James,

    I’ve enjoyed reading your posts and progress (found your site from SPI). I wanted to let you know you might want to personalize your WordPress site a little more by changing your user display name from “admin” to “James” or something like that. You might also want to remove the WordPress meta sidebar plugin since it will only encourage hackers.

    Keep up the great work!

  14. Ruth says:

    Hi James,

    Lovely to hear about your success. And thanks for sharing your process. I wonder if you can explain how did you go about researching what were the top 1000 products in each category with little competition. Would love to learn this from you.
    Keep up the good work!

  15. chart3 says:

    Haven’t seen any updates here for awhile. How this project coming along as well as your other affiliate marketing business? Hope all is well.

  16. lorenzo says:

    You are motivating me to make moves. Great job

  17. Preston says:

    Ollie – how did you fare on this?

  18. Nasr says:

    So this post was in 2013, did you sell everything? Is there a blog entry that discusses I’m any detail the process of securing a partner in China? Good work too dude!

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