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EXECUTION 1YR since quitting my job and 1.3M sales later

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VisionNN

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Mar 6, 2016
61
176
139
I didn't know how to best summarize all these topics so figured creating a new thread and putting it all together might be the best way to go about it. I'll just update this thread from now on. Here are the topics I started and my journey to the current present that is this topic. Been quite a ride...
Well, it's been almost a year since the last topic and quitting my job was the best decision I ever made. Just finished my first year where I don't have to juggle between work/business and the growth has been substantial. Did almost 1.3M in sales for the year and the profit is a very healthy six figures. I have also hired two employees, moved into a larger warehouse, and finally have my own office.

Sales and profits would have been higher if my suppliers could meet our demand but they're actively working on it so next year should be even better. The later half of the year is when things really started picking up and the monthly profits are now in a very healthy 5 figure range. Will be interesting to see what happens next year.

Even with all the ups and downs you experience in business, you can't pay me enough to ever return to a 9-5. Keep at it guys, it gets better. My life was at a low point when I posted that first thread and if you told me I'd be here 4 years later, I wouldn't believe you. Always remind yourself why you're doing this because when times get tough, your "why" will be the only thing pulling you through the bullshit.

Here's a picture from the last 30 days of sales

34271

Sales for the last year
34273
 

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Last edited:

Altitude

New Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Jan 1, 2020
9
5
14
London, UK
Love this @VisionNN and very inspiring to see these results as I embark on my ecommerce entrepreneurship journey.

How do you navigate the control element of Amazon and it's volatility?
 
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OP
VisionNN

VisionNN

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Mar 6, 2016
61
176
139
Love this @VisionNN and very inspiring to see these results as I embark on my ecommerce entrepreneurship journey.

How do you navigate the control element of Amazon and it's volatility?
Thanks Altitude, best of luck with the venture. Are you referring to Amazon's control in the sense they could shut down your account at any time and its volatility in terms of sales being out of your control?

In regards to the account shut down, I think it might be a bit overblown. Many of the people I've seen shutdown have genuinely done something wrong or didn't bothering resolving the issue in a timely manner. I immediately jump on any violations I receive and send the information Amazon requests promptly. I have yet to experience anything where Amazon has suspended me first and then asked questions later *knock on wood*.

It also depends on how you do business. Amazon likes doing business with other legitimate businesses. For example RA (retail arbitrage) isn't a very viable business model on Amazon anymore. They may slide under the radar for some time, but one day Amazon will request invoices and receipts from Walmart aren't going to cut it. I have legitimate invoices from all my suppliers so there's one headache I don't have to deal with.

In regards to volatility, that's where there's a lot of variables and a difficult question to answer. There's many solutions you could apply here. The best solution I found is to always work on growing your product portfolio. Having 2 products disappear due to a violation from a 3000 SKU portfolio will be a drop in the bucket but in a 5 SKU portfolio, that could cripple you.

Sometimes Amazon will just remove the buy box from you because they deem your product to not be competitive or will disable your listing because customers think its a counterfeit item and you have to fight Amazon to prove otherwise. This is just a cost of business and you learn to deal with if you want to survive on Amazon. Its not all sunshine and rainbows, some things Amazon does will make you want to off yourself but then you look at the bottom line and realize why you put up with it.

The way I see it, if you can put up with all the bullshit that comes along on Amazon, you'll be rewarded with a nice profit. Otherwise, you'll have a hard time making it past year one. And a fair warning, there's a decent amount of it, but don't let that discourage you. It's more about letting you know that it happens to everyone selling on this platform.
 

Altitude

New Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Jan 1, 2020
9
5
14
London, UK
Thanks Altitude, best of luck with the venture. Are you referring to Amazon's control in the sense they could shut down your account at any time and its volatility in terms of sales being out of your control?

In regards to the account shut down, I think it might be a bit overblown. Many of the people I've seen shutdown have genuinely done something wrong or didn't bothering resolving the issue in a timely manner. I immediately jump on any violations I receive and send the information Amazon requests promptly. I have yet to experience anything where Amazon has suspended me first and then asked questions later *knock on wood*.

It also depends on how you do business. Amazon likes doing business with other legitimate businesses. For example RA (retail arbitrage) isn't a very viable business model on Amazon anymore. They may slide under the radar for some time, but one day Amazon will request invoices and receipts from Walmart aren't going to cut it. I have legitimate invoices from all my suppliers so there's one headache I don't have to deal with.

In regards to volatility, that's where there's a lot of variables and a difficult question to answer. There's many solutions you could apply here. The best solution I found is to always work on growing your product portfolio. Having 2 products disappear due to a violation from a 3000 SKU portfolio will be a drop in the bucket but in a 5 SKU portfolio, that could cripple you.

Sometimes Amazon will just remove the buy box from you because they deem your product to not be competitive or will disable your listing because customers think its a counterfeit item and you have to fight Amazon to prove otherwise. This is just a cost of business and you learn to deal with if you want to survive on Amazon. Its not all sunshine and rainbows, some things Amazon does will make you want to off yourself but then you look at the bottom line and realize why you put up with it.

The way I see it, if you can put up with all the bullshit that comes along on Amazon, you'll be rewarded with a nice profit. Otherwise, you'll have a hard time making it past year one. And a fair warning, there's a decent amount of it, but don't let that discourage you. It's more about letting you know that it happens to everyone selling on this platform.
Thank you for sharing those super great insights VisionNN.

I can definitely relate to what you said about, somethings that Amazon does makes you want to off yourself ha.

I launched a product on Amazon sometime back - a camping knife - and was able to take the product to 10K per month in a relative short space of time. Most people loved the product and the brand which I created around it but one of them opened up in a customer's pocket and reported that to Amazon who then delisted the product. They sent me a message to ask how will I fix the issue and being completely new to business at the time and the anxious feeling which that experience created for me made me not pursue it further.

But I have learnt a lot since then and I think I can relaunch the same brand on Amazon again with success this time. I would need to work with the supplier to ensure that the product doesn't have any fault and it will hold strong.

I also liked what you said about developing a comprehensive product catalog made up a many skus instead of just a few.

Is this your strategy as in, do you launch many skus even each might be generating a lower revenue with the idea of having many of those types of skus or do you go for home runs type of product?

Also curious to know what is a good launch strategy that you deploy when launching a new product. In the days when I was selling on Amazon, you could send your products to reviewers but since you can't no longer do that, how would you go about getting those initial reviews?

And do you mainly launch with Amazon PPC or do you run any outside traffic to your listings?

Thank you so much for sharing, your insights are invaluable.
 
OP
OP
VisionNN

VisionNN

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Mar 6, 2016
61
176
139
Thank you for sharing those super great insights VisionNN.

I can definitely relate to what you said about, somethings that Amazon does makes you want to off yourself ha.

I launched a product on Amazon sometime back - a camping knife - and was able to take the product to 10K per month in a relative short space of time. Most people loved the product and the brand which I created around it but one of them opened up in a customer's pocket and reported that to Amazon who then delisted the product. They sent me a message to ask how will I fix the issue and being completely new to business at the time and the anxious feeling which that experience created for me made me not pursue it further.

But I have learnt a lot since then and I think I can relaunch the same brand on Amazon again with success this time. I would need to work with the supplier to ensure that the product doesn't have any fault and it will hold strong.

I also liked what you said about developing a comprehensive product catalog made up a many skus instead of just a few.

Is this your strategy as in, do you launch many skus even each might be generating a lower revenue with the idea of having many of those types of skus or do you go for home runs type of product?

Also curious to know what is a good launch strategy that you deploy when launching a new product. In the days when I was selling on Amazon, you could send your products to reviewers but since you can't no longer do that, how would you go about getting those initial reviews?

And do you mainly launch with Amazon PPC or do you run any outside traffic to your listings?

Thank you so much for sharing, your insights are invaluable.
Sorry to hear, product development and quality assurance is definitely a tough one. I don't know if I would personally go for knives given the liability but others like yourself might see an opportunity in that.

My business model is quite different than yours as I'm in wholesale while you're in private label. In regards to launching though, yes, the idea is to have multiple products generating revenue so that all together it creates a nice portfolio. With private label, I don't suggest you launch 10 at once. In fact, you might be better off launching one, seeing how that goes, and then launch another. Once you gain some experience, then you can look into launching 3 at once and work your way up.

I'm not as picky as I used to be when it comes to launching products. If it generates a profit, I add it in. I'm happy to add anything that pads the bottom line. Individually, these products might not make much, but together its a great portfolio. Give people more selection and they'll buy more from you. Sometimes I carry items that individually don't sell great but the brand as a whole does.

Launch strategy for wholesale and private label are quite different. Back when I had private label, I would focus on great images, bullet points, and PPC. I would also use the early reviewer program to get some initial reviews but I wouldn't bet big on them. I stopped doing giveaways or those launch sites since people would just buy it cheap and then get on your listing to resell for a profit.

What I would do now is launch with a super cheap price and possibly even lose some money on the first batch. Build momentum, rank, reviews and then slowly increase the price in $1 increments. Find that sweet spot between sales velocity and price. I wouldn't plan to make a profit on the first batch, the first batch would be used purely to build interest and get your product out there meaning lower price, more PPC, less profit but more sales velocity as a result. I didn't do any outside traffic except for Amazon PPC.
 
Last edited:

Altitude

New Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Jan 1, 2020
9
5
14
London, UK
Sorry to hear, product development and quality assurance is definitely a tough one. I don't know if I would personally go for knives given the liability but others like yourself might see an opportunity in that.

My business model is quite different than yours as I'm in wholesale while you're in private label. In regards to launching though, yes, the idea is to have multiple products generating revenue so that all together it creates a nice portfolio. With private label, I don't suggest you launch 10 at once. In fact, you might be better off launching one, seeing how that goes, and then launch another. Once you gain some experience, then you can look into launching 3 at once and work your way up.

I'm not as picky as I used to be when it comes to launching products. If it generates a profit, I add it in. I'm happy to add anything that pads the bottom line. Individually, these products might not make much, but together its a great portfolio. Give people more selection and they'll buy more from you. Sometimes I carry items that individually don't sell great but the brand as a whole does.

Launch strategy for wholesale and private label are quite different. Back when I had private label, I would focus on great images, bullet points, and PPC. I would also use the early reviewer program to get some initial reviews but I wouldn't bet big on them. I stopped doing giveaways or those launch sites since people would just buy it cheap and then get on your listing to resell for a profit.

What I would do now is launch with a super cheap price and possibly even lose some money on the first batch. Build momentum, rank, reviews and then slowly increase the price in $1 increments. Find that sweet spot between sales velocity and price. I wouldn't plan to make a profit on the first batch, the first batch would be used purely to build interest and get your product out there meaning lower price, more PPC, less profit but more sales velocity as a result. I didn't do any outside traffic except for Amazon PPC.
Thank you for sharing those very profound insights @VisionNN . It's amazing to see how many different ways and strategies there are to profit on Amazon.

I have no doubt that your next year will be bigger than ever.

Wishing you much blessings and continued success on your journey.
 
OP
OP
VisionNN

VisionNN

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Mar 6, 2016
61
176
139
Thank you for sharing those very profound insights @VisionNN . It's amazing to see how many different ways and strategies there are to profit on Amazon.

I have no doubt that your next year will be bigger than ever.

Wishing you much blessings and continued success on your journey.
It's definitely a sea of opportunity which makes it fun to figure out. We'll see how next year goes but thanks for the wishes and best of luck with your venture.
 

Alicia123

New Contributor
May 18, 2020
11
9
12
New York, NY
I didn't know how to best summarize all these topics so figured creating a new thread and putting it all together might be the best way to go about it. I'll just update this thread from now on. Here are the topics I started and my journey to the current present that is this topic. Been quite a ride...
Well, it's been almost a year since the last topic and quitting my job was the best decision I ever made. Just finished my first year where I don't have to juggle between work/business and the growth has been substantial. Did almost 1.3M in sales for the year and the profit is a very healthy six figures. I have also hired two employees, moved into a larger warehouse, and finally have my own office.

Sales and profits would have been higher if my suppliers could meet our demand but they're actively working on it so next year should be even better. The later half of the year is when things really started picking up and the monthly profits are now in a very healthy 5 figure range. Will be interesting to see what happens next year.

Even with all the ups and downs you experience in business, you can't pay me enough to ever return to a 9-5. Keep at it guys, it gets better. My life was at a low point when I posted that first thread and if you told me I'd be here 4 years later, I wouldn't believe you. Always remind yourself why you're doing this because when times get tough, your "why" will be the only thing pulling you through the bullshit.

Here's a picture from the last 30 days of sales

View attachment 34271

Sales for the last year
View attachment 34273
Thank you for sharing your journey with us. I am new to the forums and haven't posted much yet. I read through your previous posts and I can relate. I am exactly where you were back in 2016. The rat race in this 7am-10pm job is brutal and this cannot be my life any longer. I am 31F and I want better for myself, my family and my future. For years now, I have been on edge with going into ecommerce and selling on Amazon. I have even watched the Junglescout series on YouTube that documents their step-by-step process on how to find successful product to getting it up on Amazon to sell. For years (even now), I struggle with what to sell. How to find a product that is profitable. I don't have hundreds and thousands of dollars to get started, but I have the drive and grit to get started. I'm ok to fail (In the past, I started an organic residential cleaning company that I eventually stopped and then I tried launching a digital product which failed also) but I want to know the right execution. I know wholesale and private label are different. How did you decide that the wholesale route was for you?
 
OP
OP
VisionNN

VisionNN

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Mar 6, 2016
61
176
139
Thank you for sharing your journey with us. I am new to the forums and haven't posted much yet. I read through your previous posts and I can relate. I am exactly where you were back in 2016. The rat race in this 7am-10pm job is brutal and this cannot be my life any longer. I am 31F and I want better for myself, my family and my future. For years now, I have been on edge with going into ecommerce and selling on Amazon. I have even watched the Junglescout series on YouTube that documents their step-by-step process on how to find successful product to getting it up on Amazon to sell. For years (even now), I struggle with what to sell. How to find a product that is profitable. I don't have hundreds and thousands of dollars to get started, but I have the drive and grit to get started. I'm ok to fail (In the past, I started an organic residential cleaning company that I eventually stopped and then I tried launching a digital product which failed also) but I want to know the right execution. I know wholesale and private label are different. How did you decide that the wholesale route was for you?
No worries, we all start somewhere. I stuck with wholesale simply because I enjoyed the business model more than private label. Others might think differently. I just didn't enjoy working with overseas suppliers, creating listings, photography, and writing out features. Oddly enough, I'm now performing this with wholesale listings so go figure.

Your first product will be the hardest find and it's not because you can't find the right one, but because you'll have the doubt of taking that first step. You will over-analyze, worry about losing money, worry about making the right move, and about what will happen if so and so happens. Rather than worry about that, accept that your first product will most likely not be a success, might even lose money, and you will most definitely have problems and all of that is alright. You should instead look at it as a learning experience that you have something to gain from and not as a loss. Truth is, there's only so much you can learn by reading, doing/executing is where the real value lies. This doesn't mean you should jump head first into everything without prior research but rather that there's a fine line between researching and analysis paralysis/not doing anything. You will never find the perfect product, my first two private label products were crap but I still gained something from them.

I'm not going to pretend you can start this with $500, those days are long gone. I would honestly recommend at least $2000 - $3000 to start. Even this can be a bit tight but it's a starting point. You don't need hundreds of thousands but you should be willing to bet a few thousand and be mentally ready that you could lose them. Your first couple orders should be about learning the entire process from supplier negotiating, to shipping, to Amazon, to selling. If you make a profit, great, if you dont, don't beat yourself up for it. You've gained some knowledge of the process and can now begin fine tuning your craft.

There is no right execution really. Its just jumping in and getting right into it. Find a couple products you think have the potential to be improved even a little, read some reviews and see what customers complain about, contact some suppliers and see if those improvements can be made. Start small, goal here is to get comfortable doing this. People have different strategies, some aim for unicorns making 20k each while others aim for 20 products each making 1k. I prefer the diversification strategy. Hope this helps a bit.
 
Last edited:

Yzn

Silver Contributor
Speedway Pass
Jul 1, 2018
303
589
243
No worries, we all start somewhere. I stuck with wholesale simply because I enjoyed the business model more than private label. Others might think differently. I just didn't enjoy working with overseas suppliers, creating listings, photography, and writing out features. Oddly enough, I'm now performing this with wholesale listings so go figure.

Your first product will be the hardest find and it's not because you can't find the right one, but because you'll have the doubt of taking that first step. You will over-analyze, worry about losing money, worry about making the right move, and about what will happen if so and so happens. Rather than worry about that, accept that your first product will most likely not be a success, might even lose money, and you will most definitely have problems and all of that is alright. You should instead look at it as a learning experience that you have something to gain from and not as a loss. Truth is, there's only so much you can learn by reading, doing/executing is where the real value lies. This doesn't mean you should jump head first into everything without prior research but rather that there's a fine line between researching and analysis paralysis/not doing anything. You will never find the perfect product, my first two private label products were crap but I still gained something from them.

I'm not going to pretend you can start this with $500, those days are long gone. I would honestly recommend at least $2000 - $3000 to start. Even this can be a bit tight but it's a starting point. You don't need hundreds of thousands but you should be willing to bet a few thousand and be mentally ready that you could lose them. Your first couple orders should be about learning the entire process from supplier negotiating, to shipping, to Amazon, to selling. If you make a profit, great, if you dont, don't beat yourself up for it. You've gained some knowledge of the process and can now begin fine tuning your craft.

There is no right execution really. Its just jumping in and getting right into it. Find a couple products you think have the potential to be improved even a little, read some reviews and see what customers complain about, contact some suppliers and see if those improvements can be made. Start small, goal here is to get comfortable doing this. People have different strategies, some aim for unicorns making 20k each while others aim for 20 products each making 1k. I prefer the diversification strategy. Hope this helps a bit.
Congrats on your journey boss. Wish you the best.

I would like to add that if you can start with $8k+, you should. Because Amazon listings (private label) will throw you back to page infinity if you don't restock beforehand, and if you don't have enough cash for new stock whilst available stock is in Amazon's warehouse, it becomes a race that you won't like to be part of.
 

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dilooska

New Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Jun 21, 2020
14
11
18
Berlin
I love this thread VisionNN! Thank you so much for sharing it! It's a great motivation for me as I'm beginning my FBA journey. I like my current job, but I still can't wait to be rich enough to buy my 9-5.
 

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