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Brentnal

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Jan 23, 2013
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Thanks a @Brentnal! I am SICK of working for someone else. I've wanted my own business for decades, just never knew how to make a reality..never knew what to do.

I tell people to be an enthrepeneur if they say they want to be rich. Then they say i don't know what to do, they keep doing the same stuff everyday because they don't know what to do.
But nothing changes if you keep doing the same stuff everyday. If people keep trying to understand what they need to do then they will understand.

Atleast you are one of those people who decides to do something, most people don't. Never go back to you're old life. Life is to explore and do new things. Not to do the same thing everyday without learning new things and going forward.
 
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GuestUser202

Guest
Haha!! Sample from supplier #1 came today and with it came what appears to be homemade candy for my son and a personal hand written Paris post card addressed my son and myself. I kind of like this personal attention!!
 

Walter Hay

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Speedway Pass
Sep 13, 2014
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Samples from supplier #2 received today. SUPER quick shipping! Most of the samples (8 in total) seem to meet most of the needs I require. Pretty impressed with the finish!

I had a conversation with the supplier once inspecting the samples and she pointed out features I didn't see. Very personal attention so pretty confident #2 is also a manufacturer. The rep even said they could customize a particular product if I so desired (not branding...haven't had that conversation yet).

I did a quick, basic price list and looks like I'll be around 250-300% margin on average or possibly more. I still toying with the idea of a tiered price structure so this may be skewed some. I like the idea of tiered price structure as the higher prices would indicate more features, better materials, etc.

I contacted a local printer this week in regards to branding my product, but after receiving the product, I need to rethink it (text instead of a logo).

Also had a wonderful conversation last night with a friend that started her own business a few months ago and we talked A LOT about selling/marketing on Instagram. My friend also created a B2B group on Facebook and added me and people there too recommend Instagram. I don't want to do eBay or Amazon because of where I want my company to go (Amazon might be ok). I can certainly try those as well, but from what I saw, competition is fierce!

My next step is branding somehow. I will need to take my samples in and see what options I have. Once that is accomplished, I can add my warranty and REALLY be competitive and set my company and brand apart! Thinking through this, I will have to up the price but I should still be around 250-300% margin. I have a few set price points in my mind once everything is in place. Still need to get a website up and quick!
I think the product you are dealing with could be branded, either lettering or logo, by using a hot foil printing process. That slightly embeds the foil in the surface. It could also be done by pad printing with an epoxy ink. Both will wear off in a year or so. More expensive options that will last for years are available.
 
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GuestUser202

Guest
I think the product you are dealing with could be branded, either lettering or logo, by using a hot foil printing process. That slightly embeds the foil in the surface. It could also be done by pad printing with an epoxy ink. Both will wear off in a year or so. More expensive options that will last for years are available.
@Walter Hay I would much rather have my branding last as long as possible. I spoke with supplier #1 last night about branding with them, but I would still need to order 300 pieces, which is entirely possible once the business takes off. But then I am stuck with 300 pieces of inventory. I think branding locally is my best option. Just need to find the best method and best price.

One issue I have with the samples is some pieces already have someone else's brand on them. I'll just sell those as is. I'll have products listed, probably eBay, this weekend. I say eBay as I cannot brand them with my own so no warranty.
 

SEOguy

SEO Expert
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No offense but, if you search for it yourself you will have it in in 3 seconds.
drEQvNQ.png
 

Walter Hay

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
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GuestUser202

Guest
Today was quite the busy day, but I managed to take pics of most of my products (at least 3 each). I'll have an Instagram profile up before the weekend is up and quite possibly some posted on eBay. I'll let you know how it all goes.
 
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GuestUser202

Guest
Instagram account has been created. Nothing on eBay as I'm still working out some small details (actual price points, warranty statement, brand or not, product descriptions, etc)

I also had a few more great ideas last night...one of which I will employ almost immediately as it could help me from getting burned. The other ideas need some research before putting into action.
 
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GuestUser202

Guest
So I went to the local USPS office and here's what I didn't know...flat rate boxes are free. You pay the posted price of the box when you ship items out. The flat rate boxes also come with tracking numbers and automatic $50 insurance. This is the route I will be taking. For me, to offer free shipping, $6 for a box, shipping, tracking number and insurance is definitely acceptable. I know have a much better idea on my price points and I'll still be in the 200-300% margin range.

Today my marketing director (aka girlfriend) suggested I clean up my logo some so I am working on that today. I also updated my warranty statement based on one of the ideas from last night. It sucks having a J.O.B. but at least I'm getting paid to build my business :)
 
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GuestUser202

Guest
VERY briefly checked out patents/trademarks/copyrights and it actually looks fairly manageable. Need to research and figure out which option I actually need. The website also states that a trademark lawyer is recommended. I heard that a trademark (which is what I would need) can cost $2,000, so with lawyer fees, I can see that. This may have to wait a bit longer.

Taking the day off from my J.O.B. tomorrow to take care of a few things. I'll also be meeting with a printer to talk about branding my product. I am thinking I can sell unbranded products and product brands that are not mine on ebay. I feel I need to move products regardless of where the business is at.
 
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GuestUser202

Guest
Today I stopped by a local printer (looked to be a small mom and pop operation, which I will GLADLY support!) and got some quotes for silk screening my product...it's quite manageable! For my local printer, one time charge of $25 to create the film, $45 setup fee each time (and they explained why) and $0.75 to silk screen each item. So I dropped off 6-7 samples (some already have branding and cannot add my own, some are radically curved and cannot have silk screening performed). About 30 mins later, I get sample photos and WOW!! Let me just say if you are on the fence about branding your product, DO IT!! I would love to post pics, but sorry...not gonna happen.

Also ordered business cards from vistaprint.com AND a t-shirt with my logo (I DO have a plan). Swung by Staples and found blank post cards which I will use to print my warranty statements on. This process (branding, warranty) HAS to be in place for me to take my business where I want it to go.

I spoke with supplier #1 again tonight and they are not real protective about sharing (some of) their client base with me. I'm kind of worried about that . On the bright side, I can check out my competition and yeah, they got NOTHIN on me!!!

On a different but related note, made another huge step in finishing a project from my fix and flip business today. This vehicle is SO close to be being done! Once it's done, I will dump (and I do mean DUMP) money into my new and current business venture! EVERYTHING just seems to be falling into place!
 
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GuestUser202

Guest
Took pics today of the products that have someone else's logo on them and posted one item on ebay, taking the advice found on this forum (ie, free shipping, expedited shipping, 6 quality pictures, etc). I'll be SO glad to see what it actually sells for! I did a buy it now listing as opposed to an auction. I'll post the rest of the items in the next 2-3 days.

I should get MY products back next week...my BRANDED product! I have a few more things I want to do before selling these, but I am making progress. Found another product to complement my product so I purchased those as well. Purchased transfer paper to brand them myself. Next week will be BUSY! But I SO cannot wait!!!!
 
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GuestUser202

Guest
Yesterday, I took more pics of my products and posted one model on Instagram. I also posted a motorcycle for sale yesterday...one of two fix an flips I am working on. I NEED inventory and by selling the motorcycle, I can definitely make that happen!

Today, I printed out my warranty cards and OMGOSH do they look good!!!! Also created a Google Voice number for my business and checked out vinyl lettering for my vehicle. OH! ALSO checked out getting a vendor license for my city and it's only $20/per 2 years per area. I only plan on selling in one area, so this is great news! I am also thinking of ever so slightly changing my domain name so I can get my website up sooner. I plan on selling through my site, locally in person, and local shops (depending on their cut and such). I also want to advertise as much as possible, so as of recent, I am CONSTANTLY looking for economically advertising solutions, but that needs to wait until I have inventory. Kind of in a holding pattern at this point :(
 
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GuestUser202

Guest
I've decided this evening to focus on getting a web presence. As Mr.DeMarco says, if you sell a million of anything you'll be a millionaire. Can't do that selling locally. So I'll be focusing on acquiring inventory and then my website. The rest will come later...if needed.
 
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GuestUser202

Guest
Quick update. The past week or so, I've been focusing on the small, finer details of my product. I believe it is these smaller details that are going to set me apart...or at least make people (customers and competitors) take notice. I still do not have my branded product back yet, but I'm ok with that as long as it comes out good.

I also made some process in getting both fix and flip vehicles completed. The car (00 Volvo S80 t6) is SO close to being in a sellable condition (meaning passing local emissions testing). Tomorrow will be piviocal for that(I am at the mercy of another that is 9 hours ahead of me in time at this point). I purchased parts needed for the motocycle (95 KTM 620 RXC) so once they arrive, it will be in a sellable condition (everything working as it should, no emissions test needed)

Why did I decide to focus on this instead of my business? I would much rather throw $2,000-3000 at my business rather than $200/$300. Thousands of dollars equates to A LOT of inventory, which equates to tens of thousands of dollars. My original plan was to fix and flip cars, but I realized I am not at a point to do that and to get to that point would take A LOT of money.

Before realizing this inadequacy, I bought the Volvo so now I'm kind of stuck with it. The motorcycle was again, suppose to be quick flip, which I could do now, but if I invest just a little more into it (time and money) I can triple my money while giving my customer a vehicle that needs nothing. Same with the Volvo (except the tripling of my money). I consider this part of my process. I hope to keep flipping to fund my business until the need is no longer.
 

Kingmaker

Gold Contributor
Speedway Pass
Jan 26, 2013
395
1,311
421
San Diego
Did the samples you posted on eBay sell? How quickly and how many were there?
 
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GuestUser202

Guest
Did the samples you posted on eBay sell? How quickly and how many were there?
I posted one sample as a buy it now auction and it hasn't sold yet. eBay is not the place for my product as it can be found there for $3. I will probably have some sort of "bargain basement" or "outlet" section on my website for things that aren't my brand or aren't high enough in quality. The good thing is there was $0 insertion fee on eBay. As hard as it is to wait, I want inventory and a finished product before I create the website.
 

early riser

Grind Harder
Speedway Pass
Sep 18, 2014
54
65
121
Both coasts. The west now.
I posted one sample as a buy it now auction and it hasn't sold yet. eBay is not the place for my product as it can be found there for $3. I will probably have some sort of "bargain basement" or "outlet" section on my website for things that aren't my brand or aren't high enough in quality. The good thing is there was $0 insertion fee on eBay. As hard as it is to wait, I want inventory and a finished product before I create the website.
I'll be honest I skimmed through this (and will reread when on more sleep) and I see you are already going with branding but a strong backstory should also help as well as strong copy writing.
(I am a sucker for such and will buy accordingly)
Also stress that you are a local vendor and quick shipping.

At such low final price point it is just another dollar for me, but another large percent markup for you.
 
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GuestUser202

Guest
I'll be honest I skimmed through this (and will reread when on more sleep) and I see you are already going with branding but a strong backstory should also help as well as strong copy writing.
(I am a sucker for such and will buy accordingly)
Also stress that you are a local vendor and quick shipping.

At such low final price point it is just another dollar for me, but another large percent markup for you.
What do you mean "a strong backstory and copy writing"?

Yeah, I feel branding with my product is EXTREMELY important. Plus it will take my company where I want it to go....straight to the top!!!
 
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GuestUser202

Guest
Quick update so that no one thinks I gave up. I'm in a holding pattern. I dropped off about 6 pieces of my product with a printer to have my own logo printed on them like 2+ weeks ago and I still have not received them back. I sent them an email middle of last week asking what the holdup is and they said they purchased a new tool that would make it easier for them. I figure this is good for me, good for them, and that they need time to perfect the process for me.

I have just a couple fine details to do for my warranty cards, which I can do in no time. Also need to locate a good quality inkjet printer (or buy transfer paper specific for laser printers...or take my chances and use the inkjet transfer paper in a laser printer) to add my own logo to an accessory or two I will include with all my products. Once I am out of this particular accessory, I think I may just have my supplier make them...at $.30/ea, MOQ price won't be an issue. Soon, I will have a finished product! LLC and website are in my VERY near future!

I also found out from my supplier that the logo on my product that isn't mine is simply a sticker that can easily be removed. So NOW, I can remove that logo and have mine put on and have more inventory!! I am still considering just selling their product under my name (and there IS a reason for that).

On the fix n flip front, still having issues with the Volvo (same issue really), but I have purchased a Volvo specific tool (I needed this tool to have the computer/ECU cloned...still MUCH cheaper than any other alternative), so this tool should dramatically help me. The motorcycle...I believe I now have all the parts needed to get it fully functional and street legal. Picked up wiring schematics from the dealer (which I am REALLY happy about) so that I can get all accessories functioning. I also decided to remove the crappy paint someone had put on and return to factory/stock colors, so I've been working on that.
 
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GuestUser202

Guest
Ok...so I received an email from my printer yesterday saying they cannot brand my product but that I still owe $100 for their efforts. That was almost their exact words, so I was like "great..waste of $100 and my time." BUT, I went this morning to pay and get my product back...and I was QUITE shocked to see my logo on most of my product! PLUS they made a stamp with my logo and gave that to me AND they recommended another person that MIGHT be able to complete the work for me. One product, I showed him how it works and he said leave it with me to play with, so I did.

I feel this guy went WAY overboard to make this work. He said he played with setups and took apart my product, spent 15 mins on ONE sample...even working on Saturday...to make this work. So not a complete waste of time/money. He definitely has won my business for ANY printing needs!!

Also, while I was there, I asked about having my logo printed on accessories and they seemed way more confident they could do that. So when I pick up the one product they want to "play with", I'll drop of my a few samples of my accessory so they can "play" with it. A minor setback, but nothing I cannot overcome. Worst case is I stamp the product myself...or have a few that I just give away as demo's or something.

On the fix and flip front, I found a viable way to strip the ugly spray paint that was on the motorcycle, so I worked on that last night. Yesterday, I purchased a graphics kit for it as well. In the fix and flip business (or used car business) looks are EVERYTHING! The Volvo..well, it's going to need time for me to trace wires and continue to diagnose. I was looking at what I have in it right now and I can still make money off it...just not $3k as I once hoped.
 
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GuestUser202

Guest
I contacted this 2nd contact and he does not do this any...anymore. He said he sold his machine because it's WAY too time consuming. HOWEVER, he DID tell me what I need to brand my product myself...a Pad Printer. We spoke for about 30 mins and he helped me locate a few and even offered to teach me how to do this (for $20 and a 6-pack). The machine itself can be found NEW for $165 and free shipping on everyone's favorite (sarcasm) website, aliexpress.com. He also suggested people sell these machines for less than $100 because it IS so labor intensive and people don't want to deal with it. So, in purchasing that, the ink, all needed supplies and his fee, I can brand my own product for a $200 investment! Until I can make an MOQ order and/or confirm my product will sell, I may end up going this route.
 
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GuestUser202

Guest
Getting antsy!! I hired a professional photography to take a photo that I will use for the background of my website. He will also take quality shots of my products. I'll be buying a Pad Printer this weekend so that I can add my logo to my product myself. I cannot see paying someone $100 or more to stamp 3-4 products every few months when I can spend $250-300 and stamp as many as I want as often as I want (except for buying supplies). AND I can brand other products as well, be it my own or someone else that needs to print on irregular shaped objects (SIDEWORK!)

I've been playing on jimdo.com, which is a FREE website building platform that is super easy to use, seems to be fairly decent as far as templates and options, and it's FREE! Granted, the free version is a .jimdo.com website, but I figure it's better than nothing AND I can upgrade to the pro ($90/yr) or business ($240) version at any time not lose any formatting. Each paid version would include my own domain, email, storage, paypal (which I would prefer other forms of payment as well, but oh well), SEO, and more. PCMag gave fairly high praises for this tool and so far, I can see why.

As for the .jimdo.com website, I am HOPING that I can copy/paste the code and move to a different platform in the future once I have decent site built. Again, I cannot see paying for a domain/hosting for a year and spending half that time on designing the page. Build/design on a free platform, make it work and look good, move to a better platform, if needed.

I would rather not discuss the Volvo or the motorcycle (the residual from my fix and flip biz) at this point..just in case anyone is curious.
 
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GuestUser202

Guest
Working on my website and it's coming along quite nicely, especially for a free "domain/site" and having next to zero experience in designing, creating, and implementing a website.

My product is now in the hands of a pro photographer...waiting on the pics to add to the website. I'll also have him shoot photos of the product in use to display on my website. I've also been talked into having ME in at least one photo on my site.

I am now in the process of creating a naming convention for the different models as well as product descriptions. This is where my current reading, Ca$hveritising, by Drew Eric Whitman, comes into play.

Purchased a used name brand (not from AliExpress, not from China) pad printer to stamp my own products today. $145 on ebay shipped. I suspect I'll need another $100 in supplies, but $250 to print as many of my own logos on as many of my product is much better than $100 to stamp 4-5.

I also hope to buy a little more inventory within the next week or two. I wanted to sourced the pad printer first and get setup to start printing logos. I plan on doing smaller sample orders of my product for the next few months to build up my inventory. Once I am established and have cash flow, I'll order the MOQ from the supplier and have them stamp my products. Looking forward to that! I am aiming to be operational by the end of the year, preferably before Christmas time.

OH! I also received an email from VistaPrint for a free Square credit card reader, so of course I said yes to that!
 
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GuestUser202

Guest
Finding a shipping solution for my product as we speak. Just met with a local box manufacture and gave her a box and a couple of mockups of what I am looking for. I'll have samples next week.

I received my Press-A-Print silk screening tool last night. Now I need to get supplies and actually learn how to set it up and use it.

So...my supplier is now being difficult. I've been in contact with them for several months, the entire time, telling them what I need...smaller orders here and there to sell under my own brand. They seemed totally fine with that and I thought they understood that. But a few days ago, I was ready to order again...a small order...and now they are saying I cannot do that...that they don't sell retail and I need to order MOQ. NO WAY am I going to order 300 of anything if I cannot even sell 30. The joy of roadblocks!
 

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