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biophase

biophase

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I will play a devil's advocate here.

Google's definition of drop-shipping is: to move (goods) from the manufacturer directly to the retailer without going through the usual distribution channels.

Well, isn't it what most online businesses nowadays are doing, anyway?

My understanding of drop-shipping is being a middle man in the supply chain with adding zero-value.
Are you not drop-shipping any more, if you are providing value and offer 2-day FREE shipping? lol

Care to share your strategy/outlook on this?
I think Google's definition is fine. But when you move a good from the manufacturer, directly to the customer. I assume that manufacturer has made this same good available to everyone else. So your product is the same product that other stores are selling.

Most business are not doing this. If you purchase something from Apple, is the maker of the Iphone in China sending you an Iphone directly? Can I open a cell phone store and order Iphones from China?

Dropshipping to me is when you sell a general product that is available to everyone and you carry no inventory so when you get an order, you place an order with your supplier and they send the product directly from their warehouse to the customer.
 

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Riviera2012

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I have searched through the thread, but have not found the answer.

What is a good way to find the right keywords to be used in product descriptions and titles on Amazon?

Aside from doing PPC or using auto-completion, I haven't found many techniques to search for keywords that users are looking for for a particular product.
 

Ganglion

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Hi @biophase,

Thanks for your contributions on this forum, I've been reading through your posts and find them very helpful.

I've been selling private label me-too products for a while now and barely getting by. I've had enough of relying on marketing and copywriting to sell my products, and want to start inventing unique products the way you advise.

I've picked up some basic woodworking skills so I can create decent quality wooden products myself. I'm thinking about first creating the products with improvements myself, sell these to discover how well they sell, and then to approach a manufacturer for a sample followed by a MOQ shipment.

I feel this approach mitigates the risk of spending $8,000 on a MOQ shipment and finding the product doesn't sell.

I figure a lot of successful people have created the product themselves at first - e.g. Native Deodorant, Gretta van Riel with Skinny Me Tea, Jaswant's Kitchen.

What are your thoughts on this approach?
 
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Raúl Gallegos

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srry if this was already asked, but how do you ensure the quality of your products that come from China?

I have had bad experiences so far.
 

Ganglion

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srry if this was already asked, but how do you ensure the quality of your products that come from China?

I have had bad experiences so far.
Hey Raúl,

I've ordered from China before, I'm sure other more experienced sellers can chime in with better advice. I think Walter Hay is particularly knowledgable in this field.

First do the usual background checks on the manufacturer. If they're on Alibaba, make sure they have a good reputation on there - they've been selling on there for several years, they're a Gold seller, that they're actually a manufacturer rather than a middleman, etc. Having an impressive resume on Alibaba is no guarantee of anything, it's just better than having a shitty resume on Alibaba, lol.

Then consider ordering a sample. You can often get the sample for free, but be prepared to pay some $50 to air ship it to your address. The sample has to be on point before you proceed to the next step, but the sample being on point does not mean your bulk MOQ order will be on point too.

Next you want to consider your different INSPECTION options. You can hire 3rd party inspection companies to inspect the factory before production, to do inspections during production, and do inspections post-production. I personally did a post-production inspection of every single unit of my 300-unit order, then had it all shipped to my home address in the UK, where I inspected each unit myself.

3rd party inspection is an important part of the process, and thankfully there's an entire podcast dedicated to just this topic, it's called the Global From Asia Podcast.

There's a lot more to it of course, but those are some of the important points that spring to mind. It can seem daunting at first, but just take it one step at a time, once you've made your first order, subsequent ones will become easier and easier.
 

Raúl Gallegos

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Hey Raúl,

I've ordered from China before, I'm sure other more experienced sellers can chime in with better advice. I think Walter Hay is particularly knowledgable in this field.

First do the usual background checks on the manufacturer. If they're on Alibaba, make sure they have a good reputation on there - they've been selling on there for several years, they're a Gold seller, that they're actually a manufacturer rather than a middleman, etc. Having an impressive resume on Alibaba is no guarantee of anything, it's just better than having a shitty resume on Alibaba, lol.

Then consider ordering a sample. You can often get the sample for free, but be prepared to pay some $50 to air ship it to your address. The sample has to be on point before you proceed to the next step, but the sample being on point does not mean your bulk MOQ order will be on point too.

Next you want to consider your different INSPECTION options. You can hire 3rd party inspection companies to inspect the factory before production, to do inspections during production, and do inspections post-production. I personally did a post-production inspection of every single unit of my 300-unit order, then had it all shipped to my home address in the UK, where I inspected each unit myself.

3rd party inspection is an important part of the process, and thankfully there's an entire podcast dedicated to just this topic, it's called the Global From Asia Podcast.

There's a lot more to it of course, but those are some of the important points that spring to mind. It can seem daunting at first, but just take it one step at a time, once you've made your first order, subsequent ones will become easier and easier.
Thank you very much for your knowledge!

I think my mistake was that I skipped the inspection
 

Walter Hay

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I feel this approach mitigates the risk of spending $8,000 on a MOQ shipment and finding the product doesn't sell.
You do not have to order the MOQ. That's only for newbies who don't know how to negotiate smaller quantity orders. I teach that it is a risky idea to place a big first order.
It looks as though you don't have my importing book, so you should at least read through my AMA GOLD! Sharing my lifetime experience in export/import. Product sourcing specialist. It is a very long thread but what you learn could help you avoid a lot of mistakes.

In my AMA Post #5 I wrote: "There are things you should say, but there are more things you should not say when you make your first contact." You should start off with that.

You will learn a lot but you won't learn online everything you need to know about safe sourcing and importing.

srry if this was already asked, but how do you ensure the quality of your products that come from China?

I have had bad experiences so far.
@Robert Hull makes some good points in his reply to your question about quality.

I definitely recommend paying for product inspections either during production or prior to shipment. If you tell the manufacturer before placing an order that you will be having an inspection done, that will make them much more careful about quality control.

Walter
 

Walter Hay

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I've ordered from China before, I'm sure other more experienced sellers can chime in with better advice. I think Walter Hay is particularly knowledgable in this field.

First do the usual background checks on the manufacturer. If they're on Alibaba, make sure they have a good reputation on there - they've been selling on there for several years, they're a Gold seller, that they're actually a manufacturer rather than a middleman, etc. Having an impressive resume on Alibaba is no guarantee of anything, it's just better than having a shitty resume on Alibaba, lol.
I would like all to know that I don't import and sell anything, but I did so for 22 years with my importing business before I had to sell it and retire. Prior to that I exported for 9 years, with my biggest customer being a reseller in China. Biophase is the expert in eCommerce. My field is safe sourcing and importing.

For background checks never rely on what you see on Alibaba. First, the Gold Supplier badge is bought, and has nothing to do with the seller's reputation.

It is rare to find a supplier on Alibaba that is not a Gold Supplier. Alibaba have cunningly forced suppliers to pay for a gold badge by not allowing anyone without a gold badge to receive inquiries from buyers!

Almost all suppliers will claim to be manufacturers because they know that's what Western buyers want to think they are dealing with. In reality the great majority are traders.

There are alternatives to Alibaba and there are alternatives to buying from China. In my latest book revision I provide links to genuine sourcing sites in 39 countries other than China. Many of them are official government sites. Using them requires a lot more effort than using Alibaba, but the benefits can be substantial, particularly when you find a unique product that has not been previously imported into your country.

Think outside of China.

Walter
 

AdamABC

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hello @biophase and everyone,

I've just started a new job for e-commerce company which sells supplements and I will appreciate any help from you guys, because this is a huge opportunity for me to dive even deeper into the world of e-commerce and especially online marketing, here are some details about the company:

- no fb ads or google ads, nothing at all
- over 15 years on the supplements market
- they have one stationery and 2 online stores
- first online shop sells their own brand and has a youtube channel with almost 19 000 subscribers, facebook account with 24 000 likes and instagram with 4 400 followers
- second online store sells various of different brands, and here they want me to market it because they have focused for quite some time mainly on their own brand, that's why the second online doesn't have any youtube channel, facebook account has 8 000 likes and on instagram they have only 470 followers
- they are based in Poland, in a quite big city with a population of 650 000 people
- in the city where are they based in google search they are quite high, something like 3-5th place on the first page of course

where should I start first to show my new boss that I'm worth it, I would like to finally learn fb ads + google ads in practise but in this case, is that a good idea? or should I focus first on building social media, maybe pinterest? or maybe local SEO? , which route can give me and my boss the most traffic/clients/money? thank you very much for any help
 
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biophase

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@biophase How is your Amazon only dog product going? Any insights to your process and progress so far on this mini venture? Couldn't find it's own thread so asking here.
It hasn't launched yet. My product is currently on the water heading to the US.
 

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biophase

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@biophase How is your Amazon only dog product going? Any insights to your process and progress so far on this mini venture? Couldn't find it's own thread so asking here.
Just launched it on Sunday. Got my first 3 sales today! Not sure if it was due to PPC yet As it lags a day behind. Always exciting to get that first sale on any new venture!
 

Riviera2012

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Congratulations on your new adventure. ;)

I have a question for the more experienced users: I'm making my first sales on Amazon and I don't understand a thing. When you fill out the product page there is a part called "Keywords".

There are three spaces to enter keywords: "Search Terms", "target-audience" and "platinum-keywords".

What is the difference between these three options? What is the correct procedure for inserting terms in these spaces? I tried to search the web, but found only superficial and contradictory explanations.
 

Sethamus

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Just launched it on Sunday. Got my first 3 sales today! Not sure if it was due to PPC yet As it lags a day behind. Always exciting to get that first sale on any new venture!
Nice! It is interesting to see you started ppc from day one when I see a lot of advice on other Amazon selling groups say to wait for 10+ reviews. Same for the FB only thread and building out his target audience from the start. Most of the people in these groups don't have your experience and I think all started within the last 2 years, but they must be being told this by someone.

Just curious on your thoughts about this?
 
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biophase

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Congratulations on your new adventure. ;)

I have a question for the more experienced users: I'm making my first sales on Amazon and I don't understand a thing. When you fill out the product page there is a part called "Keywords".

There are three spaces to enter keywords: "Search Terms", "target-audience" and "platinum-keywords".

What is the difference between these three options? What is the correct procedure for inserting terms in these spaces? I tried to search the web, but found only superficial and contradictory explanations.
I am not sure. I never filled out the platinum keywords and my target audience just says men and women.
 
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biophase

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Nice! It is interesting to see you started ppc from day one when I see a lot of advice on other Amazon selling groups say to wait for 10+ reviews. Same for the FB only thread and building out his target audience from the start. Most of the people in these groups don't have your experience and I think all started within the last 2 years, but they must be being told this by someone.

Just curious on your thoughts about this?
I think you should get reviews before you do PPC. However, my new company is competing on price so I didn't think I needed reviews to get sales. When you are the cheapest on Amazon, it's pretty easy to get sales and rank.
 

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"Search Terms", "target-audience" and "platinum-keywords".
It's been a while but if I recall correctly:

Search terms you get 50 characters per line and that's the top keywords for your product. The things people will be searching to find you.

Target audience has a bunch of definitions. I think you can find them in the style guide (if you can find that, it's an official amazon template). I believe it's things like boys, girls, women, men, pets, mothers, nurse, etc...

Platinum keywords is for, I believe, platinum partners or whatever they call the companies that amazon has a special partnership with. Regular sellers don't have access to these and you can ignore them.
 

Raúl Gallegos

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How do you deal with possible harmful products?

for example: If I want to import some jewelry from china, how do I know it is not going to have some lead or other heavy metal.

And Lately I have been looking for some products out of china and I have found amazing ones but they already have a brand.

So, even if they do not have presence in my country , is it possible to ask them to sell to me their products without their logo?
 

simplysi

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Hi Biophase!
recently joined the forum, just seen this thread, loved how you broke the numbers down (maths will never fail against emotions- and that's coming from an artist- then again old messy hair himself- E=MC2- excelled in art and failed in maths - then turned it around- I'm working on the other route presently!) about how Amazon works.

This might be outside of your sphere but you might know a man or woman who does within your circle -so I thought I'd ask - for your trouble - please go here and choose one and I'll post to you for your wisdom mate x Home Of The Original Times Square Spray Paint Artist - Spray Paint Art


I created a multi-media project for kid's edutainment that I have been pitching around entertainment companies (BBC- Disney -Netflix etc) - whilst doing this developed some books and let them sit on the Apple store and gather dust.

I want to host them on my own site (creating as we speak- learning and doing in another tab!)
So I can track the data when running either giveaways via FB fan page, Mailchimp funnels of content with 8th drip CTA or Google/YouTube/FB &IG ads.

When you get a chance I'm facing a problem that is frying my head, as tried and searched for months now and cannot find the solution.

I got onto the Word Press Live team at my host- HostGator for a consultation and they will not tell me if they can help me create what I need until I sign up - so pay first to find out a possible (sounds imminent from the sales guy reading between his lines) NO later and no refund!

I posted a thread here too and nothing concrete -yet
https://www.thefastlaneforum.com/community/threads/escaping-the-apple-bookstore-and-more.96861/#post-900530 (only read if you have time - as a bit long - I'm working on being more succinct too!)

In a nutshell here's what I'm looking to solve and achieve:

I have 8 titles in the Apple Bookstore they are picture audiobooks (they are epub files)
Here's a sample link of one ‎Nakos' Story of Sharing


I wish to be able to host them still as picture audiobooks on my NEW website to be available for download and use on


A: Apple devices -ios and desktop


B: Android devices


C: Laptops and desktops


Can you explain my options to do this please AND if you know a way to make them secure from the AVERAGE (not techie) Mum, parent - sister from copying and sharing them!


Also, I wish to be able to offer the books as a set of 8 (and say they are discounted from say $6:50 each and selling all 8 for $32 - $4 each) or if the customer wishes $6:50 each.

The whole process for the customers should be as seamless as possible (so even the most untechy Mom from Michigan or Harvey from Harlem can download them with a click or two in the fog ) and if necessary the refund and email harvesting for me.

I know this is specialised and probably out of your sphere but as before I thought I'd ask in case you know or know a creature you does :))

Simon
 

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