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Do you want to do it the EASY way, or the HARD way?


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Jul 25, 2007
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So you've decided to jump on the Amazon bandwagon and import a product and list on Amazon.

Do you want to do it the easy then hard way or the hard then easy way? I see most people on here and the thousands of Amazon class lemmings choosing the easy/hard way. I don't discount that this way works but it is way tougher. For those of you just jumping in after reading and taking an Amazon class here is what you can expect.

Here's the Easy/Hard Way

Let's say you have $5000 to spend and you choose a AMZ perfect product like a pork shredder. Below is exactly what happened to me when I ventured into an AMZ perfect product. Now before I go into this, I went into this fully understand what I had to do and what it would be like. I also have relatively deep pockets so I can outspend my competition. But the reality for me is that this is one of 80 products and I did not want to devote the time needed to succeed on this product. I will call this product AAA for the rest of this post. AMZ sellers refers to people who have taken an Amazon class.

March 2015 - I decide to import AAA after some research. There were about 15 popular models on Amazon and 3 dominant AMZ sellers. The product sells for $20, cost in China is $3. Total cost landed by air is $6.

April 2015 - After going through the sample phase I chose a supplier and ordered 800 units.

June 2015 - Before my product even got to Amazon in July, there were at least 10 more AMZ sellers who have decided to do this product. The top seller, we will call SellerA in March was pushed off the front page and is now on page 2 with 800+ reviews.

One particular seller had deep pockets. We'll call them SellerX. They jumped onto the scene averaging 75 reviews a day! From 0 to 700 reviews in 2 weeks. This moved them to middle of page 1.

I felt sorry for the other 9 AMZ sellers that were barely showing up with only 20-30 reviews. I could tell that they could not afford to give away 700 units. They probably planned to giveaway only 20-50 units.

July 2015 - My first units hit Amazon. Priced at $19.99, profit per unit was $8.33. I did a giveaway of 25 units and moved from page 17 to page 6. I then lowered my price from $19.99 to $10.99 which was a $3 loss per unit sold. This moved me to page 1 briefly. I lost $250 in this month.

August 2015 - 5 more AMZsellers hit the market. They all did giveaways of course! I drop down to page 3, then 4, then 10. I still made $400 in this month.

September 2015 - I don't recognize anyone on the first page of Amazon for this product. SellerX is holding at #1. The rest of the sellers are all new AMZ players. I still made $250 this month.

October 2015 - I don't even bother to check this anymore. Oh SellerA, he was #1 all of 2014, middle of page 2. I made $32 this month, basically sold 4 units.

November 2015 - More sellers still coming into the market. I drop my prices a little more. I made $50 this month. Profit margins are now $5 per unit.

December 2015 - Still more sellers coming into the niche. I estimate that since March 2015, 50+ new AMZsellers are in this one niche. I made $150 this month.

Many of the AMZsellers are doing monthly giveaways now. They need to keep giving away units to keep their sales count high to keep ranking. As more sellers come into your niche, they will be discounting, giving away their product. So if you want to stay on page 1 or 2, you need to do the same. Don't think that you can giveaway 25 and rank. If you are starting out with limited funds, you will get bled to death.

Some interesting notes:
To write this post I had to find my product through search. As i went through the results I saw:
  • Guys who were on the front page in March 2015 are now on page 3-5
  • I am on page 6, grid style. Not bad.
  • I found that 2 reviews got deleted. I used to have 31, now I have 29 only.
  • Front page product averaging 500+ reviews
Remember, just 9 months ago it was not like this. If this is the business you want, go for it!

So now what?

Now, I look at this market I can know I can compete. Here is why. First, my product is on page 6 and I'm still selling 1 a day with no PPC. Why? Because there is some value add. If you put my product on page 1 with most of the others, it will be the best value. Second, I have the funds to keep this product going at break even just to sustain it.

I can place another order for 3000 units. I can do a planned giveaway, 150 units a month for the next 6 months. That's 900 units. Total cost to me would be $6 for the product, $3 for the giveaway, or $8100 total.

Assuming this keeps me close to the top of page 1, I would sell the other 2100 at $8 profit to make $16800. So the profit from this would be $8700.

In this market I would have to keep my volume up. So that means monthly giveaways. My competition SellerX would likely see me doing this and also do their own giveaways.

The rest of the AMZsellers who are trying to make a living will slowly fade and give up. They just won't be able to outspend the deeper pockets.

But I'm not going this route. This market is not worth my time. In the next few months I will be at least 10 more AMZsellers per month come into it.

You don't want this to be your money maker. Just ask SellerA. They were rolling last year with no competition and then it just got flooded and will continue to be flooded as this product checks ALL the boxes on the AMZ seller checklist.

Here's the Hard/Easy Way

Last year I was selling this product made by another manufacturer that we packaged in our warehouse on Amazon. My cost was $6 and I sold on Amazon for $13. Measly $2.00 profit. Most people would avoid this like the plague. How do you live on a product like this?

Well for me, it was more of a brand recognition product. Sold cheap, no profit but got our name out. It also got annoying that we had to print labels and pack this thing. So we looked at China. They would make it for the same price basically. Cost of $6 landed into our warehouse. But the difference was that it was all packaged and ready to go. So basically for the relief of not having to package the product, we decided to import this over from China. In doing so, I was able to make a few changes so it was not the exact same product as before.

(I am glossing over the back and forth sample creation, changes in product, etc... All the hard stuff that it takes to make or improve a product)

First order from China was 1000 units. Hits Amazon. I drop the price to $9.99. Basically a loss of $1. Within 1 month it climbs to #1. Then we start selling a bunch. I raise the price back to $13. We average about 250 units a month. So we are making $500/mo.

Second order from China was 3000 units. We had a huge price drop as we found a better factory. Now our cost is $2.50 per unit. Bam, profit is now $5.50 per unit. Now we are selling 400 units a month. So we are making $2200/mo.

This little product is now making us $2000/mo. fairly consistently. No PPC, no giveaways, no competition. It's sitting at #2-#3 right now, priced at $13.69. One tiny product, $24k a year!

Which way is better?

Well I hope you can see the difference in work. With the second product, you do all the hardwork upfront and then let it sell. With the first product, you do the easy stuff up front and then spend the rest of your time trying to sell it.

I much rather do the hard work first.

As for the first product. I think I'm just going to let it sell out and die a slow death on Amazon. I'd rather put my energy into other things.
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Mar 25, 2012
Amazing info here. Thank you.

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