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

Discussion in 'The Unscripted Entrepreneurial Mind' started by biophase, Dec 26, 2015.

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  1. biophase
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    biophase Legendary Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    Purely hypothetical.
     
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  2. JuliaLV
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    JuliaLV Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER

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    Thanks a lot for sharing!
    I had very similar experience with Kindle publishing (Stefan's K Money Mastery 2.0 course).
    Great example for commandment of entry :)
     
  3. MakeMoreMoves
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    MakeMoreMoves Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    In the process of developing a complicated product, hopefully it sells. But since the initial cost is so high for tooling, custom logos, etc. Is it normal to be losing money per piece in the beginning? If I try to make a profit from each piece from the first order I'm overpriced compared to all competitors. The price per piece is very expensive right now. Also, since this is a very custom product, if I deal with many manufacturers to make these samples, should I feel like an ass that I made them do all this work and not even going to start an order? I feel like if I keep doing this, one by one every manufacturer will know my name that I cause them time and money making these samples, but I don't pull the trigger for full sample, but only on one.

    I use example of a boat for my product. So if I am making a boat, there are infinite number of modifications, but at the end of the day its still a boat and I have to compete with all the other boats.
     
  4. JokerCrazyBeatz
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    JokerCrazyBeatz Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    How do you see top sellers ? Do you have to make a seller account to see?
     
  5. biophase
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    biophase Legendary Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    Don't think so. You just click to see the top 100. Click by the ranking of any Amazon product.
     
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  6. biophase
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    biophase Legendary Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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  7. JasonR
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    JasonR Maverick Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    Amazon is coming down hard on fake reviews. They aren't necessarily removing them, but they are giving very little weight to reviews to products purchased for a fraction of the price of the product. They know shitty products and review manipulation hurts their marketplace, and I'm glad they are correcting them.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2016
  8. doinkdedoink
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    doinkdedoink Contributor

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    They all look like a gagglefuck of bad copy and fake reviews, I am curious what you would do to improve these if you were to sell them? I am not interested in selling them but it's nice to have an actual product that I could see your feedback on.

    Off the top of my head I could see maybe adding a puncture repair kit? Other then that I see a whole lot of complaints about how they don't stay inflated for more then an hour, so would you contact the manufacture and try to change the material it's made of, or using different liners for the inside so it doesn't leak?

    I can see how this post may come off as me trying to get your advice so I can implement your ideas, but I am just trying to see how your thought process works. Thanks!
     
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  9. MakeMoreMoves
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    MakeMoreMoves Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Try garlic presses and lemon squeezers those are better ;)
     
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  10. biophase
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    biophase Legendary Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    Yes, I would figure out why they aren't holding air. I bet the seal flap is bad and probably needs a better material or some type of rubber. Then I'd make the material thicker and more resistant to punctures. If I'm going to do all that, I'd probably change the shape a little. I personally think it's too tall, there's no reason it needs to be that tall unless you are trying to make a chair. If you want to lounge on it, it could be several inches lower.

    All this will add cost, so the product might end up being $75-$100. But if you had an $99 product which 500 4-5 star real reviews and your product was noticably different, you wouldnt care about all the knock offs. Customers would be able to clearly see which one is head and shoulders above the rest.

    EDIT: So I just took a closer look at the product. They are using the exact same seal as dry bags. The material looks like a lightweight nylon. In fact, I import a product just like this one, except I use it as a bag and it's much smaller. Someone just needs to make a better sealing flap. I can bet that the ones that don't seal are using plastic edges instead of letting the material overlap the seal. Also, a thin double rubber strip would fix it and I bet some use it and some don't.
     
  11. biophase
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    biophase Legendary Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    So yesterday I finally shipped 1000 units of this product to Amazon. I made this post on Dec 26 2015, it is Sep 1 2016 and I FINALLY got this product delivered and on its way to FBA. This is an example of how long it can take to make your own product vs. a slapping a logo on off the shelf product.

    Just checked the competitor and a few more have arrived since then. So now I have 7 competitors to deal with, but my product is different. I don't even worry about them. My product is not really competing against 7 competitors, its competing against 1 (because all the other 7 are the same).

    I guess this will be a good case study on my method. I'm throwing it up against these guys with no launch or reviews. Will check back in a month.
     
  12. JokerCrazyBeatz
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    JokerCrazyBeatz Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    You got me excited to see what happens next!
     
  13. Walter Hay
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    Walter Hay Legendary Contributor Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    I am so pleased to see this post. It puts a touch of reality into the area of new product development. Starry eyed new entrepreneurs tend to be impatient, but you have been doing this for long enough to take a realistic approach, and that should help those new to the scene.

    There are many factors that can result in this long lead time from concept to delivery, but the Chinese tendency to not want to be rushed is often a factor. It might not have been in your case, but I mention it so that others will appreciate that rushing a Chinese business person into decisions and action can be counter-productive.

    Walter
     
  14. Jean-Pierre
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    Jean-Pierre Contributor FASTLANE INSIDER

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    Great post and love it even more because you started it a couple of days after Christmas!

    That "FINALLY" feeling of FINALLY completing something you've spent months CREATING is the best feeling in the world.

    Look forward to hearing how well the launch went
     
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  15. biophase
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    biophase Legendary Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    Hi Walter,

    I ended going with 3 different factories and they just couldn't get things right. Not big things, but tiny little things like I'd spec 150cm and the samples would come back 148cm. They'd agree to fix it in production and I'd tell them no, I want another correct sample, then it would be 149cm. The problem with textiles, is that when I ask for 150cm, they'd cut 150cm, but on the edges they need to fold it over and hemmed the edges making it shorter.

    They either couldn't grasp that they needed to cut 152cm, or I suspect that they quoted based on 150cm of material and were trying to skimp out on the material, after all, 2cm x 142cm x 1000 pcs equals alot of extra material.

    I never did get the 150cm, I just agreed to 149cm. I needed to get this out and if it sells well, I'm going to get my 150cm on the second order! LOL
     
  16. Walter Hay
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    Walter Hay Legendary Contributor Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    This is valuable educational material regarding dealing with the realities.

    Walter
     
  17. biophase
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    biophase Legendary Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    Ok so it's now one month later and I got some data on this new product.

    Right now I am sitting at #6 for its 2 word keyword. Here are the stats for the top 5.

    Price - # of reviews - stars
    $14.38 - 78 - 4
    $12.99 - 32 - 4
    $19.99 - 61 - 4.5 (AMZ student)
    $21.99 - 101 - 4.5 (AMZ student)
    $20.99 - 11 - 4.5
    $16.99 - 3 - 5 <-- ME

    Here are excerpts from my 3 only reviews:
    In any case, they performed absolutely perfectly. The length helped us... And I'll be happy to have them for... etc if needs be with their extra application capabilities.

    Nice and light. Comfortable. Find a smaller one if you are under 5'9.

    Solid quality and value, and plenty big despite my much larger than average height

    Interestingly, all 3 reviews commented about its length. This was one of my modifications to this product. Many people complained that it was too short. So I made mine 4 inches longer and I specifically put that in the description and bullet points.

    The length was also a huge pain point in going back and forth, if you read a few posts above I talk about how my supplier couldn't get the length just right.

    So as you can see, my slight modifications have solved an issue for taller people that they cannot get from the top 5 sellers.

    I've sold 53 at an average price of $15 (26 in the last week). My cost is $10. So I have broken even with this product in my first month. But, I averaged 1.76 sold per day. But in the past week, I'm selling 4/day, so it's accelerating, most likely due to my ranking now.

    I have raised my price to $18.99 now, so I will make $2 per unit this month. My ultimate goal is to get it up to $24.99, and a $7.50 profit per unit. But that may be a stretch since others are dropping prices a little.

    So to summarize, ranking at #6, averaging 4/day in the last week, minimal profit, no PPC, 3 reviews.

    Product is performing exactly as expected. Product will probably be a $500/mo profit product. Just another cog in the wheel.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2016
  18. iceyblitz
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    iceyblitz New Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

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    brilliant!
     
  19. GravyBoat
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    GravyBoat Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Bio,

    Last year I designed a product that was much improved from any examples I could find. It is an average house hold kitchen item. I did some research and it looks like my improvement was partially covered under a US Patent that I found, and I didn't know how to continue.

    In this case, would you even bother caring about that potential danger, or is that a massive red flag?

    I could find only one other example of the product that came even close to what the patent covered, the rest were vastly different, yet the patent still covered some of my changes.
     
  20. proper
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    proper Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

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    @biophase Very informative post, thanks. I wish I had read this post a year ago before struggling to sell on Amazon with the "easy" way.

    One question though, do you do any market validation before investing $$$$ into making new mould? Because as you mentioned there were only 6 sellers selling the similar product. The market could be very small, not justifying the coset. The customers may not be very interested in your improvements etc.
     
  21. biophase
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    biophase Legendary Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    Sorry I didn't see this post until today. I really don't know what to tell you. To me, I would probably avoid it and find a different product. But it really depends on the product's potential.
     
  22. biophase
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    biophase Legendary Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    There were 6 sellers, but I knew that there was a market for the product. It was a very general product that many people buy. You can always do the add to cart 999 test to see how others are selling. But realistically, if there are 10 people buying a day, that would be 300 a month, which is enough for me. So I think most products have enough buyers as long as you don't get too niched down.
     
  23. RisingStars
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    Hi @biophase

    I hope its okay that I ask a question regarding this method of importing in this thread. How do you go with brand building with this? I've found a couple of products I could improve and sell in Germany which would bring a lot of value to customers. I was actually already in talks with potential suppliers, but backed off since the products I could improve are in no way related to the two products I am already selling. With my current brand, I feel kinda stuck with my current niche and would like to expand to more products and add value to them.

    With each product you improve there might be a few more products in the category but, if not do you just move on and search for other products you could improve? I fear that this way I will be more dependant on amazon. What do you think? Would love your input!
     
  24. AJG
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    pardon my ignorance, but what is the "add to card 999 test"? I've never heard of that before.
     
  25. amp0193
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    amp0193 Legendary Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    Try to buy the product.

    Put a quantity of 999 in your cart for that item.

    There will be an error, and it will automatically change to whatever the total number of their stock is (unless they have more than 999).

    So, day 1 - 350
    Day 2 - 345
    Day 3 - 344
    Day 4 - 340


    You can track what their sales are, or at least get a rough idea.