Took photos today with some nice lights and a pro camera my girlfriends mom let us use. Thanks @PTP for telling me about that online tool to white out the background!!!! Super helpful. My products have been received into Amazon and are ready to go. All I need to do is finish my listing and put my pictures up after editing them tonight.
I made my first sale this morning through my Shopify store!!!!!! I got the traffic from my Instagram page (450 followers so far, not much) and got a buyer. I can't explain how pumped I am and how much it's boosting my motivation and making me want to push harder now. I'm craving that next notification with the cash register noise telling me I made a sale
NOTABLE! Most liked posts in thread: Going for it. Ecommerce.
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I just bought an LLC package through LegalZoom and paid 320$ total for it. It will take 30 days for the process to be completed and thus 30 days until I can set up my Amazon Seller so here is what I will be doing in the meantime:
- Learning as much about copywriting as possible in every second of my free time (not working, working out, or spending quality time with my girlfriend) so I can write up my own copy
- Have my two suppliers ready to ship out to Amazon.
On top of my job, I've been flipping things to make extra cash. The other night before I fell asleep, I saw that new basketball shoes came out of a player that I am a big fan of. I know basketball shoes well and instantly bought 800$ worth of those shoes. I've already sold one for a 50$ profit just for flipping it. That's not a lot... but I make 60$ for a days worth of work right now. I have four more pairs that could easily be worth 50-100$ profit. I'm hustling and creating my first business and it feels amazing to actually execute and do instead of watch others and action-fake.
I sold 6 units today on Amazon and passed my goal of 5 sales in a day!!! It's the craziest feeling. Today I went to the apple orchard with friends, took a nap later, and woke up to find out I sold 6 units. It turns out I'm making $8.20 per sale so I made 49$ today while having a good time and not at work. Now that I've tasted it, I want more. I've been staying up til 2 A.M. almost every night learning and figuring this thing out. I love it and ecommerce is something I think is fun. (Now on to 10 sales in a day)
[QUOTE="BusinessBen, post: 629524, member: 23779"
I noticed a lot of people do not give credit where it is due.
Sorry, this isn't the first time I see a newbie skip over my thread.[/QUOTE]
You are surprised that people don't give credit to your thread?... Sounds a little arrogant to me. And the fact that your recommending a thread based on your failed business venture makes me wonder.Last edited: Aug 10, 2017
Here's a podcast episode you may find helpful: How to Sell on Amazon The Right Way, with Ryan Daniel Moran
Also, the first few chapters of the book Ready, Fire, Aim recommended to me by @amp0193 are particularly helpful when starting out.
I've figured out a way to add major value to the product in two major ways and have tested it thoroughly. I looked at all the negative reviews for the product on Amazon and focused on the two biggest ones. If I could list it now I know it would be the most valuable product out of the five others.
Here is what I have to do until I am up and selling:
- Get a business license and figure out taxes
- Register for an Amazon Seller account
- Figure out total fees for everything and import to Amazon FBA
- Learn as much copywriting as possible to use in description and get the best images for listing as possible during this time.
- Get my first sale online!
Last edited: Feb 10, 2019
My LLC is formed!!! I've finally been able to create my Amazon seller account with my LLC information and Tax ID (EIN). I've got 20 units without my logo on them, not sure how this will go due to them not being branded but hoping they sell. I'm placing an order for 200 pieces with my logo on them for 1600$. This will be the biggest risk I've taken so far in my 18 short years of life lol. I'm nervous but I know this can work. I'm purchasing them this week or next due to the production time being 30 days.
Here is what I have to do to get my first $:
- Get photos of my 20 products without logo for amazon. Might do myself.
- Get UPC codes necessary and learn to bundle.
- Ship to FBA
I've been checking into the forum pretty often but haven't been posting almost at all because of how much I've been getting into flipping things and how slow ecom has gotten. I saw MJ's announcement about the meetup being cancelled and how people haven't been very active here and I want to stay a part of this forum and give as much value as I can! I'll be here much more.
I'm done selling in the niche I'm in. I learned a ton just by actually doing it though. If someone would have told me I would hit 6000$ revenue in my first four months of selling my first product last year I wouldn't have believed it. Once the season ended for my niche....so did my sales. It's not that there isn't any way it could work or that it's impossible to do..but I want to go to a niche that's year round and solves a problem. My handmade products still sell here and there now and provide some nice extra income but nothing crazy.
I came across a product months ago that's really unique and only has one primary seller. It has so many different uses for a ton of different people (BIG niche) which is exactly what I want. The one brand that is basically the only one selling this is killing it. They have a design patent (I can get around it) and their margins are insane. It's been on my mind the past few months and I'm going to go all in with it.
Before I can start though...there's a couple things I need to do.
- Buy a 4-5K Car cash
- Have insurance paid for the first half of next year
Flipping things is going very good. It's saved me from getting a minimum wage job and has helped speed up the process. I like that the more I work...the more money I can make
I am going to fix what's wrong with this product and make it the best one out there for people. The part in Unscripted where MJ talks about value skews and there always being room if there's a way to improve a product has helped with the way I've been thinking.
I hit $7000 in January! It was a record month by far. It feels so good to see sales coming in almost every day after all the work I put into this business last year with almost nothing to show for it.
I had spent about $600 on Facebook ads last year with pretty bad results. I'd get a sale here and there but my CPA would be $100. I spent a lot of time last year working on perfecting my products, figuring out the right pricing, and trying to figure out how and where to sell them. I tried Amazon and sold some but the results weren't great. The sales from the first few months last year that showed there was potential were from me posting in my target market's facebook groups with pictures of my product.
Towards the end of 2018 I was debating on whether or not I wanted to keep pursuing this business. I have big goals. I want to buy my first house with cash and be able to fully provide for my girlfriend (future wife). I knew I couldn't keep focusing on this business with no progress or results. I decided at the beginning of this year to give my business an entire year of focus and 100% effort so I have no regrets. I don't want to wonder "what if?" or quit..especially after all the work and great feedback my products got. I started a thread on the inside with the beginning of a new business but haven't gone through with it because I didn't want to have one foot in and one foot out with two ventures.
People love my product...it's just that I didn't know how to sell it. I didn't get it. @amp0193 was the one who pointed that out to me last year and he was 100% right. There are tens of millions of people in my target audience I can sell to on FB and IG. I'll put more effort into growing on Amazon...but my biggest focus will continue to be paid traffic through FB/IG.
Last year I spent a lot of time reading books like cashvertising and trying to learn how to sell by reading articles and watching videos online...but I'm starting to get some confidence and feel like I'm getting a better understanding of things just because I've gone ahead and done it. I always felt like I had to have a perfect ad or perfect copy and everything had to be perfect and it kept me from actually doing anything. Once I let the perfection thing go and just tried selling the best I could with my ads...it went away and money has started to come in.
I've been really excited about how it's been going.. but I'm focused on making this consistent year round and growing this as big as possible. I've already made more this month so far than I would have made full time in a month at my last job working in a wheel and tire warehouse two years ago. Pushing to hit my first 10K month in profit!!
Edit: For anyone who has been following along that is confused about how I was talking about starting another business in my latest posts in this thread.... after a year of low sales and my current business barely making any profits I came up with a bunch of different ideas to pursue if I decided to shut it down and almost started on one I started a thread about in the inside. I think it's a good thing to have other business ideas....but my business JUST started taking off out of nowhere and the feedback loop has kicked in.Last edited: Feb 10, 2019
My first product is still selling consistently on Amazon and my new PPC campaign has been bringing in a crazy amount of sales compared to before. I'm not sure what my deal is, but the past couple weeks I've made getting pre-orders for my new product so much more difficult than it has to be. I keep overthinking it and wondering if I should do this or that. I picked up Unscripted and read through a chapter that had to do with KE and in it MJ talked about buying Instagram ads from large profiles on the cheap for about 25$. I immediately stopped reading and began reaching out to as many as possible in my niche with 300K+ followers. I've got 97 units coming in and I've only pre-sold 7 of them.....that's pretty bad but I'm getting on top of it. I already knew about the instagram accounts and buying ads, but I overthink things way too much sometimes and make it harder than it really is. Hoping to sell at least half of them by the time they get here next Wednesday.
Here are the things I need to do:
- learn how to build a brand and read the books @AllenCrawley suggested in his thread on the inside
- Pre-sell half of my second product by next Wednesday
- Build my first handmade product as soon as possible
- Get my instagram follower count up to 4K by next week
A side note....
I've hit $5641.37 in sales so far on Amazon with my first product! For me it's crazy seeing the small milestones like this when a few months ago I would have done anything to get one sale. Time to set higher goals.
Last edited: Jan 8, 2019
I've made two more sales through the website since my first. The other 16 units finally are ready to sell on Amazon. If these sell and I keep getting orders through the website, I will proceed to buy 200 units and go 50/50 with Amazon and my Shopify store..unless one seems to be better than the other. I did some thinking this weekend though. I have added value to this product but its not as far as biophase suggests in the hard/easy way of going about it. I literally just buy two of these small items to help offset an issue that other products are having and bundle it together with my product and that's it. If these keep selling I'll keep going with it.
Last week I went boating with some friends and the conversation went towards this new business. One of the guys told me "You should go online on a forum for (my niche) and see what they want". Right after saying that, he told me what he wishes he had and another friend agreed with him saying they hate having to deal with the problems associated with this product they use (These guys are very into this niche and activity). The product is on Amazon with 4 main sellers but it's not what these guys said they'd want it to be and I could definitely make improvements even though they have an average 4.5 star rating. I've found a need through that conversation!!!
Here are my goals for this week
- Sell the rest of my inventory
- Learn PPC now that I'm actually selling on Amazon
- Meet up with my friends and figure out what to improve on the product they were talking about and how it would work.
- Setup a business bank account
If you've liked, commented, or given me advice (@PTP @amp0193 @maverick @Xeon ), Thank you so much. When I check my alerts and see that someone would take time out of their day to help me out and give me advice they've learned, it makes my day and pushes me even harder. If anyone has any advice or anything please share it with me. I'm here to learn and I don't act like I know anything. I'll keep posting my progress and how everything is going as much as I can!Last edited: Oct 5, 2017
It's been a crazy day. Instagram is an amazing tool and I'm realizing more and more how much I can do with it. I'm very outgoing and love to talk so I think doing live how-to videos would be a lot of fun for me and get a lot of peoples attention while interacting and being friendly.
I went on Instagram and joined a guy's live video and told him "You're missing something with your gear" and he looked all around the room and rattled off every single piece of equipment lol. Then I said "You won't be successful tomorrow if you still are missing this..." and he looked confused and said, "Well I don't really know what you're getting at". "You're missing our ________!" He read it and said "THAT IS SLICK AS F*CK!!!! You're an amazing salesman. DM me and I'll have to get one" Checked and someone added to cart so he most likely is a buyer.
Here is how I'm getting 12 sales through my website from one person.
When I got off work today I decided to join an Instagram live session that a guy started while he was doing an activity that relates to my niche. I commented "Why haven't you finished that yet?" and then followed up with "I know why..." and gave it a few seconds. "You're not using our _______." He immediately said that he would buy when he got home and sure enough he did through Amazon. THEN he told his friend who bought 2 and then said if he is satisfied he will buy 10 for all of his friends (150$ profit). All of this happened through Instagram. I ended up talking to the first guy on the phone and getting needs and wants from him and also asking him about the website and what could be improved. This is a ton of fun.
Sold 2 Units during the day on Amazon. Nothing crazy but still can't believe I'm making sales. I only have 8 units left on Amazon and am ordering 30 more to come in next week. I'm also placing an order for 150 units with my logos on them finally which will take a month. I'm so pumped and only want to work harder and harder!!!!
Today I broke my record for sales and profit in a day on Amazon with 14 units sold...I made almost twice as much as I would if I went in to work today. It's the craziest feeling. Yesterday was my first day without a job and I focused on learning Amazon PPC and how to setup manual campaigns which I believe is what made my sales so high today. I'm hungry and have so much to learn, but I'm enjoying the whole process.
For now, I'm putting the big idea that solves a pain point in my life on the shelf and continuing with all the work that I've put into my current business for the past year. I'll need money to create a prototype and everything anyway so this works out.
My product is a want. It's not a need in any way...so Amazon PPC and Google Adwords are not channels I'll be focusing on. (Thanks to @amp0193 for pointing that out about the channels).
I've been heavily getting into facebook ads. I've been building landing pages, figuring out how a funnel should work, adding upsells and cross-sells into the mix, etc. It's overwhelming...but I've learned so much the past couple weeks by just doing...and I've made some sales to offset the cost of learning it all.
@JasonR has some crazy gold in his threads and they've really helped me keep pushing. I'm in a similar spot to where he was at with his first business in the beginning. I'm making my products out of the garage and getting a couple sales here and there...but I'm not getting a consistent profit yet and I'm losing money on ads some days. I know it will happen eventually. I spent 13 hours today glued to the computer working on ads and writing copy (to the best of my ability) for my product.
I have a really nice product in a LARGE market that I've gotten crazy good reviews on and some re-orders even though it's not cheap.... so I believe I'm onto something.
My first milestone that I want to hit is 200$ profit in a day. It's nothing crazy..but it's a number I want to hit from facebook ad traffic. Then I'll set the bar way higher.
I have had enough to buy a car for a month or so now and at this point I'm just building up a net so I don't lose a ton when I buy it cash pretty soon here. After that...I'll be putting money into another ecommerce business I start in a huge niche. I have a VERY good feeling it will be successful.
Right now I'm getting a good amount of orders from my current business. I create these products by hand so it's tedious and tiring after doing 5-10 at a time. I'll do this and make $40 an hour for myself over working for someone else any day
Here's a few things I've learned since getting into ecommerce (I'm still a beginner and have much to learn so take it or leave it)
- Avoid products that are seasonal. I may get crap for this..but this is one of the most annoying parts of selling the products I've sold. The last few months of last year were good and I was happy with the progress...but once the season ended so did my sales until I started my next line of products that weren't based on the season.
- Build a brand and an actual business from the beginning. Throwing up a random accessory you found on Alibaba to Amazon won't work like you probably think it will. I had a crap product that I'd never even heard of until I found it on Alibaba and a month after I had it listed on Amazon there were at least three extra people selling the same thing (I did slightly improve mine lol).
- It's hard to sell a product for $20-$30. I've had a way easier time in general since I've been selling my newer quality products at around $60-$100.
- Competition can validate the product(s) you're considering selling. My current idea has one primary seller and they look like they are killing it. I'm happy to see that because that shows that people really want what I'll be improving. MJ addresses this in his books....bing or yahoo was around before google.....myspace before facebook...that didn't stop google or facebook from being better and succeeding.
My goal for my next business is to profit at least $10,000 a month. I believe it will happen and here is why. The market is BIG. 99% of people can use it. You could use it. I know it sells well because of the one brand that's selling it right now. It isn't a $20-$30 product..it's $90+ and doesn't cost a ton to manufacture.
I'll be selling it through Amazon and also through my own website either with google or facebook/instagram ads to start.
The challenge will be to get through the design patent the company has on it. I don't think it will be hard and I've been reading up on how design infringements work. I'll redesign it and improve it....and then learn how to market it.
I'm glad to see so many people back on here posting at the forum!
I've decided on my first product to import and sell. It wasn't some overnight product search, I've been searching for a product the past couple months even though I was in action faking mode and wouldn't have actually done anything with it. The time is now!!
There are only around 6 competitors selling this same products, all with most of the same complaints. I don't know how reliable these amazon scout tools are, but I used it and every single person selling this product is bringing in around 1K a month in profit. I plan on adding value to this product by modifying it so it works year round, unlike the others. This is based off of @biophase thread which talks about doing it the hard/easy way vs the easy/hard way. I'm not sure how much the cost will be for this but that's just a barrier to entry which actually is something that excites me. I haven't asked for a price yet for the modification on it but I will tonight.
Barriers to Entry:
Lack of Funds
(Solution: Keep working and saving $ from my full-time job while also flipping things after work to get to where I want faster)
Lack of Knowledge about the shipping part of this
(Solution: Read through the forum and find out through researching)
I am going to make this listing the best one out of the others on top of having a superior product. As far as marketing this goes, I'm not going to act like I know anything. I'm going to start an Instagram page for this business and learn how to make it grow and possibly get sales and interest with it. I've been listening to a ton of GaryVee's content and his Instagram DM strategy of business collaborating by trading value is something I am going to test.
Just paid 225$ for my first order of 20 pieces through PayPal. When I first started to pay Alibaba took me to a "verification by visa" shady website and I refused to pay through it and requested to use PayPal. They agreed and paid the fee for the trouble.
Here is what I am waiting on:
- LegalZoom to finish filing my LLC and get my Tax ID in the next 10-15 days
- My 20 pieces to come in
Was it just to inspect quality of the product?
Was it to test if you could get it to sell on Amazon?
If the first reason, then go ahead and order the 200 pcs. If the 2nd... you should think about waiting to see if they sell before you order the 200 pcs.
Also, bootstrapping an import business is frustratingly slow. There's lots of downtime where there's not much you can do except wait for shipments to arrive. You might as well be working a job and making some cash during that time.
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