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 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)
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.
[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!
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.
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.
As far as the handmade product goes....it involves using a chop saw and a table saw, both of which I have no experience with. I'm going to my uncle's house and learning how to do it without taking off a few fingers or killing myself this or next week lol. I'd say that this has some pretty good barriers to entry with the detail and supplies it takes to make it all come together.
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.
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.
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.
I've sold out my 20 units and already have shipped another 27 to Amazon and kept a few for the website (already sold 4). I should have bought more for my website but I'm ordering 20 more tonight for it so if people buy I'll let them know that it's a pre-order because we are out of stock.
I've decided to go on to another product while this keep selling and majorly improve it. I'm down to two products as of right now and have 3000$ to spend aside from the business and the profits from this first product I barely improved. I want a productacracy and not a product I have to keep pushing and hoping will keep selling. I'm still at my job to keep funding my dream and long term goal of removing the need for a job and college.
I just found out my grandpa used to be very into this niche and had a product that a company paid him to have the right to sell but discontinued it years ago. I don't think the company is even around anymore. There's only one person selling this on Amazon and it's sold by the actual company and not Amazon. Their actual website looks like crap and the item is way over-priced. I'm meeting with him tomorrow because he is also very interested in working with me to sell it through my ecommerce website and Amazon. Pumped!!!
Today I got to talk to @CareCPA (thanks a ton man!) and he showed me how to figure out my exact profits. I'm thankful for him and the other guys on this forum that have helped me out and sped up the process. According to all the income statements, I'm at -349.29$. Once I sell the rest of my units on Amazon, I'll be at 637.71$ profit since I've started selling this product around a month and a half ago. That will cover all the fees it took to start this LLC with LegalZoom and will make it profitable. It was good to take a step back and see what's going on with Amazon fees and my COG's. I'm so happy I launched this product even though it's not very good, because I learned so much that I wouldn't have otherwise.
I've made my first 1$..my first 100$...now I'm going for my first 1000$.
I'm in the process of making minor changes to a product and also figuring out how to add value to another product. I want to launch at least one if not both of these by the end of this month to Amazon and Shopify. This week I've been overwhelmed. I was reading threads that @JasonR and @hughjasle started and got some great nuggets..but instead of focusing on the task at hand (getting new products to launch), I've been thinking about funnels and how I'm going to do facebook ads. I'm making it a goal to launch these products as soon as possible and make my first 1000$ profit.Last edited: Nov 11, 2017
For anyone starting out or getting into business.........KEEP TRACK OF ALL EXPENSES AND HAVE MONTHLY INCOME STATEMENTS. I've neglected doing all of that and just kept a rough estimate in mind of what has been going on and today I put it all into excel and am blown away by how much it's costed me to get materials for my product. I obviously have had to test and test and some things will go to waste..but this is the last time I'll let it get past me.
(@CareCPA gave me the nudge a while ago to stop assuming with the numbers. I've just slacked off on it the past couple months.)
Loving the hustle, keep it up.
A little off topic from my ecommerce journey and progress.....but tonight I crashed my car into a light pole and literally went through the pole and brought it down in front of the car. I was in a rush because my girlfriend was moaning about how bad her stomach was hurting and telling me to go faster...so I went faster, slid on ice around a corner, and went into the light pole. The front of the car is destroyed and the hood has hole in it. Totally my fault, I should have ignored her and not have gone faster in these conditions.
I'm so frustrated and ticked off. I'm very thankful that neither of us got hurt and that the car didn't get totaled..but it just hurts to literally know I'm going to spend at least a couple thousand dollars and a ton of my time for nothing...just a total waste...especially after just paying a grand for half a years car insurance last week. I've worked my butt off this past year and saved and put money into starting this business. The cost of getting the car fixed will be more than I've profited in my business so far.
A month ago I decided to stop going to college for now. I have all the time I need to create my new product at home and sell it along with my newest imported product. I'm going to start loading my website with straight up private label products along with the improved products I've spent more time on. I'll be on here a lot more and updating how it's going to keep accountability and to just share how things are going.Last edited: Jan 14, 2018
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