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INTRO How Amazon Ruined My Life

Discussion in 'Forum Introductions (Who are you!?)' started by BNeumann, Mar 8, 2018.

  1. BNeumann
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    BNeumann Navigating The Seas Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER

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    Well, not really. To be honest, I hate them now. But at first I was smitten. The tempting allure of a slightly different version of a short cut. My name is BNeumann, and I am (only currently) an Amazon failure. Man did they make a lot off of me. The Acos based on their ppc is just crazy, and it's a guaranteed win for them. Outrageous to try and launch a brand on their, but I did it. Nearly three years ago now and am currently in fire-sale mode just to get something on the income docket. Full custom designed proprietary product and all the accoutrements: website, social media, influencers on board, social proof, good reviews, photos, custom packaging and branding. It has taken me a while to realize that I have a product problem. And I chose to come out strong in a niche that wasn't as profitable as I had initially forecast. So here I am, learning from my own crap and moving on. Happy to be on this forum learning from like minds. And in spite of my recent "learning experience", I am hungry. And Daddy needs to get fed.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2018
  2. Kak
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    Kak Capitalist Pig Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    I absolutely understand and have experienced the issues Amazon sellers are facing right now, however ruining lives is not necessarily the phrase I would use to describe it.

    I saw this coming from 2 years ago. This is exactly what happens when the low hanging fruit is gone. Things like this never stay easy for long.

    Consumer products, as a business, is way overdone right now. Have you noticed that 60 percent of the forum has an ”Amazon business”? That's a problem.

    Entrepreneurs think outside of the box. Amazon is currently the box.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2018
  3. MJ DeMarco
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    MJ DeMarco Raving Lunatic Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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  4. BNeumann
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    BNeumann Navigating The Seas Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER

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    Agreed. The "Ruining" was more like self-deprecating humor. Your last quote is what I learned the hard way. Cheers.
     
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  5. MoneyDoc
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    MoneyDoc Gold Contributor Speedway Pass

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    I still don't understand how this is Amazon's fault? You said you chose a niche that wasn't as profitable as you initially thought it was... there's your answer?

    Also, as long as there is new trends, there will always be opportunities on Amazon. Amazon is not going away for a while. Neither are the countless 6+ figure entrepreneurs it has created and is creating. The hard part now is, finding a niche. Unfortunately, people aren't willing to put in the effort. People nowadays think they can just put up a silicone BBQ glove and start selling 50 units a day profiting $10/unit. That won't happen.

    As to Amazon being the "box", I don't entirely agree with this. Of course if all you're thinking about is Amazon and nothing else, then yes, Amazon can be considered the box. But most entrepreneurs are just using Amazon as a launching platform. I wouldn't launch a new brand anywhere else. Hundreds of millions of buyers waiting to buy with 1 click. Think about it, when you want to buy something online, where's the first place you search? For 90% of people, that's amazon.com/amazon.ca/amazon.co.uk/amazon.de/amazon.co.jp.

    As with anything, the amount of effort you're willing to put in, is what you'll get out of it. Amazon is no exception.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2018
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  6. fastbo
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    fastbo Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Ebay used to be the same way. Margins were HUGE on ebay back in the 2000's. Amazon was the same way 5 years ago. Now its too easy for anyone to do exactly what everyone else is doing, therefore margins will drop. As Warren Buffet says you need a business with a moat, else you essentially sell a commodity. And selling commodities doesn't make you rich unless you own all the market share. Why do you think you'll get rich selling spatulas from China when a million other people can buy it at the same price you're buying it for (or within a nickel) and undercut you?

    And for your specific instance, it seems like you've gone with the old "if you build it they will come" method to choose your product. It doesn't matter what the distribution channel is and how much social proof you build, if the market doesn't want it, you won't sell it.
     
  7. Kak
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    Kak Capitalist Pig Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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  8. chimichangatime
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    chimichangatime New Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

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    Amazon is the same way right now for erotica authors. Back <2015, it was a gold rush - put anything up and you're raking in cash. Today it's flooded and the gold diggers come and go quickly when they realize it's work.

    Tons of authors blame Amazon for their own mistakes. They leave instead of dissecting the failure to learn and improve. "Amazon changed the algorithm! Amazon dungeoned me! Amazon blah blah!" You know what? If your existence depends on Amazon, you're doing it wrong. Your strategy should work no matter what Amazon or CompanyX does.

    The guys and gals making it big do the work. That includes finding the right product/niche. There has to be a NEED, right? That means doing some testing and even failing often. I've written in 3 niches and made my share of mistakes. I failed, analyzed, and got back at it. I'll find a niche that I can write well AND the readers like my writing. And I don't care if **I** like the niche, I care if people like my writing in said niche (could be gay, straight, bi, monster, fetish, whatever, I don't care, I'll try any niche if the numbers look promising).

    The most profitable romance authors? They aren't gaming the system or copying everyone else, they've systematized being a romance author. There's a guy on a forum (a non-free author forum) who had his first $1M/year in 2017 writing mid-list romance books. He upped the ante by hiring out - he buys some pre-written stuff and does an edit for his "voice," he hires people to flesh out his plot outlines, he hires editors, he runs tens of thousands of dollars in ads... he has a backlist of hundreds of short erotica and also novels. He has a virtual assistant.

    Oh, and he doesn't rely on Amazon. He has a basic strategy: write good (but not great) romance that women 30-55 will devour ravenously, and do it at high volume. That strategy doesn't change if Amazon changes.

    He used to teach people 1:1 but too many never followed through... sound familiar?

    The business still relies on him so it's not entirely Fastlane but he works like 4 hrs a day and his profit is a few hundred thousand a year. Not bad for a self-published fiction writer.

    You failed! Great! Own it, learn, try again.
     
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  9. ecommerce_lovin
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    ecommerce_lovin Bronze Contributor FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    I don't think you should blame Amazon for your failure on their platform. It sounds like you may have gone into an over-saturated niche.

    Plenty of people are starting brand new successful companies on Amazon with the PPC and influencer method.

    Use this failure as a stepping stone to your next success. Never stop grinding if you want to stay out of the slow lane.
     
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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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    So my question is, after you've made this awesome product that's ready for the world... are you not going to put in on Amazon?
     
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  11. Kak
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    Kak Capitalist Pig Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    What is a “successful company”?
     
  12. ecommerce_lovin
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    ecommerce_lovin Bronze Contributor FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    That really depends on the person. But a profitable product launch on Amazon is a success in my eyes. At this point in my career, I am looking for at least $100k in revenue targeting at least a 30% profit margin for each type of business I start.
     
  13. Mattie
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    Mattie Platinum Contributor Speedway Pass

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    That was my first thought. I was thinking how did Amazon ruin your life? It was a personal choice. With a valuable lesson attached. Just easier to blame someone else for choosing what we choose to participate in and create the experience.
     
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  14. Kak
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    Kak Capitalist Pig Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    So $30,000 before taxes.

    I don’t call that a company brother, I call that a hobby or an investment. You would need 10 companies like that to even equal a good executive salary.
     
  15. ecommerce_lovin
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    ecommerce_lovin Bronze Contributor FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Like I said each new venture I start. I have a couple ventures going on right now that are paying the bills plus some.

    An extra $20k per year on top of what I am already making. I am cool with that :)
     
  16. MoneyDoc
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    MoneyDoc Gold Contributor Speedway Pass

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    How are you even comparing eBay and Amazon? I haven't seen one person building a "brand" on eBay.

    That's the keyword people are missing out on when following these amazon courses and ecommerce courses. You think ON Gold Whey and Muscletech Whey are different? They're the same protein. The difference is BRANDING.

    That's why 90% of the so-called "amazon gurus" and "amazon entrepreneurs" are failing and then they turn and blame the platform. The same platform that has helped REAL entrepreneurs sell 8 figure brands that they solely started on AMAZON. The difference between them and all the new guys? They INVESTED into their brands. They created real BRANDS. They DID NOT put up a generic silicone spatula and call it a day as they went lambo shopping.

    I still can't believe how some people are calling amazon and the whole physical product/consumer product industry "dead" or "not sustainable" anymore. That's far from the truth. A physical product brand/business is the FASTEST way to financial freedom and it will ALWAYS be that way. And the BEST way to launch that brand/business is and will be for a long time, AMAZON.
     
  17. MoneyDoc
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    No @biophase, amazon is apparently dead...
     
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  18. chimichangatime
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    chimichangatime New Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

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    eBay is a tool, as is Amazon.

    I looked at selling on eBay and everyone doing well (lots of completed auctions with a sale) all had their own sites/social media and used eBay as a storefront.

    They had a brand and eBay was the outlet. eBay was never the strategy.
     
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  19. MoneyDoc
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    MoneyDoc Gold Contributor Speedway Pass

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    Again, they're selling generic or branded goods (not their own brand). eBay is mainly for generics and reselling branded goods.
     
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  20. Fortune5ive
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    When everyone zigs... you zag.
     
  21. Kak
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    Kak Capitalist Pig Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    No, not dead. Highly competitive and unoriginal? Yes.
     
  22. Kak
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    Kak Capitalist Pig Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    Let me clear this up because everyone thinks I’m anti-amazon.

    I would put it on Amazon.... Among MANY MANY other strategies.

    Why? Because it’s EASY, out there, and products are expected to be there. That is also the downside. Would I pick apart Amazon’s algorithms, suck off customers for reviews, and try to game some advertising platform daily and call it MY business? No, because I don’t own the ecosystem.
     
  23. MoneyDoc
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    I'm not disagreeing with you @Kak. I always tell people, use amazon simply as one of your channels and don't think you can put up a generic product, slap a name on it, and expect it to sell 100 units a day.

    I'm just saying, it's still the best place to start a new brand.
     
  24. GMSI7D
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    nothing new

    this is like any venture anywhere

    the pareto principle applies here as well :

    ---- > 80 % of what people do on amazon will be average at best


    only 20 % of people will make decent money on amazon and brag on forums or youtube


    if business was easy, there would be millions of MJ Demarco out there

    but there is only one MJ Demarco with his philosophy as far as i know

    but i might be stupid so sorry in advance


    .
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
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  25. DrunkFish
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    DrunkFish Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Something ive learned is if you find something that you can do and make money, but not quite enough money, the solution is usually to systemize. Just do it at a larger scale, let go of some of the control and work on finding good people to do it, and do more.
     
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