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EXECUTION I start my idea today (eCommerce + POD)

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Jeannen

Jeannen

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Any updates? :)

Following this thread with interest.
Hey !

So, the 2nd ads pool generated a sale but not profitable so I stopped them

I hired a friend of mine who is a killer at making clients persona & copywritting & audience research, I'll see how it goes ! He should be ready within the end of the week

I'll probably learn a lot by checking his work !
 

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Chapas

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Sounds interesting. Hopefully that can help you get that perfect persona's you really want. Looking forward to the updates!
 

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What works on Facebook and Instagram for apparel (I assume that's what you mean by POD) depends entirely on the image. The copy is much less important. Does it look good, and will it look good on ME? That's what people are thinking there.

Complicated marketing strategies for something like this are generally doomed to fail. BUT remember the long game...

What's the long game?

To build customer lifetime value. To get customers that you can consistently sell to. That's the way to win with this: launching lots of SKUs, testing the ones that get buyers, and continuously selling your products to your customer base.

I'll give you a real example of what a client I worked with did in the UK. She launched a fashion line targeted at girls 18-25, primarily sold on Instagram. Her profit generally came from the customer base she already had that was willing to continue buying clothes from her. The customer growth came from Facebook. Generating sales growth for her was simple: test a bunch of those SKUs and see which ones worked the best. To retargeting, we used dynamic ads. Simple stuff.

The problem with her business model was that her products that she was producing depended highly on time based campaigns (Valentines day etc) so the rest of the year she wasn't selling much. She's expanding into more evergreen clothing now but it's proving to be much more difficult, as the key is in matching the DESIGN to the audience.

Hope that helps.
 
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Jeannen

Jeannen

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What works on Facebook and Instagram for apparel (I assume that's what you mean by POD) depends entirely on the image. The copy is much less important. Does it look good, and will it look good on ME? That's what people are thinking there.

Complicated marketing strategies for something like this are generally doomed to fail. BUT remember the long game...

What's the long game?

To build customer lifetime value. To get customers that you can consistently sell to. That's the way to win with this: launching lots of SKUs, testing the ones that get buyers, and continuously selling your products to your customer base.

I'll give you a real example of what a client I worked with did in the UK. She launched a fashion line targeted at girls 18-25, primarily sold on Instagram. Her profit generally came from the customer base she already had that was willing to continue buying clothes from her. The customer growth came from Facebook. Generating sales growth for her was simple: test a bunch of those SKUs and see which ones worked the best. To retargeting, we used dynamic ads. Simple stuff.

The problem with her business model was that her products that she was producing depended highly on time based campaigns (Valentines day etc) so the rest of the year she wasn't selling much. She's expanding into more evergreen clothing now but it's proving to be much more difficult, as the key is in matching the DESIGN to the audience.

Hope that helps.
Hey !

Thanks for the long reply ! :p

I'm doing POD yeah, but not the usual POD, clients can customize their own design, to keep it simple

It has a huge "wow" effect, and 3 clients who bought now purchased because it's a gift for someone else (their childrens or themselves).

I'm definively aiming for LTV, one of my client is doing woman clothing (+1M of sales/year) and more than 40% of our sales comes from recuring purchases by happy clients (either organically or trough FB ads retargeting, which is cheap af)

I'm basically doing:
Dynamic product ad retargeting / Catalog sales
  • 1-3 days after adding to cart, excluding add to cart
  • 1-3 days after adding a product to cart
  • 4-7 days after adding to cart, excluding add to cart
  • 4-7 days after adding a product to cart
  • 7-15 days after adding to cart, excluding add to cart
  • 7-15 days after adding a product to cart

This campaign generated more than 60k€ of sales, with a cost per purchase of 2€ to 5€ (depending of the period)

So, for now, the main goal is to get "recurring" sales (like 1 every week or so) without any action from me, either trough ads or something else. I might also create brand-awareness actions like contest to attract peoples. Might not be the best one ("free things lovers"), but the US company I saw is doing it well and have tons of following on social media, migth be worth trying

I also found some products idea that are not POD but who would have a huge "wow effect" and create a huge entry barrier if someone try to copy me, I gotta investigate this better

P.S. To be 100% honnest, I haven't done much shit to progress in the lastests weeks, I'm spending most of my time playing video games with my friends until my hired friend finish the persona and stuff
 
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Jeannen

Jeannen

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Edit 06/05/2020

So, I ran some ads again, I had tons of engagement but 0 sales. I think peoples misunderstood the ad, and though it was a contest or something, and started posting pictures to enter.

Which was totally not the case lol

So, I'll need to make my ad more clear. What is obvious for me isn't for my potential customers

I received my first review, the client was really happy and said thank you.
First time I have a direct review, and holly shit, it feels good !! Almost as good as my first sale !
 
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Jeannen

Jeannen

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Update 08/05/2020

So, I tried a tons of different ads variation and reworked the sales page but the ads had more than 150k impression, and 0 sales

That smells really bad

To be honest, there are tons of things to try, but knowing that on 150k impression, not even a single person made a purchase makes me feel like it's pointless to try to force the market, and that I should move to something else

I made a few sales in FB groups, that shouldn't be that difficult

That sucks
 

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Update 08/05/2020

So, I tried a tons of different ads variation and reworked the sales page but the ads had more than 150k impression, and 0 sales

That smells really bad

To be honest, there are tons of things to try, but knowing that on 150k impression, not even a single person made a purchase makes me feel like it's pointless to try to force the market, and that I should move to something else

I made a few sales in FB groups, that shouldn't be that difficult

That sucks
150k impressions. Okay.

How many clicks have you got out of it? And were you optimizing for purchase?
 
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Jeannen

Jeannen

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150k impressions. Okay.

How many clicks have you got out of it? And were you optimizing for purchase?
1200 clics, and 7 add to cart. I split tested optimisation for purchase, add to cart & content view

CTR are pretty low (1.2% average), but even this way it should have generated some sales

The perceived value of my offer isn't matching the price, that's the problem. I tried to rework the sales page, but even after it didn't changed
 
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Jeannen

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So, this project MIGHT be viable in the US (where is is) but not in my local market in my opinion. Peoples buy way less, and wants cheaper things.

There is probably a way to make this works out, but considering the low margins, I just feel like I'd rather spend my energy on something else.
 

Chapas

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So, this project MIGHT be viable in the US (where is is) but not in my local market in my opinion. Peoples buy way less, and wants cheaper things.

There is probably a way to make this works out, but considering the low margins, I just feel like I'd rather spend my energy on something else.
Sorry to hear buddy. At least you took action and tried, and learned along the way. Which 99 % of people do not do.

Sometimes it is better just to acknowledge that it was not meant to be and swallow the pride, instead of spending more time and money on something that might not work (been there, done that!).

I am sure that you soon will find something you will succeed in if you keep taking action like you did for this project.

Have a great week and stay hustling!
 
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Jeannen

Jeannen

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Sorry to hear buddy. At least you took action and tried, and learned along the way. Which 99 % of people do not do.

Sometimes it is better just to acknowledge that it was not meant to be and swallow the pride, instead of spending more time and money on something that might not work (been there, done that!).

I am sure that you soon will find something you will succeed in if you keep taking action like you did for this project.

Have a great week and stay hustling!
Yup, I'm happy to have tested
The clients who ordered were sooo happy of the product, and I learned a ton of the dev side because I had to create my own addons for the store to make it looks good !
I learned to modify Shopify themes directly to add my own options, well worth it ! :D

I'm writting another post right now, I'm going into a course / coaching, I'll make a following if it's a scam or not !
 

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Jeannen

Jeannen

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Update 12/05/2020

So, I spent a few days feeling like shit because the last store "failed" (I didn't pushed further because margins are really low).
I have amazing reviews tho, on the 6 sales I've made, 3 clients contacted me to say that they were super happy. It genuinely made me happy to know I've put a smile on their face.

Anyway, as I said, I spend yesterday and the day before feeling like shit and being a mop. When I feel like that, I often allows me 1-3 days (sometimes a bit more) to be a larva and then go back to work.

I even kinda started to believe that this won't ever works for me, as it's probably my 11-12th store failed. Here is a quick list:

I started in September 2017
  • Store 1: Just started eCommerce. Made my firsts few sales, felt happy as F*ck, but not profitable
    • Learned to create a store and the basics of eCommerce
    • Learned the very basics of FB ads
  • Store 2: Tried influencers, was shitty, made 2 sales, non profitable
    • Learned the basics of influencers
  • Store 3: I was hyped by a potential new hand-spinner-like trend back then (yeah, no comment lol), no sales, no profit
    • Learned to not follow stupid trends
  • Store 4: Made a copyright-infringement POD store + influencers. Made profit. (designs were from a videogame)
    • Learned Print on Demand
  • Store 5: Made some good sales (20k but almost not profitable)
    • Learned to manage logistics, supplier relationship, regular ads management / monitoring
  • Store 6: Made some good sales (15k but almost not profitable)
    • Learned the same as above in better
    • Learned the power of email marketing (after the store was closed lol)
    • Learned to sell a store (2800€)
Pause from June 2018 to October 2018. In the meantime, I found clients for e-commerce consulting. I'm still working with them and living from it as today.
  • Store 7: Tried to create a brand from a "winning" product I had. Spent a lot, no profit
    • Learned to not spend lots of money on theme and other shits until I don't have a winning process
    • Sold it for 800€
Pause from November 2018 to April 2019. Focused on personal shits I had to deal with. Dated the GF I was chasing since highschool, we live together in my place now.
  • Store 8: Tried to come back to e-commerce after a half year. I didn't even ran ads on that one
    • Learned nothing lol
Pause from April 2019 to April 2020. My life was kinda in autopilot mode, I was earning good money from not doing much. My consulting activity allowed me to work from 2h to 9h per week and earn a good living of it. Just found the GF so I was happy and didn't really had any motive to hustle. I also started an old project of Minecraft server. Spend 2000€ in advertising, learned lots of shits about game design and advertising for video games. I plan to create my own video game studio later. But not now.

Anyway, my consulting activity has turned in some sort of boring job. I can still work not much, but my new clients are terrible. Not gonna give too much details, but they are definitively not the clients I used to have and want to work with. Feels pissed off by the situation. I tried to look for better clients, but without huge success for multiple reasons. Anyway, I really love e-commerce, and with this whole lockdown shit, I told myself it was the good time to start again, since advertising cost are cheap as F*ck at the moment.
So, here we go, April 2020, ~12 days after lockdown:
  • Store 9: General store, made 2 sales, no profit
    • Learned the new standards of eCommerce after a year and half of pause (2020)
  • Store 10: General store, made 3 sales, no profit
    • Learned pretty much not much
  • Store 11:Niche store, made 2 sales, no profit
    • Learned that trying to copy others success don't necessarily mean it will work for me
  • Store 12: Made 6 sales, ad cost eat all the profit I made on free traffic
    • Learned I could do organic Facebook Group traffic (which is good to validate an idea)
    • Learned that my "entry" product needs to have sustainable margin, even if I planned to create a brand from that.
    • Learned to code in Shopify language
    • Learned to not be lazy and not pay someone to do the work unless I have a proven concept
  • Store 13:"New" store. Trying to create a brand. Lol
    • Learned to create my own theme options in Shopify language
I probably forgot one or two to be honest. That was just to give a quick overview of my journey !
Oh and, I dropped straight after highschool, I had a big F*ck This Event. But that will be for another time

So, the "new" store is actually the one I sold for 2800€ back in 2018. The new owner didn't made much of it, domain name was available, so I purchased it. I still have data about purchases (900+) so I'll try to use the same strategy I used back then and create a customer audience to market to.

I'm working on the store since yesterday, I wanted to make it looks branded and I'm pretty happy with the result ! Gonna start ads today or tomorrow.
 
Last edited:

Vadim26

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Update 12/05/2020

So, I spent a few days feeling like shit because the last store "failed" (I didn't pushed further because margins are really low).
I have amazing reviews tho, on the 6 sales I've made, 3 clients contacted me to say that they were super happy. It genuinely made me happy to know I've put a smile on their face.

Anyway, as I said, I spend yesterday and the day before feeling like shit and being a mop. When I feel like that, I often allows me 1-3 days (sometimes a bit more) to be a larva and then go back to work.

I even kinda started to believe that this won't ever works for me, as it's probably my 11-12th store failed. Here is a quick list:

I started in September 2017
  • Store 1: Just started eCommerce. Made my firsts few sales, felt happy as F*ck, but not profitable
    • Learned to create a store and the basics of eCommerce
    • Learned the very basics of FB ads
  • Store 2: Tried influencers, was shitty, made 2 sales, non profitable
    • Learned the basics of influencers
  • Store 3: I was hyped by a potential new hand-spinner-like trend back then (yeah, no comment lol), no sales, no profit
    • Learned to not follow stupid trends
  • Store 4: Made a copyright-infringement POD store + influencers. Made profit. (designs were from a videogame)
    • Learned Print on Demand
  • Store 5: Made some good sales (20k but almost not profitable)
    • Learned to manage logistics, supplier relationship, regular ads management / monitoring
  • Store 6: Made some good sales (15k but almost not profitable)
    • Learned the same as above in better
    • Learned the power of email marketing (after the store was closed lol)
    • Learned to sell a store (2800€)
Pause from June 2018 to October 2018. In the meantime, I found clients for e-commerce consulting. I'm still working with them and living from it as today.
  • Store 7: Tried to create a brand from a "winning" product I had. Spent a lot, no profit
    • Learned to not spend lots of money on theme and other shits until I don't have a winning process
    • Sold it for 800€
Pause from November 2018 to April 2019. Focused on personal shits I had to deal with. Dated the GF I was chasing since highschool, we live together in my place now.
  • Store 8: Tried to come back to e-commerce after a half year. I didn't even ran ads on that one
    • Learned nothing lol
Pause from April 2019 to April 2020. My life was kinda in autopilot mode, I was earning good money from not doing much. My consulting activity allowed me to work from 2h to 9h per week and earn a good living of it. Just found the GF so I was happy and didn't really had any motive to hustle. I also started an old project of Minecraft server. Spend 2000€ in advertising, learned lots of shits about game design and advertising for video games. I plan to create my own video game studio later. But not now.

Anyway, my consulting activity has turned in some sort of boring job. I can still work not much, but my new clients are terrible. Not gonna give too much details, but they are definitively not the clients I used to have and want to work with. Feels pissed off by the situation. I tried to look for better clients, but without huge success for multiple reasons. Anyway, I really love e-commerce, and with this whole lockdown shit, I told myself it was the good time to start again, since advertising cost are cheap as F*ck at the moment.
So, here we go, April 2020, ~12 days after lockdown:
  • Store 9: General store, made 2 sales, no profit
    • Learned the new standards of eCommerce after a year and half of pause (2020)
  • Store 10: General store, made 3 sales, no profit
    • Learned pretty much not much
  • Store 11:Niche store, made 2 sales, no profit
    • Learned that trying to copy others success don't necessarily mean it will work for me
  • Store 12: Made 6 sales, ad cost eat all the profit I made on free traffic
    • Learned I could do organic Facebook Group traffic (which is good to validate an idea)
    • Learned that my "entry" product needs to have sustainable margin, even if I planned to create a brand from that.
    • Learned to code in Shopify language
    • Learned to not be lazy and not pay someone to do the work unless I have a proven concept
  • Store 13:"New" store. Trying to create a brand. Lol
    • Learned to create my own theme options in Shopify language
I probably forgot one or two to be honest. That was just to give a quick overview of my journey !
Oh and, I dropped straight after highschool, I had a big F*ck This Event. But that will be for another time

So, the "new" store is actually the one I sold for 2800€ back in 2018. The new owner didn't made much of it, domain name was available, so I purchased it. I still have data about purchases (900+) so I'll try to use the same strategy I used back then and create a customer audience to market to.

I'm working on the store since yesterday, I wanted to make it looks branded and I'm pretty happy with the result ! Gonna start ads today or tomorrow.
Great break-down! Please, keep us updated
 

CrimsonNight

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Good luck with your journey!

I have tried to do POD before but the margins were so slim that it wasn’t worth to continue the business. If I have spent more effort into it, it might have worked. I hope you succeed and find a way to increase the margins!
 
OP
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Jeannen

Jeannen

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Good luck with your journey!

I have tried to do POD before but the margins were so slim that it wasn’t worth to continue the business. If I have spent more effort into it, it might have worked. I hope you succeed and find a way to increase the margins!
POD works only if you have a good back-end, it's hard as F*ck to get profitable on the front-end (FB ads)

Update 15/05/2020
Made some sales so far, not profitable but I'm starting to see the kind of audiences that is working

I have 60 peoples registered in my email list, which is pretty cool !
 
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Jeannen

Jeannen

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Update 16/05/2020

$121 of sales since I started, no profit but I now have 131 peoples on my list !!

If I send 1 email, with only a 1% conversion rate, selling a $20 T-shirt with a $5 margin, I'll earn $5 for free

The goal is to make this at scale

Basically, break-even on front-end and then profit on back end

I hired a Fiverr designer to make designs for me
 
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Jeannen

Jeannen

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Update 18/05/2020

$500 of sales since I started, and I think that I might be close to profitable !
277 peoples on my list, haven't started newsletter yet !

I have a really good conversion rate (+3%), and my ads are optimizeing pretty well. I'm plan to try a scaling strategy soon. I already have my agent that will be fulfilling for me, and I'll go to private labeling asap
 

Vadim26

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Update 18/05/2020

$500 of sales since I started, and I think that I might be close to profitable !
277 peoples on my list, haven't started newsletter yet !

I have a really good conversion rate (+3%), and my ads are optimizeing pretty well. I'm plan to try a scaling strategy soon. I already have my agent that will be fulfilling for me, and I'll go to private labeling asap
Nice progress! Have you started utilizing any LLAs yet?

See Gabriel St Germain on YouTube for scaling strategies and fb ads in general. He’s pretty good.
 
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Jeannen

Jeannen

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Nice progress! Have you started utilizing any LLAs yet?

See Gabriel St Germain on YouTube for scaling strategies and fb ads in general. He’s pretty good.
Yeah, content view LAA, my best audience so far, starting to test ATC

I have tons of courses already, I might check it later, one of my biggest problem is information overconsumption, I'll just try some things from my courses to begin
 
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Jeannen

Jeannen

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Update 20/05/2020

$888 of sales so far, 390 peoples in my list.

I sent an email yesterday, simple content, no offer at all (just a small product table at the bottom) and made 3 sales for a total of $32.89 !! For free !
Along with the newsletter, I generated $95 on emails flows, for free. I love that hehe !

I managed to find a private supplier, so I was able to reduce my cost per product. I should be break-even on my purchases now !

Challenge & Possible upcoming problems:
  • Keep making test: It's working and I'm afraid to breka everything if I try new things. If I don't try new things, the ad is eventually going to die out
  • Increase AOV: I'm break even, but I'm sure I could even make profit on front end with funnels like OneClickUpsell. I downloaded the app, and I'll try to make an offer today
  • Clients complaints about product origin: Because of the situation, I suspect that some people will be paranoid and fear the product will be contaminated or something like that. I'll have to manage that
  • Clients complaints about delay: Since it's from China, I WILL have peoples complaining. The positive side of the covid is that even amazon takes time to deliver, so I can justify that ! I'm 100% open about the delay in my shipping page, so this shouldn't be too much of an issue
  • Private Labeling: My next scaling goal will be to create a true brand, so, buy inventory, add my logo on the package and stuff to improve branding. Maybe even ship from US if possible
 
Last edited:
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Jeannen

Jeannen

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Update 23/05/2020

Total sales: 1 568,05 $US
Adspend: $944,00
COGS: $392,60
Various fees: $119,20

Profit: -$141,75

Peoples in my email list: 563
Cost per lead: $0.25 (profit / peoples in the list)

So, that's actually better than I was expecting !
I managed to bump my Average Order Value (AOV)to $11 with a simple non-intrusive upsell. Most of my "non-profit" come from the higher costs from the testing phase (higher products cost, ads etc...).

I'm starting to have lots of peoples in my list. I'm adding new products on the store, and then gonna send a promo email when it's done !

If I manage to have a 3% CR on my email (which was the %CR I had in the previous email), that would mean a total of 15 orders. If I manage to make a $20 AOV, that would be $300 of sales, for free !!

Solutions for lastest challenges:
  • Keep making test: I'll start to test new audiences & creatives soon
  • Increase AOV: My upsell is doing okay, but I think I can still improve with a OneClick Upsell
  • Clients complaints about product origin: I improved my Thank You email to talk about the fact that I have different warehouses to fulfill orders in different countries. I think it will reduce the risk of "omg it comes from China". I'll see when orders will come.
  • Clients complaints about delay: Same as above, the email should do it's job. I have positive answers for now like "Yeah totally understand, don't worry".
  • Private Labeling: I'm waiting to get more sales until I go PL, so, no solutions yet.

New challenges:
  • Add new products: I have 9 products at the moment, which isn't great for upsell. I need more variety
  • Political Ads blockage: I give a % of my profit to charity, which is a problem for Facebook. It means I can't use this as a marketing angle, and that suck. I need to find a solution asap. I'm not blocked yet, but I need to find a solution BEFORE I'm in trouble. You can find if you are going to have problem on FB by checking this link: Log into Facebook | Facebook
 

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Jeannen

Jeannen

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Update 29/05/2020

Total sales: $
5207
Adspend: $1910
COGS: $2395
Various fees: $380

Profit: $522

Peoples in my email list: 1300

I'm profitable !
I reffined my ads, removing the ones producing the least results and testing new creatives, and holly shit, this was a game-changer !

Focus: Add products, create content, top-tier customer service (especially with the shipping delays)
 

Chapas

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Update 29/05/2020

Total sales: $
5207
Adspend: $1910
COGS: $2395
Various fees: $380

Profit: $522

Peoples in my email list: 1300

I'm profitable !
I reffined my ads, removing the ones producing the least results and testing new creatives, and holly shit, this was a game-changer !

Focus: Add products, create content, top-tier customer service (especially with the shipping delays)
Wow. So great to hear! Especially with your email list. 1300 potential customers in the back-end, and already in profit on the front-end. That is amazing. Keep going! :)
 
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Jeannen

Jeannen

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Wow. So great to hear! Especially with your email list. 1300 potential customers in the back-end, and already in profit on the front-end. That is amazing. Keep going! :)
Yes, that's crazy, I wasn't expecting my ads to optimize so well lol, first time I make real profit !!

I'm focused on adding more product with quick delivery in the US to improve customer experience. Ads are cheap as F*ck at the moment so it's a good opportunity.

I told 2 clients that I made a mistake and send them products to their address instead of another customer, so they can keep it for free. In reality, I'm just testing shipping times lol
 

Chapas

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Nov 23, 2014
189
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I told 2 clients that I made a mistake and send them products to their address instead of another customer, so they can keep it for free. In reality, I'm just testing shipping times lol
LOL, I love this haha. What a great out-of-the-box thinking. Testing shipping time and getting 2 happy clients :)
 

francevalue

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Oct 29, 2019
206
194
139
France
Excellent thread. Congrats on your progress!

You remind me of @PTP (check his threads, might be useful)

Bon courage!
 

Exonyte

New Contributor
May 14, 2016
7
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This post has been inspiring. Keep going man. Good to see you were finally able to turn a profit! Thanks for sharing your progress.
 

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