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INTRO Is Selling on Amazon worth it?

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Vasili27

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Jun 2, 2021
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I have been toying around with the idea of selling on amazon and have been told be others that amazon is a great place to get started in with e-commerce. But I know nothing about it or if its even relevant to sell on there anymore. any feed back is appreciated

much thanks!
 

Lyinx

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We have an existing business model without Amazon.

Tried to sell on Amazon and couldn't make everything work. Probably didn't spend enough on ads.
Spent a ton of money on stalorage and ads. Ended up shipping 3/4 of it back home.
Sellers fees and "free shipping" cost us more than we make on the product, so we had to add a large % markup to break even. Customers could buy from us directly for a lot less.

Ended up returning everything and closing our premium seller account
 

Lyinx

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That being said, we might do it again someday, but will be a while
 

Vasili27

New Contributor
Jun 2, 2021
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We have an existing business model without Amazon.

Tried to sell on Amazon and couldn't make everything work. Probably didn't spend enough on ads.
Spent a ton of money on stalorage and ads. Ended up shipping 3/4 of it back home.
Sellers fees and "free shipping" cost us more than we make on the product, so we had to add a large % markup to break even. Customers could buy from us directly for a lot less.

Ended up returning everything and closing our premium seller account
first off I appreciate the feedback,
interesting I have heard that it is expensive when dealing with amazon, I have been toying with the idea of selling on either amazon or my own store. still trying to find a niche but im have a hard time, do you mind me asking what kind of niche you were in?
 

hexelbyte

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May 31, 2021
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I don't a ton of experience on Amazon, BUT I have dealt alot with eBay.

Here's the biggest issue selling product as a 3rd party, you have ZERO control.
I understand that people say "Oh but they'll buy a product on eBay/ Amazon vs A website."
But that's what Ads are for right?

Now here's a list why it sucks a**:
  • Customer is ALWAYS right. Even if you refunded and cancelled an order. You get a 0/5 rating. Want it removed? Too bad so sad. Contact support, sorry mate.
  • High fees. Did you really think you'd get all that pie for yourself? Nope, 10-15% cut from eBay + 8-10% from Paypal.
  • Shutdown anytime. Similar to how Youtube is. At a snap of a finger, they can delist your profile and your livelihood with it.
I didn't want to bring so much negativity but I want to be fully transparent and keeping it real.
 

LeszekM

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Now here's a list why it sucks a**:
  • Customer is ALWAYS right. Even if you refunded and cancelled an order. You get a 0/5 rating. Want it removed? Too bad so sad. Contact support, sorry mate.
  • High fees. Did you really think you'd get all that pie for yourself? Nope, 10-15% cut from eBay + 8-10% from Paypal.
  • Shutdown anytime. Similar to how Youtube is. At a snap of a finger, they can delist your profile and your livelihood with it.
I didn't want to bring so much negativity but I want to be fully transparent and keeping it real.
It is a bit negative but it is so true, as it said here in my country "Better a lie that heals than a truth that wounds"

I have experienced same issues as you mentioned and that is frustrating.
Lack of CONTROL for me is the most. I remember when we receive first rating it was 0/5 because customer did not read the instruction how to use it.. I can't contact with him, explain how to resolve his issue and so on.. or when Amazon has turned off our listing due to their updating policy and our best selling offer which reaches sales peak was banned. We need to send a lot of files which takes so much time for us some marketplaces ware unlocked. Until now UK listing have been still banned and it was a year ago.

But from the other hand we need to learn how to live in this crazy Amazon ecosystem.
You should dance how they play..
Still Amazon is an amazing place to reach your customers and in my opinion you can't miss as one of your sales channel, even against all odds.
 

Vasili27

New Contributor
Jun 2, 2021
35
7
2
I don't a ton of experience on Amazon, BUT I have dealt alot with eBay.

Here's the biggest issue selling product as a 3rd party, you have ZERO control.
I understand that people say "Oh but they'll buy a product on eBay/ Amazon vs A website."
But that's what Ads are for right?

Now here's a list why it sucks a**:
  • Customer is ALWAYS right. Even if you refunded and cancelled an order. You get a 0/5 rating. Want it removed? Too bad so sad. Contact support, sorry mate.
  • High fees. Did you really think you'd get all that pie for yourself? Nope, 10-15% cut from eBay + 8-10% from Paypal.
  • Shutdown anytime. Similar to how Youtube is. At a snap of a finger, they can delist your profile and your livelihood with it.
I didn't want to bring so much negativity but I want to be fully transparent and keeping it real.
no I gotcha just trying to see different people opinions
so you saying that one or a few bad customers can completely destroy you reputation on the platform. so would you recommend using your own website to sell you own product?
 

BAUCE

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I am winding down a store on there as well. I know plenty of people have made it work but I can't get over the lack of control over the customers. My store was mostly fitness items that I private labeled and made to be a better offer than my competition. I thought I had winning products but within 6 months the niche was saturated and the margins dissapeared because everyone wants to get the sale by lowering prices. Chinese factories will win this war since they are cutting out the middle man.

I decided to start an actual brand with an original product and try it out on Shopify. Being able to retarget my customers through ads and email marketing is so much better for me. It takes as much learning if not more since you have to drive your own traffic but I set the price where it makes sense for me. I've played with the idea of getting on Amazon with this product but I won't do that until Im an established brand and people want to pay for the name.

Amazon works for lots of people obviously, but I like not worrying about some of the other downsides you see in the other replies in this thread. Let me know if you have any questions about what I've written here.
 

Vasili27

New Contributor
Jun 2, 2021
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I am winding down a store on there as well. I know plenty of people have made it work but I can't get over the lack of control over the customers. My store was mostly fitness items that I private labeled and made to be a better offer than my competition. I thought I had winning products but within 6 months the niche was saturated and the margins dissapeared because everyone wants to get the sale by lowering prices. Chinese factories will win this war since they are cutting out the middle man.

I decided to start an actual brand with an original product and try it out on Shopify. Being able to retarget my customers through ads and email marketing is so much better for me. It takes as much learning if not more since you have to drive your own traffic but I set the price where it makes sense for me. I've played with the idea of getting on Amazon with this product but I won't do that until Im an established brand and people want to pay for the name.

Amazon works for lots of people obviously, but I like not worrying about some of the other downsides you see in the other replies in this thread. Let me know if you have any questions about what I've written here.
I appreciate the feed back, I have heard of these downsides of amazon
I too was look at creating my own brand and just running it through a store of my own and the niche in mind was fitness do you still believe this market is saturated ??
 

LeszekM

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I decided to start an actual brand with an original product and try it out on Shopify. Being able to retarget my customers through ads and email marketing is so much better for me. It takes as much learning if not more since you have to drive your own traffic but I set the price where it makes sense for me. I've played with the idea of getting on Amazon with this product but I won't do that until Im an established brand and people want to pay for the name.
That sounds smart i think it is a good idea. Yes FB or Google Ads + email marketing is another doze of knowledge but i think it is worth it. Still i feel much more experienced in Amazon that above but i think this is an urgent knowledge if you want to develop in way you said. Don't you think working on Amazon parallelly with Shopify is a good idea? Rather than focusing only on Shopify?
 

BAUCE

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I appreciate the feed back, I have heard of these downsides of amazon
I too was look at creating my own brand and just running it through a store of my own and the niche in mind was fitness do you still believe this market is saturated ??

I mean in general I would assume so but there are always new products to sell.

That sounds smart i think it is a good idea. Yes FB or Google Ads + email marketing is another doze of knowledge but i think it is worth it. Still i feel much more experienced in Amazon that above but i think this is an urgent knowledge if you want to develop in way you said. Don't you think working on Amazon parallelly with Shopify is a good idea? Rather than focusing only on Shopify?
I personally feel way more motivated learning ads and email marketing because Im not worried that my store at any moment could get banned or that some fake reviews might make things harder. Having that control is so much better for me.

I dont want to get on Amazon till my brand is established. A Chinese factory could easily make a copy of my product and sell it for half the price. Im not willing to take that risk yet.
 

Vasili27

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Jun 2, 2021
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I mean in general I would assume so but there are always new products to sell.


I personally feel way more motivated learning ads and email marketing because Im not worried that my store at any moment could get banned or that some fake reviews might make things harder. Having that control is so much better for me.

I dont want to get on Amazon till my brand is established. A Chinese factory could easily make a copy of my product and sell it for half the price. Im not willing to take that risk yet.
do you learn FB ads and google or just one specifically because? I have used FB in the past and it was beyond confusing . and would you say email marketing is better or does one intertwine with the other. And even when using amazon do you still need to advertise or does it have something to do with the listing of you product on amazon
 

BAUCE

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do you learn FB ads and google or just one specifically because? I have used FB in the past and it was beyond confusing . and would you say email marketing is better or does one intertwine with the other. And even when using amazon do you still need to advertise or does it have something to do with the listing of you product on amazon
I learned FB ads before the iOS update because it seemed most promising for my niche. (clothing) It takes some work learning the ins and outs but there are plenty of good YouTube videos for free to help you learn. I ran out of stock right before the updates so had paused my ads. When I came back to them the return on ad spend was much worse and Im not sure if it was all because of the iOS 14 updates or because my campaigns where paused.

Either way I moved on to Tiktok where my return is WAY better than I can currently get on FB. Tiktok is newer so there are far less options to mess with than FB which is good for beginners imo. I'll probably give snapchat another shot since they just sent me some free ad credits but it was only slightly better than FB when I tried a couple months ago.

Google ads have been working fairly well but I hired someone to create some campaigns because I dont have time to figure out all of the platforms and this one was most daunting to me. Returns have been pretty good but I dont spend as much money there.

Yeah you need to run Amazon PPC when running an amazon store. I spent a lot of time learning them but never really felt like I knew what I was doing. I paid someone on Fiverr to optimize them for me so that I can sell out the rest of my inventory.
 

biophase

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I decided to start an actual brand with an original product and try it out on Shopify. Being able to retarget my customers through ads and email marketing is so much better for me. It takes as much learning if not more since you have to drive your own traffic but I set the price where it makes sense for me. I've played with the idea of getting on Amazon with this product but I won't do that until Im an established brand and people want to pay for the name.

I think this is the way to go. Ask yourself, would I be starting this business if I couldn't sell it on Amazon. If your answer is YES then proceed.
 

BAUCE

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I think this is the way to go. Ask yourself, would I be starting this business if I couldn't sell it on Amazon. If your answer is YES then proceed.
Agreed, putting all of your eggs in the Amazon basket is a dangerous way to live. I've had buddies get their accounts locked and some banned. You hear about that stuff way too often for it to be your only source of income. It's also why you dont rely on one ad platform.
 

LeszekM

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Agreed, putting all of your eggs in the Amazon basket is a dangerous way to live. I've had buddies get their accounts locked and some banned. You hear about that stuff way too often for it to be your only source of income. It's also why you dont rely on one ad platform.
True story! That is very important to divide your store income. Unfortunately marketplaces are very addicting for sellers caused the response from customer (first order) could be very fast.
Creating your own store demand lot of knowledge, time but i think it is worth it to avoid this stress when you are reliable only on one source.
I experience that, and the feeling is not comfortable..
 

Vasili27

New Contributor
Jun 2, 2021
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I learned FB ads before the iOS update because it seemed most promising for my niche. (clothing) It takes some work learning the ins and outs but there are plenty of good YouTube videos for free to help you learn. I ran out of stock right before the updates so had paused my ads. When I came back to them the return on ad spend was much worse and Im not sure if it was all because of the iOS 14 updates or because my campaigns where paused.

Either way I moved on to Tiktok where my return is WAY better than I can currently get on FB. Tiktok is newer so there are far less options to mess with than FB which is good for beginners imo. I'll probably give snapchat another shot since they just sent me some free ad credits but it was only slightly better than FB when I tried a couple months ago.

Google ads have been working fairly well but I hired someone to create some campaigns because I dont have time to figure out all of the platforms and this one was most daunting to me. Returns have been pretty good but I dont spend as much money there.

Yeah you need to run Amazon PPC when running an amazon store. I spent a lot of time learning them but never really felt like I knew what I was doing. I paid someone on Fiverr to optimize them for me so that I can sell out the rest of my inventory.
gotcha gotcha, I was as look at TikTok because of how new and fresh it still is and feel In some cases it has more potential
 

Vasili27

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Jun 2, 2021
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I think this is the way to go. Ask yourself, would I be starting this business if I couldn't sell it on Amazon. If your answer is YES then proceed.
@biophase, im curious and have to ask have you ever used jungle scout??
I've heard that its a great tool for finding products and looking at analytics
 

biophase

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@biophase, im curious and have to ask have you ever used jungle scout??
I've heard that its a great tool for finding products and looking at analytics
No I haven’t used it. It’s not going to work for you to find a product.
 

daniels97

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Mar 13, 2021
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Brno, Czech republic
I have been toying around with the idea of selling on amazon and have been told be others that amazon is a great place to get started in with e-commerce. But I know nothing about it or if its even relevant to sell on there anymore. any feed back is appreciated

much thanks!
Hey!
I have never tried Amazon, but I want to emphasise how necessary is to build your own brand and differentiate from your competitors not with price but with value. Also I would recommend knowing what you are selling. Dont have to be enthusiastic about your niche - like MJ said - you dont have to even use your product, but know your product.

We have been running one shopify store with branded product from beauty niche with supplier from Alibaba (img in attachment). We wanted to create "premium feeling" brand, we also created our own affiliate program etc. but it was a big disappointment. We have been knowing NOTHING abour our product, even if it really works. We were just CHASING MONEY. We sold only one for a really discounted price (orginally it was for USD 140-150; discounted for 30-40 which were manufacturing costs). Another trouble was that we focused on US market because people have bigger purchasing power there (Im from Czech republic, middle Europe) and we werent even able to communicate the product in ads etc. because of not having like C2 English and not knowing the different mentality of people there - so start with your local market first.

Now we are starting another venture, its baby niche and we are running it on our local Czech market and it seems it can be a life-changing banger for us! We've had about 40 orders in like 15 days and we are after breakeven. We know our product, we have our own brand, we are enormously focused on our customers and we love having them happy and satisfied. Its like different universe in comparison with our past ventures.

So to summarise it:
- have your own brand
- keep control - use at least shopify etc.
- have working product
- dont chase money, chase value
- love your customers
- know your market

Wishing good luck!
 

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Vasili27

New Contributor
Jun 2, 2021
35
7
2
Hey!
I have never tried Amazon, but I want to emphasise how necessary is to build your own brand and differentiate from your competitors not with price but with value. Also I would recommend knowing what you are selling. Dont have to be enthusiastic about your niche - like MJ said - you dont have to even use your product, but know your product.

We have been running one shopify store with branded product from beauty niche with supplier from Alibaba (img in attachment). We wanted to create "premium feeling" brand, we also created our own affiliate program etc. but it was a big disappointment. We have been knowing NOTHING abour our product, even if it really works. We were just CHASING MONEY. We sold only one for a really discounted price (orginally it was for USD 140-150; discounted for 30-40 which were manufacturing costs). Another trouble was that we focused on US market because people have bigger purchasing power there (Im from Czech republic, middle Europe) and we werent even able to communicate the product in ads etc. because of not having like C2 English and not knowing the different mentality of people there - so start with your local market first.

Now we are starting another venture, its baby niche and we are running it on our local Czech market and it seems it can be a life-changing banger for us! We've had about 40 orders in like 15 days and we are after breakeven. We know our product, we have our own brand, we are enormously focused on our customers and we love having them happy and satisfied. Its like different universe in comparison with our past ventures.

So to summarise it:
- have your own brand
- keep control - use at least shopify etc.
- have working product
- dont chase money, chase value
- love your customers
- know your market

Wishing good luck!
I appreciate the feedback , wish you all the best
 

LeszekM

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Read Millionaire Fastlane
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May 31, 2021
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So to summarise it:
- have your own brand
- keep control - use at least shopify etc.
- have working product
- dont chase money, chase value
- love your customers
- know your market

Wishing good luck!
That sounds wise! I cross my fingers for you. I did the same mistake it is good to experience that and realise which path is better, where you have control and you are adding a chasing a value.
Do you have plan to start with your brand on Amazon?
 

Tanu1234

Contributor
Aug 4, 2018
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69
56
I have been toying around with the idea of selling on amazon and have been told be others that amazon is a great place to get started in with e-commerce. But I know nothing about it or if its even relevant to sell on there anymore. any feed back is appreciated

much thanks!
Wondering who else has lost money on Amazon business dream ( Like me)?
 

daniels97

New Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Mar 13, 2021
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Brno, Czech republic
That sounds wise! I cross my fingers for you. I did the same mistake it is good to experience that and realise which path is better, where you have control and you are adding a chasing a value.
Do you have plan to start with your brand on Amazon?
Nope man, there is much less control on Amazon in my eyes than on Shopify for example. In the worst case, if shopify for some reason banned my account, it is not impossible to migrate on your own website - besides of programming etc, it will be similar - you have to drive your own traffic.
Additionally, its much easier for customers on Amazon to compare same (very similar) products so it leads to purchasing mainly focused on the price -> smaller profit margins,...

What do you think about it?
 

kadream

New Contributor
Jan 4, 2015
20
7
18
36
France
Hello,

I've sold on Amazon a private label product for 5 years. I have sold the company last year on the European market.
We sold on Amazon 60% and website 40%. Margins where Amazon 40% and website 60%.
It may be worth it to be on Amazon but take it easy. Always have your own customers on your website.
If I would do it again, I would go all in website only.

But having an eye on the Amazon competitors is great because it will help you not going into bad e-commerce / bad product on your own website. Like it can be months before you understand that your offer is bad.

But if you have sales on Amazon, then your offer is good and it is a sign that you can go on your own imho.

About shipping : I used FBA for every order but switching to another shipping method was quickly done by the new owners.

The rest is only negatives for me :
- Amazon can ban you for whatever reason.
- They do mistakes (like losing your stuff) and if you fight for long days they may pay you the price you payed for your goods (and not the retail price, so bye bye your sales)
- They have stupid and/or underpowered support that can't help you 8 times on 10. Years ago it was good support by phone. Now it's stupid robot-like by email.
- You have hard Chinese competition on price so if your brand is not good, no way to compete. They did not even pay the taxes in my country but I did so they were able to be profitable with 30% lower price.
- Some (1 to 3%) customers put stupid reviews with no way to interact with them
- You are not able to ask for reviews
- You are not able to do any marketing to "your" customers
- And lastly : your costumers are not your customers. So your company is worth nothing.

I personally quickly went (after 10 months on Amazon and some cash generated) to wordpress+woocommerce and it was "harder" but way more powerful in the long run. For trafic : Adwords, SEO and some facebook ads worked because my brand was good and priced were higher than competitors.

Selling the company was way easier because of not relying on Amazon only.

With covid and problems to get goods, times were hard this year and I am happy to have stopped ecommerce for a more digital income.
 

david1024

New Contributor
Apr 15, 2021
9
5
11
I have been toying around with the idea of selling on amazon and have been told be others that amazon is a great place to get started in with e-commerce. But I know nothing about it or if its even relevant to sell on there anymore. any feed back is appreciated

much thanks!
Selling on amazon is my break though into getting into the fast lane (although very early on). There are many different avenues to go with Amazon. I have a private label business. I also make sure my profit margins are to our company standards and with that, I can say it’s worth it.

it comes down to finding a niche market and making sure your profit margins are acceptable. If they are, Amazon is a great place to sell.

the only downside is having Amazon be the main controller. They can deactivate accounts, suspend listings etc. but if you are getting your foot in the door, or if you study what is expected of you as a business selling on amazon, the opportunities are endless.
 

RockinRA

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I don't a ton of experience on Amazon, BUT I have dealt alot with eBay.

Here's the biggest issue selling product as a 3rd party, you have ZERO control.
I understand that people say "Oh but they'll buy a product on eBay/ Amazon vs A website."
But that's what Ads are for right?

Now here's a list why it sucks a**:
  • Customer is ALWAYS right. Even if you refunded and cancelled an order. You get a 0/5 rating. Want it removed? Too bad so sad. Contact support, sorry mate.
  • High fees. Did you really think you'd get all that pie for yourself? Nope, 10-15% cut from eBay + 8-10% from Paypal.
  • Shutdown anytime. Similar to how Youtube is. At a snap of a finger, they can delist your profile and your livelihood with it.
I didn't want to bring so much negativity but I want to be fully transparent and keeping it real.
I can second this ^^^ its been my experience that building our own store and brand using ads, on every platform you can understand, is a much better way to go as far as control goes, as far as costs go, you will spend about the same either way if done correctly. I think the control issue is very valuable though and it far outweighs the other issues for us.
 

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