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Progress Thread My E-commerce attempt… Again…

Discussion in 'Progress/Execution Threads' started by jpanarra, Oct 2, 2017.

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  1. jpanarra
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    jpanarra Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Hey all,



    I'm starting a new progress thread. A few weeks ago I tried to initiate a e-commerce competition including import/export or even dropshipping. I had a few responses and people willing to sign up with it but after a week or 2 they all stopped responding..



    Not my issue.. My research for the ideal product persisted. Using my keyword knowledge and honestly researching a bit tooooo much but I think I settled on a decent product. My current keyword prospect has about 600 searches a day for it. I've reviewed the different long tail keywords on SEMrush and tons of great and relevant keywords are well above 80% in the KD and they add up to thousands per day. So That’s great news there for google adwords and SEO!!



    Now the next thing I was looking at is the brandablity of the product. Which is through the roof because the only other brand is made out of a different material than what I'm looking for and I think my product has a much better appeal to a wealthier demographic especially after branding and marketing the product properly.



    Now, For me to punch in the numbers… looking through the competition and what the suppliers have posted for their minimum orders/costs. Including shipping and manufacturing without any branding customizations is around 95%, I'm willing to take the branding cut to get market recognition. There's a manufacturer/brand that I want to reach out to but they are based in Europe and they have nothing here in the States so I might reach out to them and discuss rebranding them under my brand.



    I'll be reaching out to them tomorrow in the AM so it'll be afternoon there. Hopefully I'll be able to get a price low enough to do an Import/Export web store.
     
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  2. jpanarra
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    jpanarra Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    OK,

    I tried calling, but turns out they're their own manufacturer and re-seller so... I like their product but they're not interested in bringing it into the states... I was dumbfounded because i told them this is an opportunity for you to make more money if we can come up with some sort of business agreement... Still no... So i'm gnna Ray Kroc em'. So now I'm going to take their design concept.. then make it better and my own.

    So I found someone very similar to what they had on Alibaba with upfront cost and much cheaper than what i thought.. So I shot them a email and asked if they were capable of doing some revisions to the product. One example im thinking of is having a "logo" or symbol thats engraved somewhere. There's tons of one variant of the market that im trying to sell to, but its not the material I want to use, there was only 1 manufacturer that had it if they can't do it then I'll have to start asking around and see if they are willing to make what I'm thinking at a reasonable price.

    As you know, My brother @DesignerOne is more than capable of doing 3d designs so, I'm reaching out to him to see what we can do with my idea.
     
  3. buildingbetter
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    buildingbetter Contributor FASTLANE INSIDER

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    Good luck! I hope you manage to find a manufacturer.

    I'm at an even earlier stage than you (still trying to find a product) but maybe we'll end up with an accidental e-commerce competition if I can get my act together fast enough.
     
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  4. Walter Hay
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    Walter Hay Platinum Contributor Speedway Pass

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    On many products you can do branding post-production and at least for the time being that can prevent your supplier from easily locating your website or Amazon listing. There's a bit more to it than that, because if you order under your brand name that gives them a shortcut.

    New designs being produced in China often hit the market before the innovator even sees a prototype, so you should think whether it's possible to avoid having the Chinese manufacturer knowing exactly what the finished product looks like. I have no idea what your product is, but if it has component parts, it can be worth having parts made in different factories and assembled in the USA.

    Also, are you sure the supplier you found on Alibaba is the real manufacturer?

    Walter
     
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  5. jpanarra
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    jpanarra Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Walter Its an honor you posted on here, I've read your entire thread and bookmarked tons of stuff from there.

    I'm 99% sure they are the manufacturer i found in Alibaba because they're from Lithuania and there's no other product like them out there. Also on Alibaba, the 'manufacturer' claims to be from the same area so I googled it and found the actual website and contact info in another language and called them. They're still very small with 5-10 employees and only can produce around 100 units a week.

    If you don't mind maybe I can shoot you a PM with the details and see what you think, only if it doesn't take too much time.
     
  6. Walter Hay
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    Walter Hay Platinum Contributor Speedway Pass

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    I would be very happy to help if I can. Send me your PM.

    Walter
     
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  7. jpanarra
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    Ok,

    Now I have a brand name and logo design being done right now. I am currently talking with 2 suppliers on Alibaba to see their pricing points and how much they are willing to customize my product to fit my vision. One of them is willing to do customization by color/shape/design and their minimum order for that is at 50pc They can also add a brand to the package which is a good thing to start with... After talking with Walter Hay, my concern with this is the fact that if I give too much to the manufacturer they'll replicate it and sell it to other resellers cutting me out so I'll have to weight my options and decide which one I should move forward with.

    My goal for this product is to stay about the 50% profit margin so I can be affordable for most but still at a premium price compared to other competitors in the space.

    The domain name is available and I will be nabbing it this afternoon, I have a keyword list ready for me to start working on the SEO/Adwords... I'm also looking around for a theme that i want to implement on the E-store that I build.

    Jason P.
     
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  8. jpanarra
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    jpanarra Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Ok,


    So now I'm chatting with 2 manufactures from Alibaba at the moment, Got a quote from 1 already and looking at that price tag really makes things real and intimidating. I'll be frank, I don't have the straight up cash for this project.. I'll need to make a leap of faith and put the few batches on the credit card accounts I have. So I'll have to do a marketing plan prior to launch because I need that cash back quick If I order a good number of product.



    Although I want more customization than what they're offering at the moment so I dropped 2 sketches of the vision and see what they come back with.


    As for the marketing campaign… I'm going to create some sort of marketing plan before I even order my first batch of items because I still need to wait for samples, redesigns, etc…



    I'm going to make a good group of Typeform surveys and drop them into facebook, IG, wherever I think my audience might be to validate my idea and maybe get some feedback from it.



    Am going to drop a email request if they want to keep up with us and follow along with what we have to offer, this will be my first step in starting a email list for this product, then I'll import it into Mailchimp for future use and distro of info.
     
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  9. jpanarra
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    Ok,

    Still going back and forth with a number of manufactuers from Alibaba. I got CAD files of my product drawn up by @DesignerOne and sent it to them, currently am waiting for the official quote from 2 manufactures. Writing up my survey at the moment and will be posting them onto facebook, and other sites where my target audience might see them.

    Jason P.
     
  10. jpanarra
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    Making progress on the logo and name of the brand I'm making.

    A bit frustrating because I have been talking to 3-4 manufactures with 1 in mind at the moment. And the one I liked just stopped responding for 2 days now I'm not sure whats going on but I have no idea what to do other than wait.

    However, I have saved a woocommerce theme I like and will be grabbing the domain some time soon. I already got a solid keyword list that I can utilize for my google ad sense and SEO campaign.
     
  11. jpanarra
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    jpanarra Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    It's so bizarre, I've been messaging back and forth with the suppliers and sent over some basic renders of my idea and they just stopped talking to me so I'm not sure whats going on. This is not just one supplier but 2 of them... both on Alibaba regardless so I'm going to try and look and reach out to american manufacturers and see if i can find anything.
     
  12. jpanarra
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    jpanarra Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    I'm wondering if anybody knows if there's a manufacturer directory or anything for the states that is trustworthy because what i'm finding on google either looks shady or straight out of the 90s
     
  13. jpanarra
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    Ok,

    The manufacturer i was talking with just got back to me, he said he was out for the week last week and will be getting with their designer and see if they can work on making our design and get back to me at the beginning of next week.

    I'm still shopping around and trying to find a manufacturer here in the United States that can make what I want to make, so far it seems like a dead end at the moment.

    Jason P.
     
  14. Walter Hay
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    Try ThomasNet® - Product Sourcing and Supplier Discovery Platform, but there are now a lot of importers and overseas companies advertising there, mainly thanks to Amazon.

    There are tricks to working your way through it to find genuine US manufacturers. If you have my book, go to Chapter 19 to find 1/2 page of step by step instructions on how to navigate your way through ThomasNet. If you don't have my book let me know, and I'll send you that 1/2 page.

    Walter
     
  15. jpanarra
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    jpanarra Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Wow thanks, thats a massive resource.. I also don't have your book, I really appreciate your help on this!
     
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    @Walter Hay 's book is worth every penny. It's already saved me more than the price of admission for sure.
     
  17. jpanarra
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    jpanarra Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    I'll probably grab it when I have some cash coming in, not at the luxury to buy things at the moment...
     
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  18. jpanarra
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    OK,

    The manufacturer I found from Alibaba just got back to me and he said that he cannot make the design adjustments to the product but he offered to make what everyone else is already doing. So naturally I told them thank you and I bid them adieu. The adjustment is what I think will separate me from the competition and will be reaching out to more.

    I've already sent a few emails using the searching method that Walter Hay Shared with me, so I've started my search for a US manufacturer which i think can be another selling point being made in the US can also leverage the pricing.

    Jason P.
     
  19. jpanarra
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    jpanarra Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Ok,

    Working on the logos today.. Name is decided on and will be grabbing the domain soon. I already have a website design underway, along with a awesome list of keywords from semrush that i will be using to optimize my google ad-words and SEO.

    Still haven't heard anything back from the manufacturers so I have a call list ready to go tomorrow morning.

    Jason P.
     
  20. Striver
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    Striver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

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    I'm glad you brought up the subject of the chinese selling a custom product you designed. I'm going to have to re-think the process of a product I want to design and sell. I sure don't wanna buy 10,000 products that I plan on selling for ~$100, just to have them start pumping them out to the public for $10 after I make it popular!
     
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  21. Walter Hay
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    Walter Hay Platinum Contributor Speedway Pass

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    They will probably find your product sooner or later no matter what you do, but to delay that, anonymity is your best protection.

    • Preferably don't let one manufacturer complete the whole process. Consider if practical final assembly in the US.
    • Don't let the manufacturer know your selling identity - website etc.
    • Don't ship direct to Amazon.
    • Don't label or brand the product in China.
    • If possible, manufacture in the USA.
    Walter
     
  22. jpanarra
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    jpanarra Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    OK,

    I've chatted with a few local manufactures that are willing to make my product. The design they have to take from what is premade on cad/stl files that I want to hand over. They want to charge me for about 700-1500 for their own file so they can start making it. The frustrating thing is the access to funding right now to make something like this. The delay between their email response are lengthy so if you are emailing manufactures expect 2-3 days before you hear back, so if you write them a email, don’t just email them with 1 question makes sure you think of every question imaginable that you want to ask and send it in one well paced email.

    I've tried negotiating with a number of them to see if I can get the design drawn up ourselves but the issue is that they want to make the files so it integrates with how they make it and so it doesn’t mess up their machinery if they use a file from outside. Which makes sense, but the issue right now I don’t exactly have the funding to drop 1000 just for a design file for the way I want it and still have room to match the minimum order.

    I'm debating to put this aside until I have enough free cash to invest in this. To keep costs low, I might research for a different product and build a dropship store to keep upfront costs low. I might just pick some random product that I've already stacked up in my research that would be already manufactured on alibaba or something. Hope it'll be a bit more passive than my web design business to build a nest egg enough to invest in my initial idea.
     
  23. Striver
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    You're exactly right about these things, Walter! Hell, I didn't even have any short-term luck having them design it for me. They kept trying to just sell me the same thing I was wanting them to modify lol

    When I have some time to read it, I need to get your book on sourcing!
     
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  24. InspireHD
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    Hey JP. In your other thread, you mentioned StoreCoach. Any follow-up thoughts on that?
     
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  25. jpanarra
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    jpanarra Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Yeah its a solid site, a lot of useful information and the nichefinder pro is a useful tool if you're looking for something to start with. I stopped paying the subscription because I feel like I could do a better job using my own research tools and making a list. It does take longer doing it my way but I feel like its a bit more profound and crossreferenced.

    Right now My wife is working on a project that I'm helping her on while I'm more focused on my web business to bring in more cash to feed it.
     
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