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EXECUTION My FBA journey

Discussion in 'Progress/Execution Threads' started by ygtrhos, May 9, 2018.

  1. ygtrhos
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    ygtrhos New Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

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    Hello everyone and welcome to my thread!

    I have read TMF about 1.5 year ago, when I was done with my PhD. Since then, I have been trying to find a job and create an income source, so that I can finance a side hustle. It was a very hard year behind me, but it is over, no need to complain about past.

    I am going to record my progress in some detail in this thread. I hope to get feedback or suggestions from you guys as well. :)

    My background:

    - 29 years old (at least after Friday :D )
    - mechanical engineer
    - Living in Germany, with Turkish passport

    Resources:

    - I have a dayjob, where I am quite underworked. I am just basically doing work for 15 hours a week and just diddling around in the rest. It might change later, but that is how it is.

    I am also not overwatched a lot, so I can just bring my laptop and do my own work without being under surveillance. My colleagues like to do a lot of home office. (thank God)

    All in all, I have a lot of time under my hands.

    - I also have 9k€ in the bank and 2.75k€ salary. I am single and I can save about a half of it, although I usually save 1.25k€. I like to enjoy a sushi buffet or an occasional weekend trip to Eastern Europe every now and then.

    A few months ago, I wanted to do dropshipping but after reading
    @biophase and other people e-commerce experience, I changed my mind to an FBA business.

    I have been listening to Scott Voelkner (The Amazing Seller) and basically getting my hands on any resource I can find about FBAing. I have even found some Turkish guys doing FBA in USA!

    At the beginning, I would like to put about 4k€ into FBA. I want to start in Amazon USA due to the experiences of the people starting in Europe. The volume in USA is huge, so I would like to concentrate on that market.

    I am using Start Here – The Amazing Seller this as my primary resource, as it is the most recent (one year old) resource I could get my hands on and it seems quite well-structured.
     
  2. ygtrhos
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    ygtrhos New Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

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    My Product Selection:

    Like everyone at the beginning, I stick to following criteria:

    - 20-40$ range
    - more than 3000$ revenue
    - less than 75 reviews for at least 7 of top 10 sellers
    - not a seasonal product
    - no clothing (because of the variations)
    - no electronics & machinery (because of the risk of getting broken on the way)
    - no cosmetics (because of medical testing & stuff)

    I have thought of kitchenware first, because I like cooking and I am a huge fan of glass and metal, instead of plastics everywhere. For that reason, I have thought of the french press I use very often. Here is the JungleScout results for "french press stainless steel":

    frenchpress.png
    Stuff like this or simple tools like scissors, shovels, wrenches or hammers are always like this. Try 'snow shovel' for example.

    I used keywords instead of product names because the same product can be found with different keywords. You can use 'coffee maker' instead of french press for the same product too. But a keyword is specific.

    But I still found some products thanks to the help of JS WebApp. I would like to list some JS results here:

    Keyword 1: (2 words)

    product1.png

    Pros:

    - Improvable Product. There is a reason why there are only 2 listings with 5 stars. The material choice of most products are bad and it causes corrosion.

    Cons:

    - Competitive market with established sellers. Check the number of reviews.

    Keyword 2: (3 words)

    product2.png

    Pros:

    - Not a lot of established sellers, it seems like I can beat my way to the top.

    Cons:

    - A bundle product. I have to find many suppliers and I have to find a forwarder that bundles for me.

    Keyword 3: (two words)

    product3.png
    Pros:

    - Product improvements possible, low ratings
    - According to the data, I can easily get into the top 10.

    (Is JS reliable? I can hardly imagine a product having only 4 reviews and making 15000$ sales.)

    Cons:

    - I have to make a brand new design, I cannot copycat due to patent issues.

    Keyword 4: (3 words)

    product4.png
    I am very thrilled by this product. It is some part of some other product (like dust bag for vacuum cleaners) that gets broken easily.

    Pros:

    - Recurring orders
    - Very simple product
    - Product improvement possible
    - Sourcing is possible in USA or Europe due to simplicity
    - Not a lot of reviews, I can rise
    - High sales numbers
    - Something I use as well, I can test it on my own

    Cons:

    - Low cost, low margins
    - Might be difficult to find a reliable supplier for this

    Keyword 5: (3 words)

    product5.png
    Pros:

    - I can rise into top 10
    - Amazingly simple product. (You would probably not believe that a product like this is left forgotten)
    - Use & throw away product (Recurring orders)

    Cons:

    - Might get broken on the way (not very fragile though)
    - Might get too competitive in the future

    Keyword 6: (3 words)

    product6.png
    Very similar product to Keyword 5. Same ups and downs for this as well.

    Keyword 7: (two words)

    product7.png

    Pros:

    - Product has room for improvement (ratings)
    - I can imagine that there is a big profit margin for this product.

    Cons:
    - Market does not have depth. (No homogenous distribution of reviews)
    - Lot of established sellers
     
  3. ygtrhos
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    ygtrhos New Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

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    Points to be cleared out:

    1 - Can I trust these numbers from JungleScout? (Should I run a few 999 tests to validate them?)
    2 - Is my keyword vs. product approach valid? (I tried to emulate how a customer would reach my product on this. The goal is to be in top 10 on a popular keyword, isn't it?)

    I would also love to hear any other feedback or suggestions. Thanks!
     
  4. NickC
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    NickC Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Jungle scout numbers arent always accurate. After i find a product i like i always track using a tracker of some kind or you can do it manually. I also recommend checking keepa to say the sales history long term
     
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  5. NickC
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    NickC Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Also if a product just released and has alarmingly high sales they may be running a discount/giveaway so keep that in mind
     
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  6. Cashflow Queen
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    Cashflow Queen Contributor

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    Good luck it is a hell of a tough field to play but so worth it if you can get it right! As Scott says the most important thing is to TAKE ACTION ^_~. I only have a 1:10 success rate of launched products making any sort of good lasting profit after PPC and all fees and shipping. So just keep going! It’s almost impossible to tell what is going to sell well or not and be profitable after PPC despite all the numbers. Send in small batches (10 units) at first to test for sales and interest then scale. Don’t go all in on a product if you are not profitable after first review.
     
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  7. Fastlane Liam
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    Fastlane Liam Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Remember to add your FBA Fees + 15% Amazon cut + 3% Import Tax
    I didn't and threw my numbers off
    AMZ Scout has a nice extension that works these out (not the tax part)
    Good work!
     
    ygtrhos likes this.
  8. Walter Hay
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    Walter Hay Legendary Contributor FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    @ygtrhos I admire the way you have been thorough in your research, but unfortunately I am going to rain on your parade.

    I see two major problems with the steps you have taken so far:

    • Jungle Scout mostly helps you follow trends and choose hot selling products, and this results in you immediately encountering considerable competition with the frequent result being a price war. Jungle Scout mostly helps you follow trends and choose hot selling products, and this results in you immediately encountering considerable competition with the frequent result being a price war.
    • Product Sourcing based on the program you quoted (The Amazing Seller) could lead you into risky territory.

    They tell you to filter your Alibaba search for suppliers who are part of the Trade Assurance scheme, but they are obviously ignorant of the terms and conditions of that scheme. They say, among other things that if you complain to Alibaba that a supplier has been difficult to deal with, Alibaba will "go after that manufacturer." That is far from the reality. See my AMA
    Jan 16, 2015 #261 for a detailed examination of the very faulty scheme called Trade Assurance.

    That post is the first of 13 I have made on the subject, but the scheme has been changed many times since I posted that one. There were 3 changes in 2017 and another already this year. I am in the process of writing about the new rules for my 2018 revision of my safe sourcing and importing book due out in about 6 weeks.

    They tell you to filter your Alibaba search for Gold Suppliers, stating incorrectly that: "a Gold Supplier has been vetted by Alibaba and there have been no complaints against them." That is total garbage! See my AMA
    GOLD! Sharing my lifetime experience in export/import. Product sourcing specialist.
    for the truth about Gold Suppliers.

    They also encourage you to use agents for your sourcing, See my AMA also on that subject.

    You might continue to rely on The Amazing Seller, but you need to look further than just rely on people who clearly don't know what they are talking about.

    Walter
     
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  9. NickC
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    NickC Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    I learned some good info from the amazing seller, but his product criteria is exactly what i avoid
     
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  10. ygtrhos
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    ygtrhos New Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

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    First of all, thank you very much to all of you! I really appreciate all feedback written here!

    Thank you very much! I appreciate the feedback a lot. I have not reached the point of product sourcing yet, currently I am considering firstly which product to choose.

    I have ordered a sample over aliexpress, but I have not really specified which manufacturer I will take.

    - So what is your pick on product choice? I have several ideas and JS is how I validate if there is really a market for it or not, and if I can really make it through the competition.

    8 out of 10 people I ask tell me what I am doing wrong, but I have no idea what is right in their opinion. :)

    Why do you avoid his product criteria? And what do you think how a product is to be chosen?
     
  11. IGP
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    IGP Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    The jungle scout numbers are NOT specific to that single keyword, but for all keywords the product is ranking/selling for. I found a few with opportunity scores of 8 that were doing massive amounts of volume, but it turns out that the keyword I put in was not the "real" keyword where all the sales/volume were coming from.

    That one had and a score of 3.

    I am the furthest thing from an AMZ expert, but something to keep in mind.
     
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  12. NickC
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    NickC Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Why do i avoid it? That's the exact criteria everyone is using. His audience is massive and they are all looking for the same thing.

    I look for products that can be improved. Im also okay with lower sales numbers. I also don't require 10$ profit per unit. Also i prefer if its more than 2 pounds and big. I suggest you make your own criteria, though. The main thing is to focus on improving a product. Dont just launch another me too product
     
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  13. ygtrhos
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    ygtrhos New Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

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    Currently, I have found some replacement part of some popular product. Something like the dust bag of a popular vacuum cleaner for example. Costs about 12$. I can find it for 1-2$ a piece.

    It has no sellers in Germany and a few sellers in USA, but it is a very simple, generic thing.

    I have ordered 1-2 samples from aliexpress already, I am going to try the quality and make a test order of 100-200 pcs, once I find a good supplier.

    It is Keyword 4 by the way. Something that I use 3-4 times a week and I have a problem of finding in Internet.
     
  14. ygtrhos
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    ygtrhos New Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

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    I am not doing that. I would have loved to bring that stainless steel French press, but it is just not viable. There is little to improve in that, it would be a "me too" product. I would only do that if I really can change the design of the product.
     
  15. Jadpapi
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    Jadpapi New Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED

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    Everyone using the same software, everyone wants to rank on the first page, everyone almost using the same strategy. Everyone sale on Amazon now... this is a losing game for sure, the only way to win is to creat your own products period. And the only big winners are the creators( amazon, jungle scout, etc ) creat something.
     
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  16. ygtrhos
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    ygtrhos New Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

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    I do not get your point, sorry.

    According to what you say, creating my own products would also not help, because 'the only winners' are Amazon and Jungescout.

    Or did I misunderstand?
     
  17. Jadpapi
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    Jadpapi New Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED

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    Creating your own unique product will definitely help.. finding product that already exist, and thinking better pics or listing or bundling is going to make you Rich no it won’t.
     
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  18. ygtrhos
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    ygtrhos New Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

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    Yes, otherwise creating physical products make absolutely no sense. :)
     
  19. ygtrhos
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    ygtrhos New Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

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    Maybe a small update.

    I have already ordered two samples from alibaba for my product. The set I ordered costs 6$ for on aliexpress for three pieces, and the only seller in Amazon Germany takes 15€ for one piece as of now.

    I am also looking for another supplier on alibaba. I found one, but she does not seem to speak proper English or really read my questions. Quite annoying. I guess I will look for another supplier.
     

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