• The Entrepreneur Forum | Startups | Entrepreneurship | Starting a Business | Motivation | Success
  1. Join 40,000+ entrepreneurs
    who are kicking butt and
    winning their dream life.

    Unscripted™ Entrepreneurship:
    A Business That Pays More Than Money, It Pays Time.

    "Fastlane" is an entrepreneur discussion forum based on The Unscripted Entrepreneurial Framework (TUNEF) outlined in the two best-selling books by MJ DeMarco (The Millionaire Fastlane and UNSCRIPTED™). From multimillionaires to digital nomads, the forum features real entrepreneurs creating real businesses.

    Download (Unscripted) Download (Millionaire Fastlane)  Register
    Registering for the forum removes this block!

  2. Forum *Official* Book Discussion
    Can't Hurt Me by David Goggins

    The forum has voted to discuss this book. Grab it, discussion begins soon!
    Can't Hurt Me, by Goggins

NOTABLE! Navigating the changes at Amazon since we started

Discussion in 'Business Models, Niches, Industries' started by Vigilante, Jun 7, 2018.

  1. No Excuses
    Offline

    No Excuses New Contributor

    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    13
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2017
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    USA
    Rep Bank:
    $97
    I'd been watching the Amazon FBA and private label space closely since around 2013 and have been successfully selling for over a year now and it's still wide open, IMO. The more I dig around and understand FBA, how to read competition, Amazon SEO, PPC, branding, etc., the more opportunity I see.

    Personally, some of the main criteria I look for when selling a product is as follows:

    -No major brands dominating the space (I don't like to see people raving and being loyal to any particular brand name)

    -The exact item isn't available in-store at all the major box stores (Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Target, etc)

    -I don't like electronics or anything with too many pieces or complicated parts (this can be a nightmare with lost or broken pieces during shipping or the customer breaking things during assembly)

    -I don't want to see page after page of similar products (the "me too" syndrome)

    -I don't want to sell low cost items (usually under $50)

    -Seasonal factors (I prefer unsexy, boring and evergreen products that sell throughout the year)

    -I prefer HUGE markets. Billion dollar markets if possible.

    -I don't want to sell huge, bulky, heavy items due to shipping costs. Oversized items is fine but ideally under 20lbs. To get an idea of FBA costs use the Amazon calculator. Shipping heavy items from China > U.S. via ocean isn't particularly expensive but once it lands, trucking it from say West coast to East coast US FBA centers can really eat your margins up fast.

    -I would say having a passion or actually using the product yourself helps tremendously and gives you insights on what to improve over time.

    -Being able to build a huge audience around similar content to your product(s) can be a game changer. For example, creating a Facebook group around Jeep CJ models and customizations and soft-pitching them your private label Jeep accessories.

    -Consumable products is a huge plus. Things that wear out fast or are consumed quickly that need to be repurchased vs just a one-time purchase every 10yrs or whatever.

    All of the above criteria do not need to be met to be successful by any means. It's just what I've experienced and have seen other sellers be profitable in this space. The more you grow and gain experience you can go into more highly competitive spaces.

    Mastering Amazon PPC and SEO is so much easier once you understand competition levels in the Amazon marketplace.
     
    castr131, akotu, André G. and 2 others like this.
  2. ProblemOd
    Offline

    ProblemOd Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

    Messages:
    350
    Likes Received:
    587
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2014
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    New York, New York
    Rep Bank:
    $3,879
    My opinion:

    Ecommerce is constantly evolving, and thats a part of the journey for us entrepreneurs. Whether its shopify, fb, instagram, etc..

    At the end of the day, its still a great starting point to build up your bankroll which then allows you to move your business through different channels a bit easier.

    I think looking forward, most business that plan on launching on Amazon will need more creativity and some push through social media marketing to drive traffic to their listings to rank well.
     
    Vigilante and S. Brown like this.
  3. amp0193
    Offline

    amp0193 Legendary Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

    Messages:
    2,288
    Likes Received:
    9,777
    Joined:
    May 27, 2013
    Location:
    United States
    Rep Bank:
    $48,581
    2-3 years?

    low-volume products aren't going to attract tons of competition.
     
  4. Hong King Kong
    Offline

    Hong King Kong Bronze Contributor Speedway Pass Summit Attendee

    Messages:
    216
    Likes Received:
    484
    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2012
    Location:
    Everywhere
    Rep Bank:
    $2,711
    Just gonna add the the Amazon thing, its a war zone out there!

    So many oversea sellers playing dirty, and amazon doesn't seem to have an answer for it.

    There are literally huge "Amazon blackhat events" hosted in China and its packed.

    It's wild, and its really been the cause of a lot of stress in my business.

    But at the same time, I know there are people still crushing it on Amazon. It really depends if you're lucky if people n your category are playing dirty or not. Hopefully Amazon cleans things up.
     
  5. Fpm9
    Offline

    Fpm9 Bronze Contributor Speedway Pass

    Messages:
    134
    Likes Received:
    189
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2017
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Paris
    Rep Bank:
    $1,052
    Amazing thread!

    I have a very limited experience selling on Amazon but here's my $0.02 :

    - The customer is always right. On the few sales I made I had a customer who asked for a refund because the item took too long to arrive ( the order was fulfilled by Amazon ). The customer got his money back and doesn't even have to return the product. However Amazon refunded me only a part of the fees I paid.

    - For my product, it was crazy how fast my ranking moved during the first 2 weeks. On some keywords, I went from the 4th page to first page after one sale. On some other keywords, my product ranking hasn't moved after a few sales.

    - I wish I could get more data about who buy my product. This way I could improve my fb ads targeting.

    I also know that Amazon doesn't want to include some marketing stuff in packages. I made sure to include my website on product labels. However, I thought of packing my product in a small cardboard box with ads for my website. I'm not sure if this is allowed and worth it though..
     
    S. Brown and Vigilante like this.
  6. amp0193
    Offline

    amp0193 Legendary Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

    Messages:
    2,288
    Likes Received:
    9,777
    Joined:
    May 27, 2013
    Location:
    United States
    Rep Bank:
    $48,581
    None of this really matters if your product has high barriers to entry.

    Focus on the fundamentals. Get the product right.
     
    Storm24, Chazmania and inputchip like this.
  7. Brett Beckwith
    Offline

    Brett Beckwith Meat Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER

    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    27
    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2018
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Iowa
    Rep Bank:
    $137
    This is an interesting thread! I'm just going through the works of building up my Amazon FBA business and this was very helpful on my current outlook of things.
     
  8. Geekour
    Offline

    Geekour Contributor FASTLANE INSIDER

    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    85
    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2017
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    TX
    Rep Bank:
    $490
    How can one go about increasing the barrier to entry for a product?

    Would it be wise to import into Amazon FBA first or just sell via own website focusing on marketing there and eventually getting onto amazon. I am curious because I have read before that amazon is not too friendly with new sellers come 4th quarter time of year. I would hate to rush and go through creating a product in a rush before 4th quarter since I have not yet done the necessary product research.
     
    Xeon likes this.
  9. E-Sharp
    Offline

    E-Sharp Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass Summit Attendee

    Messages:
    113
    Likes Received:
    280
    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2015
    Gender:
    Female
    Rep Bank:
    $1,692
    I open cases and kindly ask for fulfillment fees to be credited back to me when this happens. Same thing when an order is sent to a non-deliverable address.

    If I'm paying them to fulfill orders, I expect them to deliver on time and to a real address, otherwise why should I be charged for it? IME they have generally agreed with that reasoning but opening a case is required.
     
    Fpm9 likes this.
  10. MJ DeMarco
    Offline

    MJ DeMarco Raving Lunatic Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

    Messages:
    26,942
    Likes Received:
    84,699
    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Rep Bank:
    $357,569
    Admin Post
    Thread title slightly modified and upgraded to NOTABLE.
     
    Vigilante likes this.
  11. amp0193
    Offline

    amp0193 Legendary Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

    Messages:
    2,288
    Likes Received:
    9,777
    Joined:
    May 27, 2013
    Location:
    United States
    Rep Bank:
    $48,581
    Here are some ideas:

    Sell something that is hard to make. Requires lots of upfront design, something completely custom, something proprietary and patented, something difficult to replicate, something that took you more than an hour to create.

    A product that is expensive, requires high minimum orders, has difficult logistics, is big, heavy, has lots of moving parts, is hard to quality control, is hard to find a reliable factory, is not on alibaba.

    Basically you need to go through a ton of sh*t yourself to get your sellable product. If it was easy for you to source and sell, it's easy for everyone else too, and just being the first mover may not be enough to keep you in the game long-term.



    Just do both. It only takes a couple of hours to make an Amazon listing. Maybe a couple of days if you're going to get real fancy with it.


    Someone else correct me here, but I think this might only apply to toys and a couple of other categories. @DBXI do you know?

    Also, it's June. So you wouldn't be a new seller by then, yeah?
     
    Vigilante, Steven. and Geekour like this.
  12. amp0193
    Offline

    amp0193 Legendary Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

    Messages:
    2,288
    Likes Received:
    9,777
    Joined:
    May 27, 2013
    Location:
    United States
    Rep Bank:
    $48,581
    There are several things that Amazon will reimburse you for. But they almost never do it without you asking.

    It's good to go through every few months and reconcile.

    3rd link in my sig is a thread with some step by step on this.
     
    E-Sharp, Vigilante and Fpm9 like this.
  13. Geekour
    Offline

    Geekour Contributor FASTLANE INSIDER

    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    85
    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2017
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    TX
    Rep Bank:
    $490
    Do you mean to patent own product? I see your point. I have been reading up on threads here and not everyone patents off the bat. Do you say this because amazon/ecom is changing and to weed out the "me too" products? Surely going after patents and licensing adds to barrier but correct me if I am wrong but some of the members have purely done a value add on existing products without the patenting like for example @biophase

    You just made all the amazon gurus cringe lol
     
    UnrealCreative and Vigilante like this.
  14. amp0193
    Offline

    amp0193 Legendary Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

    Messages:
    2,288
    Likes Received:
    9,777
    Joined:
    May 27, 2013
    Location:
    United States
    Rep Bank:
    $48,581
    You don't need to patent. I don't have a patent on any of my products.

    But having a patent on something proprietary is certainly a huge barrier to potential competition.

    I was just throwing out ideas.


    They just say what people want to hear. People want shortcuts and easy.
     
  15. JTR
    Offline

    JTR New Contributor

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    10
    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2017
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Michigan
    Rep Bank:
    $64
    I made bold the parts I'm replying to specifically. I haven't posted in awhile as I've been the busiest this past year than I ever have at any point in my life, but these two comments specifically made me post.

    Have you put any thought into the idea of buying an "Amazon" business that isn't exactly an FBA? i.e. SaaS business in the Amazon sales and marketing niche. Kind of puts you away from what I would guess your bread and butter is, but gives you significantly more control. Think if MerchantWords & JungleScout had a baby.

    There's a saying that goes something along the lines of, "When everyone's buying cars, you wanna be selling gas."

    Edit: I remembered it, it's the gold rush analogy. Close enough >.<
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2018
    Xeon and Vigilante like this.
  16. biophase
    Offline

    biophase Legendary Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

    Messages:
    5,984
    Likes Received:
    25,543
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Location:
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Rep Bank:
    $171,681
    I'm not interested in those types of businesses. It's not what I know and I don't want to have to keep up with Amazon's backend or API. I'd basically need a full time developer. Plus I don't use any of those tools so I wouldn't be my own customer.
     
    Xeon and Vigilante like this.
  17. JTR
    Offline

    JTR New Contributor

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    10
    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2017
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Michigan
    Rep Bank:
    $64
    Fair enough.
     
    Xeon and Vigilante like this.
  18. annagreenang
    Offline

    annagreenang New Contributor

    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    9
    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2018
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Essex, CT
    Rep Bank:
    $52
    Thank you for sharing helpful information
     
  19. Paul Bunker
    Offline

    Paul Bunker New Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    7
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2018
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    St. George, Utah
    Rep Bank:
    $44
    SERIOUSLY helpful comments for me - thank you!
     
    Vigilante likes this.
  20. Paul Bunker
    Offline

    Paul Bunker New Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    7
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2018
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    St. George, Utah
    Rep Bank:
    $44
    SERIOUSLY helpful info here - thank you!
     

Join 1000s of entrepreneurs who are rewriting life's script and winning financial freedom.

---- ----

You must be a member to join the conversation.

Create Account

Join the community fast and easy!

REGISTER

Log In

Already have an account? Login here.

LOG IN

Share This Page