Amazon???

Discussion in 'Starting & Running a Business' started by Robbo03, 17th Apr, 2018.

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  1. Robbo03

    Robbo03 Well-Known Member

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    Looking into a few 'side hustle' options to assist paying down some debt and have seen a number of courses and blogs about people who are making decent/amazing money selling on Amazon - obviously selling on the US Amazon. Seems like sourcing the right product is the key, then Amazon do a lot of the heavy lifting for you.

    Does anyone have any experience?
     
  2. skater

    skater Capitalist -- www.skatepro.com.au

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    It's just like Ebay unless you do FBA.
     
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  3. Robbo03

    Robbo03 Well-Known Member

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    Wouldn't FBA be the smart way to go?

    Have you ever sold via Amazon FBA or heard of others experiences?
     
    Last edited: 17th Apr, 2018
  4. geoffw

    geoffw Moderator Staff Member

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    I had to look up my TLA list for that.

    (Three letter acronym to find Fulfilment By Amazon).
     
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  5. Rolf Latham

    Rolf Latham Inciteful (sic) Staff Member Business Plus Member

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    SWOT analysis suggests maybe you need to source the right product every 2 to 3 mths as others will follow you and take the price to the bottom ?

    ta
    rolf
     
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  6. skater

    skater Capitalist -- www.skatepro.com.au

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    We were thinking about it, especially as their warehouse was originally planned for Western Sydney. When they changed that to Melbourne, we decided it wasn't worth it.

    With FBA you need to turn over the stock very quickly.....or they charge extra storage fees. They will allow customers to return items for whatever reason they like. You have no control over this. What happens to the returned stock? It's basically a right off.

    Haha, sorry about that.

    Yup, it can be very much like that, as can Ebay. We find that some of our products are slower sellers due to Chinese sellers selling directly to Aussie customers.
     
  7. Robbo03

    Robbo03 Well-Known Member

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    Rolf, do you know of anyone that has sold through Amazon successfully for a reasonable period of time or do people generally get over run by the competitors and have to continually change products?
     
  8. Robbo03

    Robbo03 Well-Known Member

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    Skater, you obviously sell through ebay, why not Amazon? The lack of control on returns?

    Doesn't the in house customer service/storage etc interest you?
     
  9. skater

    skater Capitalist -- www.skatepro.com.au

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    I sell on Ebay & our own Website. My product - Inline skates & roller skates - are large & heavy, so the postage costs are enormous. People don't follow size guides & often want to exchange them. With Amazon, I have to pay for their mistakes, so no, I'm not a fan.

    Then I have to consider storage. As I said, the product needs to move fast, or they charge extra. With a large product, you take up more space, so the fees are higher. With skates, you need to have every size available. I can predict on average how many pairs may of a particular pair may sell, but I can't predict the SIZE that may sell, so in order to have stock available, I have to supply several of each size. If they were local I could take a trailer load whenever necessary, and keep stock to a minimum at Amazon, but since they aren't local, I'd have to send them a whole shipment & hope for the best. Again, if they were local I could do something about the returns, I can't do anything about the returns when they are in another State.
     
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  10. GoldCoastBound

    GoldCoastBound Active Member

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    Last edited: 18th Apr, 2018
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  11. skater

    skater Capitalist -- www.skatepro.com.au

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    You are obviously NOT selling skates with those numbers. :D
     
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  12. GoldCoastBound

    GoldCoastBound Active Member

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    no, but I would if I could @skater lol
     
  13. skater

    skater Capitalist -- www.skatepro.com.au

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    Hehe, I'd love to be able to get numbers like that. I'd have no issues doing FBA then.
     
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  14. Robbo03

    Robbo03 Well-Known Member

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    Wow! Those numbers are crazy! Many questions and many more to come! If any are too personal feel free to avoid, or even PM me?

    - How did selling on amazon start for you? Did you have an initial cash outlay and reinvest profit or has it been a continual process? How much was the initial investment?
    - Did you just start with one product or multiple? How did you decide on what you would start with? Do you sell multiple products now? What are your KPI's for products you will sell now? Has this changed from the start?
    - Where did you/do you source products from? I've read about people working with Chinese manufacturers directly to source/design products then they send straight to Amazon. I've also ready about people buying 'bargins' at sales and selling at a profit.
    - Any tips for product selection?
    - Do you touch the products or is it all hands off?
    - What are the key risks to Amazon in your eyes? What have been the challenges? Where do people fall over?
    - Your revenue was $377k for the month above, what is your profit margin? How much of that gets eaten up in fees?
    - Is this your full time job now? How much time do you put in?
    - I'm assuming you would recommend selling on Amazon, what tips could you give to someone with not too much knowledge but very keen to start something profitable on the side? Where is the starting point? Are there good courses to take?

    Hmmm, I think that's it for the moment. Many thanks @GoldCoastBound.
     
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  15. GoldCoastBound

    GoldCoastBound Active Member

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    PART 1 ANSWERED

    Wow, lots of questions, lol

    1..well I was one of the early people on somersoft, 1999/2000, and managed to stuff up my property investing by borrowing too much, then high interest etc ...lost it all and was at minus100k in 2011 when starting over again...minus 1 wife as well
    Watched a video 2013 showing how to sell on amazon and after spending time trying other things online I thought " we can do this"

    2...initial investment was $2500 USD for our 1st 1000 units/1st product...reinvested all (lots) for nearly 2 years, not knowing this was a greta move, building our big snowball of cashflow that was coming

    3...started with 1 product and I believe had 3 by the end of the 1st year...2014
    we followed a certain criteria back then and each chose 20 products, my new girlfriend and I and chose one of mine for our 1st....we worked very hard to make it happen and have sold well over 1 million dollars of that product since...was a long time best seller in the USA, and off the back of it rolled all our fortnightly payments back in to more and more new products
    We sell about 20 products now in the original account, but have new brands/accounts etc starting out also now

    re KPIs etc, its harder now but there are plenty of people coming in and making money...you simply need to work hard/smart to make this biz work

    4...We source products from china and the USA..we find what sells really well, then make ours as good or better...its important to make suppliers all understand quality is most important or the product is finished and there will be no further orders and the relationship over...as we have trusted suppliers now we send all products straight into FBA warehouses
     
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  16. Kassy

    Kassy Well-Known Member

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    @GoldCoastBound good work and congratulations! Thanks for sharing so much info. I’ve had a few ideas and I’ve been considering the amazon option specifically running it out of the US(I have reasons). Did you need to setup a US company? Is it hard to run things from Aus when your business is in the US and your product is created in China? I have been a bit delayed starting off due to crap cashflow atm. Did you do one of the courses or work it out yourself? I will read your other thread in the next couple of days and may have more questions if that’s ok.:D

    @Robbo03 sorry if I have hijacked your thread. I will be following on and wish you the best with getting things going ;)

    Kassy
     
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  17. GoldCoastBound

    GoldCoastBound Active Member

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    hi Kassy,

    no, we set up company in OZ,

    its no harder to run this biz from our lounge room than any where else...we can receive samples etc and we use Skype/email with our chinese suppliers,

    yes we done a course as you can never work out all the parts to this biz..best 5k we ever spent

    theres no other thread, that was just a comment I referred to in someone else thread,

    ask away
     
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  18. Kassy

    Kassy Well-Known Member

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    @GoldCoastBound, I was going to Pm you as I may have/be taking over @Robbo03 thread but hopefully these are questions he would ask as well and they may help anyone else interested. If I am being too probing, feel free not to answer. I really appreciate the info you have provided so far.

    From your post, I assume you are doing white label products? Did you design them yourself or engage someone professional to do design and or manufacture specs?

    Your start up funding was very low, would it be possible to start that low now and succeed? Did starting that low hinder your your growth? And to follow on, do you sell the most volume when you first release products?

    You mentioned that you watched a video as part of starting, was it part of a course or did you figure out how to push forward on your own? Can you point me in the direction of the video or course? Along the same lines, are you in any of the Facebook groups?

    Thank you,

    Kassy :D
     
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  19. Robbo03

    Robbo03 Well-Known Member

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    Don't be silly @Kassy, I encourage you to contribute. We seem to be in the same situation and all your questions are totally relevant to me!

    I just hope we aren't annoying @GoldCoastBound with the 1000 questions!
     
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  20. Kassy

    Kassy Well-Known Member

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    Thanks @Robbo03 :D I hope I am not too full on with the questions :eek: