Monthly Archives: January 2015

2 Things Alibaba Can Provide (Often Unknown)

Hey Hey!

So I got some pretty cool news. People are always seeking packaging suppliers and freight forwarders for their importing needs, well guess what? You can find these bad boys on Alibaba too!

shippingAlibaba has an array of suppliers that don’t only include physical products, but services¬†too. Search “freight forwarder” or “shipping.” You can easily find suppliers and get a rough estimate of how much you’ll pay for shipping for air and for sea and from different locations/ports (and yes, there are U.S. freight forwarders there too).

Now as far as packaging goes, you name it, you’ll likely be able to find it. From special boxes to ship your item, to labels, or maybe you need plastic enclosing that snugly fits around your item, yep, they got that too!

Alibaba is not just for hunting down what you want to sell, but getting what you sell to sell better and/or faster…possibly even less expensively ūüôā

 

 

Choosing An Amazon FBA Course

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image19844821Let me start by saying it doesn’t matter if you’re wanting to do private labeling or retail arbitrage no one course will guarantee your success and it’s an ongoing learning process. Furthermore, a course or advanced coaching¬†is not NECESSARY! There are tons of free resources out there that can help you succeed. A course(s) is more of a convenient one-stop-shop, and even then sometimes not so one-stop.

I’ve taken about 3 different courses, all costing $1K+ to prepare me for my journey. I won’t name any specific courses, but rather give you some things to consider before joining any one course.

1.) Do they offer a guarantee? Evaluate how realistic the guarantee is for you. Everyone is different. Sometimes a time period works, sometimes it’s a specific outcome that is promised. Whatever the guarantee, make sure it’s something YOU feel is realistic.

2.) Don’t spend money on a course only to have no money for inventory or even worse, your ongoing obligations. Instead consider holding off on the course or going in with a friend…maybe even two that are interested in getting started with Amazon FBA.

3.) Talk to people who have taken the course. Sometimes testimonials will include someone’s website, or full name (look them up on Facebook) where you can reach out and simply share your interest with grabbing the course and would like to know their honest thoughts for someone at your level (whatever that may be) getting started.

4.) Know the breakdown or what it is exactly will you be learning. Not all courses and coaching programs are created equally. One course I got had little to say about product research, whereas another didn’t have much to say about selling internationally.

5.) Know what kind of support you get when you sign up. It’s one thing to have all the right blueprints and tools, but it does little if you’re ever baffled at any point as to what to do with them. Support may include Skype chats, phone calls, Facebook groups, forums, webinars, etc.

 

Using Alibaba

Using Alibaba or sites like Alibaba doesn’t have to be risky or even one big mystery. Watch the video below as I break down how to vastly reduce your risk when hunting for reliable suppliers.

*NOTE: You can find suppliers in this manner for U.S. too!

Tip 1 Make sure they are gold suppliers.

Tip 2 Make sure they’ve been on Alibaba for 3+ years, read their company profile, Google it, check out any feedback from past buyers.

Tip 3 Check out images and verify any watermark.

Tip 4 Reach out to them in a polite and professional manner, one showing genuine interest and long term potential.

Tip 5 (FORGOT TO SHARE IN VIDEO) Never work with any supplier only taking Western Union, MoneyGram, or T/T only (bank transfer). I suggest using PayPal or Escrow to begin.

Tip 6 Always get a sample first…no sample, no business.

Update (What I’m Doing While Out of Stock)

Hey Hey!!

Please note, my income is about hmmm 100 bucks after 6 or 8 refunds from sales during¬†holidays. Keep in mind I’m out of stock so this kinda trickled in.¬†

So it’s been a few days since I’ve posted, but wanted to update you on my journey. I will be out of stock for another 10 days or so, but don’t think for a minute I’ve been twiddling my thumbs. Here’s what I’ve been up to:

Sunday Jan 11, I purchased a course to help me take my Amazon selling international. So far, so good. Great course, a little under $1K, and I’m learning a lot (plus getting A+ support).

Monday-Wednesday Jan 12-14, I research like a mad person! I find several products with a BSR under 20K with competition under 100 search results (mind you that actually means less than 100 because some of the search results are non-relevant or just plain junk).

Friday Jan 16, I settle on 4 products…1 I may dismiss, seems like I can’t find a¬†good supplier for it, but maybe I shouldn’t give up so soon. Luckily I find a few good suppliers for the other items (a few have traded over $100K, been on Alibaba for 5+ years, one 9 years).

One supplier may be able to supply me with 2 of the 4 products which would be awesome. I am planning to ship over the 2 items in order for them to better understand my needs (I’ll try and remember to update on how it works out).

Saturday Jan 17, I order a sample for one of my products, supper excited because this product will cost me under $1 and I can package it in 3 and resale for ~$19.97. Loving the ROI on that one!

Another plus is one of the items is in the same niche so I can use the same brand…this is exciting for me because I am not all that good at coming up with brand names.

So yep, I’ve been a busy bee and I can’t wait to share with you updates about samples, rolling out a new product, and sales. Stay tuned!

I’m Out of Stock

Well, IT happened. I am officially out of stock. I had 75 units launched December 16 (2 weeks before my birthday) and even though I nearly doubled the price to slow sales, I’m wiped clean and won’t be back in stock until January 24.

So what now?

I wait. I forgive myself, I learn, I note my mistakes and I share them with you. I’m not upset or even disappointed, I’m learning. I believe that it may happen once again, BUT I’m working hard to prevent it.

The Chinese have a week long holiday in February, but some will take a longer break. My factory’s workers live across the country and this is their opportunity to go home. I won’t have access to them for a full month! What’s even worse is I don’t have the cash to place an order I KNOW (or at least I think I know) will cover me until they return.

I have 400 units coming January 24 and 225 units coming mid-February.¬†I just may be okay until they return, BUT with my growth skyrocketing the way it did. I just can’t be sure.

The good news is, I set up a simple site using my brand name in the domain name. A potential customer reached out to me and asked about additional sizing and ordering. This lets me know, people REALLY want my product. Heck the guy went OFF Amazon to find it, cha-ching!

First 5 Days of 2015 Sales

Note: Amazon calculates sales at the listed price, NOT the price the customer actually pays that passes along to me. In the image below about 12 sales were given away (ran a special promo to get some feedback and reviews).

jan 1 to jan 5

From January 1-5:

37 orders

39 units sold

$1,169.61 in sales (excluding the 12 units given away, subtract 12×31.61 to get a better idea of total sales).

**Also, I’m going to run out of stock. With 16 units left there is no way at this rate I’ll make it til the end of the month. Oh well, it’s nice to be making some cash until then¬†ūüėÄ