SOS 007 Follow Along As I Test 3 Lucky Products from Aliexpress & Ship Them To Amazon FBA for Fulfillment

Purpose of this exercise:

The idea of this exercise is to test 10-12 items a month for selling on Amazon FBA by purchasing similar ones to what you want to sell from Aliexpress to test. I then rely on the 80 20 rule which 80% of my income will be able to be produced from 20% of the products I test. Therefor by testing 10-12 products a month I should be able to find at least 2 winners on average. This exercise is to test these claims and help you learn about the process I currently use and am refining to do so.

Hypothesis:

My hypothesis is that by finding 2 to 3 new successful products a month I will be able to keep supplying my product streams based on demand to Amazon enabling me to eliminate products that have a higher demand and a less competitive market.

Research:

Based off my preliminary marketing research I have determined that each product is currently being sold on a regular basis by tracking the sales with AMZ Shark. I was also able to determine that there is a 1500+ searches being performed per month on each product.  If my research proves correct I should be able to increase the odds of picking profitable and more favorable items.

Resources & Links:

SOS Product Testing Worksheet – Where I will be keeping track of my test product data so you can follow along.
AMZ Shark – For product sales research and tracking.
AliExpress – Buy similar products here that your interested in selling to test on Amazon FBA.

 


test-products-for-amazon-fba

The Arrival!

Almost 2 weeks ago I ordered 10 products from Aliexpress to test based off my marketing research in different quantities which you can see on the new spreadsheet for this episodes follow along.

 

For this follow along we will call these products Product 1, Product 2, and so on and we will be tracking their numbers in my spreadsheet from this episode so you can see the progress as I test them.

 

Our Test Products from Aliexpress for Amazon FBA

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These are the first three products that came in from Aliexpress to test. I have marked the cost to get them shipped and the amount I plan on selling them at.

As well I have started getting 2 new private label products setup we will call them product A and Product B which we will track as well on the same spreadsheet.

Since I have ordered my 10 products I have received 3 of the shipments from Aliexpress.

They all came in poly bags except for 1 which I will have to order some bags off amazon to put them in.

I have also ordered a nice high quality product stage to take better pictures then those I am seeing online. It can be found here.


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What I will be using to take photos of my products I private label for Amazon FBA

MyStudio PS5 PortaStudio Tabletop Photo Studio Bonus Kit
For taking high quality photos for Amazon product listings.

 

 

 

finished-light-box2If you want to create your own lightbox to take pictures of your products because you want to save money or are on a budget I recommend this tutorial here.

Make Your Own Lightbox

 

 

product-photo-studio

Here is a picture of my actual setup once it arrived after I set it up for taking pictures of my first test products for Amazon FBA.

While I wait for the rest of the products to come in I will start to work with the ones I have.

In order to start creating my listings so I can send my products to Amazon I will require purchasing barcodes which I usually buy from Barcodestalk.com. I know some people use Ebay but I like working with a reputable company that I can seem to count on if I have questions.

Before even using any barcodes I will make sure all of my products are listed on my spreadsheet so I can keep track of them as I process each one. Eventually we will be working with many products to diversify our channels of income so we can better decrease the risk of our investments if products sell slow or markets become more competitive over time.

amazon-fba-product-testing-spreadsheet

I will normally track expenses, planned selling prices and a few other things which can be seen as I track my own products on the spreadsheet.

Test Product #1

product1
Product #1 I was fortunate to find some other people selling the same model of my product on Amazon so I made a folder on my computer and saved the high quality photos used which where over 1000px by 1000px.

It is important to use pictures of at least 1000px because it allows amazon to use the zoom feature which will increase your sales conversions. I originally found this item selling for around $9 to $15 and decided to price myself right in between while I test the product at $12.

When I originally tracked it on AMZ Shark I saw that the few products I tested had around 6-18 sales.

Here is a screenshot of one of the graphs so you can get an idea of what I saw. I am testing this product even though it does not get a massive amount of sales each day hoping to pick up some consistent sales and add another channel of passive income to my Amazon FBA portfolio.

Test Product #2


Test product #2 was a great product find because it was very compact and made with premium materials.

I found similar products like this one selling for around $12 on amazon with products on the first page selling 15 to 20 a day on AMZ shark.
product2 screenshot
Here is a screenshot of what I saw when I tracked it. Pretty cool! The goal with this product and the others is to try to sell them for 3x to 4x if not more the amount of money we are buying the test products shipped to us. I will go more into the marketing details later. Right now it is just important for me to get our test products and prepare to ship them to Amazon.

On both of my first two test products they came in polly bags which makes it very easy to place Amazon’s barcode on and get them prepared to ship.

Test Product #3

product3
Test product #3 I purchased for 99 cents and plan on selling for $8.99. I was able to pick up 20 units to test selling with.

The key exercise here is to see which products can pick up sales easily so while we are working on our private label product that is our big money maker we can still be testing products on the side. Over time this will help me and anyone else following along find potential product market channels to make extra passive income from. If we find a really successful product we will then private label it (which can be as simple as putting a product tag or company logo on with a sticker if you wanted).

product3screenshot

Tracking the sales from product #3 using AMZ Shark I was able to indicate the product receives 12-18 sales a day. If we could re-produce similar results with our product that could equate to over $100 a day in possible profit per day and $3,000 profit per month if we sell consistently. However we ordered a small quantity to just get an idea of how the product performs on the market.

If our test products perform well on the market we will reorder more of the same product until we get our own product private labeled or just keep the stream of passive income coming in from our test product listing. It all depends on what your priorities are.

My priorities are to test new products and keep building streams of passive income over time no matter how fast or slow items sell. Eventually I plan on finding products that are in higher demand through implementing this testing process and setting goals to order 5-10 new products to test each month until a strong foundation is build on Amazon.

Preparing & Shipping Our Test Products To Amazon FBA

A few weeks before ordering a ton of products I ordered a few items to help me with shipping to Amazon FBA. Below are the exact products I purchase and use personally.

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American Weigh Scales SE-50 Ship Elite Black Low Profile Shipping Scale with Backlit LCD and 110-Pound Capacity
For weighing packages to ship to Amazon FBA! This is a must have for weighing boxes. I like the fact it is not a very large scale but has a big enough platform to weigh most of the medium sized boxes I ship. It has a 100LB limit and tells the time when not being used to weigh packages.

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DYMO LabelWriter 450 Turbo Thermal Label Printer (1752265)Sold by: Amazing Store (No Tax)
For printing barcodes like a machine! It will help you print your product barcodes, Amazon barcode stickers for your product. The nice thing about it is it does not use ink because it is a thermal printer. That enables it to print using heat. The only additional cost are the labels you print them on, but they are very affordable.

 

DYMO-shipping-label-amazon-fba
DYMO 1755120 LabelWriter 4XL Thermal Label Printer
For printing shipping labels I use this bad boy. Its quick efficient and it gets the job done well.
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Scotch® Tape Dispenser With 2 Rolls Of Heavy-Duty Shipping Tape, Clear Model # 3850-2ST
For Sealing boxes like a pro. I use this to help me get my products boxes sealed tight before shipping them to Amazon FBA. It has a blade and a roller which allows you to easily apply and clip the tape when getting your packages ready.

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Dymo Compatible 30334
Gadd Other Labels

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Dymo Compatible 30252 – 1-1/8″ x 3-1/2″ Address Labels (004 Rolls – 350 Labels Per Roll)
I use these labels for printing barcodes on including the ones Amazon wants on the package over your barcode. So I use a little trick to help me make it easier saving me time. I will get a quote on having the manufacture put the amazon barcodes on the package for me. That means all you have to do then is create a listing in amazon using a barcode that you have purchased and then generate a FBA label. This only works for PL and not test products off of Aliexpress however so this round I will be creating my own.

 

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Komelon 4912IM The Professional 12-Foot Inch/Metric Scale Power Tape, Yellow
Amazing for measuring packages when shipping. I also use this this measuring tape for helping me visualize samples sizes when talking to product manufacturers.

Preparing The Amazon Listings For My FBA Test Products

I will be documenting these steps as I load my first test product with some placeholder information. This way we can generate some product barcodes for our FBA items to be sent to Amazon. Later I will come back and optimize these product listings. I am only doing it this way because these products need to be processed. Normally I would create the listings while I wait for them to come in.

1. Making sure we have barcodes if they are needed for our category 

First I will make sure I have some barcodes to make some listings with. When you order barcodes they usually come in a spreadsheet. They are basically just numbers so don’t be surprised when you get a list of numbers instead of pictures of barcodes. The barcodes you see in images are the number coded into a barcode so a machine can read it and it can be processed by scanning. this makes it easier for quick processing of products and packaging for many companies. I use barcode talk however some people use Ebay like I have said previously. I do not endorse either but use barcode talk out of personally preference.  Now some categories like art do not have barcodes even though most do.

 

2. Add a Product on Amazon by clicking add a new product.

add-a-product

2. On the next screen click “create a product” this will set us up to create our own product and not use someone else’s listing to sell on Amazon with.

create-a-new-product
3. Select the category your product best fits under. If you are unsure search for the same product on Amazon and see which category that product is under. For example I chose bras just for giggles in this demonstration even though thats not what one of my mystery products is.

choose-product-category

4. You will then be asked to fill out information about the product you are adding to Amazon. During this process you will also be required to put your barcode or EAN to create a product listing. After your done click next and go to the next tab

5. On the offer tab enter your pricing info and don’t forget to designate under shipping method that “I want Amazon to ship and provide customer service for my items if they sell.” After your done filling out the information on this page click the next button at the bottom.

amazon-offer-tab

6. On the Images tab which is the next screen that will load you will be able to upload your product images. In my case for the first one I am using photos I took from the listing on Aliexpress since they are clean and do not have any text on them. They are also over 1000 pixels which means Amazon will be able to use the zoom feature when customers are browsing my products. If I did not have these pictures I would normally want to take photos of the products using a small photo studio like the one I mentioned at the beginning of this episode. Add at least 3 images on white backgrounds over 1000 pixels by 1000 pixels. then click next.

7. On the description tab which will load next we will put our product key features in and a product description. It is wise to use keywords related to how people search your products while doing this. If your unsure what to type look at your competitors product descriptions and get ideas to write your own. Use as many key product features as you can and make sure your description includes key things a customer would want to know about your product.

8. On the next page enter your keywords for your product under search terms. Don’t worry about the Platinum keywords. This is for only really large selling Amazon accounts and once you have a history built up with Amazon. After you enter your keywords then click next.

 

amazon-product-search-terms

9. On the more details tab fill out as much information as you can. If there are things you are unsure of then do not fill them out and just move on. We can come back to them later if we want to optimize the listing, which we will eventually do. Then click next.

more-details

10. Since we selected to ship our product to Amazon from Step 5. We will go to the prepare a shipment plan screen. Make sure your product is selected and you enter the number of units  your shipping in. then click continue.

amazon-shipment-plan

11. Amazon will then ask if there is prep required, Since I have everything I need I will click continue.

amazon-prep-required

12. On the next screen we will be at the Label Products page which will enable us to get Amazon’s barcodes to put on product #1 so we can be one step closer to sending it in. I will select the desired size of labels I want to work with and click “print labels for this page”. This will give me a downloadable file I can use on a regular printer to print my labels using special paper or will allow me to use the images to bring them into my own software for my label writer machine. 

print-amazon-labels

13. Since I use a DYMO label writer it came with a program called DYMO Label. I will be using this program to print my barcodes by taking the number and data from your barcode and going to create a barcode using my LabelWriter.

14. I will then create my barcode by entering the number from the menu by double clicking the barcode on the DYMO software where I enter Amazons barcode data.
DYMObarcodecreation

15. I will also add a text box below the barcode and paste the other information in for amazon from the PDF with the barcode details.

16. Then we will print as many as needed to place on our products. 

17. Place them on your products covering up the old barcode and make sure they are on a flat surface so they can easily be scanned. If the product your putting them on is too odd shaped you will probably want to place it in a poly bag which you can put the barcode on.

18. Once I am done with labeling my products I will click the next button in Amazon from the “Label Products screen” taking me to the “View Shipments screen”.  

19. While looking at the screen from step 18 I will click the view shipment contents links and start separating the products into boxes for the locations amazon wants me to ship them to. On the box too I will mark it with a pen with the states abbreviation to help me keep track of which box is for which shipment. This also helps when we print our shipping labels to know which ones go on which boxes. Once the boxes are packed like below I will click the “Approve Shipments” button.

packing-amazon-fba-products-for-shipping

20. From the View Shipment screen I will click on the “work on shipment” button to start preparing my shipping labels.

21. I will then take my box and measure the dimensions with my trusty measuring tape and get the dimensions Length, Width and Height. Toss it on a scale and fill out the shipping details.

tape-measure-weigh

22. Once I have our measurements and weight entered on the prepare shipment screen for the package I will then click the calculate button.

23. Once Amazon calculates the amount to ship the package I will then click I agree and accept the charges to get my label so I can print it.  Once I click the print box label button my computer will download a pdf file with the shipping labels.

 

24. I will then open photoshop (you can use any other photo editing software). Then create a new a 300 DPI canvas that is the size of a printing label which is 4 inches in width and 6 inches in height for me. Once the document loads I will decrease the size so I can edit it at 25% its normal size.

amazon-fba-shipping-label-template-settings

25. I will then drag the file to the canvas which brings up a box asking how I want to place the image.

place-shipping-label-in-photoshop

26. Spin the barcode around to fit the canvas and save the first one in a jpg file. Then move over the barcode and save the second so you have two files like below.

fba-shipping-label2 fba-shipping-label1

27. I will then  open up my DYMO software select the “Extra Large Shipping Label” template.

28. Then I will insert a image on my canvas then when selecting the options I will choose “File” as my image source then browse to my first saved file from photoshop to load my shipping label. (there are probably easier ways to do this but this is the way I do this for now).

29.  Once I have the shipping label loaded I will scale it to cover the other information on the template then I will click “print” to print my shipping label. If it comes out blurry the most likely reason is because you did not save your image using a 300dpi setting.

print-shipping-label-amazon-fba

 

30. I will then print out the other label amazon requests I place on my box by double clicking on the current image on the screen then selecting file and selecting my other image. Once it loads I will make sure everything is lined up, then I will print my 2nd label.

print-amazon-fba-labels

 

31. Then I place my labels on my box and drop off my packages at a post office or pickup location twice a week. Now I will give you a tip for finding boxes.. I live in a tall condo and grab boxes from our recycling to package my items in and save money on having to buy them. Always ask for permission first though.

fba-packed-and-ready-to-ship

 As I continue to bring in more items I will be adding them to my spreadsheet so you can follow along with me and see the results from testing items to find ripe markets to private label in. 

The whole point however of this exercise is to use the 80 20 rule to find 20% of your test products that are successful and produce 80% of your profit. Over time I will eliminate the slow movers and keep updating my product testing profiles. This will also increase my streams of income and just because the packaging is not branded with my companies name does not mean I can’t sell them or people won’t buy them.

 

After I complete these steps I will check off in my spreadsheet the products have listings and have been shipped. 

 

In the next episode I will talk either more about how I improve my product listings while I wait for amazon to process my shipments or I will discuss my private label product that is coming in and tell you where I am at with it. 

Thanks again for listening and following. Please leave an iTunes review with your honest opinion if you want to show your support for all the hard work I put in to making these episodes.

 

-Justin

 

SOS 006 Will’s and Justin’s Tips for finding and working with product manufacturers on Alibaba & Aliexpress to sell on Amazon FBA

On this episode Will and Justin discuss Tips for finding and working with product manufactures on Alibaba to sell on Amazon FBA and other things related. Please enjoy and if you want to keep supporting this podcast leave an honest review and tell us what you think. I hope you enjoy the show. -Justin

Links Discussed During Show

Aliexpress – Marketplace where you can buy stuff to test on Amazon FBA before private labeling items.
Add Chinese Holidays To Your Google Calendar – keep track of Chinese holidays easier.
Alibaba – Marketplace for finding manufactures and sourcing private label products.
Amazon – Compare Aliexpress and Amazon pricing to find possible products to test.
Graphic River – Marketplace to buy logos and graphics for private labeling.
99Designs Ready Made Logos – Browse logos that are already made and for sale here.

1. Shopping for multiple quotes from multiple manufactures

– Have them compete with each other on value and price
– Don’t aways pick the cheapest bid (you get what you pay for)
– Make sure communication is consistent (it can be stressful if your manufactures are not prompt responding)
– Don’t let MOQ’s discourage you from getting a quote. (for your first order most manufactures will go less then the advertised MOQ).
– Never tell them how big or small your company is
– Pretend you are a rep and not the company owner so you can present your opinions in more concrete ways. (good cop bad copy)
– If you just want to test products go to Aliexpress and buy items that have decent profit margins and see if they sell on the market with some Amazon PPC.

aliexpress-amazon-fba-price-comparison-on-frothers

Check out the pricing on these drink frothers on Aliexpress and Amazon! Nice..

2. Getting quotes on Alibaba & Testing Products from Aliexpress

– Either add a multiple products to your favorites or approach 30 different product suppliers who can manufacture your product.
– Its better to pick a product that is a little higher in value because it will hold better value then one that is made poorly.
– Ordering more then one item in a sample pack from one manufacture will save you money on shipping and you can get a better idea of others products to private label if your using Alibaba.
– If your using Aliexpress to test the market do not worry about branding. You can put a sticker on the item if you really want to brand it.
– Communicating with more then 1 manufacture will increase the chances of getting what you want vs what they want to just give you.
– On aliexpress you can just place orders like Ebay and get the product sent with out having to talk to the suppliers. This makes it easy to test products before Private labeling them.

3. Packaging options for your FBA Private Label products

– Perceived value is so big many of us forget about it.
– Some industries you can just sell with the product image and not with packaging so branding does not matter with all products.
– Packaging on PR items for amazon can be subjective depending on which category and audience you are targeting to buy it.
– If you have a nicer package and better presentation you can charge more for your product.
– Weigh out the options of how you can make your packaging more enticing if its a more competitive market.
Ask your manufacture what types of packaging they offer for products and have them send you photos of them.
– Ask the manufactures how they could make your product packaging different.
– Once you have an idea of your packaging either request their files they work off of to put your logo on or change or have them put a simple logo on their package.
– I usually design my own and will send them an Adobe illustrator file they can print.
– Keep in mind on some packaging depending on how its printed more colors can increase the cost of your package.
– Most manufactures have a MOQ on packaging however it does not mean you have to order that many products.
– Most manufactures will be able to store your packaging for future orders in these circumstances.
– If and when designing packages keep in mind color theory
– Before running your design have the manufacture take a picture of a test run on one package if possible.
– Keep an eye out on amazon for popular products with poor presentation an design (sometimes it really matters to the audience)
– For product images logos use
– 99 designs is great for running contests and costs around $250 to do (if you have a good budget)
– Use designer buddies who owe you favors too. (everyone has a designer / starving artist friend)
– If your getting hung up on the packaging and you don’t want to mess with it just get a logo at least slapped on it.

4. Testing your samples out before you private label them.

– Getting samples can be exciting and so is testing them out.
– When you get your samples run them through the ringer and use them yourself to get a better understanding of your products.
– Ensure your products meet the standards of others and get other peoples opinions.
– Since you want to order multiple samples it will be wise to not just focus on the 1st item you picked if one of your samples really stands out.

5. Questions for Alibaba Manufactures

– How long will it take for the packaging to be produced?
– What is the lead time on the product?
– Can the colors be changed the product?
– Can you pack them together for combos?
– What is the FOB (price shipped)

Questions We Asked Will

– How do you usually approach Alibaba to get quotes for new products?
– Are there any other marketplaces you use or like to search?
– What is the worse experience you have had with trying to find a manufacture?
– Do you brand most of your products or sell them with out branding on them?
– What tips do you have when it comes to placing your first order?
– Knowing what you know now, if you had to start all over what would you do differently when approaching suppliers you did not do originally?

Wills Contact Details and Blog

@wtjern on Twitter
Check out Will’s FBA Expert Blog Too Which Has Some Great Articles.

SOS 005 Designing Winning Amazon FBA Private Label Products Through Marketing & Product Research

Luke and Justin discuss how to develop and design winning Amazon FBA products through product development research. Luke’s discusses his experiences so far learning from the podcast and what he takes away from it. While Justin highlights how he does product marketing research using Amazon reviews and what percentage of people mention important things to improve the products around.

Links Talked About

Google Keyword Tool – Our favorite tool to find how many searchers are done on our keywords.
Amazon Top Seller List – The magic list to do research on Amazon PL products.
Alibaba Marketplace – My favorite place to find manufactures in China to create private label products.

Downloads From Podcast

Product Development & Improvement Worksheet – (instructions also included in spreadsheet notes).

product-research-worksheet-for-amazon-fba-pl

Ways to get more granular with your Amazon FBA private label product research

– In addition to doing my basic product research when choosing private label products I will expand off the data to find even more gems.
– I do this by taking the best products from the previous results we talked about researching in episode 3 in a spreadsheet and branching off in the categories in a new spreadsheet like the last one. if you haven’t.
– Then add small products in the Amazon top seller list category of the products you found repeating the same exercise.
– I recommend that you also explore subcategories and add products to your list that compliment each other.
– This way if you choose to build a brand you can cross promote them and make the most of your advertising spend.
– This research should give you a good idea too of what type products you can private label next.
– Typically I am doing this almost every few days and building a master list of ideas to expand off of, but I would recommend it be done at least once or twice a week.
– I will also click on the brands of the products listed to see which other products they are selling.
is another good place. Just go to the website and click on the category your selling on Amazon in and then organize the products by Best Sellers.
– Sometimes I will also go to Google trends and see the search volume of people searching for those products over time and get an idea if sales are seasonal.

Once you have decided on which products your interested in most you are going to want to find ways to improve them.

1. The benefits of improving the private label FBA products.

– It will give your products an edge in the Amazon marketplace over everyone else.
– You can differentiate yourself in more competitive markets.
– Improving your products will enable your products to stand out and increase your advertising conversions and save you money over time.
– You will get better reviews if you end up fixing problems with other competing products customers complained about.
– More people will want to review your product when you start building up your reviews on your Amazon listing if your product is different.
– The more you improve on products the better you will become at spotting products that can be improved on.

2. Researching Amazon Product Reviews to Improve PL Products

– To do this just visit Amazon then search and click on the ratings of the product your interested in selling
– Then look for common descriptive words about your product people complain about and praise. We will then organize them in this spreadsheet in the appropriate “columns”. Click here to access the spreadsheet.
– In order to get access to the reviews scroll down on one of the product listings in the Amazon listing and click the “See all reviews” link underneath the “customer review chart”.
– If there are not enough reviews you may need to go through more then one products, however I try to do this exercise off of at least 500 to 1000+ reviews all together to get a good reading and at least 4 different products. That way if one product has it all figured out you can understand which other ones do not.
– Keep track of the total number of bad reviews and good reviews in the right cells.
– From here once you spot these words you will be able to search for the specific keywords and examine them further. For example I’ll use the “carrot peeler” as our product.
– I saw people complained about parts like the blade being dull or the handle being uncomfortable of it so I searched for and added “blade”, and “handle” to my a spreadsheet where I start to keep track of the things more complained about.
– For your convenience I have updated the spreadsheet on this lesson from the last lesson. Visit here and click on the tab on the bottom of the spreadsheet labeled Product Improvement Research to access it. From Google spreadsheets to get it on your drive open it and click the “file dropdown” and then click the “make a copy” selection from the dropdown menu.
– Next to where it says filtered by select verified purchases and one star reviews from the filter dropdown menu with has “all stars” as a default setting select “1 stars”.
One opened we will go to our product reviews and take the filter them and start adding the descriptive words most talked about in bad reviews in the “Descriptive Words from Bad Reviews” column along with any specific parts of functions of the product mention. For example (“handle”, blade”, “cut”, “sharp”).
– Search each descriptive word while still filtering 1 star reviews and add the number of reviews they are mentioned in in the Times mentioned column.
This gives us an idea of things that we could improve our product and create selling points around to give us an edge on the competition.
– Do the same thing for the positive reviews by selecting the “5 star” selection on the product filter and search for the keywords on your positive rating list.
– These items will help us figure out what people like the most about the product so we can have an idea of what we could improve on as well embrace from the good list.
– By looking at the higher % of these words in the reviews we pulled them from we should get a really good understanding too about our customers needs out of our product.

3. Ways To differentiate Your PL Product from Competitors on Amazon Using Google Keyword Research

– One thing I will keep in mind when after gathering my research from reviews is to figure out how to improve my product around the good and bad things mentioned about it.
– In the spreadsheet on the site I have included a formula to show you the percentage of each word that came up in bad reviews and good reviews if you fill it out with the values with the right data it will automatically calculate them for you.
– So for fun I am going to import a carrot peeler and will try to improve the “handle” and “blade” since the research reflects that and is set in the spreadsheet i shared as an example by showing a high percentage of being mentioned in both positive and negative reviews.
– As well Its fun to brainstorm about ways that your product may be used for different purposes.. For example this carrot peeler could probably also be used as a potato peeler or a tennis ball can be used as a dog toy.
– I will then make a list on the spreadsheet as you see will see in the examples I left on the one I share on my website.

4. Exploring Related Products Amazon Products For Private Label Opportunities

– Then I will visit the Google Keyword planner https://adwords.google.com/KeywordPlanner .
– Click on search for new keyword ad ideas and enter your list of keywords in the “Search for new keyword and ad group ideas” selection and hit the “Get ideas button.
– From the next page you will be able to see suggestions with search volumes by keyword groups. This will give us a good idea of other ways we can label our product.
For example I would sell my carrot peeler as a “vegetable and fruit peeler that works great on carrots and potatoes”.
– I will take those values and add them with the keywords of the keyword groups to my list along with the values for the others we already have.
– These suggestions from Google will also give you an idea of other products you can create that may compliment the one your working on for example I see “potato and apple slicer” as a suggestion, however don’t let these distract you try and make another product off them yet.
– We will however make a list of them in the spreadsheet in the column “products to compliment” as they could be good for targeting on Amazon PPC when marketing our product because if someone needs a “potato slicer” they may also need a “potato peeler” that way we can use these later.
– You can also go to Amazon and click on products your interested in selling and see the common items people buy with them and add them to your list too.
– When you approach manufactures there is a great chance they make these other items depending on how closely related they are.

5. Creating Questions To Think About Asking Manufactures from Alibaba

– Check out the questions on the spreadsheet and create similar questions about your own private label product.
– Create a list of colors or ideas around colors that the market may like to see your product in.
– If you are unsure and designing your product with out enough feedback ask a group of people who would use your product regularly.

.. We will continue the this in our next podcast and get into more details along with showing you the easiest way to communitate

Reach Out To Luke Jiles On Twitter

Luke can be reached @lukejiles on Twitter and appreciates being able to be part of the show. Reach out to him if your from Hollywood and want to hear about his screenplays if your interested too.

Thanks everyone for being part of the Smart Online Seller Podcast. I look forward to catching up with you on our next episode.

SOS 004 Will’s $6 million Amazon FBA Story, Tips Picking Epic Products & The Canton Fair

Will Tjernlund and I discuss how he built his Amazon FBA business into a $6,000,000 company in under 4 years and how he got started. We also get into discussing a lot of great ideas for picking epic private label items to sell on Amazon while talking about our experiences. Then later on the show we ask Will about the Canton Fair in China where you can go each year to meet different manufactures to produce your products and brainstorm new ideas. Do not miss this episode.

Links mentioned on this episode:

Google Trends – A tool to look and track trends of keyword searches overtime on Google and see trends.
Amazon FBA – Our favorite place to sell our private label products of course.
Alibaba Marketplace – Marketplace to source products from manufactures.
Canton Fair – Chinese Import and Export Fair.

Discussed on this episode:

– How will got started with Amazon FBA.
– How successful he was picking his first product.
– The first product he picked to sell on Amazon to get going.
– Chat about Amazon FBA product niches
– How his family got him into the Amazon business importing from china while he was growing up.
– Experiences with finding past successful FBA products.
– What he looks for when picking products to sell on Amazon FBA.
– How Will got going selling his first product.

Problems often faced when beginning to sell Private Label Products on Amazon FBA

– Products sell too fast
– Cant get products into stock quick enough

Things Will looks for when picking Amazon Private Label Products to Import

– Picking items with little or no electronics.
– Doing deeper research in the Amazon category your going to sell in.
– Its better to sell 1000 items once a day then 1 items 1000 times a day.

Continuing on..

– How long it took Will to get his business making six million dollars.
– Experiences importing a container of products to sell on Amazon.
– What to watch for to prevent yourself from selling out before you can re-stock more products.

Biggest Mistakes Seen When Beginning You Amazon FBA Business

– Not moving forward and worrying about hurdles.
– Not taking action and getting started.
– Putting too much value on Amazon Best Seller Ratings.
– Not doing Google Trend or keyword research

Tips Looking for finding Epic Products To Sell Private Label on Amazon

– Look for products that are not being fulfilled by Amazon.
– Make sure these products have reviews and some proof of sales.

Continuing on..

– How Will found his niches and why he diversifies the products he sells.
– How many listings he has on Amazon in his inventory.
– Selling combo private label products on Amazon.

Will’s Experience at The Canton Fair and Why You Should Go To

– Went in 2014 during the fall
– Was there for 3 weeks
– How the Canton Fair has different phases when its on.
– Finding great PL products for sale and brainstorming at the fair.
– How easy it was to get around when going to the Canton Fair.
– Transportation to the Canton fair back and forth by subway to get around quicker.
– How he could get around in China easily with out speaking any Chinese.
– How easily it is to navigate in China to get to the Canton Fair.
– Making a living proof reading billboards in China because of bad grammar.

Wills outlook for the future of his Amazon FBA PL business

– Increasing his business to the 20 million dollar mark.
– Focusing more on maximizing profit vs growing revenue.
– How long he see’s it taking him to get to his next business goal.
– How he calculates the growth of his Amazon FBA business.

“IF you have the warehouse space and money to buy inventory..”

– Just order and don’t be scared.
– liquidating products and risk assessment if you need to get rid of products that are not converting.
– What type of profit margins to look for when importing private label products for Amazon.
– Why not to be as aggressive on selling products for high prices to discourage competition.
– Securing your Amazon FBA investment by selling higher priced items.

Worrying about patenting and trademarking on Amazon

– Will says don’t worry about trademarking your Amazon products and why.
– How he comes up with brand names to list your products under on Amazon.
– Examples of ways to select a good brand name for products.
– Why trademarking and copywriting creates a virtual hurdle for people.
– Worse case scenarios if you get a cease and desist.
– Getting product sale confirmations before waiting too long to move forward.

Continuing on..

– Putting logos and UPC codes on packages for Amazon.
– Why not to ship from your manufacture directly to Amazon FBA.
– Why not to be too specific with where your going to sell your products when setting up relations with manufactures.
– Tips for processing your products when ordering and importing containers of products from China.
– How to protect your Amazon FBA business by being less transparent with manufactures.
– Why he does not customize too many of his private label products.
– Why I am moving towards private label from drop shipping.
– How Will manages his FBA inventory to order with in his manufactures lead time.
– Setting replenishing alerts to make sure your reminded to re order more products on Amazon.
– Ordering multiple types of products in containers to see what sells then adjusting orders in the future.
– Advice on ordering sample products from new manufactures and testing product quality.
– Using shipping forwarding services for Amazon FBA product sourcing.
– Benefits of using Port Forwarding Agencies vs working with standard ways.
– How many people he has working for him at his warehouse.
– How many hours a week Will works on his business to manage it.
– Working as hard as you want to work while your young.
– What Will’s morning routine is like every day.
– Last advice to those out there making their private label business.

Keep Moving forward! Every single day take one step and keep moving forward, you will eventually have a business.

Ask Will More Questions at

@wtjern on Twitter
Check out Will’s FBA Expert Blog Too Which Has Some Great Articles.

SOS 003 How to Research Extremely Profitable Items To Sell On Amazon

Generally we want to reduce any risks when selecting products so we you are not stuck with inventory that is hard to liquidate. Through this podcast episode we are going to go into the details of how I find extremely profitable items to sell on Amazon. In the end goal of this exercise we should be able to find products that are selling reasonable volumes and decide if its a good market to enter based on the marketing research we compile together. I have included the documents to download here. By following these steps we will be able to intelligently choose profitable products.

 

Show Corrections and Notes

During the Podcast for some reason I talk about ISBN’s which are International Standard Book Number. What I really meant to say is the ASIN which is the Amazon Standard Identifier.That way nobody gets confused. Oops..

 

Tools and Links Discussed

AMZ Shark – A Tool For tracking Amazon product sales, Amazon reviews, competitor product research.
Alibaba – Largest manufacture marketplaces to connect with suppliers for producing private label products.
Google Keyword Research Tool – For finding search volumes on products people look up on Google.
Camel Camel Camel – Amazon Product Pricing Tracker
 

Downloads Discussed:

SOS Profitable Product Spreadsheet – My personal worksheet to research and find profitable items to sell on Amazon.

Once you download my spreadsheet visit Google Spreadsheets and click the green plus button in the lower right to upload and add this spreadsheet to Google docs.
 

1. Document Your Researching Products To Sell

Open up a spreadsheet in Google Documents (I like this because I can work on it from anywhere).
– In one column label it “Products”.
– In another column label it “Avg Amazon Reviews”.
– In another column label it “Amazon Product Results”.
– In another column label it “Google Searches”.
– In another 5 column’s label them “ASIN1”, “ASIN2”, “ASIN3″, “ASIN4”.
– In another column label it “Avg Amazon Pricing”.
– In another column label it “Avg Alibaba Pricing”.
– In another column label it “Avg Daily Units Sold”.
– In another column label it “Lead Time”
– In another column label it “Shipping Cost”
– In another column label it “Profit Margin”


Amazon-Product-Research_Spreadsheet-Screenshot
Here is what our sweet product research spreadsheet will look after we start doing some research. Download it Here if you haven’t already.

 

2. Research Amazon Top Selling Products To Get General Readings.

– Visit Amazon top sellers website list
– Pick A category that interests you and look for small items that are light weight.
– Make a list of these 5-10 different products from the category you picked in column 1 labeled “Products”.
– Use the simple name for example if you where came across some “fancy silver nail clippers” just put down “nail clippers”.
– Remember to only pick small items that can easily be shipped (basically nothing bigger then an ice cooler.
– After making your list in a Google Spreadsheet go to Amazon.com
– Search each product you added on Amazon from your list, one at a time by placing the product name in parentheses example: “nail clippers”.
– Put the number average number of reviews in column 2 from the top 5 products on that page.
– In column 3 your going to put the number of results that came up in amazon,
– Do this for each product and don’t skip ahead.
– Now visit the Google keyword planner tool. It will require that you have a Google account.
– Click on the option that says “Get search volume for a list of keywords or group them into ad groups”
– Take your product and paste them in the option 1 field where it says “Enter keywords”.
– Click “Get search volume” and wait for the results to come up.
– Take the “Avg. monthly searches” for each product and paste them into the “Google Searches” column on your spreadsheet.
– Other methods to search for top selling products can include going to CamelCamelCamel.com
– Click the “Popular Products Tab at the top of the website.
– Select 1 month and 3 months and click the “All Products” button to so its not just showing deals
– Then I usually click the Category dropdown tab and browse the products by the category I am interested in selling in.
– From these products you will be able to come up with product ideas as well and repeat the keyword research steps I outlined to estimate search volumes on our spreadsheet.
Camelcamelcamel.com is also a useful tool for looking at product pricing and if the pricing has been dropped over time. If multiple products end up having a decrease in price it can mean many things including the competition is beginning to saturate that specific product in the market or the seller is reducing the price to build up more reviews to rank better and sometimes even mean they are liquidating stock to get rid of extra inventory.

 

3. Calculate The Demand of Products and The Competition on Amazon

– Take the number of Google Searches and divide it by the amount of products results.
– This will give us an idea of the supply vs demand.
– If a product has too many of its kind listed in Amazon and there are say over 500 reviews on the top 5 products and over 250 reviews on the next 3 or 4 I would probably eliminate taking on this product unless I had a really good angle to work
– The other thing I will do is look at how many ratings exist on the top 10 listings..
– If the product is going to take too long to build up reviews because it cost too much to import large quantities on the budget your working with you are going to want to pick a different product. That product will need to either be less expensive or at a profit margin that enables you to leverage and reinvest in marketing your product.
– Depending on if the search volumes are high enough and the market is not saturated with other products with a lot of strong reviews we will decide on further putting in the research to market each product.
– Eliminate your products so you have your top 5 products your interested in private labeling
– Take these 5 items and fill in the rest of the information
– Take the top 5 products from each product search and add each product ASIN (click here for code type explanations) to the following columns for ASIN 1-4. (this will be used later).
– Go to amazon and search for your product and enter the average price to the “avg Amazon Pricing” field for each product.


Amazon-ASIN-Screenshot
Here is a screenshot as promised of a products ASIN from a listing. If you scroll down after clicking on the product you should be able to find one on each product labeled next to the ASIN tag.

 

4. Tracking and Estimating Product Sales on Amazon

– When tracking and estimating product sales you can do it in two ways.
– Way number one is to go to each product you want to track and try to add the maximum number of that products to your shopping cart to check out on amazon (make sure you do not have on click checkout turned on).
– You will then want to check that same time the next day and chart it on a spreadsheet for a week to get an idea of how that product is performing.
– Way number two is way easier but uses a paid tool called AMZ Shark which you can enter the amazon ASIN for each product in and track the number of sales. If you haven’t signed up yet click this link to get 25% more for your membership.
– This way saves a lot of time and the software comes with a 30 day trial so if your not trying to waste money just cancel before the time is up.
– In order to track product sales with AMZ Shark which I use you will need to login to your account then click on “products” on the left column.
– Next click the green button at the top to add new products and grab your ASIN numbers from each product you want to track from our spreadsheet and paste them each on their own line, select the appropriate country and click add.
– Once a product has been added you will want to click on the button on the far right side of each product to start spying on those products.
– Sometimes if there is too much inventory a products sales can be hard to track. In cases like this we will rely on the other 3 products we are tracking using the Amazon ASIN’s.
– Over a few 5 to 7 days you should get a real good indication of the product sales for each of the product types you are tracking.
– Add the average daily sales to the “Avg Daily Units Sold” column.
– This information will allow us to understand how much products we may want to have in stock to keep up with demand.
– If a lot of product stock is going to be needed your going to want to keep in mind how long it will take to order more and ship them to Amazon.


Amazon-product-sales-tracking-screenshot
Here is a screenshot of 5 days worth of sales tracking on a random Item I was doing some research on to give you an idea of what your sales tracking in AMZ Shark is tracked.

 

5. Researching Manufacture Pricing and Profit Margins On Private Label Products For Amazon.

– Next lets visit Alibaba.
– Search for your first product for example “potato peeler”.
– We are then going to click on filter by selecting the “Trade Assurance” and “Gold Supplier” selections.
– This will help us make sure we work with more reputable manufactures and protect us from possible hassles working with the wrong people.
– If you really want but you don’t have to you can also click on the filter selection “Onsite Check” this will filter out only manufacturers that a Alibaba rep went to their factory and verified they are a real manufacture. I usually only use this when I have tons of products and suppliers available.
– Select the products that are related to what you want to sell and make a quick note in each column on the average price being offered on Alibaba in the “Alibaba Pricing” column.
– By doing this research we are able to see the profit margins of each product. Keep in mind there are additional costs from Amazon and shipping. This will just give you a general idea right now though.
– For each item you see that looks like a quality product to improve on or design differently add them to your favorite by clicking on “Favorites” below the product image.
– This way we can easily come back and ask these manufactures for quotes in following steps.
Visit Alibaba.com or any other favorite product manufacture directory and search for each product on there and enter the average price for each under the “Alibaba Pricing” column for those products.
– The next thing we will want to do is eliminate products that do not have at least a profit margin of 35% or less. Generally we want to aim for at least a 50% to 100% profit margin on a product.
– If its a product with high sales volumes and lower profit margins you can always bundle profits to make up margins and you should test selling different amounts of products in each bundle depending on the type of product you plan on selling.

 

6. Selecting The Winning Products To Sell On Amazon

– To select a winning product there are a few things we will want to keep in mind such as size and weight in shipping and how to improve on that product to make competition with the competition way easier.
– From your product list using only the items we have kept to dig deeper I want you to create a list of your top 5 items based around which items have good possible profit margins, are the most light weight to ship or are small and how many reviews are on the top products when searching for that item.
– Other things to think about are if you see obvious design flaws or ways to improve the products on your list too and ways to compliment it.
– This can be done by looking over the bad reviews on similar products on Amazon and figure out ways to improve your own products.
– Next lesson we will go a little bit more deeper into this and discuss more on this and contacting manufactures to work with.
– On the spreadsheet you can find with this episode on the site I have included some functions to help calculate profit margins of your products once you enter in the values for the avg price of the product on amazon and the avg selling price on alibaba. Keep in mind this does not include shipping the product from the manufacture or Amazon’s Fees for FBA.

 

I want to congratulate if you get this far as its one of the most important steps in my opinion when selecting winning products to private label and sell on Amazon. 

With this research you should be right on your way to picking your first private label product to sell on Amazon. Thanks again for tuning in I really appreciate having the opportunity to share my knowledge and help you take actions to improve or create your amazon business. If you found this information useful please leave me a review on iTunes as it helps us reach other people and our rankings.

 

On the next episode we will go deeper into

– Improving our products so they sell easier when we launch them
– How to contact product manufactures for quotes and get sent out first sample products

SOS 002 How I Made My First $10,000 Month Selling On Amazon

Today in Episode 2 I talk about how I made my first $10,000 month selling on Amazon.

In this episode, you learn: “How I made my first $10,000 month selling on Amazon”

  • 1. Researched products by searching for companies for sale and what others where selling.
  • 2. Created Lists compiling companies that offered drop shipping
  • 3. Setup b2b relations with wholesale companies
  • 4. Tracking for product trends when selecting your products for drop shipping companies
  • 5. Hiring a data entry team to put your products on amazon
  • 6. Managing products and customer service + entering tracking numbers
  • 7. Challenges faced while drop shipping
  • 8. Pros and Cons of Dropshipping & Wholesale vs Amazon FBA
  • 9. Considerations when drop shipping
  • 10. Revisiting my Amazon business to set a new record.

Links mentioned:

Flippa – http://flippa.com – Website Marketplace
Ebay – http://ebay.com – For Looking At People’s Reviews
Camel – http://camelcamelcamel.com – Tracking Price Changes On Amazon
Google Trends – http://trends.google.com – Check Search Trends Over Time
Odesk – http://odesk.com – Freelance Network Site For Hiring
Elance – http://elance.com – Another Freelance Network Site For Hiring

SOS 001 Welcome To The Online Seller Podcast

My name is Justin and I just wanted to take the time to first thank everyone who has came across my podcast and is interested in learning more together. My intentions are to give back and provide no fluff episodes that will go over topics like Amazon FBA and how to build your own brand to make serious money. We will also be focusing on how to create and source products from manufactures as I personally go through the process myself with you and learn to scale our business with marketing strategies and tips.

Items Mentioned In This Podcast

In this episode, you learn

  • Who I am
  • Why I am making this podcast
  • What to look forward to learning from this podcast
  • My goals in