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About a year ago, I ventured into the world of E-commerce selling on Amazon FBA.
As a remote worker and Digital Nomad, it’s important for me to diversify my income and that was my main motivation is giving this a shot.
The last year has been a journey full of ups and downs, fears and wins and everything in between.
You can read more about that first year as an Amazon seller in my post about Building a Profitable Online Business with Amazon FBA over on Natalie Sisson’s The Suitcase Entrepreneur Blog.
Top Takeaways from Selling on Amazon FBA
1. Research is Everything
I spent A LOT of time researching. Then landing on an idea only to figure out it didn’t work and then researching some more.
In all I probably spent about 6 months researching. To be fair, moving to New Zealand was a big part of the reason I slowed down, but I did spend a lot of time in this phase.
There are a lot of things you are looking for in a product. You want something that is lightweight, small, can be customized, not an electronic, not seasonal and is popular, but not too competitive.
I went through two legitimate ideas before I landed on the Rose Quartz Face Massage Roller, which by the way, I absolutely love and use myself! Win-win.
In the end, my research really paid off and I’m happy my first ideas didn’t work out.
(Check out my full length post to see exactly how much I made during my first month of sales.)
2. Take One Step at a Time
There were many times during the process that I felt overwhelmed and was pushed WAY out of my comfort zone.
Everything about this process was completely new to me and there were times I was paralyzed with fear for a few days.
My best advice is to take one step at a time.
It sounds cliche, and it is, but it was the best advice I could give myself.
When I would worry about if I said the wrong thing to a supplier or did something in the wrong order I would take a deep breath and say, “just do the next step.”
The only way I made it to the end of the process was by focusing on each and every small task that needed to be completed in the moment instead of thinking big picture.
3. Test Your Product Ideas
I’ll be honest, I didn’t tell a lot of people what I was doing while I was doing it. I didn’t really want to talk about it until I had figured everything out i.e. until I had shown success.
BUT when it came time to test my sample products, the opinions of those around me were completely invaluable.
I selected women whom I trusted and had them test the 5 different samples I had received and made sure to keep my opinions to myself. It was important I didn’t influence their first impressions.
And I was really surprised with the feedback they gave me.
In one instance it made me change my mind on which supplier to go with but it also confirmed which customization I wanted to go with.
Ultimately, I felt more confident about my purchase because I took the time to get real feedback.
Amazing things happens when you listen to the consumerJonathan Midenhall, CMO Airbnb
4. Start Small
Most suppliers will have a MQO or Minimum Quantity Order and if you want customizations made that MQO usually goes up.
But just because you think something is a great idea and you have visions of selling multiple thousands of something, I highly recommend your first order to be a small one.
Usually somewhere around 300-500 units is a good place to start.
For one, its less risky and two, it gives you a good sample size to really test how you will do in the market.
5. Keep Going
If you are new to ecommerce or selling on Amazon, there is a A LOT to learn.
And you aren’t going to do everything perfectly the first time around.
But keep going.
In the words of Dory, “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming.”
My first two product ideas didn’t work. But I didn’t give up and I ended up finding a product on my 3rd go around.
My first 500 units sold out in 2 weeks, but that hasn’t been the case for my second set of 500 units.
Instead, I’ve spent more time learning about Amazon Ads, how to get my ACOS down and trying different tactics to get more steady daily sales.
It’s all a part of the process and at each and every stage the main key is that I keep going.
If something doesn’t work. I try something else.
If I’m not sure what I’m doing, I get advice from someone who does and implement their techniques.
Yes, I had an amazing round of sales during the holidays, but now is my opportunity to really dive in and learn even more about being an Amazon seller.
That’s it, those are my 5 main lessons from the last year of becoming an Amazon seller!