This is Part 1 of our e-commerce coaching call with Kiefer Hogge, a new seller who joins Amazon. We will talk about specific Jungle Scout criteria you should consider and why you should not do them first, the best practices to receive a Fulfillment by Amazon, and the importance of packaging and product listings.
Let’s jump into the episode and learn with Kiefer how to start your Amazon career!
[00:01 – 06:09] Opening Segment
- Let’s get to know Kiefer Hogge
- Affiliate marketing as a source of income
- His path to Amazon selling
[06:10 – 16:11] 24-Month Timeline
- We talk about the lessons from our failed ventures
- Where is Kiefer now in his Amazon journey?
- Amazon selling is a long game
- Find out why Kiefer realized he “had room to mess up”
[16:12 – 27:19] 3,000 Sales in Top 10 Listings
- Find out David’s Jungle Scout criteria
- Don’t miss our tips to source products that will sell!
- Start with your specialized knowledge
- Evaluating manufacturers and trading companies
[27:20 – 34:08] 30-Second Reaction
- We talk about the importance of Amazon packaging
- Kiefer asks about the labeling process
- Set up your listings
- Go to Inventory > Manage Inventory
- Check the box.
- Look for a drop-down menu > Print Item Labels
- Download labels as pdf
- Send pdf to manufacturer
- We discuss what is a minimum viable product
[34:09 – 39:00] Closing Segment
- When should you sell?
- Utilizing air and sea shipping
- Final words
“I think in the past, my biggest mistake was I was rushing to just get in and learn versus really starting outright.” – Kiefer Hogge
WATCH OUT for Part 2 on www.Firing The Man.com
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So I was like, how can I make this kind of affordable? I think I was listening to you one of you guys podcasts about finding the product and going through like a list, you know, what are the things I know a lot about? And what are my interests and things like that. And it’s like it goes random all down. And I think in the past, my biggest mistake was as rushing to just get in and then learn versus really starting out. Right. So once I found something I said, Okay, you know, this is something I know something about. There’s already this product and Amazon. So one of my concerns was what all these regulations with, you know, making sure that that product is allowed to be sold. You know, at the end of the day, you really want to get your product directly from the manufacturer. Just because if use like a trader like a middle person, they are taking a cut somewhere. But being that I wanted to keep my order quantity down lower.
Welcome, everyone, to the Firing The Man podcast, a show for anyone who wants to be their own boss. If you sit in a cubicle every day and know you were capable of more than join us, this show will help you build a business and grow your passive income streams in just a few short hours per day. And now your host serial entrepreneurs David Schomer and Ken Wilson.
Welcome everyone to the firing demand podcast. On today’s episode, we are joined by keefer Hogue Kiefer is a new seller he reached out to us and inquired about a coaching call keeper has just sourced his first product in his beginning to sell on FBA. He sent us a list of questions. And that’s what we’re going to cover today on our coaching call. Welcome to the show. Yeah, thank
you guys. Absolutely. Like I said, super excited to be on this call with you guys.
Absolutely, absolutely. So first things first, tell us a little bit about yourself.
Yeah, so I’ve kind of been in this space for, I’d say quite a bit of time. I mean, about four years, I mean, nothing too serious, just because I think it was a lack of focus as far as like what I was after. I think it really started out as far as like the online market. And the idea of making money online was with surveys, despite like a handful of people more than that, that have been like, Oh, yeah, you know, I’ve definitely tried to make the money online doing surveys, which isn’t anything great, of course. And then I think it was on Facebook, they actually seen an ad, it was affiliate marketing. I mean, at that time, I had no idea really what it was. That’s kind of where I started really digging in. I was like, wow, you know, people are making a full time income online through affiliate marketing. Um, so I learned a lot about like website building, marketing, Facebook ads, Google blogs, tried stuff. I mean, I’ve been through a lot of different courses. I’ve tried different stocks, I tried doing stock trading. And then once I realized that making money online wasn’t exactly the easiest thing. I think I got introduced into kind of like multi level marketing. One of the best ones I kind of hopped on was it was called primerica, and that’s actually like, it’s like a financial kind of business. So they sell like to do like, stocks and such. So basically, it’s like a financial education. And so I kind of hopped in that and learned a lot as far as you know, what it takes, you know, any business perspective anything like they like a lot of, you know, hard work, but dropped out of that because it still just wasn’t what I was looking for. I mean idea with Amazon is having something where you’re not having to constantly put effort into people make it really big in network marketing, but for me, it was it was a lot of friction with my personality and trying to do that. So then I kind of jumped back to you know, I want to go back online, I tried drop shipping, and I tried it on the like a zero budget kind of way like you go to YouTube and they’re like, you just go to you know, all you set up your website, Ali Baba, I think my first storage right on there was called toxic, toxic style. I just thought it sounded cool. You know, had nothing to do with anything. And I tried to sell like wooden watches. And I was literally copying pasting everything from Alibaba to no shoes. So nothing worked down. And now this isn’t working. And I spent hundreds of dollars on Facebook ads. And so I mean, a lot, a lot of learned lessons as far as what it takes. For me, I feel like Amazon’s the easy streak, if you had the investment versus drop shipping, like through Shopify specifically, I’m just because once I kind of hopped in not knowing anything, and then stepping back and realizing everything I’ve done wrong. There’s really a lot more as far as like branding, I feel you know, as far as being successful dropshipping and what I’m kind of putting the pieces together now it seems like Amazon’s the best place to start and then kind of bridging out to like your own stores far as that goes. So yeah, I mean, I’ve done quite a different things I’ve tried doing like real estate flipping took a course on that didn’t work out well here just because there wasn’t much of that, like you buy you basically to someone saying you have a buyer. And so I got through LinkedIn and try connecting with like investors who might want to buy property. I was driving around and see houses that were for sale by owner and go talk to them. But the issue was I could never really find someone who had you know 200,000 $300,000 cash to buy a house and somehow fix paperwork in there where I got $1,000 in that. Oh, yeah, I mean, I’ve got like quite a wide range of things. I’ve tried car sales. I’ve been doing construction for seven years, but actually quit for about six months to try doing car sales, which was fine. But there’s a lot of friction there being my background with primerica and my financial education, selling people cars and having to pay $600 a month when they told me they could only afford 300 made me feel bad. Yeah, no, I’ve tried a lot of different things. And so I think Amazon is a good place to really tie in all the stuff I’ve learned over time, as far as branding, marketing, and all those different things and just really kind of buckled down. Because I think Amazon can really be the best way to go. Something that obviously wrapped the bad versus when I tried drop shipping was you have trust people shop on Amazon all the time, most people don’t even know that, you know, this third party seller, some people still think that Amazon’s the, you know, somehow gets all these products and shipped them out. And so obviously, you have the trust right off then. And then with the two day shipping is kind of like a no brainer. For me. I don’t even like shopping on other sites other than Amazon, honestly. So for me, it just kind of makes sense to kind of go about it. So that’s where I’m at now.
I love that story. And I love that you have gathered experiences from a bunch of different areas. You know, we get on this podcast, I sometimes talk about our successful brands, but just to you know, you were talking about flipping houses been there. I had a cutting board business, I invested about five grand into a brand new table saw on tools. That was a flop, I lost money on that. And Ken you know, you didn’t find success right away? What are some of your like, what what are some ways that that you got to where you’re at today?
Yes, I did retail arbitrage first. And then I did drop shipping, Shopify drop shipping, you know, stumbled through that learned a bunch of stuff I did wholesale on Amazon. And then I found private label. So in terms of e commerce, yeah, I kind of ran through all of those kind of just digging around figuring it out. But you know, all the skills, especially like what you mentioned earlier Kiefer, all those skills that you’ve been kind of testing and learning, they’re they’re going to help you out and private label for sure.
Absolutely. Yeah, also have done drop shipping. I mean, there’s a laundry list of it. And if I could go back in time, I would still do those things. You know, I mentioned the example that the cutting board company, one thing I learned that has been, you know, pays dividends today is I filmed pretty much everything that I did, and I got good at editing video. And while that business did not make any money, I now edit my own videos for my listings. And that’s just a marketable skill. And so, you know, I’m a little jealous, you’ve got a very diverse background, and you can pick and choose what things you bring to the table with this new venture. So, you know, kind of turning the page talk about where you’re at, in your e commerce journey. What have you done? And, you know, what are some questions that you have, as you look to the future?
Yeah, so I mean, obviously, now I’ve kind of buckled down, I’ve taken some past knowledge with the last multi level marketing company and got with just cuz that was the one I spent $5,000 on, I was like, this is this is what I’ve got, this is what I got to do, you know, as full blown committed in it. When I first started out it really, it seemed like it was going to work out. But again, with I mean, network marketing, I mean, you’re constantly, I mean, every day, you’re reaching out to people, personally, you’re spending all your time as a man, this is just, you know, this is really tough to do. So now, I mean, looking at that. And I was like, Well, I don’t want that knowledge and time invested for well over a year. And I mean, still now I still have credit card debt for that specific thing. And I still pay that every time. So it’s like, Man, you know, this is stuff. I’m the product I bought from and I use it every day. I love it. And so I was like, how can I make this kind of affordable? I think I was listening to one of you guys podcasts about finding the product and going through like a list, you know, what are the things I know a lot about? And what are my interests and things like that, and I guess writing them all down. And I think for me, one of the things I struggle with is I have a lot of different things I’m interested in, there’s not one thing that, you know, screams out, this is my favorite thing, I could do it every day, other than the idea of business, you know, that’s something I’m just like, man, it doesn’t really matter what it is, to an extent. But it’s like the ideas business, the competitive marketing, as far as that goes. And just to be able to say I did it, you know, it’s been a long dream to actually, you know, make it happen, because I’ve had a lot of failures. I’ve spent a lot of money and books and all this different things. And then at one point, I said, I got really discouraged and say I don’t want to do this anymore. But then, you know, I think it was about a month ago now. I was like you know what, I could do this Amazon deal. It’s not a big deal. I just, you know, brushed it off. Let’s go and so I got really stuck in the product research part. Like what the heck can I sell this not selling already? just seems like man, this is tough, because there’s so many people doing it, you know, how can I make money? And so when I start writing down that list and thinking about what do I know of it thought about that company? And it’s like okay, well what’s out there as far as this certain product goes or something similar to and so when I Seeing the difference of being, you know, like $20 to the 5000. I spent, I said, Whoa, okay, you know, there might be something to this, I might have room to improve on this being that I know so much about it. So once I started researching more, I did see that there’s an uptrend on Google, you know, I’ve done market research in the past, once I started learning more about through drop shipping, and you just look good to me. So I’m feeling pretty confident just because of my competition. I don’t know, it’s, it’s, it’s kind of that’s the thing, guess what, I’m stuck, I’m kind of nervous. I feel like you know, it’s gonna be another one, I kind of fail at it. And you know, I’m gonna have to bite the bullet. But at the same time, I’m feeling a really good feeling. Because as far as the competition that I see, I just feel like they’re missing, missing some things that can really make a big difference. And then as well as the competition being low, it just seems I feel that I can really scale up through that pretty quickly.
You know, what, one of the first questions that you said was, what Ken I look for when we’re analyzing a product, and if it’ll sell, and I’m going to go into this, but one thing I do want to address now is after this call, I’m going to send you a calendar for November 30 2022. It’s two years from today. And I The reason that I say that, I want to talk to you. Let’s talk plenty of times between now and then. But the reason I say that is, this is the long game. And one of the things that I think that you know, a lesson I learned early on was, it is a grind. You know, you hear these gurus talk about making a million dollars in 30 days. And, you know, I I haven’t I have not done that. It is it is takes a lot of perseverance. And I think when looking at a timeline, you know, get a year into this, and you will have made a lot of progress. keep taking steps forward. But I think that two year mark, is where things finally start to pay off. Ken, what do you like? Would you agree with that?
Yeah, absolutely. You know, this is definitely, you know, it’s not a short game. It’s, you know, strategic, and, and you have to plan for the long game. I Yeah, I would agree with David, you know, 24 months, you know, I really didn’t start figuring anything out until at least 12 months, and then, you know, you use everything you figured out for the next 12 months, and then you kind of build on it. But yeah, it’s definitely long game. And, you know, Kiefer from the sounds like your your background, you’ve been kind of battling, you know, battling the entrepreneurial journey for several years now. Right. So it’s the same, it’s the same deal. You it’s rinse and repeat. You know, try something if it doesn’t work, fix it, try it again, and keep going. Because, yeah, there’s a lot of money to be made on Amazon.
Yeah, absolutely. I feel I feel the same way.
Definitely. So one of your first questions was about product numbers. And first, can you talk about what you were looking for when you were sourcing a product? And then Ken and I will go into, you know, what we’re looking for? And maybe we can learn something?
Yeah, I mean, so. So for me just come from the background, you know, with the drop shipping, I kind of looked at this as like, Okay, I understand that this time, I, you know, I need to make a valiant effort. And, and really just kind of take it one step at a time. I think in the past, my biggest mistake was as rushing to just get in and then learn versus really starting out. Right. So once I found something I said, Okay, you know, this is something I know something about, there’s already this product, and Amazon. So one of my concerns was what all these regulations with, you know, making sure that that product is allowed to be sold for one of Amazon or the risk of getting shut down. So I wanted to be something that was already on there. But I didn’t want to Google it, or, you know, check on Amazon and there be, you know, 100 different people selling the same thing and really having to work a little bit harder insistence, you know, I think the first thing I looked at is like these little multi tools, like, Man, these little multi tools go great. And then I listened to when you guys podcasting, you know, you want your product to be over $20 Well, that’s out the window. And you know, that clicked it in. So that helped me focus. Okay, well, I don’t want anything pretty much under $20. You know, that makes perfect sense more stretch. Because originally I had this mindset of like, well, maybe I could start this with $1,000 budget. And then I realized, well, you know, that’s not very much skin in the game. And then there’s all these issues with that competition, because, you know, everyone’s to go for the low hanging fruit. So what can I do? So I went through my list, you know, things I know, things I’m into. And so when I found the product, and seeing that there was demand for it, I just wanted to see that this was actually selling that if I, you know, bought 100 units that I didn’t would be stuck with 100 units that it would eventually sell over, you know, a month, a year, I would hope you know, and you know, so I started looking at these numbers, I started getting them more using the market research tools like helium 10, just the free one straight off the bat, you know, because, you know, there’s that that can give me just enough information. It’s enough for me. And so once I started realizing that, you know, there’s a good stretch between how much they’re selling between how much the cost is, it really took some pressure off my back, like okay, I have room to mess up because there’s profit in every cell you know, if I could at least take $40 you know, profit. That’s a pretty good marketing Budget I spent, I think I did pretty well on Facebook ads with that much. So I am from my understanding Amazon’s probably a lot less than Facebook or Instagram or any of those other ones I’ve used. So yeah, I think that’s kind of where I stood. This is like, is this product selling regardless of how much it is, I just didn’t wasn’t 100% sure if necessarily, that was a bad thing. Some of the numbers I was seeing just kind of was hoping for some reassurance that, you know, just based on some of the stuff I’ve already done. Now, even though the sales aren’t there, because of what I’ve seen, as far as Google Trends, it’s an upwards trend. I don’t know maybe if I’m in too early, or because it’s kind of steady throughout the year, but it seemed good, it gets pretty much fit every criteria you guys spoke about other than the monthly numbers, but I think the price point between the profit points in there kind of maybe makes up for some of those numbers that are not that they’re, you know, 100 units to six units a month, I think at 100 units is what I’m planning to do at six a month, you know, I’m not bad. I think I’m pretty much within that, you know, if I get rid of it all within a year, and I’m feeling pretty confident with just how I’ve sourced it, because it’s beyond different than everything on there. It’s the same, but it’s different in, in my opinion, a better way. And the first off was just by the color alone, you know, because it’s just not on there. Ready?
Okay. Okay. So I am going to, I use Jungle Scout. And I think we owe it to our listeners to spend a little bit of time here, I’m going to share you share with you my criteria of what I’m looking for. But please, to the listeners to you don’t do this first. And I’ll explain why. But I use Jungle Scout helium 10 would have this data as well, when I’m I use this kind of as a sanity check. But you know, I like to see at least 3000 sales in the top 10 listings, I like to see some diversification amongst the top 10 sellers. So there’s not one or two listings that are dominating, I’d like to see at least four listings with under 100 reviews, I like to see no more than three listings with over 500 reviews, and sellers with over 300 sales per month, I love to see that be seven out of 10. Now, this came from my notes that I took probably a year and a half ago when I was going through a Jungle Scout course. And I’m going to tell you the problem with this, I use this exact criteria. And my first product that I launched was a candlestick holder. Now, that seems absurd. But this candlestick holder met every single one of those criteria. And I’ll tell you the reason why it was the week before Easter. And if you know if you’re Catholic, or you know anybody that’s Catholic, all Easter masses have a candlelight vigil. And if you can imagine holding a candle stick in your hand, there’s a little cardboard wafer that would slide over the top of that, to prevent you from getting hot wax on your hand. Very simple product. And so I looked at that. And because the time of the year, I just thought, Oh, this is this is a slam dunk product, I can tell you, I still have about 5000 of those sitting in my basement. I mean, it’s just a garbage product. And what I did was I followed the instructions of the training. And so that was a lesson learned in one recommendation I would make to you is think about what specialized knowledge that you have. So you said that you’ve been working construction for seven years. That is something that is you have some specialized knowledge there. And so I’ll give you an example, I have a friend in my mastermind, he’s a painter, he painted for 30 years, he invented this little plastic piece that slides over a door hinge. So when you’re spraying a wall, you don’t need to cover the door hinge with painters tape, you just put this little plastic doodad on there, and you paint and he sells the shit out of them. I mean, it’s an awesome product. And that comes from his specialized knowledge. I also have another friend in a mastermind that grew up his dad had a plumbing supply company, he worked in a plumbing supply warehouse, and just became very familiar with what is in demand? And what are the names of the products. And he has a seven figure business based in plumbing supply. And so I would think about what specialized knowledge you have, and maybe start there. Now I’m not discouraging you from launching this product that you’re talking about. In fact, based on what you told us before the episode, I think it’s a solid product. But I think as you think through this, think about what specialized knowledge Do I have, that I can bring to the table? So Ken, what are your thoughts here? What What should he be looking for? When he sourcing his product?
Yeah, so I think in terms of you know, in terms of numbers, that the numbers that you shared with us Kiefer, they sound they sound, you know, on onpoint you know, I know the price point is a little bit higher. So sometimes you hear like, Okay, well you need to have, you know, 10 sales a day or 20 sales a day, which would be you know, 300 or 600 a month but if that’s, you know that criteria is usually for you’ll hear in reference that as like if it’s a $25 product, right? If you’re selling $100 product, then maybe you will You would only need two and a half sales per day, right? 60 sales a month. So those are kind of the numbers that I’m looking for it and you know, you you wouldn’t even a little bit next level and you look at Google Trends, right. So does the Google Trends go several years? And is it pretty steady? And is it’s increasing?
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. So my products, it’s basically it’s been around for over 30 years. But as far as like, very specific keyword, what the product is, and then you look from the lifetime up to today, you do see like, a very straightforward upward thing, you know, something you’d love to see in your stocks, something kind of like the apple, you know, if it’s just a solid upward Hill, no excessive drops, you know, it doesn’t look like the fidgets spinners, you know, it’s not a huge jump, and then a drop, right. And like that, that’s a solid upward trend. As far as where it lands, it’s actually mostly in countries, from what I know, we’re only touching about 3% market share, or recognition of what it is just based on my multi level marketing company that was with that kind of pertains within the same area of this. So it’s, it’s, it’s been around for a really long time, but people are really starting just to catch when, like I said, something that’s it’s, it’s not directly to what you see in the stores and on the shelves, but it’s starting to come around a lot more, I think people are becoming more familiar with what it is. And so when they when I looked at specific keywords, kinda like the same thing, if you look through the past 12 months, it’s pretty much steady, it’s just up, down, up down, like a straight line. As far as you go back. Like I said, it’s it, you know, just like the stocks, you want to see him going up a mountain, you don’t want to see him dropping off the cliff. And there’s, there’s none of that. So and just from what I know, it’s, it’s, you know, I see people, and within my network marketing company, I mean, these guys are making ridiculous money. I mean, it can $10,000 a month. Still, I mean, they’re still selling their machines like hotcakes, I don’t know how to do it, they have really good personal skills. I just, you know, that, like I said, there’s some friction for me, as far as that part goes, I really like the idea of being the cat like behind the keyboard, you know, there’s not really any personal branding in that. Not that I don’t know how to do that. It’s just there was some friction, and think of $5,000 products, kind of like a tall order to really try and sell, honestly, so,
so. So before the show you shared with us that you’re getting samples now on the way, are there any questions that you have for us? And regarding like, you know, supplier sample shipping listings, things like that, what, what’s next?
Yeah, yes. So I think one of my only concerns was, right off the bat, I know that listen to some of you guys’s previous podcasts you’d spoken about, you know, at the end of the day, you really want to get your product directly from the manufacturer, just because if you use like a trader, like a middle person, they are taking, you know, cut somewhere. But being that I wanted to keep my order quantity down lower, I think the first person I reached out to is directly to the manufacturer, but they they want to do want to put the logo on there. They said I’d have to, they were they were gonna let me do what I want with the product. But they’d only let me I couldn’t put my logo on it. I had to order 1000 years to do that. So there was a the first person I was talking to. And they were very quick. I mean, right away, but they said they were traded, they went to manufacturer, but they have, you know, their own store, I guess within Alibaba, they have really good relationships with their manufacturers. And they were able to like it, because I was I was going back and forth with some ideas, you know, can I change this on it? And you know, what are my options here, and they were just kind of showing me different ones. And I was like, okay, so they really worked with me a lot as far as I really put kind of what I was thinking as far as different aging the market on this particular item, and kind of just kept sending me different ones. And then they were really working well with me on that. And then as well, he was able to get my logo on there. And my order quantity because I wanted to keep it around 100 to 200. But also when I have a logo on it, you know, I think I’m paying about $21 per unit. And I think the manufacturer, when I asked them for 100 units without my logo, they wanted to be upwards of 25. So overall, just the trader seemed to be able to give me a better deal. I didn’t know if that was, you know, a good thing or a bad thing maybe good for now, I think later, maybe it would be good to go directly to the manufacturer and save some costs there. But as of right now, do you feel it’s a good idea?
I suppose. All right. So I think you bring up a really good point and to our audience, I just like to break down really quick the difference between manufacturer and trading company so manufacturer is who is making it. There are also companies called trading companies and they will act as an intermediary in between the manufacturer and you. And you mentioned a previous episode where we talked about you know, try to go directly to the manufacturer. And as you bring up that advice, I kind of feel like I’m putting my foot in my mouth a little bit and in here’s why. When I am choosing a manufacturer, or a trading company, I like to have options, you know, price is important. order quantity is important. Can you put a logo on it isn’t And you know, you have to put yourself in the shoes of the manufacturer, if they receive an Alibaba message, they don’t know you, they don’t have any relationship with you. And so they may quote you a higher price. If a trading company has a relationship with a manufacturer, they may actually be able to get you better pricing or a lower order quantity, as with your case, and so here’s my thought, what you’re doing spending some time in evaluating your samples, evaluating manufacturers and trading companies spend some time here, but don’t get stuck. I like to have as many people at the table when I make my final decision. And so if I have the option of choosing from five, or choosing from 10, I’m always going to pick 10. And that doesn’t need to be 10, you know, samples that you get mailed to you that can get expensive, but, you know, maybe 10 interactions with different companies. And as you found, you’re getting better pricing, a lower minimum order quantity, and you get your logo. And so to me, that’s a slam dunk, go with a trading company. And once you establish that relationship, you may go directly to the manufacturer, but at the end of the day, you are concerned about profit margin. And if you can get it at a lower price, in better terms through a trading company, you might as well go through that trading company, as opposed to going directly to the manufacturer Ken What do you think?
Yeah, I definitely agree. And, you know, I have a couple of trading companies that I that I still work with now. And, you know, it’s sometimes it’s more flexible, you know, a manufacturer, they might not want to, you know, do a low mo q or, or they, you know, or whatever. And you might, your orders might be too small for them. But with with the trading company, you know, they’re gonna, they’re gonna work for you, and try to make it happen. Another thing is to you can always, you know, like David said, you don’t want to just stay with one supplier, you know, you want to you want to reach out and get multiple different suppliers. And then, you know, I mean, one of the things too, is, is you don’t want to get stuck here, you want to move forward, and you want to get, you know, speed to market is another thing, right? Like you need to get it, get it launched, get it on the market, get launched, and then get it tested, once it starts selling if you know, if you know, hey, this, this is starting to sell starting to take off really good, then you go back to the drawing board and say, Okay, let me let me go this manufacturer and hit him up for you know, 10,000 units, 20,000 units, like, you know, and you could get better pricing at that point. So,
okay, so yeah, I mean, that’s kind of where we’re at. I was that with it, it just, it just seems like as of right now, it was my best option.
I one last thing I want to mention, because you’re in this stage, when you get your sample, I want you before you, when you get the box, go inside, and open it in Think of yourself as the consumer, if you were to open this, what would be your initial takeaways, and like very simply, when I get an Amazon package, it usually meets my expectations, probably not gonna leave a review. Sometimes it exceeds my expectations, I’m more likely to leave a review. And sometimes it doesn’t meet my expectations. And so think about that your gut feeling within the first 30 seconds of looking at this product is likely going to be the gut feeling of your consumers. And so think about that. And trust your gut here. I mean, if you don’t feel like the manufacturer did as high of quality, as they promised, then spend a little more time here and find somebody else. But don’t get stuck. Don’t get stuck. Absolutely.
Yeah, I think I reached out to about 10. It was tough. For me, I think just being kind of like maybe within like I said, you know, it’s kind of like a new market. And you know, the product seems to be a little bit of a new concept. I think it’s been around for let’s see, the first seller on Amazon started about 2018. So you’re looking at two years coming on three years. So I think they’ve kind of been tried and true in different shapes sizes. As far as what I was looking for is pretty limited. I think I reached out to every single one as far as what I was looking for. And most of them were direct manufacturers. I think I just by luck happened to land on one of these traders that was but it turned out is funny actually double messaged them, because they had multiple different options. So I was like, Okay, I’m sorry, talking to the same person here. Don’t mind me. But no, they were super cool. Great communication. I think one of the manufacturers, I mean, he was kind of blunt, almost rude. You know, it’s like, all right, you know, you know, even if it’s a small order regardless, I always like to be taken serious or as a value in no matter how small and I think wrap the bat that trader kind of established a really good presence with me, despite being very responsive and kind of helped me out a little bit actually sending me physical pictures right then and there of what it looked like. So that was cool.
What are some other questions you’ve had as you enter this process?
So see, thanks shipping, thing, shipping was one of the big ones. But I kind of went back in that kind of just learned a little bit more about as far as that goes through mutual And some more of you guys’s podcasts. Let’s see, trying to think of the word as far as that goes is Yeah, the labeling, I think it was counted labeling. There’s some misconception with me as far as that goes, when you send those products in, I think my trader said that they put the ASIN once I send it to them on each individual box, and then outside of the cartons is that is that now they do it that is that the ASIN and they put on there, the UPC codes, I think that’s what kind of really hung me up when I was first kind of getting going. And some of that’s still a little bit fuzzy, doesn’t know why
I got it, I got it, I was actually just setting up some listings today. So I am going to in will have this in the show notes. But I’m going to sign into my Amazon account. And I’m going to tell you exactly how you would do this. So once you have your listing setup, you would go to inventory, in Manage Inventory. And once you’re there, you’ll see your product, and you’re going to check a box. And there’s a drop down menu that says print item labels. And what you’ll do is you will PDF that and send it to your manufacturer, and just follow that process. And that’ll get you to where you need to go. What I’ll also tell you is that on your first order, this is something that you shouldn’t be worrying about unless you’re sending in multiple variations. So if you’re sending in a box that has like three different variations, you probably want to take care of this yourself. However, if you’re sending in one color, one size, you know one variation, you can have Amazon do it. And I think it costs either 20 or 25 cents per unit. And so with your higher cost units, you can when you’re creating your first order, there’s a drop down menu that says merchant applies barcodes, or Amazon applies barcodes. And you can just select Amazon applies barcodes, and they’ll take care of it for you. And so I would say with your particular item, I would go this route, and just forget about it. But if you have if your manufacturer is willing to print him out and apply him follow the steps that I said, and that’ll get you to where you need to go.
Okay, yeah, cuz I think from what I understand, that’s what they said that they end up doing. So it is the the ASIN the code that Amazon gives to me after putting in that product into the Amazon listing, whatever as far as that goes. And then that ASIN with they stick on the boxes, correct. That’s the only thing they need on that box.
It’ll either be the ASIN or the UPC code, it doesn’t matter. As long as you generate that label through Amazon, Amazon will give you what you need. And so whatever, when you follow those steps that are laid out before, it will either be the ASIN or the UPC, but that number doesn’t, it doesn’t really matter. As long as it’s getting stuck on the right box. You’re in good shape.
yeah. And like David said, when you go in and you can you can print out the labels and the barcodes and and not what depending on your product, if it’s in a box or if it’s you know, you can if you don’t know if you’re designing a product packaging for it or not, you can you can actually send the the FNSKU over to your manufacturer and just have them put it on the box so and then it’d be ready to go
right yeah, so my product would be any kind of like a small box almost like a shoe box size.
Okay, yeah, yeah, I would just do exactly what David said download that PDF and then you know, have your manufacturer Are you having a box designed or do they have a template or So yeah,
I think that was the one thing my trader couldn’t do they couldn’t really change the box unless it was up to 1000 which I was fine with. I think I can go with just a plain white which I was fine with and then there was another one which kind of had kinda like the product but you know it had the kind of looked odd to me you like you said that first impression when you pull it out? I think it kind of takes away from versus just a plain white box and I think I’m gonna kind of negotiate with them just to maybe if I can just get plain white boxes because then you know, Kansas leaves it open you know, nothing too out there. Sure.
Yeah. So it sounds like what David mentioned earlier having Amazon apply those is going to be your best route some we call that the minimum viable product getting something to market and then the next time you order it, then you you know, you’ll have some cash, you can upgrade your packaging and then start getting it dialed in but but to get it to get it to market what David mentioned earlier is probably going to be your best bet. Okay.
And then I guess within that same topic too. I know I think it can it was us messaged back about you said kind of maybe wait until the beginning of the year 2021 which is I also kind of felt the same just so there wasn’t too much pressure on my back. Not too much craziness as far as the market goes with all the Christmas shopping just seemed like a good fresh slate to start in the beginning of January. If I decide that this is the product after it arrives I source and meets my quality standards. Do you feel like it’d be good to like to see ship my order. If it were to say if I did it in December and it was gonna take up to 30 days to get to Amazon the process to there and it would be available within January. Would that be good for airship in the beginning of January.
So I would not recommend air shipping anything in Q4. unless you absolutely had to, because the shipping cost is really high in Q4. And I definitely wouldn’t recommend launching your first product and December because you’re going to want to run Amazon PPC. And it’s really high during the holidays, the cost per click goes way up. So, you know, I don’t know what the product weighs is if is it? Is it heavy or light, or
it’s a pound and a half
pound or two pounds and a half and it fits in a shoe box.
So I think the size would be as large standard size is what Amazon saying that the comparable one is?
Okay. So you know, it’s gonna probably what’s the lead time? 30 days?
I think? Yeah, they said I mean, first if I were to do see shipping, and Tony obviously be cheaper, obviously. So I think about 30 days. Yeah, about 30 days, would it be for that after it’s manufactured?
I, my recommendation would be to your first order to I would airship in partial order. So you’re going to order 200 units to launch, I would airship maybe 50 of them. And then I would see ship the other 150. And then then you can it solves two problems. One, you can get it to market quick. And to you’re going to save cost. So it ends if it’s you know, you might just want to airship them all, like in January, there’s also Chinese New Year, so you’re gonna want to look at that and, and kind of time the production. So a couple options, air shipping, um, anytime you launching, you know, especially a product that you have a little bit of a margin on, you know, you can you can airship it a sound like that one, probably you’re only doing 200 units. So, I would I would seriously consider air shipping. Okay,
yeah, that’s the kind of thing that’s where I was feeling as well, just to not kind of overcomplicate it and not have that, that feeling of lag time as far as getting your market goes due yet, just because there was so much profit margin just to kind of get going and really get my feet wet. And yeah, just get going on it. Sure.
Yeah, speed the market is, is huge. A lot of times and, you know, you don’t want to be sitting, you know, for six weeks, while it’s well, you know, your products crossing. I mean, if you’re, you know, if you’re if you’re launching bowling balls, that wouldn’t be telling you they’re shipping. But if it’s a you know, if it’s a pound and a half, and if it’s in a shoe box, then yeah, you know, my first first to market I would airship What do you think, David?
Yeah, I would agree with that. I would agree with that. I will let this be a roadblock for you. Okay, you know, I think this is kind of another opportunity to kick the can down the road. And I would say if you were to, you know, get your Amazon account set up, get your product photos set up. Don’t wait to take take action until January 1. And so you know, I wouldn’t hesitate to place your order and take a look at AIR shipping. And you know, one thing that I like to do if I want products tune is I’ll take 10% of them, I’ll airship them and I’ll see ship the rest and so that’s an option for you. But yeah, I think Ken characterize it perfectly.
Thank you everyone for tuning in to today’s Firing The Man Podcast. If you like this episode, head on over to www.firingtheman.com And check out our resource library for exclusive firing demand discounts on popular e commerce subscription services that is www.firingtheman.com/resource. You can also find a comprehensive library of over 50 books books that Ken and I have read in the last few years that have made a meaningful impact on our business, or that head on over to www.firingtheman.com/library. Lastly, check us out on social media at Firing The Man on YouTube at Firing The Man for exclusive content. This is David Schomer and Ken Wilson. We’re out
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