Sunday, Feb 2nd — Early
Bye Week:
49ers
Bears
Bengals
Bills
Broncos
Browns
Buccaneers
Cardinals
Chargers
Chiefs
Colts
Cowboys
Dolphins
Eagles
Falcons
Giants
Jaguars
Jets
Lions
Packers
Panthers
Patriots
Raiders
Rams
Ravens
Redskins
Saints
Seahawks
Steelers
Texans
Titans
Vikings

Introduction To Finding A Product

Before you can ship products off to Amazon’s fulfillment centers, you of course first need to have inventory. As you might have correctly assumed, choosing the right product is probably the most important decision you will make as an Amazon seller. So the ultimate question for this type of business is, “How do you find a winning product?”

A winning product will have some variations depending on which Amazon seller that you ask, but before we get into my process of how this will be determined, there are at least a few basic guiding principles worth noting.

  • A winning product will have high demand
    • Ideally, demand year round is preferred, but there is still money to be made in seasonal products as well
    • Aim for products trending up in sustainability and potential growth
  • A winning product will have low competition
    • Fewer existing sellers
    • Existing competition have fewer reviews
    • Existing listings are poorly written or have low quality images
    • Existing listings don’t use Amazon FBA
  • A winning product will have high profit margin and ROI
    • Profit Margin = What you pocket after all of your expenses 
    • ROI (return on investment)
      • Net Profit (total sales – expenses) / Total Investment x100
      • ROI compares how much money you profited by how much money you spent to acquire that profit
  • A winning product will also have a reliable manufacturer
    • Quality materials and design
    • Quick response time and clear communication
    • Industry experience

Again, we will go over these guiding principles in much more detail later. But once you have achieved that magical experience of sourcing a winning product, the whole system of success on Amazon all of a sudden becomes much easier. Not only that, but the excitement grows and your desire to replicate the process builds on itself. Once you have sourced a winning product, you have 2 main jobs:

1) Source more winning products! 

2) Ensure that your inventory levels don’t diminish! 

If you choose to take advantage of Amazon FBA, they will store, and ship all of your products. And unless your product requires you to actually construct it by hand (not recommended for the sake of simplicity and time), then there really is no more “work” in the conventional sense; just building a bridge between the product a customer wants and the product itself, and collecting a toll, so to speak, each time someone crosses your bridge.  

Once you’ve sourced some winning products and you begin to build some momentum, the one weekly task that you can’t afford to mismanage is maintaining your product inventory levels. There will probably be some weeks (or months early on) when you do not need to reorder inventory, but you at least need to be aware of where your current inventory levels are, as well as how long it takes for each product to be manufactured, shipped and restocked upon arrival at the Amazon distribution center. If your product is coming from China, most of the time, this process takes about 3-6 weeks, therefore future sales forecasting is extremely important. I spend about an hour or so at the beginning of every week monitoring these numbers, and I use an amazing tool that I would highly recommend called ManagebyStats.com for this function as well many other statistical elements of my business. Typically, the most difficult aspect of inventory upkeep is knowing your numbers. From there, making a reorder is usually as simple as sending a couple of emails and wiring some funds over to your established supplier. But aside from inventory upkeep you can really neglect your business for a few weeks without many repercussions. However, if you’re motivated to grow, there are always ways to improve! My weekly upkeep and maintenance tasks look something like this:

  • Inventory Upkeep
    • Determine when and shipment size
    • Email the order details to your manufacturer
    • Occasionally check in on tracking
  • Monitor Advertising (More on this later)
  • Label products with a barcode sticker
    • Recommend outsourcing to the manufacturer
    • (Amazon also offers this service if you’re willing to pay more)
  • Build Listings
    • Write product details and descriptions
    • Product Photography (recommend outsourcing this unless you have experience)
    • Improve existing listings
  • Respond to an occasional customer message about an order
  • Email new customers asking for reviews (recommend using an automated system with existing templates like ManagebyStats.com to do this for you)
  • Monitor financials to determine which product lines to grow or cut (strongly recommend using ManagebyStats.com to do this for you)
  • Adjust product pricing based on a product’s performance due to competition or seasonality
  • Monitor advertising metrics for optimal profit 
  • Source and design more products
  • Grow and improve your current systems
    • Reading articles
    • Webinars / Podcasts / Videos
    • Revisiting courses
    • Attending seminars
    • Forums / Facebook groups
    • Find a mentor

If you’re motivated and you want to grow and improve, there is a plethora of tasks and resources to help you improve and achieve whatever it is your goals might be with this business. However, the beauty of this business is its flexibility, and if you have a season in your life where you’d prefer to focus on other priorities (like I do coaching high school soccer in the Spring) then be aware of that fact! Some days, I’d rather watch a UEFA Champions League game mid day, or the weather is absolutely brilliant, and I’d rather go on a hike with my huskies! Making money is important of course, but once you have a baseline of savings and income, then it probably needs to take a backseat to other priorities in your life.  Stay true to your priorities, and allow yourself to take advantage of the benefits this type of business has to offer! 

This concludes the free lessons.

You can pick up the full course here!