Today’s episode of the Niche Pursuits Podcast is a Q&A session with Perrin and I talking all about selling physical products on Amazon.
Here are some of the main Questions covered in the podcast:
- The most popular question we get is “What are your thoughts about going outside of Amazon?”. The spirit of the question here is what is the risk of having your entire business being based on a single platform. We’ve seen some of the Google SEO penalties really hurt niche websites in the past, and so we’re very conscious of this not affecting our Amazon business going forward. The important thing to remember here is that your product is the business, not Amazon. Things like building content on your own website will not only increase traffic and sales via Amazon, but will build a defensible business as well.
- Two episodes ago on the show we talked a lot about the concept of being “The One”. Some people are taking this to mean that they have to create an entirely new class of products to be successful. That can be the case, but not necessarily. Think about small improvements you can make to existing products or marketing an existing product to a new audience. That an be the differentiator that will make your business successful.
- Another common question we get is Why Not Go Direct? By this people are asking why not sell directly via an ecommerce website instead of selling on Amazon. There are advantages of selling direct, just like Andrew Yourderian is doing at eCommerce Fuel, but margins may be less and you’re not getting the built in traffic, marketing channels, and captive audience that Amazon offers.
- A few people have been asking about selling through Amazon’s FBA program in other countries. This is a possibility for most people. We discuss how this would work.
- Can you estimate costs associated with a product? Yes, the easiest way to estimate product cost is via Alibaba.com directly. Email a few suppliers and they’ll give you per unit costs at different quantity levels. The same can be done for freight and other logistics considerations.
- Where and How do you get samples? Again, Alibaba.com is the place to go for foreign sourced products. You’ll be able to send payment via Paypal for a single item and they’ll send it via DHL or another freight carrier.
- Can you source from the US? Yes, absolutely. Particularly if you’re in the supplements or beauty products field you may need to source from the US due to government regulations. But many things can be sourced from the US. One of the Benefits being that the language barrier likely will be lower, time to market will be shorter because there’s quicker shipping times, and customizations may be easier. Downside is that the cost will be higher, primarily because of labor costs vs. China.
- What due diligence can you do around suppliers on Alibaba? There are 4 criteria you can choose from at the top of a search bar: On Site Check, Gold Star Rated, Assessed Supplier, and Trade Assurances. Each of these come with background due diligence that Alibaba or third party groups have done on these manufacturers to help assure that they’re top tier suppliers.
- Are there any courses you would recommend on Amazon FBA? Since we haven’t taken any personally I can’t recommend one. I like to learn by doing, which is how I’ve grown all of my businesses. With the community here and other resources available you should be able to get started with a good knowledge of how a good FBA business should work.
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