December 18, 2019 by Andrew Minalto - 4 Comments
Can you sell BRANDED products on Amazon UK FBA
as part of bundles?
Branded products on Amazon are something I don’t talk a lot about on my blog, and that’s simply because my business model for the last 10+ years has been all about creating my own brands and importing goods from manufacturers in China. In the early days of my career, I did sell branded goods on eBay, but back then, retail arbitrage was super profitable and competition levels were extremely low.
Fast forward to today, and I don’t believe you can build a real, sustainable business based on branded goods anymore. Yes, you can make some money by selling underpriced goods found in sales/garage sales/charity shops, etc., but it’s a very time-consuming operation and not something you really want to do for a long period of time.
Despite that, some people still manage to do it, especially in the US where the sales are often at a much higher discount than we see here in the UK. With that being said, there are situations where you could sell branded goods as part of a bundle/set/kit you have created.
The question is: does Amazon allow it?
December 17, 2019 by Andrew Minalto - 4 Comments
Winners announced! Who gets £250 Amazon gift cards?
It’s time to announce the winners of my yearly blog readers contest! Many thanks to all of you who took part in the contest. In total, I received 19 entries and dozens of suggestions for what I should write about to help you with your business in 2020. I have already organised all of these in my notes, so I’m ready to get going on these topics in the new year.
I really appreciate the time and effort each one of you spent on this, so thank you very much! Your suggestions really help me out, as I want to provide you with the most relevant and valuable content to help you with your business. Often, the most difficult part is coming up with the types of questions and topics you would get the most value from, so your suggestions really help me out.
December 16, 2019 by Andrew Minalto - 15 Comments
My Amazon.es SPAIN FBA results UPDATE! (€14,052.09)
It’s the final week on the blog this year as Christmas is just around the corner! I’m sure many of you are already in the holiday mood and don’t want to spend much time on business. Despite this, sales right now are reaching new records every day as the last few weeks before Christmas is a real shopping bonanza on Amazon! I have personally achieved phenomenal sales in December, but more on that in the new year.
It has been a few months since I expanded my Amazon FBA business to Europe via the Pan-EU program. So far, I have covered my results for these markets:
The last one on the list is Spain! I must say that, surprisingly to me, Spain has performed the worst out of all four marketplaces. When I first started the process, I had high hopes for the Spanish market as I thought it would be a more active marketplace—especially knowing how many expats are living there, etc. As it turns out, that’s not the case. Well, at least not for my products because Spain hasn’t performed as well as expected.
December 13, 2019 by Andrew Minalto - 0 Comments
Should you use VARIATIONS on Amazon?
When you sell a product on Amazon that comes in multiple versions (for example, varying quantities, sizes, colours, designs or flavours), the question arises of whether or not you should use variations or list each item separately.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of using variations on Amazon? In this post, I’ll try to answer these questions in detail and help you make the right decision for your Amazon FBA business.
Now, Amazon doesn’t work like eBay where you create a product listing and then add variations to it. On Amazon, each variation is an individual listing anyways, which sort of complicates the situation even more. As a starting point, I recommend you check out Amazon’s quick guide on how variations work before you decide which way to go for your products.
But the main idea is that, on Amazon, you simply “link” products to create a listing with variations. The main listing is called the PARENT listing and the variations are called CHILD listings. You create the parent listing and then link your child listings to it. To better understand how it all works, here’s explanation right from the Amazon’s help page:
December 12, 2019 by Andrew Minalto - 43 Comments
My 2019 Blog Reader’s CONTEST:
£250 Amazon gift cards for grabs!
It’s that time of the year when everyone is busy shopping for Christmas presents, and Amazon sales are great proof of that! Over the last few weeks, I have witnessed phenomenal results in my own Amazon FBA business. In fact, I have consistently been making 400+ sales a day!
That just shows how real the Q4 effect is for Amazon FBA businesses. And if you sell an item that can be given as a gift, I’m sure your business is hitting new records, too!
But this post is not really about me—it’s about you! That’s right. It’s time for my yearly blog reader’s contest. The time of the year when I say Thank You to my loyal blog readers with gifts! In total, I’m giving away £250 worth of Amazon gift cards to readers who take part in my contest. And the rules are dead simple.
December 11, 2019 by Andrew Minalto - 2 Comments
Amazon PPC Auto campaigns PROFIT GOLDMINE! (7.08% ACOS!)
When you launch a new product on Amazon FBA, you will start advertising it using Sponsored Products ads.
The standard approach to doing this is to launch two campaigns in the beginning:
- Manual campaign for most obvious keywords in all three match types (Broad, Phrase and Exact);
- Auto campaign.
The Manual campaign will obviously target your most important keywords (search terms), but the Auto campaign is mostly used to discover new keywords that you may not have thought of on your own. Over time, you can move profitable keywords from your Auto campaign to your Manual campaign, so you can dial down bids on a keyword level. This is all super simple and it works exactly as it should.
A trend I have personally witnessed over the last few months on Amazon is that Auto campaigns are increasingly geared towards PLACEMENTS rather than keyword searches.
Placements mean that your product ad is shown on other/competitor product pages rather than in the main search results.
December 10, 2019 by Andrew Minalto - 4 Comments
Can you TEST a PRODUCT on Amazon UK FBA without a BULK purchase?
For many people, gathering the initial capital for making a stock purchase is the biggest obstacle when trying to start an Amazon FBA business as, let’s be honest, an Amazon business is a CASH-FLOW business, and the more money you can invest in your stock/product portfolio, the quicker you will see results.
Some people have money they could invest, but they don’t want to take the risk. What if the product doesn’t sell? What if the competition is too great? So, with that in mind, is there a way to test a product on Amazon WITHOUT placing bulk orders with suppliers in China? Let’s find out!
The standard approach to starting an Amazon FBA business is:
- You do market research using Jungle Scout (or a similar tool) and identify a product with good potential that is suitable for your buying power (budget).
- You source that product in bulk from manufacturers in China using Alibaba.com, usually in starting quantities of 500 to 1000 units.
- You create an amazing listing, then start to advertise your product using PPC ads to build up sales velocity, rankings and organic sales.
December 9, 2019 by Andrew Minalto - 4 Comments
My Amazon ITALY FBA Business Update! (€10,846.26)
Welcome back! 🙂
In today’s post, I will give you a quick update on my Pan-EU expansion. This time, I’m covering Amazon Italy (Amazon.it).
When I first started to think about expanding into the European Amazon marketplaces at the end of last year, I did some research using Jungle Scout to see how well products similar to mine were performing abroad. I was particularly interested in how many sales these products were generating per month.
While I saw great sales volume in France and Germany, Italy and Spain showed very little potential. So, although I didn’t have great expectations for Italy, my plan remained the same: to make at least enough sales to cover the monthly VAT filing costs that I need to pay to VATGlobal.com
IMPORTANT!!! I have arranged a special deal with VAT Global for my blog readers. You will receive a special discount on the VAT registration and returns fees IF you mention this code when contacting them: ANDYVAT2020
In Italy, that meant I had to make more than 40 sales per month because the FBA fees in Italy are much higher than in the UK, France or Germany, for example. I’m selling my product at €9.99 and the FBA + referral fee is €4.64!!!
This means that after VAT and the product cost, I’m left with a small profit of just about €2.50. If my VAT accounting costs for Italy are about €100 per month, it means that I have to make at least 40 sales to cover those costs before I make any profit.
December 6, 2019 by Andrew Minalto - 0 Comments
Amazon listing SUPPRESSED? Don’t DO THIS!
Many people who are new to selling on Amazon often get a shock when this happens. You create a new listing in your account because you need to get a FNSKU barcode/label for your product packaging. You then enter the product title, price and save the listing. Amazon doesn’t give you any warnings and your listing is created. You get your FNSKU label and forget about it for now, as you have other things to work on.
Then, after some time, when you log back into your account, you learn that your listing is SUPPRESSED!
And that’s when the panic starts! What happened? Has Amazon suspended your listing? Do you need to create a new listing? Do you need to contact Amazon support?
None of that. And for God’s sake, please don’t delete that listing or create a new one! If you do this, your FNSKU code will change. If you’ve already done your product packaging, you’ll have to use labels to change it to the new code for the new listing.
December 5, 2019 by Andrew Minalto - 4 Comments
Pre-Shipment Inspection in China: Full VS Partial
I have previously discussed factory inspections in China on my blog, but today I want to specifically delve into the pre-shipment inspection, which is the inspection you do when your goods are finished and ready for dispatch. Do you really have to spend all that money on a FULL inspection, or you can get away with a PARTIAL inspection? Let’s find out!
Just to remind you, if your order is placed through Alibaba’s Trade Assurance program, you will have to pick one of the inspection companies provided by Alibaba to qualify for their order protection.
At the moment, there are three options available:
1) Alibaba’s service team, which costs $48. This is not really a pre-shipment inspection service as all they check is carton quantity (whether or not it is correct), one item for visual defects and one carton for packaging and shipping marks. I don’t recommend you use this at all, as it won’t tell you anything about the quality of the goods in your order.