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My May 2018 Amazon UK FBA Update – £15,639.46 in SALES and £3,942.98 in NET PROFIT!

June 5, 2018 by Andrew Minalto - 13 Comments

Welcome back!

Another month has ended and, as usual, I will share my latest results from my Amazon FBA journey. Hopefully, seeing these real numbers will inspire some of you to take action and learn something new along the way.

In terms of sales, May has been a very steady month—very predictable and slightly boring at the same time. It is in months like these that I start to get a little bored by the business to some extent. By that, I mean I have pretty much done all I can with these products on the Amazon UK platform and have reached a sales level that will be very hard to break, because:

1) Demand for this product is “fixed.” I can’t magically increase the demand just because I want it to happen. There is simply a certain number of people each month who will search for these products on Amazon. Some will buy from me; others will buy from my competitors. This overall demand is steady, and that threshold is not something we, as sellers, can do much to change once we reach a certain level.

2) I have optimised my PPC campaigns to a good standard. There are always ways to improve ad campaigns. I will continue adding new keywords as I find them, manage bids, etc., but all in all, I’m already covering all the major keywords related to my products. It’s not like I can just discover some “magic” keywords that unlock lots of additional traffic (or at least not at a good cost).

3) My organic rankings are very solid too. I’m not number one for my main keywords but I’m in the Top 3, Top 5, etc., which is good enough for me. The thing is, I will probably NEVER be number one in the search because the prices I charge for my products are higher than the market average—and that’s fine by me! Read More…

How I LOST 7 Months and $805 Registering a TRADEMARK for Amazon’s Brand Registry!

May 24, 2018 by Andrew Minalto - 100 Comments

Welcome Back!

Today, I want to share my story of how I wasted 7 months and hundreds of pounds on registering a trademark for Amazon’s Brand Registry, which, at the end of the day, turned out to be totally useless! This story just shows how fast everything changes and that you can never rely on old information when it comes to things like this. Without further ado, let’s get started!

Brand Registry Overview

For people who are new to Amazon selling or even for active sellers who are still not using Amazon’s Brand Registry, I highly recommend you sign up! It’s the quickest and easiest way to protect your brand, enhance your listings and unlock additional features in your Seller Central account.

Brand Registry is a place/service where Amazon allows genuine brand owners to register their brands.

After the registration process is complete, you get benefits like:

  • Protect your brand from being used in other listings, act on copied products, help with finding potential infringement, copied images, logo and other elements.
  • Gives you the option to use Amazon Stores. (Awesome!)
  • Gives you the option to use Enhanced Listing descriptions. (Awesome!)
  • Gives you the option to use Headline Search ads. (Awesome!)

So far, I have not personally had any experience with the brand protection side of things (hopefully, I will never have to do that), so I can’t comment on that. BUT for me, as a seller who creates amazing brands and wants to showcase my products in the best possible way, the most important and immediate benefit of being part of the Brand Registry is the ability to use Enhanced Listing descriptions (or Enhanced Brand Content Detail Pages, as Amazon calls them).

What are they and why are they so important?

By default, when you’re NOT registered with the Brand Registry, you can only use a very basic version of the listing description editor—it’s just plain text! However, with the help of an online HTML editor, you can add some simple HTML tags to it (bold, bullet points, etc.) but that’s about it. Your product descriptions will still be just plain text, which very few people will actually read. Here’s how it looks on Amazon:

Now, when you get into the Brand Registry, Amazon gives you the ability to use their Enhanced Brand Content tool to create VISUALLY RICH descriptions!

This includes creating your very own layout from predefined blocks, like this: Read More…

15 GOLDEN Tips to START a Successful Amazon UK FBA Business from SCRATCH!

April 26, 2018 by Andrew Minalto - 33 Comments

Welcome Back!

Today’s post is taken from my Amazon Sharks course as I really wanted to share this information with as many people as possible.

These are 15 rules/lessons/mistakes EVERY newbie Amazon seller should be aware of! It’s not only about Amazon of course but rather eCommerce business in general and can be applied to eBay too for example.

I truly believe that IF you stick with these 15 rules, you WILL save time & money while achieving results much faster! So, without further ado, let’s get started!

Mistake #1 – Running before learning how to WALK!

If you’re totally new to the whole business model of selling physical products online, be REALISTIC about what you can and can’t do! Don’t try to create a massive empire in your head when you haven’t even sold one product on Amazon.

Dreaming BIG is all good, but you have to be realistic and start small, especially if your budget is very limited.

I regularly receive emails from people who actually want to compete with and BEAT Amazon or eBay by starting a competing website. They throw around the idea of no fees to sellers and what not.

These are REGULAR emails that I get, which means that a lot of people actually believe that they can beat these huge companies with their own website. While I won’t defend eBay and Amazon here, C’MON!!! You really think you can build a competing website when you haven’t done anything online and have a £1000 budget? Are you for real?

Another example that is specific to selling actual products online is people who spend months and even years planning out their massive empire of businesses they will have. They have purchased all kinds of domain names, like their brand name + sports at the end, brand name + home at the end, and so on. Read More…

VAT for Amazon Sellers – The TRUTH No One Wants to HEAR!

April 19, 2018 by Andrew Minalto - 304 Comments

Welcome back!

Let’s talk about Value Added Tax (VAT) as it relates to selling on Amazon.

Recently, there has been a storm forming around this subject, especially after the infamous Amazon invalid VAT number email that I covered in last week’s post. I have received tons of emails from my blog readers asking one simple question: DO I HAVE TO REGISTER FOR VAT?

Since I am often responding to each individual with the same answers and information over and over again, I’ve decided to create a blog post that answers this question in as much detail as possible. I will cover as many scenarios as I can think of, so that after reading this post, it is 100% clear whether you, in your specific case, have to register for VAT to sell on Amazon or not. With that, let’s get started!

The Basics of VAT

VAT is something we all hear about and experience on a daily basis, whether it’s through business transactions, Amazon forums, retail shops, or invoices and receipts. VAT (Value Added Tax), as the name suggests, is a consumption tax based on the value of goods and services. This tax is used in all European Union countries, as well as many other countries. In Canada, for example, it is called GST (Goods and Services Tax), but the principle remains the same.

The VAT rate varies from country to country, but in Europe, it is usually around 20%. Here are a few examples of current EU VAT rates for 2018:

  • Belgium – 21%
  • Austria – 20%
  • Denmark – 25%
  • France – 20%
  • Germany – 19%
  • Ireland – 23%
  • Italy – 22%
  • Poland – 23%
  • Sweden – 25%

In the UK, the rate is set at 20%, which actually puts us amongst the countries with lowest VAT rate. In the past, it has been even lower; prior to 4th of January of 2011, the VAT rate in the UK was just 17.5%, and there was once a temporary period where VAT was only 15%.

The VAT rate we are talking about here is the STANDARD VAT rate, which is the rate used on most everyday goods like:

  • Home products
  • Garden products
  • DIY & tools
  • Clothing & shoes
  • Etc.

Basically, most everyday products that you see on Amazon or in your local Tesco will have the standard VAT rate of 20% applied to them. It is the rate you are most likely to encounter on a daily basis. Read More…

My February 2018 Amazon FBA Update – £15,316.28 in SALES and £4,340.22 in NET PROFIT!

March 14, 2018 by Andrew Minalto - 6 Comments

Welcome back!

I hope everyone has survived the weather change and has gotten back on track!

In today’s post, I want to share my latest update on how my Amazon FBA business has done in February 2018! If you haven’t seen my January 2018 Profit Update post, make sure to start with that. In that post, you’ll find an introduction and some background information about this business operation.

Results

In February, my sales slowed down. I made £15,316.28, selling a total of 1535 units:

My profit from that was: 1535 x £4 = £6,140

This is my profit after paying Amazon seller fees, FBA fees and VAT. Read More…

My January 2018 Amazon FBA Update – £24,119.08 in SALES and £7,373.73 in NET PROFIT!

February 8, 2018 by Andrew Minalto - 29 Comments

Welcome Back!

It’s been almost two months since my last blog post. I wish I could be more active on the blog right now, but the reality is that I kicked off 2018 with a really hard push in all my businesses. Right now, I simply don’t have enough hours and energy in a day to give much time to the blog.

The Amazon Sharks program started with a boom and sold out within few hours of opening. I’m still adding and tweaking final material for the course, so that is obviously occupying a lot of my time, not to mention answering questions that my new program members send me every day.

As a side note: if you missed the launch and did not get into the first group, Amazon Sharks will reopen on 22nd March and there are currently 30+ places available! To avoid any disappointment, you can now book your place in advance by signing up and paying a £99 deposit. This GUARANTEES you a place in the program when doors reopen in March.

Due to many requests, I will also be introducing a new payment option on March 22nd that allows joining members the option to pay in full and gain access to ALL program videos from day one, meaning you don’t have to wait for each new module on a weekly basis. The weekly payment plan will still be available, so you have the choice of the payment and pace that suits you.

Today, I want to give you a quick update on how my latest Amazon business is doing. I’m referring to same business I started at the end of last year—the one that made more than £50,000 in sales in its first three months.

My plan is to publish a monthly update on how this business is doing. This will help keep me accountable to my goal of reaching £30k+ per month with this business by the end of 2018. I also think it would be interesting and valuable for others to be able to follow my progress and see how I am doing.

Seeing the January sales numbers, I may need to re-evaluate my plan!

I might actually need to increase that target to keep this race competitive enough:

In January 2018, I did £24,119.08 in sales—which is AMAZING!

I was actually very surprised that this business did so well in January! The beginning of the year (January/February) is usually the slowest time for eCommerce businesses, and my other businesses are proof of that—sales there are quite slow in January. Read More…

£50k in First 3 Months on Amazon UK FBA + Amazon Sharks UPDATE!

December 14, 2017 by Andrew Minalto - 78 Comments

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT:

Hello & Welcome Back!

We’re just days away from Christmas and I’m sure many of you are already in a festive mood and don’t want to think much about business right now. But it’s also the end of the year very soon and from my experience, I know that lots of people will have set themselves a goal of starting an online business in 2018 so I think it’s the perfect time to give you more information on my up-coming Amazon Sharks course which will be released in January, so you know exactly what to expect from it.

But I want to start off with an update on my latest Amazon venture which I started earlier this year, in September to be precise. I already covered the first month’s results in a separate video where I also shared some very valuable information on how to start a profitable Amazon private label business.

If you haven’t seen that video yet, please go to my blog – AndrewMinalto.com and sign-up for free & you’ll be given instant access. This will also subscribe you to my blog’s newsletter so you don’t miss out on any future posts and videos.

OK, going back to my new business – in short – it’s been an impressive start! I’m very happy with the results I have achieved so far and very excited to see what 2018 will bring as I’ve really only scratched the surface with this so far.

Let’s log in to my Amazon account and check some sales numbers – as you can see – I started selling on 8th September, there are no sales prior to that as this is a brand new account and business.

There’s a steady growth in sales month over month but last month has been exceptionally impressive! Mainly due to Christmas shopping of course, as I do sell a product which is in high demand during the holiday season. There will be a drop in sales for sure once Christmas shopping ends OR when I run out of stock – whichever comes first! 🙂 Read More…

My Seasonal Amazon FBA Product DISASTER! (DON’T DO THIS!!!)

November 30, 2017 by Andrew Minalto - 10 Comments

Welcome Back!

I made a huge mistake. Well, sort of.

The story is about a seasonal product I launched for this year’s Halloween. Usually I’m very sceptical about seasonal products as they are risky to deal with – especially if the product only sells for a few weeks or one month max every year – like with Halloween, Christmas, Easter and similar occasions. The reason why such products are so risky is simple – you can never really accurately predict how much inventory you need as you don’t know how many units you’ll sell in that short period of time.

If you under-stock, you’ll run out of stock way too early and miss out on profit and when you over-stock and can’t sell everything, you freeze your money in dead stock for a whole year, until you can sell the item again next season.

Knowing all this, I still wanted to give it a try, mainly because I saw that there’s basically no competition for that product on Amazon – so I thought – easy money, right!?

No one sells that product on Amazon and in my opinion, the product is great and should be quite popular.

But it’s that demand analysis that let me down. As I did not have any Jungle Scout data for the previous year, I had to guess the potential demand. I did check sales on eBay via Terapeak for last season but the specific product type doesn’t really sell on eBay that much and sales data was very low and not reliable (I compared it to similar products).

Obviously I did check Google Trends and as you can see from the graphic below – it seemed like a no brainer! Massive demand in November every year. Well, at least search numbers were good but as it turned out, that doesn’t always correlate directly with sales.

Taking all this into consideration, I decided to “bet” a £1000 – getting 500 units into Amazon FBA, costing me just under £2 each. My net profit after VAT and Amazon fees was planned at around £5, selling the product for £11.99.

So not bad at all! If I sold all 500 units, I would make £2500 NET profit – so I decided it was a risk well worth taking. Plan B was if I “only” sold 300 units, that would still cover the cost of all units (£1000) and leave me with a profit of £500 PLUS 200 more units I could sell next year. Read More…

How to Save HUNDREDS of £££ PER MONTH When Starting Out with Amazon FBA!

November 23, 2017 by Andrew Minalto - 15 Comments

Welcome back!

Here’s an incredibly simple trick on how to save hundreds of pounds when you start selling on Amazon – DO NOT BUY Amazon marketed software and tools! Simple. End of post.

No, seriously – this is something I want to talk about in more detail, as I know there are many people out there who struggle with this and I want to save you time and money on tools and services that you don’t actually need.

So here’s the classic story of how it goes – and this is something I went through few years ago too, when I was starting out with my first Amazon FBA business. What you do is you start watching how to videos on YouTube, you start following blogs and Facebook groups – you probably buy a course or two and just learn, learn & learn! You’re in the research stage and want to find out as much as possible about how selling on Amazon works, how to avoid common pitfalls and so on.

That’s all good! You’re even reading this post because you want to learn more about this whole Amazon business, right?

The problem starts when you see one software being recommended in one YouTube video, then – something else in another video. Then you read on a blog that you definitely need to use this tool for doing X thing. Then you dig deeper and find out that you also need these two services and so on!!!!

There are hundreds of tools and services out there targeting Amazon sellers that “help” with various tasks like:

  • Market research
  • Keyword research
  • Keyword tracking
  • Ranking tracking
  • Product launches
  • Automated emails
  • Feedback request
  • Listing monitoring
  • Accounting
  • Split testing
  • Stock monitoring/re-ordering
  • Sponsored Product Ads (PPC)
  • Landing pages
  • Etc. etc.

And when you’re in that research phase you think that you need to use ALL of them to even have a chance of making money on Amazon! Read More…

How to Save up to 50% on Sponsored Products AD Cost on Amazon!

November 16, 2017 by Andrew Minalto - 20 Comments

When you launch a new product on Amazon, you have to have a plan in place for how you’re going to promote it. It’s usually not enough to just create a listing, unless the competition is very small, so you need to drive traffic to your listing on your own, to get those first sales & reviews in.

The fastest and easiest way to do this is via Amazon’s own Pay Per Click advertising system – called Sponsored Product Ads, where you can quickly create paid advertising campaigns and start driving highly targeted traffic to your listing.

Some people recommend that you don’t do sponsored ads from day one and that you should first get at least 3-5 product reviews in. I can only partially agree to that as from my experience, you can successfully run ads, make sales and even make ad campaigns PROFITABLE with a brand new listing, with no reviews in place.

It will depend on the product’s price though as if you sell something more expensive, you can expect to have very low conversion rates if you run ads to a listing with no reviews. But if your item sells for less than £20-£30, you should definitely start running sponsored product ads from day one! As with such cheap items, basically impulse purchases, people are obviously more open to making that purchase compared to products that cost say £100+.

Here’s the thing – you have to accept that your ads most likely won’t be profitable for at least the first few weeks as it takes time for Amazon’s system to optimise your auto ad campaigns and it will take time for you to optimise manual campaigns too.

If your listing/product is really good and the conversion rate is high, you can aim to break even! If you can break even on ad spend in the first week or two (meaning you don’t make any profit nor loses), CONGRATS! This means that when you optimise your ads, you will be in for a healthy profit.

But you can do even more! Here’s one little trick that I used to save almost 50% in sponsored product ad costs when I recently launched a new product…

So I launched a product and created both Auto and Manual campaigns (for the most obvious keywords), just like I usually do. Then of course, as with any new product, I constantly checked sales throughout the day as well as the ad spend to see how it was performing. Read More…