December 13, 2018 by Andrew Minalto - 66 Comments

My 2018 Xmas present to you: £300!

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Welcome back!

We’re just ten short days away from Christmas, and it’s that time of the year when I say a big THANK YOU to all my blog readers, social followers, and, of course, my loyal customers. Unfortunately, I can’t send a gift to each and every one of you, but I can create a contest to reward ten of you with a £25 Amazon gift card and one of you with a £50 Amazon gift card!

This contest is very straightforward. All you have to do is comment below this post with a suggestion for a topic I should cover on my blog or Facebook page in 2019! It can be anything related to Amazon FBA business, importing, branding, product research, etc. The more specific the question, the better!

To give you an idea of what I’m looking for, here are a few examples:

  • Do I need a limited company to start selling on Amazon?
  • What is the best way to ship a 20kg package from China?
  • Is it worth it to start selling on Amazon US if you live in the UK?
  • How do I make sure my product quality is up to standard?
  • How many samples do I need to buy from Chinese suppliers?
  • What tools are best for Amazon product research?
  • Why do we need AUTO PPC campaigns?
  • Etc.

These are examples of the types of questions I would like to hear from you as these are topics that I can cover in my Amazon Sharks Facebook Group posts and weekly blog posts. I hope that’s all clear? Good!

Who will get the prize? There will be a simple draw where I will randomly select ten people from all the entries. Each person drawn will be sent a £25 Amazon gift card that they can use on whatever they want!

For the £50 gift card, I will manually review all the entries and select ONE lucky person with the best suggestion (in my mind) as the winner. These gift cards will be Amazon (UK) e-cards, so if you’re a winner, it will be delivered to you via email.

DEADLINE to enter the contest is next Wednesday, December 19th at 10 p.m. (UK Time).

Winners will be announced on Thursday, December 20th. I will contact each winner personally, and I will also publish the VIDEO of the draw and the winners’ names in a separate blog post.

PLEASE use your real name (at least your real first name) and a contactable email address when you leave your comment as I will be using that e-mail to send you the gift card.

You can enter the contest as many times as you like—the more topics I get out of this, the better (for me and you)! But, for the draw itself, your name can only be chosen once.

That’s a lot of rules and technical info, so enough of that! 🙂 I truly appreciate you taking part in this contest because, as a content creator, my most significant challenge is knowing what topics I need to cover to help you.

I need you to tell me what can I do to help fix a problem or situation you are facing in your business. Ideally, this problem/topic should be applicable to more than one person in my audience. That way, everyone learns something new or helpful.

My long-term followers know that I have been working in the eCommerce business for almost 15 years now. (I don’t even know what the reference year for this is—when I made the first sale or when I started working on my first business?) Right now, I feel that I can provide great advice and share my knowledge and experience like never before. I genuinely believe that 2019 will be the BEST year so far for my business—and hopefully for yours too!

Ok, the rules are simple, and everyone needs a last-minute gift card, right? Enter the contest and do your best to be selected as the lucky winner for that £50 gift card!

Have a great week everyone!


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66 Comments
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  1. You are in a position to be able to reinvest 100% of your profits into the business to grow. At what point would you recommend to start withdrawing money from the business and what percentage should this be?

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Jack,

      You should try to keep re-investing all profits back into business for as long as possible but obviously, situations can be different – it could be that you need to withdraw a wage from your profits to support your family, in case you don’t have a job etc. So do that – but still – try to take out as little as possible because the more money you can “keep in the system”, the quicker your business will grow and will lead you to much bigger profits.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  2. Chiambah Salu

    Hi Andrew,

    GaryVee has recently started talking about the next economic crash and how he will be going all in on Facebook as it will be the next big thing, can you explain to us how it will affect are Amazon FBA businesses or how we can integrate our businesses into Facebook for 2019. What are your thoughts on what GaryVee is talking about?

  3. hina pervaiz

    What should be the product discounts’ strategy for first launch?

  4. Please discuss how to set up Seller Central in UK for first shipment. ie producing FNSKU codes etc.

  5. hina pervaiz

    Regarding email marketing, how many emails should we ideally send to each customer and at what time span?

  6. hina pervaiz

    Hi Andrew,
    When is the good time to start selling products in USA? I have my new product on amazon but working on my goals for next year. In a year’s time or more?

  7. hina sohrab (Hina Pervaiz on your fb group) - I have kept my maiden name. lol

    Hi Andrew,

    I have another question:
    When is a good time to set-up a website? Lets say the product goes well on amazon and we have more products (3-5 in number). Should we still sell them through amazon or should start selling them on website?

  8. Hi Andrew,
    My question is:
    How should we manage variations of a product on amazon in terms of design, colour or size (any other)? Should we limit the number of variations and create a new listing after that? If so, what should be the criteria to avoid competing them with each other?

  9. Can you include payments via alibaba/transferwise – I made the silly mistake of paying on my credit card, double hit with charges! I’ve only just started paying via transferwise and its brilliant. However, the other day, I saw an option to pay in £ instead of US – but then I think we could be charged more due to alibaba and bank fees – any advice? Thanks

  10. Hi, can we have some help with commodity codes, I’ve just got my head round them, and they are a pain! We’d been charged 6.5% duty on a 0% product – if I hadn’t scrutinised the courier invoice and attempted to understand where the anomaly was, I would never have understood why the costs had increased. I asked the courier company initially, and they put it down to the weak pound due to brexit! Agreed, but not the only reason why charges vary. Thanks Andrew

  11. Stephen kewn

    Hello,

    My question is about what too do with a failed product?

    When is the right time too cut your loses, is the a certain times frames 3, 6 or 9 months

    I think this would be good subject for balance view point

    Thanks

    Keep up the good work

    Regards,

    Ste

  12. Sharon David

    Hi Andrew,
    My question is:
    Some Amazon sellers send random people their products in exchange for their review. They think it’s a good way to promote themselves.
    We all know that’s not legit for both sides. Can you think of a legit way to promote yourself as a seller?
    Thank you x

  13. How can you stop auto-repricing from killing a listing when another seller always underprices you and then clearly does no advertising so when they have the buy box the product grinds to a halt? Any tips on strategies to combat this, or is it ‘just one of those things’?

  14. Advertising….the cost per click and how to get the right keywords. Should we follow Amazon’s bid suggestions or bid up? Why is it that the simplest keywords (that sometimes seem pretty random) seem to generate the most sales?

  15. What is FBA Export and should we be using it if we list on Amazon UK at the moment?

  16. Hey Andrew, I wish you could talk about UK to US Amazon extension, that would be brilliant because I am pretty sure a lot of sellers would love to here about it. What’s the challenge, what’s different, how to proceed 🙂

  17. Hi Andrew Minalto my question would be – Is it better to build an international listing to sell in Europe or join Pan-European FBA. Does joining the latter mean we have to pay tax in each of those territories?

  18. How about some accounting wisdom?
    So Amazon pays out the balance every fortnight, but I don’t know how to split that up into into stock costs and profit – across all of my products.
    And then I need to accumulate cash to re-stock so I don’t want to take profit out to ensure I can keep the business running.
    Thanks

  19. Hi Andrew,

    What a fun comp!! Thanks for your generosity 🙂

    Following your fabulous Amazon Sharks course and this morning received an email that I have just been enrolled in Amazon’s Brand Registry – which got me thinking – what can I do to make the most of this.

    A great blog topic would be to discuss how to use Brand Registry to maximum advantage for increasing conversion rates such as the right length/content for your listing, dos and don’ts and also making most of the tools that come with it

  20. Creating a brand and registering EAN. Is it better to do it as a self employed or LTD?Where to find a product insurance. (Or does it have to be insured at all)?
    Best regards

  21. How much capital do you need to start an effective FBA business… I know this is subjective of course.. But what do you recommend as a minimum.

  22. The process of setting up EU Market Places. I have done it – but it is very obtuse (typical Amazon).
    And things to consider when you are selling in the different EU marketplaces – I am sure just converting your listing to another language is not the best thing to do.

  23. Hi Andrew,

    Another topic I think would be really useful is inventory management in depth – especially around best practice on handling unfulfillable inventory – why these randomly appear under the inventory listing (is it damaged returns?) and what to do about them.

  24. Hi Andrew,

    I think a great blog topic would be information on which scenarios FBA sellers can claim back refunds from Amazon e.g. when they refund a buyer for late delivery etc.

  25. Hi Andrew,
    Thank you for the generosity. Look forward to be a winner 🙂
    I enjoy reading your blogs..
    Please can you help/write on the product launch on Amazon and how to get increased sales and reviews. 2. How to conduct product inspection and/or hire outsourced agency.
    Thank you in advance and A Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2019.
    Seb

  26. How can I figure out the correct taxes to pay when selling in US from a UK Ltd company. Currently being charged for Sales tax on every order anyway…hmm??! Thanks!

  27. Hi Andrew,

    My questions relate to a few things that I have been focusing on recently which mainly concern the mental side:

    What mindset do you need to have in order to be successful in business?
    How do you deal with challenges and/or failures?
    How do you keep motivated when times are tough?

    Thanks 🙂

  28. Hi Andrew

    My question concerns the wider business context.

    Your blog and videos are excellent at showing the potential earnings on sales but your insight and experience about taking a start-up and growing a profitable business would be of great value to your readers.

    For example how long was it before you required premises, when did you need to take on staff to grow the business, who were the first support staff members (i.e. receptionist for calls or staff for packing/shipping etc.). What were the indicators that you needed to recruit for different functions.

    Did you use outsourcing for some support services (drop shippers or customer queries/ complaints etc.).

    How did you know when you needed to employ others, what pitfalls did you encounter, did you need external finance to grow etc.

    How did you complement and help support the business as it grew, what expertise did you need to grow in-house or outsource (i.e. web-site/IT management, feed management, legal/financial advice etc.)

    Your experiences and insights into these topics would be of great benefit to your audience and could be a entire series on how to support an Amazon FBA business.

    Best wishes,
    Marcus

  29. I would like to know key differences between Amazon FBA in UK and Australia.

  30. Hi Andy,

    Thanks for creating this giveaway!

    I’d like to see your thoughts on using Amazon as just one channel for sales and how it should fit/compliment other channels. In other words, how should an Amazon selling strategy look like as part of a multi-channel approach.

    Thanks!

  31. Hi Andrew
    I would love to see some form of table regarding sale price of products to what reasonable ppc you should be setting on both auto and manual to give you a reasonable Acos. Also if this is possible, dependent on the product or catagory.

  32. ooops sorry got another one …. use of Influencer gathering software. There seems to be an upsurge in companies which offer influencer advice / contacts. Which is the best way to gather influencers in terms of time vs cost benefit? What is the REAL impact of influencers?

  33. Hi Andrew – my last comment (for today anyway) would be with reference to breaking into the US market. I know you have covered this to a point but maybe a specific more in depth case study in addition to your advice in your Sharks Program?

  34. Hi again Andrew making best use of products like Sellics will be very welcome as the range of companies offering “the best Amazon tools” is growing by the day. In particular optimising PPC, listing keywords and competitor performance.

  35. Hi Andrew – I would be most interested in learning more about personalised products. I’m keen on developing products where some interaction with customers is required (ie sending images / text and agreeing finishes etc). I’ve tried this before but have found comms using Amazon systems difficult leading to poor feedback.

  36. Is it worth looking in local wholesalers for stock to get started in Amazon to get a feel for what works and what doesn’t? We may not make much but it would be a way of learning the ropes before committing to large orders from China.

  37. A topic I would like covered is, would it be worth setting up a blog type site with a store and driving traffic to it. And then either pointing the traffic to amazon or having a separate store on the site.
    Good luck everyone and merry Christmas

  38. I would love to know your all-time top 10 biggest mistakes that you yourself have made in your business and how you have learnt from them and improved your business as a result…..I find that we learn more from the mistakes we make along the way and I’ve made quite a few myself lol

  39. jodey bowden

    How to manage your time efficiently?
    How to deal with things not working out?
    How to focus on one thing at a time and not be distracted by all the other online opportunities out there?

    The biggest problem i have struggled with is focusing on one thing at a time. There are so many options on the internet to make a living and so much information that you easily become paralysed by the overload of information. It is so important to focus on one thing, set goals and build.

  40. Samantha Robinson

    For a product looking to sell for between £25-£30 a piece, how much is a sensible amount to put into PPC campaigns to launch it and after this do you reduce this amount or would this just depend on sales? Thanks Andrew.

  41. Chris Howard

    Hi Andrew,

    Suggested topic – Selling in Europe.
    The European market for Amazon products (excluding UK) is around 252 million (France, Germany, Italy, Spain). This is not far short of the size of the USA market (c. 300 million).
    Europe is closer – cheaper and quicker to send inventory.
    Can you please give us your thoughts on the pros and cons of selling in Europe.
    Do you think Amazon will make the VAT issue easier for sellers?

  42. When selecting a product niche or niches, what are they key parameters to use that will determine if you’ve found a winner or a dud?

  43. Using Amazon FBA to fulfill orders from made from your Shopify (or other) website

  44. What are the greatest challenges when starting any kind of new business up?

  45. How do I get started with a PL product with very limited funds. Would reselling on FBA be worth doing from retail or wholesalers while building the funds to launch a PL product? Or PL from the go?

  46. Hi Andy

    I would love to see a blog about some examples of the cost effectiveness of using intermediaries warehouses in the UK or abroad to receive the stock from China, then housing the goods before sending a portion of them onto amazon to save going into long term fulfilment fees on amazon.

    It’s a lot more cost effective for us to purchase the products in much larger volumes however we know if we didn’t they wouldn’t all sell within 6 months and would attract long term storage fees.

    Using an intermediary warehouse to take receipt of the stock may become even more necessary when amazon USA rules on long term storage fees and inventory management come into force in the UK (as they always do usually a couple of years later)

    A real life cost based analysis would be really useful.

    Best regards
    Mark

    1. Great question Mark + Daniela (was going to ask it myself!)…. Andrew it sounds to me like you could have a good business here, supplying this facility to your followers……?!

  47. My product is number 1 in its category, we are way above the competition, but, we feel the profit margin is too low (we matched the price to beat non branded competition) – how do we comfortably address the challenge of losing number 1 slot and increase profit margin – how much value does a best seller hold?

  48. Top tips for managing a ‘what the hell am I doing/I’m no good at this?’ moment? (we’ve all been there!) – Merry Christmas 🎄

  49. How do i get a fair price from a supplier and not get ripped off.
    I see Chinese sellers selling the same products as me on Amazon for not much more than my landed cost! I know that they’re not a manufacturer because of the range and volume of products that they are selling is too varied for them to be a manufacturer,
    So they must be buying them a lot cheaper than i can get them for.

  50. Hi Andrew,

    Could you explain all of your tips on reordering stock from China in time before running out? I’m sure it’s difficult for all sellers to judge when to reorder, with Amazon constantly growing and especially the crazy Q4 christmas season. I actually just ran out of stock because christmas sales were crazy, and now I have to wait 2 months for manufacturing/sea freight shipping etc for my next order from China.
    Also could you explain what effect running out of stock for such a long time will have on ranking and getting the product back up to where it was before… Do you think Amazon has an algorithm that remembers how well the product did?

    Thanks
    Callum

  51. Have you/will you be dipping your toes into amazon.jp?

  52. What do I need to know about import/exporting goods from China and especially the VAT and tax implications?

  53. Liam Roberts

    Hi Andrew,

    I have got myself started with Amazon FBA (thanks to Amazon Sharks!) and am currently set up as a Sole Trader (as I wanted to see how things went first). The way things are going, I am planning to register as a Ltd Company in 2019…..but I have read so many horror stories about Amazon putting your account into review when you do this, whilst also potentially suspending you from selling. I would hate for this to affect listings I currently have running.

    So my question is: What is the RIGHT way to successfully switch from a Sole Trader to a Ltd Company on Amazon without it impacting my listing/selling/FBA in any way…surely there must be a (simple?) way?!!?

    Thanks in advance! 🙂

  54. Multi site eCommerce software.
    Which do you use and which are available.
    For example keeping track on stock levels and auto updating, for amazon and other platforms you sell on, like Big Commerce, Ebay or own website.

  55. Hi Andrew
    My question is about what’s the best way to ship from china to Amazon warehouse in terms of saving money on shipping the goods weighing between 30 to 100 ,100 to 180 and over 180 kg and could you please advice best shipping terms as well
    FOB – Free on Board. …
    CFR – Cost & Freight. …
    CIF – Cost, Insurance & Freight.
    DAT – Delivery at Terminal. …
    DAP – Delivery at Place. …
    DDP – Delivered Duty Paid.

    Thank you in advance.

  56. Charlie Baggallay

    How do you keep your mind fresh and motivated when things get tough?

    Think it would be good to talk about mental health in your next blog.

  57. What is the best step by step to method launch my new product in order to get some great reviews. And is it vital that I aim to get top review on an ongoing basis, to maintain a good ranking?

  58. Q: Can I list my Amazon items on my eBay business seller account and use some APi etc to send from Amazon warehouse?

  59. Mohammed Bouhdid Tauil

    Hi andrew,
    I would like you cover pan European deeply in 2019.
    Thanks

  60. Mark Longman

    How can I boost my amazon sales without spending anything on adverts?

  61. Hi Andrew,

    My question concerns shipping Incoterms, and specifically EXW vs FOB.

    I know that the general advice is to try and get FOB prices from suppliers in China. However, as a general rule, suppliers tend to only provide FOB prices on larger orders and EXW for smaller orders. If requesting FOB prices on smaller orders the price tends to go up per item considerably.

    There are some occasions when the FOB price and EXW price per item are the same when taking all shipping costs into consideration. Or it can work out that the EXW price is actually a bit cheaper.

    So my question is, if the cost is the same for EXW and FOB, which is the best Incoterm to use? And what are the advantages/disadvantages to each? Thanks.

    /David

  62. Michael Sumray

    Hi Andrew,

    Love this competition. Entered this a few times so fingers crossed.

    I would love a break down of PPC on Amazon. Just really how to optimise and getting it working for me. I still find it a mind field and there are so many different strategies you see online but my ACOS is always still too high and i cant get it profitable. Maybe the niche my products are in are too competitive. When do you draw the line and realise you cant get your ACOS down?. I still make 80% of my income on Amazon but cant make PPC work for me.

    Another question is a decent launch strategy. Give away’s are dead in the wood so what is going to be current for 2019?

    Helium 10 or jungle scout?

    And lastly, sea shipping direct into Amazon. How do people do it? I have never actually used sea shipping at all as all my products are light but i think heavier goods will be the product of choice going forward as much less competition. Container loads basically! One supplier even offered me train delivery to the UK which i have never heard of in my life in the 6 years of importing. Can you really use trains to deliver your products to you or Amazon??? Lol

    Like i said you were my inspiration for getting involved in my online venture by buying your EAB course many years ago! My wife works in the business now as well (Not sure if that is a good or bad thing).
    Love what you do dude, Your work ethic blows me away.

    Hope you have and the family have a good Christmas Buddy.

    Mike

  63. An Amazon Influencer receives payment when customer buys your product if they recommend it therefore what does the Amazon Influencer Program launched last year mean for Sellers?

  64. What are the ways to deal with / avoid long term storage fees if I cannot fit the stock in my flat and the supplier won’t reduce the MOQ?
    I’ve been working on my first product. I’ve spent a significant amount of time customising the product and the supplier has had to create a new mould for it so, naturally, their MOQ has increased to 1000 sets of two different items (so total 2000 pcs). I really like the sample they made and would like to consider launching it but know that sales won’t coming in that fast. One idea I’ve had is to also sell it in the rest of the European market though not sure how well these sales can take off considering that I won’t be storing stock close to the customer. Another idea was to ask the supplier to store the items with them (for a fee), hire a storage space here in London or… just give up on this product and look for another one with lower MOQ.
    Many thanks for the response!
    Daniela

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