Sometimes selling on Amazon is a matter of trial-and-error, and sometimes it’s listening to or reading what others have gone through that can help you make the best decisions and help you grow as a brand. I started my Amazon FBA business with my partner, Matthew Turnbull. We’re still fairly new to the Amazon FBA game but I thought I would share our story so far and the lessons we’ve learned.
When I decided to try Amazon FBA, I looked at many different courses on how to do it. The one that caught my eye was Nine University (nineuniversity.com). The team behind Nine University seemed really down to earth, and like they wanted to help you strive to be the best you could be. We made the investment and joined.
What they teach you in this course works. We’ve made a few mistakes - but those were down to us attempting to rush things and get what we wanted immediately. This brings me to my first point - listen to what they have to say, act on what they tell you, and don’t be impatient.
Researching our first product was one of the hardest parts of getting started. We were new to the game and didn’t know what category we should delve into. We found a few products that worked, but the shipping costs were crazy. I could have gone on a trip around the world cheaper than some of the quotes we were getting! My second point - don’t be scared to change your mind on a product. We had to do that a few times to work within our budget. We didn’t have a large budget for our first product. The right product for you is out there.
Entering the negotiation phase with our suppliers was the first time I felt like I was in too deep and started asking myself if I had done the right thing by pursuing a FBA business. We contacted many suppliers - more than they tell you to in Nine University’s course. Many suppliers either didn’t answer the questions we asked or sent us ridiculous quotes. I was glad I had a business partner, so when one of us was unsure or wondering what the hell we were doing, the other could keep calm and help keep the focus on our end goal. This leads to my third tip - don’t let the supplier rule you. Remember, they want your business! Be strong. Once you have a quote that meets your needs, don’t be afraid to go back to other suppliers and offer them the chance to beat it. I can tell you from experience - this works! Finally, when it comes to negotiation, time differences can make it quite challenging to get things done quickly. Don’t let this dishearten you. I promise, be patient and you will get there.
My fourth tip - don’t get caught up in buying things to “help your business.” Nine University is a U.S.-based business, whereas I’m based in the U.K. There was a lot of software mentioned in the course, not all of which currently works in the U.K., and when something does work it may still be limited to certain aspects, including some of the software Nine University provides for you to use. The Nine University team has really stepped up and helped us out by emailing us and sending videos on what to do and how to work around issues - so don’t feel like you must be U.S.-based to pursue this.
My fifth piece of advice - listen to what they tell you when it comes to advertising. Don’t do sponsored or pay-per-click ads. We’ve made this mistake and it cost us money. Had we listened to Nine University - the people who know what they’re talking about - we wouldn’t have done this, and would have saved ourselves some money while we were getting started.
As I said at the beginning, we’re still fairly new to this. As a company, we’re still learning, and still making mistakes, but the most important tip of all is - don’t give up. There have been times I’ve wanted to give up, but we’ve kept persevering, and we’re reaping the rewards for that now. Nine University has really helped us get our business off to a great start.