Day 24 Amazon FBA – More of the same

More of the same production line but now it’s all set to go. Back hurts. Time for a bath!

Sending the inventory to FBA will allow me to get the buy box for my product – even though I am the only one selling it! I haven’t fully worked out why I can’t do this as a merchant but hopefully this will follow in the next few weeks. Then I can advertise and spike the algorithm.

Labeled up product number 2. you can get FBA to do this for you but for a price. Around 25p per unit. It all adds up but as I am just starting it’s good to get some experience with sticiking.

So the wheels and p2 are ready to be shipped to FBA. Good job.

Day 23 Amazon FBA – Production line – me

So it’s compile and bag the wheels.

  • Paper prined
  • Paper folded
  • Paper pushed into bag
  • Drop nuts and bolts in
  • Seal bag
  • Drop arms and wheels in
  • Seal at bottom
  • Repeat 200 times

Tedious work but hopefully just once a month. Note to self. Get China side to do this for me.

Day 22 Amazon FBA – Instructions

Today was about finishing and printing the instructions. The Indesign work was done. Now with some photography. Now it just needs printing. So the choice was between should I print and finish (fold) this at a printer or DIY? As this was my first venure I went with DIY. Off to buy a printer.

I spent a few hours deciding on this. First of all, all printers look like they could produce the same results. But they all have different prices and different toner prices. Do I go with colour or mono. I might need colour in future but for now I just need mono. AHhhhhhhhjhsgdf.

In the end I went safe and got a £40 Brother printer and I was done with it. A colour printer is future.

Instructions printed. Now an afternoons’ folding is ahead.

Product number 2 arrived! First things first – the wheels.

Day 21 Amazon FBA – Shoot

For a while I didn’t want to touch the parts for my product as I was a bit overwhelmed with the prospect of the manufacturing.

My first product photography day. I had no idea it takes this long for it to look good. First I had no idea how to use the camera then all the images were blurry then they were too pixelated. I eventually sorted it with a long exposure. But with four products in the set it was a bit of a mare.

Then lightroom. Not as easy as Photoshop but only because I was using it for the first time. The results were acceptable but can do better with more time. Cutting out in Photoshop is a mare too. This is how I learned why they use a coloured background in a photo studio. To make it easy to cut out in PS.

Not sure I have the right bags for the job but these will do for the first batch. Big production day so not much to report.

Sent cash via swift to the fabric supplier in China. 30% payment for manufacture. Cross fingers for five days…

Day 20 Amazon FBA – S$%& gets real

So today is the big day of the first delivery of products. Kind of bricking it and it’s all getting a bit real. 18 boxes of wheels and posts. Some were super heavy. Luckily I had a trolley from the old shed so was able to offload the pallet from the roadside. I think I am suffering from imposter syndrome and I think someone is going to tell me off for playing shop.

I sent Cynthia the logo for product number 4 – I lose count. More of a test order but it’s something that I would like for my bike. Turns out it’s cheaper with DHL than with freight forwarder. It’s always worth checking. I think the FF is generally cheaper for sea than air.

Day 18 Amazon FBA – Let us wait

Figured out product XML feeds – Sent all the products to Google. All I need now are products.

Paid for the Shipping fees

Made a start on the bike instructions for installation with Indesign. Now, how do I get this printed?!

My first product has now cleared customs and will be delivered on Tuesday. Finally!

Day 17 Amazon FBA – Socialise

Today is planning ahead for the social media. I converted some of my accounts to business ones and created some new ones. The different channels have different requirements.

  • Facebook – You open a business profile or page within your own profile.
  • Instagram – You create a login to link with your Facebook profile
  • Google+ – Use the existing login and add a professional profile within
  • Tumblr – I needed to create a new Yahoo account for my image posts
  • Pinterest – Create a new profile for the business profile.
  • Twitter – Two separate emails which you can link the two accounts together
  • YouTube – As part of Google but not clear how I create a channel. Stuff seems to take a while to clear the cache.

The geek in me created a Facebook pixel and created an XML feed to FB to create adverts based on my products on the website. All a bit premature but good to know I can do it!

Day 16 Amazon FBA –

Today is a day out to the British Library. Still an imposing building. The IT and membership is super confusing. I managed to get hold of the electronic copy of the BSI British standard document. To check on product No.1 compliance I need to do 2 tests. I’ll record the tests with pictures and video if need be. They’ed better pass!

I wanted to spend some more time down the business and IP centre at the BL, but the thought of being stuck amongst the commuters at rush hour filled me with dread. I left early. I’ll be back.



Day 15 Amazon FBA – Almost there

The bells are now en route from the factory. I didn’t pass on the shipper details to the factory in China but only a minor error. Difficult to know what information is needed when. Or wether they are introducing themselves as the UK freight forwarder or Chineese agent. Anyway Bianyunliang (Eric) has them now.

Got the invoices through for the duty and taxes. I have no idea how this is worked out. It’s as much as the products itself! I’m going to have to work this all out later – and just pay.

Back to the garden while it’s still warm. Some more trimming of next doors trees.

Day 14 Amazon FBA – Oops up

Product mockup sent through but it turns out they decided to use their own font. Another close one. Always worth a double check. I provided an EPS, PSD and JPG so not much excuse to get this wrong.

The FF quote came through for the bells £397. They are now ready for collection from the factory. I now get the point of using a Freight Forwarder. They look after the whole process from beginning to end. You have to be registered with the government to deal with all things importing/exporting. Plus you get the cost up front.

Planning a journey to the British Library to get my hands on a copy of the British standards for Kids bikes and their components. The standard itself to download from the internet is £240. Cheaper to have a day out to the Euston road!