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 9 Amazon FBA – An expensive morning

So I bought my second and third product today. All transactions through Alibaba which should make things more secure. It’s a bit alarming sending all that money across the world but I am comforted by the markup on these items.

I spent some more time on the socks design. Apparently more people seem to buy black than white. I guess you have to go with market forces and what you think is right. I have hopefully made them more distinctive with the updated design. I don’t like the idea of just slapping my logo on. I think most of the guys in China have the app installed because they answer me a long time after home time, up to 9pm (Shanghai time). These will be sent hopefully by rail which should mean I won’t have to wait for two months for them to arrive. Perhaps three weeks.

Next week I will have to stop with the product development and look into marketing for the wheels.

Did some negative scanning for a client but good to know there is still demand out there.


Day 7 Amazon FBA – Grand day out

Today I got my first Notice of arrival from Davies Turner my freight forwarder. This is the notice to tell me the ship is due to be landing at Southampton on 23rd April and it contains my stuff. Apparently everything happens automatically. The FF does this all the time so I am putting my trust in them.

Today I caught up a friend of mine in Greenwich to download all I know from the past week.  Vincent is using the new print on demand service from Amazon which lets designers publish their own work without putting it in a print run. The Brompton bike is now coming into its own now – 30 minutes to Greenwich from Plumstead common.

Once I got back, I sent off artwork for the bell in illustrator format. I adjusted the yellow again. All I need to do now is pay and organise the FF to collect in about a weeks time. Hopefully next time I can order more than 2000 to get the costs down and put it in a nice box.


Day 6 Amazon FBA – Complete work

Bell completed artwork and contacted the freight forwarder to find out about using the train for the bells. I need to find out more of the items for delivery. Weight, dimensions number of boxes and when and where they need to be collected. I just need to make sure the bell colour matches the sticker.

The first FBA shipment went live and sold all 9 horns. I’m not sure how this happened as there are quite a few horns on there already. Perhaps it was a let me know when this is back in stock sale. Perhaps I will find out more about the sale once delivered.

I’m looking to a car accessory at the moment. Odly the sales in this are super high. It’s going out of my usual zone of bikes and outdoors. But who’s stopping me :o)

I find it’s a good idea to develop a business rapport with suppliers so they can get back to you as soon as possible and I don’t have to chase.

Day 4 Amazon FBA – Okay this is getting real

The first product is on its way. I contacted the Freight forwarder to find out more about the process and what the fees might be. They were super helpful and offered to be my freight contact in future to be in better control of the goods and the fees.

They detailed I needed to provide the following:

  • Your VAT & EORI number (extended VAT number)  Number (If you do not have one, you can apply for free here): )
  • Original Bill of Lading (please post one to us)
  • Commercial Invoice (copy)
  • Packing List (copy)
  • 10 digit commodity code (if you don’t know it then please check on this link )
  • Deferment account number if you have one (If not, you can use ours for 2% fee of amount of VAT & duty outlaid to HMRC, with minimum charge of £25)
  • Confirmation of delivery address and hours of opening together with any vehicle restrictions that we may need to be aware of.

HMRC sent me my EORI number within hours; trade tariff site was fairly easy – to get the commodity code and the rest was scanned in and sent.

The good news is they are one of the FFs that deal with the China rail freight which is cheaper than air and quicker than sea. Something else to investigate…

Need to provide artwork and mockups for the second third and fourth products. It’s all good!

Redesigning the logo. I am moving away from Didot to Rockwell. It’s less fashion and more outdoorsy.

It’s in development…

So far, each day is very varied and learning something new everyday especially with importing.


Day 3 Amazon FBA – Okay let’s find some more

Today was more about looking ahead to the second and third products. I’m trying to push what I can afford without spending everything on one product. I have to try and push their MOQ (minimum order quantity) down. Ideally suppliers would like me to order 1000 to 2000, but if the cost is over £3 per unit. It soon becomes unaffordable. I would like to keep orders at 500.

A new amazon feature I found was adding some old and unused books to the amazon store. For me to fulfil once there was a sale. Potentially they might take a year for some of them to sell. But better than chucking them out.

On the first delivery to Amazon, UPS have delivered to Amazon. Hopefully they will be listed tomorrow. Once listed I’ll see about optimising the listings. Lets get some sales in!

Day 2 Amazon FBA – Well that was quick

Today my first FBA order went off in the post via UPS. The driver was delivering something from Amazon so I quickly sealed the box and sent it on its way. Trello is now filled with the next set of products.

In Woolwich I checked out the work space in the Arsenal Archway. Bit of a disappointment. Super basic and very quiet. I was looking for something a little more vibrant. I’ll probably check out the pub instead.

Also found this, Woolwich is on the up:


Day 1 Amazon FBA – A new hope

As of Friday I am now a free man. I quit my job at a well known retailer to try Amazon FBA. It’s been a long time coming and I have been dying to try something on my own. I feel like over the last 15 years in online retail I’ve got loads of experience stored up just waiting to pop out!

So the first day of freedom was full. There is so much to plan and do. I started off with the preparing of the old stock that I had on my old website.

I realised Amazon has changed the way they do Barcodes so I had to reprint them all. Not much trouble but the printer is a bit blury. Hope they scan alright. The Dymo printer is working great. I found the best way of scanning is with the screen grab tool – so good!

Strangely I had the most fun with the plastic bag sealer. 😀 The box is all packed and ready for the UPS guy to collect.

To start with I am using Trello to log all my work and research products. Better then pen and paper or using  my head.

Today has has its extreme highs and lows and sometimes a bit overwhelming . So far so good!