Day 12 Amazon FBA – Change of mobile plan

The ship has arrived in the Algeciras port on the coast of Spain near Gibraltar.

Turns out the URL has gone for phones&co. Should have checked it before. Quick change of gear to mobiles&co. A close shave! It’s costing $17 to fix but worth the quick amend.

I changed the product reporting spreadsheet to be more accurate and deal with changes of price if I decide to do a sale. Also if they price of the unit changes.

Day 11 Amazon FBA – Life admin day

Life admin and errands today.

Fabric sample arrived today from China. Seemed to only take a couple of days. Looks great but have some feedback. Looks a bit wonkey but might just be an oversight.

More sock samples ordered. I have to be patient for the orders. Too tempting to get them just manufactured.

I got the quote for the sock freight. Quite pricey for the train but still cheaper than air. I will have to sit tight and go with Sea.

Day 10 Amazon FBA – Italy kicks it through

Created the listing for my product set to arrive on 23rd April. Product number 1 is almost with us. Now they have got out of the Suez canal they’ve put their foot down. Infact it looks like Italy has kicked it through the med.

Over the weekend I got my sample pictures through of product number 3. Looks great with the white logo and red background.

For the socks I am going to be patient and order the sample. I should be able to see what it looks like from pictures. I don’t have a need to see it in the flesh. That would take a few weeks by air. – I could be wrong.

I made a mistake with the Scout bags. Two of them have the same bar code. So this caused confusion with FBA. To resolve this I duplicated the product and changed the image. I think there will be a cost to fixing this. But a valuable lesson learned. Not something that can be learned in a book or from a Podcast.

I requested quote for the bell from the middle of nowhere to Plumstead. The bell sample also looks good. Funny how the guy who’s doing all this work, I will never meet.

Not to mention
Finding some new structural engineers and three contractors for the house work.

A good start to the week!

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 6 Amazon FBA – A new week

Okay so I didn’t plan Monday but still loads to get on with. Still working on second and third products. Creating and sending Illustrator files over and paying deposits for product samples. I seem to be spending money here and there freely at the moment but it all has to be done.

Purchased today

  • Product photo booth and some lights
  • 1000 poly bags for the first product
  • Packing tape and dispenser

I hope that’s it for now.

I signed up officially as a self employed person and sorted out the tax stuff.

I thought this was a bit of a nothing day but turns out I’ve done loads.

Day 5 Amazon FBA – Prototypes

Sent off a few photoshop mockups of the products to China. They are going to get back to me on if they are do-able and the price.

To find out when I might need to order some more products I projected how long my stock would take to run out. I think I will be okay until September. Though it all depends on real sales!

A load of conversations about shipping and getting the gear from the port to the house. Let’s leave this for when it arrives.

First week was topped with a visit to the Bermondsey beer mile. Feeling a bit mentally fried so this helped. How come we hadn’t come across this before?!

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.