FBA – Ready for a break

I have tried to experiment with pricing to see if I could get some more out of the unit sales. I went from £12.99 to £15.99 for three days. The unit sales went down as well as the total sales for the day so I reverted back to the old price. At least I know now that it’s on at the right price.

As the bike wheels flash as they go round I have been trying to figure out how to do this. The main image for the wheels has to be a cutout so I can’t use a black bacground in the dark. I used the drill attached to the wheel to create the above colours. I think they look great. Perhaps better than they actually look.

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Over the past couple of weeks I have been sending off big batches of wheels to amazon. Mostly black and pink. About 45% each. I will be going on holiday soon so it will be interesting to see how many sell while I am away.

The training wheels  have remained on the first page of Amazon. This has to do mainly with the sales velocity, sales and reviews. Only 1 review so far. I think it’s time I modified my email requesting review – customising it for the UK market.

I got my Bike handle bar magnet delivered on Wednesday. I quickly created an MVP listing on Amazon with a few basic pictures. It will be interesting to see if there is any kind of interest. The air vent mobile phone holder has been a slow and steady burn. I am hoping this is a bit more unique to the other offerings.

After holidays I am due to get my bells. 2000 units! I am thinking I could sell for £4.99 with prime. That would make £10,000 in sales. This is it seems my plan. Slow and steady and constant sales through the year to smooth out the peaks and troughs.

FBA – Bag to basics

Bit of an annoying on I had to recall my first big shipment last Thursday. I got my first review, and it was a bad one. 1 star and a bad comment. The customer got he package on time but it was missing the wheels and the arms! Instead of contacting me she wrote a bad review. She must have been annoyed! Bascially the packaging wasn’t up to the job. It was quite flimsy and once it gets a cut in it the whole thing opens.

I got a few notifications from Amazon to say that some of the products wern’t fit for selling.  So I assumed it was the bag. I also relised the instructions were wrong once I fitted it on the bike. So with the packaging issue and the potential safety issue I decided the recall everything and start again. I’ll just add the cost of recall to ‘startup costs’!

I cancelled the FBA listing and transfered over to Fulfilled by merchant. The beginning of this week I made a start on the new packaging. Stronger and thicker bag then before. I’m not taking any chances this time. I went with a stand up food bag which you can heat seal at the top. Virtually indestructable. The other lesson I learned is it speeds up the production process which gives me time back for other things.

The socks

So the good news is my socks go into production this week. I signed off the sample and they have the deposit.

I am planning on sending some via express and some by boat. So I can start trading straight away. When these do sell out I will have only a few weeks where I am waiting for the rest to come by sea.

The socks will be bagged and come with a head tag. All items going to amazon have to be bagged. It’s better that china does this then I don’t have to spend time sourcing the bags and bagging!

Car mount

I have been having a few problems shifting my car mount. Turns out there are a few main merchants that dominate the top listings. But I am experimenting with some social and video work. I made a sale in Germany which is a first.

Spending a lot but learning as I go.

The rug

The rug has also gone into production which is great but not without its problems. I sent the cash to the bank address at the top of the invoice but it turns out it was the wrong bank account – an old one. It’s been about 2 weeks where I didn’t know what was going on but finally last night the money has gone back into my account. Around a 3 week delay but I hope they can push on again.

Royal mail

I’ve been signed up to Royal mail business service which looks very complex. It looks a bit pro for my needs. And the website is a total nightmare. They’ve created a series of Youtube instructions on how to use it. If you need to do that there is something wrong with your user experience.

Day 19 Amazon FBA – Notice

I get news the delivery will arrive on Monday.

Fed back on the socks. Important to get samples but do I need to see them in the flesh. Bit of a gamble but I have been able to sort out so far. Bit of a knowledge gap on how the weave works but I am putting it in their hands.

 

Day 16 Amazon FBA – bl.uk

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!

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!