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.


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!

The Lake District – day 2: The Old man of Coniston 

As the weather was good so we took the opportunity to climb the Old man of Coniston – walking distance from Coniston town centre. First things first, buy a map, tea towel and Kendal mint cake from tourist information. 

The first part is perhaps the most tedious. The walk up the road to the car park at the top. Kind of cheating I think to drive. 

Once at the car park the walk is much flatter as you walk round the foot hills of the mountain. The route I take, which is the most varied. Is to walk round the back of the Old man via Goat water. On finding Goat water you  reach a calmer mood as the valley provides shelter from the wind. Super photogenic and a good resting point for a sandwich and juice. 

The valley is also a popular spot for climbers. On first look there are a few dots of red or blue on the cliff face but then you realise they are people. However the best way for me is to walk through the valley to climb up the well trodden path to the summit. 

On reaching the summit you are literally in the clouds. Seeing the water vapour moving towards you is almost as spectacular as the 360 degree view. From the top you see Coniston, Windemere and all the way to Morcombe$$$$ bay and the rest of the Lake District to the north. 

The Tor at the top is big enough to sit by and get shelter but it can get busy with groups. 

The above stone triangle is an ordinance survey point, used to triangulate positions for creation of the map. 
Not sure if it’s true or not but apparently it’s the only place in the UK where you can see England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales – on a clear day. 

On the way down you are treated to a green copper coloured lake which has an awesome echo. Followed by an old slate mine. Retracing your steps back to the town is a schlep but all worth it. 

After a long walk one needs to undo all the good work and have fish and chips served with a Dandelion and burdock by lake Coniston.