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Amazon FBA Private Label Mistakes
Wouldn’t it be great to put in a few hours of work, make a few phone calls and then just watch yourself make money? This is exactly what I had imagined Amazon FBA Private Labeling to be like.
I knew it would take a ton of work up front, but then it would be smooth sailing. Well, in case you need a spoiler alert, that didn’t happen. I made a few big mistakes in the process of setting up my Amazon FBA private label product. I want to share what I have learned since.
My Journey With Amazon FBA
Last week I told you all about my journey with retail arbitrage. The story hit a brick wall of disappointment! I was irresponsible with my credit card and I lacked the opportunity to source product. I knew that I needed to try something different.
Of course, before I even considered giving up retail arbitrage, I had an alternative to reselling big box products: launching my own product on Amazon. This is often referred to as a white label or private label product, and that is what today’s story is all about.
Why Try Private Labeling?
I just knew that launching an Amazon FBA private label product was my solution! If I launched my own brand, I could keep the items in stock easily.
There would also be fewer work expenses. Once I had everything set up, of course. There would be no more sourcing out of pocket, no more eating out or gas expenses.
I could sell as many items as I wanted without ever having to do product research again. All I needed to do was find one great product. Then, create a simple brand. So I went to researching.
The Researching Process
Researching is something that I feel I am pretty good at. I followed some Youtube advice and started browsing Amazon. Making sure to stick with a product that I could relate to for marketing purposes, I ended up in the baby section.
I was stoked when I found a potential product. So stoked, that I chose an incredibly popular product to sell. You might even have one.
I chose to sell stretchy infant covers. Having one of these covers was a game changer for me. When I looked into it and found that they would fit the bill of what I was looking for, I was thrilled. I knew that any new mom would love this product! I could speak from the heart about how much of a difference it made for me, and feel comfortable representing my brand.
Mistake One: Not Following My Gut
Since I had such an attachment to the covers, I thought that it would be simple to market and promote them. But in the back of my head, there was an inkling of doubt.
“What if people don’t buy because they want a different pattern?”
“Is this product already oversaturated?”
I ignored my gut because the success stories said that I could be selling hundreds of these items. I had followed their instructions. The item did meet the criteria I was looking for! At the rate that these covers were gaining popularity, there should be room for everyone right?
The gurus said that all I needed to do was have a better description than everyone else, and good photos. I believed I could do that. So I ignored my gut and attributed it to being nervous about the decision. After all, this was going to be a much bigger investment than I had ever made in my goals before!
Related: How To Empower Yourself To Overcome Struggles As A Mompreneur
Mistake Two: Acting Like A Newbie
I knew that in order to launch my private label product, there would be some investment upfront. I also knew that the potential income was huge, so I decided that I would make the best deal for the lowest price with the manufacturer and just go for it.
After finding the manufacturer that I wanted to work with, I went forward with the cost negotiation. I made several big mistakes in this process!
First of all, I let them know that I was a newbie and one person company. I didn’t do it intentionally, but I am just one of those people that like to lay it all out there in the introduction. It went something like this: “Hello, my name is Keri and I am the owner of a small company that is wanting to serve breastfeeding mothers and mothers of newborns. I am interested in your product and I would like to know more about the process and how we can potentially move forward with a deal.”
This also made it clear that I wasn’t knowledgeable about what to do from that point on. I didn’t see this as making myself vulnerable at that point, but it made it easier for them to get what they wanted from me. Though I never felt like I was being taken advantage of, I now recognize that I lost all leverage I could have had while negotiating!
If I were to do this process again, I would write as if my company was huge and had deep pockets. I would lead them to the impression that I could offer them an unlimited business opportunity for the future. That way, they would be more flexible with cost and quantity. Sometimes you have to fake it till you make it!
Mistake #3: Expecting Too Many Sales
Not only did I mess up with the actual negotiation, but I was naive about my sales expectations. I just didn’t know what to expect. There were so many stories of successful launches, and insane incomes overnight. I had no idea what the actual numbers would be, only what I had heard about from the successful people on Youtube. Nobody else was talking about private label at that point, and not many people talk about what they do wrong.
When I was negotiating with my manufacturer, I thought that if I could lower the price by buying a few more covers, it would be worth it in the long run. My original plan was to buy 100 covers, but I ended up buying 200 covers of the same pattern. They all looked like this:
Obviously, it didn’t take long to realize my mistake. Time and time again, I had people that were interested in the actual product, but they wanted a different print. Moral of the story? Test the product before you go all in! If I had ordered 200 covers in 5 different prints instead of just the one, I bet that this story would be different.
Mistake #4: Not Being Prepared for Marketing
After a few weeks of one or two sales here and there, my anxiety was through the roof! I would check my sellers app every five minutes in hopes that I had sold something. I was getting desperate! My worst nightmare was coming true. Not only was I already in debt from my Amazon FBA risk, but the gamble that I had taken to cover up the previous one was even bigger!
This is the point where I started looking into marketing. I started a Facebook Page and reached out to mom bloggers in a few of the groups that I had joined. There were great responses from the actual bloggers. However, the sales were still setting steady at about one every four days.
I couldn’t afford to run many ads and the few I tried were driving traffic rather than sales. I talked to my followers that I had gotten through those ads with no success. My anxiety levels were fierce, and I was barely sleeping at night. I decided that it might be time to start a blog.
Amazon FBA Private Label
I have learned a ton about marketing, ads, and branding since I started a blog. Many of these skills would have been very valuable in my Private Label journey and could have completely changed the story. I feel like all of the mistakes that I made to get me to commit to blogging were meant to be. My product launching days aren’t over yet, but now I might actually be able to make it work.
All in all, if you are interested in launching your own product, make sure to do your homework. Follow your gut, test your products, and have a marketing plan in place to get that product going from the start!
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