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Show HN: I spent a few weeks building a private label brand for Amazon – AMA
27 points by zbruhnke 9 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 25 comments
Hey there HN!

So for the last few weeks I decided I wanted to learn more about selling on Amazon and FBA - so I did what any normal hacker would do. I bought a website - https://www.chargeduck.com - Wrote some funny copy (Well I think its funny, but I suppose thats subjective) and then I went a step further.

I called up suppliers, had samples made, designed packaging and even through some of that cheeky copy on the box.

As I've been talking to people over the last week or two - especially other entrepreneurs its become apparent that this is a world a lot of people don't understand all that well or even at all.

So I figured why not Show you guys what I did and open it up to questions if you're interested.

I'll hang around for the next few hours and if you're interested I'll even tell you about what my plans are for the future with this and other products!

Looking forward to seeing what you all have to say

Sorry to hog up all the question space but I have another question: can you describe your process in more detail?

Where did you find the suppliers? How did you pick your product? How did you know they could make them? Did you trust them to deliver directly to Amazon? Did you inspect them first?

In other words, if I want to start, say, my own bitcoin branded fidget spinner (that was my idea folks! Back off!) how would I go about doing it?

haha no worries at all!

I started where most people would I think! Alibaba! I sorted and filtered for suppliers that said they could do OEM and I originally contacted about 10 of them - eventually ordered samples from 6 and then when they came in I actually took all the samples apart and examined the boards, the soldering, the wiring etc so I could find which ones were made with higher quality parts and better construction practices.

I had the first shipment sent to my house because I was still afraid after wiring 10k to China I was just going to receive boxes of coal - My next few shipments however are slated to go directly to Amazon because I now feel I can trust my suppliers.

I'm happy to go into more detail if this is helpful?

Yes, this is very interesting.

I wish I could upvote you more so you get a boost but I don't think I can.

So after you went over the parts, you had to come up with labels and branding and packaging. Was the manufacturer able to do all that for you? And this was included in the $11k/2000 = $5.5/unit?

Did you hire someone on upwork to do the packaging?

I did indeed pay someone on upwork to help with packaging design etc. and yes that was all included in the 11k - however my contact at the factory was able to facilitate having all of it made (albeit with lots of photos and emails back and forth for clarification)

are you organically growing reviews?

You should do a blog post on this. How exactly you found and filtered suppliers. How the back and forth went with the design and packaging. Etc.

For me in particular, I am working on a product, I have the oem hardware, and custom software, but need a custom case and packaging made. Would love to pick your brain about that.

Happy to help if you want to shoot me an email (mine is in my profile)

What was your marketing budget and what channels did you target?

Some things you could look at trying:

1. list on other sites: ebay, walmart, newegg

2. advertise on google

3. deal of the day

4. give single use coupon codes to amazon affiliates

5. create a coupon code and give it to various sites.

6. approach review sites, blogggers

7. youtube reviews

long shot but you cold try Facebook advertising to people that have an interest in ducks and iphones.

What supplier did you end up going with? How much did the suppliers charge for samples to be made?

I'll start with some obvious ones:

how much money did you make?

What was revenue and what was cost?

How many units did you sell?

How did anyone ever hear about the product?

Yep these are some obvious numbers I might even should have just shared off the bat!

After Amazon fees, Shipping, etc I will Net about $37k in profit

Revenue will for the first run be just about $60k and Cost was ~$11k out of pocket + Amazon fees, ads etc.

So far only a couple thousand have been produced (More on the way soon!) and most of it started as word of mouth then sort of ballooned! I still don't have any reviews even yet but hope they're coming soon!

I assume -- maybe I should not -- that there are many products that are comparable.

So even at $30/unit, you sold about 2000 units over a few weeks which is (to my mind) pretty good for a brand new product.

You mentioned ads, so what was the ad strategy and were they productive?

Ad strategy was all Amazon based and pretty simple - target keywords like iphone x wireless charger, qi wireless charer, iphone wireless charger etc.

The main reason I think they worked is that most other chargers did not take the time to build any sort of real brand or spend time on packaging etc. when you order most of them it feels like an afterthought but when you order one of mine I think it feels more like an experience for the consumer.

That part was really important to me and I think it probably shines through because people tend to buy the product when they click on the ad form what I can see on the reports

I'm not seeing your ads when I search on those terms. Also, is seems like your price is kinda high compared to other chargers. Guess that didn't seem to effect sales?

not op, but there are people that always buy the more expensive version of something, especially if it stands out among generic variants. This is one of the big motivations for price bracketing in SaaS.

> I will Net about $37k in profit

What timeframe was that profit made in?

"will net" I take to mean hasn't sold all of them, yet.

1. no reviews:

Be the first to review this item 0.0 out of 5 stars

2. Next not a very good sales rank:

Best Sellers Rank #85,355 in Cell Phones & Accessories (See Top 100 in Cell Phones & Accessories)

3. When I plug the sales rank in to get sales per month I get: 21


I'd be interested to see how it goes in 6 months if sales per month go up.

>> How did anyone ever hear about the product?

I am also interested with the answer to this question, thanks

Totally fair question - Most of it started as word of mouth - as sales happen your rank rises in the Amazon search category - there are also some simple things you can do on amazon pretty cheaply (run ads on keywords, make sure your listing has solid photos and I think in general doing FBA is smart because it makes your listing prime eligible)

Did you do research to determine how many you might sell?

I did indeed - I used a few tools like Junglescout to get estimated sales of competitors and scope out availability as well but I also optimized for buying a small enough amount so that if I lost all of the money I would still be OK with having tried it

p.s. this seems like a bad time to hit the front page of HN since Amazon says you only have 11 left in stock!

Haha fair point but they actually have another 900 or so moving to different FC's right now - I suspect they'll be live soon - but even if not this is more of a fun experiment for me and the Show HN was I just thought something fun to talk about with other like minded people - if it generates sales thats ok too but definitely not the ultimate goal of the post

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