If you’ve been following my posts then you know that one of my 2019 goals has been to commit myself to selling my own product; literally buying into my business.
I set out with a specific strategy in mind that I wrote about in December in this post:
Since then I have actually followed all three steps I initially laid out to get started.
1. I sourced my product – I initially purchased a quantity of 50.
2. I put it up for sale on Amazon, EBay, and Facebook
3. I did some marketing for my product and I have already received 3 orders for it!
So I wanted to try to update you on what I have learned so far and how I’m adding to my selling strategy after seeing real products of my own sell.
So, What is my Product and How did I Source it?
It took me a very long time and hours of research and literal soul searching to decide what I should sell. I finally decided on selling an LED selfie light for capturing high quality selfies for social media. Without writing a whole post on how and why I finally decided on this product, these were the main things I considered:
1. The price point of the item at the wholesale cost
2. If the market showed this product had a demand (do people buy it or need it?)
3. What I specifically with my knowledge and skill set could market and turn into a brand
So I actually do not follow the advice that I laid out in my earlier post. I did not source my product from Alibaba. I did do the research using the Alibaba app, and I found a verified distributor that would sell the product to me, under a dollar, at the very minimum quantity they could. That quantity was still 100 and I wasn’t ready for a commitment like that. So I purchased my product in a quantity of 50 from a U.S. wholesale seller in California though eBay.
There was a loss associated with that. Where as my quantity of 100 from China would have made it like roughly $.50 to purchase each light (plus a heavy shipping cost of $44), my quantity of 50 lights from California were $3 each to purchase (with free shipping and guaranteed returns from eBay.)
So while I was just starting out and didn’t even know if I would sell one of these products, it made more sense to get a smaller quantity and to be able to return them if I just couldn’t successfully sell them.
Listing My Product For Sale Online
I was very excited to start listing my products for sale online! I was definitely more excited to start selling on Amazon after all the YouTube videos I watched of people crushing it making 45k monthly and etc.
But, selling your product on Amazon is not easy, listing the product actually turned out to be one of the hardest steps.
In order to sell your own branded product on Amazon it must have a UPC code or an EAN in code.
Amazon only allows the listing of the verified products and they keep a list of those products in what they call their catalogue. So when you attempt to list a product on Amazon you either need to pick one of the verified products in their catalogue or you can get your product verified by submitting a UPC code or EAN code for your product.
If you choose to list a product that already and Amazons catalogue you won’t be able to modify that listing. You can’t change the name to your brand name because it isn’t your product. You can’t change the images because Amazon won’t be able to verify that that is the product.
So if you want to sell your own product with your own company name on it and branding/images, you need to have an identifying UPC code or EAN code for it.
Getting an UPC code is a hefty expense if you’re just starting out, and it wasn’t even an option for me. Getting EAN codes though was a little easier. I purchased 25 of them from a European seller, all verified and free codes guaranteed thru the eBay platform. I can attest to that because Amazon registered my product with my EAN code, as my product branded by “Mizzbehaved” and I have been able to have full control over my listing.
The other main issues associated with listing your product on Amazon are the costs of that listing that Amazon will take when it’s sold, the necessity to have a business selling account (another $40 expense monthly) and the necessity to have your product fulfilled by Amazon in order to be able to compete with other sellers.
Even though I have already sold one product via Amazon I’m going to say that it was the hardest and most expensive sell that I have made so far.
And I still have not gotten my product set up completely to be fulfilled by Amazon. So I will update you after I send a portion of my inventory off to Amazon so it be sold via channels like Amazon Prime.
Listing my products on eBay was a lot easier but also had some challenges..