Amazon Product Failure Part 2

Paul Harvey joins us to discuss his Amazon failure and break the myth of everything being shiny and perfect.

There is only so much you can learn from a screen grab of someone’s seller central account.

Dissecting learnings rather than mistakes and education rather than failure.

The product

  • Paul sells a kids musical toy – and been selling for 2-3 years and 50% profit margin
  • Ordered big and see what happens
  • It was selling really well and Q4 was crushing it before his Amazon Failure

What convinced Paul this would be a winner at sourcing?

  • His wife loved the product for their child
  • A lot of Mum’s groups all loved the same product
  • Marketing it would be easy as Paul knew where these audience were
  • Kids toy in Q4 crushes it

How much lost in Amazon Failure?

  • Was a failed starting effect
  • Lost 7 months and £20k on this

Money or time is more painful?

  • Neither, most painful is that Paul knew the mistake he made before he made it
  • Made a massive order (£15k that retailed for a bout £50k) just before Chinese New Year
  • After he placed the order, his last few products in the previous order Paul received a complaint from a parent
  • Their child has smashed the toy and swallowed the ball bearings inside it and had to go to hospital
  •  Lawsuits, etc this was scary
  • The little toy had the bearings in it – but Paul had all the safety checks but they hadn’t covered the little metal bits in the toy
  • The order was just about complete and pre-Chinese new Year
  • Paul had to change up the bundle and apply for new certification
  • This increased the cost by an extra £10k
  • SHipping took longer to get it across
  • Was 7 months inactive on Amazon

Was the claim real?

  • It was definitely real and not a fake seller
  • Paul was contacted on facebook by this parent
  • And the child was fine in the end – which was a huge concern for Paul as a Seller of a child’s product

What happened next?

  • It’s important to have insurance and make sure that when it goes wrong you are covered
  • There is always a 1% defect rate that could cause a problem
  • Paul will clear this stock of this product but then he’s getting out of this field after this worry – he needs peace of mind

Amazon Failure Lessons Learned?

  • To avoid an amazon failure don’t make such a large order – Paul id as it was an established product and wanted to beat new year
  • Don’t get stuck with loads of stock keep it small
  • Make sure your certifications are solid
  • Kid’s toy needs CE qualification, Paul applied for his in China
  • However it wasn’t as thorough as it could have been, the 2nd time he did this Paul found a more through certification that he didn’t know about checking the iron fillings the 1st time
  • Run multiple quality inspection checks
  • Paul knows there are likely 10% of the products are deffective (scratches, etc nothing dangerous) as they have been moved around a lot
  • Don’t let your ASINs go out of stock for more than 7 months – Paul is doing lots of promotions and discounts to try and get it to sell organically but he’s struggling
  • Because it’s been out of stock for so long it’s hard to get it to rank again and stick to get organic sales
  • Could be better off to have launched with a new ASIN – even with losing 200 reviews, they mean nothing if you can’t sell

Three main characteristics in sourcing?

  • Can you sell this product using Facebook Ads?
    • I can use Amazon to fulfil and sell through Facebook on this current problem product
    • Does it invoke excitement or emotion on Facebook for people?
    • If you have dead stock on Amazon you can sell through Facebook
    • Paul is using ads on facebook to stimulate rank in amazon by sending converting traffic to Amazon
    • Doing discount ads on Facebook to bring people to Amazon to by the product
    • Will I make at least 40% profit when I ship by sea – enables Paul to be aggressive on Facebook ads and PPC
  • How difficult is it to copy your product
  • Paul’s product is a bundle of musical toys from multiple factories so hard to copy

Parting Advice

  • Doesn’t matter how experienced you are you still make mistakes
  • Even experienced Amazon sellers still go out of stock
  • Do your homework and think of what can go wrong and prepare to react when it happens

Contact Paul





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