Custom Design Your Own Amazon Products Part 1

Ivelin joins us to talk about how to design your own Amazon product. An engineer of industrial design, Ivelin has over 100 products on Amazon with 9 x Kickstarter products all designed himself.

Looking at points of differentiation for Sellers and moving up from private labelling someone else’s product to developing and designing your own products is what we’re talking about.

The Clever Kebab product allows you to make 16 Shish-kebabs all at once.

The problem being solved was

  • There was only one product on Amazon doing this so Ivelin went down the design your own Amazon product route
  • After checking for patents he saw the patent was expired in 1976
  • So looked to create a product that was more available nad accessible for Home use
  • The product out the e was designed for use in restaurants
  • Ivelin bought the product and analysed it then looked at how he can bring more value
  • Negative reviews gave a common complaint that the bite-size was very small after cooking
  • First mode was to make this a bit bigger
  • Then what else are people using when they use this product?
  • It was a knife
  • So Ivelin added a knife sharper to the product too

Brainstorming problems

  • Ivelin managed to identify six problem he could fix for his target consumers within this one product
  • Where as the original product solved one problem only
  • This enabled Ivelin to reach a wider audience and with more problems solved adding great value

Where do you start with Design

  • Tools used by Ivelin to design your own Amazon product
  • Read the negative reviews to start with for the information on what people are looking for
  • Survey as many people as possible for what they like and don’t like in the product
  • Collect as much info as possible to use in the copy for the product
  • No software used so far

Industrial Designer

  • Hire an industrial designer, from Europe this can be cheaper (Eastern Europe is cheaper)
  • Ivelin hired a guy from Serbia with 20yrs experience and with CAD design skills
  • He did a 3D model of the idea

How to get the design translated from your head

  • You have no idea as an Amazon seller and that is fine
  • Hire someone with the experience to ask you the questions that you don’t know to help you know how to design your own Amazon product
  • They will help with dimensions, wall thickness, materials, etc

First Prototype

  • Used CNC machining to cut through the materials
  • Got a real physical product you can touch and use
  • Used it in his kitchen and had a few barbeque parties to test the prototype
  • Had to re-do the prototype a few times to refine the design
  • Some things you can do with the CNC machine for the prototype can not translate into the end injection moulding
  • All this info is between you and the designer
  • You end up with a product that satisfies you and most importantly give it to as many people as possible to get the whole picture


  • Next step was to test this product on Kickstarter
  • Find out if people are willing to spend their money for this product
  • Friends will all love your product but won’t necessarily buy it, so this step is needed to validate the market

Design Process cost

  • Costs about USD$500 will suffice to get your 3D design ready to do your first prototype
  • Prototype can be from $500-$1000
  • Product dependent and size are key to how you can make it as 3D print is cheaper but means smaller products
  • You can use styrofoam or wood or modelling paste to make a workable model of that product
  • Communication with your designer who works with the prototyping companies
  • They can help you with all of this

Creating Moulds

  • THis can be very expensive
  • Big chunk of metal where you drill through the material to make a cavity
  • More cavities means more expense
  • Bigger products ost more
  • Could be $5,000 to $50,000
  • Clever Kebab product was a three cavity mould and $25,000
  • This is why Ivelin went to Kickstarter
  • This enabled Ivelin to get the funds before he made the product

Crowd Funding

  • By going the crowdfunding route Ivelin was able to leap ahead
  • Had he gone through the cycle of buying 500 units MoQ, selling those out and then getting the next batch in to grow his profits to the $25,000 necessary
  • This could have taken years to get there and have his mould
  • By crowd-funding Ivelin got to his $25,000 much much quicker
  • He had the money for his first MoQ and Production up-front

Value for the Crowd-funder

  • People who invested got…
  • A very different audience
  • Crowd-funders are willing to give money up-front, even several months, before they receive the product
  • They get a discounted physical product as a reward for giving their money up-front
  • They want to be early adopters for these products


  • Usually you have a very high minimum order quantity as this is a new custom design product
  • They will require thousands of copies as running the machine needs a good size run to make it cost effective
  • Can increase costs especially for you to design your own Amazon product for the first time

Protecting the Mould

  • You own the mould and in your contract with the Factory you make that clear
  • Do you take the mould away once the production run is complete
  • Copying the mould is very expensive, even for a China Factory
  • Make them sign a non-disclosure and non-compete agreement
  • Do a design patent which protects what your product looks like, so any copy would need to be modified


  • Three kinds of patent:
    • Patent pending
    • Utility Patent – functionality
    • Design patent – what it looks like, the outside of the product
  • Patent-pending means you have filed for the utility patent and you have a year to file the whole patent application
  • It is about $65 to file for a Provisional Patent yourself
  • Then you have the right to put ‘patent-pending’ on your product
  • With a pen and paper you can sketch your product and describe your invention and functionality
  • Put this in the envelope with your application and post to file for protection
  • For one year this envelope will sit there and not be examined by anyone
  • During this one year you sell lots of product
  • You then hire a patent lawyer to draw up the full patent and extend protection for 20 years

Reduce these costs

  • How can you design your own amazon product with reduced costs
  • Can you create adjustments to existing products but get a patent on it, or how can we reduce these costs a little?
  • Moulds can be re-manufactured
  • Get an existing mould and re-do it a little bit to get a new design
  • This can be relatively inexpensive and lead to new product that solves another problem increasing its value

Starting smaller

  • Done 9 successful products but has hundreds of products
  • Take an existing product and just modify it a little bit or add into the same Mould add another cavity for an add-on to the existing product
  • Private label sellers want to make adjustments that are cheaper to help with cashflow and make it cost-effective to move to modifying existing moulds from re-badging existing products

Starting with Moulds

  • Being able to progress to using a mould and manufacturing your own product is the next step for many private label sellers
  • Start with a small product with a mould that has a single cavity for about $1,000
  • You get all the advantage of getting a unique product into the market
  • A one cavity mould is based on how many parts and each part needs a separate cavity
  • A spoon would be a single cavity with no parts or attachments
  • A garlic press will be two cavity as both sides of it fit together and you will need to pay for ‘assembly’ now to put it together
  • We are talking about injection moulding here which is usually used for plastics

Contact Ivelin

  • Custom design product to design your own Amazon product –
  • Software is helping Amazon sellers to optimise their listings on ToS and Style Guides with keyword research, tracking and drag and drop emails to make your life on Amazon easier
  • Algorithm for machine learning on reviews to read thousands of reviews and tell you in a few simple sentences on what you need to revise, modify and improve on the product


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