Amazon Product Failure Part 4

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We welcome back Gil Lang to talk about his Amazon product failure.

Gil has been on Amazon for 3.5 years selling in Europe sports accessories and supplements. Agency helping US Sellers scale in Europe.

One of Gil’s 1st products was a jump rope, his first product. He was in a rush and ordered the jump rope from Ali-express with no packaging or anything.

What convinced Gil this product was the winner

  • It was the good old days in German back then
  • Was in sports and thougt it was a good niche
  • Jump ropes without any tools for analysing Amazon looked like BSR was good and selling well (he thought)
  • Saw 20 ropes and selling for 15Euro and he could buy for $1.50
  • Because the others in his Mastermind were getting their products Gill was in FOMO syndrome
  • For a year it was really good cashflow for Gill
  • US in terms of comeptition is ahead of everyone else, Marketplace no.2 is UK as 2nd most competitive
  • Then maybe the 3rd most competitive is Germany, and Second largest market

Walk through the process

  • Stumbled into this product
  • Ordered 300-400 Jump ropes
  • A bunch of Ziplock bags from Amazon
  • Used printer around the corner for Logos and inlays
  • Sat in front of TV placing jump ropes in Ziplock bags
  • Sent them into Amazon
  • Gave away 20 ropes in one day
  • And was on the 6th spot on Page 1
  • So he ordered more from Ali-express and was packing a lot of ropes for a couple of months


  • German market needs a good quality product
  • Gill knows graphic design and it looked good and professional
  • He then found a supplier who could pack and get them into Amazon

Where did it go wrong for this Amazon Product Failure?

  • Had no branding on the jump rope
  • Had some Asian friends on the listing and they ad the SAME ROPE – exact SAME
  • No adjustment of the  rope by Gill
  • No branding on the JUMP ROPE at all
  • So the lifecycle of the product was short as other people came in and sold it for half the price of Gill’s
  • They gutted the market by these overseas sellers coming into the market and selling it for next to nothing
  • No points of differentation in Gill’s product so couldn’t keep the top spot

Lost in Time and Money

  • Lost a lot of time but didn’t lose any money
  • Gill knowas he could have done so much better
  • Gill lost 2 months in trying to get it up again and rank again
  • Now, Gill has a better feeling for when the lifecycle of the product is over

Amazon Product Failure Lessons Learned are

  • It was a flameout rather than a failure
  • 1. Product lifecycle
    • Longer lifecycle means more money made
    • Need Branding and product development or a bundle to make it differentiated from the market
    • Branding is crucial to having a longer lifecycle
  • 2. Understand when the lifecycle is over and just get rid of it – don’t flog a dead horse – just sell-off and breakeven
  • 3. Don’t package the products on your couch – it’s fun for a night but then wears thin

Key metrics in product selection

  • Look for niches
  • Has sports and supplements brand already
  • Has his own on-line store
  • Metrics are:
    • Does my customer need it
    • Is the price-point right? >€50 selling price

Supply chain

  • Has 3 Suppliers for his existing brands
  • Nice tight logistics across 3 factories
  • Working at a higher price points as a barrier to entry
  • Can sell less units per day but bring in the same level of margin
  • To do this you need higher cashflow

Final piece of advice

  • Go for the long game
  • How can you differentiate yourself from the otehr brands out there
  • Think about a product group and building something up for the customer
  • The more items you can get out of the  same factory at once is better
  • Savings in Buying Power, Co-ordination, Pallet Stacking and freight container shipping

Contact me

  • Facebook Gil Lang
  • COMMERCEAND.EU – agency that helps US speaking sellers to launch and be successful in Amazon Europe
  • Conference coming up – June in Hamburg, Private Label Days – biggest Amazon FBA event in Germany





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