AS 32: The State of The Amazon and Pushing Past Private Label
27 Jun 2016
Today’s podcast, The State of The Amazon, is on expanding your product lines and living past private label. Perhaps one of the biggest concerns I have is creating products that others can source, and my goal is actually to diversify into unique products that not only sell well, but aren’t like anything that exists.
This AmzSecret, is called inventing. Inventing is a tricky endeavor. It’s complicated. It’s expensive. No one ever said it would be easy.
Inventing for Amazon and your business per say, takes guts, creativity, and risk. But with risk, comes great reward.
Lets go over the advantages of inventing. As always I push our community to create brands and not just one off products. With inventions, your adding another product to your brand, and to your line which should improve the health of your brand, and separate yourself from other brands.
Yes, branding does take a lot of work and energy, but that’s your advantage. This energy and work is work that your competitors are not doing.
For me, I’m working on 3 new inventions. It’s important to note not to just create products that don’t exist, but products that add value to customers that current do not exist. For example, lets say you are selling pencils. Is it possible to invent a pencil that never runs of lead. Or a pencil that holds 5 erasers. Or a pencil that is sharper than any other pencil and does not require sharpening. These are all viable inventions. Will they sell well… probably, and does it keep the competition off for at least a year yes.
I’m not saying your competition will sell your newly patented product, but they may decide to invent themselves.
Inventions fill the gaps of other products. They are also not available to private label sellers. They give you at least 1 year head start before anything even comes close to mimicking your functionality or design. And in 1 year, a lot can happen.
So what does it take to create a new product..and not just a private label product.
You have 4 options in this arena:
You need to learn autocad, or some type of 3d modeling software. OR
You can outsource on freelancer or odesk your pencil sketch drawing OR
You can get a 3d printer and prototype
And lastly, you can check with a related manufacturer in the USA or overseas with their design team, as some manufacturers have these.
Once you have your idea, and sketch, you get it into the 3d model. Then you create prototypes. Adjust, readjust and ensure that it is to your standards before going into manufacturing.
Now saying this is probably very easy to do. Having defects in the sample, can lead to a lot of wasteful money in manufacturing. Imagine creating 20,000 units only to find out the plastic is not strong enough, or the unit is too stiff. Whatever may be the issue, ensure you test like crazy during the sampling period.
Sampling your unit is similar to sampling PL units, except, this unit your sampling does not have any PREVIOUS testing. I would say it is not safe to assume that the manufacturer will fully test your product for you.
Okay david, I think I understand, how long do molds take and what are the costs? Well it really depends on how many units your making, as theres all various types of molds. Molds can create your units by the 1’s, or 10s per time, depending on your production rate needed. Also molds get worn out over time, so type of metal needed to make the mold varies based on usage. I believe you can get molds created for as low as 3000, all the way up to 50,000 to 100,000 depending on what you are trying to create.
Okay, so that’s expensive david!? Wtf. Yes indeed, so get multiple quotes and see what works. I like to stick with numbers, and I personally have gotten mold quotes for 8000.
Whew, so ok what’s your criteria for inventing a new product?
Lets stick with the 3 big rules:
1. Create something that adds value to your customer, that isn’t currently for sale. Which means, fixing a particular problem.
- Create something that is related to your brand! Very important. Don’t get distracted and launch a unqiue camera system when your selling pencils.
- Invent something that will make you lots of money. I aim for an invention with potential profits of at least 300k in profit per year.
Once you move forward with your invention, create a provisional patent. This is important to protect your hard work… and even collect royalties from others who try to sell it etc.
In all, creating new products is KING to Amazon. I’m not saying go all out and create the next iPhone. Take baby steps. Don’t invent something that is over your capacity. I like to slowly test the waters, see how things sell, and if it sells well enough, invest back into that product to create more babies making money.
Money is king in this game. Inventing things that don’t sell is NOT smart. Do you research. Be an expert in your niche. If you have a related product selling very hot, it’s a sign to invest to invent and build more unique. You want to stand out of the crowd. Selling on Amazon, and in business is only going to get more competitive.
By inventing, you are on your own island.
That’s all for now guys. Hope you loved this podcast.
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