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AS 3: Sending to Amazon using Sea Shipping

22 Jan 2016

Podcast 3: 1st quarter madness analysis on Amazon and Sea Shipping Woes

It’s 1st quarter baby and its January 22nd, and you guys are listening to AmzSecrets. Forget intros, because WE’RE here to get to the point. Down and gritty. Analytical and sciency.

News segment on – bad Private Labeling practices.

Now time for 1st quarter analysis.

5 Things That have been going on in my mind:

  1. I must be ready for 4th quarter come next year. It feels like 4th quarter is tomorrow. That when I calculate production & sea shipping into my equations I only have 2-3 cycles of that before 4th

Basically it plays out like this.

I order product. This takes 3 months. I know that Is a weird long amount of time, but my manufacturer is busy. 3 months is average, at least that’s the time it took on my last order. They said 1.5 months. But it turned out to be 3 months. Thankfully I accounted for delays in production.

What does that mean for my business. I was airshipping in the past, but I NEED TO sea ship to decrease costs. My airshipping for 3000 units, costed me 9000 dollars. That’s a lot of money. My next order is 8000 units, and I need to do sea shipping to save around 15000 dollars.

  1. Sea shipping. My approach to this was actually 10 prongs. I took out a big paper and wrote my options.
  • Option 1: I could airfreight, and be in my comfort zone. Cons: costs me 3000 dollars for every 1000 units
  • Option 2: Sea freight: Costs me about 5000, after customs taxes etc. But I can ship up to 30,000 units in a 40 ft container. Delays would cost me 1.5 months. This would be to my house. My garage specifically.
  • Option 3: Sea freight to FBAForward then they take that to Amazon. Problem is, all I’ve heard from FBAforward is tons of negative reviews, not only that, I get very slow responses from their email team, and their site is pretty bad.
  • Option 4: Sea freight to another warehouse then to amazon
  1. Chinese New Year is upon us. I have about 2700 units and Im hoping that will keep me afloat until April. Chinese holiday is when all the workers go home early and enjoy the holidays from early February to late February. This pushes everything back and delays a lot.
  2. I’m concerned about having enough cashflow to keep my other products stocked as soon as they get here. Cashflow is the name of the game. You need to be able to not only have products listed, but keep them listed with zero downtime. If that happens, I’ve noticed major issues in sales velocity following. It sucks.
  3. Future storage unit, garage, or WHAT! So as 8000 units come in, I’m really trying to figure out how to store all this inventory. My plan is to use the garage as my warehouse. Its’ a 1 car garage but it’ll have to do for now.

And the question of the day that has been asked on AmzSecrets.com:
Been researching private label stuff, but can’t help thinking about patent infringement issues. Has anyone had issues with their private label products in relation to patents?

When I first picked out my product, I ensured, crossed my T’s and dotted my sentences that my product was not patented AT all. You don’t want to have a successful product, and then get either:
1. Banned by Amazon
2. Sued out of existence

Private label has a lot of moving parts, and you need to do your due diligence before picking a product, and executing on it. The best way to do a quick search is

http://patft.uspto.gov/ – Link in show notes.

In addition, look at your competitors. Do they have the exact same product? Do they have patent or Registered marks on their product? Being registered is different from having a patent. But being registered means the business is protecting their logos, copyrights, and potentially their engineering design. So those are good signs to look out for.

One of my competitor puts “Patent Pending on the bottom” of their product. This raised a lot of curiosities on my end? If the patent clears, does it mean I can’t make that product? So I did a ton of searches…turned out they had patented a specific component of their product that didn’t exist in mine.

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