Case Study – How I went from zero to 7,000US$ in 10 days in one of the most competitive Amazon niches

Hey guys, 

Here is an update on the case study. If you followed along in my webinar (Webinar) you know which product I am talking about. 

Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 10.48.21 AM

Before I get into the results I wanted to share a few photos with you of the exhibitions here in Hong Kong last week and meeting up with a lot of fellow Amazon sellers and ImportDojo members. 

I also had the opportunity to speak at the 3-day Global Sources Sourcing Summit event as the opening speaker where I met a lot of fellow Amazon sellers. The atmosphere and networking there was simply amazing.:

IMG_4388

Dinner with a fellow German/Europe seller 

IMG_4460

Heading for dinner with a couple of ImportDojo members and my business partner

IMG_4467

Waiting to speak at the Global Sources Sourcing Summit 

IMG_4468

Talking with a attendee of the Sourcing event

IMG_4469

Trying not to be too nervous during my speech :)

IMG_4478

Walking the Global Sources Consumer Electronics show with sellers

IMG_4525

Arriving in Shenzhen with ImportDojo members to visit a factory

Without further ado onto the case study

Ok so first things first. I would have never thought that this product is so competitive. 

When I looked into it in November 2015 the competition seemed big but manageable and with a superior product I thought it wouldn’t be so difficult. 

Well I can tell you it was quite difficult to get the product on the map. Having said that I am quite happy with my initial launch results. 

I have now sold over 200 units and a sales turnover of nearly 7000$ within the first week of the launch

And the best thing, I am now number 7 on the best seller list and on page 1 for my main keyword. 

Here’s how I did it: 

When I started this project there were about 30 something sellers with similar items and I already knew it will be quite competitive but I was in for some real tough competition. 

I am not going to lie, this was a though one. 

When I launched there were about 120+ sellers of similar items and my main key word was VERY VERY competitive (over 3 Million searches per month) and I would need a huge launch to kick it off. 

After my initial boost with my email list, bloggers and Facebook group I realised I needed help to push it. 

Here are some of the numbers: 

Start of the project: 17th of November 2015 (Chinese New Year added nearly two months to my production) 

End of the project (launch): 12th of April

Length of the project: ~5 months. It can be done in less time (2-3months) especially if you don’t forget to place orders before the Chinese New Year :) 

Total order value of product: 4500$ (1000 pieces at 4.5$) 

Total cost of inspection, photography, layout and packaging: 949$

Total cost of shipping: 2650$ (~900KG by Air – thats 2.94$ / per kilogram) 

Total cost: 8099$

I figure if you are on a smaller budget you can do 500 pieces, cheaper photos and white box instead of color box (ike mine) and you can halve the costs of my 8000$. 

BUT to really maximise your profits I suggest a starting budget of minimum 5000$ per item. It is possible with less but a lot harder. 

Alright, numbers, milestones, strategies, giveaways and results after 10 days of launching in order of action taken:

Friends and Family: 95% of coupons used

11 sales at 98% off. Helped definitely to put me on the map and ranks of Amazon. 

Facebook groups: 

3 sales at 49% off. Not much but can’t complain either. None of my Facebook groups are Coffee target groups. 

Blogger list: 

About 23 sales (with 20% off) resulting in a profit of 180$. Deducting the advertisement fee for both bloggers @50$ each leaves me with a profit of 80$. Not bad BUT the sales of the product and climbing the ranks trough these sales is MUCH MUCH more important to me at this stage. PLUS my product is embedded on the Blogger’s pages permanently so I am expecting more sales and traffic to come to my listing “for free” from here on. 

My email list: 

8 sales. Not great but my email list are mostly NON Amazon buyers and retail customers mostly. But either way, I just needed to send out 1 email that took me 10 minutes to write and I got 8 sales from that. 

Twitter:

0 sales (980 followers) I guess you really need to have targeted followers. 

Instagram: 

1 sales (150 followers) I guess you really need to have targeted followers here as well. Most of my Instagram followers are friends or family and I only have personal photos on there usually. Create a new account that targets your product category. 

Reviewkick: 

Screen Shot 2016-04-23 at 2.43.58 PM

My product got buried quite quickly in the “new products” section but you can boost your item to the top every 3 days or so. So far everyone who took the coupon has bought AND left a review. So thats a 100% conversion on reviews. 

It also boosted my ranking but difficult to say by how much. I guess you can leave your product on there forever and boost it once in a while to keep your BSR at a good level. Anyway, its free so I recommend you to try it definitely.  

Spikelisting: 

spike-listing-logo-v2

Spikelisting’s boost took about 90% of coupons. Difficult to track the reviews but I would say 85% of those left a review so far. Spikelisting helped me from #56,000 to #16000 in Kitchen and Dining. You might think thats a huge boost but it isn’t so difficult to climb from 56,000-16,000 as opposed to from 16,000-10,000 for example. It’s much more difficult the better the BSR and you need to make serious sales to get into the Top 1000 within Kitchen and Dining. Either way give them a try if you need a initial or during sales boost. Their boost definitely helped me and if I were already on page 2 at this stage this would probably help to put me on page 1. 

I needed one more push. 

logo-horiz-350

Zonblast’s result took me by surprise. 98% conversion of coupons and the boost put me on page 1 within 7 days and my BSR from #16,000 to #1320 in Kitchen and Dining. Yes thats right, my product climbed to rank #1320 within a week in one of the biggest categories on Amazon and hovered there for a few days. I’ve never had any climb that fast on previous launches and THAT immensely helped on getting organic sales. 

Zonblast also used a “heat seeker” URL with my main keyword that pushed my listing to page 1. Contrary to many other review sites, boosts and pages that help you climb the ranks, Zonblast boost your product over the course of 5-7 days which essentially helps more than just a 1 time boost or give away (in my opinion anyway). Zonblast put me on page 1 within 7 days and my BSR from #16,000 to #1320 in Kitchen and Dining. Zonblast’s COO Anthony Lee (who I had the pleasure meeting in person last week here in Hong Kong) was a huge help. He provided keyword research, analytics and was always there when I had questions. 

Conclusion of tools and services to boost your product:

  1. Friends and Family are important for intial boosts. 
  2. Reach out to bloggers and advertisement services. 
  3. Build your Amazon customer email list asap. 
  4. Grow your social media (FB, Twitter, Instagram etc.) from the beginning and target specific interest groups from the beginning (relating to your product). 
  5. Use tools and services to help you. 

What service worked best for me and what is my personal favourite: 

Zonblast is the No.1 tool/service on the market 

Why and when you should use them:

A: launching in a very competitive niche (your product should be superior if you launch in a competitive niche)

B: pushing your product on page 1 in a matter of a week to 10 days (no guarantee there but it worked in my case) 

C: trying many different things to get to page 1 but you just don’t get there.

NOTE: 

I will give AMZtracker a try next week to boost and see how far this product can climb. I’ve been excited giving them a try but I haven’t gotten around it this week. 

Also I wanted to wait and see what the others can do so that I have a clearer picture of what AMZtracker can do for me. I am super excited to try them next week and push my product even further in the rankings. 

Will give you an update asap. 

Some more numbers: 

Reviews so far: 

38 – 5*-reviews 

1 – 4* review (customer received a broken handle but I immediately sent him a replacement without blaming transport or anything so he left me a “stellar 4* review) 

Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 7.03.45 PM

Ranking:

Top so far: 1320 in Kitchen and Dining

Currently: 5400 in Kitchen and Dining

IMG_4367

Category: 

Top so far: #7 in french presses

Currently: #25 in french presses

Sales: 

Total Sales so far: 6548$

Toal Units so far: 219 pieces

IMG_4567

IMG_4568

AND Currently averaging 8-12 ALL ORGANIC sales per day 

Next steps:

Activating PPC:  Start with a automatic campaign and check the report after one week. Use the most searched and effective keywords in your automatic campaign and set up a manual campaign with these keywords.  

Conclusion:

Remember, before you get to this stage you need a superior product and the prerequisite is that you have a great supplier, excellent quality, the right strategy and take your time with the process. Key is to take action but don’t forget important steps when dealing with the supplier such as exclusivity agreements, purchase order contracts, background check and lots more.  

Check out my webinar where I walk you trough my process on how to get a superior and safe product from China. 

I am quite happy with the results of the case study and I could have climbed trough various strategies slowly but above services definitely helped getting the product on the map fast and hence resulting in great organic sales after week 1.  

Matter of fact at this velocity of sales I need to re-order within the next 2-3 weeks. 

Now imagine your product is in a less competitive niche what’s actually possible on Amazon FBA. Take action now :) 

If you are interested in the entire case study looking over my shoulders with each step I took in every detail feel free to check out my course. I have detailed and documented every little thing from the beginning to the end in over 50 video tutorials. 

From the research phase to finding a supplier, evaluating them, placing the order, booking inspections, margin calculations, exclusivity agreements (so you guys don’t try to copy my product :) ) and arranging straight to Amazon shipments until the launch of my product. I am taking out all the fear and worry in the process and show you how it works. 

The point I want to get you to and with this case study is that you can see a complete product launch that starts from finding the right product, the right supplier and shipping it to Amazon, promoting and selling it.

Best thing about this, I’m using my own money and will try a lot of different things so you can see what works and what doesn’t and learn all this without running your own trial and error experiments.

If you don’t sell yet simply watch and see and all your worries and anxiety of placing your first order will be gone because you already know everything step by step.

Apply these methods to your own product idea and become a professional Amazon seller and importer. 

Whats more? This case study is on top of the already existing 50+ video tutorials, templates, private Facebook community and 2 hours of one on one coaching with me personally. 

Check it out here: https://importdojo.com/importdojo-masterclass/

All the best and happy sourcing,

Manuel

Leave a comment



michael

1 year ago

Great Results Manuel. Your attention to detail is superb. I can’t wait to check out your step by step videos.

Manuel

1 year ago

Thanks Mike! Will update the members section with the launch steps soon 🙂

Alex

1 year ago

Thank you Manuel for sharing your case.

Let’s make also an analysis to the top product of the category: the DECEN French Press Coffee Maker. Listed since the Dec 23rd, 2015, with only 16 reviews and a not exceptional listing is at the top of the category, beating products with thousands of reviews.

What’s the secret in your opinion?

In my opinion it’s not about PPC. I think these guys are buying their own product everyday.

Manuel

1 year ago

Good question. These quys either have super high PPC costs or boosted their product trough a huge list…Not entirely sure.

Ed

1 year ago

Brilliant start Manuel. Will be following along.

Johnny Wong

1 year ago

Thanks so much. Realizing i dont know all that much about selling on Amazon. Will look into your class now.

Sorry, some newbie questions:

Please explain what you mean when you say “95% of coupon”? Is that 95% of the time, sales were made because of a coupon incentive?

You say to collect amazon email list. But how do you do that, because amazon doesnt reveal the customer’s email for you to collect in say a Mailchimp?

Manuel

1 year ago

Hey Johnny,

What I meant was that 95% of the coupons that I gave out were used. When you use some Facebook review groups for example I had a percentage of 60%…

You are right, you can’t collect emails this way. What I meant by my email list is:
You build a site or a blog, talk about the subject of interest (coffee for example), give something out for free (like a free eBook) and collect email addresses.
Hope this helps 🙂

Carl

1 year ago

that is an awesome case study Manuel, keen to follow along. I am interested though where you find air cargo rates as low as 2.94$/kg? Any suggestions on forwarders, etc?

Manuel

1 year ago

Thanks for following Carl! Years of business and good relationships with my own forwarder 🙂

dntmb

1 year ago

Thanks Manual, I’ve never try Zonblast and Spikelisting before but after your review and comment its on my test list. Thank you. 😉

youcef

1 year ago

That is very nice Manual, thank you for the detailed acrticle. My question is how many giveaways did you in total? (including FB, Zoneblast, friends, spikelisting…) , and from those how many did you do using only Zoneblast during the 7 days? Thanks

Manuel

1 year ago

will give an update on how many coupons and giveaways were used in my next post as it is not 100% finished, stay tuned 🙂

Bob

1 year ago

Mind blowing excellent work. You’ve really demystified
the entire process from idea to cash from FBA with this
fantastic case study.
Thank you.

Florian

1 year ago

Das ist doch mal ein sehr gelungener Start. Ich denke man hat jetzt noch die Chance auch bei stärker umkämpften Produkten einzusteigen – in ein paar Monaten wird es anders aussehen. Ich würde grundsätzlich keine Produkte launchen, die wenig Suchvolumen haben oder wo ich dann selbst auf Platz 1 meines Hauptkeywords nur 100 Stück im Monat verkaufe bei einem Durchschnittsgewinn von 5 – 10 Euro. Man sollte sich schon auf die attraktiveren Artikel stürzen – aber wie Du schon sagst, dann ist das eben auch teurer und unter 5000 Euro macht das dann tatsächlich wenig Sinn.

Manuel

1 year ago

Hi Florian! Stimmt ganz genau 🙂 Denke das unter 5000EUR wenig Sinn macht, die Zeiten mit 1$ Artikel und einem Budget von 500$ sind vorbei.
Das war ja jetzt schon schwierig…
VG
Manuel

Andy k

1 year ago

Manuel nice case study. How do you research /verify the products so your not infringing on IP. It could be devasting to buy 10k worth of product and get delisted from FBA.

Thanks
Andy

Manuel

1 year ago

Hey Andy,

Good question. I guess experience goes in there. What also helps is looking on Google patents.
Look for obvious signs that tell you this is a uniquely designed product and if so – hands off.
Unfortunately there is no site that really tells you if its IP.

Hope this helps 🙂
Best,
manuel

Muhammad

1 year ago

Hi Manuel,

I just love your writing style and the way you explain everything…I love the transparency.

Can we meet in China for a small meeting at the end of MAY? I’ll be happy on a cup of coffee with you and we can know each other

Let me know if that’s possible! I can add you on Skype then 😉

P.S. Already friends on Facebook 🙂

Manuel

1 year ago

Hello Muhammad,

Thanks for the feedback 🙂
Be happy to meet you but I won’t be in China end of May, only HK until 31st and then I am off for a business trip.
Let me know if you can make that.
Best,
Manuel

Nadir

1 year ago

Hi Manuel..
I was hopping when you mentioned the “Blogger list” (About 23 sales (with 20% off) resulting in a profit of 180$..) to give us the favorite blogger sites you used…
Can you give us some sites urls?

Manuel

1 year ago

Hello Nadir,

I researched them for this particular product. There is no “list” as such. For each product launch you have to research your own bloggers. My coffee blogs would not fit your product anyway right? 🙂 You can also check out https://www.tomoson.com/ which has a list of bloggers 🙂
All the best,
Manuel

Hannan

1 year ago

Hi Manuel

Thank you for the great content. I just wanted to mention that the webinar link mentioned in your post is no longer working. It would be great if you could reinstate it so that I could get a chance to see the background to this product.

Many thanks

Manuel

1 year ago

Hi Hannan,

Video will be back public in 1 week 🙂
Best,
Manuel

Mark

1 year ago

What happened to the sales rank? Did you stop PPC or did you realize there’s a certain number of units per month you have to still give away?

Manuel

1 year ago

Hey Mark,

Out of stock for over 10 days now. I posted an update here:
https://importdojo.com/7-weeks-case-study-update-i-am-out-of-stock/
Best,
Manuel

june

1 year ago

Hi Manuel ,

Did you conduct both at the same time or did you do it in order?(review , spikelisting, zonblast ) and There are several courses(brozon, silver, gold ) may I know which course you took? Or, could you let me know which one is appropriate to choose?

Manuel

1 year ago

Hi June

I did review kick and spikelisting in week 1 and Zonblast in week 2 (for 1 week) with what is called a “wave” from the Gold membership.
I would say that if you want to go for a promotion with Zonblast the most effective way would be their “wave” and I think you need at least “silver” for that. Please check with them 🙂 Also I recommend that you have at least 50-100 units for a giveaway if you want to go with them.
All the best,
Manuel

Yassin

1 year ago

Hi Manuel,

Awesome Case Study! At what page where you before you did the wave with zonblast?

Kind regards,

Yassin

Manuel

1 year ago

thanks Yassin!
I think it was page 3 or 4 of MY “target” main keyword and page 7 of the main keyword. 🙂
Best,
Manuel

Mike

11 months ago

1) What discount did you offer on your giveaways? Were you giving away your product completely free in order to get reviews and the ranking boost?

2) Was your ranking boosted because of the reviews you received or as a result of the purchase volume increase from customers using your coupon code discounts?

Manuel

11 months ago

1) I mostly gave away for 1$ on the big giveaways (Zonblast) and about 40% to my list and Facebook groups
2) Boosted because of the purchase volume. But the more reviews you have the more confident potential customers will be as well

Hope this helps 🙂

mihai

11 months ago

hi Manuel, i want to do the same thing like you, i am new with amazon and i want to know how much products you giveaway by zomblast from your 1000 products?
I also have a stock of 1000 products and i want to make a plan .

thanks!

Manuel

10 months ago

Hi Mihai,
I gave away about 90 pieces through Zonblast (~10% of my inventory at the time).
Hope this helps 🙂

ImportDojo

Contact Info

18/F., Blk. B, Tung Luen Ind. Bldg. 1 Yip Shing St., Kwai Chung, Hong Kong

mail@importdojo.com

Copyright 2017 © All Rights Reserved

Join Importdojo now for FREE and get access to the ImportBible and more.
Get Started