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What if my product wont sell?

Definitely a question that I get a lot would be “what if the product I picked won’t sell?

Sure, there’s always a risk when you pick a product that it won’t sell as expected. The market is getting more competitive by the day and competition doesn’t sleep either. 

However I’ve come to the conclusion that even if your product does not sell as expected there’s always a way to get around this and to get rid of stock or possibly even make a profit (or at least get your costs back).

  1. Sell at cost
  2. Run a promotion at high discount to get some traction
  3. Work with influencers/make use of social media
  4.  Sell on liquidation sites (US)

1. Sell at cost

I’ve had 2 products that just wouldn’t sell. And no matter what I did they just didn’t get any traction. Possibly the need for those products wasn’t there or I was too early with the products. So I decided to sell at cost. Meaning I sold at a price that would at least cover all fees (product cost, shipment, inspection and Amazon fees). In one case I even made a little loss. But seeing the bigger picture with having other successful products it didn’t matter that much. And even if your first product isn’t selling so well you can at least recover your costs (or perhaps with a little loss). 
 
But that doesn’t mean you should give up on Amazon altogether. Matter of fact those 2 products were products I launched in a row and it was disappointing to see them both fail at the same time. But the next product I launched was an instant hit, covering all losses and making me quite a bit of money in the long run. So the worst that can really happen is that you sell at cost and recover hopefully 80-100% of your costs. 
 
2. Run a promotion at high discount to get some traction
 
Once in a while you need to run a promotion to get back into the rankings. Especially if you’ve been out of stock for a while or if a lot of competition comes in over time. I’ve done this a few times on some products to run promotions at 30-50% discount for a few days. Sure I might loose some money on those but getting back to page 1 is worth more than a couple of $ I loose there. You can run promotions / give away coupons in seller central that will show up on your listing in the front end. This would look like this and any customer can apply these coupons:
 
 
While this may be so obvious to do, it surprises me how many sellers don’t do this. Even if you are not in need of getting traction to your listing and running promotions you can still do this. Simply increase/ artificially inflate your normal price by 20% for example and then give a coupon for 20% off.
 
The key here is that the customers think they get a better price and are more inclined to purchase the item. This may sound unethical but believe me retail & commerce (online & offline) has been doing this for centuries. 
 
3. Work with influencers/make use of social media
 
If above two simply don’t work try working with influencers or use your own social media. If you don’t have a lot of social media followers you can easily find influencers that have medium/large following in your industry. I did this a few times and it helped a lot in increasing traffic to my listings. The best thing about social media or working with influencers is that the review (of that influencer) stays online and is traffic for free for the years to come. In some case it may even go semi-viral and you’ve got a best seller in time. 
 
You can find influencers on sites like FAMEBIT.COM or do your own research on Instagram or Youtube. Simply search for the keyword of your industry (e.g. coffee) and then look for influencers that accept reviews or cooperate with brands. Normally these influencers charge, especially those with large following so try looking for influencers with smaller followership. These smaller influencers are even better in some cases because A) they don’t charge for a review because they know they are too small & B) they know they still need to build their followers and usually provide more value and care more about their followers compared to someone who already has 500,000 followers. 
 

On another note I’ve been preaching for years that for having a successful brand you need to be active on social media and build a community there. 

A friend of mine wrote a pretty good book on Instagram and Instagram stories and drills in the importance of social media marketing and how to do it right. Using this powerful platform the right way and to your advantage is crucial, and of course it applies to Amazon and e-commerce businesses. As you you all know I preach all about building a brand and Instagram is a great way to boost and scale your brand. 
This book does not describe how to gain followers and basically build a business on ZERO value, in fact it’s the exact opposite – hence why I am confidently sharing it with all you guys. Definitely a personal recommendation of mine. Pick up your copy here: 

4. Sell on liquidation sites

And lastly you could still sell on liquidation sites at a high discount to recover at least some of your investment. I’ve not done this personally but I know some people that have and quite successfully so.

These sites are great both ways. Sometimes you can get great deals of products on there to sell on Amazon later or sign up as a seller on there to get rid of stock. 

Here are some of the sites that I know of:

1) https://source.com/sell 
 2) https://www.directliquidation.com/sellers-faq/
3) https://www.liquidation.com/index

All of the above are simple to sign up and to apply as a seller. What you’d have to do is to remove your inventory from Amazon to a third party logistics company who can fulfill the orders on these liquidation sites.

Source.com has integrated shipping meaning you can send your inventory to them and they’ll take care of everything. 

I found that many sellers or becoming sellers don’t even start with a product because they are already worried about not being able to sell their product. You need to get over that fear and just start somewhere.

If possible test a smaller quantity from your supplier but the main message here really is just go for it and don’t worry too much! 

To our success!

Manuel 

ImportDojo

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