How to Start Selling On Amazon

Really, I am no expert at this but my friend Gigi asked me a very simple question the other day… “How do I start?” and I figured instead of just telling her one time, I’d make a post here so she can refer to it MANY TIMES.

  1. Go and buy some UPC Codes because that’s the only way she can list new items on Amazon.  There are quite a bit of companies that will offer you UPC codes to buy, however, I’ll just show you what I use.  You can get them here at this company called bluesnap.
    1. What is a UPC code? “UPC (technically refers to UPC-A) consists of 12 numeric digits, that are uniquely assigned to each trade item. Along with the related EAN barcode, the UPC is the barcode mainly used for scanning of trade items at the point of sale, per GS1specifications.” – Wikipedia
  2. Sign up to Jungle Scout.  Here they give you ALL the data you need to figure out what type of items you should source.  They give you amazon’s seller data, as in, how many units sold per month of a particular item so you know if the market is good to enter it or not.  Yes, I shamelessly created a commission affiliate link.  I use the program myself so I am 100% fine with promoting it.  High quality online software.  Haha, sign up here to Jungle Scout.
  3. Choose the category you might sell in and GET PERMISSION FROM AMAZON to sell in that category.  How do you do this?  Buy 3 separate items from a company and take a picture of the receipts and then go to Amazon.com, sign up for a seller account, and when you apply for permission, send them a picture of the actual shipment/invoice paper you receive.  You will need your UPC codes you purchased as well as a picture of your delivered item’s invoice paper.
    1. I use this company to buy some items from https://www.pricemaster.com/.
    2. Make sure you get approved BEFORE you order your items from alibaba.
  4. Go and make an account on Alibaba.com.  Start looking for items that look similar or almost exactly like the ones you found on Jungle Scout.
  5. Talk to the supplier, ask them if how much it costs if you
    1. Put your own Logo on the item
    2. Have your own box plus logo created
    3. Can they do logo + box in house? If Yes, that is best.
    4. Get several quotes from several different suppliers.
  6. Order your item and have it shipped to you
    1. Get a professional camera and take REALLY nice pictures of the item, use Photoshop to edit it.
    2. Go to your amazon seller account, list the item with your UPC code.
    3. Make sure within the first few days, keep prices low/at cost to increase selling momentum.  Make sure you get people to REVIEW your item.  Amazon prioritizes items that sell and have good reviews.  Do whatever you can to make sure the momentum of your launch is high.
      1. Amazon discourages direct link purchases so make sure people purchase with a keyword for your item as if they are searching for that item.
    4. If you are doing FBA, you need to send it into an Amazon warehouse (make sure you do all the research because Amazon charges a higher fee if you fulfill with their warehouses), if you are doing FBM, make sure you are on top of fulfilling and shipping out your own orders.
    5. Answer all your customer’s question within 24 hours.

That’s the gist of it for now.  Some of my friends are massive amazon behemoth sellers (they sell millions/year) and there are literally a billion “How to Sell on Amazon” courses out there. HAHA.  This is the way I know and I hope this helps you get started.  I might have missed something as I’m just typing this from memory, so let me know if there are steps I’ve excluded.

If you are on a budget, I’d recommend going through ANY amazon selling courses on Udemy.com or just Google It.  I suck at following courses so I will not recommend to a my friend things I don’t follow through with myself.  I am OKAY at googling.  So I’d recommend Google or… ask a friend. =)


Goals for 2015 – Number 1: To remove myself completely.

You got me sippin’ on something
I can’t compare to nothing
I’ve ever known, I’m hoping
That after this fever I’ll survive
I know I’m acting a bit crazy
Strung out, a little bit hazy
Hand over heart, I’m praying
That I’m gonna make it out alive.

 

I love the melody of that song.  Not so much the melancholic meaning of it all.

A lot has happened since about a month ago.  I haven’t posted anything for January and before the month is over I told myself I’d get something up at least.

I feel like I am eliminating most distractions out of my life and just mainly focusing on two things at the moment.  That is namely rebranding my old site to AUTOPARTS LAB.  I started the social media accounts for AUTO PARTS LAB and I’m positioning myself to switch my entire eBay store over to the new name.  I was wondering why for the longest time I’ve been putting off marketing my old site in any manner and that’s because I’m a stickler with names.

AUTO PARTS LAB will be hip and funny and interesting once it is launched.  I already had my developers set up the site, a few virtual assistants are working on the social media accounts, and things are moving along.  For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about it’s a company I started a little over a year and a half ago.  It went from garnering less than 1K in sales a month to now 10-11K steadily at minimal commitment.  This is with no social marketing.

I’m going at this full force so I’m hoping to push sales to 20K/month within the next four months [this might be a bit of a reach].  My competitors might be laughing at me on how slow I’m growing this company… but I go at my own random pace.

Super Fast Listings  was a company I co-founded with Ron and we recently garnered another subscriber to that business.  Making a total of 8 paying subscribers if no one cancels.  It is a software/excel sheet available for download.

We launched I believe July of 2014.  This was 2014 sales.I am also by default still improving my rock climbing abilities and taking it 1 week at a time.

I’m going to tackle trying to make money online and so far I have two areas that are semi-working for me.  Am I making real money?  No, I’m not.  Every cent I earn goes back into the companies.  So that’s why this is not enough until at least another 6-8 months of effort channeled into pulling away from the business.

I recently spoke to the CEO of a competitor and after 5 years of work he is starting over from scratch again – he can afford his expensive toys of course (by now) but he fired everyone and had to start from scratch – still chugging away at the daily grind.

I don’t want to be in that same position.  Many have reached freedom one way or the other.  Many do not want freedom because they are happy with what they have.  Many chose a limited freedom.  I want to walk towards a  type of freedom that is generous on my wallet and easy on the soul.  In documenting my efforts maybe it’ll help someone realize their own desires to be free as well.  Chris Ducker’s work is going to help.

I wish I quit school while in college and started companies a long time ago.  The reason I did not is because of my parents’ completely traditional almost crippling attitude of choosing the safe route – “BE A DOCTOR! BE A PHARMACIST!” or just chalk yourself up to being a complete failure.  The other reason is I was a too afraid to go out on my own and just do it.

I am comfortable not becoming a doctor or pharmacist because while I was studying for those classes and taking those tests … none of it made me happy.  I imagined my future and just dreaded all of it.  This made me change my mind a dozen times throughout college and take classes that were a waste of my time.  It was not my calling but I kept going at it hoping that someday a light bulb will go off in my head and a warm glow starts resonating in my heart for being what my parents wanted me to be.

Well SCREW all of that.

 

I have my own private online journals as well as my physical journals which I use to document my failures or successes (or emotional outbursts/breakdowns).  The reason why this is public and I’m not afraid to put myself out there is because ALTHOUGH I am not yet truly successful, I have talked to many friends who have tried again and again to make some type of living outside of their 9 to 5 job without a pint of success.

Can I help you now?  To a very small capacity in that maybe I can show my direct friends what is possible.  In 6-8 months I’m hoping to be able to actually help because by then I’ll have everything set up more correctly [assuming best case scenario].

Goals for 2015:

1) Put in all the steps enough to truly remove myself from my main business.

2) Help others get started (If they want to).

3) Start a podcast

4) Write an ebook.

It is quite boring and almost depressing to merely survive as I go about building this business and other businesses.  It was so depressing at some points that I even hired a therapist to help me with my personal as well as professional life.  I even went and hired a personal trainer to help me cope with how my body was taking everything (different city, different weather, forever-alone feeling).  I want to feel grateful and surrounded even in the solitude of a job where I am 99% on my own.  Maybe one way to get there is to help others realize… yes.. you can do this too.  Yes, my motive is very selfish.  I am tired of feeling alone.  I always tell others, “It’s not rocket science! You can do it too. Easy,” but I don’t provide any tools for them to start and realistically I just don’t have to energy to devote in order to truly bring them massive success.

I’ll only share what works for me.  There is plenty of free information about creating money somehow online, many of them might be scams or gimmicks and none of those will apply.

THE POINT IS (If you think everything was TL;DR):

1) I don’t know how to make MASSIVE amounts online because I have implemented only 10% of what I know so far and I’ve yet to execute on the 90% that is advised of me to do.  But I’ve started and I’ve earned TINY small successes which are real.  None of it was earned by tricking anyone or by being gimmicky.

2) I want to stop feeling alone.  So I’m going to share pretty much everything to see if it helps anyone and EVENTUALLY when I am more on my feet – I will be able to genuinely help without feeling guilty of the half-assed nature of it all.  And by helping maybe I’ll feel a lot less alone.

3) To never. stop. moving.  To continuously strive to be more healthy physically, mentally and spiritually (I bought this device to help me meditate).

I will choose to stick to an update schedule.  

I will update EVERY week on WEDNESDAYS.

 

I guess that’s all.  If you like to join this journey with me and have posts delivered to your email… sign up below:


The Momentum

The momentum matters.  And not caring to fail matters.  At least that’s what I’ve learned. Crawling out of my auto dismantling hole for a bit to check on other things I’ve started months ago I noticed.. oh sh*t!  There is genuine TRAFFIC to the other sites!  Time to improve on them some more…

I chip away at each thing whenever I can for however long I can.  Sometimes there is no chipping away at all.  But it’s better to throw it out there then to have it be absolutely nothing…residing in my head.

What failed for me:

I hired a bunch of people to post on social media accounts – this is a MISTAKE.  Hiring random people to post for you really hurts your reputation and decrease the number of users to subscribe.  Our subscription numbers went down dramatically because … well, people are smart.  They can tell if something feels scammy.  Our product is not a scam at ALL but seeing grammatically incorrect posts coming from India did not help our reputation. DO NOT DO IT!

Sourcing out EVERYTHING was a bad idea.  Sometimes you just have to do the work yourself because at the level of a founder you see 1000 details that needs to be attended to and at the next level of a hired out manager, they only see 100 details at most.  Kind’ve like how James Altucher were his first 200 users for one of his websites.  A website that later grew to thousands of users.  Do not be afraid to be your first 200… something (users, reviews, posts, etc.)

Not focusing on ONE thing DOES NOT WORK! (Like the double negative?)  I focused on too many different projects and end up abandoning all for 1. Once I believe I provided adequate care for 1 I can poke my head up to look around to see if the rest are still standing.

What I’m going to try:

Actually try more tactics/techniques – put in the time for these techniques now, they will pay off later!

Publish an eBook, any eBook about stuff I want to talk about. Who cares if no one buys it.  I’m going to do it.

If I have an idea – I’m still going to set something up.  I’m still going to erect something and put an effort into growing it whenever I can.  HOWEVER … this time… I’m going to do background research on how to approach it the right way & I’m going to focus on the details a bit more before implementing techniques.  Everything will still launch, no matter how messy.  Techniques will be tried with a more careful eye.

Traffic numbers for the random websites started because failing doesn’t matter:

Went down from $2K. OH WELLS!

Went down from $2K. OH WELLS!

Went up from $0. Yay!

Went up from $0. Yay!

Went up from $0. Yay!

Went up from $0. Yay!

3) Coming up next –

Yup.

(dot) com. Yup.

WELPS.  That’s all folks.  A very short post but at least I made one. The message here is: JUST DO IT.

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays!


 How To Outsource Using Odesk or Elance

First of all.. everyone and their outsourced MOMS communicate through Skype.

So download Skype and set up an account.

THEN….

1) Create a job on Odesk or Elance… you don’t need to fuss so much over who to choose.  They’ve since merged… so you are just dealing with the same company anyway.

2) Make sure you’ve set up some training videos for your workers.  You can download Camstudio or Jing for free.  Jing lets you upload 5 minute videos for free.

3) Connect these videos directly to Youtube or go a step further and make training tests/exercises on talentlms.com.

4) Test them out with a few scenarios first and then .. hire!

5) Create a separate email account for them through your hosting company, maybe bluehost.com.  Remotely go into their computer using teamviewer.com in order to set up whatever software you feel they might need.  Create their own mailing signature.  Create separate permissions restricted accounts for them across the board that links to their company email account you create.

5) Manage them with Redbooth.com while they manage your clients with insightly.com & mailchimp.com.

Virtual assistants or any type of assistant online is a great way to alleviate your workload.  They are incredibly valuable people and it’s amazing companies such as Odesk, Elance, Fivrr, Freelancer.com, and Mechanical Turks from Amazon are able to bring it all together for us.

There are probably better softwares to use online and a better way to go about this but this is what I use and how I go about it on a bootstrapping level.  I hope it helps!

Simple, eh?

 

Yep.

 

Anywho – what have I been doing?  I have been rock climbing.. a whole bunch.  I am doing more leading and bouldering as well.  I launched a separate company called http://superfastlistings.com with my co-founder Ron.  A franchise is in the works and…. life so far is busy/exhausting/good.

Hanger18

Hanger18


A Conversation With An Investor

During the weekend I had the honor to go along rock climbing with Chris Francy (Owner of Edge Fitness and a registered investor).  He actually pushed me to do my first lead at Red Rocks Canyon.

Below is a list of what investors are NOT looking for when it comes to pitching an idea:

1) Asking for too much money for broadly described purposes.

2) Asking for a salary.

What investors are more open to:

1) Asking for about enough or even less than what you really need.  This perks their ears up.

2) If you get the attention of even one investor, you might get more from the same group.  If you don’t have anyone on your side to begin with, you are basically out of luck.

This may be common sense to some but investors are still pitched ideas where these points are vastly ignored and it is unfortunate that the presenters will miss out on their chances of getting funded.

Life?  Life is hectic because I purchased 3 cars within the span of 1 week (for the business).  2 of which were not intended to be purchased in such a short time frame.  I am in the middle of training another worker.  Life is also enjoyable because it is filled with doing whatever I want whenever I want.  I am lucky to have my health, my family, and a boyfriend who understands me.

Fun times.

Climbing in Red Rocks Canyon, Nevada.


 Talking To The Competition About Automobile Dismantling

Because I am the type of person to get the cell phone numbers of all my mail people – and am on a texting basis with them (Fedex, USPS), I am the type of person to walk around my work neighborhood to have small talk with the local business owners.. AND.. I am also the type of person to text the CEO and owners of my competition to ask them.. what’s up?

I found out they were/are incredibly more die hard than I am.  Granted, I am a female in a male dominated industry.  And I don’t have partners.

But because of that it makes me want to become just as die hard (even though I believe I’ve almost killed myself starting this business).  So I dropped out of my Intro To Auto class I’ve been taking at the nearby community college in order to finish up my goals that I have been postponing due to trying to figure this life out.  Dropping out of a class when I am getting an A was not that hard to do.

I am officially a “drop out”. HA!

One CEO and his Co-founder worked nonstop, 10 hour days, for a year.  Didn’t hire out so they profited faster.

Me?  Outsourced almost everything I could.  Now things run without my micro-managing involvement.  But at the capacity that it can be?  No.  At a comfortable capacity where my sanity still remains with me?  Yes.

I am doing more outdoor activities.  I am sleeping in later.  I am feeling more relaxed.  Life is less… scary.

At the pit of my stomach I feel like I can do so much more.

I used to look down upon businesses that didn’t want to grow when they can do so much more.  But it seems like at the expense of their own happiness, most people won’t want to do “so much more”.  Most business owners just want to be happy.  Make enough money to live, have enough freedom to be in control of their own schedules, and spend life as stress-free as possible.

My perspective on businesses and ownership and running businesses is changing.  Not because of anything life-changing.  Just that I want to choose a more free life over one where I have to suffer to be rich.

My goals for the end of the next 6 months:

1) Keep on automating my business so no one depends on me for anything.

2) Get my internet business at least launched and running (who cares the number of subscribers, I just need the infrastructure set up).

3) Push sales to 12K/month.

4) Become a better outdoor rock climber.

5) Transition the name change successfully.  Launch a large SEO effort.

6) Answer more questions, ask more questions, be more involved in online communities.

7) Genuinely care more.

 

I like writing random posts.

Riverside Rock Quarry

Riverside Rock Quarry


How To Uninstall A Magento Extension

I should start with how to even use Magento but I will backtrack and create the links later.  What is Magento?  It is an ecommerce platform used to sell stuff.  What is the extension I am trying to get rid of? M2E which helps sync ebay items to the magento store.

This tutorial is all about uninstalling a magento extension so you can re-install it because if you are anything like me you will click around until you fuck it up.  Then you hate yourself for 1 minute before you take a deep breath and do it all over again from the beginning.

STEP 1:

Log into your magento administration panel.

STEP 2:

Click on MAGENTO CONNECT MANAGER.

STEP 3:

Click the dropdown menu besides the extension name and and choose “Uninstall”.  Then click “Commit Changes”.

uninstall-magento-extension

uninstall-magento-extension

 

TA DA!  Done and done.

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial!

 

KPD-JULY-27-2013

KPD-JULY-27-2013


I was watching a google talk video regarding mobile as the new social media.  How we are trying to fit our old paradigms onto a different structure and most of us get fixated on cramming what we know works with what is new.  And surprisingly it has to do with space confinement and elementary concepts such as dimension.  When things started going mobile we don’t inherently jump to what will work with the new model but in our haste to go the easy route we make things more difficult.  For example instead of making forms shorter and checkout more simple instead we focus on how to fit everything in a smaller screen so we increase the scroll length. Amazon got it right with the one click checkout process didn’t they? And password protection is made easy with the reroute to email way vs. Figuring out a captcha that doesn’t even fit onto a mobile screen.  I want to implement this effort for looking at mobile a different way and I want to see if it will work.  I am going to try and bypass the standard checkout line by enabling instant one click checkout scrolling over pictures and tapping or scanning a barcode for my physical retail location. When will this get accomplished?  I hope sooner rather than later.


Have you ever thought to yourself while you are reading an email… “I would really like this EMAIL to be magically UNREAD at some point later on in my life and re-sent back to me just so I can read it again”?

This could be anything from a reminder to yourself to buy that extra apple at the grocery store, a notice of your eviction date from your tech savvy landlord, a letter from the Nigerian prince you built a deep connection via online communication and wanted to follow up on, a bill reminder from Mint.com, to an email newsletter from me with great important tips you’d like to revisit…….. It could be anything in the world.

But the reality of life dawns on you: once something is “marked as read”, you will never revisit it.  It will be lost the oblivion of your inbox and you are absolutely helpless to remind yourself unless you take the desperate measures of physical sticky notes or alarm clock notices.

WELL SAY NO MORE.

You now have Boomerang.  Boomerang is ingenious because it can tie itself to a couple of the most wildly used mail applications – gmail and outlook.  Surprisingly the version for gmail is a separate company than the outlook one.

The outlook one has a $29.95 one time fee while the gmail boomerang has different tiers ranging from free to $14.99/month.

How to Make an Email Send Itself Back to You After You Have Read It

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