Hey everyone! This is an exciting topic for me because last February I officially completed 1 year of being on Amazon FBA. I’ve started this blog so I can share with you my key takeaways from the past year, and the years to come.
In this post, I’ll be going through my BIGGEST Amazon FBA mistake YET.
Let’s get into it.
I have to admit, my FBA business was very slow for me starting off. I had already started my eyewear business OWN THE TREND 2 years prior and was married to the product. So I had no choice but to go for sunglasses so I can build off of what I already had and avoid starting from scratch.
If you don’t already know, sunglasses is a SUPER saturated category on Amazon mainly because it has a lot of SUPPLIERS from Alibaba selling there. Meaning there is no middle man so the prices are very VERY competitive.
Despite this, I was adamant that my sunnies were different and that I was able to come in with a different strategy and succeed.
My biggest mistake: NOT SHIPPING STRAIGHT TO THE AMAZON WAREHOUSE
Around February of 2021, it was time to receive my first shipment. I had ordered around 300 units to begin. At this time we were still in Lockdown in Toronto and TikTok was my main addiction when it came to social media platforms. I had seen so many videos of small business owners packing their products, receiving their inventory, and filming their processes on TikTok. So I thought well obviously this is the best way to market my product so I’m going to send all of my inventory here first. I’m going to pack it myself so I can get some GREAT content. Then I’ll ship it off from Toronto to the Amazon Warehouse in the US.
Here’s why this was a terrible idea.
- Packing 300 units is stupidly time-consuming, and you can spend your time doing much better things while your supplier does that for you at their facility.
- I did not need 300 UNITS to get good content. I could have shipped 1 or 2 samples to my place and kept those for myself to use for content.
- Shipping items from CANADA to the US is actually extremely expensive, and this bit so deep into our profit margins.
- Buying my PACKAGING from Canada was also EXTREMELY expensive, and it would have been much cheaper to just have my supplier get it in China and do the packing over there.
- We wanted to save on shipping costs so we decided to ship through CANADA POST. (More on why this is a terrible mistake later)
- This only DELAYED our inventory from arriving there because we had to wait to shoot all the content we wanted, THEN ship it off.
Now to touch on #5, shipping by Canada Post was a terrible idea. Not because there’s an issue with Canada Post itself, but when you ship with your local post office, they don’t offer an option for you to pay your customs and duties online. Unfortunately, the only way for the customs and duties to be paid is for the receiver to physically pay them on delivery.
Now with Amazon, they will refuse anything that arrives at their warehouse with customs and duties on it. This means that not only did we pay $300 to ship our inventory there, but we also had to pay another $300 to have it returned back to us. Then, pay another $500 to now have it shipped by an international courier like DHL, FEDEX, or UPS.
Not to mention that we also had to pay for our inventory to be shipped from China to Toronto so we can shoot that lovely content.
The biggest takeaway here is 2 things:
- All you need to get good content is 1 or 2 pieces from each variation. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
- ALWAYS ship your items straight to the Amazon Warehouse using an international courier and DDP (Delivered Duties Paid). Especially for your first shipments.
P.S. I have a free live training on how to successfully start an Amazon FBA business. You can click here to check it out.
Until next time,