In this article we cover the 7 steps to launching a new product – whether it is your first item or you are extending your brand.
Your goal for the week is to have samples of the product you are going to order on their way to you. This process might take you longer than 7 days with the back and forth required or if you are doing this part time.
Step 1 Product Research
Amazon is constantly changing. A product that was excellent last month could suddenly have 10 aggressive new competitors this month. A niche becomes hot and everyone floods in.
That’s why you need to do your product research quickly and get the product into Amazon to test it in the minimum time possible, because sometimes you only have a few months’ window when sales are strong and competition is low.
The first thing you need is a list of potential products. You want products that sell more than 300 units a month, so for more than $20 but less than $100, and have under 500 reviews.
There’s no point looking at individual items, because a single product might pass this criteria but the niche overall might be terrible. You need to look at the averages of the top five products to ensure it’s a good market.
What used to take weeks can now be done in a single day because the Unicorn Smasher Pro tool lets you find niches quickly.
Step 2 Review Your List
Yesterday you made a list of your top potential products. Now you need to narrow down to the top 5 products and start sourcing them.
With a fresh mind, review your list, remove any complicated or electronic products and finalize which five products you’ll start to take action. The reason you do five products is because once you get the prices and samples from the factories you may find that 3 or 4 of the products are not worth moving ahead with.
In the afternoon, set up a sourcing account on Alibaba.com and globalsources.com.
Step 3 The Grind
Contact every single available supplier for your product on both of the main sourcing websites.
This may take several hours per product. It’s essential you reach out to every factory available. Each one will teach you something different about the product you are considering and it’s the only way to know for sure that you have the best quality and price.
Go through this process for all five of your potential products. After the first few emails you’ll get the hang of how to use the sourcing websites to contact the factories.
Step 4 Amazon Account
Your emails are flying through hyperspace to your potential suppliers.
They will start to reply within minutes of receiving the emails. Instead of checking them one by one, go back to the emails and review them in batches.
Today you need to set up your Amazon account, select the professional option and fill in the details required. This won’t take more than 30 minutes to complete.
If you need to register an LLC, do it through a service like LegalZoom. Don’t let waiting for paperwork slow you down.
If you hit a roadblock jump on Facebook and get help from one of the groups. But complete the task so your Amazon account is ready to go and you’re ready to start selling.
Now you want to test how it all works as quickly as possible so you can learn Amazon’s system.
Step 5 Review Day
You’ve given suppliers a couple of days to respond and all the best factories should have already replied. The ones that take more than two days to reply are not the ones you want to deal with anyway.
Sort all your emails into five folders, one for each product. You will start to get some spam from unrelated factories, so just stick these in an extra folder. Once you’ve grouped your emails by product, get a notepad and pen and for each product review all the emails together in batches.
The factories will ask you some questions, some will claim that they have seven certificates for the product, and others will mention different materials the product can be made from. Make notes on all these key points and terminology for that product.
By reading all emails for one product in one go you become an instant expert in that product. Each factory may have 10 years experience producing an item, but by reviewing 10 different factories you’re collecting all of their knowledge in this one step.
For example, one factory may tell you that the product can be made from cotton or from Lycra. So now when you get back to all the factories, you can ask them to requote for both cotton and Lycra and confirm the sample time for both materials.
For each product, create a subfolder called good and not good. As you go through the emails drop them in either folder depending on your judgment after reading the email. If the response from the factory is a single line saying it’s $.50, it goes in the no good folder .
The final step for each product is to go through and select up to five potential factories for that product.
Don’t judge them on price, judge on the quality of the product in their photos and the level of detail in their response. Drop these five factories an email asking for 2 samples of the product to be sent to your address. Also ask them to confirm the cost and payment details if required.
Step 6 Order Your Samples
Because of the time difference when you email them in the afternoon or evening, by the time you wake up the factory has had a full day to respond to you. Nearly all of your chosen suppliers would have come back to you with sample costs and lead times.
This stage is going to be more expensive than your test order, but it’s essential. Order samples from up to five factories for each of your top five products. Think of this as a cheap degree in product development.
You might spend $500 to $1000 in organizing your samples, but in a few days you’ll be able to select a product to move ahead with while learning about multiple different items at the same time.
Step 7 Rest, You Deserve It
Throughout this process, you have to solve hundreds of different problems quickly.
Taking the action steps will teach you much more than any course. You risk very little money but you learn the core skills of selecting a product, listing it and ordering a test run.
You’re now getting familiar with the key skills you’re going to need. It’s like completing Amazon high school in a week.
You’ve done more in a week than most people do in a month. You deserve a rest, to relax and enjoy your time off. Because tomorrow you go on to dominate your first niche.