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Ollie: Hey everyone, how are we doing? Very warm welcome to this interview with Suja. Now very recently, Suja sent me a message and said that she hit £10,000 in a single month in revenue on Amazon. So obviously I had to take the opportunity to reach out to her and have a chat and interview her about her progress so far, 'cause we actually had a chat back in the summer and she's made so much progress since then. She actually tripled her highest month revenue. So had to catch up with her story and you guys have got loads of questions as well. So Suja, just really awesome to have you here.
Suja: No, it's great to be here. Thanks for asking me to come back on.
Ollie: No, you're very welcome. So, I want to hear about your story so far, right from the beginning when you started selling on Amazon up until today because just now you let me know that it's your two-year anniversary selling on the platform, right?
Suja: Yeah. It's just by coincidence I realized yesterday that it's exactly two years. So, January 28th 2018 and yeah, I saw your videos from a colleague, told me about eCommerce Freedom, and I was a bit bored in January and looked out there and then took action and opened an account and yeah, the rest is history as they say. I started off with retail arbitrage by just going to the local Argoses, looking online as well and yeah, it was just, you know, going to shops and scanning and sending into Amazon, and then got into private label and did a test batch of a hundred. So it was just a few hundred, not even a hundred dollars, like $50. And they sold out, and then just ordered a proper private label. That was it really.
Ollie: Wow, that's so cool. So I'm interested to know how much money, when you started two years ago, did you have in capital to put into your business?
Suja: Yeah, I mean I've got a full-time job, so I do this totally in my spare time. So I just started with a few products from Argos and everything, but I'd say I've had a thousand pounds to invest from my savings from my job.
Ollie: Wow. So not millions then? Didn't have a small loan of $1 million or anything. Right. Cool. That's amazing. That's really good, to hear that you started with such a small amount of capital and now you've grown something so big. So you started with arbitrage. And how did that look? What were you doing on a daily basis to get sales from arbitrage?
Suja: Just looking at different websites just to see say, for August, they had really good sales at the time, and I would just look at the sales section and then check it was in stock, then go to the store and we'll go to my local B&M store, I think it's called, and just have a look around and just be going around scanning. ToysRUs was just about to close, so I found a few things there. And yeah, luckily - I don't have a car - but there's a local news agent, so I'd just drop off the boxes. Your advice was really good about taking action. Like, send a box every two weeks or I think once a week. Doing that really helped make progress.
Ollie: Yeah. Momentum. That's the key thing I always say to people with businesses. It's not about just doing one really solid day. We're just putting in consistent action. So a lot of people try Amazon and for whatever reason don't ever build this momentum. What would you say is one of the things that kept you going and motivated you to keep the business moving forward?
Suja: I think the main thing was, at the start, it was more of a hobby really 'cause I've always sold things on eBay.. and I thought, oh, this is great extra side cash. But then I realized, there are people doing this full time and they only have to spend a few hours a day on it. That would allow more freedom. So that was my main motivation - to have more freedom. Travel even more, and not have to answer to a boss. So that was my motivation to keep at it for the this past two years. And so that I can eventually go full time on it and just not give up on it.
Ollie: Love that. That's awesome. So you did retail arbitrage for how long initially?
Suja: I would say, about under six months and then I did the test batch.
Ollie: And did you grow your capital with the arbitrage? So you started with a thousand - did you have several thousands within those six months?
Suja: I would say yeah, it did grow. The private label was more profitable, but I still got my money back and a bit of profit from those from retail arbitrage.
Ollie: So tell me a little bit about your first test batch then. How long did it take to find your first private label that you were thinking about importing?
Suja: It was actually really quick, when I took your tip about going on to Ali Express, I found something really quickly, then it was with me within like four or five days, which was fantastic. And I had an idea about it 'cause it's something that we use at work. I work for a big developer construction company. So I thought, okay, if this test batch sells, which didn't have the extra thing I wanted to add on it, then I can contact suppliers on Alibaba.
Ollie: So do you remember how much, so how many orders, how many units did you order for the test batch?
Suja: Just a hundred. It was just in a big box so I could carry it to the UPS drop off. Wasn't too heavy. So yeah, just a hundred units.
Ollie: Do you remember how much you spent on that initial test batch in terms of stock?
Suja: I think it was not much. Maybe $50. I don't think it was more than a hundred dollars. No way.
Ollie: That is an insanely cheap test batch. That's insane. Wow, so we're talking like, 50 cents a unit or something.
Suja: Yeah. Something ridiculous. I will have a look 'cause I've got a spreadsheet and -
Ollie: Is that including shipping though as well?
Suja: Yeah, I think it might have been a hundred with shipping because it was quite a light product.
Ollie: I've had products like that as well, actually. The one product I had, I shipped over a hundred units and it was around the similar price. It is possible. It's just, I assume not every single one of your products has been that cheap, right?
Suja: Oh no, no, they haven't. I've not been that lucky.
Ollie: Wow. So how much did you sell it for then? Cost price is a dollar landed. So how much did you sell it for?
Suja: It was about 6.99 and the proper order--
Ollie: Quite a cheap price point then, compared to a lot of products.
Suja: Yeah, exactly. Yes. And when I did the proper reorder - well, from a different supplier on Alibaba because that was Ali Express then it was selling at the beginning for 11.99 - and then yes, I had bought it for like, one pound fifty something. But then now it sells for like 8.99, sometimes 9.99, but I'd say 8.99.
Ollie: So this product, you first tested it 18 months ago and it's still standing today.
Suja: Yeah, the second reorder, I think I mentioned on the group, I did order a bit too much-
Ollie: Very common mistake.
Suja: Got carried away. But it's still profitable and I think long-term, the return on investment, I'll still get it.
Ollie: Wow, that is so cool. That's so awesome for such a cheap initial launch there. And yeah, this very rarely happens. Most of my products in a test batch- could be anything from 500 pounds. If I go harder then it can be a thousand. Two thousand if I order more units. Sometimes I test three hundred units now. But that is staggeringly cheap and quite inspiring maybe that you can find products out there. So that's awesome. All right then. So let's fast forward a little bit. So you launched your first product about 18 months to go, and then you did this, you did a test batch, you did a reorder. And then was it just a case of, well I've got one product setting now, I just need to rinse and repeat and order more.
Suja: Yeah, that's exactly right. I don't know how I've got the idea for the second product, but it's my most successful one. It all seems like a blur now, but that's the one, the second product is the one that sold 150 units on Amazon Prime day last year, July 2019. But that product's done really well. That costs like $3.15. So it was a little bit more expensive. And I don't think I did a test batch for that one, which is not always a good idea. I did order a thousand of those and yeah, it's been a really, really good product.
Ollie: Wow. A thousand, as a first order.
Suja: Yeah, as a first order. I don't know what I was thinking. I think I forgot about the training.
Ollie: Well that's fine. When you have resources, when you feel very comfortable and confident, you can go a little bit bolder because obviously I assume you must've got a relatively good cost per unit with a thousand units. I assume it would be a lot cheaper to order that per unit than it would if you ordered say, 50.
Suja: Yeah, exactly. And that factory, looking back at them, they were very good. Fantastic supplier there.
Ollie: That's awesome. Cool. All right then, so you launched first product, did well. Launch your second product, and now you have how many products?
Suja: I've got four products now running and so I'm looking to launch two more in the next say, three months. I did have a fifth product, but I did, like what your training said, and I just ordered, I think it was a hundred. That was like $200, another light product again, but it just didn't work out. I can say it was just these wristbands, sweat wristbands for like tennis and stuff. But I don't know what I was thinking. I just wanted to get a fifth product but they're all sold out now, but yeah, it was just costing too much in advertising. So I make mistakes as well.
Ollie: So not going to reorder that one. That was a bit of a dud. Yeah, it happens. It happens. I mean, I've got loads of products that didn't work out and it's just part, I don't think there's any sellers on the planet, whether it's retailers, e-commerce sellers that have, you know, a hundred success rate. It just is, it's not something you should aim for. It's about, um, being able to fail and by ordering small amounts that you allow yourself to fail. So that's awesome. Okay, cool. So let's fast forward a little bit then. So we've talked about up until six months, then ordered a few more products. And then so this summer was when you hit three grand in a single month, is that right?
Suja: Yeah, that's right. I remember being really excited about three grand. And I was looking back in my diary. Last year's diary, January this time last year, I only had a thousand pounds in sales, but then it really accelerated 'cause then when I spoke to you in June or July it was three thousand and it got to 6,000 and then 10,000 in November.
Ollie: Amazing. So that obviously coincided with quarter four when things really start to ramp up. And obviously you had your full products running. So it just started to take off. That's incredible. So now, what would you say.. so 10K is the best month you've had. So what would you say your average month is in your business nowadays?
Suja: I would say 7,000. End of December is a bit quieter and January, not as crazy as say November and October. So yes, 7,000. So my goal is to consistently hit 10,000 a month.
Ollie: Hmm. So you want 10,000 to be like a bad month.
Suja: Yeah, exactly. Yes. Because my real goal is 20,000 soon.
Ollie: So you said your friend hits 20K was it?
Suja: Yeah, so he's a friend. He's now a friend. I met him, I sold him a flat actually, and I just asked him what he does as a job and he said Amazon FBA. So I was like, oh, can I meet you for coffee? This was like, I think 18 months ago.
Ollie: Such an awesome coincidence. All the stuff he could have done, he sold on Amazon. That's really cool.
Suja: Yeah. But to be that, I was like, I've got to do this, meeting someone in real life. And yes, he does 20,000 a month. He does this full time.
Ollie: And now he's your accountability partner, right?
Suja: Yes, he is. We met up a few times back in December and November and we're gonna meet again in February. Just to have a deadline for product research which is really helpful, just having deadlines. And I think for him, even though he's more experienced, it's really motivating for him to meet up with me and vice versa with deadlines on product research.
Ollie: Yeah, having someone who is going through the same stuff as you, being able to bounce ideas off is so key and that's why it's so cool when, you know, I can connect clients together or connect people together in Facebook groups and yeah, it really helps and it certainly helps me. So that's been amazing to hear about your story so far. So I just want to clear up a few numbers. So we said 10K is your best month and what was your profit for that?
Suja: It was about 35%.
Ollie: So about three and a half grand. And when you do 7K a month it's still the same percentage, is it?
Suja: Yeah, it is.
Ollie: Well, that's about 2000 something per month, right? Yeah.
Ollie: Awesome. Fantastic. And you want to double it essentially?
Suja: Yeah, definitely so I can leave my full time job. But I think at this point leaving my job will make me hit those targets.
Ollie: 'Cause right now how many hours are you putting in each week?
Suja: Sometimes I don't really count too much 'cause it's just something I love. So I would say maybe five to 10 hours a week.
Ollie: Wow. So five to 10 hours a week and 10 grand a month. That is incredible. It's really inspiring. And obviously when you put full time hours in, it can only grow faster, right?
Suja: Yeah, exactly.
Ollie: Fantastic. All right, cool. So we've got a load of questions from a lot of cool people in the community. What I'd love to do is just whiz through them and try and help people out because they're desperate to know, you know, how you got your superpowers and how you managed to build this crazy income.
So we got a question from Lorna. Lorna says, how do you get sales and reviews? She says pay-per-click advertising is very expensive and she's interested to know how much you spend on advertising. So do you have any general tips for pay-per-click advertising? Do you have like an average amount you spend per sale or some other tips for Lorna?
Suja: Well my PPC is quite good. It's about 26% over the lifetime of it. That's what my accountability partner said. You don't need any tips on it. But I literally just learned from your courses and from YouTube as well, 'cause there's quite good free advice on PPC. I'd say to get to that, you just need to download your reports every two weeks, and just go through them. I've put in quite a lot. It's three thousand I was looking today for the interview, but just over 3000 pounds and I've got 13,000 in sales. So it's worth.. you don't have to stop. That's just over the two years.
Ollie: Yeah. And it comes out of your sales right. You don't have to put it up front.
Suja: Yeah. You don't have to put it up front. And one thing, I had this product that did really well last summer on Amazon Prime day, that was a terrible beginning. PPC, it was like 400%. I think it was the automatic or it might've been the upper manual. But now it's like running really well and it's like 20%. So sometimes it gets a bit scary and you think, oh, it's 400%, it's bad, but then if you just give it time and just work on it..
Ollie: Absolutely. So when you say download reports, what'd you do? Did you look for negative keywords? Do you look for stuff that is not working and tweak it or what's your general approach?
Suja: Just go in and tweak it. Just look for the negative ones that are draining the sponsored ads. Take them out. And I did hit one tip that you shouldn't negate words. You should just decrease the cost until it gets like 50 clicks.
Ollie: Interesting. So rather than deleting them, just lower the bid price?
Ollie: The bad keywords. Interesting. Okay. Cool. All right, so that's a great question from Lorna and that was an awesome answer. So Carl says, how many products are you running with and have any crashed and burned? So we talked about that briefly, and you've got four products and one of them failed. Is that right?
Suja: Yeah, that's right. And one of them is a bit of a slow seller and it got - not suspended - just.. I can't remember the word now-
Suja: - but inactive during November. What we're gonna try and do is send it into USA Amazon because I think it will do a lot better there. So yeah, I've had my things go wrong as well.
Ollie: It's not always smooth sailing. It's not all been perfect, right. Ypu've got to persevere. Okay, cool. Awesome. So let's have a look. Tracy says, first of all, huge congrats to Suja. Y eah, I second that. She says, I'm interested to know how many PL products she's tested versus how many actually run. Okay. That's the same question as Carl's. Also she says - this is a great question - what would you say the most useful info or advice from me has been so far?
Suja: I think, the mindset. So just taking consistent action. And you know, actually doing the courses 'cause if you want to do a job well generally you have to train up for it. But I would say just keep your mindset too and keep consistent action, and get some kind of accountability partner and set deadlines which you have advised before.
Ollie: Love it. Yeah, those are those super powerful. Consistent action is the one thing that makes the difference between someone being super successful and failing. You see people who are business owners who make all the mistakes in the book, but they just are consistent and they just keep going every single day and things move forward for them. And then you see people who try and do everything perfectly but don't take consistent action and they get nowhere. So that is usually the thing that separates. That's awesome. Okay. So, let's have a look. Dale asks, I'd like to know what elements Suja feels had been the most important for her and getting to this level.
Suja: Just not giving up. Just keep trying, you know, even if you failed or something goes wrong on Amazon and your product's inactive, just keep going and there's always a solution to everything. There's very little that there isn't a solution, so just ask people and just keep going.
Ollie: Awesome. I'd like to add to Dale's question and ask, what would you say now at this stage as a business owner is your most valuable skill?
Suja: I think just, again, to go on about consistency and just having goals. Writing down goals and acting on it would be my main thing that's got me to where I am.
Ollie: Love it. Awesome. Let's have a look. So Elina asks, and she says, I'm very impressed with Suja's success. I'd like to know more about how she chose the products. Did something stand out in the research process and are you still doing PPC or are most of your sales organic? So yeah. Is there a specific product research process that you follow that works for you?
Suja: Well I've got your book, the $7 book,
Ollie: That's a good plug.
Suja: Good plug, can't go wrong with $7. I think just reading that and then watching, training on YouTube has really helped. Now I think I'm doing product research even more thoroughly so I don't make as many errors but, yeah, just checking everything really - your competition, using tools like JungleScout.. Just not going overboard where you get analysis paralysis.
Ollie: So knowing when to jump in and actually order something rather than just getting freaked out.
Suja: Yeah, exactly. And the test batching is a great thing 'cause if it does go wrong, okay, you lost a couple of hundreds of dollars.
Ollie: But it's not the end of the world. Yeah. Awesome. So, one thing I wanted to ask actually as well as product research is, so you spend five to 10 hours a week on your business, what tasks do you usually do in those five to 10 hours? So let's say it's an average evening, you come back from work, you've got say an hour to put into your business. What would you usually be doing in the hour?
Suja: I'm just checking the advertising and downloading the reports - that's every two weeks, I try and make that a routine now. At the moment I'm contacting suppliers and I'm trying to make it a routine and habit to do product research every day, even if it's just 15 minutes. So that's something I want to build in.
Ollie: I'm really glad you said that because product research, it takes time, doesn't it? You can't just expect to look on the Amazon website for 10 minutes and find the best product. It takes time. Right. And sometimes when you spend 15 minutes, you find that you see no good products and you feel like you've wasted it.
Suja: Yeah, absolutely. Sometimes I'll just be looking and then 15 minutes turns into an hour and I find stuff, and then sometimes it's 15 minutes and it's nothing and just give up. So yeah, but eventually I'll get a VA to do that. But at the moment, I'm just doing it myself just so then I can pass on the skills to the VA. So that's the sort of things I do when I get back in the evening.
Ollie: Awesome. Love it. Cool. And let's have a look. So we've got a couple more questions. Tim asks, how long does it take on average to get a product selling? So from finding it and deciding that's what you want to sell, to getting some consistent sales.
Suja: Let's say about two to three months. I think you can do it quicker when you're getting a test batch out as well. But yeah, I would say about two to three months.
Ollie: Awesome. I love it. Cool. And I'm just trying to find a couple of final questions. Let me have a look. Mark says, are all your products sourced from China?
Suja: Yes. At the moment they are all from Alibaba. But I actually have been in contact with someone in Czech Republic yesterday, so I'm doing a bit of product research and contacting suppliers and I've got a call tonight at 10 o'clock with someone in Canada or the US, with the supplier. Their prices seem a lot more than China, so we'll see what they say and see how it goes. But yeah, I do want to expand to other places.
Ollie: Love it. Awesome. Okay, Suja. Today's been really enlightening. Hopefully you've picked up a load of tips if you're watching this and now you have a clearer idea of how you can get to that much coveted 10K per month. So Suja, any final pieces of advice or things that you really want to get off your chest and tell the people who are watching this video that maybe are desperate to be in your position. Is there anything you'd like to say to them?
Suja: Just enjoy the process. Only do Amazon if you really love it. It's not just about making money. Don't fulfill the YouTube nonsense on there. Just take consistent action. Don't give up. And don't worry if you fail on certain things, just keep going and just follow the training. That's really important because it would just make sure that you don't make major mistakes. So just follow the training. One thing I forgot to add was, in the evening, I'm following a training course. I try and watch a couple of videos a week. So just keep learning.
Ollie: Always, always, always, always. Love it. Awesome. All right, Suja, well thank you so much for joining me for the interview today and it's been a pleasure catching up with your journey.
Suja: Yeah, I hope to catch up when I hit 20K a month.
Ollie: We will definitely. Absolutely. So guys, if you watched this video outside of my Facebook group, by the way, if you've watched it on YouTube, or maybe on my website, there should be a link either above or below the video to jump in to the group and in that group you can ask questions which will be featured on videos like this. And maybe you could even get interviewed on one of these as well. So thanks so much, so much for watching the video. Click the link and jump in the group and join the conversation, and we'll speak very soon.