Find resonance in Amazon Seller Stories!
After retreating from the "cross-border capital" Shenzhen to their hometown of Harbin, in 2020, Mr. Zhao and his wife came up with the idea of starting an Amazon business together. After some thinking, they brought in another friend, and a small team of 3 was born. , each person determines the skills they are good at, and divides the labor and cooperates.
Ordinary people partnered to start a business as Amazon. They didn’t have the capital to “fight their fathers”. The three of them had to run in each other. Along the way, there were naturally “bumps and bumps”. The big pit and the small pit were stepped on countless times. Individuals only made a total of 100,000 yuan.
After going through the hardest time, the three of them figured it out. In 2022, the third year of business, the annual sales should reach 5 million.
In the continuous cross-border circle of the strong, although this number seems to be ordinary, it is the crystallization of ordinary people's hard work and hard work; in the process of breaking through the cross-border circle, the three people have no thrilling stories, just the ordinary people. And ordinary experiences are also the true epitome of countless people relying on Amazon for a better future.
Watch other people's stories, feel your own life! Let us walk into their entrepreneurial journey together.
"Meeting" on the Amazon platform , a three-person team was born
Mr. Zhao has been engaged in marketing work before, and he became attached to Amazon thanks to his wife's "matchmaking".
"As early as around 2015, my wife came into contact with Amazon. She was working in a foreign trade B2B company in Shenzhen at that time. She heard that Amazon was very profitable, and then registered an Amazon account to make a sideline after work to earn some extra money." Mr. Zhao said that after a period of "deep drift", his wife returned to her hometown of Harbin to work, and finally after careful consideration, she decided to start a full-time job at Amazon.
Before 2019, Mr. Zhao's wife had been fighting alone. All the knowledge about Amazon had not been systematically learned, and she didn't even know how to advertise. Every day, she just simply uploaded, made pictures, shipped, and then waited for Amazon. Pay back. Since I studied English, I was in the cross-border e-commerce bonus period at that time. In this very "confused and ignorant" state, goods were basically delivered every day. During the peak sales period, the store mainly sold a small There are nearly 100 orders per day for many products, and the annual total can make hundreds of thousands of profits. Relying on the income of Amazon in the past few years, I successfully bought a house in my hometown of Harbin.
Around 2019, Mr. Zhao's wife obviously felt that sales had dropped and it was no longer easy to make money. At this time, she began to realize that the Amazon traffic bonus period had passed, so she came up with the concept of systematically learning Amazon, and began to think about and The possibility of others partnering to do Amazon.
Under the influence of his wife , at this time, Mr. Zhao also decided to change his career to become Amazon. After careful consideration, the husband and wife brought in a friend. In 2020, a small team of 3 people who ventured into Amazon was officially established.
In terms of division of labor, Mr. Zhao is an all-round assistant and is basically responsible for the business direction of the entire company; his wife is in charge of the operation of the Amazon store; in terms of funds, friends are mainly responsible, and Mr. Zhao and his wife also regard the hundreds of thousands of goods in the previous store as a common property.
There are natural advantages to partnering with Amazon. Many people think that if you want to do Amazon well, especially if you can make a lot of money in the later stage, it is difficult to do it by one person alone, which requires a team to work together to operate and operate. For ordinary people, it is a very good choice to start a business with two or three people as Amazon, which can share a lot of pressure.
Partnerships, however, also require careful consideration.
People who have come here believe that when choosing partners, they must be complementary. The first is complementary skills, and everyone must have a very good field; the second is complementary personalities, and communication must be in harmony. Only on this premise can partnerships be considered; Considering the person of the partner, the so-called partnership, the most important thing is the character, so you must know the basics of the partner.
In Mr. Zhao's view, the three of them are now very "in harmony", but at the beginning of the business, they encountered the same problems as other sellers who partnered on Amazon. This small team of three also faced various problems such as personality running-in.
"The most irritating thing is that at first people couldn't tell what was public and what was private." Mr. Zhao said that everyone has no systematic Amazon learning experience, and his wife who has an operational foundation has never worked and trained in Amazon. From the perspective of knowledge reserves, 2 of the 3 people are almost "little white". , Just starting a business, the psychological pressure will definitely be very large, and everyone has inconsistent views on business operations, so there are often quarrels and disputes, and it is so serious that the idea of giving up the partnership was born.
Fortunately, after one or two years of running-in, the three of them finally passed through the period of "troop chaos". The team can discuss business development together in a calm manner. If a product fails to promote and lose money, they can also discuss the follow-up together very friendly. dealt with, instead of blaming each other.
"It is normal to have conflicts between teams, and how to resolve them is the key to the problem. It is necessary to draw a clear line between public and private, and everyone must distinguish between what is public and what is private." Now when disagreements arise between teams, Mr. Zhao acts as a middleman, responsible for calming everyone's emotions.
Talking about how to maintain a "friendly relationship" between the three partners, Mr. Zhao said in more detail that there will be a relatively strong manager among them, who can lead the company to a professional direction in terms of platform operation; Give the other party enough confidence and trust, and leave professional things to professional people to do; at the same time, the three people also formulated detailed business concepts, such as: how can the company develop better? How to liquidate the funds on the books? How can we better nurture our team…
"As far as the three of us are concerned, what needs to be solved the most is not the problem of resource sharing, nor how to make more money, but various cognitive problems to mobilize everyone's emotions into a state and achieve A unified consensus is the key, and at this time, questions such as whether the operating accounts can make money and how the company can develop better will be easily solved.” Mr. Zhao said that on Amazon's entrepreneurial journey, the actual situation faced by each partner team is different, and they have also worked out a set of "how to get along" suitable for three people based on reality.
From 0 to an estimated annual sales of 5 million, the small team of Amazon grows in the ordinary!
It is understood that there are now a total of 3 stores in the hands of 3 people, mainly in the US and European markets.
In 2020, the first year of entrepreneurship, the three people only earned a total of 100,000 yuan, and each person was divided into more than 30,000 yuan.
This value also reflects the difficulty of their first year of business. Among them, the selection of products is "a handful of bitter tears".
"When my wife was alone, the life cycle of the main categories of business was very short, coupled with limited funds, resources, etc., and the operation did not form a large scale. After comprehensive consideration, the three of us decided to change the category track. ". At that time, it was just in time for the epidemic, Americans were working from home, and the sales of the new categories we chose were very popular. In this context, we did get some market dividends, but we were inexperienced on the new track, and we learned while doing it, stepping on a lot of pitfalls. , so when the related products were particularly popular, they did not seize the opportunity and did not make a lot of money .
On the contrary, it also took up about 200,000 funds because of the failure of product selection .
At that time, a manufacturer said that a customized product was selling very well (customization means underwriting, this product can only be sold to a few sellers with a quota), so Mr. Zhao and the others won a quota. The order quantity is at least 1000. Thinking of getting ahead, the 3 people decided to order more than 2000, which cost nearly 200,000. As a result, this product just seemed to be popular, and the response was very general after it was put on the shelves. They spent more than 2 years. , before all the inventory was digested.
"This product took up too much money for us. Fortunately, the sales of another product we had at that time were not bad. The profit created by this product finally partially made up for the financial crisis caused by the failure of product selection."
Moving forward in the rough, the situation improved slightly in the second year of entrepreneurship.
In 2021, the three people calculated the profit on the book, which is about 300,000, which is much better than 2020.
Mr. Zhao said that last year, due to some changes at home, he was unable to devote himself to his work. Even so, the two goals set at the beginning of the year, the first to expand the category and the second to vigorously develop the European market, have basically been realized. In this way, there is no need to worry too much about putting eggs in the same basket, and the company has no ability to resist risks.
In 2022, Mr. Zhao and the others will continue to show an overall development trend on the Amazon platform. In this year's peak season, although they are a lot more cautious in stocking, they still feel hopeful. Roughly calculated, the annual sales should reach 5 million!
"At the beginning of the year, we re-selected products, and now there are about 10 new products, and 2 of them are lucky to be launched." It is understood that last year's top-selling product sold 200 orders a day in peak season and nearly 30 orders in off-season, but this year's response was mediocre. The number of orders per day did not exceed double digits. The main source of the company's profit suddenly "slumped in sales". It's a nuisance.
This kind of "explosive model suddenly no longer explodes" is a "common problem" for almost all trading companies.
In times of peace, "exploration and conservation" of trading companies
In the way of Amazon's operation, everyone will suffer more or less. Even if you are careful, many unexpected situations will happen.
With 3 years of Amazon entrepreneurial experience, Mr. Zhao deeply understands that a single product is a very dangerous thing. Once a popular product suddenly fails, the company is likely to have no source of profit and face a big business crisis, so they will advance in advance. Pre-judging the risk value on the road of business, be prepared for danger in times of safety, and when a certain explosive product has not yet begun to decline, it will be non-stop to find the next explosive product to ensure the normal operation of the business.
In addition to testing sales of new products in the existing business categories, the three are also trying to develop new categories, new markets, and new platforms. It is inevitable that there will be stumbles during this period.
In terms of developing new categories, Mr. Zhao's wife has always been obsessed with the categories they operated when they were alone. Just last year, during the recruitment process, the company recruited someone who had done this category. In the end, Mr. Zhao and the others were determined to pick up this track. As an expansion of the existing business category, I thought it would definitely make money, but it turned out to be a "miscalculation"!
"It may be that he has left this category for a period of time and is out of touch with this market, or the Shenzhen style of operation is not suitable for his company. In short, this attempt to expand the category ended in failure. In the end, the company lost nearly 100,000 yuan. piece."
In addition, Mr. Zhao and the others have also tried to open up new markets. The Australian site is one of them. After a short test, it was found that this market is relatively small and the sales volume is not stable. If you have the time and energy to operate, you can barely Survival, but talent becomes the difficulty of "stuck neck". It is difficult for Harbin to recruit operators with relevant experience. It is the second best thing to do, and let 0 basic operations learn while doing it. The result is still unsatisfactory, so we have to give up.
The talent problem also brings difficulties to the platform expansion. "We have worked on the Shopee platform before. It is difficult to achieve results simply by relying on the strength of the three of us. After all, there is no extra time to think about it. If we recruit and train people again, the whole process will be very long, and we may face unknown troubles. ."
The process of exploring new directions for many times is also a process of constantly refreshing the cognition of cross-border e-commerce. All the experiences of failure are actually tuition fees, so that they realize the truth that they must not be anxious about making money, and they cannot force themselves to do nothing. If you are good at something, if you are lucky enough to earn more money than you know, you will eventually lose all the money you earn because of your lack of knowledge.
In Mr. Zhao's view, stability is the focus of all work. Relatively speaking, Amazon is still a very friendly platform, so they plan to make the basic business of Amazon more solid, and then when they have the time and energy, they will get out of the comfort zone. District to expand into new areas!
Away from Shenzhen and working hard in a small city, you can't have both.
Now the Amazon platform has become an ecosystem . In fact, there are many people who make money at various stages , sites , and models. Some people cultivate a site, some people cast nets in the whole market, some people have superb operation skills, and some people rely on technology to win. One day Hundreds of thousands of SKUs capture "explosive models"… Brand sellers and grassroots sellers compete on the same stage, there is no difference between good and bad!
Mr. Zhao believes that the company's choice to take a trade-oriented path is the most suitable choice for them at the moment. "A pure trading company like us, to put it bluntly, is to buy goods in and then sell them, and earn the difference from the middle. This kind of gameplay is not complicated and does not require too many people to operate, but it may be difficult in Shenzhen. To survive, rent and employment costs alone are a huge expense.” Therefore, this “small and beautiful” trade-based business model is actually very suitable for Harbin.
Working hard in a small city away from Shenzhen can naturally save a lot of costs, but it also makes the recruitment problem frequently hit a wall.
The first is that there are too few people with relevant experience. "When recruiting people, it can be described as low to the dust. When someone says they are interested in Amazon, they will definitely chat with them a few more times. Suddenly seeing someone who has experience in cross-border e-commerce operations, they will feel Surprisingly."
It is even more difficult to recruit qualified personnel. Mr. Zhao found that many employees who came back from Shenzhen are more particular about the speed of operation. This model is not bad, but it does not conform to the actual situation of his company and the goal of seeking stability. It's hard to stay.
In addition to recruiting people, the atmosphere of cross-border e-commerce is not strong, and it is also a place different from Shenzhen in inland areas.
As the capital of cross-border e-commerce, Shenzhen has gathered a large number of resources and sellers, making it easier and faster to communicate. However, in Harbin, there are very few cross-border e-commerce practitioners. It is roughly estimated that there are less than 10 Amazon, and there are still a few Sellers are engaged in some niche platforms such as Rakuten, and their play on cross-border e-commerce is still in Shenzhen 5 years ago or even earlier… Various gaps mean that there are many fewer opportunities to communicate with peers in Harbin. The time of industry information will also lag.
The difficulty of cross-border e-commerce is escalating, and the future is still promising
You can’t have both. Overall, Harbin is still very fragrant as a cross-border e-commerce business! The cross-border e-commerce track itself also has great potential for development.
As the world's largest market, the United States has a high degree of acceptance both in terms of market space and Amazon. At present, although the competition has increased and the profit value has become thinner, it is still very fragrant. "Once a certain product is made, it can be small profits but quick turnover, and the overall profit is still very considerable."
But the situation in Europe is not optimistic. In 2022, the cross-border e-commerce environment will take a turn for the worse, and many small and medium-sized sellers attached to the Amazon platform will feel the chill, especially the sellers who mainly focus on the European station, expressing their heartbreak, and Mr. Zhao and the others are no exception.
Originally, Europe includes many countries, the market is not unified, and the language is not unified, which increases the threshold for product promotion. "One of the products we launched this year sold more than 100 orders a month. When calculating the profit, we found that we made a total of 500 yuan." Mr. Zhao said that although the profit of the European station was not as high as that of the US station, the speed of placing orders was faster. Fast, it is now clearly felt that the entire purchasing power of the European market is declining, and the advantage of fast ordering has gradually disappeared.
Cross-border e-commerce, which still has unlimited potential, will definitely become more and more unfriendly to newcomers. In fact, this is the case with any business. Relatively speaking, sellers who enter the industry first are more likely to make money, and sellers who enter the industry later are more likely to sink to the bottom!
Mr. Zhao believes that Amazon will only become more professional in the future, which means that it will become more and more difficult, but the road ahead is still promising.