In my first post of 2023, I’ll talk about what’s in store for my print-on-demand business this year.
Last year, I also wrote about my print-on-demand plan. It seems like I followed my plan pretty well. I focused on selling on Amazon and kept adding new products from Laser Chili.
Except for the Etsy aspect. My third Etsy account got suspended, and I never went back. 🙈
This year, my plan is pretty much the same as last year’s, but I’ve set a goal to make 10x more sales than last year.
So many things happened in my print-on-demand business last year, including:
- Many black-hat sellers hijacked my products on Amazon. I hired someone on Fiverr to get rid of them, which cost over $1,000.
- I had to apply for Amazon’s Brand Registry (another $2,000 paid…ugh!)
- A supplier went the wrong products to my FBA inventory. I got bad ratings, lost my ranking, and was closed by Amazon for a few days.
- Amazon lost 10 boxes of my FBA goods. Amazon compensated me, but I lost my chance to find another winning product.
- I talked to Amazon support countless times because my products supposedly used a trademarked word (which is a commonplace word). Luckily, that account is still active.
- And so on…
Anyway, all these problems made me spend loads of time learning more about Amazon. Fortunately, I identified many things I can do to make more sales this year.
That’s why I aim to make 10x more sales than last year. It’ll be tough, but I think it’s possible.
Here’s how I plan to do it.
Sell More Mugs with More Profit
In My 2022 Year in Review, I wrote that it’s getting more difficult to sell coffee mugs, for two main reasons:
- Increased production costs
- Difficulty scaling on Amazon FBA because of long shipping times
But I sold over 2,000 mugs in a few weeks last December, so I figured there must be a way to turn a profit with mugs.
The coffee mug is the ultimate classic gift. It’s cheaper than many other products, and people can buy them for any gender.
Although my profit per mug has decreased yearly, there are still ways to make five- to six-figure annual profits.
After spending days and nights to find a way to profit from mugs again, I finally found a solution.
It’s already helped me make 106% more sales than I made in the same period last year.
(These were my sales stats when I traveled to Tokyo two weeks ago. I spent less than an hour a day working while on vacation, and my 7-day sales saw a 106% year-over-year increase because of a new trick I found.)
I’ll reveal this solution in a new course I’ll release this year. If you want to hear more about it, subscribe to my blog and keep an eye out for my emails!
(Note: I’m not sure when the course will be finished.)
Keep Uploading More Laser Chili Products
Apart from selling coffee mugs, I’ll focus on uploading more Laser Chili products this year.
Laser Chili products are accessories I can sell for $25-35 each, which gives me a significantly higher margin than a coffee mug.
The 7-day sales stats in the screenshot above include sales from Laser Chili bracelets. I used the same trick I used with the coffee mugs, and my sales skyrocketed.
So, this year I’ll upload more Laser Chili products to my Amazon store, just like I did with coffee mugs many years ago.
I’ll upload at least 200 new Laser Chili products daily to my Amazon store.
The Laser Chili Pro system allows me to upload products in bulk using a .CSV file, so it doesn’t take long to do the work.
When I do it myself (excluding the product design part), I spend less than an hour preparing a few .CSV files listing over 2,000 products.
So, if I want to upload 200 products a day (6,000 products a month), I need to spend only 2-3 hours on it. Then the Laser Chili system uploads products for me daily.
Want to prepare enough products to upload for a year? I do that in just a few days, then let the system take care of the rest.
After I finish my work, I just wait for the passive sales that Laser Chili products will make for me.
Then, I’ll pick the ones that sell, and make them FBA.
And on that front …
More Amazon FBA
Picking a winning FBM and making it FBA is the easiest way to scale your print-on-demand business on Amazon.
I’ve done it for years, and I’ll continue doing it this year.
What might differ from last year is that I’ll focus more on sending Laser Chili products to the Amazon Warehouse.
My Laser Chili team can make and ship products quickly.
If you want to scale your FBA sales, you must ensure your products arrive at the Amazon Warehouse quickly.
Not in months, but a few days.
You need to ship your products to the Amazon Warehouse ASAP because Amazon has an inventory limit.
Let’s assume your limit is 1,000 units.
If you create a shipment for, let’s say, 1,000 coffee mugs, Amazon will instantly reduce your inventory to 0 after the shipment is created.
If your supplier needs two months to ship your coffee mugs, you won’t be able to ship more FBA products to the Amazon warehouse during these two months.
On the other hand, if your supplier can ship your products in 1 or 2 weeks, you can sell them fast and have more flexibility to restock your products.
That’s why I’ll focus on sending more Laser Chili products to Amazon this year.
As I said, they can ship FBA products fast, so I can scale more easily.
Apart from Laser Chili products, I’ll also send coffee mugs, travel mugs, and some jewelry from Gearbubble to the Amazon Warehouse.
Optimize my Amazon FBA Listings
In the past few years, I rarely checked or optimized my product listings on Amazon. I kept adding new products every day and converted the winning ones to FBA.
That’s not a smart thing to do.
After Facebook Ads started to suck, I did a lot of research on the Amazon marketplace, checked my sale stats from the past few years, and tried to learn what I could do to make more sales.
I discovered that there is HUGE potential to grow my sales.
As I said, I never optimized my product listings. Once my virtual assistant and my graphic designer uploaded products, I never touched them.
I just let them make me passive income.
But in Q4, I found many new keywords that could give my products better rankings.
So, I started learning how to optimize my product listings on Amazon by fine-tuning the keywords in product titles, descriptions, and keyword tags for some of my winning products.
The results have been great so far. I sold a lot more of these products in Q4. They’re still selling well in January, which is usually a lackluster month for print-on-demand.
So, I’m going to tune up the keywords for my existing winning products and try to sell more of them this year.
I need just 10-20 winning products to achieve my 10x sales goal.
Scale My Store with Google Ads
Although I’ve been focusing on scaling my sales on Amazon recently, I don’t want to put all my eggs in one basket.
Especially if that basket is Amazon.
Selling print-on-demand products there is fine, but I don’t trust this gigantic marketplace.
For example, I got a call from Amazon a few days ago. A support person told me one of my products violated Amazon’s intellectual property policy.
I checked the product. I didn’t see anything trademarked.
It was a coffee mug with the message “Embrace the Chaos”.
I wasn’t sure what was wrong, so I asked the support person.
She said, “The word Embrace is trademarked.”
I was like, “WHAT!?”
She said, “Yes, it’s trademarked.”
So, does that mean I have to check whether every word on the planet is trademarked before creating my products?
She said, “Yes.”
It’s nonsense, and it hurts my account health score.
Luckily, I don’t have 100 products with this word or a trademark owner filing a violation claim against these 100 products.
If I had and he/she did, my account would be suspended instantly.
It’s funny that Amazon accepted the Embrace case and issued policy violation notices to sellers.
Especially when tons of Amazon hijackers in the Canadian marketplace have been hijacking my listings!
But I can’t report the violations in my brand registry account. Amazon requires that I purchase from these hijackers first to see if there’s an issue with the products.
But there are hundreds of hijackers over there! Do I need to purchase products from all of them?
It’s a ridiculous situation.
Amazon says putting a common word like “Embrace” on a product is a policy violation, but they don’t ban hijackers who copy other people’s work.
That’s why I’m putting time into growing my store using Google Ads.
I’ve hired an agency to handle this for me, but I also want to try to scale it myself. So, I bought a Google Ads course and will be carefully studying it this year.
Hopefully, my agency and I can make a lot more sales from Google Ads.
This is the plan for my print-on-demand business this year.
I have two stores to work on (on Amazon and Shopify).
My goal is to make 10x more than I did last year.
Hopefully, I can do it. 🙂
I’ll keep you posted!