Have you ever had an idea that could solve a major business problem? Or one that could make life a lot easier for you and thousands of others?
At some point, we have all thought about making the world a better place. This is why continuous upgrades and inventions are coming out every day.
It has been over one year since I launched PODTurbo publicly.
I have never been more proud of anything in my life than seeing my brainchild making life easier for hundreds of print of demand sellers out there.
So, for this anniversary, I thought I should walk you guys through the back door and tell you all there is to know about the development of PODTurbo.
Why exactly did I make it? Is there a story to it, or was it just a product of a light bulb moment?
We’d find out in today’s post. Stick around as I share the behind-the-scenes story of the Rise of the PODTurbo.
What is PODTurbo?
While writing this story, I thought to myself, “Hey, how about the new guy who is just visiting the blog for the first time?”
If my guess is right, then you might not have an in-depth knowledge of what the PODTurbo is and how it works. So, this is for you, the new guy. The rest of you can skip this and move on to the juicy part.
PODTurbo is an automated system that helps people create and publish print-on-demand products to multiple marketplaces with less effort to earn consistent passive income from their product sales.
With the PODTurbo, you can publish as many as 100,000 print-on-demand products and earn passive income by selling them in multiple marketplaces such as Amazon, Etsy, eBay, and more!
Doing this print on demand business over the last couple of years have made me realize that the process involved in putting out products is the most demanding of all.
It takes a lot to create products, upload them, track sales, and place orders – especially if you have thousands of product listings.
I saw an opportunity to make things a whole lot easier for print on demand sellers all over the world, and I grabbed it by the balls!
Today, PODTurbo allows users to create and upload products automatically 24/7, any time of the day.
Worried about creating mockup designs for your products? PODTurbo got you! With its automatic product mockup creation, you no longer need to create product mockups manually.
With PODTurbo, you can submit multiple designs to the system and take a rest. The system will automatically create the product mockups and send each product mockup image to the marketplaces to create the product listing.
Sounds pretty amazing, right?
So, let say you’re having a good time at the beach getting a suntan while sipping coconut milk, and a product order comes in, don’t worry. You don’t have to spoil the fun!
PODTurbo would forward it to the supplier who will make, pack, and ship the product automatically. You don’t have to place an order and insert the customer info manually anymore. The system will complete this process.
The PODTurbo system is running on a cloud server. Once you’ve submitted the product info to the system, the system will start working automatically. You don’t have to open your laptop anymore. Just close it, sit back, and enjoy life!
If that’s not super cool, I don’t know what is!
Now that all of that has been said, let’s get back to the story!
THE REASON – Why I built the PODTurbo
I spent over $600 every month on a virtual assistant who only helped me list tons of products in my Amazon account.
Although $600 was a lot of money, I didn’t bother because the business was going well for some time. I have found many good products and making them FBA helped me make more consistent sales. It was all well and good. Life couldn’t get any better.
Until one day, when Amazon found that there was a problem with some of my products. Unfortunately, two of my mugs both had the words “Target” and “Amazon” on them. The crazy part was that my VA didn’t even check it or notice it.
Sadly, my Amazon account got deactivated because of this. Honestly, I didn’t even make any sale from these two mugs. They caused me a lot of problems! I lost time, and I lost money, and a lot of good night’s sleep too.
The thought of losing my account, with all my products still in there, scared the sh*t out of me!
I have never been that frustrated in my life. In fact, I don’t like talking about it. Lol.
If anything can make me not enjoy playing games or watching Netflix, then it must be terrible!
I couldn’t sleep. I kept refreshing my email over, and over, and over…
Luckily, after about one week, I managed to get my account back after having my heart in my mouth the whole time.
So, I stopped adding more products to Amazon.
At that time, I already had about 100,000 products in my account, and they were generating a solid passive income for me.
I just stopped adding more products. I decided not to take a risk to list more products.
But then, I thought to myself that it’s not safe to build the POD business this way.
I mean, I pay a whole lot of money to get to where I was. It took a lot of years and money for my team to create over 100,000 products on Amazon.
The reality is that all of it can disappear within a night because one error is quite scary!
It was at that point that I thought that it might be better for me to handle this process using a bot.
This is where the idea of having an automated POD system that would be dedicated to product uploads management.
Also, I thought about spreading my business presence to other eCommerce marketplaces.
Etsy was my top choice because I have had many people who showed their earning stats. So, I was supposed to create my product listings on Etsy, but I was too lazy to list them myself.
Pardon me for not wanting to go through the rigors of uploading over a hundred thousand products all by myself.
I also didn’t want my virtual assistant to do it on my account because Etsy can get a little bit cranky when one account gets accessed by many people. They could even suspend the account!
I once got one of my Etsy accounts temporarily suspended for accessing it from different countries.
So, I thought it would be great if there was a system that could list the print on demand products on Amazon and Etsy for me automatically.
And that was how the idea of the PODTurbo was conceived.
THE PROCESS – Build & Grow
If there is one thing I’ve come to know in my years of doing business, it’s that alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much.
All I had was an idea. It not like I can’t write a code or do some basic stuff. But when it comes to building a complex system like PODTurbo, I’d rather ask for help.
So, I asked one of my friends, a badass programmer, to take up this project. I explained everything I had in my head to him, and surprisingly, he got it right away! Now, he’s the CTO of PODTurbo!
After several sessions of explanations and walk through POD’s uploading process, he came back with the PODTurbo v0.1. Our very first version of what would be a dream come true.
After he conducted a series of research, he found that we can do it with the marketplace API. That was the launching pad for us.
We kept digging into more and more ways to simplify the process and make it easy to understand for an average user.
We also discovered that we could build tons of products on PODTurbo using the CSV file. With this, we would be able to handle a huge number of product lists.
Creating 1,000 products with the product mockups could require about a whole day or more to finish by a human. But at that rate, the PODTurbo could already get it done in less than an hour.
However, we didn’t stop there. There are a lot of eCommerce marketplaces out there. Sometimes, it gets too much for me to keep up with. But they all have their fair share of active buyers and sellers community.
It would only be wise to create a system that can allow people to take advantage of all of these platforms.
So, my CTO made the PODTurbo system in such a way that it could upload products to as many possible marketplaces.
Although I asked for only Amazon and Etsy at first, the PODTurbo would work perfectly for eBay, Bonanza, Storenvy, Shopify, and WooCommerce.
Anyway, our system wasn’t perfect. Even now, it’s still not nearly as perfect as what we want it to be. Although we have made a lot of progress, there are still many things to improve on.
The first version of the PODTurbo took lots of time to process the product data. It took about 5-10 minutes to upload and process 250 products.
If you are the founding members, you might remember that it took a very long time to upload the CSV and image files.
We had many technical issues like this. But we kept improving the functions because we know it’s where our members will do the work.
Now, it can do this within just under a minute. Great improvement, right? 🙂
Amazingly, some members made a few orders a few days after we opened the PODTurbo. I was so happy seeing all of these people buying into my idea of an automated POD system. It was so cool!
Sadly, some members also left as well because our system didn’t process their orders correctly. We are sorry about that. You can come back to us anytime now! We are ready for you!
When we realized that the CSV creating process was difficult for some people, we thought about making it simpler.
From time to time, we also add new products to our system. This would give people the chance to make sales from other products. This way, it makes POD difficult to be saturated.
After we launched the PODTurbo, we added the marketplace selection to give our members full control over their products and where it goes.
Previously, the system was designed by me, and I love simplicity. Once the products are uploaded, I wanted them to be uploaded to all marketplaces. However, I didn’t realize that not everybody wants to upload all of their products to all marketplaces.
For instance, Etsy charges around $0.20 for every single product that is listed. This looks like a minimal amount until you have to pay $2,000 for uploading about 10,000 products.
Some people don’t want to pay that many fees! So, we had to change the way it worked to suit our members’ needs. Once we hear what our members say, we always listen!
And you can trust our vibrant list of active PODTurbo members to always provide amazing update suggestions. Since we launched the system, I’ve found that people want so many functions that we couldn’t even think of when we started building this.
Today, we have a long list of the updated plans for PODTurbo that we are yet to implement. We’re continuously updating PODTurbo with bigger and better features and functionality.
Based on the daily feedback we get from customers, we keep adding new features. And you’ll get every upgrade free of charge! It is still going to get more awesome than it currently is.
Results from our members
We have been able to publish tons of products for our members over the year. We have made over 12,000 orders for our members with an estimate of around $240,000 in sales. Phew!
Currently, our system makes over 300 orders a day for our members during the Q4. I update the stats every day recently on my Twitter.
Some members also select some of their selling products on Amazon and Etsy and promote them using FB Ads for more coverage and sales. I can tell you that they have made tons of cash!
There are so many things that most people don’t know about the development of the PODTurbo and how it is being run. Let me let you in on some of them.
- Only two people are building the PODTurbo system. Shocked? Don’t be! Lol. So, we’re sorry if we add new functions very slowly. It’s because my CTO is the only one who writes the program and does the entire tech stuff. I am here for ideas and moral support. Haha.
- At the early development stage of the PODTurbo, my CTO created the market integration for Wish, Magento, and some other marketplaces. But I had to tell him to stop because that’s too many!
- We used to have a ‘Beta’ badge in our system, until one day, one of our members asked for a refund. I decided to remove that badge after that.
- We think that the CSV creation process is quite complicated for many users. This is why we keep making attempts to make it simpler. Can you believe that some users still want us to add more columns and add more variables? LOL!
- I’ve had people who claim that they are afraid of using the system because they think I might look at their products, then use their info to build my POD empire. Funny, right?
- First things first, I understand the insecurity. But you see, the truth is that I NEVER look at my people’s products. The only way that can happen is to check the database, and my CTO can ONLY access this. I don’t even know his password!
- Also, my CTO and I have an agreement not to check any user’s product. We don’t have any page that we can check the product’s info. So, there’s no way that I can do that.
- I should also add that I have over 100,000 products in my Amazon account, and I have made lots of sales since 2017. I honestly have no reason to check other’s people products.
- My CTO doesn’t even have an Amazon or Etsy account as well. He mainly focuses on building this system. So, I can boldly reassure you that we don’t see your product info. It is 100% secured!
- There is no Facebook Group for PODTurbo because I don’t like FB Group. I always miss the notification and forget to reply. Sorry! What I did was to move all my support tickets to HelpScout.
- We may open one but just maybe. So, there’s no technical issue in question here. It’s just that I have a meager chance of responding. And if I do, it will be for fun only. Sorry guys! Lol.
The PODTurbo has helped many print on demand sellers to become better and make more money. We have a goal of becoming the number 1 choice for POD business system automation in the world.
This is why we keep updating our system daily to ensure that we stay updated with new functions and innovative features.
With PODTurbo, you don’t have to hire people to upload products for you anymore. The system will do all the work for you, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! This means that you are no more prone to human error. The system is programmed to do exactly what you tell it to do.
The product titles, keywords, and descriptions will be whatever you define. This way, you will be able to save thousands a month and work more efficiently. You would also be able to build a more sustainable and consistent print on demand business.
The goal is to help people make passive income from selling print on demand products. I must say that we have been doing that pretty well.
We hope to make life better for print on demand sellers all over the world. But as I said, there is still room for much improvement. So, if you have any recommendations, do let me know!