One Year Later After Selling on Amazon FBA inside China with Chris Davey

Michael MicheliniBusiness, Ecommerce, Podcast8 Comments

Welcome everyone to episode one hundred and sixty four! Claire is here, talking about bananas, and I put in some oreos in the opening conversation. We also have our new ambassador program!

South China morning post about banking in Hong Kong and the pressure it is putting on startups.

Topics Covered in this Episode

  • Intro Chris Davey

    You are on for a second time now – last time was back about a year ago for episode 114.

  • One year later on Amazon

    So you returned to Amazon business after a bit of a break for some years – starting up again last year – how is business?

  • China Sourcing Status

    Same Factory? How is the supplier side going and sourcing side.

  • How Many Products Now (SKU)

    What is the growth in products you are selling on Amazon now?

  • Getting Motivation from Supply Side

    Interesting to hear you have some positive motivation on your supply side – can you tell us more?

  • Logistics from China, to Amazon

    How is the whole, supply chain and logistics going now?

  • What are your main problems / challenges now?

    Seems things are going well – what are some pain points you are dealing with?

  • Other can jump in still?

    Is the Amazon FBA game still open for newbies? What are your thoughts for those getting started

  • Reach out to you

    How can people reach you Chris?Thanks so much for coming on!

People / Companies / Resources Mentioned in this Episode

Episode Length 34:47

Thank you Chris, and everyone for listening. We had to kick Claire out of the studio office , as her keyboard typing was so loud! We’ll work on having her involved in future episodes.

Cross Border Summit is coming – April 21- 22 – are you ready? Next week, we are talking about not needing to go to highschool or college and still getting a rock star job at Apple with Jason Green!

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Podcast Transcription

“Most of my problems at the moment, have been with Amazon over the Christmas period. I think Amazon probably lost me about fifty thousand dollars. Amazon decided to optimize my titles without telling me.”

Welcome to the Global From Asia Podcast, where the daunting process of running an international business is broken down into straight up actionable advice. And now your host, Micheal Michelini!

Mike: Alright,everybody! Episode 164 of Global From Asia and Claire has been getting in Shenzhen a little bit and going to some meetups. What are some fun stuffs you had the other day?

Claire: Uhm, last Night, we, you know like, we went for a drink after the meetups. And like a guy was talking about, like funny stuff about bananas. Do you want to explain that a little bit?

Mike: Yeah, I’ve heard of bananas so. He was from Canada but he was originally Chinese. So, we have a, (laughs) called him a banana because he’s a Chinese born Canadian or you know. So he’s yellow on the outside and white in the middle.

Claire: Yup.

Mike: Yeah, you must know other bananas then.

Claire: Yeah, I think so.

Mike: Yeah, there’s a lot of different jokes are ugh, you know oreos are? You ever heard of oreos?

Claire: Uhm, no.

Mike: Can you guess what that is?

Claire: Oreo? Uhm, don’t think so.

Mike: It’s a black person that acts white or as white cause it’s you know, the color on the outside is black and inside is white. So, yeah, there’s all these kinds of jokes are, you know, ways of making fun of people that are culturally different than maybe what they look like, or act differently. So the whole world is getting mixed up. I guess there’s lots of nicknames for my kids cause they’re mixed blood and different things. They’re probably gonna get different jokes when they are older. So (Claire laughing in the background) so we’ll see. I’ll probably hear about it at the kitchen table sometimes. And how about this ambassador program we’re working on. Do you wanna share it with everybody?

Claire: Yeah, we have like the first uhm group of ambassadors joining with us and we’re gonna have like a party. Erm. This coming Friday.

Mike: Yes. So we’re working on ways to engage with some really excited fans and listeners of the show. And we, of course, a lot of them are locally from Hong-Kong and Shenzhen. But we have a group uhh a special group for them on wechat where we’re just talking to people that really wanna help promote, especially the Cross Border Summit but other things we’re doing here at Global From Asia. So you can get in that by adding Claire on wechat at GlobalFromAsia or emailing her and, and well, ask us some questions make sure you’re in it, in it for the fun of it right?

Claire: Yeah.

Mike: We have a lot of cultural discussions in here with a, with businesses about cultural differences and well, we may get to that in future shows but I was also talking about money. I was talking to the South China morning post reporter. Claire was laughing. She hears all my phone calls now here and they were referred to me by a common friend ‘cause they’re doing a report about the banking issues in Hong Kong. So everybody thought of me and I kinda ripped into it about a half hour to a forty five minutes with the reporter just kind of in shock, writing lots of notes. She said that she was Chinese and you can hear her. How did she sound?

Claire: Like a typical way of Chinese like me, you know like when we speak English and it doesn’t really sound like, you know, like English (giggles).

Mike: Hmm, so hopefully, she got the good stuff but, but there will probably be a negative qoute in the report (pfft) from me.

Claire: I’m hoping like she’s not listening to the show right now (giggles).

Mike: (Giggling) yeah, well probably not I don’t think but anyway, let’s talk about this week’s show.

(Talking to Chris) You were actually here in the studio office, from wherever we are sitting at right now, Chris.

Claire: Yeah, I actually got the door for him.

Mike: Yeah, you helped find him. He couldn’t exactly find the place and we’re trying to make it easier for people to visit us here. So Chris Davey, he was put on the show episode 114, about a year ago and we’ve got him back on the show. He’s a, you know he has become a good friend of mine from the show and he’s doing Amazon FBA. He had done it years and years ago like I had done but he also just returned selling on Amazon via FBA about a year ago. And so, it was cool that we kind of talked last time about him starting and what’s been different and his strategies. This time, we got him back on the show to talk about how he’s gone, about how his business. He has been doing pretty well and he gives some tips and insights about sourcing and his supplies chain and logistics and all those kind of fun stuff and we can get all in to it in. And of course, the show is always at…


Mike: Yeah, alright! Let’s tune in to Chris’ interview!

Alright! Thank you, everybody! Tuning into Global From Asia podcast. We’re here with Chris Davey back on since episode 114. Thanks for coming on the show, Chris.

Chris: It’s great to be back.

Mike: And we’re doing this in person here in my humble home’s studio with the vision board on the wall and talking about getting some set of you know, padding on the wall and fun things but it’s always great to catch up with you. So today’s show, you know we were on the show 114 we recommend if you haven’t listened to it, definitely go back to the archives and check it out. But then it was a talk about preparing for your first Chinese New Year. Now we’ve been through two Chinese New Years and we were mentioning you know is, this one was a little bit more I think a little difficult Chinese New Year because it was closer to Christmas.

Chris: Hmmm.

Mike: And uhh, how did you feel the dates this year from previous?

Chris: Yeah. I mean, when I look at it in the calendar like nine months ago, something like that, I can’t have planned for Christmas and Chinese New Year all in one go. Yeah, so it was not two separate events for me. It was like, when I did it I was thinking you know, I need to cover both
events. It was a little bit tricky actually ‘cause we were in the middle of changing suppliers and it was like, we had a number of things like the middle of September was like the latest deadline.

Chris: Cause I wanted to ship a full container of stock to Amazon and it was like we were getting. We changed supply like the beginning of July or something like that. So, that’s when we started sampling and you know what it’s like, the supplies are like..

Mike: Hmmm…

Chris: “Yeah, yeah, yeah. We can do that, we can do everything. Yeah, yeah.”

Mike: Mei Wenti.

Chris: Yeah, yeah and and lots of little problems and stuff like that but luckily, we did a lot of inspection like, when they first went into production, we were there and then immediately like they made a hundred pieces of the six thousand order and we’re like, “Oh! There’s problem, problem, problem, problem.” And then like, okay, we get to leave for a week.

Chris: (Continuing) while they resolved all the issues. Otherwise they would have made all the six thousand with problems all over them so uhm, yeah. So it’s about the planning you know?

Mike: (Agreeing) Hmmm.

Chris: Don’t just sit back and hope everything goes alright.

Mike: True. Some people I heard just took like a long holiday. Well, you know in a corporate world, because with the, especially like in Asia, you have your Christmas holidays and then you have your Chinese New Year and basically January was just, stuck! Nothing happening. I felt it.

Chris: Yeah. I-I’ve had like, some of the Chinese suppliers, I asked them for a quote and like, I think it was like, 11th of January and they were like, “Oh! We’re shutting now and like we’re back in the end of February beginning in March.” It’s like nearly two months holiday. Ermmm..

Mike: Yeah.

Chris: So, yeah. It was a problem.

Mike: So it seems like what we talked before on the show. Business is doing well. Maybe you could give us kind of an update to you were just starting when we did the last years or restarting and now you and I both on e-commerce many many years ago but you just started restarting your e-commerce. Maybe, a kind of like an overview of what you are comfortable sharing, maybe your skews and other numbers or…

Chris: Yeah, no problem. Uhm, I mean, when I first started out, I started working on the first product last, in September 2015 and was hoping to launch in November, in time for getting the Christmas sales. By the end it was like, I realized Amazon or was live in Amazon was like in the 14th or 15th of December. So I managed to catch a little bit of Christmas Sales but that was kind of, I think how we spoke about in the last podcast. I designed like the products myself where possible and that was like did $11,000.00 US first month and it was also Christmas and, but it’s a very very exciting time when you start to take your product on Amazon. Like day 1, no sales. Day 2, no sales. Day 3, 1? Yay! (Mike giggling in the background). Day 4, 2. Yeah and then it was like a few more days in and it was like selling 35 a day or something like that. And so, it’s pretty exciting and basically it made me think. “Oh, Okay. I’m into something here, yeah.” Because by the time I kind of designed something. I was thinking this is a really good idea I think, but I have no idea what the other people..

Chris: (Continuing) think is a really good idea. So, it went really well. Uhm and then kind of like, already was starting to move on to other products then and they were successful as well and like coming through to the middle of last year. Had about.. I dunno, about twelve or thirteen skews, I think and uhhh.. It started to get a bit bogged down you know, there was only me. I kind of didn’t wanna employ anyone because I had a little experiment with employing people in person and I found that I wasn’t getting as much work done because I was too busy explaining to them what to do and really kind of needed me to write-up all the processes.

Mike: Hmmm.

Chris: But in my head I was thinking, “Yeah, I have no time to write all this processes.”

Mike: (laughs)

Chris: Yeah, so it’s like catch twenty two. Then I spend a lot of time training them and then like 2 or 3 weeks later, they’re like “Oh! I’m leaving.” And then someone else comes along and so I kind of got to the point where I was like, “Okay, I don’t really wanna employ anyone. I’m just gonna try do all this myself.” But it got to the middle of last year and I was feeling like I was completely booked down I wasn’t really getting anywhere. I was kind of happy with my progress but I wasn’t making anymore progress because the sourcing part of it was taking up so much of my time, with like, you know, problems at the factories and I needed to go into inspections and getting quotes and trying to, you know like, maybe I made some at this factory and I went to inspect them and I wasn’t really happy with the quality and I’m thinking “I musn’t order anymore from this factory.” And it’s always, this is also chicken and egg as well because this is like, I was, I never quite ordered enough.

Chris: So it’s like, they’re selling really well and I’m like “I musn’t order anymore from that factory.” and it’s like, “if I don’t (order) I’m gonna run out of stock” and I’m like (sigh). I really wanna change factory but haven’t got time. Which meant I needed to spend a lot of time with the factory trying to make sure we solved all the problems out.

Mike: Hmm, Got it. Well, going back in to sourcing, so yeah, you come from a sourcing background and in our last show you said you were using that for your advantage. Can you maybe share a little bit how with the process of sourcing is going?

Chris: Yeah, like I said, I actually found “Oh! Like, my products are selling really well.” So my confidence level with my design ability is starting to increase. Yeah and I was like “Oh! I was coming up with a lot of ideas and I got like a whiteboard in my living room.” Like a two
meter by one meter whiteboard and every time I thought of an idea I just wrote on that. Yeah and I ended up on a board full of ideas for products but I found, actually, I wasn’t actually getting on to any of the ideas ‘cause it’s just too busy, like going to the suppliers and getting quotes and stuff like this and then just by chance, met up. I actually went to see a friend and I was in Starbucks and met-up with a guy. Thought I could used to know from the bar. I haven’t seen for a while. I used to play pool with him and uhmm is a really nice guy and I already know too much about him by the time. By using the same seed as me and then we started talking and he said he was running a sourcing company so I decided I like, it was a few weeks later, I said I’d come and visit his office. Yeah and I went to his office and I started showing him some, some 3D uhm models that I’ve done for a new product and he started giving me some really helpful advice on like, on how to improve them, you know. So that they were easy for injection molding and stuff like this and I found that, that advice was really great and I’m in his office. He’s running a sourcing company and he was telling me “Oh! You know, I can help you with your sourcing if you want.” And I’m like, “Yeah, well okay I think maybe I’ll give you one product to try, it’s a product I’m already buying and having some issues with the supplier. I wanna change supplier but I really haven’t gotten time to deal with it. So, you know, if you wanna go out and try to find another supplier who can do it then maybe we can, maybe we can start some sort of arrangement between us.”

Mike: Okay, very cool and then, that seems to be going pretty well?

Chris: Yeah, yes. It’s going really good. Uhm, I mean, what really happened was, is ahh we struck a deal and I might as well tell you what the deal was like.

Mike: Sure.

Chris: It was like, I would give him 50% of any money he saved, so this particular product was like uhh $6.70 I think or something like that. I was paying. He managed to get it for like $5.50 so we split the saving, fifty-fifty (50:50) and also I paid him 10% commision.

Mike: Very Cool.

Chris: I see a lot of this sourcing companies, like especially in “Ewoo” you go to “Ewoo” there’s all this brochures around saying like 1% commission.

Mike: Hmmm.

Chris: I just don’t believe this companies could survive (Mike on the background: Yeah) on 1% commission. So uhmm and I’m sure it’s not really like 1%. So I wanted, I wanted to strike a fair deal ‘cause you know I want him to work for me and if, if I’m just paying him like 2 or 3%, then
he’s not making any money. Yeah, but he was gonna do a good job for me, so I wanted to make sure he got a fair, a fair wage out of it but what I found was, it was great. He managed to resource the products. We, we resourced them. I ended up paying, I think like 30 cents less than I was paying before for this product. We managed to get a few things into the design I wanted in there before like improving the packaging and uhh improving the bag that the product came in and stuff like that. So I actually ended up with a better product, a better supplier and now they were like managing all my orders. They were going there doing my quality inspection for me. Actually, I went with them the first time cause I live in China. It was, you know, it was beneficial for me and them to go together. So we can make sure we agree and are on the same page. Uhm but that was the first delivery, after that, I just left it to them.

Mike: Great!

Chris: And the real key benefit is that I got some of my time back. Which means I could design some more products. So I’ve managed now. I’ve got 34 skews and managed to launch you know another 20 more skews in the second half of last year and the beginning of this year actually, and so yeah I found it’s really beneficial to free up my time even though with like sourcing is my background, yeah? I kind of like do it myself but it’s just like, if I did I couldn’t grow the business and..

Mike: Yeah, I think you also mentioned this motivating or pushing you ahead a little bit?

Chris: Yeah, yeah. And (hehe) it’s like, uhh from the very beginning it’s just like I’m in their office and I just, “Ahhh yeah that’s, that’s really good. I was thinking about doing like a green version of this.” You know and it’s like and like 2 or 3 days later they’re like, “Oh! We got the green sampling for you.” And I’m like, hmmm. I was like “Oh! Me talking about it? Yeah.” I was like “Huh, but actually yeah it looks pretty good actually let’s go, let’s go with it you know?” And uhm like I said to you, I mean it’s a pretty simple product that I just thought of an idea for and just sent them, what day are we today? Friday. I sent them on Monday I think it was, or Tuesday like rough spec for the product and they’re asking me a few details on what should this material be or this material be? And I was like, be vague with them, “I don’t actually know what it needs to be, yeah? It’s like, this is how it needs to perform.” And literally, they sent me pictures that I then said the samples are in the office so if you wanna come and look at them so.

Mike: Awesome. Very Cool. I’m sure there’s some jealous listeners about that. I know that’s one struggle I think by not being in China or Asia maybe, waiting for samples and the diddle-lee time and the communication issues. So you definitely have a great deal there.

Chris: Yeah, I mean, that, that’s one of the things I really like about it because this is an English guy ahhh and he’s got Chinese team working for him and it basically mean, that cuts out you know 90% of the stupid questions don’t come to me, they go to him (giggles).

Chris: (laughing) I only get 10% of the questions now, you know? And it’s, it’s so much more, so much beneficial you know? Because He just filters out all of the, all of the rubbish basically yeah, so..

Mike: Very cool. So let’s move on to another big topic or theme of FBA sellers or e-commerce is logistics.

Chris: Hmmm.

Mike: So I know you’ve been figuring that out and getting, getting some work?

Chris: Yeah, I mean, I had a, in the last six months or so, I’ve had a lot of problems with the logistics and when I went into this, although I was working with for a big company before we had a logistics department and I didn’t really get too involved in it. You know I was buying, we were
spending like 30 million US Dollars, we were shipping in a lot of stuff from the UK to china stuff like that but I didn’t really have a great understanding of what the logistics department were doing. I’m just like “Here’s the delivery, you deal with it now. I don’t wanna know what you’re doing.” And umm so I kind of had to go out there and learn quite a lot about logistics and the first thing I found was, the, that actually the first company that I found were really good, they were doing a good job but they were like charging me and arm and a leg.

Mike: Hmmm.

Chris: Yeah, it was really expensive and it’s only as I build up more knowledge and spoke to more people especially as I got quite a lot of Chinese Amazon seller friends. So I started to ask them how much are you paying for logistics? How are you dealing with this? And ummm I started to realize, okay I think I’m paying too much here. I really need to find uhm, the right company and it was just by chance actually that one company happened to contact me through Facebook.

Mike: Very cool. That’s awesome.

Chris: And uhh the, the guy’s like in laws lived in the same city as me, and he happened to be coming there, so I was supposed to have a meeting with him. I was running out of time and like I haven’t got time for the meeting unless you’d come to my apartment. So he comes to my apartment we had a chat, “You seem to know what you’re talking about, so okay, I’ll give you my next shipment to deal with. Give me a good price.” And I don’t know how many shipment I’ve sent with him now, maybe 20 shipments I would guess and I also recommended him to a lot of other people and on this one, nobody’s complaining to me. Some of the other ones? (laughs)

Mike: I-I-I’m always, specially logistics, I’m really nervous to introduce logistics.

Chris: Yeah, yeah. I-I-I had some nightmares with the previous, previous ones that I’ve been using but this one, I mean, I’ve been using six months now touch wood.

Mike: Hmmm, yeah.

Chris: Is that wood? I don’t think..

Mike: Chinese wood here.

Chris: (knocks on wood*// knock* knock* knock*)

Mike: (laughs)

Chris: Yeah, been using him for about six months. I haven’t got any problem and all of the people I’ve been recommending to them actually came back to me and said “Hey! This guy is doing a really good job for me. They seem to know what they’re doing.” Ive actually just come from their office that I, actually it’s the first time that I ever been to their office.

Mike: Very cool.

Chris: Yeah, some.

Mike: Very-very cool and you know, some problems you’re having. I know it’s gonna be a funny answer, we were chatting a little bit. What are some of the pain points or problems you’re facing today?

Chris: (Sighing) yeah, most of my problems at the moment have been with Amazon. Uhm like, over the Christmas period, I think Amazon probably lost me about fifty thousand dollars.

Mike: Ugh.

Chris: Uhh and it’s just really strange things like they decided, on my products that I launched the Christmas before suddenly Amazon decided to uhh optimize my titles without telling me and took out one of the main keywords out of my title. So and it was coming towards the Christmas period. So my sales were up, which was what I expected but what I didn’t realize until I like looked, was like 2 or 3 weeks before Amazon had been in there and shortened all of my titles and taken the main keyword out. Which is like really strange and like to me, it took a long time actually to make Amazon admit that they did it, yeah? (mike snickering in the background) They were like “Oh? yeah, yea, ye, th-the the.” Until I called like 3 times and eventually I found a person and I’m like “Look, okay. I’ll ask you the same question who actually made the change?” And they were like, “Uhm, it was us or what? Somebody from our product team decided to optimize your listing titles.” And I’m like, “Yeah, great. I think you just lost me like a whole stack of sales.”

Chris: But I-I was having problems left, right and center. Another one I had was, uhh one of my product sells in the category, was in toys and games.

Mike: Okay.

Chris: But for some reason Amazon decided to move it to office products. So when you search for it with like the best keywords it didn’t come-up and that had been like that for 8 days but it was around the Christmas period again so my sales were going up and to give you an example this product was selling like 5 day or something like that and sales were going up to 15 a day. Once they fixed the keywords, it went up to a hundred a day (laughs).

Mike: So frustrating.

Chris: Yeah. So really, really annoying ‘cause it’s in toys and games you know? It’s like the perfect time to be selling toys and games products and they’ve been bought for about 8 days before I…

Mike: Hmmm.

Chris: (Continuing) before I noticed it. I was actually even thinking of like employing someone just to go into more of my listing to make sure nobody had changed anything because another one I had like, all of the images disappear apart from one and the image, the image that was there was like a really old image form like about 10 months before. So and It just goes on and on the problems. Yeah and it just, it’s a constant, a constant battle to keep an eye on this stuff I got problems I’m going with them at the moment. Uhm so…

Mike: But we were chatting on Wechat earlier but you still, you’re still a hundred percent, an Amazon channel?

Chris: Yeah, at the moment still 100% Amazon. Uhm I’m thinking about breaking out from Amazon but you know, I know quite a lot of the Amazon community and were no tomers? To these people that I, I a lot have got all my Spotify and all.

Mike: Shapa-shop-Shopify.

Chris: Shopify, yeah? Up and running now and like, you know, I spent a lot of time for up and running so what sort of percentage of your business is? They’re like, “Oh, 5%?” and I’m like, I know I need to do it but I’m like at the moment I’m like “Oh. I really can’t be. It’s not high on my priority list, you know? To do, to actually do it.” And I have someone across the sheep people though they said they managed to get like thirty percent where they, 30% of their Shopify business so…

Mike: I mean, yeah, it’s a lot of work. I mean, that was the whole, that’s the whole advantage of Amazon is that they, I mean they take care of everything even doing your own shopping cart. It’s funny I’ve noticed shopping cart became shopify so like.

Chris: Ahh.

Mike: But yeah, making your own ‘cause they don’t send you traffic. You have to do it all yourself. So uhh if you have skills, it’s definitely worth it but I agree with you, it’s a, it’s a lot of work. So hopefully we do another podcast, one more year later. What’s maybe the plan for 2017?

Chris: Ahh. You’ve put me on the spot now.

Mike: (Laughs) I got you.

Chris: (Laughs) ahh, well obviously, I wanna, I want to carry on and increase my skews on Amazon and I wanna, I wanna look at some more farmers and stuff. Yeah that what I like about just were discussing and I started playing a bit around with what Facebook ads and stuff like that the lot, there’s a lot on that. So of, a lot of “white hat” sort of techniques coming through to different sort of things now yeah. After all the terms of service changes that happened last, last October was it I think and uhh most of, I’ve been lucky cause most of the products I designed have just like taken off and, but I did just launch a new product and I’m struggling a little bit in the U.S. a lot of what I was saying before seems to be a hot seller in Germany. So uhm that, that’s one of the advantages of a, selling in all the markets, yeah? Otherwise, I mean only if you, within the US maybe, maybe you didn’t know. So uhm and I’ve changed my like shipping policies now as well which is I’ve started holding stock in, in China.

Mike: Hmmm.

Chris: Because what I was finding was I was basing in a lot of my shipping decisions on where to send the stock on like what been selling. So like, “Okay, I’ll send 90% to the US and 10% to the UK.” And then I find, oh suddenly the U.K. selling really well and the US is not selling as well and I’ve got all the stock located in the US so then I need to place another new order and it just kept catching me out all the time. So one of the big things that, as well as my logistics company today actually, was about working out a better logistics system uhm so at the moment I’m actually holding it my sourcing companies office.

Mike: Hmmm.

Chris: But I wanna hold it in China and I wanna hold, I actually wanna hold the stock in the US outside of Amazon ‘cause Amazon have like increased their shipping fee?

Yeah, they keep on increasing their fees. I see.

Chris: And if you got all the stock in Amazon as well, it doesn’t give you the, the ability to do Shopify very easily. So I was talking to my logistics company today and you know these guys, this is quite a small company and they’re not very good at informing you and then like “Yeah, yeah. We got like, we went to the US, we negotiated with warehouses like for eBay sellers like we can, we can, you can hold your stock in our US warehouse part on the warehouse and you can ship one by one, yeah? If you want to.” And I’m like, “Oh, Okay great! I’m glad I’ve come now, yeah?” ‘cause it’s otherwise we wouldn’t have known about this.

Mike: Hmmm cool! Well, Thanks so much. So you know listeners, maybe you still on offense about getting on Amazon or maybe just now trying to get started then, you still seem like optimistic.

Chris: Yeah, I think, I think one of the biggest problems with the new people is this like, you’ve really got a, if you, if you look on Amazon and there’s like six thousand people really selling the same product what you’re thinking about selling, then figure out an, I started doing a presentation. Actually uhh I didn’t finish it like most things but I started doing a presentation and uhm I was just looking for a few examples on there. iPhone 7 had just been launched at the time, have been out about 3 weeks? And at the time there was 1.4 million listings for iPhone 7 case. So…

Mike: Crazy.

Chris: So its like, you know, if you wanna break into that kind of market, it’s pretty much impossible. Yeah, unless you like really cleared up on how to get external traffic in there and…

Mike: Hmmm.

Chris: (Continuing) and get yourself front page. Umm the classy one was like one customer come to me and wanted to do this melon slicer and at the time there was like 200 people selling it and then I was like, “Hmmm, I don’t think you should sell this. There’s already 200 people selling this.” That, that product or something very similar. He’s like. “Yeah, yeah. It’s okay. I’m gonna put something else with it to make it special.”

Mike: Okay.

Chris: Like, okay, but then after about two months, he come back to me and he’s like I can’t get the PPC to work, the pay-per-click advertising.

Mike: Uh,huh.

Chris: He’s like, you know “A billion a dollar? A click? And like I’m not getting any impressions.” And I’m like, “Yeah okay, let me check here. Oh okay, there’s like, you know, there’s about three thousand people selling this product now. So what you need to think is you’re bidding against three thousand people.”

Mike: Crazy.

Chris: We call that PPC he was, he part of his bid, this product was selling for $9.99 he put up his bid to like $2.75.

Mike:For a click?

Chris: Yeah

Mike: For a nine dollar…

Chris: For a click, that’s not a guaranteed buy, yeah?

Mike: Ohhh.. (sigh)

Chris: And he was still coming up on page 7. So you really need to do your research and try not to go into an oversaturated market even you got some sort of niche product, like one of my friends wanted to sell battery, power banks?

Mike: Hmmm

Chris: And I’m just like..

I’ve heard that’s not a good one.

Chris: Yeah, there’s just like so many on there. I said you could be selling a 24 karat gold power bank on there for $20.00 and you’re probably still struggling getting any sales ‘cause nobody would ever find your advert because there’s so many on there. So, it-it, it really needs to be something a little niche. That’s why I’m struggling a little bit with my product, the minute there was, I launched it was on like page 10, and, but it started to move forward. This, the category is not over saturated but there’s a lot of people on there, so.

Mike: Hmmm.

Chris: But I think my product is quite different for everyone else’s and hopefully nicer.

Mike: Yeah, you’ll be fine. Well, as well as doing your research are there in Amazon or other business. I think people should check out the market a little bit before and thanks so much Chris and you have an amazing Wechat group for FBA sellers and other things, or how do you suggest people connect with you, or what you’re doing?

Chris: Yeah, that’s a good question actually. Uhm they can, they can add me on Wechat but I probably won’t know Wechat so many people but uhm maybe drop me an email at that’s

Mike: Yup yup, well put it in the shownotes.

Chris: Yeah, also got the, the cats offer me up? Uhm I haven’t actually done any much planning for it yet but you can’t take for granted. It should be phase 2 and phase 3, the third day of each phase, that’s when I knew we planned it for.

Mike: Cool.

Chris: Last time we had like,

Mike: Yeah, I was there.

Chris: Hundred and twenty people it was, it was erm that, the phase 2 one was like completely packed

Mike: Get those one up. I-a, it was completely jammed. Great, a lot of great people.

Chris: Yeah, a lot people. A lot of interest in people there so.

Mike:Awesome. We also a, did a video blog too.

Chris: Yeah.

Mike: And like that if you watched.

Chris: Yeah, remember the guy asleep?

Mike: Yeah, I did a shared D-D, (laughs) shared taxi with the guy was in the middle back seat and he didn’t seem to feel uncomfortable to just take a nap. I thought I’d catch him on video and he woke-up (snickering) and he was angry. (Chris laughing in the background) but he says, kinda shocked to see it so I showed him and he sees it! And he’s like “Okay”, he goes. He lets me keep it.

Chris: He gets back to sleep.

Mike: Yeah, yeah (laughs).


Mike: I don’t know what was worse. I was recording which is what I, what I think he didn’t like but he then let me keep it anyways.

Chris: Just wanted to check you hadn’t drawn on his face or something when he was asleep, yeah?

Mike: Hmm yeah, maybe.

Chris: (Laughs)

Mike: Interesting. Well, it’s always fun having you on the show, Chris. We’ll definitely get you back and thanks for coming on!

Chris: No problems Thanks alot.

Mike: Alright! Thank you everybody for listening in. Thanks Chris for driving that knowledge and sharing with everybody I really appreciate him coming back to the show. Thank you! And I had to kick claire out of the studio or office when we were doing it cause I can hear her clicking on the keyboard. So I hope it didn’t, didn’t interrupt too many people but Claire was getting a little, listen to the show ‘cause she’s a listener anyways. So, she got to hear a little bit and uhh what do you think, Claire? Next time you wanna sit in on the interview?

Claire: Yeah, definitely!

Mike: Okay. We gotta upgrade some of our equipment. So, get some more microphones and get some more gear and we’ll get you more involved. Also, next week’s show actually, well Claire has been getting me many guests and we’ve been doing a lot of cool stuffs here and there is ah, so many interviews already been recorded, it’s just a matter of figuring out which one to do but I think we’re gonna do Jason Green, he was a fun one. He uhh, he’s a, doing his own business in Thailand selling uhh supplements online. Health supplements, we’re not talking business this time, we’re talking about him growing up in a van in the US, not going to school and uhh he was travelling around with his hippie mom and didn’t go to high school or college but ended up going building iTunes and the, doing his own business. Ahh! For me, it’s a little bit personally interesting because I got kids and I’m already having disputes with my wife about college. So (laughs) he uhh he, yeah Jason gives us some great perspectives and uh, and ugh. Yeah maybe, I’ll go to bali for some hippie schools for my kids or something but that’s gonna be next week and of course the show notes for this week are at…


Mike: Alright! Thank you, Claire and everybody. See you next week enjoy your Tuesdays and everything else.

Mike and Claire: Have a nice day!

Mike: Bananas and everybody

To get more info and everybody in the business please, visit our website at That’s Also, be sure to subscribe to our iTunes. Thanks for tuning in!

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Tags: amazon, asia, career, china, corporate, e-commerce, ecommerce, entrepreneur, guide, legal, tips, warehousing

8 Comments on “One Year Later After Selling on Amazon FBA inside China with Chris Davey”

  1. Gary Murphy

    Great pod cast! Excellent. Reminded me of many years ago when I had my China sourcing company in Las Vegas. Enjoyed listening to this show. Great job Mike & Chris.

    1. Michael Michelini

      I’m asking Chris now – he (like me!) is always weary to refer logistics companies as it is a type of business that can get a bit backlogged and then we get blamed for making the introduction!

    2. Chris Davey

      Hi Trushar, Please contact James at Smartisan Logistics (, let him know your a friend of Chris Davey and he will look after you!

  2. Pingback: Newsletter: Amazon FBA 1 Year Later

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