Some of you may be familiar with the website “Startup Bros” – even maybe as a resource or introduction to the world of eComm and selling on Amazon.
Speaking personally, I have on occasion gleaned some insightful and timely knowledge and ideas from their website and videos.
Recently, this website had its entire YouTube channel deleted, which is very unfortunate because they had millions of views on their videos and nearly 30k subscribers.
The blog post related to their experience highlights some very important aspects of doing business online (no matter what you're doing).
What Startup Bros experienced speaks to a disheartening fact of doing business online.
As the author of the post Will Mitchell stated: You really are a “slave to the algorithms” now – whether or not you're a YouTube “guru”, advertising on Facebook, Google, or … selling on Amazon.
Additionally – NOTHING is safe online. Everything is open for public access and consumption once you place it online.
A recent and relevant example of this fact that is related to selling on Amazon is that starting on September 1st, 2020 – Amazon will be publicly displaying seller’s “place of business” address on their seller profile page.
For many third-party sellers – this place of business is literally their home street address. Obviously, this public display of information becomes a real privacy and security concern that must be addressed.
If you want to build a “future proof” business for yourself – you may want to consider diversifying away from ecosystems like Amazon that control almost every aspect of your business.
For me, diversifying away from Amazon is a goal I have been working toward over the past 2 years after 3 years of doing nothing but Private Label on Amazon.
I started to see clear patterns in how Amazon was positioning itself with FBA, and using third-party sellers to bolster revenue, while at the same time, creating several multi-million dollar “niche” industries (such as advertising, support consulting, legal services, etc.) – not to mention, Amazon itself was using 3P sellers’ successes and openly creating their own “Amazon” brands (brands like AmazonBasics and Solimo).
What kind of lifestyle is living in perpetual fear of being undercut by Amazon, or shut down for no good reason other than that a rogue algorithm one day decides you have *one* word in your listing or a bad (and untrue) customer review that is “ban-worthy”…
I don't know about you, but that's not the kind of “carefree lifestyle” I signed up for when I signed up for selling on Amazon.
I am not writing this to scare newcomers away from Amazon, but I do want newcomers to know that selling on Amazon isn’t designed for everyone.
It’s not as easy as it was in 2015 and even those of us who have been on that long (or longer) are starting to feel the squeeze from multiple directions.
For newcomers looking to achieve an income that completely replaces a “9-5” job – please be sure you know the reality of what it takes to accomplish this.
It will take years. It may require working long days sometimes, and it will absolutely require working capital and cash flow to scale. And, eventually, you will need to start spreading out to using other selling channels. Channels like Shopify, Etsy, eBay, and Walmart.
Additionally, you will need to always be working toward developing your own unique products (or products that exist but can be modified and improved), and then finding the right mix of products to sell for your brand and target market.
The more ways you can provide value to your target market, the better positioned you will be to have a sustainable and healthy business.