Headline reads like a movie doesn’t it? Well it’s a real story and we brought her in to tell it!
We’re starting a series of Amazon case studies at Startupbros.
It’s everyday people from our private Facebook community that take what we teach on the site and in our E-commerce Empire program and never go back to their 9 to 5.
This week our case study is Stacy!
She reached $1 Million dollars in sales for the year of 2017 just 2 years after starting to sell online.
Short recap: Stacy was a full time accountant with a Bachelors and Masters in Accounting. She thought her future was set when one day she went into work and was laid off.
(So much for job security right?)
Torn between looking for another accounting job or seeing how far she could take this “Amazon thing” she chose to try Amazon and it paid off.
Stacy shares everything she knows about Amazon with us. Including her back story, how she reached $1 Million, and answers a huge amount of questions from the audience.
Our goal is to show you real people.
Nobody we feature is a super-genius, and when you watch the videos below you’ll see Stacy’s business is thriving without any “secret” Amazon hacks.
Things go wrong for her at times and things go right for her at times but she never stops.
You can see the Facebook post from our group yourself.
Check out her Facebook post right here:
$0 to $1MM per Year on Amazon with Retail Arbitrage Beginnings
It’s been a very long 2 year Journey to $1.5 million. The Stacy Story starts off with flipping cell phones on ebay!
In 2014 Stacy was working full time as an accountant. She needed a cell phone so she bought a smartphone for $40 bucks. She didn’t like it and sold it on eBay for $80.
Inspired by that she went on ebay and started buying cell phones to flip them for the next few months.
She was making around $50 to $100 per phone.
By April Stacy was making $1,000 to $2,000 per month flipping cell phones!
Turning Set Back Into Opportunity
In May of 2014, Stacy was let go from her “stable” accounting job because she was the newest one there during budget cuts.
Stacy started looking for more accounting jobs but developed the entrepreneurial bug.
Cell phones are not what Stacy wanted to focus on but wanted to make sure she never had to go back to the 9 to 5 grind.
She started searching ways to make money online and discovered arbitrage.
By January of 2015 she was going into Target , clearance stores, and had experience selling textbooks on Amazon.
Check out the whole story below:
Transition to Amazon, Meeting the StartupBros, and Never Going Back to Accounting
Stacy decided to shift from Retail Arbitrage into private label on Amazon.
She doesn’t like shopping in general and going into stores to find products. However, she’s happy she did because now she had the base knowledge of selling on Amazon
She started researching about private labeling and importing from China which led her to finding us!
Stacy’s Retail Arbitrage to Private Label Transition Timeline:
April 2015: Found Startupbros and signed up for a free webinar.
Bought the course (Ecommerce Empire)
May 2015: Bought samples from suppliers. 5 different units of 5 different products.
July 2015: Launched on Amazon
Stacy launched her brand on Amazon with 3 variations of the same product. She was blown away because sales started to come in 3 to 4 units per day and it went up to 7 to 8 units per day across the variations.
Then she kept adding products and kept adding variations. Stacy has 250 sku’s which means different variations of about 12 different products
By the end of 2015 Stacy had $100,000 in sales!
This gave me the confidence to work for myself. I had no choice but to work on this on the side and then had to take the leap
Check out the rest of the story below:
Advice to First Time Amazon Private Label Sellers for Moving Past Their Fear
Question 1: Where did your courage come from? Before the first sample order was there any doubt that you had to suppress? How did you fuel your own motivation to move past these friction points that a lot of people experience?
Question 2: Do you have any advice for people that are just about to order samples and they just can’t get past that fear?
Watch Stacy’s incredibly thoughtful answers:
Multi Channel E-Commerce, Growth Mindset to Pass $1 Million, and # 1 Amazon Strategy
By January 2016 Stacy completely dropped retail arbitrage. She was making $34,000 per month when a friend told her that she should sell one of her products on Etsy.
Then by February 2016 Stacy launched a shopify store for diversification. Amazon is still her main platform but since she created her own brand she wanted to learn about other channels.
Still she continued to add products and variations to her catologue.
If there is one thing that Stacy understands that other e-commerce sellers don’t is the Growth vs Preservation Mindset needed to hit $1 Million.
You can’t stay stale. You can’t stop adding products because you’re making money and you can’t stop trying to grow your store even after $1 Million. There needs to be a hunger for growth otherwise your sales drop.
Stacy talks about her #1 strategy to grow an Amazon business in the video below in better detail. But something that struck us was that she has made $1.5 Million on Amazon and has never had a formal product launch.
Watch her tell the story below:
Live Amazon Questions Pt. 1
When did you decide to get insurance for your products? Not corporate liability but product liability insurance.
When you decide to launch a brand new product how much money do you invest to get the product started quickly? Is it significantly more than when you started out?
If you’re doing 5 items per day, how do you deal with the MOQ’s from the suppliers?
Do you have an auto campaign running that contains all of your products low bid?
Have you considered hiring a sourcing role to continually mine for new products and suppliers?
What are the best resources to continue learning
What’s the most effective way you’ve leveraged email lists?
Did you ever get 1 on 1 coaching?
What do you do with stock that hasn’t sold? Do you take a loss?
Do you only have 1 brand or multiple brands?
Stacy answers the questions in detail below:
The First Hire, Best Mindset and Systems to Break Through $100K Per Month
2016 was the year of adding new products, diversifying and growing. There was nothing left to do but to continue making sales according to Stacy.
It was all set up for the growth that was in store for 2017. She couldn’t do it all by herself anymore and needed help.
This was the year she rented a 2200 sq. ft. office space!
January 2017 was the first month that she broke $100,000 in one month!
That’s when she considered her first hire. Also she needed to make a mindset shift and create systems to break the plateau of $100k per month. With new revenue milestones comes greater responsibility.
Here what Stacy has to say about it below
Live Amazon Questions Pt. 2
Can you recommend tools about product research? How has product research evolved for you?
Are you using the same brand name across different categories of products? Is everything you have under one niche or category?
Do you outsource the storage to a storage and prep center? Can you talk about your use of prep centers?
How was the process of finding a good freight forwarder the first time by sea?
Can you talk about your sea shipment? It seems like you’re focusing on air freight.
You have one brand with multiple products and sizes. Do you deal with multiple suppliers? Did you get products from multiple suppliers and then consolidate down?
At what monthly revenue did you feel comfortable taking a salary?
You have to keep taking action and only do the things that will move you forward.
If you want to learn how to start your own private label Amazon business the join us for a live webinar!
Will Mitchell is a serial entrepreneur and Founder of StartupBros. You can learn more about him at the StartupBros About Page. If you have any questions or comments for him, just send an email or leave a comment!