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#223 – Project 5K Update: $150K in Sales in 4 Months!

After starting with $5000, in the last 4 months, Bradley Sutton’s initial Amazon product launch has resulted in 150K in sales. Find out how!

Selling on Amazon.

Some might have the mistaken impression that e-commerce would be an exciting way to make money, if only they had a large chunk of money to start with. Everyone has heard stories of people mortgaging homes or taking out enormous loans to start a business.

On this episode of the Serious Sellers Podcast, Helium 10’s Director or Training and Chief Evangelist, Bradley Sutton revisits his Project 5K Product Launch Case Study to make clear (one more time), that starting to sell on Amazon can be done on a shoestring budget.

In the next 40 minutes you’ll learn why inventory management and product testing are so important, how Etsy can rescue a failed product, and the finer points of using bundled products to compete in a saturated market.

The Amazon playing field is wide open. Maybe it’s time to empty the little piggie bank that holds all those discarded coins and start your own Amazon business.  

In episode 223 of the Serious Sellers Podcast, Bradley discusses:

  • 02:20 – A Quick History of Project 5K
  • 05:30 – A New Launch – All-in on One Product
  • 07:00 – 31K at 25% Profit in Two Months
  • 08:45 – Crushing It with a Sub-Niche Product
  • 10:30 – Why Inventory Management Matters
  • 14:00 – Maldives Honeymoon Tactics
  • 16:00 – Quality Problems at the Factory Take a Toll   
  • 18:15 – Etsy Rescues a Defective Batch of Products   
  • 20:30 – Why Inspections Matter   
  • 25:00 – A Niche Without Competitors Catches Bradley’s Eye
  • 28:30 – Using Bundled Products to Compete in a Saturated Market
  • 34:30 – A Third 5K Product Launch   
  • 35:30 – Using Profitability Calculator to Shave Inches and Raise Profits  
  • 40:30 – Four Months and 150K with Project 5K   

Enjoy this episode? Be sure to check out our previous episodes for even more content to propel you to Amazon FBA Seller success! And don’t forget to “Like” our Facebook page and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Google Play or wherever you listen to our podcast.

Want to absolutely start crushing it on Amazon? Here are few carefully curated resources to get you started:

  • Freedom Ticket: Taught by Amazon thought leader Kevin King, get A-Z Amazon strategies and techniques for establishing and solidifying your business.
  • Ultimate Resource Guide: Discover the best tools and services to help you dominate on Amazon.
  • Helium 10: 20+ software tools to boost your entire sales pipeline from product research to customer communication and Amazon refund automation. Make running a successful Amazon business easier with better data and insights. See what our customers have to say.
  • Helium 10 Chrome Extension: Verify your Amazon product idea and validate how lucrative it can be with over a dozen data metrics and profitability estimation. 
  • SellerTradmarks.com: Trademarks are vital for protecting your Amazon brand from hijackers, and sellertrademarks.com provides a streamlined process for helping you get one.

Transcript

Bradley Sutton: Today, you guys are going to get an update on my case study, Project 5k, where I started with $5,000 and now in the last four months, those initial products have resulted in over $150,000 of sales. How cool is that? Pretty cool, I think.

Bradley Sutton: Hello everybody, and welcome to another episode of the Serious Sellers Podcast by Helium 10. I am your host Bradley Sutton, and this is the show that’s a completely BS-free, unscripted and unrehearsed organic conversation about serious strategies for serious sellers of any level in the Amazon world. And this is a conversation I’m going to have with myself. No guest today, but this is now the third installment in the Project 5k series. This started all the way back in like the end of 2019 is when I started this. And I first gave you guys an update or like let everybody know the details on June 12th of 2020, that was episode 150 of this podcast. If you guys want to check out the original episode, go check out episode 150. You can also find it a helium10.com/podcast. And now in that original episode, I showed how with $5,000 for somebody I launched 12 products, that’s 12 products, total. They were a bunch of straws, like really cheap products, but I just wanted to kind of prove that, Hey, you don’t need tons and tons of money to get started on Amazon. Some of those products only costs like $500 to launch by launch 12 products for $5,000. Now, back in October in episode, I think it was 185, episode 185. I gave another update since then about what had happened in the summer months. And in that episode I had said, all right, now I’m taking $5,000 at a time for one product. All right. So still that’s the name, Project 5k, Project 5,000. So, that original products, those 12 products were generating profit. Now, Hey, from that initial investment, let’s now take $5,000 at a time and just reinvest into a new product line, new products. So that has been what Project 5k has been since then is me launching single products all in for $5,000 investment.

Bradley Sutton: All right. So this is going to give you guys an update on all of Project 5k from October to the end of January. We’re now here in the middle of February and I’m recording this episode, but just to keep it even, I’m just giving you the update from October 1st through January 31st. All right. So first of all, like I said, the initial products in Project 5k were a bunch of like really cheap products, selling for like five, six, $8 because Hey, when you only have $5,000 and you divide that among 12 products, obviously you are not going to be having products that are retailing for 30 bucks or anything. One of the products there was about 20 bucks, but the rest were like these really cheap straws, right? And a lot of them were seasonal now from October 1st until January 31st, those straws generated $17,000 worth of gross revenue. A lot of them did super, super well in the holidays. Like around Halloween, there was a big bump. And then again, around Christmas time, there was a huge bump on some of these. And I actually launched for this person, a couple more straws, just like random straws, having nothing to do with seasonality or holidays or anything like that. But I had seen a little bit of opportunity. So I launched a couple more products and those only costs like four or $500 of investment. And I discontinued about three or four straws that just weren’t performing well. But overall, all in it was another $17,000 of gross revenue. Now, due to the very low retail price, the profit on this was only 10%. All right. So, the person who has this account, they’re not making that much money off of these straws, and could I get that profit of, I probably could, but I’m barely spending time, I’m not building any audience or anything like that. I’m not running off outside traffic. And I’m not even spending too much time on the PPC, just for those products by itself. There’s like about 13 or 12 straws, actually no 11, 11 straws left on that account. And each of those have about three to five PPC campaigns each. So it’s a lot of work. It’s a lot of work. Could I get it better? I probably could, but Hey, it’s pretty amazing. I spend on this account maybe 30 minutes a week and Hey, that resulted in $17,000 worth of sales.

BradleySutton: Now in the October episode, the episode 185, that was when I had told you guys about a couple more, a few more products that I had launched. The very first one was my first standalone product that I was investing $5,000 in. All right. So that was like, you know what? I proved that we can, you know, do cheap products for $5,000. Let’s do a semi expensive one. If you recall that episode, it was a $40 retail product, right. It was doing really well. It was doing really well if you were listening to that episode. And so here’s the stats from October now, it was doing so well that it’s sold out. All right, it’s sold out in the middle of November. Now, this kind of sucks because I’ve talked how really cool my sourcing agent is, but she kind of like messed me up on this one because she went and changed factories, without telling me, on her own. And this other factory just kind of like screwed me over. All right. Like I ran out of stock and then it was out of stock for a month, no, two months, almost two months during Christmas and January where I could have just like made a killing on it and then, of my other order of 1000 units, they only gave me a hundred because they were having production delays and the quality wasn’t great. It was a nightmare. Just to give you guys an idea of how this product progress. This one that I announced in episode 185 from October 1st through the end of January, with two months of being out of stock, like literally two full months. So it was only in stock half the time total gross sales were $31,000 at a 25% profit margin. So that was a very successful product launch. And I’m going to have to just try and build it back now as it, as it comes in stock. And I been trying to launch more colors for it. I’m like, Hey, let me try out some variations. But that was a very, very successful Project 5k launch right there. Even with it out of stock for two months, again, well, over $30,000 of gross sales. So that was that. All right. So now at the same time, in that episode 185, I also told you guys that I launched a different brand, right? Completely different kind of brand, both of these, I got brand registry for. All right. So one of them, I got brand registry through IP accelerator. The other one I did from the Helium 10 company sellertrademarks.com. So I launched another brand completely different because I want to hit a different category.

Bradley Sutton: And I had talked a little bit about that launch and it went pretty well. And actually again, because this, remember this is before inventory management came out by Helium 10. So I was just kind of like screwing up left and right with the inventory planning and things were selling a lot better. So that one again, at the end of October, I ran out of. All right. Oh, I’ll actually tell you what that product is. Because I don’t think you guys can find it’s on somebody else’s account. So I can’t really expose their account because then everybody would see all their products and it’s not me to do that, or it’s not my place to do that. But it’s kind of like a char– what do you call it? Like a charcuterie board, right. A charcuterie board, but not one of those like typical ones, it’s kind of a unique one. All right. And it was never selling like, Oh my goodness, some charcuterie boards are in Christmas time. We’re just doing ridiculous. Like there is something like a thousand years a day, it was insane. But anyway, so this was something that I knew would get that high. If you guys listen back to episode 185 you’ll hear that the main competitor was selling like two, three units a day. This one had a nice price point. I liked the profit margins. And I was like, it’s an easy product to make, Hey, let me see what I can do. And right off the bat we were selling like more than that main guy was all right. So in this really, really sub-niche, we became number one. So anyways, I was out of stock of that product about one month, exactly one month only. So from October 1st through January 30th, we sold of this product $30,000, another $30,000 product, despite being out of stock for a month. And during the holidays, it was just like really skyrocketing. Like there was some days where like I said, this is something that sells like two, three units a day. We were selling 20, 30 units a day leading up to Christmas. So, it was a popular gift. So I’m definitely going to double down on that this year for the Christmas time I’m going to stock up because this one was performing amazing in PPC during the Christmas time. Now on this one, the profit was not as great. I wasn’t keeping close enough watch on the PPC. And so I kind of let it get out of control.

BradleySutton: I was doing some like tests on the PPC as well, trying to do some sponsored display just to test the algorithm. That’s the beauty about having these case studies as I can– they’re not for profit really. So I can just like play around with it and test different things, and test different sequences, et cetera. So the profit margin on this was only 12%, all right, but still, Hey, that’s a $30,000 and that’s a little over $3,000 of profit. Again, this was a product that all in was less than $5,000 initial investment. And now it’s generated $30,000. I’m into the second order right now. And now I made the third reorder and that’s going to come in and stock before I run out. So I’m not running out of stock anymore. Thanks to Inventory Management by Helium 10. So guys right there, there’s $60,000 in the first two Project 5k products generated in the last four months. And that’s with being out of stock for a while. So I was like, all right, let’s just keep going. I had said in that episode 185, that I was about to get a bunch more products into stock. And here’s where things are going to start to get interesting. Okay. So here’s where things get interesting. I got another product. This one was from the very first launch. All right. So that first Project 5k product, that was a standalone. I was like, let’s do something on the same brand right. Now, this one. I learned a good lesson here that I got two products around the same time. And they were both in that same first brand. And if you recall, the reason why I got two more products for that brand is I want it to be able to do sponsored brand ads, or I want to do sponsored brand ads, which are the headline ads. And you need three products to do that. Right. Because I was like, man, I’m going to dominate now until this time I never got inspections. Right. Never got inspections. I was just like always in a hurry. And I always had such good product from the factories that I was just like, you know what, I’m going to be lazy and not get inspections, but this product here, all right. I always test it when it comes to my warehouse. Remember how I don’t ship things to Amazon directly for my first order. That’s part of the Maldives honeymoon method.

Bradley Sutton: All right. The Maldives honeymoon method is like, Hey, create your listing right when you’re about to start sales the next day. So because of that, I have to ship all the product to me first just fine. I’ve got a warehouse here at my house. So every time we get a new shipment, what I have my family do here is open up some boxes just to make sure their product is good. And lo and behold, I didn’t like it. The quality was bad. All right. There is like paint dripping on some parts of this home decor product. And I’m just like, Oh man, this is like not good. So I told my sourcing agent, I’m like, Hey, I don’t know if I can sell this. So, she said she would try and get credit from the factory. We didn’t do the inspection, but it was obvious they screwed up. So what I had to do is I actually had to go through all of these products, every single one, one by one, open them up, take them out of the wrapping and take pictures of everyone that was bad just for documentation. And then see the ones that were good. And I only ended up with about 150 out of 500 that I ordered that were good. 350 units that were bad. And this was like oh, broke my heart. I was like, man, this was going to be such a hot product. Right. And sure enough, it was, I still threw those 150 up on Amazon. And within, let me just look at my notes here. Within 30 days, those 150 units all were sold out. All right. So I sold out right away now in the meantime, what my sourcing agent said is they’re going to replace those as long as I make another order of 400 units. And then they would replace like the other 350 that were bad. Right. So I was like, fine. I’ll make another order. Because I know this is hot. And then we’ll get that on order. So long story short, I launched that product again using the Maldives method worked perfectly, got to page one for all the main keywords super-fast and was just like dominating that niche. One thing I did different in the product differentiation was that I made my product a little bit bigger. There was only one or two other competitors at the time. This was a product that I originally found the opportunity from Pinterest and Etsy. And I made mine a little bit bigger so that I could say, Hey, this is the biggest one here. And that obviously worked well for me because I just crushed the other competition.

Bradley Sutton: Anyways, despite that air on the Amazon product here, I was out of stock for about a month and a half. All right. And so from October 1st to January 31st or January 31st, is there a January? Yeah, there is a January 31st. October 1st through January 31st, I sold $19,000 worth of this product. All right. So $19,000, about 450 units, because I got the second shipment right at the beginning of January. Unfortunately again, another product that missed the Christmas rush. I could have just made a killing on this during the Christmas season, but no, they kind of messed me up because I didn’t do the inspection and I got a bunch of crap product. Now, again, the $19,000, that’s still pretty, pretty good, again, 20% profit on that. So very happy with that. And that’s with a launch. That’s 20%, even though that part of that was part of my launch. So that’s pretty impressive numbers in my opinion for the profit margins. Now, bookmarking your mind the fact that I now have 350 of this defective product sitting in my warehouse, right. I didn’t throw it away. I was going to get credit. So I like, basically I didn’t pay for it. Right. Didn’t pay for this. So now the other product that arrived a week later, remember I said, I have now a total of three products for this brand. It was even worse. It was a different kind of product, but it was a different factory, but Oh my goodness. It was just garbage quality. I was like, are you even serious? Like, how does somebody even pack this in a box and think it’s going to be okay? That’s how bad it was. I was like, this is terrible. All right. Now that product I only had about, I think I only ordered 300 units. All right. I only ordered 300 units. And out of those 300 units, only 60 were good. All right. It was almost all bad. So again, talk to my sourcing agent. She’s like, all right, we’re going to hook you up. You place another order, we’ll give you credit for these 250 or whatever bad ones. Right. But what happened was during this, in the meantime, so much competition entered into this space that I was just like, you know what, I’m just going to forget about this product because I can’t compete, or I don’t want to compete. I don’t want to have to compete with these, all these people. So I could have made a killing on this product as well. So I sold out of those 50 good ones, right.

Bradley Sutton: And so now I’ve got 250 of this product that are bad, defective, like paint running everywhere, not sanded down like defects, like scratch marks. It seems it was just bad. Right. And remember, I had 350 of that other product that was bad too, that I was going to get credit for it. So I was thinking, all right, what can I do with this product? I can’t put up on Amazon. This is all bad stuff. I don’t want to put up as a use on eBay. It’s not enough kind of traction. So check this out.

Bradley Sutton: This is actually going to be my BTS of the episode. Bradley’s 30-second tip. These are like home decor kind of wooden products. So what I did was I actually put these on Etsy and then I called these defective products. All right. So like, I’ve made it very clear in the title. I was like, all right, guys, this is what the product is. I named the product, but this was from a defective set of units that our shop had produced that doesn’t meet our standards. And so we’re just going to give it away for practically for free plus the shipping. And I had pictures of some of the examples of the defects and I put it up there for like $3 plus shipping. All right. I was like, Hey, there’s $3 that I can sell this for $3, and I was making a couple of dollars on the shipping too, because I have a standard price for shipping out of my warehouse from Etsy, but then it’s a shipped to California. It’s obviously way cheaper than to ship to New York. And I was making prices for shipping based on a New York shipping. So that means pretty much anybody ordering on the West coast, I was making another two or $3 on shipping right there. So I was like, let’s see if this works and guys, Oh my goodness, this was crazy. Right. I sold out of these defective two products, 350 plus 250 units in like four or five weeks, we were selling like crazy 10, 15 units a day of these defective products that I really didn’t pay for because I got credit from on Etsy, I guess people are like, cool with that kind of stuff, because these are like handmade products anyways. So people are like, okay, with minor defections that they figured they’re going to go ahead and repaint it or whatever. And in their mind, they’re getting a $50 product or a $45 product for only $3 plus shipping. So a total out the door is like less than $20. And so they were stoke. I was like, man, I don’t know, like people are going to get this. And I’m going to get a bunch of bad reviews on Etsy. No, all five star reviews. People saying, wow, it wasn’t even that bad. Or this is amazing. I’m going to buy more. We had people buying this from Europe and all over the place. So the lesson learned there was two lessons. Number one, guys, don’t be cheap on your inspections from that day forward. I’m now paying, I forgot like 150 or $200 every single order to get everything professionally inspected, because I don’t want to go through that again.

Bradley Sutton: You guys have no idea how much trouble it was to open every single one of those products to find the defective ones. So, number one do not be cheap when it comes to inspections for your products coming from China. Number two, if for whatever reason, you’ve got some kind of product that still could be considered, you know, kind of like homemade, you know, um, and you can’t do this for electronics. You can’t sell electronics on Etsy obviously, but you’ve got like some home decor products and there’s some minor defects, but it’s still pretty decent or people can refinish it or repaint it or just clean it up. Or it’s not even that bad try putting it on Etsy. Right. Try putting it on Etsy. They have a lot more tolerance for kind of defections on Etsy. And I sold hundreds and hundreds of units of what was pretty much all profit almost because I got credit back for these. So that really saved my butt on those defective products. All right. So anyways, what are we up to now? So that means now on the second part of Project 5k, we are now up to, let’s see that’s one, two, three, four products, right? Four products. In my last episode 185, I had said, Hey, by the time that I make the next Project 5k update episode, I was hoping to have seven or eight products. Guys. I blew that one out of the water. You’re going to see in a little bit, all right. Around the same time we’re still talking like around beginning of November, I launched two more products, right? Again, going back to that initial brand, I was like, we’re going to keep going on this brand. I want to launch two more products. Now this is a little bit interesting because it was the same exact product, but two different colors of the same product right now.

Bradley Sutton: What would you guys think would be the normal procedure for that? Variation listing, right. Let’s make one parent listing and then we’ll have one green one and one red one, for example. But I didn’t do that. What I did was I made two completely separate listings. Now, number one, the number one reason was these are case study products. And what I wanted to do was I wanted to do a case study on, like different ways that the algorithm effects like on one of them, I use search find buy for the Maldives Honeymoon and the other one I use two-step URLs. One of them, I did some units on discount and some units of full purchases for my giveaways, for my initial launch. Right. And so I was able to measure, I was able to measure that, yep. Search find buy on this did work better than just the two-step URLs. I was able to measure that when I hit something with a full price purchase, it performed a little bit better as well than a discounted purchase. And then the third thing that I was like, Hey, I’m going to do a four month test on what gets better return, a request, a review button, or the automated emails, automated custom emails asking for a review. So that’s still in progress. I’ll give you guys an update on that later, but that was one of the reasons why I didn’t launch it in a variation because I wanted to take this unique opportunity to have two almost identical products, just different because of the color, and then just test different methods on it, to see what works better. The other reason where even if I wasn’t doing a case study where I would have decided to do this, and you guys might choose to do this too, is that there was only one competitor in this sub-niche. One of these things that I’ve been really focusing on Project 5k is to do things where there’s almost nobody, no competitors. Some people say, Oh, you need to have at least seven people on page one in the first 10 listings that make $5,000. No, to me, I don’t want to see that. I want to see only like one person or zero people who are crushing it because I want to be number one. All right. So anyways, since there was only one other competitor and he was in and out of stock and I’m like, remember the coffin shelf in Project X used to be at the beginning. I was like, I want to get more realistic. All right. So I know I’m going to get to the top of page one. I want to have two spots on the top of page one. I want to have two spots instead of just one, because it’s a variation listing.

Bradley Sutton: So that’s what I did on here. So you guys can choose to do that too. If you’re getting into a niche, even though maybe you think it might be applicable to use a variation, make a standalone listing, alright, make a standalone listing to get all a bunch more real estate there on page one, right? More chances that one of your products are going to get clicked on, share a voice it’s also called. So that’s what I did on this. And this product worked really well. All right. This is something I actually went out of stock for, again, like every single one of these I went out of stock because it was right before inventory management came out. So I wasn’t really prepared. I went out of stock in January on this one, but just for a couple of weeks, just for a couple of weeks throughout the Christmas, I actually was in stock. So that was really good. This was like one of the few products that was in stock for me during Christmas and total of this product. It was a cheaper product. All right. It was about $26 retail price, sold $15,000. All right. From October 1st to January 31st being out of stock for only two, three weeks, we sold $15,000 and this was at a 28% profit margin. So this is a smaller product, right? The smallest product I have. So a lot of my profit margins on the other products were eaten up by shipping, but not in this one. This was a really small product. So it was a very profitable for me on this one. So again, there was another Project 5k success. And guess what? That was actually, you could almost consider a project 2.5K because I launched two separate products, two different colors. And it was still the initial investment was under $5,000 on that. All right. So now we’re up to two, three, like what six products already. Let’s keep it going. All right. Again, in November, I was just crushing it in November, trying to launch products left and right before the Christmas season. Now this product I launched right around like a week before Black Friday. All right. So people are like, no, don’t launch around this time, but I was like, I have to do this now. Here is something interesting. This is something I mentioned in episode 185, where I was like, the factory took like four months to make this product. And in that time, a bunch more competitors popped up. When I first placed the order for this, there was only one person selling this product. And I was like, all right, this is going to be great.

Bradley Sutton: But then in those four months at the stupid factory took forever to produce this product. Like 10 more, almost identical products came up and it was at a pretty cheap price. Like they were at like 22 and $23. And I was like, Oh, this sucks. At the same time, I had ordered another product that was from this factory. And that one, somebody came in at like 15, $16 when I wanted to sell this for like 23 or 24. So I was stressing. So before they shipped out the product from China, we’re talking October right before they shipped out these two products that seemed like great opportunity at the time. But then in like just the span of one, two months, they got kind of in my opinion, saturated, but another person might look at us and all that’s not saturated at all. There’s like six, seven competitors. But for me, like I said, I really just wanted these little tiny niches where there’s nobody there. Right. So I was just racking my brain. My first thing was like, Hey, can I cancel this order? I was like, I seriously said, can I cancel this order? Because you guys took too long on this, but like, no, we ordered their products. You’re going to have to pay a penalty, blah, blah, blah, blah. So I was like, fine. So what I did, this is this again, for you guys out there, what I did was I was like, let me try and bundle something with these products to make it unique. And I’ll be the only one. So I looked up the material of what this product was, it’s kind of like a niche material. So, let’s pretend it’s ceramic. All right. Let’s pretend it’s ceramic stuff that I was coming out with and everybody else had this ceramic same stuff, all of a sudden out of the blue. So I’m like, how do I differentiate? So what I did was I entered that material again, let’s call it ceramic into Black Box. And then I was like, Hey, show me something that’s selling like just a little bit that has this material in the title. Right. And is selling like a thousand, $2,000 for a retail price of under $10. Because I figured if there’s something that’s selling retail for under $10, the cost on it would probably be like $1 something. And sure enough, I found something that was super cheap and it was an amazing seller. Right. But it was like $8 by this competitor. And I’m like, Hmm, how much would this cost me? So I took a look at Alibaba and I found some factories that could do it for like 50 cents each. So I’m like, all right, well, what if I add this? Let’s pretend it’s like a napkin hole, like a ceramic napkin holder, like something really small that can fit inside the box of what I was already going to ship anyways, these two ceramic products. Right. But now in both of them, I’m going to include a ceramic napkin holder and differentiate myself. Like nobody I, nobody else is going to is going to have this. I knew. I mean, I could see online that nobody had it and it’s not even something that you would normally think about putting together. But in my mind, I’m like, there’s people out there who just love ceramic things, right?

Bradley Sutton: There’s people out there who love Acacia wood, things like the wooden egg tray, and just by seeing something else, it might be attractive to them. Right. Or yeah, attractive to them. And so I was like, let’s do this. So I was like, I had to order though 2000 napkin holders, right. This is a pretend I’m just giving you guys a example. And I’m like 2000, I don’t need 2000. I only need to buy 500 of this one product and 500 of the other. And I just want to put one napkin holder in each of these. So I’m like, what am I going to do with all these products? I’m still going to have 1000 leftover. So I’m like, you know what, let me sell that as a standalone product. And instead of selling it one for $8, like the competition, this ceramic napkin holder, I’m going to sell two ceramic napkin holders in a package for 14 bucks, right. $14 or $13. So that’s what I did. I order 2000 of these ceramic napkin holders. I still went ahead and ordered my 500 each of those other two products. And now each of those 500 products had a napkin holder in it. All right. So, I was kind of like offering this unique bundle and sure enough, it worked like surprisingly it worked, I was able to charge $10 more for my product than these other competitors who popped up because I had this extra unique thing. It was in my image and my title and everything. Nobody else had it. And now I was able to get a lot more profit overall just by adding 50 cents worth of a product to the listing. So that first one was just, again, it was a product that was doing bonkers during Christmas time. There were some days we were selling like 20, 30, 40 units a day. So that was a product we sold out of over $13,000 on Amazon. And it was actually a hot product on Etsy too. I know when I started becoming an Etsy tycoon after those defective products, I’m like, let me try putting other stuff here on Etsy. And I sold a hundred units by itself on Etsy. So we got thousands of dollars of revenue on Etsy as well for this product and $13,000 of revenue at 18% profit on Amazon and then sold out, and that’s been sold out for like three months. The factory kind of dropped the ball. Like it’s a super, super difficult product to make. And so I don’t even know if I’m going to bring that product back. I already have it on order. We’re going to see if I can still relaunch after being out of stock almost four months, let’s see how that turns out.

Bradley Sutton: You guys will get an update on that in the next episode, but that was another successful launch where 18% profit on my initial order. And that includes whatever launch techniques that I was using such as my search find buy and my heavy PPC and stuff. So, there’s a lesson for you guys right there. And Hey, if you think too many people are jumping in, try to add something to their product as a mini bundle, where you can increase the price, six, $7, but you’re only increasing your costs by like 50 cents or less. So sometimes that might help. The two napkin holders I sold. Like I’ve just broke even like that, that really wasn’t. I knew that wasn’t going to be a hot product, just broke even there because the PPC is costing too much. And the other product, the other ceramic product, I launched that one did a $7,000 in the last three months and I’m probably going to discontinue it. All right. So, this product here, I’m just not happy with the profit margins and the factory, like the quality wasn’t that great. So now we’re up to like what 11 products. All right. So now really quick, we’re kind of running over time here. I’m sorry about it guys. But, I decided to launch a third brand on Amazon for Project 5k, a little bit different of a niche, but still I’m trying to focus in on kind of the home decor thing, because I was really getting a lot of my ideas from, from Etsy and Pinterest, the same thing that we did in Project X. And so, you know, obviously Etsy and Pinterest is a lot of home decor stuff. So here’s another product that you look on Etsy and these products were selling for like a hundred bucks. Right. And I figured, Hey, I can make it for less. So I launched again, two products, this one I did on a variation listing, even though it was similar to the other product where it’s different colors, but this one, I decided to do a variation listing just to kind of like contrast how it works. And this one just launched a couple of weeks ago. And so we’re still in the launch stage only sold, let me just take a look here. $4,000 so far of this product. It’s the most expensive product I have launched so far, $65. And it’s a little bit slower. It’s a little bit slower than I thought it would be. So I’m going to have to double down on the marketing and the shipping just kill me on this because it’s a really, really big item, really, really big items.

Bradley Sutton: So, the shipping is just really killing me, both Amazon shipping and the shipping to get it here. So the profit margins is not going to be great. Like I said, I’m like breaking even right now because I’m still in launch, but I was forecasting it out. And this is I’m going to have to either raise the price or make this product smaller. So I’m probably going to sell out of this product soon. And then the next order, I’m going to shave off a couple inches because I was using the Helium 10 Profitability Calculator, part of the Chrome Extension. And I found that if I take away like two inches here, two inches there and then make the package a little bit less, I can save like three, $4 on the shipping per unit. So that obviously is going to have a big effect on my profit. So there’s another two products that I launched. I use the Maldives honeymoon method on those, and it worked probably better than almost any other one. There was a keyword, the main keyword on this listing had 23,000 monthly searches. And I got to page one, position one with seven units of search find buy, right? If you guys are wondering what this Maldives Honeymoon stuff is, go back to episode 200 of the Serious Sellers Podcast. And I explained in detail the Maldives Honeymoon method. So there’s two more products I launched under a new brand. Then I launched another product in January for this third brand that product has still in launch mode has sold $2,000 already turning a profit, even though it’s in launch mode right now, it’s 17% profit margins. However, that is going to probably stay around there because I found out that I had to lower the price. All right. So what happened was, is other people have this similar product, but it’s bigger than my product. And so people, despite me putting the images of that show, the size of it, and I put the size in the title and everything. I got a couple of bad reviews saying, Hey, this is smaller than I expected. So I’m going to have to lower the price. But my profit margins, my projected original profit margin was like 40% on this. It’s going to be back down to like 20, 25% once I lowered the retail price. Another reason why I’m waiting to lower it is this, in a previous episode, I gave you my BTS saying how, if you have a price for 30 days, and then you lower it by at least 5%, you get this like big fat red sticker in the search results that say 5% lower or 6% or 7% off. Right.

Bradley Sutton: And so I I’m waiting until it’s been on for 30 days, and then I’m going to lower the price by $5. So I can get that big fat sticker that’ll give me some more visibility in the search results, but I don’t want to lower the price there. Lastly, guys, I just launched like two weeks ago four more products, all in a variation listing again for this last brand. So four more products, remember guys, every single one of these I launched all in for less than $5,000 each. All right. And when I say I launched four products, that’s four variations. It still was less than $5,000 because I got– I was able to lower the MOQ on it. And that one, again, still in launch phase only sold about, let me look here. $3,500 worth of that, and already turned into profit. Despite being in launch phase, already turned a 14% profit on those. I have high hopes for that product. So guys, I have just been just going crazy with this Project 5k, it’s so much fun to do this. And I wish I had more time. I’m only spending, like, I would say I’m up to like maybe five, 10 hours a week on this. I’m not doing any outside traffic guys. I’m not doing all those stuff that we teach you here on this podcast that you can do, like making Instagram pages and doing Portals. Well I did do a Portal on one. Actually I take that back. I did do a portal on one, but not for advertising on this other product. It’s kind of need some assembly. So what I did was I used the new Helium 10 Portals QR code and insert code generator. What I did was I generated an instruction guide, right. And instruction guide so that they know how to install it. And on the flip side, I did a QR code that takes them to a portal so I can capture their email address. So on one of these products, I’ve shipped out 300 units already. And I was able to get 37 email addresses out of those 300 units. So it’s pretty decent, pretty decent return. So now I’m building up for the first time, my outside audience, I haven’t done anything with those 37 emails, but I am starting to do that. All right. But there’s still a lot of money I’m leaving on the table, right? If this was one of you guys who was doing this full-time, you guys probably would have done possibly double what I did. Right. Because I’m just strictly advertising on Amazon.

Bradley Sutton: I’m not sending, like I said, outside traffic, I don’t have social media pages for these brands, even though I have brand registry, there’s a lot more stuff I could do. I’m not doing Amazon posts. I’m not doing an Amazon live. There’s a lot more than I can be doing. And now that I add more people to my team here at Helium 10, I’m going to try and get some help to do some of these other things, to show what can happen when you really invest a lot more time into– efforts. But guys, totally, for these Project 5k products in four months, that’s about $150,000 we have grossed on these products and remember it all started way back in 2019 with $5,000 for some straws. All right. First of all, straws and other products. So guys, it doesn’t take that much money to get started on Amazon. I’m just proving over and over again, that for even $5,000, you can start and become profitable. Now, are you going to make a home run on every product? No, like I said, I’ve had some issues here. I’ve had issues with the defects and, and I’ve had issues with the quality and I’m going to have to discontinue a product, but I would not call this a failure. Like I think this is a successful case study and you guys out there, try and duplicate some of this stuff. Everything that I did guys is have and everything that I used as far as tools and stuff is exactly what you guys use in Helium 10. I didn’t use some kind of special Ninja tactic we’ve hidden and that nobody knows about no, I did everything the same way that I show you guys in training videos, the same things we’ve talked about in the podcast, the same things we’ve talked about in Project X.

Bradley Sutton: Those are the methods that I’m using guys, and it works all right, this is real life. This is real life stuff. And I have more products on the way for Project 5k that I’m going to be testing out. So in a few months, I’ll give you guys an update again. So, I hope this motivates you all right, guys. If you’ve been on the fence and you haven’t gotten started on Amazon guys, just, you’re never going to get anywhere. If you don’t get in the car, turn on the ignition and get on the street. All right. Don’t be scared of the traffic that’s out there. All right. You got to start somewhere. So, take some advice from this episode and from the other trains we have, I want to see you guys out there crushing it, like I am, and maybe even doing better than $150,000 in the last four months, I think you guys can do even better than me. So, let me know those of you who have started your own businesses lately here on Amazon. Let me know. Tell me on Instagram, H10bradley on Instagram. I love to hear your story and maybe we’ll have you on the upcoming podcast. So anyways, guys, this has been Project 5k. I’ll give you guys another update sometime this summer. We’ll see you in the next episode.

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2 responses to “#223 – Project 5K Update: $150K in Sales in 4 Months!”

  1. This sounds awesome. But my brain is oozing out of my ears! It all got a bit confusing. It’s difficult to understand how many brands were released, how much you’ve invested, and what did and did not make money and in what time period. It would be good if you could create a visual chart for us to get an easier understanding! However, these 5K projects are my favourite content on the podcast 🙂

    • Hi Tim, thanks for the feedback. I’ll let Bradley know, and maybe we can put together an easy-to-digest summary of the project.

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