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We’ve been in the private labeling business for over 35 years, and have had the privilege to walk alongside thousands of sellers just like you during that time. Along the way, whether it’s through individual coaching sessions, free webinars, a life-changing 7 days at the Canton Fair in China, or through discussions in our Facebook Group, we’ve loved hearing about your successes and struggles.
Because we’ve been journeying with you, and because we’ve been in this business for so long ourselves, we thought we’d pass along some of our observations about why businesses fail. Here are some of the most common mistakes we’ve seen sellers make:
(1) Choosing the wrong product. If you don’t get it right the first time, don’t freak out — you’re certainly not the first. But watching a product fail can be a major buzz kill, and for good reason. Watching all that time and money go down the drain is enough to make anyone give up.
How to fix it. Like a true entrepreneur, you have the opportunity to pick up the pieces, learn from your mistakes, and try again. The best place to start? Get more training on how to conduct product research, and commit to putting in the necessary time and energy. In fact, we think product research is so important that we have an entire module dedicated to how to do this in our online course. It would seriously be worth looking into a thorough training like this if you’re serious about getting the right product the next time around.
(2) Difficulty building a lasting relationship with the right supplier. Even if you’re finding success with a hot selling product, running into sourcing issues can completely derail momentum. This is why we continually harp on the importance of finding a supplier you can trust!
How to fix it. Part of picking a good product is making sure you know where to source it from — which brings us back to product research. Sure, you can use sites like AliExpress or Alibaba, both of which are popular with new sellers. If you use these types of sourcing sites, be aware of red flags like how long a supplier takes to respond to you. If they take weeks to reply to a simple email, how long will it take them to actually deliver your product? Also be on the lookout for how well they speak and write English. The last thing you need is a major miscommunication mishap that boils down to a simple language barrier. And remember, most of the time you’ll never be able to meet your manufacturer face-to-face. If that’s an important factor to you, there are tons of other options available to sellers that want to source their product without red flags! Sourcing from sites like Alibaba takes more time and upfront investment. A way to save time and money is to visit the world’s largest trade fair in China. The Canton Fair in Guangzhou China is where you’ll get to meet suppliers on the spot and start building lasting relationships from Day 1. But trust us, the time and money you invest in the beginning always pays off in the long haul. Setting up your business for sustainable, long-term growth is never a bad idea!
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(3) Poorly created page listings. Blurry or pixelated product photos. Not enough reviews, or too many mediocre ones. Confusing, unorganized details in your product description section. Poor use of keywords. If your product isn’t selling, it may be time to revisit your listing.
How to fix it. We live in visual world — if you have too much text and not enough media (photo, video), start there. You’ll need at least 10 high quality images of your product. Make sure you have a catchy title that clearly outlines the specifications of your product, but isn’t oversaturated with keywords. Your images, reviews, and title play a huge role in how easily customers will be able to find your product. Think about your target audience and use bullet points to clearly and persuasively communicate how your product meets their need, and what features or benefits the product will bring. Use Call-To-Action buttons throughout your listing. Don’t just give customers a huge block of text to work through. Make your listing easy to skim with lots of appealing media.
(4) Quitting too early. So your product launch didn’t go as well as you’d expected. Or maybe your first quarter didn’t bring in the profits you’d forecasted. Don’t just throw in the towel and think that your life as an online seller is over!
How to fix it. The most successful sellers are masters at testing and tweaking. They have a tireless, enterprising spirit that doesn’t give up at the first sign of defeat. If you’re looking for a quick, easy way to make money, you’re in the wrong place. But if you started a business in the physical product industry because you wanted to supplement your current income or because you wanted to eventually quit your current job and work from home full-time, then you’re in the right place. Creating your own hours, being your own boss, and having the lifestyle you’ve always dreamed of is why many of us start selling products online. Like anything worthwhile in life, it won’t come easily. It will take time, money, and lots of work. But one thing we’ve seen over and over again: if you keep at it, you won’t regret it!