Today I’m so pleased to post an interview with Amazon superstar Andy Slamans. You may recognize his name from his popular website, but a few short years ago he was just a dad looking for a way to spend more time with his kids. I think that’s something most of us can relate to. I know I can! Andy is living proof that you don’t have to be a born businessman to find success with Amazon.
Read on to find out how he did it.
Hey Andy, thanks for being here! Can you tell me a bit about your background and how you got started with Amazon?
Hey guys! I have been really impressed by the great community that you’ve built here and I just wanted to share my story. I have been selling on Amazon for a little over 3 years now. When I first started, I was selling everything I could find around my house, going to thrift stores and hitting up every Walmart in my area – like many of you, I’m sure! At that time, I never would have guessed that I would be selling $1,000,000+ dollars of product/year on Amazon in just a short amount of time!
You see, I do not come from a business background at all. In fact, my wife and I were house-parents for 12 under-privileged boys for 15 consecutive years, and I have a college degree in social work and youth ministries. While we enjoyed our jobs, there is definitely a significant emotional and mental drain that goes along with constantly mentoring and guiding 12 boys from troubled homes. As my children got older, spending time with my family and having the ability to homeschool my 2 kids was at the top of my priority list – so I was searching for a way to make that happen.
Thankfully, a neighbor of mine introduced me to selling on Amazon and I was instantly turned on by the possibilities. Prior to selling on Amazon, the thought of owning my own business and working from the comfort of my home was never something I even dreamed of.
Seems like most new sellers start out that same way. What made you decide to explore private labeling?
While I was doing really well with garage sales, retail arbitrage and online arbitrage, I felt like I was starting to hit a ceiling because of the somewhat limited time that I had during the week to source for new products. Even if I found some great products one week, I would need to constantly be sourcing new products to keep my inventory levels (and sales) up high.
Well, after a year of selling on Amazon, I was introduced to an exciting concept that really made sense to me: building my own brand of private label products. I was definitely nervous at first, because for me, the thought of importing products from China to my home sounded way too complicated. I mean, there’s no way that someone like me, with no experience, could learn to import my own branded products, right?
Thankfully, I had some friends push me towards starting private label and it has been life-changing! Within just a short period of time, I have now sold over a million dollars of my own branded products on the Amazon marketplace, have over 45 private label SKUs and plan to sell well over $1,000,000 of my branded products in 2016 alone (with very good margins). None of this would have been possible if I wouldn’t have made the decision to go all in on building my own branded products.
How else has your business changed since you’ve made the switch to private label?
The time I spend looking for new inventory has been significantly reduced because now I can just reorder my products on a regular basis. My best selling branded product has been my best selling product for 2 years now. During that time I have had dozens of reorders from my supplier and have sold tens of thousands of units!
One of the things that I love most about selling my own brand of products is that it is surprisingly simple. I find products, contacting suppliers and have my goods sent to my home/Amazon all from the comfort of my own home and now have been able to homeschool my kids.
Thanks so much, Andy! Where can readers get in touch with you to learn more?
Glad to be part of this community of sellers and would be happy to answer questions that you have about creating and importing your own brand of private label products! Pop over to the facebook group here and say “hi!” And while you’re at it, join Jessica and me for a free webinar on July 14, where we’ll talk about how you can get started with private label products. Click here to register.