“Learning to Import From China and Selling on E-Commerce is Not Your Quick Ticket Towards Riches.”
I should preface what I am about to say with my thoughts on educational courses and services as a whole:
I’ve yet to personally find a course that does not have their students among their best interests. While I am sure some exist that do not, of the educators I personally know and work with, I truly want to believe that educating their students is their top priority. There are courses out there that I feel are a bit expensive. Especially those that cost more than an initial production run. But as I've never paid for them, I don’t want to judge them completely.
That being said, I am a little dissatisfied with the level of flair that many blogs present to new potential importers. It seems that every week, a new story pops up on my RSS feed highlighting the newest million dollar Amazon seller, or product that brought in tens of thousands of dollars in less than ten days, or the family that completely got themselves out of debt via selling on Amazon.
Are these results possible? Absolutely. But these sensational pieces don’t do a lot of justice in managing the expectations of new e-commerce sellers.
Ask some of these sensationalists:
- How much time have you invested in learning your craft?
- What is your up to date capital investment?
- How much did you lose before you found your winning combination?
Sure, their strategic portrayed snapshot of their success shows off some impressive numbers, but at what cost? How much time did they have to spend reading white papers, guides, watching videos, wasting time and money with suppliers that turned out to be less than qualified?
Manufacturing, importing and selling on Amazon and other e-commerce platforms is exciting, I get it. But we’re all a part of a growing community of entrepreneurial, like minded individuals operating in the same industry. And it is our responsibility to educate each other on all aspects of business, and not just the successes.
I’m not trying to take the credit away from these success stories. Those who made it, more power to you! I am only trying to shed light on the fact that this is an industry with serious potential for failure and lost revenue.
As I mentioned in a previous post about rushing orders, it isn’t uncommon for us to hear from a potential client wanting us to make sure an order moves at lightning fast speeds. All while refusing our words of warning.
Why are these new sellers in such a rush? Why are they willing to dismiss our countless horror stories and words of wisdom, forcing us to go pedal to the metal on sourcing and producing?
They’re under the impression that getting their product listed online will be the key to their success. Because they’ve read story after story detailing the ease of success. This is when tunnel vision begins to form and words of warning fade into darkness as the beautiful dollar sign on the near horizon only gets bigger.
When the inevitable error happens, the blame game begins, and lessons are not learned because the blinders never come off.
I've made countless errors dealing with Chinese factories, but I make it my personal goal to learn from each of these mistakes. This industry is too large for any one person to be considered an expert. And because of that, every member of my team at Guided Imports, including myself, never ceases to bring our education to a stop. We do this via building new operating procedures based off of recent mistakes, and studying various industry leaders on their words of warning and theories.
While I do understand these sensational articles help sell courses, writing them in a way to portray effortless success is not beneficial to the customers of these courses.
I think a lot of bloggers and educators can learn from selling bloggers like Ryan, from Ryan’s FBA Journey. Situated nicely in the center of her toolbar is a link to her failures, which go over all mistakes, both major and minor that she’s experienced in her time selling.
Instead it's usually captivating blog posts and webinars regarding individuals' rise to riches, moments before hard-selling a course. While representing failures, and analyzing how importers can learn from each others mistakes, seems to be an underutilized approach. While this could, and perhaps should, give insight into all aspects of this industry: Both positive and negative. - Unfortunately, said warnings don't convert customers as well.