Posted On 21 Aug 2019
Hello again Reddit!
A bit over a year ago, we posted an AMA here, and the reception was pretty good. This is a continuation of that a year later!
We (Jacky Chou and Albert Liu, albeliu on Reddit) wanted to share our no-frills experience in the e-commerce space, and why we're moving manufacturing from China to Portugal with our new company, Far & Away, which coincidentally (not really), launched yesterday.. here's the plug:
(let us know what you think about our video, we spent over 6 months on it!)
What Did We Learn?
- When you’re working on something you’re proud of, eg. Far & Away, it feels pretty damn good. We didn’t really share our first e-commerce company around with family and friends because of the manufacturing practices we saw in China.
- For better quality control and quicker shipping times, hold inventory at a 3PL in either your main market (eg. USA), or somewhere in China/HK. A lot of Aliexpress sellers are actually dropshipping themselves, you'd be surprised how much you can trim down the shipping times just by using an agent in China to hold your inventory.
- To minimise risk, we still use Oberlo to test out products, but after we see a strong ROAS (return on ad spend) we immediately source it into our warehouse. We found that this way, we had far fewer issues with quality and shipping times (as mentioned in #2).
- Diversify your revenue, we worked on this a bit late since we were having verification issues on Amazon (FBA).
- Focus on retaining your customers. A large part of why we were not able to sustain our early revenue numbers was due to the lack of repeat purchasers. This was largely due to supply chain issues (long shipping times, additional duties and VAT). This improved slightly when we started using our 3PL but still lags behind many brands who have their own local warehouses.
Once again, we're here to answer any questions you may have about dropshipping, FB ads, SEO (Jacky co-founded an SEO agency, Yando.io), e-commerce, manufacturing in China and/or Portugal, as well as FBA!