I’m going to cut right to the chase on this one and share a business mindset flaw that has probably cost me a lot of money . You see, mindset is super important in life and success in general and it’s something most of us fail to appreciate, focusing blindly on tactics and ‘hacks’ instead’.
In a nutshell, my biggest mistake was being too preoccupied with how many competitors there are instead of focusing on what I could do better than them.
The problem is, when you shy away from the competitive products, you also shy away from a lot of the potential money to be made.
Now that said, I still wouldn’t do something like supplements (unless I had my own following in the space, which is also a jungle) but more focus on the key areas (on Amazon this usually means a better listing, images, branding, product improvement, bundle or price point).
In the past I stuck to Amazon UK because of less competition and because it was easier when I got started (as I’m from the UK). And while I did well on there with a number of products, I can’t help but wonder how hard I could have been balling if I had repeated the same process on amazon.com.
A glimpse into the potential
I did get a chance to compare a little though because at one point I had a bundle on with two products and I happened to create a listing for a friend of mine selling on .com who had, basically, the same product but a different bundled item.
My bundle was a fairly stable seller on Germany and Spain (which is uncommon), did next to nothing in the UK and I eventually stopped selling it because the margins got savaged by the extra Amazon EU costs and the flux in the exchange rate and it simply wasn’t worth the effort.
Meanwhile, my friend's bundle that I wrote the copy for was humming along at over 100 units, every single day and smashing the PPC.
And it’s not like this is some untapped product, it was a sensible bundle but everyone on there was a PL seller all maxing out their images and listing copy. My first thought was, wooahh, way too much similar stuff on amazon.com, forget that.
And look where that type of thinking got me - one seller going to the moon, the other going back to the drawing board.
The correct approach would have been to focus on what I was bringing to the table, not just running scared.
That’s why when people ask me these days which platform to start with, I always say amazon.com. Yes there’s more bullshit to deal with, but the opportunity is still far too big on Amazon US.
When I took on the competition
Conversely, my most successful product on amazon UK was ultra competitive - we're talking thousands of reviews on page one, big brands in there and all sorts, even a lower price point.
But this time, I didn't shy away because I had 3 things:
1) A very interesting looking version of the product that nobody else had,
2) A listing that was packed with keywords and wiped the floor with ALL the other listings (these big brands and other sellers had hopeless listings)
3) Much better understanding of PPC and how to make sure my listing was always converting
This is the product I cover in my private product case study here
The key thing here is that I didn't simply write if off because of competition, a took a more calculated, smart approach to things.
Other Amazon marketplaces and the hype
As for the other Amazon marketplaces, I also know sellers doing really well on Amazon Japan, but the thing they had in common was living there and having intimate knowledge of the country, culture, and language and one even worked for a logistics and shipping company from China to Japan - the ultimate advantage.
I mention this because there have also been a few courses released in the past few years that make their whole sales pitch around the big opportunity of Amazon EU and to be honest, this is just a super expensive way of giving you the exact same info as the other courses.
If you can research and launch on amazon.com, you can do the same on Amazon UK, it’s not hard. Amazon EU is not some mythical siren, it's just a much smaller marketplace.
So please, if you understand the basic principle of product research, you don't need a special course all about Amazon UK or that, duh, an Amazon DE listing should be in German.
And if you’re worried about tax and VAT as a US seller, well, just go read this article/interview I put together a while back and you won’t have any more questions -> http://www.dan-moody.com/single-post/2016/08/22/So-you-want-to-sell-on-Amazon-Europe-Paying-VAT---An-easy-guide-on-when-why-and-how
So yeah, fear in general and fear of ‘too much competition’ is something to keep an eye on. There will always be competition, it’s a fact of life, just make double sure that when you do compete, you bring something differentiated and not commit the main cardinal sin of Amazon (and aliexpress dropshipping) which is launching the exact same thing everyone else has.
And if everyone on page on has 100+ reviews, you’re also asking for trouble unless you can really do something special which I why I always say bundle / improve or get wrecked!