How to Run a Successful Online Ecommerce Business


  • Joe Reeves has scaled his Amazon business from $63,000 in sales to over $1 million.
  • To be successful you need a few things, starting with a great product.
  • It’s also important to build a strong listing page and collect lots of good reviews.

Joe Reeves scaled his e-commerce business from $63,000 in sales to over $1 million in just over a year.

The Denver-based entrepreneur started selling wallets on Amazon in August 2021. The side job quickly picked up steam and by June 2022 he was earning enough to quit his day job and work full time at his company Mountain Voyage Co.

In the last 12 months, Reeves has made just over $5 million in wallet sales. His biggest month to date was December 2022, in which he posted over $1 million in revenue. Once he accounts for business expenses, he consistently profits over $100,000 per month.

Insider verified these details by looking at its net operating income and product sales on its Amazon seller page.

While there’s no blueprint for success when it comes to making money on Amazon, Reeves shared four keys to his success that anyone can implement.

1. You need a good product

It’s obvious but true.

Reeves wallets are “simple and elegant,” he said. They are slim and come with a handy money clip. According to him, customers like the minimalist style and they also have an RFID blocking protection that protects against contactless credit card theft.

He also offers a lifetime guarantee, he said: “I think a lot of my success is due to that. Everyone likes a good guarantee on their product, especially when you might be buying something from Amazon and not knowing how it’s going to be.”

mountain trip co

Reeves has created a sleek and elegant product.

Courtesy of Mountain Voyage Co

After all, his price point, which sits at around $40 a wallet, falls right in the middle, which he says works to his advantage — and it wasn’t a fluke: “I’m not selling for $100 a piece, but I’m selling for what I have.” they don’t sell for $15 a piece. I looked at what the competition was doing and put myself strategically in the middle.”

All of these factors make its product stand out in a competitive market. Deciding to sell in a space as big as men’s wallets is a bit of a risk, he said, as it can be harder to break into a niche market. But “that just means there’s a lot more opportunity, too,” he explained. “If there’s a $1 billion market and a $10 million market, where are there more opportunities?”

2. Find a trustworthy supplier and always have enough stock in stock

A good, trustworthy supplier will save you a lot of headaches, said Reeves, who found his original manufacturer through Alibaba. She was easy to communicate with and could make the type of wallet he wanted. As his business has grown he has added a few more suppliers but still works with his original supplier.

After starting Mountain Voyage Co, Reeves founded a product sourcing company, 330 Trading, with his business partner Tyler Walter to help other Amazon sellers diversify their offerings. Having gone through the process of finding a good manufacturer himself, Reeves hopes to make it smoother for his customers, in part by eliminating the language barrier that often exists between salespeople and suppliers.

When you use Alibaba, you contact a number of manufacturers and ask questions about the product itself to make sure it’s what you want. You should also ask about packaging and shipping fees and get a feel for their communication style. Then order samples to see the quality of the product up close before buying a large quantity.

Joe Reeves wallets

In the early days of the company, Reeves mailed the wallets directly to his home.

Courtesy of Joe Reeves

Just as important as finding a supplier you trust is making sure you always have enough product.

“They can’t be sold out. It ruins your organic ranking,” Reeves said, referring to where your product is listed on Amazon’s website when someone searches for the item. Reeves learned that the hard way. It had a big sell-off month around the December 2021 holidays, which wiped out its inventory. While selling out, his ranking plummeted and he lost money in January before rebounding in February.

“What I didn’t realize at first is that when you’re halfway through your product, you have to place an order for the next batch,” he explained.

Figuring out the right amount of inventory to order can be tricky — not to mention expensive, he noted: “Because I was growing so quickly, I went from buying 1,000 wallets to buying 2,000 wallets to buying 5,000 Purchasing wallets to need over 10,000 wallets. At one point, while I was profitable, my credit card balance was $90,000.”

3. Create a strong entry with good photos

As with any business venture, you need to know the basics to be successful. In e-commerce, that means “good branding, good images, and good copy,” says Reeves.

Anyone can set up a seller profile on Amazon and list products. When it comes to creating your listing page, “don’t skimp,” Reeves said. “Don’t try to take pictures yourself if you’re not good at it.”

Reeves hired a contractor on Fiverr to take professional photos of his wallets for his listing page. He spent between $50 and $100, and it was some of the best money he’s spent as a business owner, saying, “I recommend Fiverr to everyone, especially when you’re starting out. It’s very budget friendly.”

Think of the cost as an investment in your business, he added: “If their photos can help you convert 5% more over time, that 5% will pay off.”

Now that Reeves is raking in a lot more money, he can afford to spend more. He recently paid a contractor $9,000 to overhaul his entire bid, he said.

It’s a good idea to pay a professional to do an audit of your Amazon store once a year, he noted. They can help you update your photos, copy them, and make sure you’re using optimal keywords in your listing.

“Every little quarter or half percent optimization gets you that much closer to a better listing,” he said. “If you can spend $1 million a year and optimize to get 1% better or 1% more profit, that’s $10,000 in profit in your pocket. Every percent counts.”

4. Use ads to make sales and get reviews in return

When it comes to being successful as an Amazon seller, “reviews are probably one of the most important things, if not the most important,” Reeves said. “And the only way to get reviews is to get people to buy it.”

About 4% of users leave a review, he explained. That is, to get 10,000 reviews, you need to sell 250,000 wallets.

Ads help you sell, but they cost money. In the beginning, Reeves was spending $300 to $500 a day on advertising, which felt like a ton, he said: “That can come as a shock to anyone who’s not used to spending, especially in the beginning when you’re not doing a lot.” looks back and it seems like you just vanish the money into thin air.”

As his sales grew, he was able to spend more on ads. Today he spends about $10,000 a day, he said. He outsources all of his advertising to Trivium Group, which specializes in managing Amazon ads.

If you want to sell on Amazon, go into the process knowing that “the more money you’re willing to spend on it, the faster it’s going to explode,” he said.

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