In 2014 Will Tjernlund and his brother Andrew sold $6 million of products on Amazon.com. They also generated around $1 million of sales on eBay, and half a million on their own webstores.
The year before, 2013, they sold around $1.2 million on Amazon. That was also the year Will graduated from the University of Minnesota, doubling the business’s full-time headcount from one to two.
How can two people drive that kind of sales volume? Well, the Tjernlunds’ business model is to develop their own “private label” items – lower-cost versions of products that they sell under their own brand names. They buy from manufacturers in China, and send the inventory into Amazon’s FBA fulfillment service. That’s the last time they have to handle their own stock.
I spoke to Will Tjernlund about how he got into selling online, his product development process, the merits of FBA, and what’s next for the business. Here’s what he told me.