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The Hardest Months

by or amzaleg

Hey everyone, welcome back, its episode 4 of the journey - The hardest months.  
In the last post, I shared with you why the beginning of Wicked Cushions was so overwhelming and fast for me. I ended the episode admitting that rising to the top so fast got to my head a little bit & let my ego get in the way.
Which leads us to the current time… We are in the middle of the hardest months we have ever experienced, and are still navigating through them.
 

While this post is mostly about our negative experiences, I do not want you to think that I am here whining about what has happened. It is what it is & like everything in life, we will overcome it stronger than before.

All throughout the climb to the top, I ignored a lot of things.
I ignored our competitors that copied our designs, our listings, our photos.
I didn’t give them any importance, I really thought nothing could touch us.

Eventually, ignoring all of this came to a point where it started hurting us.

The first crack was a moment I would never forget:

The thing that excited me most was seeing in person our products being worn in public, and I had a chance to talk to several people about it face to face and thank them. This one moment would make my entire day!

I will never forget that one day where I saw some guy wearing a pair of floral ear pads that looked exactly like ours… I approached him with the usual chat that I go through to thank him for being a customer.

Until I found out that he was wearing cushions that were not made by us.

Knowing that our designs had been copied was not a surprise, but again- my ego got in the way, I did not imagine that anyone actually purchased from our competitors.

That snowball started to roll pretty quick, and before we knew it- Our floral design was almost obsolete, the market was flooded with copies which we could do nothing about. It got to a point where our floral ear pads had become a product of the past - and now our competitors were up front.

As I said, my ego was in the way, I still did not consider this to be too much of threat - so we just released more designs.

Which worked!

And then, it started happening again.


We would release a product or a design, and 1-2 months later someone would copy it and cut our price in half - we were helpless against it.

The competition got better & better, and we slowly started to fade from the top.
Competition is not the only thing we had to deal with, unfortunately, as Covid-19 started at the same time along with some downsides of selling on Amazon.


Without Amazon, we would not have had our start, and I am forever grateful for Amazon.

However, in the last year we had realized the hard way, if we continue to be dependent on amazon this won't end well.

The final incident that made us realize this happened not long ago.
In June, the number 1 product we have - our replacement ear pads for Bose QC35- was suddenly suspended by amazon without any explanation.

A product that had represented 25% of our entire business – wiped out overnight - all while our competitors are still in the game selling the same product.


This was difficult to process, especially the lack of explanation as to why and what we need to do to bring it back.
2400 reviews from previous customers, all gone, all its history, all of the work we had put into it- just by a computer decision over night and it was gone.



Deep in this shitstorm - combined with Covid-19 all happening at the same time, my anger and frustration somehow turned into EXCITEMENT.

In the next chapter, I will explain why to you....
Meanwhile, stay Wicked my friends.