Tastefully Driven

How Amazon Exploits the “Mid-Tail”

Last October I wrote a post about how Amazon uses data from sellers like us to gain a competitive advantage. You can pretty much sum up the entire post with this promo image of Amazon’s that I “amended” to reflect our experiences: We’ve since stopped selling on Amazon, but I’ve continued to receive emails about the post. Once such email was from a graduate student, Baojun Jiang of Carnegie Mellon, who was writing a thesis on the topic of topic. I think it’s absolutely awesome… Continue reading


Goodbye Tastefully Driven, So Long Amazon

In an effort to become more efficient, more profitable, and more flexible, we’ve decided to close Tastefully Driven and stop selling our products on Amazon. Effective March 1 the e-commerce store will be closed down and we will sell any remaining inventory (non-detailing of course) on Amazon. We’re running a 30% off sale to try to blow out as much of the inventory as we can before that date. We’ve already pulled all detailing items down from Amazon and have no plans on listing them… Continue reading


Amazon Let’s Us Pay Them to Grow

In my continuing efforts to prepare for the holidays, I’ve spent the last few weeks reviewing and improving our product listings in our Amazon Seller Central account.  We sell on Amazon under the Tastefully Driven name. We list almost everything that’s up on the TD website, but the majority of what we actually sell is either fitness equipment or detailing supplies. I automated a few of the mundane tasks, added new products (which involved building a bridge to easily migrate products from DI to TD… Continue reading


A Truly Amazing Experience

It’s hard to believe that we’ve only had Tastefully Driven since April.  It feels like it’s been around forever.  The first year has been a mixed bag, but overall we’ve learned a lot and created a solid stream of revenue so it’s hard to look at it as anything but a positive experience.   My #1 favorite feature of the site is the Commerce with Conscience program where we donate 5% of our pre-tax profit to local charities in the Albany area.   The idea being… Continue reading


Selling Push vs. Pull Products

One of our Tastefully Driven vendors recently contacted us to see if we were ready to re-order their products yet.  We’ve placed one other re-order since the launch of the site, but overall their products haven’t sold very well compared to other brands.  We don’t have a ton in stock, but they’re moving so slow that we’re certainly not inclined to re-order at this point.  So, we bluntly told them as much. Their response?  Push the product more.  Give out samples, hold contests, give some… Continue reading


New TD Store – Electronics Cables

A few months back one of our friends – a former business owner who has now cashed out and is “living the good life” – turned us on to a distributor of high quality cables for low prices.  We take his word pretty highly since he’s hardcore into ultra high-end audio equipment. He told us that the quality of these cables are equal to the quality of Monster cables, but for 1/20th the price.  So we picked a few up, liked them, and decided we… Continue reading


Looking for Writers for Tastefully Driven

We’re looking to grow and expand the presence of the Tastefully Driven Lifestyle Blog and we need some help to get us there. We don’t just want the blog to supplement the e-commerce portion of the site, we want it to be one of the main reasons that people visit the site. In a way, we’re treating it as a separate business – grow the scope and readership of the blog and there will naturally be a trickle-down effect in terms of traffic and links… Continue reading


When Customers Give You an Idea

It’s easy to become jaded and begin to dislike your customers for asking you the same questions over and over again. In a way, who can blame you: 99% of the interactions with customers that most businesses have are repetitive and don’t do much to make you a better business owner. Then – every once in a while – someone comes along and gives you a simple idea that’s so obvious you kick yourself and say “duh, why wasn’t that already on our to-do list?”… Continue reading


What You’ve Been Missing on the TD Lifestyle Blog

One of the more challenging aspects for us with Tastefully Driven so far has been managing the Lifestyle Blog.  Being that it’s a group blog it can take on a different life than individual blogs like this one or the one I run over on SportsLizard.  Both of those blogs have my personality infused into them and I think one of the reasons that they “work” is because there is a consistent voice.  With TD, in one sense it’s tougher because you have different writing… Continue reading


My Top 10 Favorite Tastefully Driven Features

Since the launch of Tastefully Driven I’ve been intending to do a post similar to the DI Features and Lessons Learned. But since this project had less “unknowns” there weren’t a lot of “lessons learned” from the programming side. We knew what we needed to do, and it was more about execution than figuring out a way to get stuff to work. Nonetheless, there’s still a lot of cool stuff on TD that isn’t completely obvious if you just scan the site for a few… Continue reading