How to Start Selling on Amazon FBA and Make a Full-Time Income. – How to get started selling Amazon and how to sell on Amazon FBA for beginners from a pro making six figures!
Fun fact: did you know that Amazon wants to pay you? No, really they do! It’s something called Amazon FBA. And if you have been looking for an awesome side hustle or a full-time income making money from home, then you need to read this interview with my friend, Jessica!
How to start selling on Amazon FBA?
Jessica and her family are Amazon pros. She learned exactly how to start selling on Amazon FBA and then she ran with it. Now, she’s making six figures from her Amazon FBA sales (WHAT?!) and she is here today to share with you how to sell on Amazon FBA for beginners. If you’ve ever wondered how to get started selling Amazon for yourself, keep reading!
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How to start selling on Amazon FBA
Can you give us a little background on yourself – how you started selling on Amazon FBA, and how business is going for you right now?
I dreamed of owning an online business for quite awhile before I started selling on Amazon. And I had started an online side hustle to supplement my job at the time. But really just considered it a hobby and something that gave me “fun money”. I was selling stuff on eBay.
Then in 2008, I got laid off when the economy tanked. And I decided I would never work for someone else again. I really wanted to be my own boss, make my own hours, and be in charge of my own salary. Mainly, I didn’t want to deal with experiencing a lay off again.
So I took my last paycheck and cashed it in to find inventory for eBay. Within a few months, I was able to replace my previous income. It wasn’t huge, but it was still an accomplishment for me.
After a while, I realized how much my husband was hating his job. He was really stressed out and didn’t enjoy what he was doing. I had a thought that it would be great if I could make enough that he could quit his job and work from home too.
I knew that I’d have to scale the business in order to replace Cliff’s $5,000/month salary, but it would be nearly impossible to do that with eBay alone. Finally, I had heard about selling on Amazon through some eBay forums I followed, and decided to give it a try.
It took about a year of selling on Amazon, but I did it! I worked nights and weekends while Cliff watched our new baby, and a year later, Cliff was able to leave that job that he hated.
Things have gotten even better since then. We figured out how to start sell on Amazon FBA to make a lot of our annual income in a short period of time. We did that by really focusing on the fourth quarter (crazy holiday sales!). That way, we can relax a bit the other three quarters.
Not that I totally slack off! I keep busy running our Amazon training courses (the ones where I share how to start selling on Amazon FBA and especially how to sell on Amazon FBA for beginners!). Recently I’ve diversified to include teaching others how to develop their own digital courses, build their own websites, and to succeed with blogging.
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What is an Amazon FBA business? Can you explain this more for those who have no idea?
Basically, an Amazon FBA business means we have an online store and Amazon handles the orders for us. FBA means “Fulfilled By Amazon.” And that means we don’t have to deal with storing inventory and fulfilling every single order ourselves!
We decide what inventory we want to carry, ship it to Amazon’s warehouses, and then they store it for us until it sells. Amazon does the packing and shipping, and then takes care of any customer service, including returns. For that, they take a commission (fees).
When you participate in the Amazon FBA program, your inventory is available for Amazon’s Prime shipping, which is its free 2-day shipping subscription service.
That gives FBA sellers an advantage over those who don’t participate because a lot of buyers only search for items that offer Prime service. And they will pay more for that convenience.
There is a little more to it, but that covers the basics 🙂 I have a post that is almost 4,000 words to better describe how it all works. If you are interested, you can our Amazon beginners guide (totally free).
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What stores do you typically go to for your stock?
We’ve gone everywhere from big box retailers like Walmart and Toys R us to liquidation stores and online retailers. There are so many options. A lot of sellers also do well shopping at retailers that are only available in their part of the country, which means the product can be hard to find.
There are 5 main ways that we source inventory for our business. They include regular stores clearance aisles, liquidation stores, online stores, using virtual assistants and grocery stores.
Honestly, ANY store is fair game when it comes to selling on Amazon. That’s why I’m so passionate about sharing how to start selling on Amazon FBA!
How do you pick and choose what to buy?
The simplest answer is that we’ll sell anything that makes a profit! It’s kind of crazy the variety of things we’ve sold. But there are actually a lot of factors to consider.
When I started, I chose categories I was comfortable with and knew something about. So I focused on kitchen and home, or beauty and grocery. And then when Christmas came around, I’d, of course, look for toys to sell.
When you create a selling account on Amazon, you’re able to download a free app that allows you to scan product barcodes, then pull up information on those items. We can see what that product is currently selling for on Amazon and how much competition there is. We can also see how it ranks in a category, which means we can get a good idea of how often that product sells.
Most of the time, we like to set a minimum dollar amount of profit per item, a minimum return on investment, and we also want to turn over our inventory quickly. So ideally, we’d like to double our investment and to sell off our inventory within a month. One thing that makes things easier is to find replenishables, which is something that sells over and over again rather than always searching for one-offs.
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How are items that you list priced?
We set the price for our inventory ourselves and do it online through our Amazon seller account. We are also able to change prices whenever we want, either by logging in and manually entering a new price or by using something called a “repricer,” which will automatically adjust prices according to whatever criteria we provide.
How much can a brand new Amazon FBA business owner expect to make initially? How much can someone expect to make about a year after they start?
There’s no one answer to that because everyone runs their business a different way and has their own goals. Some people do it as a hobby, others part-time, and others want to go full-time and have it be their sole source of income. And even those mean different things to different people (like our cost of living here in California is a lot higher than most other parts of the country!).
However, we do advise new sellers in our Amazon Boot Camp to expect it to take about three months before they can turn a profit. That’s pretty fast when you think about how long it usually takes people to make a profit when they start any type of business. People usually look three to five years out.
As for one year after they start, that’s really up to each seller. They can do almost anything they want within a year if they build it the right way and really focus on it.
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What do you like most about selling on Amazon FBA?
I love being in charge of my life, being able to create my own salary and my hours and to spend as much time with my family as I want. My husband Cliff and I work this business together, which is awesome. And I’ve been able to fulfill a dream of homeschooling my son.
There’s really no other opportunity like this right now. With selling on Amazon FBA, a brand new seller can hook into Amazon’s platform and take advantage of its huge reach.
As someone who also teaches Amazon FBA, it has been such an amazing experience for me to watch others start this business and see success. People share with us how they have tried so many other businesses but this is the first they’ve actually been able to make money with.
Can you give some advice on how to start selling on Amazon FBA for beginners?What does it take?
It’s really pretty easy to get started, which can be good and bad. It’s good because anyone can do it, but not so good in that it’s so easy that a lot of people don’t take it as seriously as they probably should. They think it’s going to be a lot easier than it is.
The concept is pretty simple, but there’s a pretty steep learning curve when it comes to piecing together all the details. There’s some paperwork to fill out to set up a seller account and then a lot of new lingo for sellers to learn. And then it takes some time to learn how to evaluate potential inventory
All you need to do is create a seller account on Amazon download the seller app, and then start practicing with it. We tell people to scan things around the house to learn and get comfortable with it.
How much does it cost to start selling on Amazon FBA and how much on a monthly basis to maintain it?
We tell new sellers that it would be great if they could start an Amazon business for $1,000 or less. That would get them some tools, inventory, and a good training course (like ours!).
If someone has a smartphone, computer, and printer, they can get the rest of the basics for tools for about $100. A lot of people will invest more than that to buy tools and subscriptions that will help make them more efficient, but it’s not totally necessary.
Then they could invest about $500 or so in inventory, which would give them the ability to get a good amount and some variety. We teach new sellers to “go wide, not deep,” which means they should send in 3 to 5 of any one product to test it out. We’ve seen a lot of people get excited and buy 100 of something, only to find out they got a bad deal, and we want to help others avoid that.
Sellers will need things like boxes and packing tape to ship inventory, as well as labels and some packing supplies.
A training is, of course, optional, but we’ve found it really helps new sellers grow faster and make fewer mistakes.
A seller’s monthly expenses will vary depending on what tools and training they use. But to start with, the Amazon seller account is about $40/month; there’s also a free option, though Amazon will charge sellers an extra fee per item they sell and they won’t have a lot of the advantages of the professional account.
Most new sellers’ recurring expenses are less than $100/month, not including inventory, though they can go higher depending on the tools they choose to use.
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Are there any other tips that you have for someone who wants to know how to start selling on Amazon FBA for themselves?
I would say just go for it! This is the type of business where the barrier to entry is really low, so you can test the waters without spending too much time or money.
I have a Free Amazon FBA Starter Course that can really help you decide if this business is for you and make sure that you know what to expect as you get started.
The worst thing we see people do is get stuck in information overload mode. There is a lot of information out there about Amazon. This is good and bad. It’s good, because it shows it is a legit thing to do. But, it’s bad because a lot of times the information is so scattered and sometimes even conflicting.
This causes some people to just get stuck and not actually take a chance by getting started!
What can someone learn from you and your products?
In our Amazon Boot Camp, we specialize in walking sellers through every step of the process, from setting up their accounts to making their first sale. And we do it in a step-by-step way that’s very straightforward and easy to follow.
We focus on retail arbitrage, which is when you find products in brick-and-mortar stores, though we also teach online arbitrage.
The Boot Camp also touches on bonus topics like sales tax and accounting, and it includes access to a private Facebook group where members can come ask any questions and get quick answers. It’s a great resource and we’re really proud of our community, which does an amazing job of helping each other out.
We also have some training courses for people who are already established and selling on Amazon.
Can you tell us some other people who have made selling on Amazon FBA into a full-time gig?
There are tons of people who have turned selling on Amazon into a full-time gig! We’ve helped a lot of our students reach their goals, whether it’s to go full-time or to supplement their income.
One of our recent students built a $10,000/month Amazon business within a few months, mostly focusing on groceries. He started in the winter, too, which a lot of people assume is slow!
We’ve worked with people of all ages and from all kinds of backgrounds. If they’re open to learning and to putting in some work, they have a great chance at success. Some of our students have goals of replacing their incomes, while others hope to just have some travel money.
That’s another thing that is really great about Amazon. There are no minimums or maximums. You get to decide how much time/money/effort you want to put into it.
I hope that reading Jessica’s story helped you to find out how to start selling on Amazon FBA for yourself! Remember, she has a FREE Amazon FBA Starter Course that gives you 10 free videos to dig further into Amazon FBA.
Do you still have questions about how to start selling on Amazon FBA? Leave them in the comments!
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How to Start Selling on Amazon FBA and Make a Full-Time Income – How to get started selling Amazon and how to sell on Amazon FBA for beginners from a pro making six figures!