Woo hoo! Today I have Jessica with me sharing her very best Amazon tips and tricks and showing us how to sell on Amazon! She works from home selling on Amazon and last year made over $100,000 doing it!
Below is the interview we did together. If it sounds like something you want to learn more about, she has a free 7 day email course that you’ll want to check out.
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more info.
How to Sell on Amazon
Can you tell us what you do, and how did you get started?
My husband Cliff and I have a stay-at-home business selling on Amazon through a program called Amazon FBA (Fulfillment By Amazon). We’ve been doing it for about seven years.
I got started with Amazon after selling on eBay for a few years. I was doing that on the side, but in 2008 I was let go from my job and decided to pursue it full-time. I replaced my income within a few months and about a year later, set a goal to retire Cliff from his job.
I had heard about selling on Amazon and decided to give it a try because it can be pretty hard to scale up with eBay and I needed to replace Cliff’s $5,000/month income. I reached that next goal in just about a year working mostly nights and weekends, when Cliff could stay home with our son.
That sounds cool. What exactly is Amazon FBA?
The easiest way to explain it is that we have an online store run by Amazon. We find the inventory, ship it to an Amazon warehouse, and then they store it for us until it sells.
That’s the “FBA” part: Fulfillment By Amazon; they fulfill the orders. When a product sells, Amazon handles everything – picking and packing, shipping, and any returns.
If a seller is signed up for the FBA program, as I am, their items are available for Amazon’s Prime shipping (free two-day shipping for those with a Prime account). Being eligible to Prime customers is a huge advantage because many buyers will only search for items that have Prime shipping; also, those products tend to sell at a higher price than items sold by sellers who ship products themselves.
We have a free 7-day email course about starting an Amazon business.
Where do you find the inventory you are going to sell?
There are a lot of different approaches, but we focus on “retail arbitrage,” which just means we find the product in retail stores (or sometimes online) and then resell them on Amazon.
A lot of times, Amazon doesn’t have these items in stock, but they are products that people want. This is where third-party sellers like myself help Amazon boost its inventory. We sell everything from Healthy & Beauty items to kitchen products, toys, and books.
In our Amazon Boot Camp, we teach people to start by looking around the house for products they have lying around that might be profitable. People are usually surprised to learn how much cash they can make with the stuff that’s just sitting around the house! They might have kitchen gadgets, books, toys or games, for example.
We also teach people to shop clearance aisles or to find liquidation stores. A little more advanced strategy would be to buy two or more related items, bundle them together and create a new listing. We teach all of these strategies in our courses.
How much does it cost to get started and what tools do you need?
I usually tell people that an ideal situation would be to have $1,000 to invest, which would get you a great training course like our Amazon Boot Camp, some shipping tools to start off with, and inventory you can sell.
A training course to learn Amazon is optional, but helps save time and mis-steps along the way. The same goes for a lot of the tools. Some people start with no tools, and others prefer to get them all in the beginning.
You don’t need a lot of expensive or complicated equipment. If someone already has a smartphone, computer, and a printer, they can usually get everything else they need to start for $100 or less.
The tool we can’t live without is the app we use on our phone. We use the app ‘Amazon Seller’ to scan the barcodes of products in stores. The app tells us how much the item is selling for on Amazon, whether it’s popular (judging by something called a best seller ranking), how many other people are selling it, and a few other key pieces of information. All of this information helps us know if we are making a good buying decision.
The app will also let us know how much profit can be made on the item. Amazon gets a commission off of every sale, so the app calculates the fees for us. Then we deduct the purchase price and figure out the profit.
You’ll also need labels, boxes, packing tape and boxes. There are other tools you can invest in to help make you more efficient, but those are most of the basics.
Thanks! That’s been really helpful. If someone wants to learn more, what should they do?
We have a lot of information on our website, TheSellingFamily.com, including blogs and videos. We also have a great Facebook community.
The quickest way to start an Amazon business without any of the guesswork is to take our course, the Amazon Boot Camp. Our goal of the course is to make sure you have a solid understanding of the way things work and have a great foundation to build on. We take you from the concept of an Amazon FBA business, all the way to getting sales and beyond.