I have now been on Amazon for over two years almost, three and, my goodness have I learned a lot! Like everything you do you need a plan, follow through and, goals. Amazon FBA took a little time to adjust to but, now I am going to give you the tips and, tricks I have learned. Stay tuned for the next post where I give you the insight on what you need to purchase to begin on Amazon. If you are selling more than 40 products a month Amazon FBA is where you will want your business to be otherwise Merchant Fulfillment will not be making you money. The other down side to merchant fulfillment is that, you have to store all your items in your home; yikes, can that really eat up your house space quickly! With Fulfillment By Amazon or FBA you will be storing and, shipping all of your items to an Amazon Warehouse. Just to forewarn you that the items with disperse into different shipments so, it may take you longer to fill one shipment because, news flash it is not all going to one Amazon warehouse. This can get a bit irritating but, do not let it discourage you. Now that you are in the mindset of starting an Amazon FBA business you will need to come up with a business plan. Unlike other businesses Amazon can be a bit unpredictable about where you are purchasing from and, I still do not have a clear indicator of what is selling best.
To Start On Amazon:
- Amazon Seller Central Account $39.99/mo.
- Amazon Storage Fees: These fees will be changing as of Feb/March 2017 they are increasing Monthly Inventory Storage Fee
Month Standard-Size Oversize January - October $0.54 per cubic foot $0.43 per cubic foot November - December $2.25 per cubic foot $1.15 per cubic foot
- Initial Cost Of All electronics You Will Need( I will be doing a separate post)
- ScanPower or wherever you chose to list your items on: for two devices $69.95/mo. ASellerTool is what we use over the season $285 6 mo. for two devices
- Money for start up to purchase books and items so far, I have spent about $9,000 over the past almost three years they recommend that you have at least $50,000 to spend on all your products to begin with but, I do not have they kind of money
Let's say you need to purchase about $1,000 worth of inventory a month plus your other expenses you will need $1,109.94/mo. at least once you start shipping products you will also, being paying storage fees.
Ok, so where do you begin now that you are set up and, ready to go? Book sales, retail arbitrage, thrift stores, estate sales and, garage sales. You can also, ask you local library or the book sales if you can purchase all the books they are going to giveaway at .30/lb. That way, they are still making money and, so are you!
Book Sales: They are sales that you go to, to scan the books and, if they are worth purchasing you buy them. Most book sales only deal in cash so, go prepared. You will want to hit up all the book sales possible and, really pay attention to what is selling. Forget the non-fiction sections you do not make any money from them. Be polite at the book sales, bring your own bags and, check ahead to see if you are allowed to scan. Personally, I do not go to the book sales that don't let you scan but, some really high rollers will still go and, just scan until someone tells them they are not allowed to. They are usually set up in schools, gyms or, libraries and, the ones that are big are really big! We go to two large sales that we stay for two days at a hotel. Of course, if you are going to stay in a hotel you will really need to hustle as you need to make enough to pay for the hotel plus the cost of the trip and, much more. Let me break it down for you
Gas: $18.24 roughly that is for a 2 hour drive
Food: $60 at $10 a meal
Cost Of Trip: $228.24
You would want to make 20 times that amount roughly
$4,564.80- At .50 you would need to buy 200 plus books most of them will be $2-.25 so, that figure would probably be a little less but, you catch my drift I hope.
Normally, we will buy 600 books at a sale and, let's say they average at making $20 a book you will have $12,000 worth of inventory in books. It all depends so, go with what you can afford. If you are able to get those 9,000 books at $20 a book you are looking at some crazy inventory $180,000. We have yet to get 1,000 books at a sale but, we are getting more efficient which means we will be quicker and, therefore, get more books.
You will be going to this site to find book sales: http://www.booksalefinder.com/
Once you have made a schedule and, budget for how much you will be spending at the book sale it is time to head out.
You are looking to cut corners anywhere you go and, if your budget is $100 per book sale you will be going on box/bag day where it is $10/box and, $5/bag. They will provide you with boxes and, bags so, you do not need your own. However, it is easier to have your own bags like these:
I use the bags and, then strategically pack the boxes so, I can get the most bang for my buck. Bring a sheet with you that you can put over each bag so, no one mistakes your items as part of the sale. Scan away and, be polite there is no reason for you to be rude it does not help your rep. when attending other book sales. Be patient when checking out the volunteers may be unfriendly but, keep a smile and, please and, thank you goes a long way. If you go to a preview sale you will be paying $10 and up plus premium prices for the books and, for the most part sellers leave lots of great stuff so, don't let it bum you out.
Have a snack bag with water and, lunch/snacks. You will not have time to go out and, have lunch and, this will save you quite a bit of water. Take a break of 20 min. find a place to sit and, have your lunch. If you are at a sale for 8 hours or more it is hard to walk away but, trust me you need at least two breaks of five minutes and, a 20 minute lunch break. Your eyes may get tired and, you need quite a bit of stamina to last the whole 8 hours or more of, mostly standing. Wear comfortable sneakers, have short sleeves on and, bring a comfortable sweater. The place can be freezing one minute and, you could be sweating the next. You will need a descent sized vehicle and, need to be able to lift heavy boxes. If there are two of you that is perfect because there is a lot of ground to cover and, even with both of you, you will not be able to cover 25% if it is a large sale. Be prepared to work very long hours.. This is not a scam and, it will not get you rich overnight you have to work for it.
After the sale you will list the books and, then ship them out to Amazon. I will explain in this series about how I can afford to be an FBA Seller, where I work, how to ship the books, where to purchase inventory, finding a niche and, much more. There will be a bundle of posts containing loads of info coming your way so, be sure to look out for it. If you have questions leave them below or Tweet me @thatsabang! If you have loads of questions I will be happy to do a live YouTube video answering your questions so, comment away. As always, this is from my experience and, it is meant to help you. There are FBA Sellers who have been selling over five-ten years and, I will be linking videos for you to watch as well.