Wouldn’t it be great if we could just stay at home for most of the week and still afford to go on vacations? Wouldn’t it be awesome to work whenever you felt like and how long you felt like, and still earn good money? That would be the life, wouldn’t it?
Selling through Amazon FBA can make it all possible.
It’s a great way to make money while still staying at home or virtually be anywhere you want. You can do this part-time to supplement your day job or, if you play your cards right, make more than enough money to quit your 9 to 5 to be a full-time seller online.
That being said, I’ll be showing you what exactly Amazon FBA is as well as a few tips and tricks on how to make money with it.
What is Amazon FBA?
When I’m selling stuff online, I like to think I have an actual, tangible shop. If I ran it alone, I could probably still taste a bit of success but I’m sure I’d have a much easier time if I had a team to do it with me.
With FBA, short for Fulfilled by Amazon, you get just that—a team that handles your storage, packaging, shipping, and customer service for you. Plus, because you’re selling on one of the world’s largest retailers, FBA also helps you to reach out to more customers.
That’s not all. As an FBA seller, all your products will be automatically qualified for Prime shipping which ups your chances of selling even more!
On that note, let’s move on.
How to make money on Amazon FBA
First of all, you’re going to need an Amazon seller account. If you already have one, it’s only a matter of adding FBA to your account but if you’re new, you’re going to have to sign up first.
When your Amazon seller account and FBA have all been set up, it’s time to list your products, which also begs the question…
How do I find products to sell?
I’ve got two words for you:
Basically, retail arbitrage is buying products at a discount and selling them at their original prices (or sometimes higher) for profit.
Personally, I think this is the best way to go about making money off of Amazon FBA since it allows you to profit from a relatively small capital.
Of course, a larger investment is going to get you more products to sell and potentially more profit but if you don’t have a lot of cash on you right now, don’t worry about it. There’s no shame in starting small.
Where do I find products to sell?
One of my favorite things to do is go to retailers and drugstores to check out their clearance section.
You see, these retail stores, no matter how big, have limited storage space. Therefore, when they run out of room and new items are coming in, products need to be disposed of quickly and the way they do it is by putting “overstock” items on the clearance rack.
You can get sweet deals here, like discounts of 50+% and 2-for-1 packages.
However, you shouldn’t just invest on anything and everything on the clearance aisle because, frankly, not all of them are worth it.
This brings us to the next question.
How do I choose which products to sell?
Again, two words:
These are applications that you can download on your phone to scan items (through their barcodes) and see various metrics. These metrics will tell you whether or not a product is profitable.
For instance, if you scan a product and the metrics tell you that there are too many people who are already selling the same exact product, it’s probably going to be hard to sell.
Another metric you should watch out for is your profit margin. Personally, I aim for products that get me a profit of at least 2x the price I bought it for. A little less than that is fine but if it’s only somewhere between 10-15%, it’s almost an automatic pass.
If you’re new to FBA and scanner apps, I suggest starting with the Amazon Seller app. Its scanner shows you various data that you can use to determine whether or not a product is worth it. More importantly though, it’s free so it’s a great way to learn without losing money.
The Amazon Seller app has its limitations though. For one, it doesn’t show your products metrics outside of Amazon’s own data. That being said, once you’ve done your share of practice, I suggest you purchase other scanner apps to fill the gap.
What do I do with the products I bought?
After you’ve bought profitable products through retail arbitrage, the next step on your FBA journey should be sending them off to Amazon and have them listed.
Before you can actually ship the products, however, they need to be prepped to ensure their safety. Furthermore, different products have different requirements so be sure you read Amazon’s packaging and prep requirements here.
Also, if you need prep supplies, Amazon has their preferred materials here. It’s your choice to either buy from them or use the list as reference.
A word of caution though: Amazon has the right to refuse or return your items if their requirements aren’t met. So, be sure to do it right the first time.
Which carrier should I use to ship my products?
For shipping, Amazon gives you two carrier choices:
- Small parcel deliveries (SPDs) – I use this for my lighter products. It has a 1 lb. minimum charge, however, if your items weigh less than 1 lb., I suggest you ship them in bulk to save money.
- Less Than Truckload/Full Truckload (LTL/FTL) – This is my go to for heavier packages.
Do note that all fees from shipping will be charged to your account as “Inbound Transportation Charge”.
Also, Amazon says it has multiple discounted partner carriers but, really, I only ever see UPS. Nonetheless, Amazon chooses these carriers for you based on available capacity and cost. You should also be able to track them as well.
Are there fees that I should be aware of?
Yes, there are a few and I believe you should make it a habit to include them in your computations. Some of them are:
- Shipping fees – This includes boxes, tapes, and other materials needed for packaging. Also, the “Inbound Transportation Charge” which, honestly, isn’t that expensive.
- Inventory storage fees – If your products don’t sell right away, you might have to pay monthly storage fees. This depends on the size of your package and the month it was stored.
- Scanning apps – I highly recommend installing paid scanning apps that complement the free Amazon Seller app.
- Amazon Pro Merchant account – This goes hand-in-hand with the paid scanning apps since you likely won’t be able to use 3rd party scanners unless you have this.
Once your products sell and you get a return from your investments, it’s essentially rinse and repeat. Here’s a little recap:
- Sign up for an Amazon Seller account and add FBA
- Find products to sell (via retail arbitrage)
- Check for profitability (via scanner apps)
- Invest in the profitable ones (ideally ones that give around 2x the price you bought it for)
- Pack and ship according to Amazon’s requirements
- Wait for ROI
Now go out there and make some money! Also, share this with your friends while you’re at it!