Selling online via fulfillment by Amazon, otherwise known as Amazon FBA, can be a lucrative side hustle — or even a mega million-dollar full-time business. But starting an Amazon FBA business can be overwhelming.
Here is your guide to get started selling on Amazon FBA.
I had been selling on Amazon for many years, but for years avoided selling on FBA — even though the idea of “set it and forget it” is appealing.
I was intimidated with getting started as an Amazon FBA seller — for a few reasons:
- Amazon Seller Central does not have the most inviting user experience.
- The Amazon FBA fees are multiple with fulfillment fees, storage fees, seller fees, etc.
- Labeling every product before shipping to Amazon was another new thing to learn and required new equipment.
I am guessing others have the same feelings with all of these Amazon FBA courses I see popup online every day.
Pro-tip: Talking to actual customers of such courses, I sometimes hear they can be overpriced — and some are complete scams.
Here is an actual quote from an associate recently:
“I am closing down my Amazon store as it was not very profitable for me – I was misled (scammed) by the FBA coaching program I purchased and when the coaching was cut off I struggled to keep it going and can’t afford to keep putting money into it without getting enough money to pay all the bills I incurred.”
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There is so much free content on FBA selling anyhow and most people learn better by doing.
Instead of an Amazon FBA course, just do some simple and inexpensive Amazon selling experiments instead.
You may be surprised how easily you can get started with your Amazon FBA business.
Here are the steps that worked for me:
Start with One Niche That You Understand
I hear too many stories of people that have never sold online or never started their own business spending thousands of dollars on inventory to make a big initial investment as an Amazon Seller.
I don’t think this is a wise initial Amazon FBA business plan.
Pick a niche that you understand well. Either because you buy a lot of these items or it is a hobby or passion of yours.
This way you already own a good foundational intuition on your market and can answer questions like these:
- What brands sell?
- What is a good deal?
- What are the hot products?
You already have a lot to learn in terms of eCommerce and the basics of Amazon selling, so why not keep it simpler in the beginning?
When you come across potential Amazon sale items use tools such as the Amazon FBA Calculator to ensure an acceptable level of profit after fees.
Once you have mastered your initial niche, then look to others or experiment more out of your comfort zone. Sticking to this hack while you are a beginner will help avoid expensive mistakes with Amazon inventory that does not move.
I know a lot of the gurus talk about creating your own products or brands. Going to China, getting a factory to create your FBA business inventory, etc., etc.
Sure, that sounds exciting and there could be potential in creating your own products, but those new to Amazon FBA selling are best to start with inventory sourced locally.
Take some baby steps first…
You can easily find profitable items to resell via your Amazon FBA business from:
- Thrift Stores
- Heavily discounted close out items at places like Target, Ross, TJ Maxx, Wal-Mart
- Garage Sales
- Liquidation Sales
1.) Sign up for Amazon Seller Pro to Jumpstart your Amazon FBA Business
If you are going to be serious about this business experiment, just go ahead and sign up for Amazon Seller Pro immediately. This saves you listing costs but more importantly provides access to products that use Amazon MWS authentication and make Amazon FBA selling much easier (recommended tools below).
2.) Inventory Lab Makes Listing Amazon FBA Items Easy
A prime example of an important add-on for your Amazon FBA business is Inventory Lab. This software makes it easy to list your items on Amazon FBA. You do need a few extra tools to go with Inventory Lab (steps below). Sure it costs money, but this will speed up the entire process and time is worth more than money.
3.) A Wireless UPC Scanner makes listing on FBA Easy
A scanning tool to scan UPC codes of products you are listing for sale on Amazon makes listing go quick and easy. I bought this one on Amazon and it has served me well.
You just scan the item and it populates automatically within Inventory Lab. The scanner is cordless and connects to my laptop wirelessly, so no wires to clutter up the desk.
4.) Get a Label Printer to Print Your Amazon UPC Labels
Once you enter the item in Inventory Lab from the scanner, you pick your price, enter how much you paid for it (for profit tracking), how many, condition info, etc. and then Inventory Lab will automatically prompt your label printer to print an Amazon UPC sticker. Place the sticker over the UPC code of the item and you are set.
This Dymo printer seemed to be nice enough and affordable too — I have been happy with mine.
5.) Sell More by Cross-listing Your Amazon Inventory on eBay
While most of your sales are going to come through Amazon, you want to sell as much as possible (and as quickly as possible.)
There are many services to easily list your Amazon items on eBay, Shopify, or other platforms. So you can list your Amazon items pretty easily on other platforms which is usually kind of a no-brainer. Extra sales on new channels without any real extra time commitment is always a good thing.
About 15% of my Amazon FBA sales have come through eBay personally.
Bonus Tip: If you are selling stuff from other stores you need to peel off old sticky labels. This cheap tool on Amazon makes that easy.
Dip your toes in the Amazon FBA waters and see how the selling on Amazon goes. Learn as you go, hopefully make a few dollars to reinvest in your Amazon business and use that to buy more inventory.
Happy Amazon Selling!