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:
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.”
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:
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:
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:
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).
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.
A scanning tool to scan UPC codes of products you are listing for sale on Amazon makes listing go quick and easy. I boughtand 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.
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.
seemed to be nice enough and affordable too — I have been happy with mine.
While most of your sales are going to come through Amazon, you want to sell as much as possible (and as quickly as possible.)
A great service to easily list your Amazon items on eBay is. JoeLister makes attractive eBay listings from your Amazon inventory automatically and selects the proper eBay listing category too. So, it takes no time or real effort to get your Amazon items listed on eBay.
When your Amazon FBA items sell on eBay via JoeLister everything happens like magic (order sent to Amazon, Amazon ships it, shipping info sent to eBay, etc.). Extra sales without any real extra time commitment is always a good thing.
JoeLister also allows you to sell items that are stranded in your Amazon inventory which has come in handy for me a times now. When you have inventory in an Amazon warehouse that Amazon no longer will let you sell, it is nice to have that backup option.
About 15% of my Amazon FBA sales have come through JoeLister thus far.
Bonus Tip: If you are selling stuff from other stores you need to peel off old sticky labels. Thismakes 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!
Kevin is a serial entrepreneur. He is the former founder/CEO of TribeBoost along with several other businesses. Previously Kevin was one of the first ten employees of USInternetworking, the first cloud computing business in history and was an early employee at content management pioneer Vignette Corp. As a consultant he has managed software projects for organizations such as The National Security Agency, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, IBM, Kraft Heinz, Backpacker Magazine, and The U.S. Dept of Homeland Security.