I would say being an Amazon FBA Seller is anything but, basic. The perks of owning your own business also, comes with lots of headaches as well as, investing a fair share of your money. This is not said to discourage you but, you may be putting in forty hour weeks plus and, getting pennies if anything. Most sellers have a full time job while they are building up their Amazon business. Not having a full time job while building my Amazon business was a huge mistake on my part. Unless you have $50,000 you can invest right away and, not be hurt financially by investing this money you have some serious things to consider. If you are living on your own I strongly recommend staying at your job and, keep Amazon as a side hustle. Unfortunately, we all need money to survive and, this becomes a problem when you are starting a business that you will not make profit off of quickly. This is said for most businesses, it takes five years to actually see a profit. I am on my third year and, oh boy, is that accurate. I need many side hustles like Freelancing to make money and, most of my money gets invested back in Amazon. Frustration does not even describe how you feel when you watch all your money go back into your business and, you are silently crying on the inside. On one hand you know you are feeding your business to help you in the future and, on the other hand it’s like where did all my money go. You will 100% question yourself and, don’t expect friends and, family to be supportive at first they will think you’re literally sitting around doing nothing all day. Especially, as an FBA seller when you ship out your boxes to Amazon they won’t see your hustle all the time and, you’re working mainly from home so, defiantly keep that in mind. The mental questioning really gets to you at some points but, that’s when you realize you are building a business and, it’s not easy. If building a business was easy everyone would be doing it instead, of working for other people. You will need mental clarity so, I suggest going to the gym, local coffee shop, moving outside to work on your porch , lots of music, watching a show while working and, walks. I try to get out of the house daily because you will go stir crazy.. The re-seller community is amazing on instagram and, they are a constant score of encouragement and, tips. The amount of gold they drop everyday on instagram is amazing!
Okay, onto the actual Amazon business. You need to get approved to sell on Amazon and, you will automatically be approved to sell books but, you must look up categories in the help and, ask for approval. They are cracking down on Amazon sometimes you have to pay to be approved for a certain category and, you most likely will not be able to sell brands like Nike which, you would have to have gotten grandfathered into. Yes, this is a pain in the ass and, can really mess with you especially if you have clothing or, shoes you are trying to sell of a really popular name brand. Clothes & Shoes must be new if, you want to sell use clothing head over to ebay or, Poshmark because Amazon would probably kick you off and, you’d need to wait six months to get back on. Amazon will not hesitate to ban you if, you try to sell a restricted item etc. so, you need to make sure you are unrestricted before you even try to sell in a category other than books. Oh, and you are restricted from selling collectible books you have to get unrestricted in this category or, you books will be sitting collecting dust. You have to get unrestricted in DVDs, VHS, etc.. yup, they restrict you in basically everything. And, for most of these items you must have wholesale invoice they don’t except store receipts so yea, you may be restricted for awhile until you have a solid wholesaler that you purchase from. Being an FBA seller is challenging but, can be worth it especially with ROI for books!
Things I forgot to consider when pricing my items are the fees that I will be taking on when selling this specific item. You have the fee for Amazon about $49.95/mo. Scanpower $69.95/mo. if you use it regularly every month I have been having to pay $0 which, means I need to get more books haha ( Insert monkey with hands over the eyes), $228 for AsellerTool/6months, the shipping fee for the items and, the percentage Amazon takes plus, the cost of the item. Yeah, it is a bit much and, can be a bit frustrating to have all these fees you are paying for. You also, need the scanners to actually figure how much the cost of the item is; see this link for a detailed explanation
( http://thatsabang.com/?p=511 ). This is why it has taken me three years to kind of catch up with my business because in equipment I’ve spent over $1,044 in equipment. To some people that is not a lot of money to me that took awhile to pay off plus, ink, paper, printer ( I recently got a new one a laser printer) and, the labels for the dymo label printer ( thank goodness this does not need ink!). Now take the fees that you pay for the year $599.4 (Amazon), $839.40 ( ScanPower), ASellertool ( $456) = $1,894.8 a year in just fees. This does not include the whammy of the storage fee that you get hit with if you items are over 365 days old I think this happens twice a year. You really have to keep up with this because you could spend even more money keeping your inventory at Amazon instead of sending it back to you. Unfortunately, this hit me kind of hard this year and, everytime UPS came with boxes and, boxes of books my heart sank and, I had mini panic attacks ( I still live with my parents for the time being and, they were not pleased to have the boxes in their house but, I don’t think they realized how displeased I was to have to pay to ship books/items sent back to me haha). This is why I emphasize knowing what categories you can sell in because sometimes they just hit you with sorry, you are now restricted in that category, ( learn from my mistakes!). I will also, go into how important rank is in a minute so, hold on. You need to keep all these fees in mind when you’re pricing your item but, you also have to keep your pricing competitive.
Some FBA Sellers will make you very, very angry because the book could be worth $40 and, they’ll have it for $10. This happens so much it’s incredible how annoying some of the sellers are and, I don’t understand because they are barely making any money if any. Price wisely as, you don’t want to piss off other sellers but, you also, don’t want to price too high. Here is what I would normally do for very good or, good the new price would get slashed in half and, that’s how much I would price it at. If it’s ex-library or, acceptable condition I divide the price by 3. I will give you an example below because it sounds more complicated than it is.
Okay, so here is an example of a book that I have and, this is where you wil get 100% frustrated. This ranking is extremely good at over 800,000. That means for every 800,00 books purchased this book sells. The lower the rank the better! Now, you see that new the price is around $74 and, normally I would price my book used good or used very good at about $35. But, instead we have sellers who don’t understand the value of the book and, they priced it in the $9-$11 range. I don’t know who they think they are helping but, it’s not themselves… Right now, to make any money off of a book the lowest you can have it at is $10 becuase the fees went up as they do every year. Here is a prime example of how you should not price your books as a FBA Seller. FBA Seller’s are paying a fee for a reason; there are storage fees but, it’s also, to have Amazon Prime ( Two Day free shipping), available to your sellers. You can also, look at camel,camel,camel to see how often the item or book sells and, the range of prices they sell for. Okay, now into rank.. Oh my, rank can be a big problem because you want the lowest rank possible for a quick turnover. But, on the other hand you can luck out and, get a high ranking book that sells in a couple of months.. Ranking gives me a headache because I do gamble sometimes for books that I will make a large profit on and, the ranking is very high. In my experience it is not worth it look for low ranks because you want the fastest turn over as possible especially, when you are just starting out. Do not ignore the rank! Yes, when you are at a book sale you have to be able to look at the rank and, calculation of how much you will make off of the book in a matter of seconds. Most sellers know what their criteria is and, have their scanners set to beep if the book meets these standards. I personally don’t do this because I may miss a book that I can make a quick buck off of. It’s really up to the seller as, it is their preference.
I hope this helps you kind of get an idea what is like to be an FBA Seller and, I will be posting more so, stay tuned for those posts.
Have an enlightening and adventurous day,