Tips From The Brain Of An Amazon FBA Seller

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,

allie

 

 

 

 

Resources That Are Awesome

Here are my favorite gems for traveling, saving money and, so much more!

Airbnb: This is my favorite way to travel. While in Italy we saved so much money using Airbnb and stayed in an amzing apartment. Airbnb is much cheaper than a hotel and, you can filter what you need for your trip. You can get an entire house or, a room in a house. It’s customized to your needs.

How Most Bloggers Go From Making $0 To Making Some Cash As A Blog : Blogging can be a very challenging experience and, I have been working very hard to understand what I need to go from $0 to $50,000 plus a year. I’ve learned a lot has to do with affilate links and, marketing. It can get a bit confusing all you can do is research and, continue to learn.

Ibotta: Clip coupons no more! This app has all the coupons you want minus the many hours of coupon clipping. I even saw 1% off ebay! Ibotta helps you save money on groceries, mobile shopping, travel and, so much more! You also get $10 just for signing up through my account. 

Ebates: Get the best deals on Ebates while collecting money! Invite friends and, get $5 bonus for each friend that signs up. Who doesn’t love building up cash to shop!

Swagbucks: Earn Swagbuck for shopping or, taking surveys. Get rewards for shopping. 

 

 

 

Business Shenanigans Day 1

Hello Loves,

Today I am chatting about my business trip and what happened the first day. It was chalk full of shenanigans now, I have a better idea of how to use my PDA and, what I need for it. Road trips to P.A. are always fun, it is a short distance, and usually pretty scenery once you get off of the highway. We landed at Bird-in-Hand ready to get to our room and jump in the pool. I always try to find places to stay that have a pool because, well, I’m a pool junkie. I like to swim as much as I can and, when I was younger if there was a pool I was in it and swimming around for hours. The way I feel when swimming is almost indescribable, I just love it. Well, we walked into the hotel to check in and, of course nothing can go smoothly, it turns out that we weren’t booked to stay in the hotel but, rather in the motel. If we weren’t paying $96 something a night I wouldn’t have been as upset but, since we were I was. I was absolutely not staying in a motel for $96/night if that was the case I would have booked a motel for $50-$60/night. We had booked through Expedia and, they IMG_3363booked us in the motel not the hotel. Apparently if you book through Expedia they can put you anywhere without you know where you are being placed. I was not aware of this when I was booking the trip and, of course was shocked when I got there to find out we were not staying in the same place ( I was not impressed at all.) After about two hours on the phone with Expedia we ended up paying an extra $70 to stay in the hotel. There was a major difference between the rooms and, I was not staying in the motel for that kind of price. We still have to speak to Expedia to at least get the extra $70 we spent back. When you have specific money set aside for this type of a business trip $70 can be a big hit on your wallet. We settled in the room, pool and, went to Panera for dinner. It can be difficult to eat as a vegan in Lancaster, PA but, I ha a much easier time, this trip. While at Panera I had a moment of sheer panic because I had left my laptop in my dads car which was at home in N.J. huge mistake on my part and, I immediately lost my appetite mid spoonful of black bean soup ( which is delicious and, one of my favorite vegan dishes to get from Panera). My dad ended up meeting us halfway, thank god, and we retrieved the laptop and splashed into the pool when we got back. Why was the laptop so important? Well, what you don’t know is that I have been trying to download aseller tool onto my PDA so I could use the PDA for the book sale and no longer use my phone. Asellertool is hella-expensive and, I wanted to get full use out of it. Now, to get the PDA to work I needed a scout which plugs into the top of the PDA ($250-$300 piece) I also, needed to have a compact flash that is 2-4GB which I didn’t know until the second time I talked to aseller. Then I needed a converter to plug the SD card to install the aseller tool unto the PDA but, we’lll get to that tomorrow. So, the laptop was crucial to get the asellertool onto the compactflash and, then onto the PDA. If you followed all that you defiantly get props because it was confusing even when I finally understood what I needed. So, I should mention that I had purchased the compact flashes on Amazon but, they weren’t arriving until the next day.. yeah.. So, because there was an option to download directly onto the PDA I tried that and the download was like an hour altogether. Now it is late like 10:3-11p.m. and, I have a book sale at 7a.m. the next day. I end up staying up until 3a.m. trying to get this to download and, it kept giving me an error. Or first day in Bird in Hand did not go as planned at all and, I’ll leave off that I woke up exhausted the next day. Stay tuned for the continuation of the business trip story.
Have an enlightening and adventurous day,
allie

If Reading isn’t your thing on’t worry I have two YouTube Channels:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9lSYWyJqDEXe_-toxR7PvQ
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC57r19tHgsMq0vz3NiGI9-w