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Networking is a really important part of being an Amazon Seller. It’s a lonely existence just you and your computer screen even if you can travel the world with the desktop lifestyle.
Networking events mainly happen in London but Amazon Sellers are distributed all over the country so I decided to start a group of us for the Thames Valley and M4 corridor after attending meetings in Bristol and Birmingham.
This is our third meeting and I’m expecting about 20 people. It’s always great to get together with other people in the same boat as you and you often know much more than you think. It’s a pleasure being able to help others on their Amazon adventure and to learn from those who are walking the talk.
I’m doing something a bit different today by the way of introductions. It’s something that’s worked well in my corporate life but let’s see how it transfers to us asked Amazonions.
The main remit of the meeting is to share our successes and to ask others to help where we need it. Quite often the combined brainpower of 20+ sellers can go along way to help somebody who is struggling.
So after weeks of research and leg work I’ve finally found a supplier i’d like to work with! It has taken a while but i think this is one of the most aspects when building out your Amazon FBA business.
So now the negotiations begin… I’m not silly i understand that everyone will have a bottom price, my aim is to get to a price that we are both happy with.
So as you’ll know, before i jumped into looking for a supplier i found out that i could afford to pay $3.00 a unit, which after all of the associated selling costs we’ll leave me with $6.00 per unit (not too bad eh?!).
I want to aim to sell around 1000 units a month, i’m aware that this will take me a little bit of time as i’ll need to go through the launch process first, which i’m going to talk about next.
Before i jump into the launch process i need to make sure i’ve carried out all of my keywords research. Luckily for me the eBusiness Boss blog i follow has also written up a full article on how i can do this step by step. For anyone struggling with keyword research i’d advise you to check out this article.
Here’s a video of the process for any of you visual learners out there…
I actually check out a lot of Amazon FBA blogs and although this blog and YouTube channel is pretty new, i can see that they are working hard to build up their brand.. Sometimes to best blogs and channels aren’t the biggest, they are the smaller guys trying to get a foot up!
So yer following this advice i’ve done the following with my keywords.
1) Main Keywords in the title & backend.
2) Next best Keywords in the bullet points & search terms
3) The rest in the description
Keep it simple, make a big list of the keywords you want to go after. Get these keywords from the best selling listings. There are a lot of paid tools out there that will literally show you which keywords your competitors are making sales from.
You’ll need to use your master keyword list to set your PPC keywords too. I like to organize things so whilst my product is being made i’m going to work on the keywords.
So.. what is next for me and my amazon fba business. Well i need to research into how i’m going to launch my product. But we will get to that in due course. First i need to negotiate an amazing deal with my supplier.
I’ve gone for the supplier i feel the most comfortable with, it’s not about the cheapest deal for me, it’s about the quality of product and service too.
I have just realized that i will also need to factor in the cost of freight. I didn’t realize that the terms F.O.B meant the supplier would pay to get it on the ship or plane or whatever, from there you have to pay the rest.
If you want an all in price i’d go for DDP or DDU, that’s based on the research i have done so far anyway. DDP stands for Delivered, Duty Paid and DDU stands for Delivered Duty Unpaid.
These shipping and important taxes and costs that need to go into your analysis, do this before you jump in head first. After all it’s going to effect the profit you make.
So negotiations are now beginning and in the mean time i’m going to continue to research keyword optimization and best listing practices. That way i’m going to be well equipped!
Things seem to be moving in the right direction, i’m feeling positive.
I’m also going to start thinking about my product launch strategy, i know this is a vital part of launching an Amazon FBA business.
Thanks for reading guys, if you’ve got any questions are comments i’d love to hear them! Feeling lonely over here LOL.
How and When To Start Amazon FBA Retail Arbitrage/Online Arbitrage
So Amazon retail arbitrage and online arbitrage through Amazon’s FBA program has been booming lately. Why? Because it’s so stinkin’ easy to do! What if I told you that you could buy products at a thrift store or goodwill - or even Walmart - send it in to Amazon and have them sell it for you and do all of the shipping/customer service? Oh, and you get to use Amazon’s shipping rate to send them the products. Sound amazing? I thought so. Now let’s get into the meat and potatoes.
Many people spend hours and hours searching online for side hustles and ways to make money from home, including myself. And trust me I have tried everything from dropshipping to filling out surveys for pennies. None of them were as real and as instant to me as Amazon FBA. That’s why I’ve chosen to hone in on it as my laser focused side hustle that I hope to develop into a main hustle some day.
No, I’m not a guru who has made millions already trying to sell you a course or give you the formula for success. I actually just started doing FBA about a month and a half ago and have just been so enamored with it that I want to share my experiences so far.
So when do I get started?
NOW. It’s that simple. You can literally start by selling things around your house without spending any money. Look for books that you have lying around. I’m sure some of them will make you profit on Amazon.
How do I get started?
You’re going to need an Amazon Seller Professional account, a smartphone, and the Amazon Seller app. Those are the bare minimum, but I will get into the details of what you need to really get started later.
The Amazon Seller app is very easy to use. Most of the time, you will just need to click the camera icon, scan your item’s bar code or label, and see the estimated fees and sales rank of the item on Amazon. Pictures below.
So from the screen above, you would just tap the camera icon to scan a barcode, or tap ‘Add a product’ to search for a product manually.
After searching or scanning, the item hopefully appears on the list. In this case we will just assume the first item shown is the one that we scanned in a store. Click on it for more info.
Here, we see an estimation of fees, our selling eligibility, the sales rank, etc. Basically everything we need to know about making a decision whether or not to buy the product.
To get here, you would just tap the top arrow of the product page which shows the price and fees. Let’s assume we can buy the product in store for $3.00 and estimate $0.50 per pound shipping to Amazon, which is actually a pretty conservative estimate (Amazon gives you crazy good shipping rates). So we’d be spending $3 and making $3.50. Pretty good Return on Investment, right? I’d say so. At this point I’d probably buy the item, but I’d also do one last check before being sure. I’ll bring that up soon below in the optional apps and extensions section.
What Apps/Extensions Are Not Necessary But Recommended?
The below Google Chrome Extensions/websites will save you hours of research and headache. I highly recommend each and every one of them as they are completely free.
The AMZ Scout FBA Calculator
This super powerful tool will allow you to automatically calculate the margin on a product by just clicking the extension icon on an amazon product page and entering the cost you will be buying it for. It will also tell you how many prospective sales the item will get, based on its sales rank. Example pictured below:
This Chrome extension is really useful for online arbitrage. If you are on another website and go to a product page, the extension will determine if that product is sold on Amazon, and will tell you how much it is going for. This is very useful when browsing prospective products online. As you can see in the picture below, the banner up top is the notification that alerts you of a product being on Amazon.
Keepa is a generated graph that will show up on every Amazon product page that you go to that will show a myriad of stats over time such as sales rank, number of sellers, price variation, and whether or not Amazon itself is on the listing.
SIDE NOTE/PRO TIP: DO NOT BUY AN ITEM FOR RESELL IF AMAZON.COM IS ON THE LISTING. It will be very hard to win the buy box (the price of the seller that show when you go to the product page) over them, even if your price is lower. You are subject to their rules and algorithm. If you think you can sell it for a lot less than Amazon, be my guest. But in most cases, stay away from items that Amazon sells. Going back to the Amazon Seller app, you can actually see if Amazon sells an item within the app, so it is a good test to use if you are in store and can’t see a keepa graph, Shown below, after clicking on the second bar/arrow that says ‘offers’ on the product page in the Amazon Seller app, you can see each offer, the name of the seller, and their price.
So in this case, the very top offer is from Amazon.com. We DO NOT want to buy this product. It is Amazon’s website so they will obviously give themselves sales over you. Another thing to note is to not pay too much attention to prices that do not have the prime icon beside them. Since you are doing FBA, you’ll be sending your items to a fulfillment center, which allows your items to be shipped with prime, and prime items, in most cases, win the buy box over non-prime items since they can be shipped super fast and free.
Shown below are two keepa graphs. The first is a listing that Amazon is on. The yellow block shows that Amazon has been selling the item for all of the last three months. You can also see many other data points, which can be tweaked and played with.
The next keepa graph is what you want to see when you view a listing. Amazon has not been on the listing at all for the last three months, the sales rank is fluctuating but still very low which is good. And the price has stayed steady. I f I could get this product cheaper than the price on Amazon, it would definitely be a good arbitrage opportunity.
This helpful tool is one more way to confirm or contradict your findings against the AMZ Scout FBA calculator. Plug in the sales rank, country, and category, and the estimator will tell you how many sales that item should get per month. I like to use both tools to make sure the data from one source is not skewed. Below is an example:
In this case, our item has a sales rank of 100,000 in Kitchen and Dining. Jungle Scout predicts we will sell 30 units a month. That is definitely a buy situation. I generally tend to stay away from items with a sales rank over 250,000, but all categories are different. For example, in Books I will buy all the way up to a 3,000,000 sales rank because they sell at a much higher rate on Amazon than Kitchen items. But it is always great to just plug in the numbers here and see what you get, especially if you are in store and the only data you have are the category and sales rank that you were provided in the Amazon Seller app after scanning the item’s bar code.
I hope, if anything, I have motivated you to start FBA retail and online arbitrage. If anything else, I hope you got some good insight on how to begin creating your own product analysis method. I have also started a youtube channel with FBA related videos. I only have one video so far, but I’ll link it below. Go check it out if you are still interested. I show one of my online arbitrage sourcing techniques in it so hopefully it will provide you some value. Cheers!
To me Forecasting for Q4 is a bit like nailing jelly to wall. I have only hearsay accounts of how your sales increase for the final quarter of the year with people buying Christmas presents.
There are stories of 3×, 5x and even 10x your usual sales especially if you have a giftable product. One of my products is especially giftable and I do have some past sales history of that from my own website. One year I sold as much in November and December as I did in the entire rest of the year!. However my main product is a bit seasonal although people do use it all year round and I hasn’t catered for any additional sales of this product in Q4 on Amazon.
How wrong I was, one of my Amazon buddies told me that I must get the inventory of this product in particular into the Amazon warehouse as well as the one I know sells well.
So most of this week I have been deliberating over a rather complex spreadsheet trying to anticipate exactly how many units of the individual materials I need to make my products, taking into all various scenarios. Even though I created this spreadsheet I still to go back and look at it and really try and understand what each cell means. Its been something that I have prevaricated over for some weeks and it really a case of not knowing what I don’t know. There is only me to take the final decision and its a big responsibility as I don’t want to run out of stock as that has all sorts of implications with Amazon. Basically Amazon love selling stuff that sells, and they don’t like it when the can’t sell the stuff that sells.
But this week I have addressed the dreaded spreadsheet and I feel very happy and confident that I now know where I stand and have placed a number of big orders with my suppliers. Needless to say, they all have different lead times, but that is another story.
The numbers are still a guess because this time last year I was still very much a novice on Amazon. Once I have a full year of Amazon stats under my belt everything will be a lot clearer. Having said this, none of my figures include the US market and this is something I am going to tackle over the coming weeks and will make for some interesting blog posts.
I’ve been meaning to document my Amazon and online selling adventures for awhile, so here goes.
This blog will contain all sorts of information about my observations, sales successes, failures, outcomes I wasn’t expecting and random bits about my life in general.
I shall just make notes about what I achieve on regularly and some interesting facts about products I sell all that are in development, places I go, online places where I hang out and thoughts about the future.
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