As I was sitting at my desk deciding how I’m going to spend my time during my 1 week break from Amazon, my mind wandered back to where I was this time last year in my reselling journey. I remember that around this time I’d just gotten started with Amazon FBA after purchasing my first liquidation pallet. I documented my experience here (just in case you’ve never read it).
…lo and behold, it hit me! I’ve been selling through Fulfillment by Amazon for a year now! In fact, it was exactly one year ago today that I sold my very first item via FBA.
Let’s take a look at that monumental sale:
I sold this VHS tape from that liquidation pallet for $19.99 and paid what amounted to $0.06 for it. Let’s just say that I have been hooked on Amazon since then!
Anyways, there’s no way I can let this night end without celebrating! 🙂
The statistics for businesses that fail within the first year are pretty high. I know that this statistic is generally geared towards brick and mortar businesses, however, I believe the same can be said for online businesses. I can clearly remember the ways that I made money online prior to reselling. I invested in HYIPs (very risky and stupid — but also very profitable), I designed and sold niche websites, I wrote for websites like Demand Studios, I participated in “freebie trading,” I did a lot of affiliate marketing and PPC marketing, and I even sold products that I created on Internet Marketing forums. None of those ventures have produced the type of results that reselling has and I am thankful to have made it a full year as a reseller — and not just make it, but actually become profitable! (I can’t say the same for all of the other routes that I took.)
Now that the rush of holiday sales is over, I can finally sit down and detail how things went in regards to my first fourth quarter (Q4) selling on Amazon using FBA and also as a merchant fulfilled seller. As I stated in my last few blog posts, I went into this selling season with no prior Q4 experience underneath my belt. Everything that occurred was definitely a learning experience and has given me more insight as to what to focus on if I’m still selling online during the next fourth quarter.
Was Q4 really that good?
If you have been selling online for any length of time, you may have noticed that the closer you get to October, the more often you will begin to see the term “Q4” pop up at least once a day if you are active in any online reselling community. I could not go a day without reading someone talking about Q4 and how wild it is. To be quite honest, I was originally going to write that Q4 was slightly “hyped up” in my opinion — until it ended. You see, once the holiday buying ended, I noticed a sharp decrease in my sales (as shown further below). I became so used to waking up and seeing a flood of sales that I completely lost track of what my sales actually looked prior to Q4. To be fair, I also wasn’t engaged in any type of retail buying before Q4 like I was during the end of October through December.
I noticed that a lot of the posts I’ve written lately seem to focus on books. In an effort not to brand myself as someone that only sells books through Amazon’s FBA program, I thought I would take the time out to go through my past sales and pick out some odd items that I have sold. Selling these types of items helps my bottom line. I’m hesitant to refer to them as “bread and butter” items, but in essence that’s kind of what they are and you would be surprised at how often I find them and how often they sell.
When I use the phrase “uncommon” or “odd,” I am not referring to the item itself, but rather the fact that you don’t hear too many people talking about selling these types of items. The general consensus that I get from other FBA sellers that thrift for inventory is that books, media, and board games are the extent of what they look for. You are doing yourself a disservice if you only limit yourself to just those categories.
The next time you’re out thrifting and you’re upset because you can’t find anything worth selling, hopefully this post will help inspire you to step out of your comfort zone. 🙂
#1: Do you ever check the health and personal care aisle at your local thrift store? I found this beauty sitting on the shelf still new in its sealed package and priced at $1.98. It just so happens that its color tag was 25% off on that particular day so that made it even more of a steal.
As a part of my goal to focus on Amazon FBA in the month of April, I wanted to write a post about what it takes to get started with Amazon FBA.
Amazon FBA is a great way to make money online, but it also takes money, time, and a whole lot more to be efficient and successful. I wrote this post with the “reseller” in mind, however, it still rings true even if you are small business owner looking to expand your presence online by utilizing Amazon to promote your products.
Here are a few things that you should be aware of before you get started:
#1: Amazon FBA will require more money, more supplies, more EVERYTHING!
Prepare to be amazed at the sheer amount of packing tape, poly bags, labels, toner, and other supplies that you will need at some point during your venture into Amazon FBA. You can certainly get by without purchasing all of these things, but there will come a time when you need them — and LOTS of them.
I ventured in Amazon FBA having already been a reseller on eBay. That means that I already owned a digital postage scale, a thermal printer, a laser printer, and various packing supplies.
The supplies I added after becoming heavily invested into Amazon FBA included:
- a barcode scanner
- Labels (either pre-printed or self-printed) for suffocation warnings and expiration dates
- Blank label rolls (2×1″) for my Zebra printer to cover existing barcodes
- Packing tape galore (in bulk) –> because I go through about 1-2 rolls each time I send in shipments
I first heard about Amazon FBA (or Fulfillment by Amazon) last year by way of Debra Conrad over at Thrifting for Profit.com. Prior to her website, I had been selling on Amazon since 2006 by merchant fulfilling items (mainly books). I never even knew it was possible to ship things to Amazon and have them sell it for you.
Originally, I was just looking on Debra’s website for information on thrifting items to resell so I never gave any thought to Amazon FBA or what it would take for them to sell my items. It sounded like a lot of work, and to be honest, I did not feel it was worth my time since I was so focused on eBay. After reading a few blog posts (many of which didn’t make sense to me at the time), I unsubscribed from the mailing list and stopped visiting the blog.
Why I Changed My Mind
I didn’t have a change of heart about FBA until after finding out about “thrifting” groups on Facebook. I remember a few members here or there posting items that they sold via Amazon FBA for much more money than it could have fetched on eBay. It was around that time that I started reading more about FBA from Amazon themselves. Next, I stumbled upon a few YouTube videos and I dug a little deeper by reading blogs and revisiting Thrifting for Profit again — but this time I actually started listening to the podcasts which put things into perspective.