Most families are always looking for ways to save money or make some extra money. Making extra money from home is the most sought after way to accomplish this. One great way to supplement your income is by selling on Amazon. Selling on Amazon is simply a matter of finding products to sell and listing them on the Amazon marketplace. However, there is a bit of a learning curve on which products to sell and where to purchase them.
What Are My Qualifications to Teach You?
You may be wondering what qualifies me to teach you about Amazon so let me assure you I know and understand how it works. For almost four years I made my living selling on Amazon and only quit because of health reasons. I’ve had five back surgeries so lifting boxes of products to be shipped and shopping for the products just became too painful for me. I now write web content and blog for a living which is easier for someone with my problems. I must say that shopping for products to sell on Amazon is a lot more fun than sitting at a desk most of the time. In fact, looking for products, or scouting as it’s called, becomes addictive and it loads of fun!
I never was one of those sellers who bought by the caseloads and made thousands of dollars a month but I was able to work part-time (10 to 13 hours per week) and bring home $1000 to $1500 per month. Since I was semi-retired this was really enough for me along with my retirement benefits.
You may want to do more and make $10,000 per month. That is up to you, but the more you make the more you must spend and the more hours it will take. In the beginning, I suggest setting a goal of $1000 per month. For those of you who work a full-time job, this level is obtainable just by working on your off time.
There are two ways to sell on Amazon. One is Merchant fulfilled and the other is FBA or Fulfillment by Amazon. I suggest FBA because it’s well worth the fees Amazon charges to have them store your products, sell them, and collect the money for you! It’s free to sign up for FBA. Just open an Amazon account if you don’t have one and start selling!
Understanding Ranking and How it Affects What You Purchase to Sell
Every product on Amazon is ranked in its category. The lower the ranking the more popular the item is and the faster it will sell. In the example below, you can see that this item ranks 10,487 in best sellers rank and below that you can see what it ranks in a specific category. I try to stay under 500,000 in this category but some people will purchase to resell even at 1,000,000.
The reason it’s smart to use a lower ranking is that Amazon has a fairly new policy in place that says any items that have been in the warehouse six months or more will be charged a long term storage fee. You don’t want to pay that. It’s important to try and move products within the first three months whenever possible and no longer than six months.
Here is an updated ranking chart to get you started, however, these charts need to be revised often.
Now it’s time to know how and where to purchase the items you want to sell on Amazon. Of course, this article can’t go into all the ways to find good products but here are a few tips to help get you started.
First, you need to understand that you are not automatically qualified to sell in every category on Amazon. Some categories like groceries, health and beauty, and jewelry, are what Amazon calls gated categories. This doesn’t mean you can’t get approval but for now, you need to learn the ropes in categories that you can sell in.
I started my Amazon career by selling used books and doing what is called retail arbitrage. Most of my books came from the Salvation Army and Goodwill stores. It’s very easy to buy a book at the Goodwill for .49 cents and sell for $10 on Amazon. Amazon takes their fees out of that, plus you must ship the book to the warehouse so for practical purposes you can depend on profiting about 40 to 45% of that $10.
You may be thinking $4 profit isn’t much but if you sell 100 of them a month (not hard to do), that’s $400 per month just off books and there is so much more to sell! You will often find textbooks that sell for $60 to $100 used!
Also, you will find brand new items at thrift stores that are still in the original packages. You can sell these on Amazon as “New”. I once found a battery operated doorbell brand new at the thrift store. It was a major brand that brought me $40 before Amazon fees. I paid only $5 for it.
Retail arbitrage is another way to find great products to sell on Amazon. Arbitrage simply means buying low at a retail store and selling high. Remember that ranking is important on all products. Just because it’s new and a good price does not mean it will be a good seller on Amazon. Always check your rank! Here’s how.
There is an app for your phone called “Amazon Seller”. Download this app and you will be able to use your phone camera to scan all the bar codes on books and other items. This will show you what it’s selling for on Amazon and what the ranking it. The ranking can always be found down under the description of the product on Amazon. You need to know what is a good ranking and what is bad. For that, you need a chart to keep you in the lower percent of ranking. Here is a link where you can download the ranking chart. Always make sure the item you scanned falls within the low percentage on the ranking chart. This way you know the item you are purchasing will probably sell within the first six months of being in the warehouse.
Once you have your app you can hit the clearance row at Walmart (they all have one), Tuesday Morning stores, Ross stores, and any places having sales. At Target you can find clearance marked down 90%! I’ve even purchased items at Harbour Freight and resold on Amazon. It’s all a process of finding the marked down items.
You must be sure and scan the item with your phone to check the rank and price before purchasing. Here is a link to calculate the fees and make sure you will make a profit.
There is so much more to selling on Amazon and to be honest the first thing I did after signing up to sell on Amazon was to read everything I could about the subject and dive in. There were tons of mistakes but I earned money as I learned. Today there are courses out there that cut your learning curve drastically!
If you try this method of making money at home I wish you all the success in the world. Just remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your home business!
If you are in a hurry to make money there is one man that I know is an expert and probably makes more in a month than I do all year long. His name is Jim Cockrum, and he is the author of The Proven Amazon Course. He takes you from A to Z so you know everything you need to know about selling and being successful on Amazon. If you want to know more about this exceptional course you can take a look here. By the way, it has a 100% money back guarantee if it doesn’t live up to your expectation
Scripture for Encouragement
But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is He that giveth thee power to get wealth, that He may establish his covenant which He sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.