If you are new to selling on Amazon or selling online at all, your first attempt sourcing products to sell can be a challenge, if not downright frightening. A good thing to keep in mind is to think of the products you are researching for sale as retail store items, rather than yard sale items. Meaning, think of your business as a real store, rather than just setting some things out on your front lawn in the hopes of getting rid of them.
There are endless opportunities to be a profitable seller on Amazon. This statement will seem too good to be true to many people who are just starting, but once you get the hang of it, this is true.
However, if you ask ten different people how to find inventory to sell on Amazon, you will get ten different answers. Some will say “stick to what you have around the house.” Others will say buying from wholesalers is the way to go. Moreover, still, others will tell you “you can’t possibly make a living from selling things on Amazon.” The truth is, with a little guidance and some hard work, you can be successful selling on Amazon.
Know your investment goals
Before you get started, make sure you have a good understanding of how much you can invest in your inventory and what your profit goals are. You will need to consider how much cash you can put into Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA). Knowing your budget, and whether you can afford $20 a week or $2000 is crucial.
You also need to have a firm understanding of what you hope to achieve. Is this going to be a side income with the goal of paying a specific bill every month? Will this be money to put aside for a family vacation? Alternatively, do you want to start a full-time business? You will also need to keep track of your expenses, sales, and profits to achieve your goals.
Start Slow and Grow as You Go
While you are still learning about your costs, margins and price points test new products. Buy thrift store items, or go with one-off items. Test products gradually. If you find a product on a clearance rack for $2, and you know you can quickly sell it for $6, buy one or two of them and see how they go.
Don’t go all in on any first time product; chances are you will still have inventory left tomorrow. If you do sell out, there will be another item that sells just as well. Buying up all the stock will only mean that eventually the market will become saturated and you will be left holding the bag with a lot of inventory you will be lucky to sell and more critical, you will have tied up your money when you could be using it for something that will sell.
Even if you make back the total amount you paid for all of them, you are still in the same position you were before you started selling them.
Do not Begin with Expensive Products
True, you can make a more significant profit from a more expensive product. However, until you perfect your skills and learn the ropes, it is a much better idea to start slow with the inexpensive items that net you a few dollars and try to meet your planned margin.
For example, say you plan on a 2X markup, then make sure if you are selling an item that cost you $1, you list it for $2 and see how that goes. In other words, practice listing items that will obtain your margin just in a lower amount and stick with it.
Keep Overhead Low to Start
As with most other things in life, you need to walk before you can run. There are plenty of services out there to aid Amazon sellers, and many of them are excellent and well worth the money. However, when you first start selling, you need to pay close attention to what you need and what can wait until you become more successful.
Do you need that premium service with all the analysis tools? Not right away. Your main focus when you begin your retail business should be on fast moving, profitable inventory. Of course, there are some things you won’t be able to do without; then you will have to figure them into the cost of doing business.
Source Your House
When you are getting started, the best place to scout is your own house. Those clothes that your children have long grown out which are still in great shape. Those books you’ve already read and are now just collecting dust.
Those gifts Auntie Em gave you for Christmas that are still in the box because she never paid attention to what you wanted in the first place. Just look around, there are plenty of things you don’t use, which you can turn into cash while perfecting your selling skills.
Thrift Store Gems
Hit all of the thrift stores in your area; sometimes you can find some real gems which can be turned into a nice profit on Amazon. It does take some work and some digging, but there are plenty of bargains out there which can be sold for far more than you pay if you look hard enough.
Retail Arbitrage is when you find something on sale or clearance at a retail store which you can then make a profit on by selling it for more online. Another idea is selling freebies. Say you buy something and get a gift, turn around and sell it.
That is called free money friends, and we love free money.
So, as you can see, the possibilities are truly endless. With a little imagination, hard work and research, there is no reason why you can’t have a successful Amazon business just like a lot of other people.
The key is, walk before you run. Don’t jump into selling online with both feet. Otherwise, chances are you will fail before you even have a chance to get a real sense of what it is all about.
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