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Thread: Successful FBA sellers: How long before you started making money?
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Permlink Replies: 15 - Pages: 2 [ 1 2 | Next ] - Last Post: 18 Mar, 2014 7:00 PM by: Sara
Walt's Discount...

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Registered: 19 Feb, 14 2:30 AM
Posted on: 24 Feb, 2014 11:27 AM  
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I'm planning on doing some very serious research before I jump in and start selling. I've already ordered a couple of very highly-rated books and plan on reading them both before I send my first package in. I'm also planning on really hustling to get my inventory up ASAP...I've got a couple thousand dollars and alot of time I can afford to spend on scouting for stuff.

So for those of you who became successful at FBA, is it possible to get a return on your time/money investment within a year? How big is the learning curve?

Also, any cases of people who did everything right but still lost money?

Thanks for your help.

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Marvin

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Registered: 07 Nov, 13 10:52 PM
Posted on: 24 Feb, 2014 11:29 AM   in response to: Walt's Discount... in response to: Walt's Discount...  
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IF you do things right, its impossible to lose money unless your stupid.

You never start with FBA for an item unless you know it sells.
Then you use the fee calculator and see if FBA is even worth it.
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AA Computers

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Posted on: 24 Feb, 2014 11:37 AM   in response to: Walt's Discount... in response to: Walt's Discount...  
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I feel I'm qualified to speak on this...

I started with FBA head first... Never even touch merchant fulfilled for 2 years.

I started making money roughly a month after my joining, but I had a different structure. I had no overhead, I was building computers one by one on my bed and pretty much as soon as I sent the computers in, they were sold.

Hypothetically, it cost me $400 to make $50 ,and that took about a month.

Now, if you have the need to set up infrastructure, such as getting boxes, forklifts, warehouses, labelers and other facilities/equipment, that is purely dependant on what you want to get to get your infrastructure up and how far you want to go.

If you have a couple thousand dollars, you're looking at a small operation with maybe $300-worth of overhead for equipment shipping and other stuff. If you can make $3000 off your $2000, you'll net about $700 profit. How long will that take you? Depends on your items! Fast sellers? Done as soon as they get there. Slow sellers? You might be down to $650 profit after fees and it will take you 3 months or more to sell. It depends on your products, your margin, and your current available infrastructure.

I inadvertently did a lot of those things those self help books teach you, I'm sure, but I can promise you there is nothing more that can teach you how to make money than experience.
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Oneida Books

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Registered: 04 Mar, 12 10:55 PM
Posted on: 24 Feb, 2014 11:48 AM   in response to: Walt's Discount... in response to: Walt's Discount...  
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I think things really have been covered for the most part ........ because really no one can know without knowing every variable.

Technically I made money within a week .........
  • Bought a book
  • Shipped it in
  • Received and up for sale within a couple of days
  • Sold within a day for more than paid for including the FBA fees and inboumd shipping to Amazon
  • Shipped by FBA within 2 days so it was confirmed and the $$ able to transfer
  • Transferred $$ to my bank account

I think you get the idea ....... it's all based upon investment, inventory, etc.

Edited by: Oneida Books on Feb 24, 2014 2:49 PM

I should add ............
  • Research the item
  • Check the pricing using the FBA Revenue Calc.
  • Only send 1 to begin with
  • After it sells check the results in Payments
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ceasesmith

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Posted on: 24 Feb, 2014 12:07 PM   in response to: Walt's Discount... in response to: Walt's Discount...  
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You will learn more from packing and sending in your first shipment than from a dozen books. This can be over-studied! Skip all the "get rich fast" ideas, skip all the drop shipping and "mining" ideas; get your first shipment in and see how it goes.

I started self-fulfilled. I keep my inventory in my house and garage, on shelves; every shelf
has its own SKU, so I can find the items when they sell.

I lost a nickel on my first order. Came home, readjusted my plan to take in what I learned from my mistakes. That was July '08; by October, my sales bought me a car (I was without
transportation when I started -- does that give you any idea of how desperate I was for
this to work? LOL!).

While I appreciate your asking (ah, being PROACTIVE! Great idea!), I do believe you'll learn
more from your initial shipment than you will from all the good books there are.

BTW, I started without a printer and without any real knowledge of how Amazon works, or how to use a computer, but with a solid background in sales, customer service, management, and business.

Good luck.

cease
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Walt's Discount...

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Registered: 19 Feb, 14 2:30 AM
Posted on: 24 Feb, 2014 12:20 PM   in response to: ceasesmith in response to: ceasesmith  
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Thanks alot.

I do agree that experience will definitely be my best teacher. However, I want to start off strong and not fall into any traps that would have been really obvious to avoid if I had just done a little bit of research first.

I've already bought a USB barcode scanner for my phone, and I plan on subscribing to an app that will download the entire Amazon database to my phone. I have tried Profit Bandit, but the slow camera scanning combined with the time it takes to get the result through the (usually poor) internet connection is just too much. I'm hoping that the instant results will give me an advantage at the library book sales and the Goodwill opening hours.
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AA Computers

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Posted on: 24 Feb, 2014 1:08 PM   in response to: Walt's Discount... in response to: Walt's Discount...  
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Walt's Discount Deals wrote:
Thanks alot.

I do agree that experience will definitely be my best teacher. However, I want to start off strong and not fall into any traps that would have been really obvious to avoid if I had just done a little bit of research first.

I've already bought a USB barcode scanner for my phone, and I plan on subscribing to an app that will download the entire Amazon database to my phone. I have tried Profit Bandit, but the slow camera scanning combined with the time it takes to get the result through the (usually poor) internet connection is just too much. I'm hoping that the instant results will give me an advantage at the library book sales and the Goodwill opening hours.


You're jumping in money first... Don't.

You're spending money on products you don't need yet and need to be weaned into to learn first. The only reason I drop $50,000-$100,000 a month on stuff is because I know what I'm selling and I know how well it sells. I could also become a pharmacist with everything I know about pills and supplements.

For scouting, start with profit bandit. You've already gotten the app, so drop an extra $50 for the scanner function and you'll be presently surprised at how much faster it really is. Also, mass inventory download apps can be just as slow if it has to search the entire Amazon catalog, nor are they live, which makes you miss one critical metric: rank.

Save yourself the money and do the research first. Then, devise a business model. Figure out what you will need for your business model and what infrastructure is needed. Next, figure out what tools you have available. FBA is one TOOL. It can be a good tool if it suits your needs.

Remember this, please, that FBA is not a business model. It is a tool. If FBA didn't exist, we would have to change a few things around here because we wouldn't have the same TOOLs, but our company wouldn't falter.

Also, please read this post, as it will give you a ton of insight to the things you may not be considering:

https://sellercentral.amazon.com/forums/thread.jspa?threadID=182277&tstart=0

Fun fact... I just googled "Near-definitive" which is the keyword I used to make that thread unique, and apparently my post is getting linked on other forums! Nifty.
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ceasesmith

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Posted on: 25 Feb, 2014 8:53 AM   in response to: Walt's Discount... in response to: Walt's Discount...  
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You will learn more from the FBA forum, and new seller forum, than from a book.

"Starting STRONG" can be its own trap.

Remember that Amazon is CONSTANTLY evolving; books won't have the latest evolutions in them.

cease
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World Coffee Te...

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Registered: 21 May, 13 12:53 AM
Posted on: 18 Mar, 2014 4:22 PM   in response to: Walt's Discount... in response to: Walt's Discount...  
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Once you put your heart and mind into something, you will never fail.

Just sheer discipline that for the first few months, you are ready to put in extra effort, creating your books, separate personal from business expense, consistently doing market research, you will probably have a ROI (Return of Investment) on the 6th. month with spare funds to roll over.
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Great Color Des...

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Registered: 02 Mar, 12 12:25 PM
Posted on: 18 Mar, 2014 4:27 PM   in response to: Walt's Discount... in response to: Walt's Discount...  
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In your original posting you state that:
I'm planning on doing some very serious research before I jump in and start selling.

My gentle suggestion to you is FBA is a great system but do not start out right away with that. Instead list a low cost, low value, seller fullfilled item for sale, you can afford to make no profit on to begin with. List it properly, carefully follow all the rule and guidelines to get off to a good start. Do not rush. Realize that you may only recover the cost of shipping the item and not make any profit.

Why you ask do I say this? Because the lessons learned will be far more valuable by the time you have listed the item, learned the various rules, managed the inventory mechanisms, performed the shipping functions, dealt with the buyer if need be, than anything you can gain from the best expert written book.

You will still need to do many of these functions when you have a need for FBA so walk before you run and consider this the price of education.
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MEADECOMEDIA

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Registered: 11 May, 13 10:38 PM
Posted on: 18 Mar, 2014 4:29 PM   in response to: Walt's Discount... in response to: Walt's Discount...  
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I fulfilled all of my orders to start with then shipped my entire inventory to FBA. Mistake... For fast movers, FBA is good. I am back to self fulfilled now. I make more money this way. I have a warehouse so I have plenty of space for my inventory. FBA has its ups and downs, but if you mix it up you should do good. I went for 10 years before I ever bought a scanner. I use 1 now for certain sales, but knowledge is power. I have a good eye for what is good. A scanner will reduce you buying a lot of penny books though. It takes yeas to learn everything that works best and when you figure it out it will all change. If you think you will have an edge at the book sales and goodwill, think again. There are a lot of people scanning and a lot of the sales and even goodwills now scan their books as well. The profit is at yard sales or church sales, but the volume is not as high. I like to receive in at least 5000 books at a time. Shopping around for .50 cent books that are worth hundreds is fun though and the part that keeps it interesting. I still get a kick out of making a hundred dollar profit off of a .50 cent book. Since I like to buy in bulk A scanner can slow you down sometimes. If you have the time just scan away, but I prefer to just buy in bulk like at a yard sale I will just ask how much for everything and usually get a good price then weed through them later. You get a lot of penny books piling up fast that way though. Great items to donate to schools, libraries, charities or just to burn in the bon fire. :)
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Momma Hall's Spot

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Registered: 11 Jul, 13 2:15 PM
Posted on: 18 Mar, 2014 4:32 PM   in response to: Walt's Discount... in response to: Walt's Discount...  
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Hello Everyone. I am a "newbie" here on Amazon. (I started in July 2013) I have been reading the forums and I would just like to say that I have learned TONS from you all. I don't seem to see very many people saying thanks......sooooo......THANK YOU!! Momma Hall's Spot ;-)
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Marilyn's Attic

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Posted on: 18 Mar, 2014 5:12 PM   in response to: Walt's Discount... in response to: Walt's Discount...  
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Walt's Discount Deals wrote:
I'm planning on doing some very serious research before I jump in and start selling. I've already ordered a couple of very highly-rated books a

Do not confuse Popular with Accurate. Most of those e-books are worth the paper they are printed on.
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NewBraunfelBooks

Posts: 261
Registered: 03 Mar, 12 2:43 AM
Posted on: 18 Mar, 2014 5:50 PM   in response to: Walt's Discount... in response to: Walt's Discount...  
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Be prepared to work very hard. Also check your PMs.
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Tax Software St...

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Registered: 11 Jul, 12 7:40 PM
Posted on: 18 Mar, 2014 5:53 PM   in response to: Momma Hall's Spot in response to: Momma Hall's Spot  
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Just learn from doing, from experience.
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