You may have read in my last few posts that I am about to start a new business endeavor which involves buying bulk products from Chinese manufacturers, sending them to an Amazon Fulfillment center and then selling them via Amazon Prime. I have zero experience selling products online or e-commerce in general. Does this sound crazy or what? Why am I doing something crazy like this? It sounds risky and quite honestly it sounds down right scary having to deal with importing from overseas and dealing with the Chinese manufacturers. I mean at the end of the day, I will most likely be wiring thousands and thousands of dollars overseas to a person I have never met before and barely speaks a lick of English. Gulp!!
I don’t know about you but the idea of all this gets me super pumped. I might be what you call a risk taker and I feel that I have always been like this. 🙂 I have driven a motorcycle over 160 MPH before, no joke, multiple times actually! I have jumped out of an airplane twice and I own 4 properties in a different state from where I live. To the average person, all of those are just flat-out crazy! Haha! I can see how they would think that and I am perfectly okay with it. My latest experiment may not be as crazy as those previously mentioned stints but it does not come without risk for sure. So why am I doing this?
Frankly, To make money!! Making additional income is my sole reason for jumping into this Amazon game and from what I have read, there are plenty of people making a killing by doing this very thing. I am hoping that my passion and dedication for success will help me achieve similar success with the Amazon FBA experiment.
“But Alex, I can see in your net worth tracking that you have plenty of money and income, why do need more?”
Because I want MORE RENTAL PROPERTIES!! There is no other reason I want more income other than fact that I need it to buy more rental properties. All this extra side hustle income I get whether it’s from this blog or amazon or whatever will be used to buy more rental properties. I say this over and over again but my financial independence will come from my real estate investing. Cash flow is what I want and the whole point of this blog even is to help motivate me to make more cash flow!! At some point, I will be making 10k or more per month just from rental income. It’s only in my best interest to try to get there faster and in order to do that, I need to make more money!!
So now you know why I am getting into this and selling with Amazon FBA. Here is a detailed outline of how I am going to do it.
Amazon FBA Experiment Checklist
1) Research, Research, Research!
– COMPLETED – I will actually never stop the research phase as I will want to improve in every aspect however I have done enough research now to start the process.
2) Select Potential Products
– COMPLETED – I have chosen 4 different products to sample that fit my criteria for selling on amazon. My criteria involves not having a lot of competition on amazon, being able to make the product better or cheaper than the current competition and the product having a decent amount of monthly sales. It was not easy picking the products and some say this is the hardest part of the whole process. Whether or not the product I choose will be successful is yet to come. Ill keep my fingers crossed. I think based on the research I have done that I will be okay with either of these items I have selected. Please also note that due to the fierce seller competition on Amazon that I will not be disclosing any of my products. This is to protect my own business and try to allow for maximum returns. I hope you understand.
3) Contact Suppliers and Request Samples
– COMPLETED – I spent weeks communicating to different alibaba suppliers in hopes of finding the right manufacturer(s) to work with. I was eventually able to find 2 suppliers per product selected and have requested samples from each one. I have only received one sample out of the four products so far. I should be receiving the remaining product samples within the next few weeks. It is a very time-consuming part communicating with the Chinese suppliers on exactly how you want the product and waiting on the international shipping.
4) Choose Final Product
– Once I have all the product samples in hand, I will make the final decision on which one(s) I will choose to start with. Yes there is a chance I may end up picking two of these. Just depends on how good the projected numbers are and the quality of the product.
5) Design Logo/Brand and Packaging
– At this state I will need to create a logo to put on these products and send to the supplier. This is where the term “private label” comes to play. These items will be branded with my own logo and printed on each product. My plan is to also include the logo on the packaging.
6) Make Final Product Adjustments, Negotiate Bulk Purchase with Manufacturer, Place Order.
– I lumped all these up into one because they are all part of the process of making the final order once I have chosen a final product to work with. I am hoping this part of the process works out in my favor. At this point, it will take anywhere from 25 to 35 days for the items to be made.
7) Choose Freight Forwarder/Shipping Vendor
– Depending on the final products selected will dictate whether or not I need to do this step. Two of the products I have chosen are small and weigh very little which means I can ship the items via air and these can be shipped typically within 1 week. In this scenario, I will not have to choose a freight forwarder. However two of the products I have selected are bigger and weigh a lot more which will rule out Air Shipping due to the high costs. In this scenario, I will have to have the items shipped by Sea in which I will have to work with a Freight Forwarding company to accommodate the shipping and to handle customs paperwork. This method of shipping will take an additional 25 to 30 days just to ship. So in other words, there is still a chance that my first listing won’t go live until June.
8) Create LLC and Apply for EIN
– COMPLETED – I took the initiative of doing this step already. It cost me $300 to create this here in the State of Texas and applying for the EIN was free. The name I chose was a generic name so that in the future I can sell multiple products under it if necessary.
9) Create Amazon Seller Central Account
– I plan on doing this step this week sometime. I had to wait for the LLC and EIN to come in so that I can use this information to sign up with the new Amazon Selling Account.
10) Create Listing and Shoot Photos
– Once my product is ready, I will have the manufacturer send me a few of the final versions exactly how it will be sent to customers. This will act as a final inspection as well as give me the opportunity to take awesome listing photos to upload into amazon. Great photos and good reviews are major factors when it comes to selling successfully on Amazon.
11) Ship Items to Amazon Fulfillment Centers
– Once the bulk merchandise arrives in the United States, I will have to have the items prepped and shipped to Amazon Fulfillment Centers. Doing this will allow amazon to fulfill the product themselves and sell it via Amazon Prime. A big part of the reason why I am doing this has to do with the fact that Amazon does in fact handle all the ordering, shipping and customer service on these items. Once I get to this point, it should be smooth sailing and just a matter of placing additional orders as my inventory runs low.
12) Start Selling and Making Money!!
– Wow!! That seems like a lot of work and research that needs to be done to finally get to this point. Believe me when I say this won’t be easy and I will be learning as I go. My plan at this point is to advertise my product and setup email campaigns to get reviews on the products as they sell. The more and more I can do this, the more money will be made. The good news is also that once you get to this point, there should be very little work involved and the income should be become somewhat passive.
These are the steps I will be taking to start my new Amazon business and it will take months to do all this. I am anticipating and hoping that my first listing will be live on amazon and ready to sell sometime within the next few months. Wish me luck and periodically I will provide updates on the blog about how it is going.
Are any of you selling using Amazon FBA? How is it working out for you?