[LAST UPDATED]:24th May, 2017
Est. Reading Time: 14 minutes
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How did I first hear about selling on Amazon, Ebay, etc.?
I received an email from Niche Puruits about making money on Amazon. from there I liked the idea of going around with my iphone and scanning barcodes around stores such as walmart, home depot, etc. Then I began to learn about book keeping strategies are various different spreadsheets people use to keep track of their profits and losses.
What confused me?
What confused me the most was figuring out if I was even making a profit. It was kind of hard to understand all of the Amazon fees that were associated with running an Amazon business. After experimenting by buying some items and witnessing them being sold fairly quickly within a few months I quickly realized that my inventory was turning over. That’s a good thing. However I wasn’t quite sure I was profitable because there was monthly fees and monthly subscriptions I was paying for that cost a lot of a month so that bothers me and I wasn’t sure if I was even breaking even.
How did I handle my bookkeeping confusion?
I started watching a lot of videos about bookkeeping. Bookkeeping is really important to understand not only for tax purposes but also to make sure that you are profitable. When I was researching different ways of keeping track of my sales and expenses I stumble upon a few different solutions. Food for thought: turbotax.com
is a great way to prepare your taxes. I use it and it has made my life much simpler and frees me to focus my time on more important matters.
- I could use the inventory lab accounting and bookkeeping solution. $49.99
- I could use the Go Daddy essentials bookkeeping solution. $9.99/month
- I could use a spreadsheet created by an Excel Advanced creator.
What kind of supplies does one need to start selling online?
Everybody situation is different and you have to buy things that work for you. I would strongly suggest that you keep your costs as low as possible in the beginning there’s no reason to go over the top. The learning curve is pretty steep and I was just spending a lot of time investing in yourself by learning from the best out there who are already selling a lot of product online. I want to name a few items that are pretty obvious one should purchase to get started selling online.
- Printer and paper and ink
- Laptop or computer I don’t think it matters if it’s PC or Mac
- Definitely a smart phone of some sort like an iPhone or an android or something of that nature
Should you quit your day job to pursue this whole time?
I really believe again that everybody situation is different. I Will say that I also believe this can be very profitable if you’re willing to work hard. The nice thing about this is that you can get some quick cash if you’re tight for the end of the month rent. Some items take a while to sell when you post online sites such as Amazon or eBay and any other site for that matter. My point is everybody has the same problem. Turn more inventory into profits. I don’t think you should quit your day job until you you are making well over thousands of dollars a month in profit. Even then I still wouldn’t quit my job because although it looks good that you’re being an entrepreneur it also looks good on your resume when you have worked for a company that pays you a steady paycheck and whatnot. Everybody’s opinion is different, for my philosophy is go to school get a good job and keep on foot in reality well you work hard on the side creating different passive income streams.
What experience do I have already?
I was a supply specialist in the military and so I do have a good understanding of receivable items as well as delivering items to customers. Naturally I am an organized person who enjoys being tedious and particular with my orders.
What am I learning on this journey?
I’m learning a lot on this journey. I never knew this sort of business venture existed. I mean, I have heard about people selling on EBay, but I never thought about pursuing the idea of buying at a low price and selling high.
Sell on Ebay
- Ebay Valet
- List your own items yourself
- Utilize the sell similar functionality when you list your items to make your life easier (unless you are intending on creating a new listing for whatever reasons)
Sell on Amazon
Selling on Amazon is an option. It can be intimidating at first but after you establish your bookkeeping with Go Daddy essentials your life will be a lot easier. Now you’re left to focus on sourcing products. Selling on Amazon using retail arbitrage is an effective strategy for making money. I never put my eggs in one basket. I don’t think you should either. In fact most people agree on this principle. Having said that try other platforms for selling inventory such as eBay, letgo, Mercari, offer up, and other sites. Case and point, sell on Amazon, and sell on other platforms.
- Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA)
- Fulfillment by Amazon is one way to sell or make money on Amazon. There are other avenues to making money with Amazon as well such as “merchandise by Amazon”
What I don’t like about Amazon FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon)
For starters, the monthly membership fee of $39.99 is way too much. I’m going through aisles shopping for items to sell on their platform, but it’s taking way too much time.
Sell on Craigslist
Craigslist is an option for sellers looking to reach a unique marketplace. Lately, I have been experimenting with Craigslist advertising to promote my new store www.modernboardroomsupplies.com
- Listing items on Craigslist is a good idea when you need to sell something quickly. For example, I can list any piece furniture locally on Craigslist and expect to receive communication relatively quickly from buyers who are in fact interested in exchanging money for the listed item.
Sell on Facebook Marketplace
From here on, the Facebook marketplace rates high on my places to list products because the platform is mobile friendly, easy to create listings, and the platform gives me an idea of how many people are interested in the product listing. Currently, Facebook is the first marketplace I list my products for sale.
- List your own items yourself
- I have found success selling on Facebook marketplace. It’s pretty simple. All you do is list your product and your selling locally. For heavier items you’ll have a lot more profit if you sell locally versus trying to ship out the item. When you have heavier items and you’re trying to ship across states the cost of transportation, gas, and whatnot adds up which eats away from your profit. However if you can sell locally you save a lot on the mentioned above. Case in point selling bulkier items locally can be a good strategy.
What do I like about Facebook Marketplace?
When all else fails, I list my products on Facebook.
Creating bundles is a relatively new concept for me because I didn’t know that you could mix and match items and Roman a box ship amount and make money. I’m sure there’s a lot more to it and I’m still experimenting with this strategy but it makes sense. I would not discount this method in your business. Bungles are a great way to sell more inventory.
Create New Listings — not similar listing
Creating new listings is another relatively new area then focusing on. It’s not any more complex than it needs to be. Basically, when you upload new items like we are used to using sites like Amazon and eBay there are already listings on which you can piggyback or benchmark on. From what I know creating new listings will keep the competition low and the profits high through economies of scale.
Private labeling it Is something I seriously do not understand quite yetI’m very either to learn more about it from some of the experts such as Project life mastery and Niche pursuits. There are many more experts in this area but I haven’t met all of them yet online. A lot of these folks are hustlers- in a good way. I respect a lot of them for being so ambitious and daring. As far as I know private labeling is when you buy items from a manufacturer directly at a low cost and you slap your own brand on the package and call it your own and from there you achieve economies of scale by loading up or stocking up on the item and from there you’re selling it on the various different platforms and channels on the Internet. It looks like a lot of negotiation is involved but that’s nothing anybody can’t learn on their own and through experience-trial and error.
Wholesale before Private Label
I was told that retail arbitrage is good but after that one may want to look in the wholesaling and then eventually into private label. Again I don’t know much about wholesaling other than an is a great place to start to get a great price for a large bulk number of items. Costco is a great example of wholesale.
Creating your own product
At the very top is creating your own product. Now creating your product is not going to be easy because it requires patents and stuff like that. However the rewards can be substantial. I’m not too sure if it’s worth the effort but I have heard great things about creating your own product from somebody experts out there. How would one go about creating their own product? Well I think it’s kind of like putting a bundle together only you’re taking more time creating one product.
Where to find products? (Sourcing)
Sourcing is such a fancy word is it not? I believe I use to make this concept more confusing then it really was. From my experience, sourcing is locating items, or scouting, to find good deals. Once we find a good deal, we buy, and then resell on different platforms.
- Clearance aisle
- Yard Sale/Garage Sell
- Thrift Stores
- Pawn Shops
- Retail stores
- Target, Walmart, Home Depot, JCPenney, etc.
- Profit Bandit
- Amazon Sellers App
- Amazon seller app is a great solution for those trying to keep the costs down. There’re other apps out there like the ones mentioned in this part of the blog that cost a lot of money each month. I often question if I really need the other apps and that if Amazon seller app Will suffice. As of right now, I’m using the Amazon sellers app. I’m no dummy, keeping costs down every month is really important to gain more profitability!
- Inventory Labs
- I think inventory labs has a great platform and when I scale my company I will definitely consider inventory labs as a solution. Unfortunately, I can’t pay $50 a month for some Application that is quite similar to the Amazon seller app. I see great potential with the inventory labs app because of all the useful analytical tools that are provided.
What products are banned (not allowed) on most of these sites for sellers?
From my experience I have not been able to sell groceries on Amazon. Also it’s pretty self explanatory that you probably shouldn’t be selling firearms or explosives are anything of that nature on these sites. That’s an easy way to get band. Also don’t sell drugs on these big-name sites because that’s another great way to get your listings banned.
Note: certain items you are not allowed to sell on Amazon because of the infancy of your account if you are a beginner. From my understanding Amazon wants you to be an established seller before you can start branching out and selling in different product categories. I believe this is fair in that sellers should not be alarmed; in fact they should be motivated to reach this level of status in their seller business.
- FBA $39.99/month
- Inventory Lab $49.99/month (When the time comes you will know if buy the subscription is right for your business.)
- Ebay Vallet (May or may not be for you depending on your long term company goals or lifestyle.)
- Godaddy Bookkeeping $9.99 (I ended up switching to Quickbooks to better prepare for tax season.)
Who are some good mentors to learn from in this space?
- Niche Pursuits – I have been following this person for years and I value his work ethic.
- Cody Hawk – This person teaches me how to be smart when listing products for sale.
- This person seems very knowledgeable about supply and logistics not just selling on Amazon and elsewhere. Cody has a lot of practical knowledge based on principles and sound judgment; not to mention experience.
- Raiken Profit – I recommend this person for all around mindset when approaching the e-commerce business lifestyle.
- I have nothing but good things to say about this person. He has been super helpful in giving out a lot of free advice in the area of selling online. I will continue to check on this person from time to time because I to Believe that knowledge is power and that we should constantly be trying to improve ourselves. Me and this guy are about the same age and so it’s kind of nice to see what other folks are doing with their time.
- Project life mastery – This person is a mentor and lives a profound life. I do recommend following this guy.
- This person is very ambitious and is worth learning more about. When I get some more time I’m going to learn as much as I can about this person because I believe in his effort and wisdom.
- And many, many more inspiring creators.
Learn about the best sellers list
This list is located on most major platforms. We can learn more about what is selling and form opinions about why people are buying in the first place. If you go to Amazon.com
you can find their bestsellers Page and from there you can see what selling. Also, eBay offers the same feature. There’s no reason why you wouldn’t go here to see what is selling and what is not.
Where will my eBay journey take me Next?
knowing what I know now about buying low and selling high using different market places I have decided to establish my own inventory and do this as a part-time hobby. I headed down to the Barnes & Noble’s bookstore to read up on how to sell correctly on eBay. I figured there would be something to learn in that kind of book.
I was wondering through the Goodwill store looking for items I could resale in the eBay marketplace when suddenly I came up with an interesting idea. So, you know how some items at Goodwill are “no names”? Yah, most arts, and crafts items don’t have a name brand associated with each individual item. Well, we could bundle these items together and sell them on Etsy. We would buy everything for a Couple of dollars at Goodwill and market up the new basket. We could have the items displayed very nicely on our kitchen table or around the house. The best thing about that is the weight of the total basket of items is small enough to throw into boxes. Our strategy is to make the item display well.
Are you running out of space in your home to store inventory?
If you are like me, you have a ton of miscellaneous inventory around the house waiting to be sold on eBay, Amazon, Etsy, etc. I’ve given it some thought as to how I may house more inventory because when I go out scouting for deals, I want to buy the items and immediately ship them to a warehouse somewhere so that I don’t have to store anything at my apartment. I recognize that it’ll probably cost money to store items elsewhere, but if the price is right I’m interested. I’m hoping that they only take a cut from the sale, and not charge a monthly fee to store my inventory. Also, I am very interested in making a business out of this. I need to ensure that these various fulfillment centers can link (sync) up to my eBay and Amazon account, and Shopify account.
How will we drive traffic to our Shopify store? (Paid Advertising & SEO)
- Facebook ads
- Snapchat ads
- I’m going to start experimenting with this platform. Obviously, there are a ton of people on snap chat.
- Instagram ads
- Pinterest Ads
- Google Ads
- Twitter Ads
- Google Plus
When a customer needs to return an item, the process will look like this:
- A customer contacts you to request a return
- You request an RMA (return merchandise authorization) number from your supplier
- The customer mails back the merchandise to your supplier, noting the RMA # on the address
- The supplier refunds your account for the wholesale price of the merchandise
- You refund the customer for the full price of the merchandise
Great! Now, we have to focus on our niche!
It’s important to focus on a niche when pursuing a drop shipping business.
Of course, we need to be legally responsible for our profits! For this reason, focus on getting more and more sales before you invest in a resale certification.
What do to if you have no space? Dropship?
Drop shipping is an interesting concept and a way to make some real money without inventory. That’s right..No inventory. I couldn’t believe how simple, yet overlooked this approach is for people. I didn’t think about it until I stumbled upon “reselling” and then I thought to myself..Can I sell something I don’t own? The quick answer is yes! You absolutely can sell something that you don’t own. Why? because every buyer needs a seller and its the job of the seller to put the buyer in touch with a product they wouldn’t normally otherwise be able to find themselves. How cool is this, right? Note: we are conditioned to think that we have to work hard, but I think we also need to be smart.
- How does this all work?
- Well, one must know where to source products for a reasonably low price, then post an ad of the product you are trying to sell, then when the buyer calls or makes an order, then you enter their email address in the order form and the product will ship to the customer that’s it! Can you manage that? It’s so simple, but most people take the time to understand this concept for whatever reason; maybe they don’t have time.
More Information regarding Drop Shipping
How to start a drop shipping business?
This is a platinum member only post where I teach you how to drop ship successfully.
First, drop shipping is the process of being a middle man and fulfilling customer orders. Basically, drop shipping is a lucrative business. The barrier to entry is low and it does not cost much to get into.
Originally, I did not desire to share with others the concept of drop shipping for fear of competition, but now I am ready to share my wisdom for a price. You must subscribe to view this post. The price is $1.99 a month.
Now, let us dive into the training.
Go to Shopify.com and sign up for the basic membership. ($29.99 a month) Also, you can install many different and useful plugins on the Shopify platform which make your store standout. Specifically, there are plugins to install timers on your product pages to encourage people to buy.
Again, once you have a store setup, then, you can start adding products to your store. So, I get my products from many places including Walmart and Amazon. Not to mention, I have no inventory to buy which makes the process more economical.
The best third party services to Buy are Modalyst.com, the Shopified app, and Oberlo.com. Further, these sites can help make uploading your products faster and easier.
Are you worried about marketing your new store?
Well, if you already have another website, you can leverage that site to drive traffic to your new store. However, if you don’t have another website, you can still drive traffic from Facebook, twitter, google, etc. Personally, I prefer to write quality and valuable blog posts for the search engines. Lastly, there is no right or wrong way to market your new store. More importantly, don’t give up on your new site if it doesn’t get lots of traffic the first month.
Do you need to know coding and HTML?
In short, no! You can build your site fairly quickly without knowing HTML or even coding. However, it helps to know how to edit or write HTML.
What’s it like working on your own?
So, the best piece of advice I can give you is to have a growth mindset because you need to be positive and patient for this to work. Rest assured, this dropship business model can be very profitable. In addition, many people are making a lot of money a month dropshipping.
How long until you can expect your first sale?
First, it took me a month before I made my first sale and it was around $100.00. Basically, I was so excited when I saw my first sale on Shopify. I suspect you will be excited too!
How many sales do I receive now?
Now, I get a sale every day. Basically, I make around $500 every month and I expect the number of sales to continue growing to grow with good marketing and know how. Again, please be patient.
How to make money dropshipping on amazon?
Initially, I started selling on Amazon before I was engaged in drop shipping full time. Further, I would send Amazon physical products and then Amazon would fulfill the orders when a customer made a purchase. Now, I lost products on Amazon from my Shopify store. Thankfully, the process of listing products on Amazon via Shopify is effortless. In the long run, having your own Shopify store will serve you well because of the control factor. To summarize, you can sell on Amazon and have a Shopify store.
What is Shopify and how does it work?
First, Shopify is a beast. The platform is designed to help people create e-commerce stores. As a result, you have no reason to leave money on the table with this platform for dropshipping. In other words, you have the ability to run a real live store using Shopify as your leverage. To sum up, Shopify is useful when it comes down to managing customer orders, fulfilling orders, and tracking sales performance.
Is Shopify safe?
Truthfully, I feel very safe giving Shopify my personal information. Every Shopify store comes with SSL security lock to protect your site from hackers. As a matter of fact, the platform even detects credit card scammers to give you a piece of mind. In particular, there is one Shopify plugin called Signifyd which will further monitor your orders and inform you of credit card fraud. Ultimately, the platform is safe and adding additional plugins to your store can protect your site even more.
Is Shopify worth the money?
In a word, yes! The whole platform is ideal for new as well as experienced sellers. To start with, the process of building a store is painless. For example, adding images to product listings is as easy as copying a hyperlink into the image field. To sum up, I believe Shopify is going to be around for a long time and should be on the top of your list for e-commerce platforms.
How do I find a wholesale supplier?
By and large, you will need to thoroughly research your suppliers to ensure your wholesalers or manufacturers (not retailers) are providing quality service. In the same way, find suppliers such as Aliexpress.com to immediately begin uploading products to your store. Presently, I go about finding new suppliers by searching google for manufacturers in my industry.
Salehoo Wholesale Directory
First and foremost, Salehoo.com is an excellent resource for sourcing products. In my opinion, Salehoo is great for finding wholesale priced products. By the same token, you should avoid sourcing products at the retail level because prices are typically more expensive and that means fewer profits for you. Moreover, Salehoo is a wonderful website and tool to grow your dropshipping business.
Thank you for reading this post about buying and selling online.
Respectfully Written by Carl Wolfgang Schultz