7 things that I desperately wished I knew when I first got started on Amazon FBA.
I want to say if you’re looking to get into starting an Amazon FBA business, there is a lot of things to learn. The one tip I give you is just to be receptive. Be receptive to all the things that people have to say out there. There’s so many things you can do. Just keep your ears open and don’t try to judge people’s opinions too early on, because that’s what I did, and it really hurt me. That’s why I’m making this video for you guys, so I want to talk about the seven things I wish I knew when I first got started on Amazon FBA, and I wish that I actually started sooner if I would have just stopped judging what people were saying.
Watch The Video:
Number one, you can get negative feedbacks removed.
I can’t tell you guys for how long I had negative feedbacks on my account because I thought, “You know what? If you get a negative, that’s the way it is, and there’s nothing you can do.” There’s actually a lot of ways to be able to get negative feedbacks removed, which I’ll be sure to talk about in another video.
Really, at the end of the day, it’s not super hard to be able to get a negative feedback removed, and if I would have just taken the time to learn how to do it, I probably would have made that much more money, because when you have negatives on your account, it doesn’t look good. There’s no social proof there, and people don’t want to buy from somebody who has a 70 or 80% positive feedback. Just know that.
Number two, rank doesn’t mean everything.
I wish that I knew when I first got started that rank wasn’t the be all end all. Really, rank is just a number floating in time. It’s like a Snapchat in time based on when the last time an item has sold. It doesn’t mean that all because you have a book that’s ranked 9,000,000, it doesn’t mean that book won’t sell tomorrow. If that 9,000,000 ranked book did sell, it would probably drop down to, who knows, a million or 300,000. I don’t know.
They’ve really got a proprietary algorithm that Amazon doesn’t really tell much of us sellers about, but really rank doesn’t mean everything. Really, what I would look at is the overall feedback; how many stars does it have, how many customer reviews does it have? I feel like that’s a lot more important than the actual rank.
Number three, investing in the right equipment and software
The third thing that I wish I knew, and this would have helped me out so much. It would have saved so much time for me and it really would have allowed me to scale my business faster, is investing in the right equipment and software. I can’t tell you guys, but I recently picked up a Scanfob scanner, and this is something that I knew that I should have had a long time ago, but for one reason or another, I was just lazy.
Pretty much what it is is just a really fast barcode scanner. Imagine you scan 100 or 200 items a day and it takes you two hours. Well, imagine if you could have scanned two, three, four times faster. Imagine how much more money you could have made. Imagine how much time you could have saved.
Really at the end of the day, do your research in terms of the best software, whether that’s Inventory Lab or Scan Power or ScanLister. There’s so many softwares out there to be able to speed up your time, and take a look at the equipment that’s out there. Maybe you need a PDA scanner, maybe you need a new phone, maybe you need whatever it is. There’s so many pieces of equipment out there, guys, and I’ll be sure to make a video about this, talking about all the equipment and software that I use.
I can’t tell you guys how much money I probably lost out on and how many weekends I wasted because I didn’t have the proper software to be able to speed up the processes in my business. Look at it as an investment. Don’t look at something like, “You know what? That’s going to cost a hundred bucks. I don’t have the money.” Think about it like this, like, if I use that piece of equipment, how long will it take to be able to recoup my money, and how fast will it take until I can start actually showing a profit or return on investment by using that piece of equipment or that software. Try to look at things that way, guys. I wish I did, and looking back over the last couple of years, I can’t tell you how much money I think that I have lost.
Number four, get approved in the gated categories as fast as possible
The fourth thing that I wish somebody would have told me, or maybe I wish that my ears were open and I was actually listening, was get approved in the gated categories as fast as possible. What do I mean by this? Well, Amazon’s actually closing off, or in other words, gating off specific categories such as groceries, clothing, health and beauty, watches, sexual wellness. There’s so many categories that they’re blocking off and they’re limiting it to only certain sellers, and what sellers are having to do is they’re having to apply to be able to get past this limitation in order to be able to sell it on the Amazon platform.
The reason why I wish somebody told me this is because it’s getting harder and harder day by day, it’s becoming more challenging to have Amazon approve you to get ungated. They’re making you jump through more and more hoops to get ungated, as well. I wish that I would have gotten approved in grocery two years ago, because I remember two years ago, I believe, they weren’t even requiring any special actions from the sellers to get ungated, and now they want you to send all these invoices in. You’ll get them the invoices; they’ll still say no. It’s just a pain in the butt.
Really, at the end of the day, get ungated as soon as possible, because it’s going to become harder and harder to get into these gated off categories. That’s really the key right there, guys. Imagine you go into a thrift store with myself, with Jimmy, Johnny, Greg, Heather, and everybody is blocked off on clothing. Everybody’s gated off, but I’m ungated.
Who’s going to make more money?
I’m going to make more money, because you can’t buy the same items that I’m buying, and the same goes with the situation where if I went into a grocery store with all those same people and they were all approved in grocery but I wasn’t, they would whoop my butt when it came to turning over some profits on Amazon. Get ungated, guys. I’ll definitely make more videos about that, but keep that in your mind.
Number five, you’ve got to pay to play
The fifth thing that I wish I knew, and I wish I would have spent the money when I was first getting started is, you’ve got to pay to play. What do I mean by this, guys? You’ve got to invest in your education. You’ve got to invest in courses. You’ve got to invest in these paid Facebook groups, like The Green Room, which I run, or Scanner Monkey.
There’s so many of them out there. There’s these workshops, there’s seminars, there’s conferences. If you want to play with the big boys, you’re going to have to pay to get near them. The reason why you want to pay to get near them is because they know what to do to succeed. They’ve already got the processes in line. They know what products to buy and sell. They’ve got a system that’s allowing them to make money in their Amazon FBA business, and if you want to be able to mimic them, you don’t have to make it up on your own. You just need to model success.
That’s straight from the Tony Robbins Handbook. Tony always says the quickest way to succeed isn’t to reinvent the wheel, it’s to model success. It’s to find the people who are getting the results that you want and figuring out what they are doing, because they’re nothing special. Nobody’s special, even the millionaires. They’re nothing special. They’ve just figured out what actions are getting these specific results.
Maybe the result that you want is to make $5,000 profit per month, so what I would advise to you is to find somebody who’s already doing it and just model them. Just start doing what they’re doing. Maybe their process is to go to these retail stores and they’re scanning clothing items and they’re buying them.
Maybe they’re buying clothing items that are under a 20,000 rank, or maybe they’re buying Ralph Lauren shoes that are under a 40,000 rank. Maybe they’re bundling them with another item. I don’t know what it is, but they’re doing certain things, so if you could start to not copy them, but at least do what they’re doing and put your own spin on it, you’re going to be that much more ahead of the game.
Number six, the fees aren’t too high
The sixth thing that I wish I would have known when I first got started on Amazon FBA, and this is actually something I wish I would have known months, if not years before even starting my Amazon FBA business, is the fees aren’t too high. I started off selling on Craigslist and selling on eBay, and a lot of us eBay folks always make the excuse for not selling on Amazon, we always say to ourselves, “The fees are too high.
They’ve got these picking and packing fees and they’ve got this storage fee and they’ve got this 30% fee for when you sell the item,” or whatever it is. It’s not true, guys. Yes, the fees are a little higher, but you can get so much more money typically — not all the time — but typically, for the most part, you can get a lot more money selling an item on Amazon, certain items of course, because you know what?
There’s a lot of prime buyers there. They ship fast. There’s great customer service. There’s an awesome return policy. There’s a million reasons, but people want to shop on Amazon.
Plus, another thing is, there’s what, 300, 400 million credit cards on file? It’s a seamless process. It’s easy; there’s trust. People love shopping on Amazon, and Amazon is so much bigger than Craigslist and eBay. Nothing against eBay. I sell on eBay. I make some good money, but Amazon is awesome, and I wish I would have gotten started sooner.
One of the main reasons I didn’t was because I had this mindset that the fees are too high and there’s no money to be made there, but if I would have just taken the time to look at it and see what others are doing and how it actually worked, I would have had a different opinion, so that is number six.
Number seven, there’s an inventory placement option
This is a big one right here. There’s an inventory placement option. What does that mean? Well, if you’re selling on Amazon right now and you’re doing maybe retail arbitrage or a lot different types of items, maybe cameras and books and oversized items. This especially stands true if you’re doing retail arbitrage and maybe you have 50 or 60 of an item; maybe you’re doing wholesale and you’re buying a lot of one single item, a single SKU, there’s something called an inventory placement option.
Pretty much what you do is you go over to your Amazon seller account page, you go into your FBA settings, and there’s a setting which allows you to turn on inventory placement. What that means is you can have all of your items go to a single warehouse, but again, this is mostly for single SKUs. I believe it guarantees that a single SKU will go to one place.
Say you have like 60 of this book. If you did it without the inventory placement option being on, it’s not a guarantee, but there’s a good chance that maybe 20 of them will go to Pennsylvania, maybe 30 of them will go to California, and maybe 10 will go wherever. It just makes it more difficult for you, because you have to put it in various boxes, you have to print out different labels.
It just takes more time, and really at the end of the day, if you can save time, that’s the key. Even if you have to spend a little money, which it’s not free, the inventory placement option. I believe it’s 20 or 30 cents per item. I think it’s 30 cents per item to have each item go to the same place, so for 10 books, if it was 30 cents each, it would be $3, but it may be worth it, because it could also save some money for you on shipping. Maybe everything goes to Pennsylvania and you’re in Connecticut.
That’s cheap, but if you have to send one to California, one there, it could definitely add up. That’s one thing that I wish I would have known a couple years ago, because when I was doing retail arbitrage hard, especially in Q4, Christmas season, buying hundreds of toys, it was a nightmare shipping to a million different warehouses, and logistically, it created a challenge.
Those are seven of the things that I desperately wish I would have known a couple of years ago and things I wish I would have known before I got started to help me, to grow my business, to help me actually get started in this lucrative business, and help me to save time, guys, really.
Thanks for reading this blog post.