The Complete Amazon Marketing System - Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most frequent questions I get from readers about selling on Amazon:
Q. Amazon selling fees are higher than eBay and FBA fees are even higher. How do you make any money?
I sell the same product on eBay but I offer free shipping, which I add to the price. So my eBay Price is $79.95. My eBay and PayPal fees come to about $9.99. My shipping cost is $9.90 so my net after fees and shipping is $60.06. So I make an additional $3.94 when I sell it on eBay. However - this product sells about one per week on eBay, whereas I sell about one per day on Amazon. Since my product cost is $27.00 the weekly profit for this item on eBay is $33.06, but my weekly profit on Amazon is $203.84.
Q. There are so many sellers on Amazon - how can the little guy compete and make money?
If you try to compete head on with the big sellers you will probably fail. The trick is in product selection and creating unique products and listing. This is a subject I teach in great detail in The Complete Amazon Marketing System. My wife Karen and I have over 900 separate products listed on Amazon. Less than 100 of them have any competitors at all. All of the rest are either products I have negotiated an exclusive on (which I also teach you how to do), or products we have created by creatively bundling other products to create a unique item .
Q. Can I sell used products on Amazon?
I have found that in general, eBay is a better venue for used or vintage products, although there are some used items selling on Amazon. The one exception is used books, movies and music and certain items like movie posters - those are excellent sellers on Amazon and one can build a profitable business in just that one category.
Q. Isn't it expensive to pay to ship wholesale products to me and then pay again to ship them to Amazon?
Depending on the product it can be. However there are more and more wholesale suppliers who will label and ship your products directly to Amazon for you. I am dealing with four companies that do that now and when I import from overseas, my rep in Hong Kong does this for me. He labels my products, packs them up and ships them directly from Hong Kong to Amazon's warehouse.
Also when you ship to Amazon, Amazon passes on their low shipping rates to you. For example, I recently shipped a 7-pound box from my home near Seattle to an Amazon warehouse in Arizona. I looked in my UPS account and if I shipped it myself it would have cost over $14. But the Amazon rate was only $6.94.
Q. I have heard you can use Amazon to fulfill your eBay and website sales. How does that work?
When you send your products to Amazon they offer a fulfillment service. I list my products both on eBay and Amazon. When one sells on eBay, I simply log into my Amazon seller central, create a fulfillment order and Amazon ships it to my eBay customer. They charge me shipping - but again at their very low rate and a 75¢ handling charge. Since their shipping charge is so my cheaper than normal UPS rates, I can be more competitive on eBay by offering lower shipping prices, so this also helps my eBay sales.
Q. I have a full-time job. Realistically if I can only work about 20 hours a week, how big an Amazon business can I build?
With a lot of hard work you can probably build your business to the point where you could quit your full time job. Part of the answer depends on your situation. For example do you have a spouse that can help out? If so you can build a much larger business. But the beauty of using Amazon FBA is that you don't have to ship products to customers every day. Unlike eBay, Amazon does all the shipping customer service and communications for you.
Also if you use some of the wholesale suppliers that I recommend, they will label and ship your items for you allowing you to grow a much larger business.
Q. How much money can I make on Amazon?
Sorry - that is one question I just can't answer. An accurate answer depends on so many individual factors it would be impossible to answer that without knowing a ton of details about you - many of which are private and you would not like to share. There are Amazon sellers who just dabble in Amazon -at what I would call the hobby level who earn a few hundred dollars a month, and there are Amazon sellers who make several hundred thousand dollars a year. In our case we do right about six figures in profits and that is a business size we are comfortable with. I don't plan to grow any larger although it would be easy to do so.
Q. How much money do I need to get started if I want to build a real business?
Again that depends on many factors. If you want to start small you can start with a couple hundred dollars. But if you could start with about $1000 worth of merchandise you could build your business much faster. I started on Amazon in 2006 with practically no money at all. I just started selling books that I had around the house. When those ran out I started buying books from garage sales and thrift shops.
When we made the move into new products and into FBA, I started with about $2500 worth of products and grew it about $1000 each month by reinvesting part of my profits. Today we purchase between $15,000 and $30,000 worth of wholesale products per month depending on the time of year.
Does This Sound Interesting?
If this is the type of information you're looking for then The Complete Amazon Marketing System can be what you need to get you started. It's a two-volume printed training manual over 350 pages long. It also comes with several training videos and free lifetime membership in my Wholesale Sourcing Members Site. There are over a dozen bonus items in all!
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