Tips For Making Money Selling Online

Why You Are Failing At Amazon FBA

There are a lot of people that start FBA and either quit or never really get any traction. They would tell you that FBA is all hype, no real money to be made in it but it is not true. They failed and I want to take a look at why.

Size Matters

The first reason that your WHY isn’t big enough.

I would love to say I thought of this on my own but honestly I learned it for this presentation that I saw live ( check out the video below, it is well worth your time to watch it)

So what does it mean when we say our WHY isn’t big enough?

Basically the reason why you are doing the business. Your motivation is not big enough.

For example say you are doing Amazon to get money for buying your kid some high priced pair of fashionable jeans even though they have plenty of good pairs.

How motivated are you to do the extra work to make the money?

Probably not super motivated.

Now say you are doing Amazon to buy medicine for your kid that keeps them from having seizures?

How motivated are you to make the money?

Really freaken motivated!

The example given in the video is that you are asked why you are doing FBA and you say to make a million dollars.

Not specific, not going to happen. Not a good enough WHY.

I personally am guilty of this.

I do FBA full time but honestly haven’t tried very hard and pushed it to the next level.

Why?

Well lots of reasons.

Mostly because I didn’t really have to.

Here is a some signs and signals that your WHY isn’t big enough
Signs and signals that your ‘why’ isn’t big enough:

* procrastination

* self-judgment

* embarrassment

* self-doubt

* indecisiveness

* confusion

* fear of making a mistake

* fear of failure

* apathy

* all talk but no action

* inconsistent action

( From http://www.streetdirectory.com/etoday/what-do-you-do-if-your-why-isnt-big-enough-eloppc.html)

How many of these apply to you ?

Most apply to me.

The honest truth is that we are our own worst enemies. The struggle in not doing the business, the struggle is overcoming our minds.

So what the video above and see if any of the above signs point to you. If they do, then you need to figure out your WHY and if you find that you don’t have a WHY, then maybe you shouldn’t be doing FBA right now.

Comfort Zones

We don’t want to get out of our comfort zones, but everything we say we want is outside of our comfort zones.


I suffer from this too. Private label is out of my comfort zone and everything that I want from my business is setting on the outside of my comfort zone, right next to Private label.

How to get out of your comfort zone is not my area of expertise but I have several conversations at the conference with other sellers about private label and how they got the guts to do it.

Most basically said that they just did it. They took the chance.

One guy said that he mentally considered the money he was investing as a loss already. (he was sending $500 for a product)

He said that made it so much easier. He said that after considering it a loss, he was happy when he got a return. Made him feel really good, which cause him to get out of his comfort zone easier and more often.

You need to figure out how to get out of your comfort zone. The hint is when you feel scared, you are at the edge of your comfort zone. At that point, it is time to just take a leap of faith.

Connecting With Other Sellers

Are you scared to make friends with other FBA sellers? Scared that they are going to steal all your products ideas and put you out of business?

Almost every successful FBA seller with tell you that making connections is one of the things that really causes their business to grow.

On the other hand, most unsuccessful sellers are lone wolfs. They think every seller is out to get them and they keep to themselves.

Which are you?

If you haven’t made connections, now is the time to start.

Like I have said earlier, I am recently back from an Amazon resellers conference.

Meet a ton of other resellers and have so many great conversations and learned so much about reselling and what other people are doing.

And not once did I worry about someone stealing my ideas and people told me what they were selling and I didn’t try to steal their ideas.

Seeing what they were doing gave me new ideas of my own.

So if you are hiding away from other resellers, open yourself up to connecting and you will be surprised how much that will help your business.

Training

People fail to take the time to learn how to do this business right. They do one of 3 things usually.

They try to wing it

They get the wrong training ( or worse pay for some way over priced training and get totally ripped off)

They get the right training product and don’t take the time to got through the training.

When it comes to training, I have been recommending the same training for a long time and the priced is stupid cheap ( I think that people may think it isn’t good since it doesn’t cost $1000.

You should read Chris Green’s Aribrage from front to back before doing anything with FBA ( cost about $9 new, $5 used)

http://www.amazon.com/Arbitrage-authoritative-guide-works-work/dp/1478251891

After doing a little retail arbitrage that you learned how to do via Green’s Arbitrage book, the next step is to go through Green’s Online Arbitrage book.

Now this book is more expensive. ($70 for the used black and white version and up to $170 for the new color version)

http://www.amazon.com/Online-Arbitrage-Sourcing-Secrets-Products/dp/1500333824

I wouldn’t buy the book.

I would either sign up for Kindle unlimited and read it for free or go to Udemy and take the course for $30 (it is the same as the book)

https://www.udemy.com/onlinearbitrage/learn/v4/overview

Actually, I would go to Gumroad and get a special deal he has that has 3 his courses, the 2 arbitrage books and his course on Merch By Amazon, all for $49

Why You Are Failing At Amazon FBA

https://gumroad.com/a/790246515

So you can get all the training materials for $50 but you have to actually sit down and go through the material.

Most people won’t do this. This is why people fail. This is why accounts get suspended.

Did you take the time to learn how to do FBA? Did you try to piece together the training by finding different sources online?

If so, that could be a reason you are failing.

One other training I just started recommending ( because it just came out out) is Stephen Smotherman’s How To Keepa Camel.

This training helps you understand how to read charts better and make better buying decisions. I would say that you need to have gone through Green’s training fully first before taking this training ( it is a lot more costly)

I did a review of the training in a blog post

http://www.arbitrage411.com/amazon-fba/stephen-smothermans-how-to-keepa-camel-book-video-course-review/

While it is no fun taking the time out to learn how to do something, it is very important to learn what you need to know before investing a bunch of money in inventory. So many people do this backward and lose a ton of money learning the hard way.

Wrong Business Model

This is where I step on toes but the truth is that the barrier to entry is almost non existent for FBA and some people aren’t business people.

There are a few business models that while they work for some people, they honestly don’t work for the majority.

This biggest example is the Fast Turn model.

This appeals to people because it is presented in compounding math.

10% return every 2 weeks for a year is a shitload of a return ( on paper)

It does work for some but the issue is scaling.

This is a business model that is great if you are broker than shit and don’t have much money to invest.

You can quickly build up your nest egg by turning it over every 2 weeks.

That works great until your nest egg grows so big that you you have problems spending all of it every 2 weeks and/or the processing of that much inventory.

Basically you get overwhelmed and the business model breaks down or you start hiring employees and getting a warehouse, etc.

Now you have overhead.

Still there are people that make this work, but it gets harder. The 10% return doesn’t work so good when you have overhead and payroll to meet.

Margin is very important to a business.

Almost all the successful FBA sellers I know protect their margins as best that they can ( ie they want to make as much as possible off every single product that they sell)

So while you may have started out as a Fast Turner, maybe it is time to adjust your business model. You have to remember that you aren’t Walmart trying to sell on paper thin margins. They have large systems in place to make it work and just like the retail world, there are very few other retail businesses that can survive doing what Walmart does.

So take a look at your business model. If you are working your ass off and it seems like you are barely making any money, you might have the wrong business model.

Conclusion

FBA works and if it isn’t working for you, you need to figure out why. Hopefully one of the points in the article sticks out to you and you can adjust and make this business work for you. The hard part is that you have to accept responsibility for your failure and then fix it. Harder said than done for most people.

Why Multi Packs Make You More Money On Amazon FBA

First let’s define what a multi pack. Say you have a widget. You put 3 widgets into a poly bag. Now you have a multi pack. It is more than 1 of the same product.

Now if you say you put a widget and a rock in a poly bag, that is not a multi pack. It is a bundle. When you have 2 or more different products that are sold together, it is a bundle and many people get this confused.

Quick fact: You are not suppose to make new multi packs on the Grocery category per Amazon policy. People still do but it is suppose to be only used when the manufacture does it. The old listings seem to be grandfathered in and people still sell on them even though they are not from the manufacture

So now that we are on the same page about what multi packs are, now we can look at why they are more profitable.

Amazon Fees Are The Enemy

Every item sold incurs fees from Amazon. You can roughly figure that everything sold FBA incurs about a $4 fee ( slightly less)

This is why many sellers do not sell anything under $10.

Now a multi pack is considered a single item when it comes to fees.

Quick fact: The multi pack are usually listed under new UPC codes and this why they don’t show up when you scan the items in the store ( some are listed under the same UPC and will show up. It is hit or miss)

So take the example that you have 10 widgets.

You can sell the individually and incur $40 in fees ( again, rough estimate) or sell a single 10 pack and incur $4 in fees ( actually it would be more due to the higher selling price) . Which sounds better?

Advantages of Multipacks

Lower Amazon fees

Fewer sellers

Better value for customer

Disadvantages of Multi packs

Usually higher sales ranks

More work to package

Case Example Of A Mulit Pack

Here was a product that I sold. I got 3 of them at a flea market for $3 each.

asdf

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00FQR7V2C

I had the choice to sell it as 3 singles or 1- 3 pack.

If we look at the return for the single, after fees, I would get $5.80 back, which is a $2.80 profit and 93% ROI. Not too shabby for a product at a sales rank of 7k in beauty.

Amazon Multi Packs

http://www.amazon.com/Burts-Bees-Volumizing-Shampoo-Pomegranate/dp/B006XMHPF2

Now if I sent in the 3 pack, after fees I would get back $21.06 ( if I sold at $29.99, which would be a better value for the customer) . This gives me $12.06 profit and an ROI of 134%, which is 40% more ROI on the same investment. Now we have to note that the sales rank is worse , 135k ( but there is no FBA sellers at this writing)

FBA Multipacks

Now the Fast Turners want nothing to do with this. They will sell theirs the first day it hit the warehouse and wait 2 weeks to get paid.

My 3 pack will also sell ( FBA Toolkit says 1 sells per day at this rank) So I too will get paid 2 weeks later but have 40% more profit in my pocket.

The thing that people focus on is the sale rank. I will admit that I love me a good sales rank but my goal is to make the most money I can, not to have the best sale rank of any FBA seller ever.

So I understand that people have been brain washed into the Fast Turn business model and I know how on paper it works out so good. ( Yeah I remember all the people that were going to retire multi millionaires because of their 401ks. The math proved it. Yet I have never seen it work out for anyone I have known)

So onward. Lets say that you have 180 units of these and you need to be sold out in 30 days.

Simple math for selling the singles. At this sales rank, you are going to blow through them really quickly ( at least that is what you think), FBA Toolkit says 4 of these sell a day ( I am making assumptions that you get all the sales, which doesn’t happen, but let’s go with it)

Well guess what, it is going to take you 45 days. WTF? But you are a Fast Turn God!

Ok, if we send in all as 3 packs, then that is 60 days worth. Still not working out.

Now lets say we sent 90 in as singles and 30 -3packs. It will take 23 days to sell out the singles and 30 days to sell out the 3 packs. Hey, we just made it in the 30 days like we had to.

Didn’t think of that? Huh? Listing your products two different ways. It isn’t an all or nothing thing, but most people look at 7k vs 137k and think it is a no brainer and take the 7k listing every time.

What about the money. Show me the money!

The profit on the 180 singles is $504 at the 93% ROI, but the profit for the mixture of both listings is $613.80 at 114% ROI.  That that is an increase of 21% ROI on just mixing them up.

So I made the assumption that you would sell what the FBA Toolkit predicts ( which won’t happen). Well it is actually more likely on the 3 pack due to the number of sellers vs the sellers on the single listing.

So let’s go the other direction. What if I messed up and this doesn’t sell. Which one do I have the most room to drop prices to at least get back my investment?

Well this one is simple. The 3 pack. ( just look at the profit / ROI)

What about if I have to place a removal order or have product removed? Well the 3 pack will save me money over the singles.

The Take Away

So what is the action steps to take? Well it depends.

You should look at your options. Don’t just jump on the best sales rank as your default. Remember that you are going to have to pay about $4 for everything you sell which will lower you profit,

Next check to see if there is a multi pack listing already there. Not all multi packs listings are worth getting on. Some items people don’t want to buy in bulk.

If there is the no multi pack listing, consider making one. Sometimes you are jumping on the parent listing, sometimes you have to make it. Remember that you are usually selling the unit cheaper in the mulit pack and this makes it easy to use the Amazon ads for product promotion. People look at the single and your ads pops up and it is cheaper per unit.

One last thing to think about. If the product is discontinued and people can’t find it and want to stock up, the multi pack may actually be more attractive to them over the single.

Your objective is to make as much money as you can on Amazon FBA, not source and send in as much as possible and this is a perfect example of how knowing the numbers can help you make more money.