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This strategy book turns FBA losers into winners

For the past 5 years, I've seen these bad seller habits destroy lot of Amazon businesses: 1

  • They look in awe at other sellers making year-round healthy profits, say "I can't do that", and give up.
  • They source products for a few months, don't 'become rich', and then they give up
  • They source for Christmas selling season only, and then they give up

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This is a guest post from Amazon  FBA Expert William Tjernlund who has has sold over $10M on Amazon over the past few years. It has been lightly edited for structure/style. (The original is entitled: Why Are You Selling on Amazon? And What I Wish I Knew"). Check out Will's blog at FBAExpert.com.

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For the beginners, I wanted to post about some of the lessons learned from growing a business on Amazon and using FBA:

Before starting your business make sure it fits the lifestyle you want. Everyone wants to be successful, but there is a big difference between the person who makes $400 per week spending 2 hours on their business and the person spending 40 hours to make $2000. If you aren’t serious about this and take it into account when you are structuring your business you may end up with something that isn’t what you want. You will be surprised how many decisions are simplified when you take a step back and think if the next step matches where you are trying to head.

Suppliers vs. products. I am a huge believer in shopping for suppliers from which to source and not just shopping for products. When you put all your effort into searching, selecting and sourcing a single product you are putting a lot of effort (and potentially capital) into something that may have a limited chance of success, and may not be a sustainable business even if it is a success. For example, if it fails, did you put all your chips on red on the first roll of the roulette wheel and when black came up you are done for the night? And if you do find a successful product, great, but now you have to start all over again and repeat the process to grow you business. Alternately, if you find a good supplier who offers related items you can spread your capital over a variety of products, see what sells well and what does not, and reshuffle your capital to match what is successful. Now, in order to grow, you select more products of the same or add to your mix. It is much easier and you have spread out your risk. Think about it: when the supplier demands a minimum order are they asking for a minimum order of 500 units at $10 apiece or are they really asking you to spend $5000 with them? Plus, if you get really successful you may have more customization, better terms and thin out the costs of your transportation by buying many products from one supplier.

Go with what you know. What store could you walk into today and throw on a orange vest, blue shirt, or tie and be a legitimate salesperson instantly? If you played Lacrosse in high school do you have a pretty good idea of what makes a good shaft or mask and could you identify a under-served market in that space? Did you grow up riding horses and find out that parents are looking for cheap binoculars to throw in their pockets while their kids perform? Couldn’t you offer a $99 set of “Equestrian Binoculars” that has no competition and probably costs less than $10? What else does that supplier have that you didn’t think off that you could also offer to complete a full line? My early successes weren’t selling what everyone else sells (I’m looking at your meat claws and “fancy” robes), but minor niches in what I knew well.

Relying on hacks is not a sustainable business model. I’m not Michael Porter, but I do know that the best way to have success on Amazon is to offer a good product at a good price. The easiest way to show up at the top of Amazon search results is to consistently sell a lot of product. Focus on getting more products if you need to grow and sales have plateaued and not resort to gimmicks that may only work in the short term.

U.S. suppliers are great. If you have decent capital ($10,000+) you may be surprised, with the right presentation, how good of a deal you can get with brand name suppliers and how willing they are to sell to you. I am not saying you'll get Apple or Nike products, but if you can find businesses that are big and legitimate in their space, but you can still be a decent sized fish for them at $10,000 then you may really have something.

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Source products and build a real online business

Hi Readers:

I was recently contacted by a small team of experts that is nurturing beginners (like you) from 'zero' to full-fledged e-commerce business owners. (I'm talking 5- to 7-figure, real online businesses) [click to continue…]

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Review: AMZ Tracker for Amazon Sellers

review AMZ TrackerFor the past 2 months, I've been using AMZ Tracker (get a free trial here). AMZ Tracker has helped my business in a few ways. You, too, can:

1.) Improve your current listings (even if they're not 'your' product)

2.) Hijack a competitor's listing (if you are sourcing/selling via Private label, wholesale, etc.)

3.) Make you money by  [click to continue…]

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Review: JungleScout for Amazon sellers

junglescout reviewIf you're an Amazon seller who sources wholesale or private label products, you'll want to check out my video review of JungleScout software (a Chrome Extension) ($87US). I am an affiliate of JungleScout so I receive compensation if you buy it via my link.

JungleScout is for U.S.-based Amazon sellers (although they are working on a U.K. version too)

I call it 'x-ray' software to find [click to continue…]

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Hi Readers: 

In April, I hosted a free 4+ hour webinar with the Startup Bros. (Miss it? It happens again on July 27, 2015)

It demonstrated how to start selecting products/sourcing/importing/ for e-commerce.

Attendees learned a lot for free, but hundreds of you bought into the Startup Bros' full training (I endorse it and I'm an affiliate).

Now I'm giving you an inside look of 'what you get' when you buy [click to continue…]

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Time Saving Techniques for Amazon and eBay Sellers

time saving tips for online sellers

I'm always looking to shave off a few seconds/minutes to routine tasks. Yes, it's a cliche' but SO true: Time is much more valuable than money - time is unrecoverable!

Thus, here are my top 8 productivity tools - all of them are free - that I  use every day. I use a PC but almost all of them will work on a MAC, too.

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online arbitrage

Cleer Pro is the natural followup to my CLEER extension for Google Chrome

Cleer Pro  helps you with quick-decision-making you need when 'buying low' to 'sell high' online.

It is a free (for now) software ("extension") that [click to continue reading]

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 This is a guest post from Amazon merchant Greg Mercer who has been incredibly successful at sourcing products from overseas to resell online. He is also the founder of  my new favorite Amazon seller software, JungleScout. Although JungleScout is referenced a couple times herein, you don't need it to get good use from this article. 

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There are tons of profitable products you can source from overseas. It just takes a little digging around. Short on time? Try using JungleScout to help you; it saves an incredible amount of time.

I wanted to help you all with the next step in the game, which is contacting and choosing a supplier. [click to continue…]

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Hype/Not Hype: Google buy button; Same day delivery

This month we saw lots of folks (well, industry media mostly) wigging out over Google's proposed 'buy' button. I explain why I think it's not a threat to us (Amazon/eBay merchants); I also look at the trend of local/same-day delivery and how you might benefit. All in the video below. Please feel free to comment below.

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  • Hype/Not Hype: Google buy button; Same day delivery

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