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Stephen Somers, CEO and co-founder of Marketplace Superheroes, is an 8-figure Amazon seller and set himself up for success and stability all from the comfort of his home by selling on Amazon FBA. And he believes this is not only possible, but achievable for other people as well!
Check out our interview with him below for more information on how to work from home selling on Amazon FBA. It’s probably not as complicated as you think! And you can find more information about his course by clicking here.
How To Work From Home Selling On Amazon FBA
What Is Amazon FBA?
‘FBA’ stands for Fulfilled by Amazon. On a basic level, Amazon allows third-party sellers like you and me to sell our own products on their platform.
How does Amazon FBA work?
I can break this down into four simple steps:
1. Send Your Products To Amazon
They’ll check and them into one of their fulfillment centers – these are massive warehouses run by robots and hardworking Amazon employees.
2. Amazon takes care of packing & shipping
When a customer buys your product on Amazon, everything is automatically taken care of for you. Your product is picked, packed, and shipped to the customer for you.
3. Amazon follows up with the customer upon item delivery
Once the product arrives at the customer, Amazon automatically follows up to make sure everything is ok with the order.
Since Amazon uses a STAT delivery service, they stay connected to your customers 24/7/365. If a customer has a problem with the delivery, Amazon will hear about it, not you (unless the problem is caused by the quality of your products).
They literally take care of most of the hard work for you!
I say ‘most’ because as an Amazon FBA seller, there are a few things you’ll need to do:
1. Finding products:
Amazon will deal with all the back-end work, but you will need to decide what products to sell.
2. Keep those products in stock:
This is really easy to do thanks to Amazon’s Seller Dashboard. When your stock is running low, you’ll get an alert to replenish your inventory.
3. Promote your products:
Amazon has millions of products for sale globally on their different marketplaces. Therefore, you’ll need to make sure people find your products — easy to do thanks to Amazon’s in-house advertising tools.
Tell us how you got started selling on Amazon FBA? What was your process like to get to where you are now? How long did it take to reach six figures?
You could say my Amazon FBA journey actually started way back when I was in my teens at college. I’ve always been entrepreneurial, trying everything from starting my own band, to spending hours at night learning everything I could about marketing, business, and personal development.
I eventually reached a point at college where I realized I wasn’t learning how to become an entrepreneur. I was just learning how to become another employee.
From there I left formal education and gave up on my dream of being a musician. I landed a job working for the government as a data processor…and it was as boring as it sounds! Punching numbers into a spreadsheet from 9 to 5.
Once again, feeling like just another cog in the machine, I started looking for other options, Googling things like ‘how to make money online’ and ‘how to start an online business’.
I ended up falling for every scam in the book and lost a ton of money buying courses and products that promised the world but didn’t really deliver a whole bunch. And after spending 4 years in a job I hated, I realized I had to find somebody who could help me. I needed to find somebody with a ‘vehicle’ to learn how all this business stuff worked.
After months of searching for the ONE person who could help me out on my quest, I was intro’d to a guy called Robert Rickey through my aunt, and he’s still my business partner to this day.
He invited me to come and see his operation in Northern Island so I could see how everything worked. From the moment I arrived, I fell in love with the idea of selling products on Amazon.
Why? Because for the first time in my life, I saw a real, physical, living, breathing business operating. It was FAR, far away from the B.S. ‘opportunities’ that everyone else had been trying to convince me of.
The other HUGE difference was that Robert was selling his own, branded products online. He wasn’t selling a product and then asking some other supplier he barely knew to ship it out to customers.
Here’s how it worked (and how it still works):
Step #1: Identify products that sell well on Amazon
Step #2: Find a way to improve them
Step #3: Create your own, branded versions of those products
Step #4: Import the new, branded products and sell them on Amazon
That’s really all there is to it!
And once you run products through this mini ‘gauntlet’, the numbers start to stack up pretty quickly.
Let’s say you have one product that sells for $20 on Amazon, and you make 5 simple sales each day for a whole month.
5 x $20 = $100 a day
$100 x 30 = $3,000 a month
If you then sold that exact same product in an additional Amazon marketplace (so simple to do!) you’d double your monthly revenue to $6,000.
Do that with just one additional product and hey presto! You’ve just smashed $100,000 a year in revenue!
$12,000 x 12 = $144,000
So you can imagine it really didn’t take us very long to reach that target – and that’s the power of market multiplication and why I love Amazon FBA so much!
Where does the inventory come from?
Once we’ve identified a product we know we can sell on Amazon, we head over to Alibaba to find a supplier. Alibaba is a one-stop platform that connects businesses to global manufacturers, and many third-party Amazon sellers purchase their products there.
The great thing about Alibaba is that you can find a manufacturer to create bulk orders of products and have them imported into your country of choice (for us, the country of the Amazon marketplace with the best demand for our product)
How do you know what products to sell? What goes into that decision-making process?
One thing we do very differently at Marketplace SuperHeroes is our product selection process. Other people would recommend you sell ‘hot’ or ‘trendy’ or ‘best selling’ products because, logically, they’re selling. So why wouldn’t you just jump on the bandwagon and get your slice of the pie?
The problem with this strategy is that everybody does it! Therefore markets become overly saturated, noisy, and confused very quickly. If we put ourselves in the shoes of a consumer who is looking for a certain product, and lands on a page with hundreds of search results, we can see how it becomes extremely difficult to decide what to buy.
Instead, we spend a little longer on the research component of the business, and we’re looking for products that are highly in-demand, but have low competition. That way, when a consumer searches for a product, ours really stands out as the go-to offer (especially by adding a bonus item or offering different pack sizes).
How do you know what to price an item? How do you know if something is profitable?
Our goal is to always make our product offer the ‘no-brainer’ choice for the customer. And one way to do that is through price – but that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be the cheapest!
Once we’ve identified a product idea on Amazon, and we’ve found and contacted a supplier on Alibaba, they’ll provide us with all the details we need to decide whether that product will be profitable – way before we’ve even placed an order or invested a single cent!
To do that, we have a simple tool available to members of our community called the ‘Profit Calculator’. It does exactly what it says on the tin: it tells you whether or not your product will make you money! You plug in a product’s packaged dimensions, weight, cost price, and selling price, and the tool will quickly calculate how much profit (money in your pocket) the product could make.
Now you’ll have the confidence that the product will sell and will earn you money once it goes live on Amazon’s marketplace/s.
Are there any restrictions to Amazon FBA?
Amazon is open to everybody to sell their inventory to millions of Amazon customers across the globe. Anyone can open a Seller Account and sell their products via Amazon’s website.
However, there are certain products that you can’t sell on their platform, and there are certain other categories that are ‘gated’ which means you first have to get permission from Amazon to sell in them.
We generally tend to steer clear of these categories when doing our research, that way you can avoid unwanted headaches and frustration that may come up later on!
What are some pros and cons to selling on Amazon FBA?
Here are some of the best things that stand out about Amazon FBA to me:
Effortless Shipping & Logistics:
Amazon does all the hard work for you! For a small fee, you get a huge weight off your shoulders. They’ll pick, pack, and ship products to your customers. They even deal with returns and customer support.
Huge Customer Base:
People come to Amazon and are ready to buy. By selling with Amazon FBA, you get front row access to these customers.
You can easily expand your product line to multiple locations to exponentially grow your sales and profit.
The negatives of Amazon FBA:
They’re Amazon’s Customers:
It’s against Amazon’s TOS to communicate with their customers off of their platform. So you can’t gather emails, build an email list, and re-market to those same people as you could if you had your own website.
Long-Term Storage Fees:
Amazon doesn’t like sitting on your inventory, which is fair because they’re a fulfillment center, not a storage warehouse. Therefore, you’re going to pay more for stuff that’s checked in longer (this is exactly why we created a separate company called SuperHero Freight to help our members with the storage and logistics of their products to avoid these higher fees!)
Where would someone get started?
Even if you’re just dipping your toe in the water and want to learn how to get started with FBA on a part-time basis, I think you first and foremost need to have the right mindset and be willing to learn throughout the process.
Like anything worthwhile, it requires a good amount of knowledge to get everything up and running. But if you stay persistent, learn how to find the right types of products, and learn how to import those products, you’ll begin to see results relatively quickly.
The more you put in, the more you’ll get out!
Does it cost a lot to sell on Amazon FBA?
Even though it’s very affordable to start an Amazon FBA business – especially compared to any more traditional-style businesses – there are still some upfront investments and recurring costs.
Product Sample: $100
Inventory & Importing: $1500 – $3000
Seller Account: $39.99/month
Whatever product(s) you choose to sell, you’ll have to pay Amazon for the ability to list products on the site. You can do this with either an individual seller account or a professional seller account.
The Individual Account costs you $0.99 per item sold, and the Professional Sellers Account is $39.99 per month.
But once you’re up and running, selling more than 40 units of a product or multiple products is relatively straightforward. Therefore a Professional Account makes more economical sense.
How do you manage inventory? What are the options for that?
Inventory management is also very straightforward. Once Amazon alerts you that your stock is running low, you simply create what’s called an ‘inward order’ from your storage location to top up your stock levels.
We wouldn’t recommend sending all your imported products straight to Amazon’s warehouses due to their high long-term storage costs (they fulfill, they don’t store!)
And that’s exactly why we created our SuperHero Freight company, to give our customers a place to cost-effectively store their products, before sending them in smaller quantities into Amazon’s fulfillment centers.
Any final tips for someone who wants to get started today? Tell us more about your course!
If you like the idea of being able to start and run an online business from anywhere in the world, without the huge overheads, monthly expenses, or huge startup costs, then perhaps Amazon FBA is a great option for you!
There are many different avenues you could take if you want to learn how to get started, but the one we recommend is our online program, Ignite.
This is our latest fully revamped program that walks you through the entire step-by-step PROVEN process for building a highly profitable Amazon business from scratch. That covers how to find, import, and sell your own brand of physical products internationally on Amazon.
And absolutely zero BS.
Simply go through the training and implement as you learn.
You can find more information about the course by clicking here.
By Stephen Somers
Marketplace Superheroes is all about helping our community of ‘Heroes’ create home-based lifestyle businesses selling simple, everyday products globally on Amazon. Their aim is to create the #1 platform for aspiring entrepreneurs to learn how to build a real business from people who have ACTUALLY done it.
Stephen Somers, CEO and his co-founder Robert Rickey, are 8 figure Amazon sellers and have sold over $20 million dollars worth of physical products globally. They are passionate about seeing their members become true business owners rather than just ‘another Amazon seller looking for the next bright shiny object’.
They are painfully focused on making sure that their members learn the skills required to become world-class business owners who will have the ability to create income for YEARS. Not just months or weeks.