What I Wish I’d Known Before Becoming an Amazon Seller – Ben Thorne
Ben is an incredibly valuable member of the Life Success Accelerator program and my other Facebook masterminds – Online Arbitrage Mastery and Life Success Engineer Mastery. Ben is going to share with you his business procedures and all of the things he’s found to be valuable in starting his own business!
Ben’s Tips for Newcomers
I have noticed a lot of new starters in the group recently and would like to share some points which I wish I knew when I started in becoming an Amazon seller. The below can be taken as a high-level reference guide addressing points I have seen raised repeatedly in this group.
– Do you really need a VA?
Contrary to popular belief having a VA working on your business can be a bad decision, especially in the early stages. If you do not have a lot of cash to begin with, the cost of paying the VA can outstrip your profits. You shouldn’t really outsource things you haven’t already done yourself. You should manually source products and review until you are an expert, then you will know if leads you are sent or items which are reviewed by a VA are good buys. Remember you are the one with a financial stake in this business. If you buy items a VA recommends which turn out to be bad you are the one who will suffer? They make mistakes often but these can be minimized by providing quality training and constant feedback until they are up to scratch.
Get your chrome extensions in order
The following are free extensions which speed up the product analysis stage. Keepa – places a Keepa graph on the product page on Amazon, allows you to view the sales rank directly on the page saving you going back and forth to keepa.com. Sellcaster – quickly work out your ROI again from the Amazon product page. Honey – useful app which tries discount codes at the checkout saving you money if there is a match. Amazonia – highlight a product name anywhere on the internet, right click and select search on Amazon.co.uk saves you switching tabs and a few clicks.
Google Sheets make the world go round
Google sheets are awesome, they allow you to access vital business information from any device with an Internet connection. Easily share your sheets with team members, which makes working with others easy. For a beginner start with a simple spreadsheet to record your purchases including cost, store bought from, date, order number and asin. Further on down the line you can have shared sourcing sheets, sheets which let your prep center what you have ordered and a load of other spreadsheet wizardry. I highly recommend the Online Arbitrage Master Spreadsheets shown on these videos!
Think outside of the box to give your business the edge
Amazon has millions of products and the internet is a big place with lots of places to source from, don’t be drawn into focusing ALL of your efforts on the ‘low hanging fruit’ which everyone can reach. Broaden your sights and tap into shops which aren’t scanned by sourcing software and less well-known stores to get away from the crowd. If you are sent a lead through a deal sheet have a look at similar products on the website to see if there are any other deals there, retailers usually group items for sale to make it even easier.
Keeping good records now will save you lots of time in the future
There are only very few, special types of people who like preparing accounts.. I am not one of them. That being said I am immensely grateful for the fact I kept accurate records of what I bought, dates, postage etc since I began selling, I can not imagine the pain of looking through 1000s of email receipts and trying to collate retrospective records. It doesn’t take much time to keep accurate records if you build it into your reviewing process.
Use cashback websites for every purchase
Favourite, Topcashback, and Quidco, check which one has the better rate before you buy anything. These small amounts soon add up!
Talk about your problems
It is VERY unlikely you will be the first person to be in a certain situation with regards to selling on Amazon, ask questions in friendly groups like ours and 9 times out of 10, someone will have already have encountered and solved your problem. As sellers we are better off working to help each other to succeed, we are united against Amazon.
Remember why you started this business
Once we start selling on Amazon it is easy to get carried away with goals we set for ourselves like ‘I want to sell £30k per month by the end of the year’ or ‘I want to ship 100 units in a month’ and use these goals as part of our decision-making process, I would advocate always factoring in the reasons you started this business as the basis of any decision-making process rather than being distracted by the numbers targets alone. If you begin your decision-making process with your reason for starting the business it will either a) give clarity on how the action you are taking now will help you achieve your goals or b) highlight that the proposed action will not necessarily help you achieve your goals. I understand this is a broad overview and everyone’s reasons and goals are unique but it is good to keep in tune with why you started this business as much as possible to keep our decision making on track.
Wide not deep
Having 10 items in stock of 10 products is better than having 100 of 1 product, 10x more buy boxes can mean 10x more sales in a period of time (discounting product rank etc) and also means you are much less likely to be stuck with slow moving stock you can’t sell. Factor in turning over your money more often and it’s a win-win scenario.
Leave a comment for us if there’s anything you’d like Ben to discuss further!
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