How Much Does it Cost to Sell on Amazon in 2018?

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In this article on “How Much Does it Cost to Sell on Amazon in 2018?” I cover:

  • A preview of the new Million Dollar Case Study where I’ll show you the exact details to sell on Amazon plus breakdown the cost to sell on Amazon.
  • The costs to sell on Amazon in 2018 (keep scrolling for graphics and detailed content).
  • A breakdown of what you will spend those costs on.
  • Plus, what you will need to start your Amazon FBA business.

When I first published this article back in July 2016, I wanted to share an honest overview of how much it really costs to take advantage of the greatest opportunity of the decade: Selling on Amazon. Since then, this article received a lot of views and comments. In fact, it still continues to be one of the most popular articles on our blog. So, with that in mind, I wanted to give it a little 2018 update. Nothing hugely significant has changed, but I wanted to make this information the most up-to-date as possible.

Keep reading to see our breakdown of the cost to sell on Amazon.

But first, if you really want to learn the nuts and bolts of the cost to sell on Amazon, you should consider signing up for our Million Dollar Case Study.

The Million Dollar Case Study Returns

And if you’re looking for an even more up-to-date take on how to sell on Amazon, we’ve started up the Million Dollar Case Study again!

I’m at it again, showing sellers how a five-year/million-dollar seller like myself finds a product, sources it, and launches it.  And this I’m  joined with one of my most favorite people (and also a 2-year Amazon seller) Rolando Galeana.


Make sure you tune in!

We value your privacy and would never spam you

After all, once we get to the nuts and bolts of what is needed to sell on Amazon, the most pressing and common question arises: how much money do I need to get started? Absolutely, a fair question. But my equally fair, yet unsatisfying answer is: it depends. Fear not though, in this post we will review all of the different upfront services and costs you need to prepare for in order to start selling on Amazon.

The future is bright!

Let’s start with some positive news about the future of selling on Amazon, taken from our recent survey of over 2500+ real sellers!

amazon seller survey results

So in direct relation to startup investment, many sellers report that they are making 66% of their original investment each month within 18 months. And, if you launch successfully, Amazon sellers report seeing average revenue growth by up to 5X per year for the first few years.

Whilst some of the investment figures we are about to explore might seem daunting, these promising insights show us how it can all be worth it if you play your cards right!

First, the assumptions that we are making

I want to make this universally applicable, so I need to make some broad assumptions. Every seller will have a slightly different situation with differing goals and requirements. But I hope you can tailor this broad guide to your specific needs.

Prerequisites for this investment guide:

  • We will sell on the Amazon US store (and we are based in the US).
  • The retail cost of the product (i.e. the amount that we will sell it for on Amazon) will be $20.
  • The landed cost of our item (product manufacturing, including packaging, plus shipping all the way to Amazon warehouses) is $4.
  • The product will be standard size—it can fit in a shoebox.
  • The product will be light enough to ship by air.
  • We will purchase with 500 units to sell.
  • We plan to give away 50 units for promotions.
  • We aim for 100% Return on Investment.
  • We will sell our product as a private label product, using the FBA (fulfillment by Amazon) model. This allows for greater scalability in the future.

Note: If you are not in the US, or looking to launch in a different marketplace, then you should be able to use this list of investment costs to research how much it would cost in your country/currency!

Can you guess what the product is? I listed the above points without any particular product in mind, but let’s make this a concrete example and suppose we want to sell jump ropes.

the greatest

Of course I have skipped right over the product research process here. The crux of any successful launch. Make sure you do your homework on this stage if you haven’t already found your product with high demand, opportunity and low competition. I would highly recommend catching up on Sessions #1 and #2 of our latest project, The Million Dollar Case Study. There you can see the most up to date blueprint for minimizing risk and finding that killer product.

The Must Have Items To Launch:

When determining how much it will cost us to start, I am breaking down the costs into three categories: the “must have”, the “nice to have”, and the “luxury item” costs. The most important first, “must have”…


When sourcing a private label product to sell using Amazon FBA, samples are imperative. There can sometimes be a significant difference in the quality of the product and the specifications you see on Alibaba or other manufacturing source online. The best way to verify quality and move forward with the best supplier is to order samples.

Quality is just one consideration, although it is a priority. You also want to find a supplier who can provide you a good cost, has good communication and is willing to meet your needs and build a partnership.

So once you find potential suppliers, (again, Alibaba is great for this) I recommend getting a sample from the top three to keep costs low. Obviously, there is an associated cost. Sometimes, the supplier that you choose will reimburse you for these costs if you decide to order with them, worth checking beforehand.

A rule of thumb here is that each sample will cost you $100 all in. That’s from the supplier to your doorstep in 5 days.


So that is $100/per sample, for 3 samples = $300


Once you choose your supplier, it’s time to put down some money to purchase your product!

Suppliers that you find on Alibaba will generally have a Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ), so this is something to consider too. We decided earlier that we wanted to purchase 500 units.

Note: If the thought of purchasing and maintaining proper inventory levels is intimidating to you, consider dropshipping as your first step into the world of selling on Amazon.

For the purposes of this example, we will assume that our product will cost $4 per unit, including the product cost and shipping. You could order a lower quantity, if you can negotiate this with a supplier, but generally that means they will charge you more per item, so it may not be worth it. 500 units is a good number to get started with in my experience, based on what suppliers are willing to produce and keeping costs low.

Additionally, a lower-cost product, that you sell at a lower price point, will also result in lower startup costs. But again, this is all relative, so you need to make sure that it’s still going to be profitable.


This amounts to $4/per unit, for 500 units = $2000

Promotional Giveaway:

In our earlier assumptions, we have allocated 50 products that we will give away at a reduced sales price, in order to get some much needed early sales. You can use Jungle Scout’s Launch features to run promotions, while staying safely within Amazon’s Terms of Service. One thing that has changed in the past year is that incentivized reviews are no longer within Amazon’s TOS. However, we still find that this tactic of running an early promotion helps to improve sales velocity and organic rankings. This is super important for any new product launch, and you may still get some organic reviews in this process too.


A Jungle Scout subscription, and access to Launch, starts at $49.

Amazon Professional Sellers Account:

Whether you have an Individual Sellers Account, or a Professional Sellers Account, you will have to pay Amazon to list your product on their platform. The Individual Account is basically $1 per item sold, and the Professional Sellers Account is $40 per month. Let’s plan, and hope, that we sell more than 40 units per month, in which case a Professional Account makes more economical sense.

Furthermore, you will need a Professional Sellers Account in order to do things like generate promotional codes, which you’ll need for your Promotional Giveaways. This is a cost you need to consider, but you will not need to spend this capital upfront, as it will be deducted directly from your Seller’s account (not your bank account).

A UPC Code:

In order to start selling your product on Amazon, you will need a recognized barcode in order to generate an “FNSKU” which is Amazon’s proprietary barcodes that need to be printed on the packaging of all of your products.

In order to get your FNSKU, Amazon’s TOS requires you to get a GTIN (Global Trade Identification Number), usually in the form of a UPC code.

Around a year ago, Amazon changed their TOS to state that your barcodes must be from GS1, the leading global provider. The costs to do this are significantly higher, with a $250 initial registration fee and a $50 annual renewal fee for up to 10 barcodes.

You  used to be able to purchase UPC’s from third parties at a fraction of the cost. But with Amazon cracking down on this, we do not recommend going this route.

Read more about barcodes in this article!


The monthly cost of being a seller on Amazon is therefore $40 per month.


UPC’s from GS1 (initial fee) $250

Nice-To-Have Items:

Next up, let’s look at some nice-to-haves. These aren’t required but what they will do is help you to launch faster, with more success.

Sponsored Ads Budget:

As you generate more sales (and get more reviews with follow up email campaigns), you will also see an increased organic ranking for your main keywords. Another successful tactic for product launches is to run sponsored ads (also known as Amazon PPC). This can be helpful to get your sales improving quickly, but I also like to run well-oiled Amazon Sponsored Ad’s throughout the lifetime of a product.

But what will this cost? Well, let’s assume that you are running campaigns with a lower-end budget of $10 per day.

This should generate a few sales, plus it’s not a “cost” per-se but moreso an “investment”. Regardless, if you want to take advantage of this “nice to have” then you need the capital upfront.

It is surprisingly attainable to run profitable paid campaigns with Amazon’s platform. If this is totally new to you, here’s some excellent resources on setting up and managing your Amazon PPC campaigns:

Registered Trademark:

A recent update in the world of Amazon private labelling is that Amazon closed it’s doors on the old Brand Registry and launched a new version of it in May, 2017.

The key changes are that private label brand owners are now required to have a Registered Trademark in order to be in the Brand Registry. This means you need to apply for a Trademark and wait for it to be approved before being able to access to additional features of Brand Registry.

I won’t go into too much detail here about whether to get a trademark or not, but you can read more here.

If you are just starting out you have two options:

  1. Launch your product without a trademark or brand registry and see how it goes and work towards this once the sales start coming in
  2. Invest early and get the trademark process underway (you have to wait up to 10 weeks for approval), so that you are able to get your brand registered as soon as possible

Personally, I wouldn’t hold back from launching, but I would seek to apply for a Trademark as soon as possible. Just make sure you do your research when you create your brand, to ensure you will be able to apply for a Trademark without infringing on any existing trademarks or brand names in the future.

How much does it cost? Set aside $350 to apply for a Trademark. I paid a total of £349 to apply for a Trademark for Jungle Snugs, using

Read more about the new Brand Registry and Trademarks in this blog post!


$10 per day for 30 days is $300.


Approx $350 per trademark registration application

Luxury Items (Not Necessary In Order to Launch)

These are items that you definitely do not need, but could use if you want to have a thoroughly polished product launch, with a quicker rate to success!

Design work:

A graphic designer is a tremendous asset in adding legitimacy to your brand. They can help you with a multitude of things such as logos, packaging design, product inserts, photography touchups and infographics for your product listing.

It’s difficult to put a price on good design, the sky is the limit. But for an early product launch, you can find decent rates from talented designers on the Jungle Scout Market where everyone is Amazon experienced. From experience, you can get the work you need done for as little as $50.

For the purposes of this article, let’s say we are going to commission a designer $200, to do some design work to make our skipping rope product look the part.

Cutting corners is not advised, but sometimes there is no correlation between price and quality. Here’s some examples of design work we have had done for our Jungle Snugs product which we are launching as part of the Million Dollar Case Study:

jungle_stix_image This is a neat competitive matrix we use on the Jungle Snugs listing to help shoppers in their buying decisions. You could actually do this on your own with free sites like Canva, which is a superb resource for when you need to make designs up that look the part, without spending a cent!

3_foot_image Here’s some nice packaging design for Jungle Snugs, giving it a high-end feel and making it suitable to sell at a higher price point.


$200 for design on logo, packaging, and photoshop services.

Product Photography:

I can not overstate the importance of high resolution and high quality product photographs. When you are competing against other sellers who may have similar products, it is so critical to have your product stand out from the crowd. Remember, in order to get a visitor to your Product Page, they are going to have to be enticed to click on your product listing. In the fast-paced, purchase-oriented mind of the shopper, they are scanning for visual cues.

Your photography is your “shop window”. It’s the closest thing your potential customers get to the real deal. So although we are putting photography in the “luxury” section, if you are going to go with just one luxury, go with this one.

Having said that, if you are on a budget or need photos fast, here’s a pretty in-depth guide on how you could take photos using a smartphone and some household items.

Here’s the key attributes to get right:

  • The best lighting possible
  • A white background for the main image
  • At least 1000 pixels wide on the longest side of the image in order to meet Amazon’s minimum requirements
  • Some photos of the product in use, or lifestyle shots to add a point of difference
  • Think about conveying the size or quality of an item with closeups and comparisons

If you think you need professional help for this, you can get high quality product photographs from $25-$50 per image. If we assume you need 8 images and use the power of negotiation, we can cost $300.


$300 for 8 professional quality product images.

Let’s total up our cost to sell on Amazon:

Must Have:



Product Samples: $300

Inventory: $2000

Promotional Giveaway Software: $30

UPC barcode: $250

Nice to Have:



Sponsored Ads: $300

Trademark: $350

Luxury Items:


TOTALGraphic Design: $200
Photography: $300

How Can You Reduce Your Cost to Sell on Amazon?

Purchase less inventory
You can reduce your startup cost to sell on Amazon significantly if you source your product on Aliexpress instead of Alibaba. Aliexpress will allow you to order smaller quantities and test the waters before investing in a bulk order. The downside to this though is that you are paying a higher per-unit cost. It also means you are less likely to get customizations and specifications. If you can, I would advise going with Alibaba and spending a little more on your inventory. After all, you are building your own private label brand and it’s important to get this part right.

Find a product with a low cost-per-item
When people ask how much it would cost to sell on Amazon and product costs I think many people are ultimately interested this question: “what is the minimum necessary investment in order to sell on Amazon?”.

If we keep the calculations the same, I think one of the variables that could be altered in order to reduce startup costs is the product you choose to sell.

In our example, we chose a product that is $4 fully landed, and we chose to purchase 500 to start. There are legitimate products with high potential that you can purchase on Alibaba for $0.50.  Assuming a $0.25 shipping fee per unit, that could cut your starting inventory costs to $325 (500 units multiplied by $0.75). Add in the samples ($300, assuming you opt to get samples), Amazon sellers fee ($40), and launch service ($50), and you are looking at $715 in upfront investment.

Do it yourself!
Another key variable is time. If you are strapped for time and resources and unable to do tasks like product research, design, photography and product listing setup yourself, then it will cost more to get started. Particularly for new sellers, or even existing sellers launching a new product, it’s best to keep this as close to the chest as possible. Once the product has launched and is flying off the shelves, that’s the time to start outsourcing.

Remember, this is a passive income because you are utilizing Amazon FBA and not managing your own warehouse and shipping, NOT because there is no time or effort involved in launching.


Things I would not spend money on:

Legal Fees: Just to be clear, you do not need to incorporate anything in order to sell on Amazon. I am not a lawyer and not qualified to give legal advice, however, I know a lot of Amazon sellers choose to start without any legal structure like an LLC. Most successful sellers do this down the road, when it becomes necessary and financially viable.

Your own website: This may be an unnecessary distraction if you are just starting. It takes time, money and resources that you could be funneling into driving traffic to your Amazon listing by optimizing your product listing and using Amazon PPC Sponsored ads. A standalone site may be useful in the future, and indeed important for when applying for Brand Registry. But if you are just starting out, keep this one on the backburner, for now!


Final Thoughts

I wanted to give you an honest and up-to-date view of what investment is required to get started selling on Amazon. I hope this has helped to answer some of your questions with regards to the financial aspect of building your own ecommerce business with FBA.

As I mentioned before, there are other things to consider and one of the key processes in the early days is doing your product research. You certainly can find product ideas without using a research tool, but if you did want to minimize the risk and find profitable products to launch fast, then that is where the Jungle Scout tools come into play.

If you need in-depth advice, over the shoulder tutorials or any questions answered then check out our free resources:

It’s totally free to view this content and it’s just as good (if not better 😉) than a lot of paid courses you can find today.

As this article outlines, you will need to spend upwards of $2000 dollars on building your Amazon business, so it’s really important to make sure you find and validate the right product.

In closing, I think that we have quantified what it takes to start a business on Amazon: roughly $2000 to $3000, depending on your product, quantity purchased and how much you want to do in the early stages.

Don’t forget, when it comes to photography, design, marketing, trademarks and building your own website: you don’t need to do all of this at once. My advice? Launch. Get started. Keep working hard. The rest will follow!

My goal with every product that I source is to make a 100% Return on Investment. So taking this example, if I were to invest $2000, I would expect to make $2000 after selling all of the products. I posted an FBA Profit Calculator in a recent post to help calculate Return On Investment after accounting for various FBA fees, you can see the post here.

If you have any recommendations on how to reduce this upfront investment, please share it in the comments! Good luck to you, you can most certainly make your own success with the right formula of work ethic, strategy, and determination. 🤘


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113 coments on “How Much Does it Cost to Sell on Amazon in 2018?

  1. This article brought me great relief and a sense of hope. It’s very informative as it demystifies the secret behind how much is really needed to start an Amazon business especially someone with a lean budget like me. Thank you.

  2. Thank you. I’ve been researching many coaching “gurus” and the courses they offer and am glad I held off paying a large amount of $ for their instruction. While each course I’ve looked at offers their own unique insight and information, none of them felt right. I knew if I kept on my journey and kept researching I would find all the information without the need to spend money unnecessarily.

  3. This is a great guidance write up , I feel very informed about Amazon process. I’m at a preliminary stage of commencing a business and possibly selling through Amazon, therefore, I’m gathering valuable information to enable me to progress to having my own product and selling on Amazon. I’m living in UK but I think your information has given me some useful insight.
    Thanks a million times,

  4. With all the information i have seen out there on how to sell on Amazon,i have to say this information if the most honest and informative i have seen.Thanks for keeping it real!!

  5. How long does it take to sell all of the products? I am looking to private label a hot selling item… Like a need type product i think.

    1. Hi Alexander,

      It really depends on the demand and supply of your product. Using a tool like Jungle Scout, you should be able to predict what your average monthly sales should be. When starting out, I don’t recommend buying more than 3-months worth of product. In fact, you might purchase a test sample first just ot make sure there’s demand for it.

  6. Thankyou, I have skim read this whole article. I will now start again and begin to understand how I can begin to sell through Amazon etc.
    It appears fairly straightforward, however what about insurance? For example public liability if a customer were to injure themselves using a product I had sold to them and they wanted to complain/sue me for compensation, or goods go missing in transit ?
    Your advice would be gratefully received,
    Many thanks
    Jan Ashton

    1. Hi Janet, these are two different types of insurance to consider.

      Shipping insurance is something you can include in your contract agreement with your supplier. It will likely increase the cost per unit though, but you’ll know that your products are protected as they move through many hands during shipment!

      Product liability insurance is separate, and you can choose to only work with suppliers that carry this insurance or carry the insurance yourself. The cost depends on the nature of your product, and you can speak with a broker for more details specific to your business. You should also make sure you include any necessary warnings and instructions with your products.

      We also have an updated version of how much it costs to sell on Amazon in 2019 that you can find here.

      I hope that helps a bit!

  7. If you purchase from a manufacturer or wholesaler to resell on Amazon, do you have to create your own listing as you do with private label?

    For example, if I start my selling FBA, buy a product from a wholesaler who ships directly to Amazon, how does my product get listed to sell?
    So far, I haven’t read anything about that. Thanks, Dixie

  8. The one thing that all Amazon beginner “budget” advice always leaves out is the cost of inventory for the second order… If the product is a winner, and selling at a reasonable pace, you want to avoid a stock outage. The leadtime for manufacturing and shipping to get a second order in to your saleable inventory would usually dictate placing the order before sales have generated enough capital to reinvest. I would add another $2000+ to the startup costs for this purpose. Future orders will probably be covered by the revenue from the first order by then….

  9. This has been a very helpful reading. However, I am still struggling with the question: how much inventory do I need to send to Amazon warehouses for a new launch? Does Amazon establish a minimum depending on the product? What happens if we run out of inventory in Amazon’s warehouses? Is there a penalty? If you could help me more to clarify, I would really appreciate it. I am based out of the US. So you can imagine the high importance of having a deep understanding of all the model.

    1. Hi Brenda,

      When I started, I only sent 100 units. And I’m glad I did. I accidentally set up a promotion wrong and gave away over 100 free items. So only sending what I needed prevented loss.

      Amazon wants you to send enough product to fulfill orders. That number depends on your sales, of course. And with their current push for 1-day shipping, they want to make sure they have plenty of inventory in all their locations.

      Of course, if you have too much inventory, you’ll owe long term storage fees–but don’t worry, it’s pretty hard to get LTSFs. Only one of my products ever gets hit with it and it’s a stinker. The rest move too fast to accrue additional fees.

      If you run out of inventory, there’s no penalty other than lost sales. It can briefly affect your conversion rates, too, which may hurt your sales velocity metrics.

      But I’ve been out of inventory for two or three months before and once the inventory returned my product bounced right back.

  10. I think I read somewhere on jungle scout that if you buy upc barcode from some third party website for a cheap price that they will work but over here you said that we have to buy from gs1 for around $250 and have to pay yearly too to maintain. I never heard of paying yearly or paying $250. Never heard of that.

    1. Noaman,

      Interesting points.

      You’re free to use any service you like. But the one Amazon suggests is GS1. In my experience, it’s always best to follow what Amazon says to do.

  11. Hi Greg and the JS team,

    First thanks for all your info and guides, it is by far the best out there.

    I have a question, what is the different between trademark and Brand name.

  12. Hi and thanks for the great article!

    I have a question :

    Is it safe to give away products at 90% discount? Can someone buy all inventory and sell them under my listing cheaper?


  13. I am completely new to FBA – have not started. Definitely good info but most useful would be a summary table of all selling costs both needed and optional. Info is sprinkled throughout the article – a concise summary or table in one place would be the best reference. Do you know if that’s available anywhere. Still not sure if I can make money and what it takes to do that.

    1. Thanks for the idea, Kelly. We might be able to pull together a useful infographic for our readers, but as you can see many of the start-up costs are optional and vary based on the individual. That’s why we try to break it down as “Must Have” costs that we estimate as $2580 (using a $4 product as the example), “Nice to Have” costs estimated at $650, and “Luxury Items” that we estimate $500. All in all, that totals $3730, but again that’s a general estimate we’ve made. A lot of these costs depend greatly on the product you choose.

      Hopefully we can better address your startup cost concerns in a future blog post!

  14. hi
    great article
    but do you believe the same can be applied to Amazon India store.

    1. Hi Piyush,

      I’m my experience, India has much different margins than in the US. Having said that, you’re also a lot closer to manufacturers there in India. I think Amazon’s fees are also less, too.

  15. Really covering all aspect of Amazon fba in the article, thanks a lot.
    Just want to know whether someone can start Amazon fba business if he is an Indian and working in Saudi Arabia.
    Is just credit/debit card enough for him?
    I want to indulge in Amazon FBA business.

    1. Hi Habeeb,

      Not sure! I know you can sell from Saudi, but you might need to speak with an Amazon representative to figure out how to organize your business in order to sell.

  16. Great article! I think I’ll be starting with the “lower-cost-per-item” option first (approximately $715 to start), then moving to create my own brand by reinvesting the earnings from the lower-cost-per-item option back into it. Let’s do it!

  17. Thank you for this article, super helpful and informative for new sellers. My question is on your example, how realistic is $4 landed product? How is the quality for product that cost that low?

    Also, I am unclear on brand registry and how trademark works. After selling your PL, I as a seller need to apply and be approved for trademark in order to keep selling on Amazon or is this so no one else steals my brand? Thanks in advance.

  18. Hi,

    First, that for all the content you provide. Great Stuff!

    My Wife and I have watched just about all of your material and now have the funds needed to start, but are still nervous to pull the trigger. Do you offer any consulting or one on one coaching opportunities? That would really put our minds at ease.

    Thanks! -John

  19. Hi

    I am Middle east based and would like to start amazon FBA. Just one thing, do I need a US tax id and bank account? I have bank account in my country of residence but we do not have tax here so no tax id?

  20. when you sell on amazon buying from walmart, most of items have walmart sticker. so my question is, before shipping items to amazon, do we need to remove walmart sticker? please explain the process

  21. Hello, I followed the Million Dollar Case Study step by step. In the document it says that the shipment cost is around 25% of the item. It means, if an item costs USD 3 in China, the Total Cost of Shipping will be around USD 1

    I am negociating my first order with a manufacturer in China for around USD 2000 . When i use Freihtos,com to stimate the costs of shipping and forwarder, its between USD 1200 and USD 1700, depending of the forwarder and terms i choose.

    Even if i choose the USD 1200 option, it is more than 50% of the cost of the total cost of the order.

    Am i maybe missing something?

    Thank you very much

    1. Hey Juan Pablo,

      When we discuss costs related to a % of the item, we’re referring to the retail price of the item, not the manufacturing cost per item. I think that might be what you’re confusing, so I hope that helps to clarify things!


  22. Hi guys,

    We are based out of india and are keen on trying US market though we will start off our sales in india to see and test the platform. Can I get some information on the import duty and how the direct shipping from to amazon US warehouse from china would work?

    Also what is the taxation liability for vendors selling from other countries in US? Thank you

  23. Regarding giveaways, Amazon’s TOS states “You may not provide compensation to buyers for purchasing your products or provide claim codes to buyers for the purpose of inflating sales rank.”

    Does utilizing JumpSend not conflict with this? If so, how does it not?

    Don’t want to set myself up for a suspension 😉

  24. A landing page should be much appreciated when included since we are building brand and wanted to branch off of amazon in the near future. We should build our list just in case.

  25. Hi Greg and the JS team,

    First thanks for all your info and guides, it is by far the best out there.

    I have a question which is not regarding the costs but more regarding time frame.

    I am currently doing my amazon business plan and i was wondering how long it takes the process of finding a product until it is listed on amazon?, also how long it takes till you start to see profit?

    Thanks a lot,

    1. Hey Adi,

      On average, your probably looking at 60-90 days from research to launch. My first product I researched in early December 2015, purchased the goods later that month, launched it Feb 2016.

  26. Hi Greg
    Thank you for this great informative article. I have a question. As soon as I know we have to pay for the Amazon Fee while doing give aways. So if you are going to do 50 give aways and 4,2 dollars Amazon fee per product then it makes 210$ which is not really neglectable I guess. Then why didn’t you count that or did I miss it?

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Altan,

      Basically, fees come in two types: the referral fee, which is a percentage of the final sales price (even if there’s a promotion on it) or at least $1.00 and the FBA fee, which is the flat cost to ship the product.

      So if you give away a product at 90% off its normal $25 price, you’re selling it for $2.50. Subtracting the fees $1 + $3 or so for FBA), then you’re at a net loss of $1.50 plus the cost of goods sold. While this may not sound desirable, it does, however, help get your product noticed in Amazon’s search engine which leads to higher sales down the road. Consider it a cost of doing business.

  27. Thank you for this great update.I am from Africa how do i get the tax system it is required for me to be able to sell as an FBA on i really want to start but the tax get me thinking.i need help on this.


    1. Hey Peter!

      Not sure how to get it from Africa (nor can we give legal/tax advice here beyond the simple stuff), but you might see if we have an international business expert on our other platform, where there’s freelancers that can look into this for you. Hope that’s helpful!

  28. So where do you get the product from? And what are the product websites that people are using?

    1. Hey Zac,

      If you’re doing private label selling, many sellers source from, which is sort of like an Amazon but for manufacturers and suppliers.

  29. My husband and I are looking into selling on amazon. this page is real helpful. Can you please tell us if there is a class that we can take or a program that is not a scam and that does not coast a lot of money would like to save as much as we can to buy product. Thank you so much for your help in advance. I wish every one the best of luck.

  30. Hello, thanks for a wonderful program and selfless content. I have several questions though,
    can someone from Africa participate in the private product sale on Amazon as it’s to guys in US or UK?
    If the answer is yes, then what advice do you offer?
    let’s say the answer above is still yes, what advice can you offer on how to get photos of the products for marketing especially for someone on low budget and aiming to utilize the Amazon’s FBA program by sending the product direct to Amazon and still maintain quality?
    pardon my many questions…once the product is manufactured which is the best means of transportation/shipping to Amazon?
    can you give a deep walkthrough of the shipping process from manufacture to US dock to Amazon stores?
    what are the US customs requirements once the product arrives/ docks?
    and last can jumpsend app support sellers from Africa? if not when does this happen or what other alternative can you suggest?

    Thank you

  31. Hello Greg and Team,

    I read an article before in your site that mentioned the Startup Cost comes around 10000$ and it guided how to raise fund from Kickstart. But here you are mentioning only 2000$ .Which one we have to Consider.

    Your tuts are rocking guys. 🙂

    1. Hey Kadar,

      The $10k is sort of an extreme example. But you can start up a product with $2000 just as easily. It all depends on how much you want to put into it.

  32. & In my first year: Tax Advisor € 3.300 & Meetings + Online-Courses € 1.476 & Telephone, Internet €800 & Office supplies €358 & postage € 58 & Bank-Fees €116 & extra material for packing (Amazon drop-test failed) €2.137 & Insurance € 826 & travel expenses €1.150 & literature € 120.

    You have to sell a lot of items to cover all these “additional” costs – noone tells you that!

  33. Hello Greg and team,

    There are no FBA fulfillment and storage fees in your costs calculation, could you explain why?

    1. Hey Artur,

      This article outlines the upfront costs associated with getting started selling on Amazon. Things like FBA fees are slightly different because you will only start paying those once you have launched your product and are storing it in the FBA warehouse. If you need more info on the full process, make sure you check out the Million Dollar Case Study which documents each step of the way, including profit calculations that take into account things like FBA fees!

      Many thanks,

  34. Hi Greg and Glen,

    I am in Sydney, Australia and here Amazon just launched, however I would like to start selling in the US. I am watching your Million Dollar Case Study and THANK YOU, THANK YOU FOR IT!

    Since I am about to start, could you recommend some resource to help me start selling in the US from Australia? Things like basic requirements I.e. bank and account – if I need one in the US or there is a way around it?, Should I be looking into managing taxes? Etc…

    I look forward to hearing from you!

    Best wishes!


    1. Hey Roman,

      Awesome – glad you are enjoying the case study and great work on getting started yourself 🙂

      Here’s a few resources which I think should help you:

      1. Our in-house expert Lenny (who also sells in the US as an Australian, covered the topic in this video here:
      2. This post from the Million Dollar Case Study covers legal set up for selling in the US: As an Australian resident you want to pay attention to the section titled “Non-resident Aliens”

      Hope this helps you Roman! This isn’t definitive legal advice and we alway recommend speaking to a professional or an accountant if you are still stuck. But those guides should give you an idea of the most common ways to get set up and start selling.

      Many thanks,

  35. […] Now, we will touch on how YOU can find the best products to sell on Amazon and eBay. Keep in mind, starting a business based on Amazon or eBay requires you to invest some time and money. […]

    1. Hey Ozzie,

      Glad you enjoyed. We would recommend that you definitely need a reliable product research tool, like the Web App or Extension, in order to find and verify product ideas successfully. This is the cornerstone of building success as a seller. We didn’t include it in this list as it was mentioned as a precursor to launching (you need a product to launch after all). But whether you choose JS or not, reliable product research is a must. It really helps minimize your risk and speed up the whole process.


  36. Hi, hope everyone is well.

    I have a question about the shipping from China. I am looking at shipping a product from China to the UK and have looked at a lot of resources online and have got quotes also. It says that my shipping would be around £1,000 for 5CBM 375KG which is 600 units worth of products. I feel this is a bit excessive and i’m not sure what to do.

    1. Hey Tom,

      That does sound like a lot. Are those quotes for air or sea?

      I would advise that you check out this post from our latest case study which covers shipping and duties. From there, try getting quotes from an experience freight forwarder and see if that helps. They should also be able to answer any questions you might have. In any case you will need a freight forwarder for this process so it’s worth finding the right one for you at this stage.

      Hope this helps!

  37. Thanks Grey for this very Informative and useful article.
    It really does come in handy for someone like me looking to start FBA.
    I have a question – would you place getting an amazon FBA course in the “must have”, ” nice to have” or “luxury items ” ?
    How important is getting a course before starting FBA? Does it contribute to the success rate?
    Thanks for responding .

    1. Hey Andree,

      I would say that for most new sellers, there are lots of topics where it is useful to have a helping hand to navigate your way through it.

      There are plenty of paid courses out there, but I would also suggest giving one of the Jungle Scout case studies a try – they’re completely free and offer a transparent step by step guide on what it takes to launch and sell a product on Amazon.

      You can find them here:
      Million Dollar Case Study US
      Million Dollar Case Study Europe

      I would also strongly advise joining our Facebook group, which is the largest group of it’s kind and has an excellent community for support and encouragement.

      Good luck and let us know how you get on 🙂


  38. Hi Greg,
    How do you decide on the size of the 1st order? Do you look into consideration the sales numbers and production timeframe?

    1. Hi Urska,

      We decided upon a number that was a reasonable figure in which we could launch with promotional giveaways for some time, start generating organic sales, and prove that the product was a winner before having to reorder. That figure was 1000. Depending on your product and ability to invest in upfront inventory and marketing, anywhere from a few hundred units to 1000 or more could work. all depends….hope this helps!


  39. Hi Jungle Scout Team,
    Great article and great case study. Haven’t come across this yet, but what is the average start to product launch time for a new branded item? Thanks

    1. Hey Rodney,

      It depends on how quickly you work through the process, we managed to launch a product within about 16 weeks for our latest case study and you can follow the steps of what we did each week here.

      Sometimes it can take a little longer depending on what product you are sourcing, how long negotiations and manufacturing takes and which shipping method you choose. I’d fully recommend reviewing the case study though to get a real in-depth view of it 🙂

      Hope this helps!

  40. Hello Jungle Scout team:

    I have a few question in regards to GTIN. I see that Amazon FBA provide UPC service for 20 cents a piece. Is that just a service for them to attached the UPC onto your product individually ? Does that mean we still need to obtain the GTIN from GS1? Thanks a lot!


    1. Hey Johnni,

      Could you share a screenshot?

      I think this might be a UPC labelling service or something like that. I don’t think Amazon can sell UPC/GTIN codes, especially not for 20cents.

      For more information on how to obtain a GTIN and the new brand registry, check out this post.

      Hope that helps!

  41. What about UPC cost? Are UPC’s necessary? I thought I read where all products on Amazon required them.

    1. Hey Blake,

      Great question and yes you are right! You do need to consider UPC’s and associated costs. This article has just been updated for 2017 and we have included information about this and more!


  42. Hi Greg:

    One question that I think needs to be answered when referring to money needed to get started. A more pertinent question is…”how many units of the articles I will sell should be kept in inventory”? Obviously if I am selling a fashion item, what amount of units per style and per color should be inventoried? Clearly if I order X amount of units and they sell out fast, I will be without stock to sell and essentially would mean that I’m out of business. I’m sure that this will be looked at quite negatively by Amazon. On the other hand, bringing in too many units of a style is dangerous because I don’t know if they will sell at all. Do you have some ”simple” way to start out with inventory to be ”safe” and yet not too conservative. The fashion business is dangerous itself because of so many variables in styles, colors, etc., so I’m just trying to get my feet wet so that I can get the business started without making poor decisions.

    Thank you for your help.

  43. Hi Greg,
    To create a own brand does Amazon has any specific requirements such as it should have been posted in your own website or any other legal document requirements.Or we can just make our own logo to list it in Amazon FBA.
    Please support me i am trying to sell private label product in Amazon but i lost somewhere because of these requirements

  44. Very good article. Your cost breakdown is accurate and realistic. However, is there a way for someone who has much less money or credit to start with to become a successful seller with the help of Jungle scout and Amazon?
    If you get an American supplier who offers blind dropshipping, you could start first less, no?

  45. So, if I invest $2000, I will make $2000. Does this mean that my net profits will be zero, or did I miss something>

    1. $2000 profit for every $2k invested – 100% ROI 🙂 In other words, $4k revenue for $2k of expenses.

      1. Hi Greg!

        Great article!

        What is the time frame you are looking at to double your initial investment?

      2. Hi Greg, must say I’m a huge fan of everything Jungle Scout does, and I can’t wait to get started with my own PL products. With regards to this question on ROI, I’m a little bit confused… if you make $2000 profit from each $2000 invested, won’t you then simply have to “reinvest” that $2000, say in new stock, for example? Then won’t you be stuck on that same $2000 profit level that you achieved from the first initial $2000; If that makes sense? Please let me know if I’ve missed something obvious 🙂 Keep up the great work 🙂

        1. Hey Mike,

          Certainly in the first few months of selling a product you will be working towards a “break even” point. We actually conducted a survey about this with over 2500 sellers and we found that on average, revenue grows by 14% per month in the first few years, and after 18 months monthly profit is equal to 66% of investment. When we launched some of our Million Dollar Case Study products, we found we hit the break even point between 3-4 months, and after that, the profit is significant enough to reinvest in more inventory and still take home a profit.

          Hope that helps 🙂

  46. Hey Greg,

    Thanx for sharing the above info. I’m a little confused, you haven’t mentioned anything to do with other Amazon fees nor have you mentioned anything around having a PPC budget, or is this the $300 for sponsored ads.


    1. Sponsored products is the same as PPC 🙂 The good news about PPC is it isn’t necessarily cash out of your pocket, by the time you get the PPC bill, you can just have Amazon remove it from the revenue generated from sales. Yes, it’s a cost but likely not negative cash flow.

      1. Hello Greg and team,

        It is clear about PPC. But why FBA fulfillment fees and storage fees are not included in the calculation?

        1. FBA fulfillment fees come out of the individual product sales. And storage fees are somewhat marginal until your products have been there for six months or longer. But you can probably say it’s roughly 0.5% or less of your sales until you hit long term.

  47. Hey Greg,
    Another great and informative post as always! I was wondering though, don’t you need to pay the money to get a UPC code for your product? Thanks as always for the great info!

  48. Hi Greg

    Appreciate very much all your efforts.

    But when it comes to professional Amazon seller account, for US citizens, I think it’s ok to start without a company but I’m a Sri Lankan in Singapore.
    So when it comes to us, there is no marketplace here in Singapore, so obviously, it’s US for me and Amazon requires a tax id, that leads me to first create a company before everything else simply to have a tax id and a US bank account.

    If you can assist on this, it would be great.
    Already using JungleScout webapp & chrome extension.
    It’s a pleasure using them.


      1. Hi, Nick,
        I found this question in the forum:

        “But when it comes to professional Amazon seller account, for US citizens, I think it’s ok to start without a company but I’m a Sri Lankan in Singapore.
        So when it comes to us, there is no marketplace here in Singapore, so obviously, it’s US for me and Amazon requires a tax id, that leads me to first create a company before everything else simply to have a tax id and a US bank account.”

        And your answer:

        “I saw your post, my name is Channa Weeraman, I am from Gampola originally . Living in Texas. Let’s get in touch. Email me.”

        The same question bothers me as well – would you be so kind and share your knowledge about this situation? If I’m not USA resident, do I need open LLC for trading in Amazon?

        Kinds regards,

  49. Hi Greg,
    Thx so much for all your information and videos, they have been awesome. I am a new user to Jungle Scout and love it. I just have a quick question, in your opinion is it better to have your inventory shipped straight to Amazon from China or do you always have it shipped to you first? Why or why not?

    1. Hey Tony,

      Thanks for the comment, great to hear that you are finding value in Jungle Scout!

      Greg has recommended in previous webinars to get your initial sample and the first shipment sent to your house (or someone who can evaluate the quality), just to ensure that the manufacturer has met the agreed upon expectations. After that, once initial trust is built between you and the supplier, it is cheaper and faster to send directly to Amazon’s warehouses. You can get photos or videos from the manufacturer on subsequent orders to help ensure product quality. Hope this helps!


  50. Hi Greg.
    I appreciate the effort you’ve gone to, to lay everything out. One question though, what are Amazon’s payment terms? With my Amazon affiliate site I get paid 2-3 months after the sale. If FBA is the same, wouldn’t you also need to account for the cost of keeping your product in stock until you received the first payment?

    1. Hi Becky,

      Glad to know that Jungle Scout has been essential to your business, that’s great to hear!


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