Every day Amazon sellers are building businesses from the ground up,
crushing their goals, and building a better life for themselves.
This is one seller’s story.
BASED IN: Louisiana, USA
SELLING SINCE: 2017
Like Jungle Scout’s Greg Mercer, Morgan started her selling career early. At age 13, she decided to give arbitrage a go, visiting garage sales with her mom, taking any products the sellers were giving away and turning those freebies into cold, hard cash by selling them on eBay.
Now, after two years of side-hustling as an Amazon FBA (fulfilled by Amazon) seller, she’s freed herself from her 9-to-5 job and is projecting to close out the year with $1 million in sales.
But why make the move from arbitrage to private label selling?
Well, over time, Morgan realized she didn’t know the true value of the items she was reselling. To educate herself, she began putting more effort into product research.
Enter Jungle Scout.
“We are projecting 1 million in annual sales. The growth has been greater than anything we could have dreamed of”.
Rather than investing thousands of dollars in a product though, she started small.
First, she stuck with arbitrage, visiting Goodwill stores and buying used paperback books to resell on Amazon, using their FBA program. Then, when she was ready to graduate to private label, she spent a few hundred dollars on a locally-sourced private label paper product.
And while she didn’t make much in terms of profit during this time, she learned the ins and outs of the Amazon FBA process with little to no financial investment!
“The initial investment holds a lot of people back from getting started. My first product wasn’t a huge success, but I learned a ton about PPC and selling in general without throwing in a ton of money. As I learned more, I was able to expand my business.”
Selling alongside her boyfriend, Morgan has launched four private label products and says private label makes up 25% of their business and wholesale makes up the other 75%.
“Rule of thumb: sell something for 3x the cost. If I spend $10, I want to make $10 on it.”
When we spoke with Morgan in June, she had just hit $72,000 in sales for the month – her highest sales yet! And, after 18 months, she was finally able to turn her side hustle into her main stream of income. She quit her full-time job.
And now she’s projecting $1 million in sales for 2018.
Advice for Future Sellers
- Rule of thumb: sell something for 3x the cost.
“If I spend $10, I want to make $10 on it.”
- Be very specific in your supplier contract.
When sourcing your first product, suppliers may ask for an additional 30 days to manufacture AFTER you’ve paid 100% of the cost. To make sure things like that don’t happen to you, make sure you read the fine print. Their timeline and yours should match.
- Factor in ALL of your costs, especially shipping (by sea) during your search for a supplier.
You have to consider all of your costs when you’re shopping around for a supplier; not just your product costs. Plus, understanding shipping time and associated costs from the get-go will help with your inventory management and future reorders.
- Don’t stay tied to one niche.
As you launch more products, look all around to see what is selling outside of your category. Don’t sell something just because it’s in line with what you’re already selling. You want to sell products that are in demand, regardless of its niche. Just make sure your brand name is broad enough to represent a diverse range of products.
- Download the Amazon Seller app.
This app allows you to scan UPC codes everywhere you go! Now you’ll be able to find the big sellers anywhere and everywhere, even if they’re the weirdest, most random things that are only sold in smaller brick and mortar stores.
Have you faced any challenges with new Amazon policies, or changes to the marketplace?
With constant changes in the marketplace and updates to Amazon policies, Morgan has had her fair share of challenges this year. Due to the restrictions of her product’s parent category, she’s contended with Stricter hazmat regulations, as well as keyword and ad changes, and increased competition.
The beauty of change, however, is that you’ll come out ahead if you remain open and adaptive. It’s those who can’t adjust to their new surroundings who end up failing.
So remember, change is not a bad thing. It may take some time to see the payoff, but if we stay open-minded and learn as much as we can when a change happens, it will be more than worth our wait.
What does the future hold?
Over and over again, Morgan heard excuses about why it wasn’t the right time for someone to start selling on Amazon. But what many people don’t understand is that selling successfully on Amazon isn’t dependent on where you come from.
According to Morgan, being successful with Amazon FBA is “…100% based on work ethic. That doesn’t apply to the corporate world, where a lot of the time you need experience and connections.”
But she understood what would make her successful and, like many aspirational Amazon sellers, Morgan craved something more. Since she wanted to break free of her monotonous, daily routine, selling FBA was a risk she was willing to take.
And this year, her monotonous routine was history!
She quit her full-time job this year, and her boyfriend is hoping to do the same in 2019. They plan to buy a van and spend the year traveling around the USA.
“We never could have done this working for corporate America (thanks, Amazon!)”
Your idea of freedom may not be driving around the country in a van. It might be something as simple as walking your dog whenever you want or attending your kids’ afternoon recitals. But whatever gets you excited about having a lot of free time, the bottom line is this:
Quit making excuses! Now is always the perfect time to start making a better life for yourself.
Morgan figured it out, and she barely knows how to work a computer! As she astutely observed, when it comes to selling on Amazon, there are “…no geniuses necessary! No expensive courses necessary! If you don’t have the funds, there are so many free resources out there. Don’t get overwhelmed. If you do, step away and come back later. Don’t doubt yourself.”
You can do this. 🙂