If you are a regular reader, you know that I recently completed four hours of training on a concept that I call Amazon Flipping. The more generic term for the strategy is retail arbitrage. The idea is based on the strategy of buying items offline that you can turn around and sell for more online. I cover this in a lot more detail on the videos, but the rule of thumb is you need to find items you can resell for about three times your cost. This allows you to cover Amazon's fees and still pocket a net profit of 30 to 35% on each sale.
Amazon Handles Your Shipping And Customer Service
What makes this whole concept especially interesting is being able to sell items and make available Amazon's free shipping. Using my approach to this, not only are you able to offer free shipping through Amazon, but you are also able to leverage Amazon's branding to boost your credibility as well (since buyers perceive Amazon shipped items as the same as buying from Amazon's own inventory). Probably what I like most about the whole arrangement is that I don't have to deal with the issue of shipping individual items (Amazon handles this all for me through their Fulfilled By Amazon program - also known as FBA). In fact, the reason for this article today is to share with you an update on my own Amazon FBA business. I felt that if I was going to be teaching on this I should jump in the deep end of the pool and sell some stuff myself. Well, I have now decided that even though my 'research' is over, that I am going to continue this as an additional income source.
My Story So Far
I have about $150 invested up to this point. This includes the cost of the items I bought to resell, shipping of my first load of items to Amazon's warehouse, and my shipping supplies (remember that I only ship to Amazon in large boxes and they handle the individual item shipping to the customers directly). I started out by sending 30 items to Amazon. After these items sell, I will pocket about $500 -$600 in net profit. About half of the items in this shipment were books that were gathering dust on my bookshelf. The other half were products I bought at retail stores and thrift shops (all included in my $150 start-up figure above). Pictured below is one of my boxes. I used plastic wrap on a roll to add a little layer of protection to each book before putting in the box. I also used bubble wrap as padding before taping it shut. This shipment included two boxes and a bubble envelope. Amazon directed me to send my items to three different warehouse locations on the basis of the category of the item (book, video, electronics, etc...) and inventory levels.
My Shipments Arrived At Amazon!
I received e mails over the last couple of days alerting me that each of my shipments arrived at their respective warehouse locations. In fact, I received an additional e mail yesterday informing me of my first sale! I can't tell you how much I absolutely love the Amazon Seller Central dashboard. It provides a real time view of all of my inventory and my earnings.
Tripping Across Stuff To Sell Almost Everywhere
After a couple of weeks of visiting thrift shops and our local flea market, I have reached a point where I can quickly pick out profitable items to resell. For example, two nights ago I had about 20 minutes to kill, so I stopped in at a local Goodwill Store. In less than 10 minutes I found an Arturo Sandoval CD for $2 and a medical textbook for 99 cents. The book shows a resale value of more than $40 and the CD is going for about $16. This will easily end up putting about $30 in my pocket in net profit.
I should also add that while I happened to be at the thrift shop I found a bicycle trailer for $14. My wife used to have one of these for our kids when they were toddlers and they loved being able to go along with her on neighborhood bike rides. In this case, I bought it to pull my two little dogs behind my bike. I have seen people use the bike trailers for small dogs, but could not bring myself to pay nearly $200 to buy a new one for this purpose. So, spending a few minutes in thrift stores here and there is also a great way to find fantastic deals on stuff you will buy and keep for your own use.
The Key To Much Of This Is Using A Smartphone App
While I am certainly developing an 'eye' for the items I can quickly flip for easy money, the smartphone apps are used as a confirmation. I discuss the different apps I use on on the videos. All you do is open the app and point your phone at the barcode and you will get a quick report on the going price for that item, what the demand is, and how many other people are selling it (competition). Some of the apps even take the guesswork out of it completely and make a recommendation to you to buy the item or not (based on all of these factors).
Getting Another Wave Of Items Ready To Ship
I am in the process of putting together my next shipment to Amazon. This one will be at least 50 items. I am really focusing on cleaning out my bookshelves here at the end of the year. I also have a bunch of CDs to sell as well. I wanted to hold off on spending any more cash on this project until I at least got my first items to Amazon successfully and started to hear the cash register ringing. Now that we are past that point, it is time to 'rinse and repeat.'
The Four Hours Of Video Training Is Now Available
The video of my four hours of training on Amazon Flipping is now available. After you make your purchase you will be able watch the videos online or download to your own computer.
Helping you make the most of God's money!