Reminder: The objective of this blog is to showcase the steps I’m taking to find financial freedom and share them with you. My hope is that you leverage some of these steps to help get you closer to financial freedom without having to do all the research. This post covers my next step trying to obtain this goal, creating a source of side income or side hustle.
Creating A Side Hustle
If you are wondering why I haven’t posted something in a while it’s due to the following reason… Over the last 9 months, I entrenched myself into the world of Amazon. Not only from an investing perspective with purchasing their stock, but also digging into their business much deeper and earning an incoming leveraging their services.
Online Arbitrage – Amazon
I started out with online arbitrage finding discounted products at local stores and selling them on Amazon. It was kind of like flipping houses, but you’re flipping products without fixing anything, just finding the best deals possible and reselling them. Amazon’s seller app lets you scan any product with a UPC code and tells you the current price on Amazon and the gross proceeds. When I figured this out, I went into any store and scanned everything I thought could possible sell on Amazon. Check out the screen shot below.
This method was pretty time consuming and got old fast. There’s a lot of competition and you can quickly find yourself in a pricing war. However, if you got the right mindset you can definitely make some money if you find a few good products that sell really well! This is also a great way to get introduced to Amazon’s business and help you learn faster.
Building My Own Private Label Product
Online arbitrage didn’t build me a sustainable source of side income, however, it taught me a ton. When it comes to selling things on Amazon, I learned the do’s and don’ts, how Amazon’s FBA (Fulfilled By Amazon) process, and how to ship goods to Amazon. If you don’t know what FBA is, check out this video.
Leveraging Amazon’s FBA enables you to sell products on Amazon, leverage their massive marketplace and allow Amazon to handle everything from shipments, customer service, returns, etc. It’s a dream come true, and they only take a small cut when your product is purchased. let’s get into the steps I took to create my own product and start selling it to create a side hustle and automate an additional source of income
Let’s get into the steps I took to create my own product and start selling it on Amazon. I am still in the process of building the product listing, with the goal to create a side hustle and automate an additional source of income
Steps I Took (Short List):
- Learn as much as you can about Amazon’s FBA process
- Find a Good Product to Sell
- Evaluate the Market
- Evaluate Suppliers/Manufacturers (Leverage Alibaba or Someone Similar)
- Test Samples
- Build Your Brand Logo and Design
- Purchase a Trial Order
- Purchase a Bulk Order
- Market Market Market
Learn as much as you can about Amazon’s FBA process
I started with online arbitrage and retail sales. There was and still is a lot to learn, my fiance can tell you I spent countless hours figuring this out, reading blogs, listening to podcasts, talking to a buddy who started his own Amazon business and then taking the dive myself jumping in and getting my hands dirty. You will learn the best way to ship products, sourcing skills, competitive pricing, keyword search, UPC codes, labels, packaging requirements, shipping/importing, Amazon’s apps, third party apps, and marketing.
Find the Right Product
Finding the right product to sell on Amazon isn’t easy. You want to find something that is unique, not easy to find in stores and doesn’t weigh that much due to shipping costs. Luckily for me, I live near the beach and found a hot new item to sell (air loungers) and started my own private label, Banzai Unlimited Inflatable Air Lounger. This has a limited number of competitors and a growing market.
Evaluate the Market
A great place to start researching a product is on www.junglescout.com, which is both a web app (paid app – monthly subscription) and a chrome extension (paid as well), where you can query their database and determine if there’s a market for your product. There are tutorials on their website showing the different capabilities between the tools.
Evaluate Suppliers/Manufacturers (leverage Alibaba or Someone Similar)
After you selected your product and determine there’s a market for it, the next step is getting in touch with a supplier. www.Alibaba.com is a great source to reach out to manufacturers and determine if you can build a business relationship. I started out reaching out to roughly 20 manufacturers narrowing that list down to 3 who I wanted to pursue further.
When you narrowed your list down to a few suppliers it’s time to determine who makes the best quality product for the right price. I purchased a sample product from the 3 suppliers to determine who makes the best product at the most competitive price possible.
Build Your Brand Logo and Design
When you’re ready to move forward with a supplier you should already have your brand logo created. You can do this using a service like www.fiverr.com to pay someone to do it for you, or create one on your own leveraging Adobe’s photoshop or www.canva.com.
Purchase a Trial Order
If this is your first time purchasing products from a supplier it’s in your best interest to purchase a “trial order” before spending thousands on a bulk order. This ensures you have less risk in the game and can give you an opportunity to build the Amazon listing. If your product is light weight then you can air ship the goods to receive them faster. Unfortunately for me, my first trial order got held up at custom’s for over 3 weeks and I was better off saving money shipping by sea (lesson learned partner with a freight forwarder for shipping and customer clearance). Once you receive the goods you can inspect them (if you ship directly to you before Amazon) and ensure they are ready to go for Amazon with the correct labels required for Amazon’s FBA.
Purchase a Bulk Order
After your trial order gets’s to Amazon’s fulfillment centers and you start to make some sales then you are ready to make the decision of whether or not to move forward with a bulk order. At this point, it is critical to leverage a freight forwarder to help you with customs clearance and shipping. Once your inventory gets to Amazon then it’s time to seriously up your marketing game.
Market Market Market
At the time of writing this post, I am currently at this stage (waiting for my bulk order to arrive). The objective for a successful product on Amazon is a well-ranked product listing. An Amazon listing is everything when it comes to becoming successful. What does it take? Consistent sales, strong key word search, and great reviews.
Once you meet the criteria above you are ready for the glory stage, aka auto pilot so sit back relax and enjoy. The only action required here is when to pull the trigger for your next bulk order.
If It’s This Easy Why Isn’t Everyone Doing It?
The truth of the matter is creating your own Amazon business is not easy and it requires capital (money out of your own pocket) and a lot of time. I started step 1 in the beginning of April and it took 3 months (July 1st) before I got my first sale on Amazon. This also takes up a lot of personal time at night, especially when dealing with manufacturers from other parts of the world since you are working with different time zones. Needless to say, I don’t think any of these issues are show stoppers, but if you want to get into this you definitely have to buckle down and put in the work. Remember, the payoff is at step 10 when everything is automated.
If you have any questions, leave a comment below and I am happy to answer anything I can or point you in the right direction on how to get started. If you don’t mind sharing this with friends and family it is greatly appreciated! Good luck if you decide to get into the world of Amazon!