Anytime someone claims you can make millions of dollars selling on Amazon, believe them. That’s right, you should believe such an outlandish claim.
Because once you dig past the knee-jerk reaction of disbelief, you’ll see there’s truth to this. To succeed in this e-commerce market, it takes diligence and perseverance, but you can actually do it.
You can join the millionaires club. People will know you as “the millionaire next door.”
Don’t believe me? How about you read true stories of Amazon millionaires and then see if you believe it.
Amazon Millionaires DO Exist
The people who make millions of dollars by selling on Amazon are not born into this royalty. It didn’t “just happen.”
They’re more like slumdog millionaires — rising to success from nothing after no one believed they could do it.
And nearly all of them use Amazon’s Fulfillment By Amazon feature (FBA), which we’ll talk more about later.
Ryan Daniel Moran
Ryan Daniel Moran of Freedom Fast Lane says he and his crew made, get this, $762,291.81 in a single month in the past year. And how did they make that? By selling things on Amazon.
“I did it without touching, storing, or shipping anything myself,” he writes. “I don’t have a big team, special connections, or an industry background. In fact, just three short years ago I had never sold a single physical product online.”
And now, they sell more than $100 million worth of products solely through Amazon. And now he’s one of the many American millionaires thanks to Amazon. (We’ll get into the methods he used later).
In just eight months, James Fend went from making $0 to $50,000 per month by selling products on Amazon. He started with just a few products that weren’t too expensive, delivered the items on time, got some good reviews, and went from there.
“Life was good,” he says. “Life was passive. Money was rolling in. Took a few (3 to be exact) trips out to Vegas in 1 year.”
At just 28 years old, Ryan Grant, using his accounting background, figured out how to make $200,000 per month by selling stuff on Amazon, becoming one of the World’s richest Amazoners.
He started in college buying and reselling textbooks. And from that point on, he was hooked.
In 2013, he quit his accounting job to focus completely on his Amazon business.
“I was confident that if I had full-time hours to dedicate to selling online that I would be able to more or less scale…up,” Grant says.
He did just that. Three months later, he made a profit of $9,000 in one month.
“Making that amount of money in one month was a big boost in my confidence to be able to scale up further from there,” he says.
And now he and his team are making about $200,000 per month from Amazon sales.
How To Fail At Selling On Amazon
Before we get into how these millionaires and others successfully make lots of money running businesses with ridiculously high net worths, let’s cover what not to do.
The e-commerce business model these entrepreneurs use is a proven one (we’ll get into that later). It’s nearly impossible to fail if you work hard and smart within this model.
Emphasis on the phrase “nearly impossible.”
Failures Don’t Work Hard
The people who fail at running an FBA business have the idea that because they’re starting an internet business, they won’t have to work that hard to be successful. It’s the twenty-first century, after all. These things should be a walk in the park.
To them, “internet business” means “easy passive income. ” But they couldn’t be more wrong.
You need to know what products are hot on Amazon. You need to be familiar with numbers, spreadsheets, and how to deal with refunds and expenses. This all takes work — diligent work.
This is just like any other business — running an e-commerce giant requires hard work. This is a verity in this industry.
Failures Don’t Have Patience
From the time you get set up with Amazon FBA to the time you make your first $1,000 could be months.
First, you have to do your research (which you’re doing right now). Then you need to research what products you’ll be selling and then get samples from possible suppliers. Then once you get your products and start selling, you’ll have to get some killer reviews under your belt to prove your legitimacy.
These aren’t all the steps for every situation, but you get the idea. Success takes time.
Failures Don’t Do Their Research
As I mentioned briefly above, research is a crucial part of running an internet business.
What will your product cost? How much can you sell it for? What will the shipping costs be? Can you find out the average number of customers who will ask for a refund?
I've been selling products on Amazon since 2014.
Want to know the research tool I've been using since I've started (and still use today)? Get my latest tips and how to guide for using this tool.See the Full Jungle Scout Review
You need to know the answers to these questions. And you’ll find the answers by doing your research (I’ll be offering some research tools below).
Failures Don’t Prepare For Failure
A common characteristic of successful people is wisdom.
What is wisdom? It’s preparing for the worst. Not expecting it, but creating a backup plan.
Stuff happens. Your customers could end up being nitpicky and leave negative reviews. And the more products you sell, the more likely you get poor reviews. People return items. Your competitor’s prices may drop, meaning you have to drop yours. Advertising could end up costing more than you’d expected.
These are things outside of your control, so what will you do if and when they happen? You need to know this if you want to keep your business afloat and thriving.
Methods For Selling On Amazon
So you want to become an amazing selling machine, right? Well, there are a few different ways to approach selling on Amazon, so let’s cover the big ones below.
Fulfillment By Amazon
Once you understand what FBA does, it becomes a no-brainer for your business. Basically, you sell products and Amazon ships them for you.
Your products are stored in Amazon’s fulfillment centers, then when you get orders, they pack and ship your products. And they even offer customer service for the customers who buy the products shipped from their fulfillment centers.
This is a tool you need. In the beginning, you may ship the stuff yourself. But once those orders start rolling in and customers start having questions, you’re going to wish you had FBA. It’s crucial to growing your business.
Amazon Private Label
You can offer special bundles or one of your regular products just with a new UPC number, but either way, the product would fall under the “private label” label. This gives your product some exclusivity and can make it more attractive to both Amazon’s rankings and interested buyers.
Drop Shipping On Amazon
Drop shipping is basically when a company doesn’t store any of its products, but instead, they buy an item from a third party after they sell it. Then the product ships directly from the manufacturer to the customer without the company ever touching the product.
Some people find this method a little fishy, but it’s perfectly legal and can be lucrative.
You may want to consider dropshipping as a supplemental income stream. It can help you discover developing trends in buyer behavior. So if you notice that your company is dropshipping tons of watches, maybe you should consider stocking some of those watches or selling them using FBA.
You can play around with the prices of products you’re drop shipping because it won’t affect your bottom dollar. You can do this to help you find the right price point for any given item.
How To Become A Millionaire By Selling On Amazon
Alright, now we can get to the really important stuff — the stuff you’ve been waiting for. How do you actually go about becoming a millionaire by selling products on Amazon?
Get The Guts
The first thing you’ll need is the passion. You need that drive. Want the glory? You’ll need the guts. Without guts, you will fail.
Ask yourself: am I really willing to put in the time and effort to run an Amazon business? And more than that — am I willing to give up my free time in order to eventually run a multi-million dollar business?
If you hesitate when asking yourself those questions, you’re not ready. You may have to give 20 or more hours per week to your Amazon business, on top of your full-time job, to turn this from a side hustle to a career.
Calculate The Risks
In the same way that you’ll need to be mentally and emotionally ready, you’ll need to be logically ready. Meaning you’ll need to calculate the risks before investing your time and money into this new business.
You’re clearly a smart person if you’ve read this far. And smart people do calculations before jumping into anything with risks. The two areas that require your attention are finances and knowledge.
With finances, you obviously need to have enough money to cover overhead, shipping costs, returns and refunds, and maybe an emergency fund. When it comes to knowledge, you need to learn how the market works, what the demand is, and how to operate a business on the day-to-day.
Choose Your Products
Finding your niche is key to a successful business. The fewer products you focus on, the more experienced you’ll seem in your chosen market.
Or, instead of selling in a proven market, you could create something new in the marketplace that makes your competitors scramble. This is much riskier, but the reward is much greater.
Copy The Winners
There’s a reason we talked about the Amazon millionaires already. Because if you want to be a successful FBA entrepreneur, you’ve got to listen to those who have done it. It would be stupid not to.
They’ve shared what they’ve learned through successes and failures in hopes that you will avoid those pitfalls. To ignore that expertise would be like sending a kamikaze into your potential.
Spencer, founder of Niche Pursuits, is one of these success stories. He didn’t quite get his Amazon FBA business to the seven figure mark, but he ended up selling it for about $425,000. You can read about his experience and best tips right here.
So using research tools to help you choose the right products is not enough — you should see what other successful Amazon sellers are selling and follow suit. Or follow their methods for choosing items to sell.
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Choose The Right Supplier
When it comes to selecting the right supplier for your products, it can be overwhelming. But it may be one of the most important decisions you make in the growth of your Amazon business.
Think of your supplier as your partner in your business. If they’re terrible, it will make your life miserable. You have to be able to communicate clearly with each other and just generally get along.
Your reputation is in their hands, in a way.
So the time you spend looking for a supplier will be well worth it. Depending on how you’re running your business, you’ll want to choose from the four main types of suppliers:
- Dropship suppliers: they create and ship your inventory
- Wholesalers: buy in bulk at a lower price per item
- Liquidators: they buy large amounts of overstocks, returns, and closeouts and resells them
- Manufacturers: you buy direct, store, and ship yourself or through FBA
And when you’re looking through all the suppliers, whether you use SaleHoo or a similar service, keep these things in mind:
- How fast they can ship products
- How they ship their products
- If and by what method they track the packages
- What their return policy is
- If other Amazon sellers recommend them
But again, take the time to find the right supplier. You won’t regret it.
How To Succeed In Just 12 Months
Yes, you can become a successful, profitable business in just 12 months. Lots of people have done it. And it’s not even that difficult in the grand scheme of things. Spencer went from $0 to $4399 in just 30 days on Amazon. He wasn’t special and didn’t have any insider knowledge
Step One: Work, Work, Work
Don’t consider yourself “in business” until you make your first sale. You will have put in a lot of work (and hopefully a good amount of cash) to reach that first sale.
Then, about three to four months after that first, glorious sale, you’ll keep working. Keep selling just one type of product in the $20 to $50 range (remember, think niche). Try to reach 20 sales a day and 50 reviews total. The more sales you make and the more reviews you get, the higher Amazon and Google will rank your keywords.
But don’t be discouraged when you feel like you’re working your butt off yet not getting anywhere. As a rule of thumb, 20% of your work will produce 80% of the results, meaning 80% of your work will produce no results. This can be difficult to swallow, but that 80% is still necessary in order to get to that 20% to then eventually see results.
And it’s okay to spend more money if that will help you get business moving, even if you have to go in the red. The point in this first step is to just get the gears moving.
A great idea in this phase is to start a niche website based around your product’s category. If you’re selling tents, start a website about camping. Give honest product reviews, but also mention all of the awesome things about your product. This helps you diversify your income and drive more sales to the product you’re launching on Amazon.
Step Two: Grow, Grow, Grow
Alright, so once you’ve reached 20 to 50 sales per day on Amazon and have at least 50 reviews, you can move onto the next step: growth.
At this point, you should be bringing in more money than you’re spending. This is when you start outsourcing much if not all of the work. Hire customer service agents who can handle requests and returns, but there’s not much else to do.
Just this one action can save you hours of work each day.
This inherent passivity is one of the reasons that Tim Ferriss recommends an ecommerce business in The 4-Hour Work Week. You can outsource everything and get rid of 100% of the work if you want to.
This phase is also where you can release your second product, as long as you can duplicate the workflow without detracting from what you’re doing with your first product. And this new product should directly relate to the first, therefore attracting buyers of the first.
It’s a good idea to make a complimentary product to your first one. If you’re selling a unique shower head, add shower curtains. If you’re selling dog collars, sell a full harness.
Having a second product will give you more authority on Amazon, giving you a better keyword ranking and you’ll have the option of combined purchases.
And a very important note: customer service is crucial to your success. Businesses with awesome customer service win out in the end, so make sure you or whomever you’ve hired for customer contact is superb at their job.
This excellent customer service may cost you a bit in the short term, but pays off in the long run. You’ll get higher reviews, repeat customers, and things will overall work out better.
Step Three: Money, Money Money
Once you’ve successfully integrated that second product, you’ll continue to grow. Then you can add a third, fourth, and fifth product, all relating to each other and useful for your original clients.
Now you can start customizing your products in different shapes, sizes, and colors. Start collecting email addresses and building an email list. Make sure your social media accounts are up and running like a well-oil machine. Engage with your audience. Build a trust-centered relationship to keep them for the long-haul.
Your target for this step is to reach 100 to 150 Amazon sales per day. That sounds like a lot, but by the time you reach this step, it won’t. Once you hit that target, you can start paying yourself (you shouldn’t be until this step).
These three steps should take about 12 months. Think about it — you could hit Step Three by next year.
Tools To Help You Succeed On Amazon
Now that you have the knowledge and general outline of how to become a millionaire via Amazon FBA, you’ll need the tools to help you get there.
Running a successful business without tools is like trying to fix a car with your bare hands. And using the wrong tools is just as bad, so here are the best resources and pieces of software to help you succeed.
Amazon has a pay-per-click (PPC) program that lets you pay them to get better keyword rankings. So essentially, it’s advertising. These ads will appear on the first page of a Google search or on product detail pages.
The way it works is you place a bid on your desired keyword (more on how to find your keywords below), and if you win the auction, your ad will show up when people search for that keyword.
They have two main options: Sponsored Products and Headline Search Ads. The former is for advertising individual listings while the latter is for brand owners who want to promote their brand or product.
If you’ve got the money, you can really get a jumpstart on your competitors with this tool.
Google Keyword Planner
Google is the biggest and search engine in the world. Therefore, it has the most data available, and this is why you should use Google’s Keyword Planner. And because Amazon is the biggest website for buying and selling products, you’ll be pairing up the two most powerful companies to grow your business.
First, you can discover new keywords by searching words or phrases that have to do with what you’re selling. Then GKP works to find relevant keywords and you can add those to your customized plan.
As for keyword research, you can see how often people search certain keywords and how it changes over time. You can also get bid estimates on those keywords. This helps you get even more niche-y as well as budget better for your ad strategy.
This all goes into your plan, which you can save to your GKP account (and share with others if you’d like).
And guess what. Google Keyword Planner is completely free.
Jungle Scout (Web App And Chrome Extension)
Just about every successful Amazon seller has used Jungle Scout. The web app and the Chrome extension have a system that allows you to custom filter your Amazon searches. You can search by category, Best Seller Rankings (BSR), top sales, and many more.
The web app and the extension are slightly different. The web app helps you find the best money-making niches and products while the Chrome extension helps you get inspired for new product ideas and confirm if your current products are hot. The best use of Jungle Scout is to have both the web app and the Chrome extension, see my full review here.
And you can try all of these features with a money-free, risk-free trial to see if it would benefit your business. After that, the cost starts at just $30 a month. If that sounds steep, just remember, putting money into your business is an integral part of the three-step process (see above).
It’s a weird name, but it’s catchy. CamelCamelCamel tracks historical data, like sales prices and best-seller lists. This can help you see what products actually continue to sell rather than ones that spike before crashing. In other words, it helps you determine the trends of what’s hot and what’s not.
You can set up alerts for price changes, so if your product’s price drops, you’ll know you should consider dropping your own prices.
AMZTracker gives you the ability to see what keywords you rank for in Amazon, but it also lets you monitor reviews (like negative ones) and makes it easier to launch a new product. One thing AMZTracker doesn’t do is track PPC data, but there are other tools for that.
Using this tool, you can get your products to the first page of searches in a jiffy, thanks to promotions, conversion rate optimization, and being able to analyze your competitor’s moves. And as a special feature for AMZTracker users only, youc an post your products on Vipon.com, one of the biggest Amazon Deals websites around with millions of monthly shoppers.
SEMRush is like a spy that can see what your competitors are doing. Yes, it does keyword research and planning, but it does so much more. You can see what other businesses are spending their money on, what keywords bring them traffic, and what their advertisement strategies are.
You can also improve your backlink strategy with SEMRush through their deep link analysis feature and fully understanding the authority of referring domains.
And they present all this info in an easy to understand way, including charts, clean looking lists, and graphs. This is one tool that you need in your arsenal.
Although Amazooka is a very new tool and still has some bugs that they need to work out, it can still be a helpful resource. You can use it to track keywords and BSR and monitor negative reviews.
And one thing that’s really cool is that you can export your customers’ phone numbers, which you can then use to target them on Facebook. Plus, they have an autoresponder feature that seeks to make the customer service experience simpler.
Then there’s the dashboard. It’s just great — super powerful and easy to use.
If you’re looking to sign up with Amazooka, they say they can actually customize your plan to fit all of your business’ needs. That’s a feature that most companies don’t offer.
Every successful entrepreneur knows that feedback is what helps a business grow and improve. That’s where Feedback Genius comes in. It lets you automate your feedback requests to customers and track that feedback.
This program actually filters customer feedback, so if someone leaves a positive feedback, they will be politely asked to leave a review, rather than you manually sending a message to every buyer to ask for a review. And you can “blacklist” certain buyers if they opt out of messaging.
Feedback Genius says they integrate seamlessly with Amazon’s API system and the Buyer-Seller Messaging, which they can do in eight countries (.ca, .mx, .uk, .de, .it, .fr, and .es).
Salesbacker can automate your company’s requests for customers to leave feedback and reviews, and it has analytics and tracking, like BSR tracking. It also has canned email responses to send to customers, so you won’t have to spend time coming up with those on your own or hiring someone to. Plus, you can attach files to these emails, so you can send your buyers extra goodies.
The ultimate goal with Salesbacker is to get reviews and feedback from your buyers. And you can set it up to automatically send you email updates when you get negative reviews so you can follow up with them.
Now that you have the education of millionaires, at least when it comes to selling on Amazon, hopefully you can see how possible it is to run a successful business this way. Now you’ve got that millionaire mind.
The people who have done it are not rarities, and you can be one of them if you apply yourself, whether you run a T-shirt business or sell yoga mats.
You can have something you may not have had before: wealth.
You just have to be willing to do what it takes to win. You have to do your research. Copy the pros. Choose your product wisely. Use every tool that could potentially propel your business. And you sure as heck need to use Amazon’s FBA. Success on Amazon will be extremely difficult if you don’t.
Success in this industry will take lots of work. It will probably eat up your nights and weekends, but that’s a sacrifice you’ll need to make so you can feast later on. What you’re fighting for is freedom — freedom to work when you want, how you want, and to never worry about paying your rent again.
That’s what it takes to become an Amazon millionaire.