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Podcast 53: How to Earn Over $12,000 Per Month Selling Physical Products on Amazon with Chris Guthrie

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Podcast 53: How to Earn Over $12,000 Per Month Selling Physical Products on Amazon with Chris Guthrie

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Chris Guthrie and I have known each other for a long time.  Back in the day Chris was out building Amazon affiliate sites and I was building Adsense affiliate sites.  I'm not sure where we first crossed paths, but we've been in touch now for probably close to 5 years.

I had Chris on my podcast over 2 years ago.  However, now his business has evolved so much that I wanted to have him on to discuss his latest business venture.

Chris is now actively involved in selling physical products on Amazon through the Fullfullilled by Amazon (FBA) program.  In his first few months with his very first product, Chris has built his monthly revenue to over $12k per month with this business! (Profit is about 50% of that).

I know that sounds almost too good; however, Chris has been kind enough to privately show me his Amazon account with earnings and the product that he is selling on Amazon.  It's a legit business.

So, Perrin and I sat down with Chris to get all his tips to start selling a physical product on Amazon.

In addition, Chris has created some software tools that can help you find great products to sell on Amazon.  That software is AmaSuite.

Live Webinar

Finally, Chris and I are hosting a live webinar this Thursday (December 4th) at 6pm PST to talk about building a business on Amazon selling physical products.  If you want more in-depth strategies for starting an Amazon business, I hope you'll join us Thursday evening by registering right here See Webinar Replay Here.

Podcast Interview Notes

Below you will find the general questions and responses that were given during the podcast interview.  This is not a transcript, jut the abbrieviated notes about what was covered in the podcast.  For the complete podcast, please listen to the recording…enjoy!

Where are you spending most of your time in your business right now?

Currently, I'm working on lots of wordpress plugins for Boost WP.  In addition, I've been getting more involved recently with Fulfulled by Amazon…selling physical products on Amazon.

What kind of recent success have you had selling a physical product on Amazon?

I've just started selling the past 4 months or so on Amazon.  My last full month of October 2014 I made just over $12,000 in revenue and about half of that is profit.  Those numbers should just continue to increase with the Holidays coming up.

How much time do you put into the Amazon business?

So, I don't even check my stats and for the most part, there is not much ongoing effort.  Once you source the product and get it up; I'm only spending about 30 minutes per day.  I spend most of my time finding new products that I can launch on Amazon.

What is selling a physical product on Amazon all about?

The way that I make money from selling products on Amazon is by sources products from China. Then making some basic tweaks to the product and putting my own label and brand and then sell.

I use a freight forwarding company that takes the product from China and ships to US.  Then those products get shipped to Amazon FBA.  Amazon then ships the products to customers when they buy.  Amazon provides all the customer support, returns, and more.

The key is really using Amazon's warehouse.  I don't need to go to the mailbox or have a warehouse.

I have acquaintances that are doing six figures a month and more.  There is huge potential for scalability.

What are some examples of products that people are selling on Amazon?

First you need to start by looking at what is selling on Amazon currently.  You should just try to find what products are already selling well by looking at seller ranks and product categories and then replicating that.

If you go to Amazon.com/bestsellers, you can see what the best selling products are right now.  They break down these bestsellers by category.

I like to go after the products in the 500 to 2000 bestseller rank in the category.  Then you can avoid quite a bit of the super-competitive products.

So, when you click on the individual product you can then see what the products best seller ranking is.

After you find a product that is selling well, what else are you looking for?

You want to look at the reviews and the product listing page and whether you can make it better.  Many times companies do not optimize their product sales page very well because Amazon is only one avenue that they are selling on.

So, if you can improve on the listing and optimize better (better images, better description, better use of keywords), you can potentially sell better than the competition.

What other factors go into picking a product?

Once you've picked a product, you need to find a manufacturer that can make the product.  You need to also make sure there is no patents involved.

If you go to Alibaba.com and search for the product. You should consider the size of the product, if its too large this can make things more difficult.

How long has the supplier been around?  Have they been verified?

Look at the volumes that they report for revenue.  However, you should usually try to talk to them.  I usually contact them on Skype after 4pm.

Are you looking at the product pages from an SEO standpoint or a copy standpoint?

You want to look at both.  So you look at the quality of the sales page and if you can improve the copy.  But you also want to see how well the pages are ranking within Amazon.  You can rank for different keywords within Amazon.

What do you ask a manufacture, to make sure they are legit?

I like to talk with them on Skype (text-chat).  I look for their responsiveness and their ability to understand the project.  Then you want to order a sample; preferably with your logo already put on it.

This will help you see the overall quality of their workmanship.

Do I want to change or improve the product from what is already on Amazon?

Another stage is to look at the negative reviews on Amazon.  This can help you find ideas to improve upon the existing products.  This might be adding padding, improve quality, change colors, or do something else to make the product a little bit better.

Because Amazon is very review driven you want a product that is high quality.  If you just go with the lowest price option from Alibaba, you are likely going to get slaughtered in the reviews.

The risk is different if you create something 100% unique or just something that is a twist on an existing product.

How do you get your products to the US and then how to get it Amazon?

Some manufacturers will ask for really high MOQ (minimum order quantity).  Once you are ready to order, there are several ways to pay.  If you do mass pay through Paypal its only $20 for international payments.

You can find a freight forwarding company that will have an office in China that can pick up your order for you and then send it to the US for you.  Then the freight forwarding company will then send it onto Amazon.

How do you get initial sales and reviews?

You can do a follow up email sequence to people that have purchased and ask for a review.

To drive initial sales, I like to price low organically. Sometimes you might need to do promotions of your product through other deal sites or other methods.

AmaSuite is tool that I built to help with this.  The software will help you find the top reviewers in your category and their review rating and contact them.  This is a way that you can get simple reviews.

AmaSuite has been around since 2012.

How do you ask top reviewers for reviews?

You pretty much send them an email and then go from there. Some of them are very used to reviewing product so its often as easy as giving them a free product.  Now this should be disclosed in the review, but these initial reviews can really help.

AmaSuite can also help to automate the process of researching best seller rankings and much more.

Have you done any paid traffic to your listings?

I've only done some sponsored results on Amazon, but not very much.  I very rarely look at and not much time or money is spent on that.  Some people claim that there is an organic rankings boost for those that are spending money on sponsored ads.

What other marketing tips do you have?

If people have any additional questions, they can ask those directly in the comments below and I will answer.

A podcast that I did that answered a lot of questions about the business can be found at: EntrepreneurBoost.com/podcast22/

If you want to follow along with Chris and his business, you can go to EntrepreneurBoost.com

Live Webinar and Your Thoughts

Because Chris has had so much success with this business, we've decided to host a live webinar in just a couple of days about selling physical products on Amazon.

Here's some of the things Chris will cover:

  1. What a private label product is and why it's the single BEST strategy for profiting off the multibillion dollar Amazon marketplace
  2. How to uncover private label products to sell that most people aren't even aware of that are selling
  3. How to find a supplier to provide your products AND how to stand out from the competition while you do it

This is a webinar for my audience only, so join us for the live event and bring your questions!

Watch Webinar Replay About Selling Physical Product On Amazon Right Here

Overall, I hope you guys enjoyed the podcast, and I'd love to hear your thoughts.

If you have any specific questions for Chris, he's agreed to answer those in the comment section below.  So, if you have anything you would like clarified about this business, now is your chance to get your questions answered.

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98 Comments for this Post

  1. Yun

    Yun

    Thanks for your awesome post. The idea that buying products from China and then selling them on Amazon is great. There are many opportunities on this field. And I am a reader from China, so this post inspires me a lot. Maybe I can try to do something.

  2. Chris Guthrie

    Chris Guthrie

    Thanks again for having me on the show Spencer and Perrin, I’ll be periodically checking comments here to make sure questions are answered. I’m admittedly still pretty new to this business but because of my connection with other sellers doing much larger volumes than me I’ve been able to learn quite a bit pretty quickly.

  3. Kaizen

    Kaizen

    I’m really looking forward to this podcast, the questions hit all the key areas so I look forward to the Chris’ response.

    I’ve also signed up to the webinar, and I’ve been a follower of Chris’ podcast – just wondering if there is a chance to get a recording afterwards? Being from the UK the 2am start on a work night is a bit rough.

  4. Tao

    Tao

    One of the aspects that puts me off FBA is dealing with the refunds, damages, returns, losses etc.
    How does that part get handled? Obviously, the buyer returns the item to Amazon but then what happens after that?

    • Kaizen

      Kaizen

      If I remember Chris’ podcast, you don’t get the money for 60 days, in which case it covers for refunds/claims.

    • Chris Guthrie

      Chris Guthrie

      If you’re doing it right a small percentage of refunds won’t break the bank. I don’t even worry about that. Amazon handles it. Sometimes the units can be resold other times not and it’s a loss but it’s not like I’m seeing double digit refund numbers so it really isn’t something I get concerned with.

      • David Bryant

        David Bryant

        If you notice on Amazon, they sell a lot of refurbished goods. A lot of returns Amazon will take the initiative of reselling for you.

        • Chris Guthrie

          Chris Guthrie

          Exactly. Sometimes the items aren’t able to be resold though.

  5. Jon

    Jon

    Nice podcast guys. I am an Amazon seller (scaled to 30k/month since starting full time in July) selling domestically sourced product I have the international freight experience in a past life, but haven’t combined the two (yet!), so thanks for the motivation. My question for Chris is this: I assume when you use the freight forwarder, the product is coming LCL (less than container) sea freight (as opposed to air). Once the freight hits the west coast, is Amazon making you break down pallets to send cases to other fulfillment centers, or is everything going to a single FC? At what point are you actually create the shipment workflow in your seller account?

    • Kaizen

      Kaizen

      Dammnnn Jon, congrats on the great success! Any advice for someone who wants to get started on a small budget?

      • Jon

        Jon

        I have seen a lot of people start on small budgets. Although I am biased, I believe Amazon FBA is the perfect model for those looking to start on a small budget. The only fixed cost you incur is the 39.99 per month Amazon Pro Seller subscription (if you sell less than 40 items per month, you can forego the Pro account and just pay $1 extra per SOLD item). The key is to buy smart — you truly make your money when you BUY, not when you sell.

    • Chris Guthrie

      Chris Guthrie

      Hey Jon,

      I’m using air only but eventually will use sea. Yah Amazon makes me send to more than one fulfillment center. If I recall the only way to send to one costs money and then Amazon will just send it around the US to other centers anyway after you do that. The shipment process only takes like 15 minutes for me to do so I just handle it when freight forwarder says shipment is close to landing in US.

      Hope that helps and congrats on your success as well.

      Chris

      • Jon

        Jon

        Thanks Chris,

        That makes sense. I think the service you are thinking of is called “Inventory Placement.”

        A couple follow up questions, if I may. Once the item is nearing stateside and you obtain the FC designation, is your freight forwarder actually breaking down a pallet and shipping individual boxes to their intended destination (with the proper FBA label)? Second, is it safe to assume that your supplier is labeling your product with the FBA labels (or are you signed up for commingled inventory)?

        Jon

        • Greg

          Greg

          Jon, this is the exact same question I had. I’ve recently gotten started with FBA and currently have everything shipped to my house, I then label, re-box and ship out to the required fulfilment center. If there was a freight forwarder that did this for a reasonable price I would gladly pay them.

        • Craig

          Craig

          Hey John, nice work with your Amazon sales. Question for you is why source from the US when supposedly prices are lower from China. Don’t mean to hijack the thread but just curious.

        • Chris Guthrie

          Chris Guthrie

          Hey Jon what do you mean by FC designation? Perhaps I’m just tired lol but I’m drawing a blank.

          Freight forwarder handles putting on labels. Supplier puts labels on the actual product though. Feel free to email me direct though hah as I admitted in the podcast I’m still new to this myself but have had to learn a lot very quickly to help run our mastermind group.

          I don’t use commingled for a reason I’d prefer not to share publicly. Hit me up on email just look at my blog contact form.

          Chris

        • Jon

          Jon

          Craig — There are many different but valid reasons for sourcing in the US. Some products aren’t available in China; some products are cheaper in the US; sometimes you may want to complete with Amazon and sell a name brand item if the price is right. Some branded products on Amazon have 20-50 “new” offers on the same product page. This is one of the very neat things about private labeling though — once you private label a product, your only competition is a similar product. No one else will be competing for the buy box on your product.

        • ivan b

          ivan b

          Hi, I’m just starting out and I have a product in mind that I want to get shipped over… but I have a few questions about Packaging that I was hoping one of you could answer.

          I have gathered that the supplier will do the following:
          -package the item with your branding (at extra cost)
          -attach the proper FBA label on to product package
          -ship it for you via your desired method (air or sea, at extra cost)

          When arriving State side, you now have the options of:
          1.to receive the products, examine them, then ship to Amazon FBA
          2.have a Freight Forwarder do that step for you.

          I’ve read that having the item shipped to you first is the best option for someone starting out so you can examine the product.

          If I have any mistakes in my understanding, it would be great to know. Thanks for your time

  6. Derek

    Derek

    Congrats on the success! This is definitely an area I’d love to explore further.

  7. Taylor Hendricksen

    Taylor Hendricksen

    Stoked for this webinar! Been wanting to pull the trigger on a few internationally sourced products to add to my domestic line (that we manufacture), but haven’t done it yet. Exited to learn from how you’ve done it Chris!

  8. Miguel Alas

    Miguel Alas

    Hi Chris, can this kind of business be made outside the US, I mean someone from Latin America can buy from a China manufacturer and then the freight forwarding company send it onto Amazon? Does Amazon allow international sellers in this case?

    Thanks Chris.

    • Chris Guthrie

      Chris Guthrie

      Yes. The course I learned from has customers in over 100 countries or something like that?

  9. Mason

    Mason

    Hey guys great info. I just have a quick question. I can’t seem to find any bestseller lists that display products beyond the top 100. Maybe I’m just being a dummy but can someone point me in the right direction? Thanks

    • Jon

      Jon

      Amazon doesn’t make it easy to find. Here is the link:

      http://www.amazon.com/Best-Sellers/zgbs

      • Chris Guthrie

        Chris Guthrie

        On the webinar I’ll be showing our software which makes navigating and finding products much easier than using the bestseller page hah.

  10. Vladimir

    Vladimir

    Hi Chris,

    I have a couple of technical questions about the FBA program itself.
    Who handles the pictures of the products, I believe Amazon won’t leave this to their partners?
    Is there a minimum quantity requrement which should be sent to Amazon?

    Thanks.

    • Chris Guthrie

      Chris Guthrie

      When you sell your own product you use your own pictures. So you’d want to take good ones.

      Will people buy from listings that look like the photos were taken from a cell phone or a high quality DSLR?

      No there isn’t a minimum requirement. You could send one unit if you wanted to.

  11. Chris

    Chris

    hi, i signed up for the webinar, my questions are regarding costs to secure the product. You mention manufacturers want to sell high quantities of product, sure this lowers your overall costs per item, but once you add in freight, insurance, shipping to amazon what type of initial investment are we talking about for say a product that retails for $50. What are the margins, is this something that requires a few thousand dollars upfront to get started?

    Thanks, Chris G

    • David Bryant

      David Bryant

      More or less for a couple pallets of goods, you should budget at least $1000 to actually receive the goods at your door step or warehouse. This takes into consideration sea freight, dock charges once they arrive, customs clearance, etc.. The cost of Sea Freight/insurance is actually quite cheap, it’s all of the unexpected fees base fees like documentation charges, dock fees, etc. that you’ll be hit with when the goods arrive to your country. Of course it varies hugely depending on the item, quantity, etc. So in other words, don’t import 20 widgets that cost $30ea that you plan to sell for $50 🙂

      A couple of good articles you might check out: http://www.chineseimporting.com/shipping-your-goods-the-real-costs-and-being-aware-of-exw/

      http://www.chineseimporting.com/all-about-freight/

      • Chris Guthrie

        Chris Guthrie

        David covered this pretty well. I’ll talk about margins using an example on the webinar. But if you’re trying to sell for $15 and your unit cost is $5 for instance – you’ve already nearly lost.

  12. gobr

    gobr

    Which freight forwarder company you use?

  13. Oriloye Umoru

    Oriloye Umoru

    Do I need to own website to sell a product at Amazon. Can I do this biz even if am not from United State. Can one start in a very little way. Lowest amount I can start with? How can I reach on Skype ?

  14. Jason Cooke

    Jason Cooke

    If you are really making 50% GP, you are in a tiny minority.

    • Chris Guthrie

      Chris Guthrie

      Hey Jason,

      I said 40 – 50 percent roughly. That’s fine, the less people that believe the less competition for me 😉

      On the webinar I’ll show an exact example to prove. Not my product of course because I’m not an idiot, but I have real numbers to illustrate.

      Chris

  15. Cj

    Cj

    Hey guys great podcast…Not sure if its just me but I wasn’t able to slide back on the podcast if I needed to rewind to listen to something over again. It just started over.

  16. Daniel

    Daniel

    Hi Chris,

    I’ve just finished listing to this awesome interview. Thanks for sharing all that valuable information.

    Just a quick question I have about product bar codes. What type(s) of bar code(s) do you need on to ensure your private label product has (not the Amazon labels) before shipping to Amazon.

    If anyone else out there has information on this feel free to respond also.

    Thanks again,
    Daniel

  17. Japs

    Japs

    Great podcast guys, This is very very helpful podcast to those who are just starting to sell their product on Amazon

    I would like to ask. If I were to start this Amazon Business Model, where should I send the product? does amazon have Q/A page where I could see list of their Amazon Fulfillment Center address?

    • Chris Guthrie

      Chris Guthrie

      You send to Amazon’s FBA warehouses. I’ll likely cover this on the webinar though. There aren’t really addresses per se. You create an order to send out inventory and then Amazon tells you where to ship it and gives you labels.

      Chris

  18. Rahat

    Rahat

    Do you hire inspectors to inspect your products in china?

    How do you maintain the quality of your products since it goes straight to Amazon?

    • Chris Guthrie

      Chris Guthrie

      It comes to my freight forwarding warehouse first so they can inspect for a free if need be. Or you could pay for FBA inspection.

  19. Andrew

    Andrew

    Chris,

    Great stuff. Looking for freight forwarder I have product shipping from china to us and need someone good. If you have some I please send me PM.

    Also have you heard of the Channelizer Method for getting started with amazon?

    Also great podcast guys, keep it up.

  20. Oloyede Jamiu

    Oloyede Jamiu

    Hey Spencer, Perrin and Chris,

    I’m a big fan of enterpreneurboost.com and i’m aware Chris is making a killing with the FBA programme.

    Its good to see him get featured over here.

    Meanwhile i would like to make an inquiry about this business.

    Is it only for people that are based in the USA or are people from Africa e.g Nigeria eligible to do the business with Amazon?

    I hope my question would be answered.

    Thanks

  21. Olayinka

    Olayinka

    Kudos to Spencer and Perrin for bring Chris on board here.. Am been following Chris for the past few months now and am very happy for his success in his amazon business .

  22. Rien

    Rien

    I’m also wondering about what to do with warranty of electric devices. Who’s responsability is it when something breaks down? I read it’s a loss when a customers asks for a refund, unless amazon can resell it for you. But what about a failure of the electric device..

    Let’s say, for example an electric cigarette.
    Do you have to find out what the manufacterer it’s warranty policy is, so clients would have to go directly to them for any warranty issues?

    • Jason Cooke

      Jason Cooke

      There are always costs involved; costs to ship the product back to you and/or manufacturer, and costs to destroy the product should you not want it back. Amazon are the largest ecommerce company on the planet for a reason – they know their numbers. But Amazon and Ebay are the 2 largest product Search Engines on the web, plus Google of course, so this is where you need to at least start selling your products. You can also use this Amazon model to fulfill orders from your own ecommerce store. I recommend to always run your own store as well – once budget allows. Why? Amazon and eBay can and do ban people form selling. Plus who knows what the future holds?

  23. Charles

    Charles

    Great Podcast! I started out selling on Amazon last year just for the experience and extra cash for new car payment. I’ve slowly adding more locally sourced product when I have spare time which is not often. I’ve looked into sourcing my own products from China but haven’t taken the first step yet. After listening to this podcast, I think it’s time to take the next step.

    I would enjoy connecting with others that are starting out so we can work together and share notes.

    Also going to pick up AmaSuite. Looks like it could save a lot of research time.
    Keep up the great work.

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Thanks for sharing Charles! Come back and let us know if you find some success sourcing from China!

  24. Bill

    Bill

    Chris;

    In the podcast you mention that you took a course before jumping into this venture; what course was it? Would you still recommend it to others to take?

  25. Matthew Allen

    Matthew Allen

    This business model has had me intrigued very much over the last several months. I decided to take a different approach starting out and am selling retail arbitrage products through FBA. It’s more work and not really scalable – but it’s allowing me to figure out the inner workings of Amazon and their FBA system while making some pretty decent money. Plus – I’ve gotten my wife on board and she too can see the potential. Sourcing and private labeling our own products is our next step. Really looking forward to this webinar.

    Q: Will current owners of the AmaSuite software get this new 4th program when it comes out? Will we have to pay for it?

    • Chris Guthrie

      Chris Guthrie

      There will be an upgrade discount for v3 users. It will be more than generous – watch for an email next week.

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      That’s awesome Matthew. I like how you are finding ways to try a new business without quite as much risk involved.

  26. Alistair

    Alistair

    I’m an amasuite owner already, but others might like the link fixed at the start of the article, the bit that says “That software is AmaSuite.”, goes to the webinar rather than the product.

  27. Will

    Will

    I am based in the UK, but I want to sell through Amazon.com and send my products to Amazon.com’s FBA – do you know if this is possible?

  28. Will

    Will

    OK bit confused by the best sellers part:

    First Level – amazon.com/bestsellers

    Second Level – first category = kitchen & dining

    Third Level – Coffee Accessories

    Do you look at the second or third level?

    • Chris Guthrie

      Chris Guthrie

      All the matters is the rank of the primary category 🙂

  29. Country

    Country

    Hey Guys,
    First off, thank you for the excellent content. I’m glad to see you all network together often, it just makes for a great podcast.
    I’ve been selling products through FBA with the retail arbitrage route only to learn the process also. Primarily focusing on books, but I am learning the private label method along the way.
    Does the freight forwarding company take care of all of my labeling, product verification, along with shipping to FBA?

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Awesome. Either your supplier or a separate packager will handle labeling, etc. for you. I don’t think the freight forwarder would do it.

  30. kelly

    kelly

    What kind of due diligence do you perform to verify the manufacturer’s/trading co’s credit/non-scamminess? Can alibaba ratings and casual skype contact REALLY be sufficient? Should I use an inspector service?
    Just spoke to a guy who worked for a trading company in China for a few years, and he had a list of warnings for me. He said that product quality was universally low and it’s not uncommon for even a “reputable” company to do scams (take the money and “lose” the order). There are also issues with raw material sourcing; every company he worked with was not allowed to import raw materials due to mistrust issues, and the company he worked for had to handle it. He recommended that for any long term relationship, I’d have to visit the physical factory or I would never be taken seriously/know the real reputation of the factory. He emphasized multiple times that any companies based in China are not manufacturers; they’re assembly. They can produce copies, but not efficiently engineer items even with guidance. I can see since y’all are doing private label, it’s more about verifying the quality of the items they already produce. But I was advised that sent samples are high quality, but the pallet products will be terrible. So how do you verify the quality of the shipment you’re selling?

    • David Bryant

      David Bryant

      Outright scams are very uncommon in China. Unless you find yourself somehow being naive enough to be wiring your money to Nigeria, you shouldn’t be scammed. Quality issues are a whole other story, but the biggest difference is there is more onus on the buyer to ensure quality than in the West where we assume our Supplier will simply produce quality goods. See an interview with a quality inspection company here: http://www.chineseimporting.com/interview-with-renaud-anjoran-from-qualityinspection-org/

      You can send a third party inspection agent to visit your factory for about $300 for an entire day. They can randomly inspect your products to ensure there are no quality issues, take photos, do various tests, etc. etc.

      • Spencer Haws

        Spencer Haws

        Great tips, thanks for sharing David!

  31. Chris

    Chris

    So where is the replay? When I click on the link all I get is a sales page for the software.

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      This is the replay: http://www.amasuiteapps.com/haws

      • Kyle

        Kyle

        Hey Spencer – that link was still just taking me to a “get on the list” sales page for amasuite4. Is there a link that will direct to the replay of this webinar? I would love to see it. Thanks!

        • Spencer Haws

          Spencer Haws

          The webinar replay has been taken down as the was a special offer made that only lasted a few days.

  32. Nick

    Nick

    I am working with Amazon (FBA) for a year or so. And I can say it works amazingly! Thank you for this post, some great tips and ideas there!

  33. Arno

    Arno

    Hi Chris and Spencer,

    Great podcast! I’m a bit further along in my private label quest on Amazon. I have sold my first items through a Facebook promotion. But I’m struggling with the way I want to ask my customers for reviews:

    – do you ask them for a seller rating? or a product review? or both?
    – Do you have a specific text you use in your emails to customers? and what platform do you use?

  34. Greg Moore

    Greg Moore

    I may have missed a description of costs to get started, so I asked a couple of people.

    One said, ” It costs 5-20k to start any given Amazon product and have success depending on the product you’re going after. Add 4.5k if you want to buy ASM.”

    Another said, “For $3500, I could buy decent inventory and import from China.”

    Will you list out the up front costs to get started? What’s an estimate of the smallest amount a person could get away with if they want to give it a try? Assuming someone picks an inexpensive, light weight product, what’s a realistic budget, and what would the line items be in that budget?

    Thanks.

    • Brad

      Brad

      Your pretty much correct depending on the product. But figure that you’ll need some upfront costs in the thousands. There are a lot of facets to the business that make it much more intensive than affiliate marketing

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      If you go to Alibaba.com you can see the minimum order quantities required for any given product. So the startup costs will really depend on the product. You might be able to start for a few hundred dollars for a smaller product like ping pong balls, but many thousands of dollars for more complex/bigger products. There are tons of products that you can get started with a cost of $3 to $5k.

      Again, just go and look at Alibaba and you can see all the prices. This will give you an idea.

    • Gabe

      Gabe

      My friend just bought some pet products on alibaba.com and paid around$350 to get 200 units shipped to his door. He started 2 weeks ago and he’s selling 4-9/day…zero promotion.

      So, it depends on your products.

      My first product I’m ordering is going to cost around $3,000 shipped to my door for 1,000 units.

      • Spencer Haws

        Spencer Haws

        Very cool…thanks for sharing Gabe!

  35. Rien

    Rien

    I’m wondering about the 197 $ subscription… “Pay only once with NO recurring payments forever! Save $100. BEST DEAL!” Is that only for the AmaSuite 4, and will stop when there is a 5? or is that for all coming versions ?

    I’m close to pulling the trigger on this one, just wanna clarify! 😀

  36. Yaro

    Yaro

    Great job Chris!
    I have a feeling everyone will jump on amazon fba business and it will be big competition.
    Keep updating us with case studies, people love them!

  37. Vic

    Vic

    Hi Spencer,

    So clear, easy to understand, so transparent. Thanks Spencer!

  38. L.J

    L.J

    Sorry to mildly “spam” but I tried ordering twice via the link and it’s just not taking my Paypal payment. Not sure what to do! Who’s the best person to contact?

  39. Gabe

    Gabe

    I just called paypal to sign up for paypal mass pay, they won’t let me. It’s not for sending money to one person overseas for goods. It’s for sending money to multiple people.

  40. Richard

    Richard

    HI, great pod cast and very inspiring.

    Is there a way to judge expenses before you start such as typical cost for:
    shipping from china to us or uk.
    amazon % share?

    I’m basically asking other than the cost per unit what are the other major expenses to think about before you dive in?

    • David Bryant

      David Bryant

      Freight will be your single biggest cost. Unless you’re importing a very small amount of items, expect to pay no less than $500 in freight. Duties and taxes are of course applicable, for small shipments, the cost of using a customs broker (about $100-250) will be the biggest base cost there. Take a look here for more info: http://www.chineseimporting.com/shipping-your-goods-the-real-costs-and-being-aware-of-exw/ (sorry to hijack all of these comments, but I have put a lot of effort into helping a lot new importers with some of these posts)

      • Spencer Haws

        Spencer Haws

        I appreciate the comments…thanks for the additional info!

  41. budyk

    budyk

    Im a new to this….thanks for the clear explanation

  42. Juanita

    Juanita

    This is unbelievable. Really it is. and I’d be more than excited to get started with something like this.

    I’ve actually made my first sales on Amazon because of the niche site case studies you did a while back. I read every post (fromb1 and 2)

    • Juanita

      Juanita

      well…that comment submitted too soon lol. anyway. i read every post from both case studies over and over, and then read them some more as i completed each step for my own site. Because of your advice I’ve made my first $50 in 7 days from Amazon and the site is only a month old to the day. I can’t wait to see what another 7 days (or the rest of the month!) brings. So, needless to say, I’m a big believer in the power of Amazon and an even bigger believer in myself now.

      I’m definitely going to give this program here a try. And btw, i can’t thank you enough for doing those two case studies. SERIOUSLY. Everything I’ve ever tried online has failed. I credit you for my success

      • Spencer Haws

        Spencer Haws

        That’s fantastic…congrats Juanita!

  43. Chris Guthrie

    Chris Guthrie

    Alright went back through and answered some more comments but will not be monitoring this post so if people have other questions or want to see what I’m up to check out my blog.

    Thanks again as always Spencer. Was a lot of fun to do the podcast. From reading the comments I know I’m admittedly still new at this as well which is so fun to see others that have commented that are doing better than I am 😀 – I’m happy to learn from everyone as well.

    Chris

  44. Greg Gurland

    Greg Gurland

    Amazing and possibly life changing podcast episode for me.
    As I heard the interview I felt that this is exactly what I would love doing.
    I have spent the last few weeks researching and may have stumbled on an amazing product.

    I cannot thank you enough Chris, Spencer and Perrin for the exciting opportunity you have opened for me.

    Will keep you updated.

    Thanks 🙂

  45. Tara Albert

    Tara Albert

    I had a question for Chris about taxation and obtaining a business license. If you’re just starting out, at what point do you need to officially become a business, if ever? What sorts of taxes are involved with importing and do you know if they are different for an individual or a business?

    Thanks for all the great advice!
    Tara

  46. JImmy

    JImmy

    Hi,
    Thanks for the podcast.
    I have few QQQ?
    Plz tell me Chris how do you track the status of the products that you’ve bought like when they have left china and reached US or from US to the respective FBA that has acknowledge your product & MOQ received your not physically involved in the process.

    What you do with the products that are no sold?

    Thanks

  47. GazRevs

    GazRevs

    Great post! I look forward to reading the next adventure!

  48. Russell Fry

    Russell Fry

    Hi Chris,

    Really late to the post, but your podcast has inspired me to follow your path! At Curious Provisions, we did over $135,000 in our physical products last year, however everything is handmade and sourced by me – automation not allowed. And with this model, i’m highly confident that I can leverage my experience to create products via Amazon’s FBA program. Thanks Spencer and Perrin for the interview!

    Question for Chris: when you state that you generally like to find products in the 500-2000 range in popularity, are you using your product, AmaSuite to do this? If not, what’s the resource externally from “Amazon’s best sellers” since this only shows the top 100 products?

    Thanks!
    Russell

  49. Sachin Bisaani

    Sachin Bisaani

    I’m bit confused about best seller rank, I can’t see it more than 100, but are suggesting to go after 500-1000 but in best seller there is no more than 100.

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