- Patrick Muir
- On January 12, 2015
- 0 Comments
- 25K Video
Prior to entering the $25K challenge, I had virtually no experience selling products on Amazon outside of old college textbooks.
To compete against other professional sellers on Amazon, it’s likely that you need to use Amazon FBA. The letters F-B-A are short for Fulfillment by Amazon, and it allows sellers to use Amazon’s world class distribution network. You ship product directly to an Amazon distribution center and they ship the product directly to the consumers.
To learn how to sell on Amazon, I decided to source product from local suppliers. A cool niche brand called Barney Butter is made 10 miles from my house, making it easy to source a small amount of product at wholesale prices. Many manufacturers won’t sell a small amount of wholesale product, but will make exceptions for people who are local and will pick up the cases themselves.
I reviewed the sales rank and started tracking how much inventory is moved each day. You can track sales ranking by adding items to your cart and increasing the number to the maximum 999. This will trigger the system to reveal how many items are left in a fulfillment center.
The item I was targeting – 3 Pack of 16 oz Barney Butter – moved 5 – 15 units a day, during the days I was tracking the item. It was selling at a price that would provide a decent margin, but hopefully move enough product each month to cover the 40 items needed to make having a professional account cost effective.
I had no idea how this product would be made into a 3-Pack, so I decided to order a package from Amazon.com. It came a few days later. The first thing I noticed was the product was packaged into a 9-6-3 (9″ length x 6″ width x 3″ height) box. Searching on Amazon.com, I found someone selling 9-6-3 boxes for 28 cents a box. I ordered 25, but realized that this is an area of improvement. Three Barney Butter 16oz containers only weigh 3 lbs.
The 9-6-3 box can hold more weight, and therefore it’s a waste of money to pay for a 28 cents box when a much more cost effective box would do just fine. The box also provided directions on how to label each box. I had to put a sell-by date since the product does expire. Also, I needed to add a sticker indicating not to separate the package.
The Amazon FBA websites provide lots of information on how to properly package shipments to Amazon FBA, and I highly recommend reading through the rules prior to shipping.
Many manufacturer’s shipping departments start work at 7 a.m. This is great for me so I could pick up my product before work. I arrived at Barney Butter and picked up 6 cases of Barney Butter. Each case would create two 3-packs. By picking the product up myself, I saved the money that I would have needed to spend in order to have Barney Butter ship me cases. This is a key reason why I am targeting local manufacturers I can source product from.
I created a video to show what I did to send out my first shipment.