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Amazon EXPERT - Ask Me Anything - Retail Arbitrage, Private Label, Been There, Done That

Discussion in 'Making Money' started by snowman19, Dec 21, 2016.

  1. snowman19

    snowman19 Junior Member

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    Black Hat Worrrrlllldddddd!!! What's up everybody! For those that remember me, I've taken a bit of a hiatus from the public eye over the past year or so. I've been off enjoying life and on a little bit of a journey to "find myself". But enough about that, I'm back and here to lend a hand!

    I've been on and off this forum for too many years to even count at this point, I've learned from many of you about how to make money in so many ways that it would blow your mind! I've launched a few services and products of my own here and am proud to call this place home in a way.

    Either way, over the last couple of years, I've been CRUSHING it on Amazon doing both retail arbitrage and private label. (Not to mention the SEO work, verified reviews and all the rest.) The point is, everyone here has contributed to my success and molded my life in a way and now that I'm making more than enough money for myself, I've decided to take 2017 and give back as much as possible. I want to help change YOUR life!

    My life has been forever changed by Amazon and although it's a love/hate relationship, I'd go as far as to call myself and expert on the topic. If any of you have questions, want to get started, need help or just have something that you don't understand about selling on Amazon, PLEASE ask away!

    I know for many of you, an extra $500 a month could change your life and I could go out and charge thousands, even tens of thousands for the knowledge I have, but I feel that that would be selfish on my part with all that I've learned here and the success that I'm having, I don't see a need for that.

    Either way, many I'm sure will think this is too good to be true, you'll scoff at this post and leave something nasty in response and I'm fully expecting that. There will be some of you who will reply and claim to be motivated and ready to change your life, but you won't want it bad enough and you will never take action with what I teach you. Lastly, there will be a few who will take this opportunity seriously and change their lives with my guidance. All I ask is that if you're not going to apply what I teach and pull the trigger on investments we research together, please don't take up my time as it takes it away from those who will actually apply what's being taught and shared.

    This business is a lot of fun and is still very lucrative. Please ask questions, send DM's, depending on interest, maybe we'll move off the forum eventually and create a private facebook group where we can continue our training.

    For those who require proof that I know what I'm talking about, below is a screenshot if this year to date in my "retail arbitrage account" on amazon. I've generated those numbers this year by working 4 days a month, two days buying and two days prepping and shipping the inventory to Amazon FBA. Obviously I make large purchases of inventory in bulk, so please don't expect to see these results in a month, it does take time and it does take work, but as you hone your skills, you could easily surpass what I've been able to accomplish this year. Like I said, I've taken most of 2016 to enjoy myself, this is the reason I only chose to do retail arbitrage 4 days a month. I just did it on the side while I focused on other things. Again, I'm only explaining in such detail, because I know there will be those of you who won't believe a word I'm saying and will keep asking what the catch is

    [​IMG]

    Anyway, that's enough out of me, let me hear what you have to say! I love you guys and thanks again for all your help over the years, I only hope I can contribute back as much as I've gained here!
     
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    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 21, 2016
  2. mynameisfrankenstein

    mynameisfrankenstein Regular Member

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    What do you think of writing short ebooks and putting them up for free in an attempt to get consulting clients?
     
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  3. Fog

    Fog Newbie

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    Currently got to many projects to focus on something new, but do you have any experience with drop-shipping? My personal Ebay is 10+ years old, 100% feedback, been reselling clothing for a while, also made a nice list of things people are drop-shipping big quantities of, but am definitely planning on drop-shipping after the holidays, any advice is appreciated!
     
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  4. snowman19

    snowman19 Junior Member

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    I've seen this done successfully. I had a client a while back who was actually doing this and I was doing his SEO and managing his verified reviews. I'd say at this point it may be a bit played out, but if you can put together a twist or find a way to stand out in the crowd that's developed, it can still work.
     
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  5. submit

    submit Junior Member

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    What are your total costs for the $108k in sales?
    What are your thoughts on selling amazon products marked up on eBay ?
     
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  6. snowman19

    snowman19 Junior Member

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    Back before I got into Amazon I ran several ecommerce businesses which were solely dropship. I never practiced the dropship model on a third party platform like eBay, but I have a good friend who I've mentored for about a year now that successfully dropships on eBay. The biggest things I hear him complain about with eBay is:
    1) eBay doesn't care about their sellers, they're completely biased towards the buyers and if any conflicts arise, the sellers get shafted. (From my experience with eBay a while back, this was also an issue, so it doesn't seem to have been fixed still)
    2) Their seller fees are a pain. (My opinion is they're a bit more expensive than Amazon, but my Amazon fees usually come to about 33% of my gross sales)
    3) There are A LOT of overseas sellers who don't hold price and just keep undercutting until they're making 5 cents on a $25 product, so it's not practical to compete

    Hope this helps, not sure if that's exactly what you're looking for
     
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  7. snowman19

    snowman19 Junior Member

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    I generally calculate 33% cost out of that, the rest is gravy :)

    As far as the reselling, again, it's a model that as far as I'm aware, can still work. I haven't heard a whole lot of buzz about it lately, but for a while this was definitely a hot topic. Being as it's died down now, I'm assuming there's probably some room to get in the market at this point. That being said, from my experimenting with it, it seemed to be extremely time consuming finding and listing products for this.

    That being said, if you hire a VA to do it for you, I'm sure it could be profitable!
     
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  8. DeadJoe

    DeadJoe Power Member

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    How do you choose products? Do you brand them to get your own product page on Amazon? If not then how do you get to be the one whose product is displayed when someone goes to Amazon, since there are a lot of sellers but only 1 listing for all of them.

    Thanks - DJ
     
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  9. snowman19

    snowman19 Junior Member

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    Great question! There's a handful of tools to help calculate which products work and they enable you to minimize the risk and make a pretty educated guess about what's going to sell.

    As far as branding products, yes, that's what we call "private label" and I do have several private label products, but the sales numbers shown were in a separate account that was ONLY from retail arbitrage, AKA buying products from vendors or retailers and reselling them on Amazon just as they are.

    In regards to being the one who is displayed on the listing, this is what we call "winning the buy box" and in order to do this, you need to be within about 2% of the lowest price and Amazon will rotate you into the buy box and you'll have a turn at making sales. PS: the 2% number does vary up and down, I usually set my repricer to stay 2% HIGHER than the lowest FBA price, because it still wins the buy box and doesn't create a "race to the bottom" with the price.

    This being said, FBM prices can play a role here if they're significantly lower than the FBA prices, so you do need to consider FBM listings, however, generally, FBA prices are what you're competing with, due to the type of items you're buying.
     
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  10. mkilic

    mkilic Newbie

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    Hello! Great Post! I am beyond interested in your offers to help teach and create a community of experts! I don't have that much experience in the Marketing world, however, I find that the biggest thing that gets in the way (personally) is school. I can't seem to manage college classes and work like this. Has that ever been a problem for you? If so, would you say that it is possible to balance both and succeed in both? Thank You!
     
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  11. Sneeks

    Sneeks Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    We sound extremely similar because I just started posting on here a month or 2 ago. Skype?
     
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  12. Justelboss

    Justelboss Newbie

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    I just started with amazon affiliate. What do you think of it? Is there money to be made there?
     
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  13. DeadJoe

    DeadJoe Power Member

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    Thank you for the quick response. Do you order products in bulk or dropship? If you order them bulk, is it from china? and then you have to ship them yourself or do you store them at Amazon? I'm trying to do a cost benefit analysis :)

     
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  14. snowman19

    snowman19 Junior Member

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    Thanks, I appreciate the support! As far as school, I didn't go to college and you might as well say I never went to high school either. I got taken out of school in 8th grade and was supposed to finish high school online, but it was a complete waste of time. I was building my ecommerce businesses at the time instead :)

    All that said, I'm not saying the road I took was the road for everyone, but I will say this, I GUARANTEE that you can learn more for FREE online in places like this or even just on YouTube or buying other courses or going to events and networking at conferences than you ever could in a college or university UNLESS you're going to be a doctor or an astronaut or something of that nature. If you're going to school just for a degree in accounting or business or language or heaven help you if you're going for liberal arts :D then you're wasting your time and money.

    I'm sure people will be upset by this post, but if you have the hustle, there's no reason for school. That being said, I'm not telling you to stop going to college, but I would say give your 110% to college or give your 110% to your hustle, whatever that may be. I feel like too many people want to be a hustler, but they can't go all in because they want that "security" of school.

    Again, all of this is just my opinion, you can take it or leave it. Not trying to be a dick, just trying to be brutally honest. Hope this helps :)
     
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  15. neilbhabuta

    neilbhabuta Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Is FBA worth it? Or is it best to ship products and fulfill yourself?
     
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  16. snowman19

    snowman19 Junior Member

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    Sure thing! As far as the model displayed above, that was strictly through purchasing in retail stores and reselling FBA meaning, I send the products to Amazon and they fulfill them to the customer.

    I do have products that I buy from China, I don't dropship on Amazon currently, but I do dropship with ecommerce sites. My dad has been playing around a lot with dropshipping on Amazon lately and has been succeeding with it. It's a very set and forget method, which is nice, but it takes a lot of up front work which pays out over time. However, the nice thing about dropship is there's no cost commitment, you only pay out of pocket after the customer has paid you, or I guess Amazon, but you indirectly.

    Many people do great with Amazon affiliate. I used to produce a lot of YouTube content back in the day and promoting Amazon affiliate products through my videos was generating a few hundred dollars a month for me without much extra effort since I was already making the videos. People still do well with the Amazon Affiliate program, are you going to put up numbers like I showed above with it? Probably not...it COULD happen if you can generate the traffic, but personally, unless you already have a list or an audience somewhere or know paid advertising well, I would say it's much easier doing Retail Arbitrage.

    Hmm, not sure what you're meaning by this, but DM me your Skype and we can chat :)
     
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  17. DeadJoe

    DeadJoe Power Member

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    Your response rate is stellar, really appreciate it.

    How do you propose one could get started with drop shipping on amazon? I ask because the barrier to entry is quite flexible. No investment other than time and your brain.

    Thanks again!

     
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  18. snowman19

    snowman19 Junior Member

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    Here's the negatives I see with fulfilling yourself:
    1) You have to store your inventory
    2) You have to manage your orders by...
    2a) checking when orders are received
    2b) packing those orders by hand
    2c) shipping those orders by hand
    2d) providing tracking numbers by hand
    2e) making sure all of this is done on time (within 3 business days)
    3) Amazon favors FBA listings in the buy box (explained in previous post above)
    4) You have to pay for gas and account for travel time transporting the orders to the UPS store OR pay for daily pickup at your house
    5) You also have to pay for all of your shipping supplies, which is much more expensive and hard to stock due to having to have such variation in box sizes for sending individual products

    There's probably more, but I mean that list alone should show you that FBA is BY FAR the way to go :) There are certain times where I do FBM, like this week of the year where if I were to send products FBA, they wouldn't be inventoried in time to be sold before Christmas, so if I have hot products at my house that I haven't sent in yet, I would list them FBM so that I could still squeeze out all those extra sales.
     
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  19. snowman19

    snowman19 Junior Member

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    Thank you! :D

    To get started dropshipping on Amazon, the way I would approach it would be to spend a few hours compiling products on Amazon that sell decently and are large and/or heavy. The reason for this is because most FBA sellers stay away from these types of items as they're rarely worth fulfilling FBA, so you're cutting down your worst competition right out of the gate. Once you've compiled a list, start hunting down suppliers and making phone calls to negotiate your pricing and whether or not they will even drop ship to begin with. Also, you should try to work a deal for Amazon exclusivity rights if possible. These are the best, because that then completely eliminates ALL amazon competition IF the supplier sticks to their end of the deal. (I only say IF because, you'd be surprised at how many times suppliers don't stay on top of this and withhold their end of the bargain.)

    Also, just FYI, there are tools out there which you can pay for to help streamline this process of finding products that meet certain criteria. I believe all of which that I know of are paid.
     
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  20. neilbhabuta

    neilbhabuta Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Thx for the answer!
    What niche would you start with on FBA? Books?
     
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