Learning Resources for Amazon FBA Sellers

amazon.FBA.solosparkNew to being an FBA (Fulfilled By Amazon) merchant on Amazon?   Here you will find links to helpful resources for those new to selling on Amazon as a merchant using the FBA Selling Program.   I collect helpful links for FBA sellers here and update them whe I can. More posts about selling FBA listed at bottom of this page.

There’s definitely a learning curve to this type of ecommerce, but one that can be a lucrative and worthwhile investment as a solopreneur. Some FBA sellers are full-time, while others stoke it as a bridge job or as an additional stream of income to supplement other income venues.

The many advantages to becoming an FBA Seller make the challenge of learning the FBA sales process worthwhile. There are different methods for listing inventory.   Each seller has their own workflow preference for what they consider to be the best. Those new to FBA can choose to stick with the basics at Amazon Seller Central OR to use one of the FBA seller listing services (for a monthly fee), though you may not want to invest in this right away or ever, optional.  While the FBA Seller program does simplify the selling for merchants in the end, still shipping to Amazon Fulfillment Centers properly takes time to learn.

Online Forums and Networks for FBA Sellers

FBA Sellers are a unique breed of online merchants. Only a few years ago there was no such animal, since the FBA program was only born a handful of years ago (2011).   Since then, FBA Sellers have found each other online and flock toward various groups to learn and grow.  Of these groups, one I visit a lot is the facebook group called  Thrifting for Profit.

Paid Courses for Learning FBA  Operating an FBA sales business can be complicated.  If you want to take it seriously and earn significant income, then I hope you invest in a quality course with ongoing support.  Blog posts and free facebook forums can be helpful to clarify some of the rough spots, but you really need a complete road map.

On the FBA public forums I see frustrated comments from new people who are scrambling to get FBA sales off the ground without a clue what to do.  Kind of crazy to use a public online forum as if it were a business course, but people do.  I enjoy social media, but don’t find it a good substitute for a real course when needed.

I did a paid course in December and starting selling January 1st.  By February I had ProSeller status and was pleased with profit for that month at about $1200.  Not bad for a start.  I know that would have taken me a lot longer without the course.  Since then, I’ve learned of another course I think is even better.  I did not enroll in that full course since I’d already done one, but was really impressed by the parts of it I saw.  The structure of it is excellent.  Learn more.

Pricing Your FBA Inventory

Price too high and it won’t sell. Price too low and leave money on the table. Unlike eBay, the price is rigid at Amazon. No auction flexibility will drive up prices, so it’s worth your while to research an appropriate price for each item sent to FBA.   Check Amazon for the going rate for an item and price somewhere on the higher end of that range.  You can always lower the price later if an item is not selling.

Scanners:  Profit Bandit is an app for smartphone users, and most FBA Sellers rave about it. It allows you to scan barcodes and immediately receive valuable info about pricing , sales rank and more. The cost was only $15, a one time fee initially but their rates have now changed.

If you already own and use a smartphone, you’ll find scanner apps a HUGE help for scouting items to sell FBA.  There are other more efficient and much more expensive scanner apps, and Amazon offers a basic price checker app for free as well.

For selling books, resources to compare prices (beyond scanning) include:

Abe Books                       Bookfinder (my favorite)              Allibris

Other Good Resources

Amazon Selling Insurance  Many sellers are not aware of this, and many have sold for years without it but Amazon requires seller’s insurance.  Seems a strange requirement given that such a policy is unusual and not even easy to find.  Many insurance agents are not even aware of such a policy.  Establishing a business LLC (Limited Liability Contract) may suffice as some protection.  I wouldn’t worry about it much as a brand new seller however getting involved as a high volume seller without insurance protection can be risky.  When I have a reliable reference for this, an update will follow.

Taxes Controversial and confusing as can be right now, pray it gets sorted out.  Sales tax rates vary state to state and sellers are somehow supposed to keep track of it all even though sales might happen in any of all 50 states in the US.  Right.  I hear a company called  Tax Jar recommended frequently who offers a paid tool to manage this tax mess  created specifically for FBA.  However so far I feel leery about this, suspect it is pushed highly by affiliates and not really necessary.

My editorial on the taxes entire mess…  Amazon should get their act together and manage taxes themselves rather than expect FBA sellers to deal with it.   They already employ brilliant programmers who could feed all this tax stuff into the system at Amazon Seller Central and be done with it.

Consult the Taxes Info page at Amazon Seller Central for written info.  There’s a recent podcast available too if you are interested in what I consider the current nightmare of FBA.  Look for podcast # 069 recorded on 03/07/14 at this link – an interview with a guy from TaxJar.   be a pitchfest.  The entire scene is uber frustrating and I have yet to deal with it well, but as a piece of the big picture for sellers, FYI

Amazon Seller Central is the hub to refer to for learning as an Amazon seller.  It’s a huge resource and I found it best to focus on the basics and get a few shipments of  inventory out, to learn by doing rather than try to swallow every word in there first.    It’s a good resource for reference, especially combined with the groups and forums mentioned above.

Carolan Ross

CFO(Chief Fun Officer) at SoloSpark
Freelance writer, creative soul, solopreneur and former teacher who networks with rebels, visionaries, artists and other square pegs in round holes. I support solopreneurs with copywriting and juggling life and business to SHINE ONLINE!

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