For years, Amazon has been developing its own private label products with its AmazonBasics line, marketing them alongside products from third-party sellers. But how can third-party sellers compete against an already established product line and brand? It makes it quite difficult for those small business owners to thrive in the Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) sphere.
Certainly, with the prevalence of platforms like YouTube and Twitch which yields hundreds of thousands of dollars for its skilled users, consumers look to the e-commerce space such as Amazon and eBay to launch their own private shops and stores.
You would think that selling products with Amazon’s FBA program is a piece of cake, right? Hardly. The level of skill necessary to quickly become a competent and efficient seller requires third-party knowledge that you cannot hope to gain on your own (no offense).
But what do you need to know about starting up your own shop on Amazon’s FBA program?
We spoke with Nine University’s Kale Abrahamson about four issues to consider when launching your own Amazon FBA business. Abrahmson, who with his co-founder, Taylor Hiott, launched Nine University to help train buyers and sellers how to navigate Amazon’s FBA program.
Back in January, Abrahamson and Hiott spoke with Forbes about why programs like Nine University are becoming essential for third-party sellers to thrive. “For years Amazon has had a Brand Registry where a company could become more official on Amazon. That was the highest you could go there,” Abrahamson explained. “Now it sounds like they are taking that to a whole other level.”
#1 – Find Yourself a Worthy Mentor
If you’re looking to find the secret to success, for goodness sake, make sure you find someone who has either done it (successfully) before, or someone who knows enough about how Amazon’s FBA program works.
E-commerce sellers are not all created equal.
For Abrahamson, having crappy coaching is the first challenge you want to overcome (and early) when you consider launching your own shop. “It’s nearly impossible to do this without having some sort of guide,” Abrahamson explained. ‘If you are using out-of-date piecemeal YouTube videos, you are nearly guaranteed to fail.”
YouTube is a wonderful resource, so take advantage. You won’t always find the perfect video on the first page, so do your homework before handing over your dollars.
#2 – Embrace Your Competition and Break Them Down
The second biggest mistake is failing to understand your competition. Yes, this means studying them, their product, their technique, marketing strategies, and the type of consumers they target.
“Not understanding how to navigate competition and set their offering apart is another major obstacle when first launching,” Abrahamson added. “The days of just throwing any old product up on Amazon and watching it sell, are over. Careful planning is required and involved in product selection.”
For six-months (and counting), our world has been hit hard by the coronavirus, forcing everyone online, whether they were ready for it or not. And you better believe with COVID-19 still at large, now is the time to jump-in and learn how to make even more money in a niche atmosphere that many don’t yet understand.
“More people are shopping online than ever before, more people have picked up the Amazon mobile app that would normally never have used it (or downloaded it). And now, they won’t put it down once they see the convenience.”
Nine University’s students, according to Abrahamson, have been able to sell their products on Amazon without spending a single dollar on advertising throughout the lifespan of COVID-19. “This is unheard of and speaks to the out-of-control demand that Amazon is experiencing right now.”
#3 – Forget This ‘Get Rich Quick’ Nonsense…You’re Setting Yourself Up For Failure
Many idiots in this industry will tell you that you can start an Amazon business and be rich by tomorrow. “It’s not true now and has never been true,” Abrahamson emphasized. “It takes work and time, but it’s a real business delivering real products to real people, so it’s 100% worth it for those that don’t fall victim to that thought process.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s Nine University, Bob Proctor’s courses, or any other accelerator, there’s no shortcutting success. Which generally speaking, separates a quality online Amazon FBA course from a shitty, scam-like course where gurus claim to have the necessary skills to help place you in the right program.
The problem, however, continues to be the level of accessibility you have once you hand over those dollars to said guru.
“People. Human beings. They are what separates quality from crap. Ask your ‘guru’ how many actual consultants and coaches they have on staff? Most have one ‘guru’ who likes to go to the club a lot and chill on the beach…in addition to two to three VA’s from another country. Good luck getting the actual support or coaching you need from individuals like that. Amazon FBA is not a cookie cutter; it requires actual, intelligent experts on staff in order to achieve the results you want, without wasting tens of thousands of dollars.”
With over 150 people on payroll, Nine University emphasizes its numbers grow every week. “And a large percentage of these people make six to seven figures selling on Amazon, so they actually know what the hell they are talking about.”
Since COVID-19 has been at large, is selling on Amazon now really that different? With added stress surrounding social justice reform, the past six months have been nothing less than whirlwind for every industry.
But according to Abrahamson, the atmosphere for selling on Amazon is better.
“More demand, more customers, and more traffic for keywords that otherwise would have been overlooked. What our world is enduring is serious and unfortunate. But if you look to individuals like Jeff Bezos, he and Amazon aren’t suffering like you think. If anything, they have thrived.”
And who makes up the majority of that revenue? Amazon FBA sellers. Making up more than 50% of that revenue, Amazon FBA sellers can definitely thrive during these times, and it doesn’t take a rocker scientist to understand that many of these sellers have succeeded.
#4 – Look Beyond Markets
This type of program transcends beyond just the United States, but to international markets as well. “We have numerous students selling in the U.K, C.A, and AUS markets (while continuing to expand),” Abramson says. “These markets are great extra revenue streams which help provide certain students an advantage because they are able to predict demand based on their experiences with those countries first-hand.”