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Investing with Amazon FBA

I’m very excited to join the Amazon FBA program as a new business opportunity.  But before I go into that, I want to give you a quick update on where I am with my stock accounts.

Stock Accounts
Betterment – Until I get more comfortable with trading, I put some of my investing on autopilot by having Betterment invest the money for me.  I put in an initial investment of $100.00 into a Roth IRA and setup an automatic monthly contribution of $100.00 per month.

E*Trade – I transferred my money from my Rollover IRA that I had with E*Trade to a Rollover IRA account with Merrill Edge.  The reason is because my trading fee with E*Trade is $9.99 compared to zero with Merrill Edge.  I’m not happy with my current stocks, so I well sell them and start from scratch.  But before I do that, I need to improve my stock researching skills.

Merrill Edge – I love that I currently qualify for commission-free trades.  I feel more “free” to trade knowing that my retirement funds won’t be wiped out by fees.  With E*Trade, I was down $20.00 for every buy/sell or sell/buy.  That’s a lot of money when I’m only trading between $100 and $500 at a time.

ScottTrade – This is my non-retirement account.  I believe that I should transfer the money over to Merrill Edge to take advantage of the commission-free trades.

Amazon FBA
Though this isn’t an investment account, I’m treating it as one.  The plan is to acquire inventory at a low price and to sell it a higher price on Amazon.  There are initial costs involved – packaging/shipping supplies and the inventory.  Plus, there are the fees that Amazon gets.  Of course, if I want to become successful at this quicker, I can always buy eBooks written by others selling their secrets to Amazon FBA success.

I’m torn about the optional “learning” expenses.  On one hand, I found that the Niche Success Blueprint Course (affiliate link) that I purchased to help me with my websites was a great investment.  I wish the course was available a year ago when I started my first website because it would have saved me a lot of time from having to learn the process on my own.  Plus now, I’m finally getting Amazon Affilliate sales!  So, in terms of FBA, I believe purchasing a few good eBooks would save me time over the next few months.  But on the other hand, I don’t want to be out $200 in expenses before I even get my first sale.

This is a list of my initial expenses into the program.  Luckily, I’m using “free” money to buy them as the husband won a VISA gift card and last week was my birthday.  So, some of the VISA gift card and birthday money are what paid for these expenses:

  • Profit Bandit App: $14.99
  • Poly-Bags: $50.00
  • Scotty Peeler: $5.00
  • Avery Removable Labels: $17.11
  • Digital Postal Scale: $28.95
  • Avery Shipping Labels $5.59
  • UPS Shipping: $8.98
  • Inventory to Sell: $15.95
  • Inventory to Sell: $36.00

The grand total is $182.57.  Actually a little more due to the sales tax that I paid.  At least it was paid with my “free” money.

I do live 10 miles from a no sales tax state, so at least future inventory purchases can be made from there so I’m not paying out sales tax.

My initial goal is to start with making a $500.00 profit each month.  I’m a numbers person, so in additional to finding inventory to sell and shipping it off to Amazon, I’ll be crunching some numbers to see what it would take to get to $500.00.

More on that later.

Best,

Diana

p.s.  If you joined the Amazon FBA program, how long did it take you to get to your first $500.00 profit month and do you recommend a specific “learning the secrets” eBook or other course? You can leave a comment below or find me on Twitter or Google+.

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{ 7 comments… add one }
  • Sutton Parks May 8, 2014, 12:18 pm

    I’m just 3 weeks into my FBA business. The best help I’ve received was from the Thrifting For Profits podcast, website and Facebook group. Also, random YouTube videos. Thanks for sharing your start up costs.

    Reply
  • Diana May 8, 2014, 1:20 pm

    Sutton – thank you for the suggestion for the Thrifting for Profits – I want to start hitting thrift stores next week so this will be great info for me. I just asked to join the FB group so hope to see you on there!

    Reply
  • Yolanda @ Extra Student Loan Money May 12, 2014, 6:14 am

    Diana,

    Thanks for dropping by my blog and leaving me a comment over on Google+. I’m glad I found your blog so that I can add it to my list of FBA bloggers.

    To answer the question you posed at the end of your post, by my 3rd month I was netting over $500 in profit. The first month I was in the black, but it wasn’t by much. Most of my earnings were eaten up by the initial shipping costs and at the time I was only focusing on VHS tapes (how I got my start on FBA) so I didn’t expect to earn thousands of dollars off of that. By the second month I sent in new inventory (a wide variety of categories) and my VHS tapes began to sell even more so when the 3rd month rolled around, I exceeded $500 in profit.

    I think profitability has more to do with the type of items you sell than anything else. If I knew what I do now, I could have easily made $500 profit my first month.

    Reply
    • Diana May 12, 2014, 1:16 pm

      Yolanda – making a $500.00 profit in the 3rd month is fantastic! So far, I’ve sent in books, toys, electronics and a kitchen item. I’ll be watching to see which are the better sellers. Because of your success with VHS, I’m tempted to send all of my VHS tapes in. I figure I’ll get rid of a box of “clutter” and maybe make a few dollars on each. I’m still not comfortable with all of the prepping requirements, but once I get better, then I’ll expand into other categories. Thanks for stopping by my blog and I’ll be reading yours. It’s nice to know that people can make a profit within a few months rather than years.

      Reply
  • Kimberly December 11, 2015, 7:51 pm

    Diana, thank you VERY much for this post. I started selling with FBA about 1 month ago, and your site has been very helpful. Then this post upped the ante by instructing me how to order free labels from UPS. You rock! By the by, the UPS site is not very user-friendly with the ordering. It just worked for me to place an order, but it was a bit tricky. If you want more information on how it worked, please let me know.

    Cheers, Kim

    Reply
    • Diana December 12, 2015, 3:46 am

      Hi Kimberly, yes, if you have any tips for UPS’s site, let me know! I never had problems with their site until trying to order my last batch of free labels. I can’t remember exactly what happened, but I think they deactivated my account or something like that. I ended up ordering them over the phone, but at least still got them for free. Anyway, glad you find this site helpful and welcome to the world of FBA! It’s a lot of work but a lot of fun too! I hope you do well and keep in touch!

      Reply

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About Diana


I am working towards creating a full-time income by selling on Amazon. It's a lot of work but very fun! If you're interested in selling on Amazon, be sure to follow my blog as I'll be providing you with lots of tips!

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