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Keep Moving Forward Even When You Fall Behind

Sometimes life gets in the way and throws your established routine out the door.  Whether you just go with the flow and make the best of it or let it get you down is up to you.  This is how I’m moving forward with my FBA business despite my loss of some important sourcing time.

As I’ve mentioned numerous times, I work full-time and Sundays are my main sourcing day.  My usual routine is to head out for a few hours on Sunday morning and then spend the afternoon listing/prepping/shipping my products.  I missed out on last Sunday because I was in Las Vegas.  I’m not complaining about my Las Vegas trip because it was a much-needed vacation and I had a great time.

I flew home on Tuesday and my plan was to get back with FBA immediately by shopping after work every night and then spending most of today (Sunday) shopping as well.  Well, that plan flew out the window because on Thursday morning I came down with a cold.  This cold left me with no energy to go out shopping.  I am starting to feel better but rather than push it today, I think it’ll be better for me to stay home and rest so that I can get back on track next week.

So, since I’m not having much luck in the retail sourcing department, what am I doing to move forward with my FBA Business?

Continuing to Learn
Before going to Las Vegas, I purchased The Reseller’s Guide to Board Games.  I wasn’t planning on buying any more “learning” materials as I’m trying to cut expenses, but I had a few tweets with the author, Stephen Smotherman of Full-Time FBA on Twitter and he told me that his guide is 50% off (sale ends today, Sept 21).  Since this was something that I was already interested in buying, I bought it that night to save money and so that I would have something to read on the airplane.  Plus, games are something that I’m interested in pursuing because the easiest place for me to shop at is a thrift store on my way home from work. There is no extra driving out of my way to get there, it’s always full of games and it’s never crowded.  I stop in there once or twice a week and always walk out with 2 or 3 factory sealed brand new games.  Plus, they have 4 shelves full of used games.  I especially bought his book so that I can learn more about processing the used ones.

I always recommend learning and please note that not all reading materials have to be purchased.  I have learned a lot (for free) by following blogs, joining Amazon FBA Facebook groups and by getting on Twitter and Google+.  Besides learning from others that are more experienced than me, I benefit from the coupon codes and sales notifications that everyone likes to share.  It’s a win-win-win for everyone.  The seller gets more sales, the buyer gets a discount and if an affiliate marketer is involved, they get a small commission.

Registering for Sales Tax
It’s been awhile since I last checked where my inventory is stored at.  So, I logged into Seller Central and ran a Daily Inventory History report.  In it, I found that I have a few products stored in South Carolina.  This is the state that I’ve been putting off registering in because they charge a $50.00 registration fee.  I figured that I would wait until I had nexus there first before registering.  I have never shipped directly to South Carolina but apparently Amazon moved some of my products there.  The specific products in South Carolina are ones that I sent to Amazon using Inventory Placement.  I wonder if they would be in South Carolina if I didn’t use Inventory Placement…

Anyway, since I had extra computer time, I went ahead and registered for sales tax collection in South Carolina. Whenever I register for a state, I start by going to the TaxJar State Info page so that I can learn more about the specific state that I’m interested in.  From there, I go to the State’s Department of Revenue’s website and fill out the registration form.  In my opinion, South Carolina was one of the easiest states that I registered in.  Either that or it’s because I’m more experienced in the whole process since I have done quite a few states already.

Applying for a Restricted Category
Last night I applied for the Health and Beauty Category.  I chose that one because there are always health and beauty aid coupons in the Sunday paper and I may have a good chance of finding some good deals.  Plus since I know I’ll have to buy products upfront to submit invoices to Amazon, I wanted to stick with things that I would use myself in case I didn’t get approved.  I also chose this category over groceries because I don’t want to deal with food quite yet.

I started the process by going into Seller Central and searching for “categories” in the search box located at the top right corner.  It brought up the page shown below and I selected “Categories and Products Requiring Approval”.

Amazon FBA Category SearchFrom there I was given a list of categories to choose from.  After selecting Health & Personal Care, I read the seller and product requirements and then went on to request approval.  It led me to a short form where they asked me to briefly describe the products that I wish to sell, my email address and my phone number.  I am still waiting for a followup email from then explaining my next step in the process.  I’ll let you know later if I get approved or not.

Sourcing Online
I believe that sourcing online will be my key to moving my Amazon FBA business to the next level because then I can source from home.  This will give me more shopping opportunities as I can shop early in the morning while the retail stores are still closed and late at night when I don’t feel like going anywhere.

I did spend time yesterday sourcing online.  The Reseller’s Guide to Board Games book has a chapter on how to search for games on eBay to sell on Amazon.  I also tried a few of the tips that I learned from the online sourcing video from Amazon Boot Camp.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have any luck finding anything yesterday and will continue with it some more today.  I genuinely enjoy shopping in person more than I do online, so it may take me some time before I find my online shopping flow.

I’ll also be missing out on a Sunday Sourcing Trip again on Sunday, Oct 4th. I’m going to Arizona to visit my dad earlier that week and I’ll be flying home on that Sunday.  Hopefully by then I’ll be an online sourcing pro and will find lots of things to buy while I’m sitting at his house.

I wrote this post to keep you up to date on my progress and to point out that if your normal plans change, there are always other options.  I may be a few weeks behind on sending in new inventory, but it’s ok because I found other areas to work on that will still move me forward in my business.

Good luck with your goals and I would love to hear how you are doing. Also, if you are on Twitter, please connect with me on there.  I’m trying to get more active on that site and would like a few more friends on there.  I’m 2ndhalfdreams and I often use the #AmazonFBA hashtag.

Photo Credits:
Featured Image Photo Credit: © thinglass – Fotolia.com.
Picture of Amazon Seller Central Screen Credit: Diana Poisson

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{ 7 comments… add one }
  • GS September 22, 2014, 5:58 pm

    Hi Diana, I enjoyed reading your post. I’ll be looking forward to seeing your approvel process on H & B.

    Reply
    • Diana September 22, 2014, 7:10 pm

      Hi GS, I ordered Health and Beauty supplies online so that I can submit my invoices to Amazon for approval. So it’ll probably be another week before I know anything. If I don’t get approved, I’m going to try for beauty as I like the beauty products better. Amazon’s prices for beauty products are higher than the stores that I looked at. Hoping if I get approved then I can buy beauty products online and also do multi-packs. Thanks for checking in and let me know how you’re doing with FBA.

      Reply
      • Gs September 23, 2014, 5:07 pm

        Hi Diana, I’m still in early stage of learning FBA and just getting all the info together and hope to jump in next year. In order to apply for approvel, did you have to get the invoices from a whole sale website or any store is fine eg. Target or Walgreens?

        Reply
        • Diana September 23, 2014, 5:43 pm

          Hi GS, I bought from Drugstore.com and DollarDays.com. I chose those two because in one of the Facebook Group pages I belong too, I remember seeing that someone else got approved using those two companies. However, I haven’t submitted my receipts/invoices to Amazon yet. Once I submit them and get Amazon’s answer, I’ll let you know if I get approved or not. Right now, I’m waiting on my delivery from DollarDays to get to me.

          Reply
          • GS September 23, 2014, 9:38 pm

            Thanks for the update Diana. I’ll be waiting to see you process as I plan to apply for grocery when I’m ready. Thanks

  • Joe October 27, 2014, 1:18 pm

    Your blog has been wonderful. I have learned a lot already. I will be setting up my own blog soon to document how I’m doing. I too have recently jumped onto selling on Amazon. I am doing part time for now. I want to start selling on the beauty and grocery category. I do not have any sales yet. Can I still be approved if I don’t have a sale in those categories. I have a retail store I own. can I use invoices from that store and show it to Amazon. I buy wholesale for my store all the time or would it be ok to just provide receipts from dollar stores etc. Thanks.

    Reply
    • Diana October 27, 2014, 3:21 pm

      Hi Joe, If you’re just starting out and don’t have any sales yet, I would wait until you have some sales before applying for the gated categories as Amazon wants to see your seller metrics. As for using the receipts from your store, that I don’t know. In my experience in applying, Amazon never had an issue from where I was buying. So in that regard, I would say yes, it should be fine to use your store receipts or at least use the invoices from the wholesale companies that you purchase from. Again, with my personal experience, Amazon seems more concerned with the documentation type (invoices vs packing slips), quantity and making sure you’re buying items that fit into the category that you’re applying for. 

      I wish I could give you a definite answer, but I’m learning my way though it as well. All I can tell you is that me DollarDays invoice and Target receipts worked with Beauty. I haven’t applied in grocery yet but plan on doing so in November.

      Let me know it goes and I’m interested in seeing your blog when you get it going! Diana

      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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