Helping You with Your Amazon FBA Business

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.



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+.

Featured Image Photo Credit: © Pixelbliss –

{ 17 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.

  • 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!

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


    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.

    • 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.

  • 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

    • 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!

  • Harry January 12, 2017, 1:07 pm

    I still a little bit confused with how FBA works. If Amazon ship the shipment, do you have to pay the shipping cost ? How much they usually charge for the storage fee and handling fee ?

    “Pay as you go—you are charged for storage space and the orders we fulfill. The cost of shipping is included in your fees, with no extra charge for Amazon Prime FREE Two-Day Shipping and FREE Shipping on eligible orders. Fees for Selling on Amazon and optional services may apply.”

    • Diana January 12, 2017, 4:32 pm

      Hi Harry,
      Here’s how it works:
      1. You send your products to Amazon using UPS or Fedex. You pay for the shipping fees to ship your products to Amazon. The rates are pretty good and you print labels and approve your shipping fees from your Seller Central account.

      2. Amazon pays for shipping the product to the customers.

      3. After each sale, Amazon takes a commission.

      4. They do charge you storage fees. Then they have long term storage fees twice a year and the cost goes up for inventory that’s been at Amazon for over 6 and 12 months. As long as you turn your inventory over quickly, the fees aren’t too much of a problem.


      • Harry January 13, 2017, 2:14 pm

        Thanks for the response. This is where I get confused with the FBA Calculator that Amazon supply.
        I put it a sales price of $60.00 free shipping. And Amazon calculate their % sales is $9.00
        and then their fulfillment cost $28.00 ($2.00 monthly storage and $26.00 is the handling and shipping fee)
        with my cost at $45.00. Now it show when I sell this stuff basically I lose the profit margin at $22 per sales.

        Let me know which part I did wrong with the calculation.

        • Diana January 13, 2017, 4:33 pm

          I’m sure the calculator is right. But if you want to send me the ASIN, I can double check on my end.

          If your cost is $45, you will need to price it higher to make money.

          I sell a lot of shoes and I just purchased a pair of Nikes for $48.75 and am selling it at $94.93. At that price, I’ll make $26.94. If I sell them at $60, I’ll lose money.

  • Harry January 13, 2017, 6:49 pm

    ASIN : B008LR9BC2
    I was thinking – that if Amazon gave the free shipping to customer, why I had to pay the $26.00 shipping fee ?
    Since the price is above $49.00 that entitled the customer to get the free shipping anyway.

    • Diana January 13, 2017, 7:23 pm

      No, you’re not paying the customer’s shipping fee. Since the item is heavy at 14 pounds, you’re paying a big $21.17 weight fee. I would personally stay away from that item. Since it’s an oversized unit, you won’t be able to pack that many in a shipping box to send to Amazon. This will make your inbound shipping fees higher too.

      • Harry January 13, 2017, 8:09 pm

        I am glad to understand the concept now after your explanation. My thought would be I will not incur any weight fee because Amazon will pay the shipping fee regardless to the customer and it will not charge me for it.


        • Diana January 13, 2017, 10:41 pm

          Glad it makes more sense now. Unless the profit is really really really good, I tend to stick with small items. Most are the size of a shoe box or smaller.

  • Harry January 13, 2017, 8:17 pm

    Look like a lot of category become gated and requires a payment and invoices.
    For example – Nike and Polo shoes. In order to get approval, they need letter or invoice of purchase plus $1500 payment

    • Diana January 13, 2017, 10:48 pm

      You’re right, a lot of brand names are now requiring approval.

      So far I’ve been grandfathered in Nike and can still sell them without the approval letter, invoices and payment.


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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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