Amazon FBA: Step By Step Instructions on How To Earn Money With FBA



Amazon FBA

Step By Step Instructions on How To Earn Money With FBA

Table of Contents


Chapter 1 – Getting Started

Chapter 2 – Choosing What to Sell

Chapter 3 – Finding Inventory Online

Chapter 4 – An Example of Using Scoutify when Shopping


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© Copyright 2015 by Samuel Davis – All rights reserved.

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What is Amazon FBA? A reasonable question, the answer to which could provide you with the inspiration you’ve been looking for to escape the drudgery of a 9-5 job in favor of being your own boss, working to your own schedule and still earning an income that not only matches your current wage, but could even exceed it many times over!

Amazon FBA stands for ‘Fulfillment By Amazon’, and is a program designed to operate alongside the existing Amazon Sellers opportunity with the added bonus of handling storage and shipping without adding to the monthly subscription fee. This gives sellers the unprecedented opportunity to expand their business without searching for pricey self-storage options, allowing them to maximize earnings without any disruption to their business model.

The beauty of this program is that anyone can take part, with minimal upfront costs and huge potential for profit if approached correctly. There are countless sources of information and support to help guide a prospective Amazon FBA seller to accomplish their aspirations, as well as a ton of tools and resources that can be implemented at little or no cost to manage some of the more complex processes and calculations involved with being an Amazon seller, as well as sourcing profitable inventory and saving money on acquiring it!

The opportunity is there for the driven, entrepreneurial soul that doesn’t dream of a career dictated by others. In this book, we will cover the processes of starting up your business, creating a sustainable business model, and sourcing/processing inventory throughout the day to day running of your new business. Along the way, we will identify some great tools and resources that are on offer, and lay out some tutorials for how to use them effectively.

By purchasing this book, you’ve taken the first step towards a life-changing new career. Read on to start laying the founfations…



Chapter 1 – Getting Started

To enroll in the ‘Fulfillment By Amazon’ program, you must first have an Amazon Seller account. This has a monthly subscription fee, and provides you with the opportunity to sell products and items through Amazon, making use of its tools to maximize your chances of success. Once you have completed the registration process, you can access Fulfillment By Amazon from the ‘My Account’ page. With FBA, there are no additional fees to your monthly subscription; Fulfillment By Amazon’s aim is to be cost effective for sellers so payments to Amazon come through commission whenever you make a sale.

Finding the Right Items to Sell

The key to sustaining a successful Amazon business is simple: you must find profitable inventory. One of the most important components in achieving this is using a reliable Amazon Seller Scanning App. The principle function of any scanning app is to scan the barcode of a product you find in-store, locate the current selling price on Amazon and present the ‘Amazon Best Sellers’ rank and the Amazon Category the article is listed in. A lower number in the Amazon Best Sellers’ rank is better – anything around 10,000 or less is likely to sell. There are numerous Amazon Seller Scanning Apps available, all with varying costs and effectiveness, so a little personal research could help you find the right one for you. We will focus on an app called ‘Scoutify’ which is available for free with a subscription to Inventory Lab, a comprehensive tool for the aspiring Amazon seller. 


[*Why Choose Scoutify? *]

p<>{color:#000;background:#fff;}. The detailed results display enables you to see the product image, two lines of the title, the item category, number of current offers and the all-important sales rank. This streamlines the process of ensuring a product is worth investing in.

p<>{color:#000;background:#fff;}. You can input your cost for each item to see the potential profit calculation based on Amazon listings. The Scoutify app calculates the net profit and return on investment ratio.

p<>{color:#000;background:#fff;}. You can add sales tax rates and inbound shipping costs per pound; a lot of people forget these when listing products, and they can add up quickly when operating with low margin or heavy items.

p<>{color:#000;background:#fff;}. You can view an item’s price history on CamelCamelCamel.com (an established and trusted Amazon price tracker).

p<>{color:#000;background:#fff;}. You can return to a list of results without having rescan the item – seems simple, but a very convenient function.


Inventory Lab offers a month’s free trial, which will also give you access to the Scoutify app. It is highly recommended as a great tool for being a successful Amazon seller – look it up and see for yourself if it is something that might work for you.


Essential Supplies for Shipping Your Wares


When preparing to send your first batch of inventory to the Amazon warehouse, it will be useful to know what equipment you’ll need to ship your items correctly.  Here is a list of suggestions for equipment you’ll need to get that first batch of items approved:

p<>{color:#000;background:#fff;}. Shipping Boxes – There are many stores that will provide you with boxes for free upon request.  There is a website called Freecycle (www.freecycle.org) which often has boxes available for registered members. Home Depot is a common source for shipping boxes – search for the right sizes for your products and make sure you purchase boxes in a cost-effective way for your business.

p<>{color:#000;background:#fff;}. Packing Tape – Standard purchase from many supply stores.  When starting out it may be most convenient to buy from your nearest store, but ordering in bulk online is more cost-effective for the long term.  Purchasing a dispenser may help when processing large numbers of items.

p<>{color:#000;background:#fff;}. Removable address labels – Use these to cover the original barcodes on your products.  Amazon rules state these labels must be removable.  This is particularly important with products that have no outer packaging, such as books or DVDs.  When you are only labelling the packaging of a product, regular labels should be acceptable.

p<>{color:#000;background:#fff;}. Weighing scales – Bathroom scales are an acceptable starting point, if you have them.  Accuracy is important so make sure the scales you use are precise and reliable, and that you place the boxed product correctly on the scales to ensure the reading is true.

p<>{color:#000;background:#fff;}. Box labels – These can be acquired for free from UPS if you register an account.  To start with, you can simply tape a note on a piece of paper to the box.

[] Chapter 2 – Choosing What to Sell


Five Suggested Items to Sell on Amazon


p<>{color:#000;background:#fff;}. Second hand board games. Second hand stores or yard/car boot sales often sell board games that the previous owners never even used! Sometimes these games sit in a family’s cupboard, unused, for years until they decide to donate or sell them during Spring cleaning. An out-of-print board game, still in its shrink wrap, is like striking oil for the shrewd Amazon seller.

p<>{color:#000;background:#fff;}. [*Second hand school/university textbooks. *]Many students don’t look to sell their used textbooks back to stores when they finish their course, and often give them to charity shops or yard/car boot sales. Look out for really cheap textbooks like this – newer editions can sometimes be sold for astonishingly high profits!

p<>{color:#000;background:#fff;}. [*Children’s bedding. *]There is a surprisingly productive market for this little niche. Marked-down items of child bedding are worth investing in, because the demand for branded bedding for children frequently exceeds availability, so people may look to Amazon sellers with last season’s stock. Great news for you!

p<>{color:#000;background:#fff;}. Discontinued food items. Stocking up on food items that don’t perish can enable you to become a rare source if that food item is discontinued! People whose favourite food item has been discontinued will happily pay more than its old price as the item becomes increasingly rare.

p<>{color:#000;background:#fff;}. [*Off-season sweets/candy. *]A targeted shopping trip right after Christmas or Halloween could strike gold – that peanut-butter Christmas tree or caramel Jack O’Lantern could reel in customers whose cravings aren’t catered for by street stores in March!


Creativity when choosing what to sell is a fantastic quality to have. Finding gaps and niches in the market, combined with well-researched profitability assessments, could dictate your success as an Amazon seller.

How Many Items Do You Need In Your Amazon FBA Inventory?


A good number to aim for is to have around 150-200 units of stock at any given time.  Focus on having multiple units of any product you have, with that guideline total as your target. To be selling a single unit of any product, you need to be certain of its limited availability and a depth of customer demand for it. The sustainable business model for an Amazon seller, however, should focus on having a selection of active items of multiple units. With the right selection of products, offering multiple units of each one while adhering to the guide total of 150-200 at all times, a seller can realistically hope to achieve 600-800 sales per month.


A few things to keep in mind:

p<>{color:#000;}. Every business model is different, but these guideline quantities have been shown to generate success for a number of Amazon sellers.  

p<>{color:#000;}. The number of units you stock will not necessarily drive a certain amount of sales; there are other factors that influence this statistic.[*  *]

p<>{color:#000;}. It is possible to grow a successful business only selling individual items. Evidence suggests that this business model requires more weekly hours invested by the seller to be successful, but a higher profit per item is often yielded because you can source individual items for great deals at second hand stores or yard/car boot sales. If you have enough free time to invest in sourcing individual items then this may be a better business model for you!

Creating Effective Product Listings

Another extremely important aspect of becoming a successful Amazon seller is to ensure that customers are actually going to find your items.  Making this happen is not rocket science, but it is important that you pay as much attention to getting this step right as you do every other step of the process. Consider these three snippets of advice to get started:

p<>{color:#000;background:#fff;}. Create an informative headline without spammy language. Essentially you need to include the brand, what is included in the sale and a distinguishing feature of your item. Make sure you include important information, for example if the offer is a bundle then include the word ‘bundle’ along with the actual quantity involved. It can be tempting to load a headline with keywords in an attempt to reach more user searches. This is ‘keyword spamming’ and is likely to repel potential customers as it looks unwelcoming and untidy.

p<>{color:#000;background:#fff;}. Add as many relevant keywords as you can think of in the section marked ‘Search Terms’. The keywords that didn’t fit neatly into your headline can all be added here. Keep in mind that it is not necessary to repeat any of the keywords you did include in your headline in this section. Simply input as many words as you can think of that potential customers looking for your product might enter as search terms, with no commas in between to ensure entering any combination of those keywords will still lead to your product appearing in the search results.

p<>{color:#000;background:#fff;}. Check your listing’s effectiveness by searching for it yourself. To test if your item comes up with the right search terms, try performing a search yourself. If you can’t find it, customers are even less likely to. Note that it will sometimes take several minutes for the Amazon database to update with your new listing, but perform the check as soon as possible to ensure you don’t forget about it.


Another benefit of performing this test on your items is that when entering search terms you might think of some more keywords that had not occurred to you before. Entering the mindset of a buyer is an essential skill for being an effective seller, so train yourself to enter the shoes of your customers in order to maximize the chances they will find and purchase your items.


If you find that you are unable to locate your item with a search, or if you do come up with some new keywords that you hadn’t previously thought of, make sure you edit the item listing from your account and make the necessary amendments to the product description until the problem has been remedied.

[] Chapter 3 – Finding Inventory Online


One great way to build inventory you can sell on Amazon is by finding deals online.  Every seller has his or her own preferences for where to source inventory, but shopping online can be a great way to stock up on items if you find the right deals.  It also means you can continue to build up your business from the comfort of your own home, a great perk for when you’re unwell or tired, or if you really don’t fancy tackling the weather conditions outdoors.  


Ordering online also has a habit of enabling you to acquire more units of a single item than you usually would from physical shopping, and stocking multiple units has a proven track record for successful Amazon selling. Shopping online for inventory can be a complex and lengthy process, and does require a certain amount of intuition and discernment. You can hone these skills with practice, but in the meantime there are a few very useful tools you can implement to help you on your way:


1. Install the Ebates toolbar on your browser

Ebates is a service which is supported by a number of online retailers, allowing registered buyers to receive a percentage of their qualifying purchase fee returned to them as ‘cashback’. With the toolbar installed, qualifying retail items will be identified and you simply have to click the ‘E’ in your toolbar to activate your Ebates membership and receive cashback on your purchase. Most sites only reimburse around 1-2%, but you will find some that offer up to 15%!  


The Ebates membership is free, and any amount of cashback you can get on a product is a welcome bonus; it all adds up in the long term. Utilizing the toolbar is helpful because it saves time over manually logging in via the Ebates website, and can rescue you on those occasions when you’re working on your inventory and completely forgot to sign in to your account. You can create an account at www.ebates.com, and install the toolbar from the ‘My Account’ section after you’ve signed up.


2. Another great toolbar to install is ‘Invisible Hand’

This toolbar was designed for the sole purpose of saving money for shoppers when buying online.  It finds you the best deals by monitoring the products that you search for, then automatically scouring the internet for other retailers of the same product to give you a price comparison list.  Any matches it finds will pop up at the top of your browser, showing you the lowest price online for the item you want to buy.  


This actually doubles up as a fantastic market research tool for Amazon sellers, because you can look up popular products on Amazon and see how much they sell for, then Invisible Hand will quickly tell you if those products can be purchased cheaper elsewhere. If they can, you have an instant source of inventory that has a high chance of selling, with a guarantee of profit that you can easily calculate via the price comparison.


3. The Amazon Browser Bar can be a useful tool

This toolbar can be used by the Amazon seller to do the reverse of what Invisible Hand does.  Instead of searching for alternative retailers where a certain item might be cheaper, it will tell you if a product you find elsewhere is currently available on Amazon. Unfortunately it doesn’t currently work with every single online retail site, but it does work with enough to mean it’s still a tool worth having in your arsenal as an Amazon seller.


Saving time on your market research frees you up to focus your energy on other aspects of your business, so should not be overlooked. Although this tool was, once again, designed for shoppers, it can be manipulated by sellers like you by instantly telling you if an item you have found while browsing some online stores sells for a much higher price on Amazon.  If it does, then do a little research into the demand for the item, plus the shipping costs and other formalities, to see if it would be a worthwhile investment for you to make.


4. Check for coupon codes at sites like RetailMeNot.com

There are a few sites of this nature, in which individual people as well as businesses can post coupon codes to grant customers discounts while shopping in their online store.  You may find that implementing the process of checking for coupon codes into your routine when buying online inventory could save you a significant amount of money in the long run.


5. Another great site to keep open is CamelCamelCamel.com

Use this site to give you an accurate price history of any product listed on Amazon.  It can be helpful to know if a certain product has remained consistently at the same price for a long time, or if it has recently dipped or climbed. You can use this information to judge the demand and popularity of an item, as well as whether there is a risk of it suddenly losing its value or even making potential leaps.


6. Keep FBACalc.com open in your browser to help guide you


This is a site that will tell you exactly how much profit you could make by selling an item you find elsewhere on Amazon.  It is a very helpful tool because it streamlines the process of calculating the ins and outs of whether or not an item you have found will be profitable, and eliminates the possibility of human error when making these calculations.




The tools listed here are just examples of services that offer functions you can take advantage of as an Amazon seller; there are alternatives to each of them that perform the same/a similar function. There are also other possible tools out there for the shrewd Amazon seller to track down that will work best for their own business model. It is always a good rule of thumb for an Amazon seller to be implementing an ongoing practice of searching for new tools to help him or her source inventory efficiently.


When starting out, you really can search any online store you like. A pretty good strategy is to go to the ‘clearance’ or ‘sale’ section of an online store, and then browse the section you have the most knowledge of. For some categories, like DIY for example, it is essential to have a strong understanding of what items are going to generate customer demand; investing in products that no-one wants is not a model for success in the world of Amazon selling.


Be discerning as you scan through potential inventory. Look for brands that you know or items that are unique, then check these products to get more details. Pay close attention to the savings offered on the items that attract your interest – bigger discounts when you buy inventory means bigger profits when you sell through Amazon! Try not to waste time when browsing; developing a swift technique for identifying potential inventory leads will make you a far more productive seller.


Once you have identified a potential item, the tools listed earlier can be brought into play. Your first port of call, if the site you’re viewing is compatible, should be the Amazon Browser Bar.  This will give you your earliest indication of whether or not an item is worth researching further.  If the Amazon Browser Bar doesn’t activate, you’ll have to quickly open Amazon in another tab and manually search for the product to see if it is listed, and if you would make a profit on it.  


Aiming for the highest possible profit margin is a no-brainer. Targeting 100% profit or higher is a realistic goal for individual items, but when shopping for inventory online you can be a bit more flexible with this. This is because having the option of buying multiple units, with the additional bonus that they will most likely arrive nicely packaged by the retailer you purchased from, will help you save time and also generate substantial profits even with a lower profit margin.


When doing your research on a potential product, use search engines (or your Ebates toolbar) to find out how an item is priced across other retailers around the internet. Discerning customers will find cheaper alternatives to Amazon for an item they wish to buy, if they are easily available. If other retailers would undercut your selling price on Amazon, then it is unlikely you will turn a profit from that product. Also check to see if an item has been discontinued by its manufacturer; discontinued products will have the highest chance of generating increased demand as their availability becomes more limited, in turn driving prices higher and maximizing your profits. Additionally, certain products will generate more demand at a certain time of year, so awareness of a product’s seasonal functionality will be a good way to assess its profit potential.


Browsing clearance sections of online retailers is just one of many ways to source inventory online, but it is a great place to start. You will be able to develop your skills and instincts, as well as discover creative ways to use the online tools available to you. Eventually, you will find your own routines and methods; sourcing inventory online is very subjective, and it is only with practice and experience that you will find what works best for you.

[] Chapter 4 – An Example of Using Scoutify when Shopping


A quick visit to a local second hand shop/thrift store can sometimes throw up an opportunity to pounce on a bargain that could make you some real profit as an Amazon seller. All it takes is a little bit of luck, a keen eye, and effective use of your barcode scanner app that connects to the Amazon marketplace. Our chosen app, if you recall, was Scoutify, which is available for free to people with a subscription to the Inventory Lab service for Amazon sellers. Other Amazon scanning apps will do a similar job when you’re searching in-store, but for this example we will stick with our chosen app.


The following are some screenshots that demonstrate the process of finding and assessing a potential item found in a thrift store. With Scoutify installed on your smart phone, you just need to have network reception to access the internet, and you’re good to go!


As you can see, the item in this picture is a Presto electric slicer/shredder – a handy kitchen utensil.  The cost in-store was $7.00, and the app has simply cross-referenced that with prices for the same item on Amazon and, taking into account other expenses associated with selling the item, calculated a minimum profit of $25.91.  With a rank of 331 in the ‘Kitchen’ category (considering there are thousands of products in ‘Kitchen’) this looks like it could be a great find. So long as they are in good condition, used kitchen items do well for resale, but keep in mind that this is not the same for all item categories. Do your research about the success of second hand items before investing in them!



This item is toner for a Brother printer. These types of items are more likely to be stocked by a store in quantities of more than one, so the $6.79 profit displayed in the screenshot can be multiplied by whatever number of items the store has in stock (or however many you can afford to purchase). Toner/ink cartridges are a great item to check for, because there is always demand for them and a lot of people will order them online rather than go to a store. If you find some for a bargain price, snapping them up would be a good move as they often sell on Amazon for $20 or more – sometimes even as much as $100!  Be mindful of the fact that some of them carry an expiration date; this can trip up the non-observant seller when stocking up.



Here is an example of a disappointingly unsuccessful discovery. As mentioned before, bargain board games have a habit of being great finds for sellers, often commanding high amounts of demand and similarly high prices due to their rarity and universal appeal. This particular Sudoku board game, however, didn’t live up to that hopeful ideal. The potential profit margin is very low, and although the item is quite rare it has an extremely poor Amazon sellers’ rank. This would be an item you would have to pass on – but a good example of how Scoutify can fill in when your instinct falls short of guiding you safely to a good investment.



This game, unused and still in its original shrink wrap, is a more positive example. Very cheap at $3.00, with a potential return of almost 300% and a sellers’ rank below 10,000, this is a small investment that is likely to sell and give you the return you’re looking for. Small sales like this, with profits that are significant in percentage but seem small in the grand scheme, are the ones that will add up and provide more bulk for your monthly earnings as an Amazon seller. Do not overlook them, just make a habit of finding and processing these items as quickly as possible so that they become an invaluable, but not a time consuming, part of your selling routine.



[* Fax paper film is another of those items that you should look out for. Think about all the slightly outdated technologies as the world gradually becomes more digital; many of them are still in use, but finding accessories and essential components/materials for them becomes increasingly difficult as they are discontinued. For the shrewd Amazon seller, finding these resources at bargain prices is a great way to take advantage of these market niches, and as this Scoutify screenshot shows, a 500% return and good sellers’ rank means you’ll be turning a respectable profit. Supply and demand is not always about targeting the most popular products; it can mean catering for important niches that can’t do without! *]




In approximately 15 minutes of thrift store browsing, these items will turn a profit of around $60 if sold through Amazon. Not a bad return for your precious time, right? With practice and experience, you will become more skilled in seeking out and spotting items worth scanning, so just take the plunge and learn as you go!

[] Conclusion

While not an exhaustive guide to success in the world of Amazon FBA, you can safely feel that this book has provided you with the information and tips to lay the foundations for your Amazon sellers’ aspirations. There are countless books, blogs, websites and video tutorials at your fingertips to learn, from successful sellers, how to mimic the techniques and strategies that made them succeed.

The key is sourcing and processing profitable, in-demand inventory in a swift and effective way. From reading this book, you will have a knowledge of some proven tools that can be easily and affordably incorporated into your strategy for doing this, as well as some basic tips and guides on how to use them effectively. You also have a checklist of materials and resources you will require to meet the shipping requirements laid out by Amazon, and some guidelines to follow regarding what profit turnarounds you should be aiming for, and how much inventory to stock at any given time.

The descriptions of how to source inventory from online clearance sales and thrift stores/second hand shops are meant to serve as examples of where to look and how to implement the tools we have identified in this guide. When you are confident in your techniques and have found the tools that work best for you, you’ll be ready to branch out and discover your own sources of inventory to take your business to the next level. Here are a few suggestions for you to check out:

p<>{color:#000;}. Your home – got a lot of clutter that you need to get rid of? Before packing it all to your nearest refuse site, or donating it en masse to second-hand stores or charity shops, take a good look through it for items that may fetch you a tidy little sum of money through your Amazon seller account.

p<>{color:#000;}. Retail Arbitrage – seasonal sales, stock clearance items and liquidation stores can yield bounties of bargains for a thrifty Amazon seller to track down and pounce upon. With a honed instinct, observant eye and good Amazon barcode scanner app to back you up, these stores can be your goldmines.

p<>{color:#000;}. Wholesale – If you have access to a method of buying items in bulk from manufacturers or distributors, or perhaps from designated wholesale suppliers, all you need is the research to seek out demand and the funds to invest.

p<>{color:#000;}. Source items on eBay – a well-known bargain source, eBay can provide inventory for Amazon sellers and serve as an additional shop-front for your business, should you choose to expand in this way.

Good luck!


Amazon FBA: Step By Step Instructions on How To Earn Money With FBA

There is a gold mine of profitable items and products all around us in our everyday lives, and Fulfillment By Amazon provides the ordinary citizen, possessing a hint of entrepreneurial aspiration, with an accessible and illustrious way to realize the dream of successful self-employment. The opportunity is there for the driven, entrepreneurial soul that doesn’t dream of a career dictated by others. In this book, we will cover the processes of starting up your business, creating a sustainable business model, and sourcing/processing inventory throughout the day to day running of your new business. Along the way, we will identify some great tools and resources that are on offer, and lay out some tutorials for how to use them effectively.

  • ISBN: 9781310674631
  • Published: 2015-10-25 16:35:15
  • Words: 5308
Amazon FBA: Step By Step Instructions on How To Earn Money With FBA Amazon FBA: Step By Step Instructions on How To Earn Money With FBA