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Going from a Hobby to a Real Business with Amazon FBA

When I first began selling on Amazon, I was on a mission to scale up my sales and turn the business into a full time living.

One of the first things I realized was that while I enjoyed doing retail arbitrage, it’s wasn't a consistent way to source a steady supply of inventory. And it was very difficult to scale and grow the business beyond a job for myself. Albeit a decent paying job. So I looked to other models.

The ultimate business is to create a product and brand of your own. But this requires a lot of time to implement (9 months from start to finish is considered fast), and involves a lot of legalities (such as trade marks, safety and other regulations) and up front costs that require experience and knowledge in working with manufacturers. It also involves a lot of risk, especially if you don’t fully understand the implications and technicalities involved in designing and branding your own product line. This was not something I was willing to risk.

In looking around at my options, I decided that the best next step for me would be to find a few wholesalers I could buy from. As you probably know, I recently attended the ASD show in Las Vegas and was blown away with the sheer amount of choices available. Many of the suppliers made business as easy as just walking up to the booth and placing an order with your credit card! I received personal attention from every seller and everyone there expressed an interest and was comfortable with my business model of selling on Amazon. Apparently, a few years back it was another story and many vendors shunned online only retailers, especially the Amazon crowd. Times have changed for the better!

Before attending the show, I had business cards made up and created my own simple web page for my company explaining what we do.

I’d explain to suppliers that we’re a Canadian based reseller that promotes and sells products for manufacturers, retailers and distributors. We make it easy for US companies to do business in Canada as we have warehouses in the US (I have companies I use that do this for a small fee) where they can send their products and let us handle importing into Canada. That got many of them quite excited, as they were confused and unsure of how to do business in Canada. I negotiated free freight, or 10% off for this service if there was mutual interest.

My pitch was simple, and to the point. I’ve summarized here:

We can increase your sales by putting your products on-line through Amazon and our other high traffic channels to supplement your existing distribution channels. How’d you like to grow sales alongside your existing distribution without competing with them directly, or diluting your prices in a “race to the bottom” scenario? Within days, your products are in front of millions of buying customers in Canada and the US You’re in control of your costs – No concern about price cutting and product dilution as we can arrange MAP pricing with you Don’t have to worry about having to continually offer deeper discounts – If you deal with Amazon directly, you’re likely under contract to cut prices and do business on their terms We sell through a trusted, secure platform where consumers typically spend more than anywhere else You can send anything from 1 box to full trailer loads of product to Amazon’s fulfilment warehouses – The business is totally scalable Personal, friendly staff willing to work with you as a long term partner Ability to cross-promote and bundle your products with complimentary items to increase sales

I found this worked very well, and quite often offset objections. You see, I really believe that we as 3rd party sellers on Amazon bring a lot to the table for companies looking to expand their business online. Especially those looking to expand internationally, where many locally based Amazon sellers can offer expertise getting products to market.

I’ll end with an email I received this afternoon from one of the wholesalers I’d talked with at the ASD show, using a similar pitch to the above.

It was a pleasure meeting you at the ASD show.I am THRILLED at the possibility of FINALLY being able to find success on amazon in Canada.We receive frequent emails about purchasing in Canada and we don’t have a single online reseller.I believe you are the right partner and we will be very successful together! I have attached our catalog and standard wholesale price list. Can you please advise what next steps are to get started?



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