Bootstrapping an Amazon FBA Business



Are you ready to start a business as the entrepreneur you were always destined to be? Or maybe you’re just looking for some passive side income. You’ve probably heard about Amazon as the biggest eCommerce giant and want to get your hands on some of that profitable sales. If so, we’ve got something for you…


With factors like buying products from suppliers, developing an advertising and marketing strategy, registering for legal and tax contracts, and paying all sorts of shipping, storage, and delivery fee – the Amazon selling process can sound expensive.

The fun fact is it’s not!


Can you start Amazon FBA with little money?


Yes, of course. There are two approaches you can take here: i) you can either niche down in your main product category, or ii) launch in a less competitive marketplace.


If you’re selling in the Amazon US or UK, we’ll suggest you go into a micro-niche. Confused? A niche is a specialized section of the market for a particular kind of product or service. A micro niche is a smaller super-specific section of a niche market with less traffic and competition, comparatively lesser sales, but it is excellent to start with.


A pillow would be a niche, while an emoji pillow would be a micro-niche. The benefit of going into a micro-niche is that the audience is well informed of what they need, so you won’t have to spend as much money on advertising and making them aware as you usually would.


The other option is to venture into smaller marketplaces like Australia, Spain, France, or Italy. These marketplaces have low competition and a lot of potential. If you can find your way around them, we would recommend selling there.


How much money do you need to sell on Amazon?


If you are super tight on budget, you can even start an Amazon FBA business for $1000. But if you want to keep a little margin while still going low, anything between $2000 and $3000 would do. The inventory would cost $800-$1000, professional photography about $300, advertising about $800, and the rest is likely to go in fees and other overheads. Bear in mind, however, this is just a rough estimate, and the actual costs may vary.


So how do I start selling on Amazon with little money?


Research, learn, and research some more!


You’ve decided Amazon is for you. But before you begin to sell items on Amazon, make sure you know the ins and outs of the marketplace you’re selling in, like the back of your hand. Flying blind on Amazon will cost you a lot of money, and your margin of error is minimal. Therefore, we cannot stress enough how crucial it is to get your knowledge right on point.

There are tons of free resources out there to learn. Go on YouTube, Seller forums, Reddit, join Facebook groups. If you have a bit to spend, we would suggest investing in buying a paid training course as they take you through a step-by-step process and clarify and organize all the available information.


Get some tools


Buy tools to assist you in finding and monitoring products. This may seem unnecessary but is beneficial in the long run. Tools like Zonguru, Jungle Scout, and Helium10 could cut short on your time and hard work; in fact, some of the information these tools provide cannot be found manually. They also offer other solutions that can save you a lot of money.


Choose your product carefully


When it comes to choosing your first product and that—too—on a low budget, you HAVE to be super selective of what you’re planning to sell; the market’s competition will determine your budget.

  • Size: Choose a product that can fit into a shoebox. Selling a small and lightweight product can minimize both shipping and packaging costs.

  • Seasonality: Getting into a seasonal product can be extremely risky, especially if you have a tight budget. So make sure you select an evergreen product.

  • Market dominance: Avoid getting into products that are brand or Amazon dominant.

  • Easy shipment: Do not go for fragile items or items that break easily as they can result in losses. Choose a product that can handle a bit of rough handling.

  • Usability: Select products that the buyer will need, again and again, to generate more sales. And make sure there is room for improvement in the product.

What is the easiest thing to sell on Amazon?


Categories like Home & Kitchen, Sports & Outdoors, Office, and Tools & Home Improvement are the easiest to sell as they always have scope for expansion and contain items that fit the above criteria. However, there is no hard and fast rule. Choose what you are comfortable selling, backed by strong data analysis.


Find a reliable supplier that fits your budget


China is the best place to find suppliers, not only for its cheaper manufacturing costs but easily customized products and an extensive items offering too. You can find a good supplier through sites like Alibaba and 1688.


To get the best rates, make sure you are heard as a small business. Present your supplier with a thorough and well-thought-out business plan and show that you are serious. Focus on building a long-term relationship with them.


Come up with a solid launch strategy


The most important thing you can do is to build your brand. Focus on multiple ways of marketing and selling – YouTube, blogging, Facebook, Instagram, etc. Build an email list. Create an optimized listing; write and optimize for Amazon AND Google. Invest in high-quality product images.


Also, utilize Amazon promotions. Join the Amazon Vine program. This would help boost your sales over both short and long-term.


Once you have about 10 reviews on your listing, turn on the heat with Amazon ads. Run strategic PPC; research and find keywords that will drive more sales. Pro tip: Use transactional keywords for a lower ACOS.


Open a dedicated Amazon store


Opening a brand store on Amazon helps you in many ways. It reinforces your branding, allows you to offer multiple products to your customers on the same page, gives a boost to your organic rankings, and makes for a smoother shopping experience on mobile devices. The best part is you don’t need to pay any additional fee to Amazon to open and run a dedicated store. Check out this step-by-step guide on how to get started with stores on Amazon.


How long can it take before you see a profit being made on Amazon?


If you do everything right, you can expect to see profits within the first 3 months of selling. They won’t be extremely high though, seeing you’ve invested less. But they should be enough to both reinvest and take some reward home.


Conclusion


So to round it all up, is it possible to start selling on Amazon with little money? Well, yes. However, keep your goals realistic. This is not a get-rich-quick scheme. It will take you time and effort to build a sizable income. Whenever you start your own business, there is always a peak of uncertainty and a huge learning curve. That is part of being an entrepreneur. Selling on Amazon is no exception. But with the proper knowledge and practice, you can successfully scale over time.


About the author


Mansoor is an e-commerce enthusiast and consultant at ZonGuru. He offers Amazon Private Label consultancy services to businesses and solopreneurs around the world.

Zonguru provides an all-in-one tool suite, perfect for all of your Amazon business needs. With state-of-the-art product research, optimization, and automation tools - we cater to all aspects of your Amazon journey. Along with a world-class tool suite, we have a dedicated team of customer success agents to help you along the way, as well as weekly trainings & monthly webinars.