How to Get Started Selling on Amazon

Posted by Madison on April 30, 2013

When I shared How I Made $10,000 Selling on Amazon, I received lots of emails from readers who wanted to explore it some more, but didn’t know quite how or where to get started.

When a friend of mine started selling on Amazon recently, I emailed her instructions on how to get started. Sharing those instructions would be helpful for many of you who want to learn more about it. Here is a copy of the email I sent her:

Selling on Amazon Background Information

I’m assuming you found and read these articles that provide some background information:

How to Get Started Selling on Amazon

  1. Join the FBA forum. It’s on yahoo groups: FBA Forum. Just start reading there and anytime you have a question, search for it in the old posts. I think I learned more than half of everything I know about selling on Amazon just from that forum alone.
  2. Get the app on your phone. It’s called Profit Bandit. It’s $15 from Seller Engine. That’s the best way to learn I think. Just get it on your phone and start scanning. Scan everything in your house for practice.
  3. Start shopping. I think the easiest way to start is at Target. Look at the clearance endcaps. I start with the items on clearance for 70% off and then sometimes glance at the 50% off. When you scan items, look for how profitable it could be and compare to the cost. Don’t forget to use your Target 5% Discount Credit Card. When I scan items, here is what I look for:
    • Selling Price. My rule of thumb is that I like to double the cost. That allows for some price erosion before I list it for sale and for the cost of returns, damages, etc. For example, if I find an item that costs $10, I will look for a selling price that offers me a $10 profit.
    • Sales Rank. I also look at the sales rank (1 is the fastest selling item in each category). For example, in toys, a sales rank of 1-50,000 will sell relatively fast. At Christmas time my items with a sales rank of up to 100,000 sold pretty well. I don’t sell books, but a lot of people have mentioned that sales ranks of 1-1 million in books sell pretty well. I also like the electronics section at Target. I don’t have a rule of thumb for electronics, but if I see it’s 1-25,000 or so, it usually sells pretty fast.
  4. Expand to other stores. I would master Target first before going onto other stores. I feel like you can learn everything and test it all out with Target, then once you feel comfortable and get the hang of it, move onto other stores you like to shop at.

Helpful Places to Learn About Amazon FBA

Websites. Another good site I like to read when starting out is FBA Step by Step. And the software I use (and the app) has a good blog too: Seller Engine Blog.

Books. I read these 2 books (since they were free on kindle), which were somewhat helpful. They both contain basic information about the process:

Learning by Trial And Error

Overall, after I spent a few hours reading through the forums, books, and blogs listed above, just getting started and learning by trial and error which worked really well. I just started really small, just a few items at first, and then just grew each time as I learned more and more.

Stay tuned for more about Amazon including a Selling on Amazon Q & A!

More on Amazon

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Comments to How to Get Started Selling on Amazon

  1. Hi Madison,
    I came across this article a while ago, and finally decided to download the app and try it out. But after I read some reviews about Profit Bandit, it seems to me that the app started charging a $10/month subscription instead of one time fee of $15. In your opinion, with $120/year, is it still worth it to use this app? Thanks!


    • Hi Claire,
      Yes, the did start charging monthly. Since I use Seller Engine (the repricing and listing software) I asked for an exemption to the monthly fee and they honored it. However, even if I had to pay for it, I actually would. It is the single most important tool I use in my Amazon business! They have great customer service so it might be worth sending them an email and asking if you could try it out first.


  2. Hi Madison, It seems I may be a bit late to the Amazon FBA side hustle but better late than never. The one thing I’m trying to wrap my head around are product images. I’m aware of all of Amazon’s requirements and what makes a good image but I don’t really know how to obtain the images! Hiring a product photographer just seems like a lot of work and it of course eats into your profits. On the other hand, trying to take/edit the images yourself seems like a lot of work too! What did you do? I’m guessing I can’t somehow pay for images of the product from the actual manufacturer?

    Bradley A.

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