As we started planning for our full-time RV lifestyle we began looking into every single way possible to make money while traveling. We found great remote work opportunities to provide a more steady income, but we also wanted to learn more about entrepreneurial options. I’ve said it a million times and I’ll say it again, Heath and Alyssa Padgett’s Podcast (learn more about them here), The RV Entrepreneur, was a priceless resource. They have had all kinds of folks on to talk about how they transitioned to traveling full-time, from artists to the super-techy types.
In Episode #48 they had on Jason Wyatt, a Georgia boy (located only about 30 minutes from our hometown), who has mastered the art of an selling on Amazon. Click here to listen to the full episode. Now, I won’t even begin to say we have it completely figured out, because we don’t, not even close. But we have had a decent amount of success with items we’ve listed….TV stands we purchased for $30 and sold for $200, blankets for $5, sold at $35, $2 books from Goodwill that go for $60! I’m going to way over simplify the process, for in-depth details and tips check out Jason’s website, Touring Freedom. I think he’s also got a book in the works, so be sure to follow him on Facebook and join the group to ask other Amazon Sellers for advice.
First, create a Amazon Seller Account by clicking here.
Second, download the Amazon Seller App.
Third, start looking for deals! Which is my favorite part, because it’s basically shopping and hunting for bargains…SIGN ME UP! Check out the clearance sections of stores like Walmart, Target, Lowes, Home Depot, etc. And used books at Goodwill and other thrift or antique stores. Fiction isn’t going to sell well, unless you stumble across something rare or older children’s books. So skip those. Look for text books and/or books with a specific subject matter, like religion or cultural. Here is an idea of the types of books we recently purchased at Goodwill and an antique store.
Use the app to see if an item is going to make you money. When you open the app it’ll look like this. Use the camera icon to either scan the UPC code or the cover of the book.
The info for that item will pop up and you can then insert your purchase price (and estimate of shipping costs) and see if it’s worth the purchase. Watch this 33 second clip to see how it works. (book used in clip is one of my reading books, it is a perfect example of what NOT to try to sell). Plug in your purchase cost and the app will let you know your profit after fees and shipping costs.
The options you have once you scan an item are…. new or used and Seller Fulfilled or Amazon Fulfilled. New or used seems pretty self explanatory and is mostly used when selling books. The latter, you can either chose to fulfill the order yourself; meaning you ship to the customer and your item is not eligible for Amazon Prime and you pay less fees to Amazon. Or you can chose FBA (fulfilled by Amazon), you ship your item or items all at once to Amazon, they ‘store’ it until it’s sold and ship to the customer for you. Pro, item is listed as Prime and really who shops on Amazon without clicking the Prime Only option. Con, you pay more fees to Amazon and cut at your profit.
Things to consider when choosing to self-fulfill an order or choose FBA. For us, traveling in a camper, space is our number one consideration, if we don’t have the room, we have no choice but to choose FBA. Secondly, is this item more likely to sell under Prime. For example, the TV stands and blankets we decided to choose FBA so if whomever was shopping had it narrowed down between our item or another similar item, and ours would ship in 2 days, we figured they’d be more likely to pick ours. The books, we’re gambling with seller fulfilled since we currently have the space and they are more specific items that someone is probably willing to wait an extra day or two to receive. We’ve already sold one and we’ve got our fingers crossed on the others. You can go in and change it at any time, so if we decide to go the FBA route, we can. The app and Amazon Seller website will have all the necessary labels ready for you to print to either ship to the customer or to Amazon. It’s super user friendly.
And most importantly, I like to make sure that we are overall making a profit, after actual shipping costs, fees and shipping materials. So I keep a spreadsheet to easily crunch the numbers. And because we do this as we travel, I like to label where items were purchased for nostalgia reasons. I’d be happy to share a template with anyone interested, just email me.
So this is a very quick look at what it means to be an Amazon Seller at the lowest of levels. There are so many other ways (buying from China and in bulk, etc.) which I’m sure make a ton more money more quickly. But we’re pretty happy with what we’re doing now and who knows where it may lead (cha-ching). I’ll be sure to keep you posted!
Also, please feel free to leave me comments! I’d love to know if my blogs are helpful, interesting or just a waste of time 😉 Thanks Yall!