Entrepreneurs

Why You Can Sell On Amazon Without Experience, Money Or An Idea

By Greg Mercer, Founder and CEO of Jungle Scout, the leading all-in-one platform for selling on Amazon.

Amazon has taken entrepreneurship by storm. It’s arguably the front-runner of e-commerce’s boom, inspiring thousands to build online businesses of their own.

I’ve been selling on Amazon since 2013, and I’ve learned a thing or two about creating my own products and brand with Amazon’s private-label method. I built an eight-figure business on Amazon and now focus my time as the CEO of the leading all-in-one platform for selling on Amazon. 

My most important mission is to help entrepreneurs get where they want to be. I’m here to share how Amazon challenges traditional business and how you really can start a business without prior experience, a boatload of money or even an idea. 

1. You don’t need to shell out a lot of money to get going.

Back when I launched my first product, I put down $ 2,000 as my initial investment. At the time, it was a risk, but so is any entrepreneurial effort. While you can spend a couple of thousand dollars to launch your business, it’s possible to do it for less. 

You can start with an arbitrage model, which is buying discounted products (either retail or online) to resell. This is a great launching point if you have a limited budget. You might even find some books or other items around your house and sell them — spending $ 0 to start!

If you’re looking to go the private label route, you do need to be prepared to make a small investment. According to my company’s 2021 State of the Amazon Seller report, nearly a third (29%) of Amazon sellers spend less than $ 1,000 to start their businesses.

Consider it your “token” that lets you play the Amazon game. And in the grand scheme of things, it’s a smaller financial commitment than building a business concept from the ground up.

2. You don’t need a product idea to get started. 

You should sell something that has the data to back it up. You may think an opportunity could be a gold mine, but competition may be too saturated, or the product may not be in demand. Look for products that have promising patterns of sales.

It’s OK to not have a strong affinity for your product, either. Maybe you don’t consider yourself much of a chef, but you see mason jars for canning have potential on Amazon. 

That’s why I created my company: to help entrepreneurs “greenlight” a product with real metrics and, as a result, make data-driven decisions for their businesses. The goal is to find a product with high demand and low competition.

Finding a product on Amazon can surprise you. It may not be something that’s ever been on your radar or even the subject of your dream company, but it could build the foundation for a profitable business.

3. You don’t need to invent your own idea, either.

Although private label Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) is the preferred selling method for 67% of sellers on Amazon, it’s not the only way to make it. There are other methods to be successful, including arbitrage, wholesale and drop-shipping. 

These avenues allow you to leverage existing products on Amazon. In addition to arbitrage, you can buy bulk products from a supplier to resell with wholesaling. Drop-shipping allows you to buy existing products from a supplier and then have the product shipped directly to the customer. 

You don’t have to be original or unique with your ideas, but you do have to pursue a product with enough demand. Follow the demand, and you’ll win the customers.

4. You don’t need to live and breathe Amazon to be successful. 

If you focus and set realistic goals, working on your business shouldn’t feel overwhelming. Our research found that 39% of Amazon sellers spend fewer than 10 hours a week managing their Amazon business. That’s a little less than an hour and a half a day. You can have an Amazon business as a side hustle or a way to earn extra cash or even transition your venture into your full-time job. 

That said, most Amazon sellers agree that Amazon is not a get-rich-quick tactic. Amazon is a long-term game of educating yourself on new, evolving topics and staying on top of changing policies. To do well, you have to be willing to do the work. You’ll need to keep up with competitors and watch out for hijackers.

What’s nice about Amazon is that you have the flexibility to make it whatever you want. When you’re building a traditional business, it can be difficult to commit a few hours or go “part time” without sacrificing its growth. 

5. You don’t need to wait for the ‘perfect time’ to launch your product. 

I’ll always say it’s better to start on Amazon now, learn from your mistakes and keep iterating. Wishing you had a business and starting one are two different things. 

Although you should consider product seasonality, there is no wrong time to start selling on Amazon. You can incrementally invest in your business without going “all in” at once. If you go private label, Amazon handles storing, shipping and returns, which is also a huge benefit and time-saver for sellers. 

There’s always going to be competition on Amazon, and the quicker you get into it, the better. As popular as e-commerce is, it’s a given that there will be other sellers with similar products. But you’ll learn to be savvy when there’s competition around. Think of all the powerhouse brands you know and love. Most are the products of competitive friction. That next big brand could be you.

There’s a big advantage to e-commerce and building businesses on Amazon. It provides more flexibility than the traditional — financially, with business models, with time — and you don’t have to create an idea from scratch.

Amazon makes starting a business accessible to everyone. With hard work, Amazon success is within reach. Build on Amazon the way you want.

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Forbes – Entrepreneurs

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