My 5 Year Review Of Amazon FBA:
Can you believe that last week marked my 5th year of selling on Amazon and posting tips and tricks on this blog and my YouTube channel. In that time I’ve managed to go from a modest amount of sales in my first week, to one that generates more than 6 figures a month from selling my products to customers all around the world – not bad for something that I’ve been building as a side hustle in my spare time.
I’ve been selling in Amazon for 5 years and I’ve experienced a roller coaster of emotions, some days feeling on top of the world, and others feeling like I can think of nothing worse than to give Jeff Bezos another penny of my money. But to be fair to old Jeff, despite the tough periods that I’ve been through, I’ve grown from being a complete beginner with zero experience, to an experienced entrepreneur that runs a business that generates 7 figures a year in sales.
So with the highs and lows that I’ve experienced selling on Amazon over the past 5 years… the question is, “Is Amazon FBA worth it? Well that’s what I want to run through today – an unfiltered story that tells of my experience of being an Amazon seller and whether I’d recommend it to others just getting started.
Before discovering what Amazon FBA was back in 2018, I was working for a small investment bank and was incredibly stressed. People were getting fired left right and center, and the culture was incredibly cut throat – in fact, within just 2 months of me working for this bank, more than 10 of my colleagues were fired despite me thinking they were pretty good, which caused me to have a lot of sleepless nights and a load of anxiety.
So, I decided to look for ways to make money online to give me the protection of another income stream, which I thought would relieve me of much of the stress being caused by being work. After researching crypto trading, dropshipping, affiliate marketing and more, I finally came across Amazon FBA, loved the FBA business model and immediately knew that this was the right type of opportunity for me.
Fast forward to 5 years later, and without a doubt my life has completely changed because of what I’ve experienced… some of which has been good, and some just plain awful.
One of the greatest things that I’ve experienced with Amazon FBA, is what it’s like to run my own business and be my own boss. Even when I was young, I felt like a bit of an entrepreneur and someone that would do well having my own business… but despite always feeling like that, I never had the confidence or the right idea of what business to do when I graduated, so I settled for a career in finance and banking instead.
But when I came across Amazon FBA, I really saw an opportunity to fulfill my dream of being my own boss because it seemed like it was a business model that took the difficulty and the uncertainty out of starting a business from scratch, and 5 years later my opinion hasn’t changed, it’s completely true and it’s probably one of the most attractive parts of this business model.
Even if you’re a complete beginner with no experience, it’s possible to create a business that’s capable of making 7 figures with Amazon FBA. There’s no daunting tasks such as the need for you to invent something, or for you to rent out premises or hire staff in order to make big sums, and that for me is such an appealing feature. Essentially all you need to do to make money, is to look at what products already sell well on Amazon, think of ways that you can make improvements to the existing offer, and then place an order with a supplier to get those products manufactured.
Once you’ve solved that piece of the puzzle, scaling your business to ridiculous levels is a walk in the park – you can launch more products under your existing brand which is exactly what I did, you can expand to other continents that Amazon operates in at the click of a button, and eventually, once your business reaches a certain size, you can look to sell it to an investor for millions, just like many others have done in the past.
What made Amazon FBA incredibly appealing to me when I first got started – and what’s still true today, is that it has limited barriers to getting started from an investment standpoint, because unlike a retail business where you’d need to incur significant expenses before you could start selling – such as renting a warehouse, a shop, staff hiring and so on, with Amazon FBA you can start making money from just investing a couple of thousand into stock and nothing else, that’s literally all you need to invest when it comes to major expenses that you’ll incur.
Over the past 5 years I’ve found that running my Amazon FBA business has allowed me to develop a skillset that I’ve been able to use outside of Amazon. I’ve learnt how to negotiate with suppliers, import products, hire assistants, calculate profitability and so much more – all skills and qualities that I would never have had the opportunity to develop had I not gone down the path of creating my own business… There are just so many skills that you develop as an Amazon FBA seller, and as a result of your experiences, your self-confidence grows and you realise that no business idea that you have now or in the future is off limits anymore.
My whole experience of selling on Amazon has made me a much more confident person in life and in business. Before I made my money from selling on Amazon, I was always a little bit cautious about online businesses and how much you could really earn. I wouldn’t say I thought it was all a scam, but I definitely didn’t think it was as accessible as it really is. But as soon I made that first sale and when that first bank deposit was made into my account by Amazon, my outlook on magic internet money completely changed and because of that shift, I’ve gone on to create 6 more online income streams that generate me 6 figures of profit. And those income streams would never have been developed if I hadn’t of taken those first steps of creating my Amazon FBA business – so cheers Jeff.
Although the past 5 years of selling on Amazon has largely been positive, of course there have been a lot of setbacks and challenges, some of which you’ll come across too if you’re looking to start selling on Amazon yourselves.
One of the biggest challenges that I faced – and you undoubtedly will too, is finding the right product to sell. When I first started product research, I didn’t realise just how boring, long winded and difficult it really was. Every time I found something worth selling, there’d always be a reason that I’d eventually think of, making me not want to progress.
Finding a product to sell on Amazon is difficult, and it really tests how much you want to succeed in this business. But, if you can get it into your head that this isn’t a get rich quick scheme, and it all successful businesses take time & effort to build, then you’re much more likely to reach the point of selling – but, just know it IS a challenge. With that said, practicing lots certainly helps, and once I went through the process of finding and launching a product that I saw was popular and made a profit, my confidence increased, I realised what factors are the most important when finding a product to sell, and I found the process of product research much easier – and this is pretty how many of my students have felt too.
Another frustrating part of selling on Amazon is that quite frequently unexpected things can occur which can be bad for business and pretty stressful. I’ve experienced periods where I’ve had top sellers that have suddenly stopped selling all together, I’ve had product listings removed by Amazon, I’ve had product shipments go missing, and I’ve had customers sending me abuse because they didn’t like my product. And whilst each time one of these events has happened it’s caused some anxiety and stress, I appreciate that no business out there is completely stress free and if you wanted to put a positive spin on it, it’s when things go wrong that you really do the learning. If everything was plain sailing, it wouldn’t’ be half as interesting..right? So, if you’re going to give this Amazon FBA business a good go, in exchange for all the good times and the profit that you’ll be making, you definitely need to understand that you will face challenges, difficulties and of course moments of stress… but they’re all solvable.
One big component of being an Amazon seller, is dealing with Amazon’s Seller Support, who are there to answer question and make the selling experience stress free.. supposedly. The reality is though, that Amazon’s Seller Support team are untrained, incapable and often cause more damage than good – and that’s me being polite.
Over the past 5 years, Amazon’s Seller Support executives have caused me stress, panic and pain, caused because of a lack of training and probably underhiring, meaning that they don’t ever read seller’s questions properly before responding. Examples include Seller Support shutting an account down after a seller asked how to change their credit card on file, and one where a seller’s listing was removed after they complained about a competitor copying their pictures. Yeah – they’re pretty terrible, but with that said, it seems Amazon has realised this and is trying its best to improve service levels by offering better support via Twitter and a call back feature.
Fortunately though, after 5 years of experience and being pretty knowledgeable about selling on Amazon, I rarely need to contact Seller Support, and if I do, I try my absolute best to explain the problem as clearly as possible. As future Amazon sellers, if you do need help – my advice is to first ask in Facebook groups, or refer to a courses or mentors in the first instance, unless you enjoy dealing with someone that’s so incompetent you may as well be talking to a wall.
Generally speaking, my experience of dealing with competitors on Amazon has been pretty good over the past 5 years, but there have been some instances where I’ve been a victim to the darker side of business, with competitors trying to attack my Amazon account through 1 star review attacks, listings being copied and fake patent claims, which was not a nice experience to go through. Unfortunately, in business and in life you do just get complete toads that will do whatever possible to gain an upper hand, so you always need to be on your guard. With that said, these days Amazon is a lot better in detecting nasty sellers and removing them before they do much damage, so recently I’ve not encountered too much trouble – touch wood.
So have I enjoyed selling on Amazon over the past 5 years, and would I recommend it to others? Well, yes and no.
The entire experience has allowed me to develop as an entrepreneur and to do lots of amazing things such as build out my business skillset, increase my confidence, meet new people and make lots of money. Above all though, its helped me to have a much better quality of life given I now have much less anxiety and stress than before I started.. but, as I’ve mentioned in this review, it has been a challenge, and some of those challenges may be too much for some.
I’ve always been motivated and interested in making as much money as possible, and so because of that, I’m very persistent and often refuse to give up on a problem no matter how difficult it is… which might not be an approach that’s suitable for everyone. Selling on Amazon is hard, it’s not a get rich quick scheme and it does involve a lot of persistence and patience, which if you’re not truly money motivated and entrepreneurial, you may not be willing to put up with. If you’re kind of on the fence about whether you think Amazon FBA is something that you’d enjoy in the long term, my advice is to watch more YouTube videos, check out my free training linked below and then re-assess and go for it. But if you’re the kind of person that likes to be challenged, enjoys building things and of course loves making money – then yes, I would 100% say that it’s time you start an Amazon FBA business.
I hope that my story and 5 year review of selling on Amazon has been helpful – If you have any questions about the process that I’ve been through, let me know in the comments, and if you want to learn more about Amazon FBA, check out my free training which is linked below.
If you want to know more about my Amazon FBA journey as a seller and as a mentor, read my blog post on What The Gurus Don’t Tell You About Amazon FBA.
If you want more information on how you can be successful with your own Amazon FBA business, check out my free training where I run through my exact 5 step strategy that I’ve repeatedly followed to continue launching successful products.
Or, if you’re ready to begin your journey and want to start with the best chances of success with a mentor, check out the Smashers Academy.