Essential Tools For Selling on Amazon
These are the things you need to start your business in 2022.
Welcome to the new year!
I said on Twitter that I wanted to help 10 anons earn $10,000 in revenue on Amazon, and I wasn’t kidding. The amount of content I’m going to be pumping out on here is going to be much higher than before, and I’ll be very active on the BowTiedArbitrage discord to make sure everyone that needs help can get it. The degens are taking over this year.
In this post, I’m going to talk about some basic tools (physical + software) that you should consider picking up when starting out with Amazon FBA. While a lot of content creators will tell you that you can “start with what you have” and there is a degree of truth to that, we’re not trying to start from zero since this business model is very capital intensive and we want to scale fast. If you don’t have a couple hundred dollars to invest in equipment, you might want to look elsewhere for a second income stream. I’ll be going over the stuff you need from most important to least important, explaining why it’s necessary and some recommendations for brands as I see fit.
The Bare Minimum
Amazon Seller Professional Account: If you want to sell on Amazon, you’re going to need the professional seller account. This one is non-negotiable, you need to be able to send your inventory to Amazon fulfillment centers so they can handle customer service and provide 2 day shipping to customers. If you can’t cough up the $40 a month, you can’t go any further than this point. Go flip some of your old stuff on eBay.
Keepa: There’s a lot of paid software you can use to run your flipping business, but Keepa is the most important one of them all. Keepa tracks the sales data for (almost) every product on Amazon and gives you relevant information such as price history, sales velocity, number of sellers, stock count of sellers, etc. Keepa data is 100% necessary when it comes to making decisions on whether you should be buying a product to flip. The cost is 19 Euros a month (around $20-24 depending on the value of US Token), but it’s worth every penny.
Thermal Printer + Labels: This one you could arguably go without if you already have a regular office printer, but I’d advise you get a thermal one anyways for the sake of convenience. You need a printer capable of doing individual item labels (usually 2x1) and shipping labels (4x6). The brand everyone recommends is Rollo, and even though I don’t use one it’s probably the best option out there. Item labels are cheap and you can get shipping labels for free through UPS (google it, post will be too long for me to explain).
Boxes: While a lot of people reuse their boxes when shipping to FBA, more boxes usually means higher shipping costs. The maximum weight for a box is 50 pounds, and you should be taking advantage of that. The best bang for your buck for boxes is going to be Lowe’s, Home Depot, or U-Haul. I recommend using whichever is closest to you, I have a Lowe’s 5 minutes down the road so that’s what I use. I like using their 16x12x12 boxes for books and their 18x18x16s for grocery / personal care. Each box is somewhere between $1-$2 and will save you money over time.
Tape + Tape Gun: If you pack stuff in boxes, you need tape to seal the boxes. Tape gun makes this very easy. One of the best ways to spend $10.
InventoryLab: Inventory management software, makes it a lot easier to list items and create shipments. Some people like to use this for accounting purposes but the main feature is sheer convenience for listing / managing prices. I will probably make a post about how to use it at some point. $50 a month is quite a bit for new sellers though, so I don’t think you need it right off the bat. I used a spreadsheet for a long time before buying.
Polybags + “Sold as Set” Stickers: A lot of grocery / personal care items are most profitable when sold in multi-packs. To send in multi-packs to FBA, the items need to be grouped into a polybag with a sticker that tells the Amazon worker not to separate the items. Not necessary if you’re starting out with books but a good investment for when you want to diversify.
Box Cutter: The one downside of not reusing boxes is the clean-up. A box cutter helps a lot with this process, and you can get a good one for under $10.
Accounting Software: Taxes suck dick, but if you run a business you have to pay them. Quickbooks is the popular choice for accounting software, but I prefer GoDaddy due to the lower cost and the ability to link my Amazon account + business credit cards. It generates all the numbers on your Schedule C for you and is only $10 a month.
Nice to Have
Tactical Arbitrage: Software that scans hundreds of websites to find price gaps with Amazon, price usually deters people from buying in ($60-$129 a month depending on the package you select) but after having it for a month I’d say it’s worth it. Very useful but has a learning curve and not necessary to make your first $1000.
Scotty Peelers: Little tool that helps you scrape stickers off of stuff without making a mess. If you flip books or buy stuff from clearance sections in retail stores, these will help a lot.
Shipping Scale: Weighing your packages is important for calculating shipping costs. I used a bathroom scale for my first six months, but if you have an extra $70 lying around I highly recommend the Dymo scale pictured below (substack doesn’t like Amazon links).
SellerAmp SAS: An extension that works great with Keepa. Gives you estimated monthly sales for a product, includes a profit calculator and gives other useful information pertaining to other sellers on a listing. Definitely worth it for $15 a month and is probably worth it’s own post.
Storage Cart: Having a place for all of this shit I’m telling you to buy is not necessary but can make things a bit easier. I picked up this little cart (pictured below) for $30 on Amazon and it’s helped to organize all my stickers / polybags.
Repricer: When you have a lot of items in stock, a repricer is a great way to increase your sales / profits. Programs like Profit Protector Pro and BQool will lower your prices to win the buy box, and then slowly raise those prices once it becomes the featured offer so you don’t lose profit. Very useful program to have when you start to scale.
While this isn’t everything you could possibly buy to enhance your FBA business, I think it’s a good starting point. Expect more content like this in the future and be sure to join BowTiedArbitrage.
Now go out there and start flipping!