By this point, you’ve heard plenty about how Amazon is the biggest online retailer in the world. It’s hard not to, considering how it seems like every news story these days is dedicated to reporting some sales record that’s been broken by the eCommerce giant. Numerous small business owners would love to start selling on Amazon, but they often don’t have the capital needed to get started.
Countless individuals with literally no money would also like to get in on the action. If you’ve ever wanted to be your own boss, then this probably sounds like a great opportunity that you’re not able to take advantage of. However, there’s a big secret out there few people want to talk about.
You actually don’t need a dime to get started on Amazon.
Creating a New Store for Nothing
Even if you don’t have a single penny to your name, you can still sign up on Amazon as long as you have an email address. While no one would recommend using an unprotected wireless connection to do business, if you’re truly destitute, you could still get started by using the Internet at the library. Assuming you have at least some way to get online, considering that you’re reading this article, you can create a store.
Perhaps you already have an Amazon account. If that’s the case, then you can simply start selling by clicking a link in the settings page. In either case, you’ll want to create your store as an individual to avoid the complexities that come with selling as a professional. It also gives you the freedom to skirt the fee that comes with a professional account.
Now that you have a store, you’ll need something to sell. Considering you don’t have any money, this probably seems like a difficult proposition. You may want to start by selling used products you have around the house. Used games, music, and other media were what built Amazon to begin with.
Once you’re out of options, though, Amazon product sourcing doesn’t have to be expensive. You can act either as an affiliate member or buy things on credit and then work to pay them off with each sale.
Finding a Steady Stream of Products to Sell
Find a product that you know sells pretty well, and then focus primarily on this one. Some people have recommended selling products that they’re uninterested in so that they don’t have any inherent bias. The idea is that if you trade goods that you’re not into you won’t let your own personal tastes guide your stocking decisions.
While this is generally a good idea, you probably will want to eventually settle into a niche that you know something about. That can give you an edge on the competition because you’ll know what kinds of things are popular. Keep in mind that you don’t want to get into a market that’s too crowded because people won’t be able to find your products if dozens of other people are already selling them.
Consider finding something that’s somewhat obscure but has a dedicated fan base. For instance, there are many people who sell laptop chargers on Amazon. However, there are fewer people who sell certain specific types that work with only select models. Anyone who has one of these laptops will naturally have to buy from one of the only people who sell chargers on Amazon, which means you’ll win out in the end.
Dealing with Amazon’s Additional Fees
As long as you sell as an individual, all you’ll ever have to pay is $0.99 for each sale you make along with some closing fees. This means you can start with very little cash up front, because any fees come directly out of the profits you make on sold goods. It’s not like you have to put a ton of money into it in the first place.
Avoid selling any item that comes with an extra fee. For instance, accessories for Amazon devices come with an additional 45 percent referral charge. The idea is to limit who can sell these products. Check Amazon’s complete rate schedule so you know what products they’ll try to charge you for selling.
Promoting Your New Online Business
Chances are that you don’t have much of a promotional budget either. Fortunately, signing up for social media doesn’t cost anything either. There’s an Amazon user’s group on Reddit, and plenty of people also promote their products through Facebook and Twitter. These services don’t come with any fees, and you’re more than likely already a member of at least one of them.
Remember that while your budget might seem kind of tight at first, you’ll be able to make needed purchases as time goes on. Once your business picks up, you’ll have enough money to look for much more lucrative products than before.
Stay positive, and you can enjoy success on the world’s biggest online marketplace.
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