Setting the Goal of Full-Time FBA

What is your goal for selling through FBA? Is your goal to make FBA your full-time job? Some of you may already be there, and for that I commend you. For others, full-time FBA seems daunting. I want to encourage you that full-time FBA is completely attainable — I and many others are a testament to that. So let’s talk about the first steps towards making FBA your full-time job.

You might be thinking that the first steps are how to get the best and most affordable inventory. Or you might think that this post will be about all the tools, programs, or gadgets that help make an FBA business easier — but in fact, I’m going to start somewhere else entirely.

Full-TimeFBASign1

If the goal is to make FBA your full-time job, then you need to think about how you want to get there. As with most destinations on a roadmap, there are many ways to get to the same place. When taking a road trip, some people like to get there fast, with as few stops as possible. Others like to take the scenic route and make the journey just as much fun as the destination. Everyone’s path to meet their goals will be different, and that’s OK. Let’s look at how to get you on the best path towards full-time FBA.

1. Understand How to Make “SMARTER” Goals.

  • S – Specific – The better you know your objective, the easier it will be to attain it.
  • M – Measurable – Can the results be measured and compared to the goal?
  • A – Actionable – Can you take action steps to meet this goal?
  • R – Realistic – Are you both willing AND able to meet your goal?
  • T – Time bound – When do you want to accomplish this goal?
  • E – Exciting – Do the goals get you excited about your future?
  • R – Relevant – Do these goals match up with the season of life you are in?

2. Set Your Main Goal

What is the main thing you want to accomplish and when do you want to accomplish it?

Example: I want FBA to be my full-time income source within 18 months.

3. Set Mini-Goals

What are some mini-goals that help lead you closer and closer towards your main objective? Maybe your mini-goals are something new every month or every quarter.

Example: I want to send in 400 items for the first month, 800 items the second month, and 1200 items the third month, etc. Or you may want to have income based goals. Example: I want to make $500 the first month, $600 the second month, $700 the third month, etc.

4. Write Your Goals Down and Post Them

The research proves it:  if you write down your goals and post them where you can see them, then you are much more likely to achieve what you are setting out to do. Put your list over your desk, on your bathroom mirror, on the refrigerator door — wherever you’re most likely to notice it.

5. Adjust your goals as needed

Give yourself permission to update your goals as you move closer towards your main objective. If the first mini-goal was way too easy, then make sure your next mini-goal stretches you and is harder to reach. On the other hand, if you didn’t even get close to your first goal, then it’s OK to update your other goals with objectives a little easier to complete. The journey towards full-time FBA will be filled with both road-blocks and open highways. Adjust your course, if necessary.

Take a few minutes to brainstorm ideas for your main goal and mini-goals. No, really. Do it now. Don’t let goal-setting be something you read about and then never do. You will be amazed how much setting goals will help improve your productivity AND income! If you want to, feel free to share your goals in the comment section under this blog post.

I look forward to reading your comments.

Stephen

49 responses to “Setting the Goal of Full-Time FBA

  1. Wow–I just learned something about setting goals that I can use for all parts of my life! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  2. i know this is an old blog, but i have a question. I am new to this, but your example “I want to send in 400 items for the first month, 800 items the second month, and 1200 items the third month, etc.”—are those real numbers? or is that shoot-for-the-stars numbers? i haven’t started yet, but i saw those numbers and thought, “whoa.” Is “whoa” what I should think about those, thus the goals?
    Thanks!

    • Good question, Katie… Really, those numbers are just randomly picked out of my head. It’s really an exercise in you picking a number for a goal that’s a challenge, but not so out of reach that you give up easily. So pick a number and the as you get working, adjust your goals to numbers that are more realistic. Challenge yourself and you could surprise yourself.

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  5. Great post! Thanks for the advice and encouragement. I’m a complete newbie when it comes to selling online, both Amazon and Ebay. I have a question, what advice can you give someone like me who is just starting out? My main goal is to make Amazon my full-time occupation eventually, though I’m for sure going to make realistic goals. I’ve read Chris Greens book Retail Arbitrage, and have also gotten a few other sources from other resellers, my main trouble right now is sourcing product. Thanks! Blessings.

    • Moe, the best thing now is to just go out there and scan items… Profitable items are everywhere, but it takes time to find them. Go to garage sales, thrift stores, book stores, clearance sales at Target, Walgreens, Savers, and others… The more you look, the more you will find. Best of luck to you!

  6. Yes I am planning on making this my full time job and I have given myself 12 months to do it. My problem is time management right now. We have so much going on and I’m working full time it’s hard to put this first.

    • Managing your time is one of the keys to succeeding in this business. Every person is different, but be ok with learning as you go. Find what works best for you to balance your family and your business. My top time management tips are to set a timer, and focus for X amount of minutes on one thing, and do it with excellence. Don’t get distracted with emails, texts, or other projects… but get laser focused and do one thing with all your might. You’ll get more done when you focus. People talk about multi-tasking, and all you get with that is a lot of projects started, but nothing completed… Focus and succeed. I wish you all the best!

  7. Thanks Stephen, your article on the great time Q4. I hope to pass mini goal this year. I’m full time FBA outside US.

    • I love hearing success stories from Amazon sellers outside of the states… because it gives us inspiration. You can do it, and do well! Continue to seek your goals and you will succeed.

  8. What do you do if you go to a big chain store and you cannot get internet connection because of the metal frame building. I cannot source in Walmart. I have tried walking to different areas of the store and it is hit and miss…very frustrating. I have an iphone 4s.

    • I.ve had that happen a few times, John, and it can be very frustrating. Usually when that happens, I either write down as many UPC numbers as I can, along with the price, and then go to my car after I have a batch of items to look up. I look them up in my car and go back in and get the good ones. Yes, it takes more time, but when you find enough good stuff, it makes it worth the time and effort. I also, when in the store, look and see if that store (or a nearby store) offers free Wifi. Sometimes, that works!

  9. Hi,
    When that happens, I just take photos of the UPC codes. Much faster, easier and accurate than writing them down.

  10. Hi Stephen,
    I joined your blog a few days ago and I am glad I did because I am new to FBA and I can greatly benefit from your experience and other people’s experience. I have gone back and read many of your blog post and enjoyed reading and learning from them. As with any business, information is one of the keys to success and FBA is no exception. There is a lot to learn but if you like what you are doing, the learning part is easy.

    I thought that most people that sell products in Amazon sourced their products from China but reading your blog posts you are sourcing products from deep discount local channels. Is this what you recommend to be able to generate higher margins or do you also source products from China as well?

    I am sourcing my first product from China and my profit margin is around 30% which in my opinion is not too bad. Your feedback would be appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Rod Rodriguez

    • Rod, great question! I currently do zero sourcing from China and I’m able to make a full-time income for my family of 6. I’m about 90% retail arbitrage, and about 5% online arbitrage. The other 5% comes from garage sales and thrift stores. I plan on adding wholesale to my inventory soon. I’ll be sure to blog about it.

  11. Hi Stephen. Thanks for all the great information. I’m new to this and it’s very helpful. What would you say your percentiles of inventory are for the different categories? Are you sourcing mostly groceries or kitchen or pets, etc. thank you!

    • Kelly, thanks for your kind words about the blog. I glad the information I post is helpful to you.

      During Q4, I mostly focus on toys, but the rest of the year, I’m probably 40% toys, 20% books, 20% grocery, 10% home & kitchen, and 10% other categories.

      Everyone has their own “sweet spot” for what they can find and sell for profits on Amazon. This is just how I do things, but others have different percentages that I do. Some sell mostly books, other mostly groceries, etc.

      Hope this helps!

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  13. Great post! I am new to your website and it is loaded with practical tips!

  14. Ok my FBA goal is to be making $2000 a month in 12 months and my mini goal is to make $1 to $500 a month the first three months. I have a website that I created for my recently published book “What If?” So I got the link from Amazon to share on my site but Amazon rejected my website for affiliate status and I first have to figure out how to get recognized as an affiliate. Thanks

    • Great goals, Cathy! Try to apply to be an affiliate again… you might have a different worker who sees the affiliate potential in your website (which looks awesome, by the way!). Best of luck to you.

  15. Hi guys,
    I just finished writing my goals for 2015 yesterday!!!
    And 2 of them are eBay and FBA related 😉
    Let the year begin!!!
    Cheers

  16. Stephen,

    Hello. After reading the article, I realize that I’m suffering from a “paralysis of analysis” that’s keeping me from going forward. I’ve never owned any kind of Smartphone and am totally flabergasted by all the differing opinions out there regarding what kind of scouting equipment to get. I’ve got about $2500 worth of seed money for this venture for any and all equipment, tech gadgets and subscriptions that I might need. My goal is to be a full time book seller through FBA. How can I get myself to actually go with this? Thanks.

    • Terry, I know there are a million different options that you are facing, but remember to just take your time and focus on one aspect at a time. When it comes to sourcing for inventory, I recommend signing up with an Amazon Por Seller account, and then getting an iPhone or Android phone. The first app to download would be the Profit Bandit app. This is the best place to start, in my opinion.

  17. Stephen, do you use a 3rd party listing program to list faster than Amazon listing allows? We have so many one-up items, we need an easy program to list faster and also for repricing.

    Thanks

    • I currently use ScanPower for all of my listings. I really like it and it helps things go much easier than doing things Amazon’s way. Also, the program Inventory Lab also gets rave reviews.

  18. Martha Daisley

    Hi Stephen,

    Great blog! Lots of great info. I am new just getting started with amazon fba and im very exited, but i have alot of questions. After gathering all this inventory you buy from retail stores, im a little confused on the upc code part. Since a upc code is required for every new listing, do you use the upc thats already on the ptoduct (put there by the manufacturer) or do you purchase upc#s and assign a new upc to each new item you list? Fo Do you use amazons stickerless comingled option or do you sticker everything? Any insight would be appreciated. Thanks!!

    • Always search to see if Amazon already has a product page for the item you want to sell. Only create new product pages when there is no current product page. Amazon does not want multiple pages for the same product, so just look first before you create your own page.

      When you do create a new product page on Amazon, always use the original UPC number for that listing. You should only purchase and use a new UPC number if there is no UPC for your product, or you’re creating a bundle with multiple items.

      I currently label (sticker) all my items sent to FBA. I do not like the idea of commingling my inventory with someone else. Someone might buy an item from me, but get mailed someone else’s item, and then my feedback reputation is now dependent on if that other seller is a trustworthy seller.

      Hope all this helps!

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  20. Im getting a lot of info from your blog and your Periscope. But I’m confused about using a sticker to prevent comingling.Do you have blog entry that describes how to do this?

    • When you first sign up for Amazon FBA, you are automatically set up to do stickered inventory (you put your own stickers over the item’s barcode). You can choose to do “sticker less co-mingled” inventory for some items (mostly media) that will not require you to put a label over the item’s barcode…. but it’s a really bad idea, because it might get mixed up with someone else inventory, and they might grade the same way as you do… to keep your account safe, you want to be sure to use the labels (stickers) so that Amazon knows that the item you sent is yours.

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  22. Stephen, we are 4 months into selling on FBA and we are overwhelmed with so much resources, courses, etc from various “offerings”. We are doing both OA and RA and “catching our tails” with getting the right price to resell, especially with OA. Even the sale and clearance prices are not too good to get the 50% ROI. I am wondering if there are certain times when shopping is better than other times. Historically, I am not a good shopper and perhaps we have to learn how and when to shop. With all the information that could be overwhelming I am wondering if coaching would give us better insight and direction. Thank you so much for your help.

    • Yes, coaching might help. The best thing to overcome all of the overwhelm is to just focus on one aspect of the business to master, and focus on that (and that alone) until you master it… then move on to the next thing.

  23. Dear Rebecca and Stephen,
    One more question: Has Amazon released any list of the ASIN’s they are restricting/rejecting to any of the scanning services like Scoutify, Profit Bandit, etc.
    Thanks so much.
    Jewel

    • ASIN restrictions are sometimes based on the ASIN, and sometimes based on the customer, so there is now way to know right now… but for MOST ASINs that are being restricted, they are slow sellers with a lot of sellers already selling the item. About a month ago, Amazon went a little crazy with ASIN restrictions, but they have backed off and are not being as extreme as they were.

  24. Auguste guichard

    Goodness, I love to read your responses to others questions, and your genuine appreciation and care to there concerns Stephen.
    Thank you for being so kind and helpfully to all the newbies out there like me.
    You are the real deal , totally honest in your answers, and so humble and generous about helping others.
    I read and will soon buy all your instructional materials because ur Awesome.
    Thank you Stephen and God bless ur family

  25. Deborah Fraga

    Stephen,
    I am very new and have not yet joined FBA, just doing the individual right now. I downloaded the amazon seller app after I heard people talking about scanning. I scanned 2 items and one was in the 2000 rank area and the other in the 4000. I have no idea how that stacks up. Is it good or bad? Where can I go to learn more about how to scan? Also, thanks for your blog. I’m looking forward to learning a lot here.

  26. Hey man I really appreciate all of your advice and help! I am a newbie and am just getting started. I have signed up for Inventory Lab and am loving it!!! I have listed a few items I had lying around the house and I have an estimated profit of over $150. That’s not bad for no more effort than I put into it. Now I’m entering into the more difficult phase of this thing and that is sourcing. I hope to find enough items to list that will help me replace a part-time job income of about $1,200/Mo. Do you think that is attainable for someone who is chronically ill? I am very driven/ambitious but sometimes my body won’t let me do the things I need to. Thank you once again for all of your tips, tricks of the trade, and help. I am very grateful. God bless.

    • Yes, i totally think that being successful as an Amazon seller is within possibility… especially with Online Arbitrage and the possibilities of hiring help with prep and ship.

  27. Thank for helping us improve our businesses (newbie or experienced) become full time fba! I look forward to learning more from you.

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