“So, what do you do for a living?”

“So, what do you do for a living?”

As with most people, I get asked this a lot. This seems to be the first question people ask when you meet them.  My mind runs through a whole list of possible answers…Online Reseller, Entrepreneur, Arbitrage Expert, E-commerce Guru, Amazon Pro Seller, Self-Employed Online Merchant, Treasure Hunter, Founder/CEO, or even Head Honcho.  BlogShootMini2

I usually tell them that I’m an online reseller. The next question is usually, “So you sell eBay?” It really surprises me that eBay is the number one assumption people make when I say “online reseller.” I know that eBay is a huge platform with millions of people selling items, but Amazon has far surpassed eBay in number of sales and profits. In any case, I usually answer that I do sell on eBay (which is currently only about 1% of my total sales), but I add that I sell on Amazon too.

Wait a minute… before we continue, let me introduce myself. My name is Stephen, and this blog is about my family’s adventure in selling with Amazon FBA as our full-time job. I’ve been selling online since 1998, and I’ve been a full-time online reseller for over 3 years. I absolutely love it. I enjoy being my own boss and setting my own hours. I love being able to go treasure hunting and get paid for it. It’s awesome. Now don’t get me wrong; being an online reseller also has its downside. I work at home…so I’m always at work. Work is always staring me in the face. I am also never guaranteed a predictable paycheck. I could work very hard one week and not get paid a dime. On the other hand, I’m able to go on occasional vacations and still see the payments rolling in. We’ll talk about all of these issues, and more, on this blog.

If I was able to make selling online a full-time job, then it’s possible for you as well. On this blog we’ll take a journey towards full-time FBA. We’ll talk about the issues that online resellers face and how to best deal with all of the speed bumps along the way. We’ll talk about tips and tricks on how to make the most from Amazon FBA. I’ll do my best to pass along any hints I’ve learned or mistakes I’ve made so that this journey to full-time FBA is easier for you than it was for me.

I invite you to join me as I share my FBA journey with you.

Stephen Smotherman

31 responses to ““So, what do you do for a living?”

  1. Feel free to leave a comment if you’d like to… and if you want to get updates on when this blog is updated with new posts, be sure to subscribe in the link on the right side of the screen.

  2. Hey, Stephen! Looks like a very interesting blog, and I will be following!

    I checked your “About” page but wasn’t able to discern what **part** of Texas you are in. I am in North Texas, specifically the Dallas suburban area. Would you be comfortable sharing the general area you are in? Like South Texas, Houston, North Texas, Rio Grande, or whatever? I’m not asking for any earthshaking personal location revelations 🙂

    This whole journey is absolutely fascinating, and I look forward to reading about yours!

  3. Pssst! I am not seeing a “subscribe” link on the right side of the screen.

    ?? or am I just missing it?

  4. I also get asked that question alot. And most times I just say I sell online and the next question people ask is what do you sell online. But I started selling online in Oct. of last year it has been ok but looking to do a lot better.

  5. Georgene… We are currently located in Fort Worth, Texas… and if you scroll up, you’ll see the subscribe box on the right side of the screen.

    Thanks so much for reading this blog!

  6. Hi just wanted to let you know I enjoyed your blog post and think you will be great at writing. You post is very natural and easy to read.

    I started selling FBA a couple months ago. So I will be coming back to read more of your story, as I to am seeking to make Fba a full time job. I am currently laid off from my job of 14 yrs. So building upp stock has been a little slow. Cleaning out the house and yard sales when possible.
    Thanks for the good read.

  7. Jeffrey A. Myers

    FBA rocks! So fun to check the pending orders and payments.
    You reap what you sow. Hard work will pay off.
    My wife and I do this full-time. I scout and list. She packs and ships.

  8. Stephen,
    I’ve been asked several times about creating a North Texas FBA Group. There are a fair number of us in the area. I was thinking about maybe a happy hour, BBQ or something fun like that for all of us to chat and talk FBA. What do you think about that? Would an experienced seller like you find value in that?

  9. Yep, it’s there now. Wasn’t before! Thanks! I look forward to reading!

    Hahaha, you won’t have to worry about me invading your territory – I drove through the mid-cities on 183 to have lunch with my daughter in downtown Fort Worth recently, and I swear I’d go through the North Pole to avoid having to do THAT again!

  10. I enjoyed your story and you left us with a cliffhanger which is always a good idea for return visitors.
    I am a native Texan though for a long while I have lived away from my much beloved Fort Worth.
    On a recent visit I tried to do a little thrifting and retail arbitrage, but everything is different when you don’t know where the good spots are! My daughter lives in Azle and my sons in FW and Burleson. So much changes even between visits…
    Am relatively new to FBA, so I am looking forward to learning from you. My husband promises if we ever move, it will be back to TX but don’t worry, I do not think I will ever be in the league with you AZ wise.
    Keep those cliffhangers coming…

  11. I enjoyed your story. Since I am new to FBA, I will be following your blog closely. I’m so excited about FBA. Keep those posts coming!

  12. Cynthia, I think that sounds like a lot of fun… and I’d be interested in joining you and other FBAers there!

  13. Anne Zarraonandia

    I am also an “online reseller”: Amazon FBA, eBay, Craig’s List…and love doing it. I have moved my business out of my home, added a biz partner and we’ve hired out first employee. I think I’ve overwhelmed my helpers with ALL that there is to do! I hope they will see the FUN we have with this profession! I look forward to your blog posts!

  14. Greatly enjoying your blog. Just started the FBA part of my business. Your article gave me food for thought. Just wrote out my long term, short term goals.

    Thanks for sharing and being an inspiration!

  15. i found your blog yesterday thru a link left in one of the FBA fb groups. read all of your posts–they have helped me as i navigate this first month of being an FBA seller. thank you and keep writing!

  16. So glad you found us, Anna!

  17. Stephen,
    Loved the post. been doing FBA since Oct 1st. I’m from Waco, TX!

  18. Hi Susie! I love Waco… some family members went to Baylor and I drive through there many times a year going to visit family in Houston (I’m from the DFW area). Glad you enjoyed the post!

  19. Love your blog! Your advice has been helpful for my hubby and I who just started selling FBA in November. We both lost our jobs and are in our 50’s, so we were wondering what to do? We came across several FBA blogs, but yours and Jessica Larrew’s have been the most helpful. Thank you!

  20. Pingback: Today is our 1st bloggiversary, but you get the gift! | Full-Time FBA

  21. hi Stephen,
    I am planning to start sell goods on products. What kind of printing paper do use for printing label and shipping address? What are the items that need to be poly bagged and items that need to be bubble rapped. I will be glad if you answer my question.

  22. Is there a specific accounting program to keep track of products, sales, etc..that you use?
    Any good suggestions for someone starting from nothing, no business experience, no idea of how to begin?

  23. I just found you and started watching your videos today. You always can tell when someone is passionate about their work, which in this case, you are. Your videos are informative and a pleasure to watch. Keep up the good work. I am 57 years young and wanting to start as an Amazon seller. I sold at Fairs, Festivals, etc. Got some real great products left over from that. Most are new in the box. I think there will be some real good products for Amazon, and best of all, I got inventory to start with. A few thousand dollars worth in wholesale dollars. So much to learn. Today I am learning not only about Amazon’s A to Z’s, Accounting, sales tax in Nexus with Tax Jar, Inventory lab, how to’s, but about how Amazon needs white backgrounds on all their pics. Found a real easy software program (Clipping Magic) on how to make backgrounds perfectly white. Unfortunately you have to pay a MRC for it. So much to learn but very exciting. What I would like from you that I could not find anywhere is this. Do a full tutorial, on how to create a listing in Inv. Lab and then add descriptions, pics, and everything else needed to post a couple of adds to Amazon. Thanks from your new friend Jack.

  24. Stephen, I am ever grateful for knowing you in this business. You have been a God sent. I have been hearing Inventory lab from your U TUBE videos, but not knowing it has all I need to do this business. I would really need more teaching about inventory lab. I am sure you have it on your numerous videos. I will check it out.
    You have asked this question 3 times, What do you do for a living. I have not answered because I don’t know what I’m doing for a living. For Amazon business, I haven’t made it yet.
    I will need Rebecca to show me shoe business in near future. I have been correcting Amazon fee rip-off. I am now getting more money, or rather, getting my money back gradually from Amazon.

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