One of the most frequent questions I get asked is this:
“Stephen, you’ve made a full-time income on Amazon since 2012. How much inventory do I need to have in stock in order to make a full-time income with Amazon FBA?”
This is a great question because it really gives me an opportunity to share with you one of the biggest factors for exactly how you can finally make a full-time income selling on Amazon.
Another similar question I get asked often is this:
“Stephen, how much money do I need to invest into inventory in order to make a full-time income selling on Amazon?”
Again, this question also gives me an opportunity to share with you a very important aspect of successfully selling on Amazon.
To best answer these questions, I’ve put together a 10-minute video explaining my answers.
Hopefully, a lightbulb has gone off in your head about what is really important about your Amazon FBA business. It’s not the quantity of your inventory… or even the amount of money that you invest into your inventory. It’s 100% about the quality of your inventory.
Is your inventory going to sell quickly? Is your inventory going to hold a higher selling price and not “tank” soon after arriving at an Amazon FBA warehouse? Will you have better, faster selling inventory?
If having an FBA warehouse filled with better, faster selling inventory sounds too good to be true, I’m here to tell you that it’s totally possible.
How? By properly using everything Keepa has to offer you in your Amazon FBA business.
You know how I use Keepa? Not only does Keepa show me the sales rank history and pricing history, it also shows me other important data, like buy box history, used item history, Amazon in stock history, competitor’s stock levels, and so much more.
*Post updated for 2022
The Reseller’s Guide to Keepa
Use code SAVE20 to take $20 off
Price goes up Wednesday night midnight
To find out everything there is to know about using Keepa to make smart sourcing decisions, be sure to check out our course, The Reseller’s Guide to Keepa: Using Amazon Sales History to Make Smart Sourcing Decisions.
This course will walk you through everything you need to know to make sense of Keepa in ways you’ve never thought of. With this course, you’ll make better sourcing decisions, better pricing decisions, and you’ll grow your Amazon business to the next level by selling your inventory faster and at higher prices!
I can’t wait to share all of this info with you in our updated course, The Reseller’s Guide to Keepa.
Remember, the $20 off SAVE20 coupon code will expire
AND the price of the course will go up in only:
What about you? Did you once think that you had to reach a “magic” number of inventory items in order to make a full-time income with Amazon? Do you see the wisdom in making sure your inventory is of much better quality instead of quantity? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
*Post updated for 2020
Thanks for the great content. You definitely provide quality information! I’ve been burning to ask you a question about FBA Inventory for some time:
The AMZ Selling Coach suggests inventory refills, right on the home page. If I click on item restock, AMZ brings me to a send Inventory screen. My Q is there any difference in replenishing inventory through that page vs. just creating new FBA shipments from scratch? I do the latter to capitalize on the better overall shipping rates I get from batching. I’m wondering if the choice affects our FBA seller score as well.
I’m using Scout and IL based on your recommendations. Looking to learn more about Keepa – you’re the source I turn to for quality content!!
Stephen Smotherman says
There is no impact on your scores if you create a batch from there or anywhere else.
Twee Van says
Thank you so much for always sharing helpful information here. I’ve recently purchased your “Reseller’s Year Guide to a Year in FBA”. It provided so much useful information and things that I would have overlooked myself if I didn’t purchase the book. I’m more into wholesale and I would love to join when you have your training re-open. I have three urgent questions here (I’m sorry if they’re off topic of this post)
1. Any tips to increase the IPI score? Mine is dripping down so badly as my inventory goes low, and my suppliers are mostly the “middle man” so they don’t always have the same items to sell.
2. I have purchased “oversized” items that are in good sale ranks. The thing is when I purchased them, I didn’t take in account of the storage fee from FBA ( that would kill me alive) I have bought the supplies for the whole 3 months and now I don’t know if it’s best to store at my supplier’s storage ( which they do charge some fees) or to send them all to FBA, or to place a freight order to ship it to my home ( I do have some spaces at home to stock them). It’s just that the shipping cost from the supplier’s ware house to my house is quite expensive.
3. There’s one item that I have a very high rate of return. I think that it is a problem from the products that was sent from my supplier. Is there any tips to negotiate that with them? The return ate off my profit margin so badly.
Thank you so much. Any help from you would be much appreciated!
Stephen Smotherman says
My quick answers:
1. Tips to increase your IPI score – https://www.fulltimefba.com/improveyourIPI
2. Storage fees for oversized items – It’s really just what you’re more comfortable with. Is having Amazon store, organize, and ship the item to your customer worth the added cost of FBA storage fees? Or would you rather spend more time, energy, dealing with storing, organizing, and shipping the items yourself.
3. I would no longer sell any items that have a high rate of return. I’d focus on finding better inventory.
Hope that helps!
Stephen, thanks once again for your great post. I always learn something when I have time to come back to your blog and classes! In this post, your make some most excellent points about the quality of inventory. This is an area I have really been focusing on lately, especially since the start of the pandemic. And, I know there are many variables involved in answering the question of how much inventory for full-time income. However, if you could give your best stab at How much “quality inventory” is needed for, say a modest monthly income/profit of $2500/month. I’m trying to give you more specifics, rather than something so broad. Let’s assume modest use of “tools”, i.e. KEEPA, Inventory Lab, etc. of a couple of hundred dollars per month. Does it take dozens, hundreds, or thousands of products in inventory on a continual basis to make this example goal? And let’s assume primarily wholesale model.
Stay well and let’s hope for a better 2021 in all respects than 2020. 🙂 Thanks!
Stephen Smotherman says
I wish I could give you an exact number, but it’s different from everyone. Of course, the goal is to do it with a few products as possible, and that comes over time and experience. For some, that might mean 1000 items… for some 600… for some 300… etc.
The point of this article is not to aim for an inventory number, the point is to ALWAYS BE IMPROVING things (your sourcing skills, your processes, you experience with tools, etc.) so that as your skills grow, you’re able to get more results with less overall inventory.
350 items or skus? We sell through 350 units in less than 3 days. Even factoring in our sales vs yours, we would only need 700 units based on your method. I’m not sure I would be comfortable not having 30 days worth of inventory in stock – how many days does 350 units cover? I am betting your ASP is higher than ours (we try to stay at $25 and a little under). Could you clarify some of this for me. Thanks Stephen!
Stephen Smotherman says
The number of quality inventory items needed for a seller to make a full-time income will be different for each individual seller.
The point of this article is not to aim for an inventory number, the point is to ALWAYS BE IMPROVING things (your sourcing skills, your processes, you experience with tools, etc.) so that as your skills grow, you’re able to get more results with less overall time and inventory.
Gene Bonham says
Stephen, I see in your KEEPA course in the Bonus Video about Snowballing inventory with KEEPA, that you provide an excellent answer to this question. It was a little unclear to me whether your examples for your sales/inventory data whether you were talking about number of “products” (which could have multiple units) or number of “units” (total units in inventory across all products. It seemed you meant number of products, but wanted to be sure. Thanks again for all your helpful content. For anyone who hasn’t taken the KEEPA course from Stephen, I HIGHLY recommend it. It is high value….. totally unsolicited. 🙂 Gene
Donnise Wise says
Thanks for your honest content, just the fact that you mention, you have faith in God, gives me a opportunity to follow your selling techniques. I will be purchasing your “Keepa” course, because I am tired of losing money with Amazon. I almost gave up, but I will give it another push. God Bless, you and your family in this crazy season
Jason Bago says
I totally understand your video. Let’s talk sales then…What was your monthly sales or average monthly sales when you started to make a full time income on Amazon?