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The REAL truth about becoming an Amazon FBA seller

This post provides the honest truth about becoming an Amazon seller. It’s not always sunshine and rainbows, and I hope to provide you with an insider’s viewpoint, based on experience.

Background from me, an ACTUAL Amazon seller

I’ve been selling on Amazon since 2017, and marketing for their platform since 2013. I actually started looking for an FBA course in mid 2015, and unfortunately there weren’t any in the market created by an Australian, only those over in the US. That has now changed.

Today, there dozens of Amazon courses in the marketplace. Most have hype, whilst some do tell it like it is. In my humble opinion, it is the best opportunity of 2019 and beyond. But it’s certainly not for everyone. Both prospective sellers and course providers are cashing in on this opportunity.

The truth about selling on Amazon
There’s some hype in the Amazon goldrush, some of which is justified!

The factors to consider when starting on Amazon

There are inherit factors that one must consider when starting their Amazon journey. Most course providers downplay these truths, simply so that you sign up to their course. Luckily, some people like me see through the BS. Those factors are…

  • You’ll need to work
  • You need some capital
  • It certainly takes some time
  • It is a real business, you could lose money
  • Product issues are usually your fault, not the Chinese
  • You can enjoy semi-passive income once established as a seller, not now

I think it’s wise to break down those factors…

Have some work ethic

Selling on Amazon isn’t easy. It’s not quite that hard either. It’s just that there’s a learning curve involved. Learning the process is very difficult on your own, hence why I recommend investing into a course. There’s some excellent courses on the market, and some not so good courses. They’re all at different price points, and I recommend the more expensive courses for higher quality.

Be prepared to invest some capital

You can’t get started on Amazon for $300. Unless it’s testing products via AliExpress, which isn’t going to make you much profit (if any…) so be prepared to invest. I always recommend $5,000 to $10,000. It’s even better if you have $20,000 and beyond. Those with more starting capital will do better. Period.

Success won’t happen overnight

It took me 2 years from launching to hit a fulltime income. Most people actually achieve this faster than me. I took the turtle road. It takes time to go through a course, find a product, deal with suppliers, produce the product and send it into Amazon. This in itself could take 12 months. Before you’ve even made a single dollar.

You could lose every dollar

Yes – the one thing that some people downplay. You could lose 100% of your investment. I know some people who have. This didn’t discourage them, and in fact they’ve learned that experience and today all of them are success Amazon sellers. But this is a business, and businesses inherently come with risk. It’s just that the risk can be mitigated, and Amazon courses are helpful in this regard.

The Chinese aren’t usually to blame

The buck stops at you. You need to have clear and concise documents in place. This is a blueprint for the manufacturers of your product(s) to follow. Commonly, sellers who discover product defects are due to not specifying everything in the contract properly. Don’t assume the Chinese are trying to scam you, but also, don’t assume that they’ll understand things automatically, unless its in writing. 80% of the world’s products are manufactured in China, and they’re winners are efficient product production at attractive prices.

Selling on Amazon and dealing with Chinese suppliers
The Chinese generally want to do a great job for Western Amazon sellers

Most factories are happy and willing to work with you for the long term too. They value working relationships, and their English is better than most assume. Sure – it’s not perfect, but basic conversations are possible. I’ve personally never used a translator.

Semi-passive income is possible

Yes, the holy grail. It’s the one thing that most courses promote. And yes my friends, it is possible! But not until your product is established and selling well, then you can (mostly) rest and press re-order. Until then, get to work.

I personally prefer to constantly scale my business, so I don’t rest. I’ll rest when I’m ready, and that’s 5 to 7 years away. For now, I’m super passionate about building Amazon businesses, and on occasions, partnering with others to build businesses together.

Should beginners do it?

After reading those hard truths about selling on Amazon, some people turn away. Especially beginners. Some people want the easy road, and this isn’t the easy road. Well, at least, not in the beginning.

If you can stomach the fact that this won’t be easy. That it takes time, courage, patience and persistence, then this is probably the right journey for you. If you can’t take it, then please find another strategy. Selling on Amazon isn’t for you.

Invest in a course or conference

This wasn’t on the initial list. But it’s a truth. You need to learn wisely, and not waste months watching average videos on YouTube that aren’t step-by-step. Courses provide you with a blueprint, and some courses also offer live conferences. I highly recommend both, if you want actually be successful on this journey and be surrounded with fellow Amazon sellers.

There are a range of courses in the marketplace, and I’ve provided a complete list right here:


Thousands of people hit my blog every month, and appreciate my viewpoints. I’m always raw and real, and this blog posts I really had to stretch a bit further than usual. For most people reading this, Amazon isn’t your vehicle. I chose it, and understood from day 1 that this journey wasn’t going to be easy, but today it has been absolutely worth it.

The laptop lifestyle and selling on Amazon
The laptop lifestyle is possible through the Amazon FBA Opportunity, but it WILL take some time.

That could be you, if you’re prepared to commit for the long haul and deal with the challenges. If you’re serious about building a long term and sustainable online business.

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After 10 years of blogging, I’ve learned that online success doesn’t come cheaply, easily or fast. It’s merely consistent work, day in and day out, yet the rewards are certainly worth the constant grind.