Lots of Canadian companies sell their products on Amazon.ca, which, as of the third quarter of 2016, was the world’s largest online retailer. Some people make a living by buying the products from other companies and then reselling them through Amazon.
The concept behind this type of business is easy: Find goods that you believe are underpriced (because they are on sale or because the seller misjudged the value), purchase those goods, bring them to a new market, and resell them at a higher price. Your profits are the difference. In economics, this is known as arbitrage.
Buying and Selling Has Never Been Easier
If you are attracted to the idea of being your own boss, or simply pocketing a little extra income, then there is some good news for you: buying and reselling has never been easier than it is today, because the online marketplace has matured. There are more services available to you now than ever before. There are more retail websites from which to source products. Also, the world’s middle class is growing, and that means more potential customers.
That is not to say that arbitrage techniques are always easy to execute. It takes time to find the right products and analyze markets for potential resale opportunities. There is both an art and a science to it, and it is possible that some individuals just have a better sense of when and how to tactically execute a resale business.
Getting Started: Amazon Seller and FBA Program
Becoming a seller on Amazon is simple. All you have to do is sign up, provide Amazon with a credit card or a debit card, and list a bank account where you’ll receive deposits from sold items, along with tax identification.
Once you do this, you can choose between two packages:
- Professional Seller: $39.99 monthly fee (in U.S. dollars)
- Individual Seller: 99-cent fee per item (in U.S. dollars)
Professional sellers receive their first month free, which should give newcomers plenty of time to develop some comfort and familiarity before deciding if the program is worth it for them.
Fulfillment by Amazon
Through Fulfillment by Amazon, you can store your products in Amazon’s fulfillment centers, where Amazon will pick up, package, ship and communicate with the recipient customer for you.
FBA members are charged for storage space and for filling orders. However, if you are committed to an e-commerce style business – specifically, one that sells and resells through Amazon.ca – then the FBA system has plenty of benefits, including:
- Saving space on inventory storage
- Saving time on packaging and shipping
- No extra fees for shipping; all transactions automatically include Amazon Prime Two-Day Shipping for free
- Amazon controls customer service and returns
- All listings carry the Prime logo, which should boost trust with potential buyers
- Ability to single-source inventory and sell in a streamlined, efficient interface (you can use QuickBooks to help you track the inventory)