Have you considered selling on Amazon as a side hustle or a full-time work-from-home gig?
After 20 years of ecommerce experience, I have tried it all. In this episode, I will show you what I do why it works, and how you can get started selling on Amazon.
Navigating the E-commerce Landscape: My Journey to Success on Amazon
Hello everyone, I'm Kristen Ostrander, the voice behind "The Amazon Files" podcast and the founder of Mommy Income. Today, I want to share with you not just my journey, but also the insights and strategies that have helped me thrive in the world of e-commerce.
So let’s get started!
The Early Days: Finding My Footing
My e-commerce journey began in 2003, selling on eBay. It was a way for me to stay home with my children while contributing to our family's finances. As the digital marketplace grew, so did my ambitions. In 2008, I transitioned to Amazon, starting with books and quickly moving into retail arbitrage. This pivot was a game-changer, leading to my first six-figure year.
The Reality of Selling on Amazon
Let's be clear: selling on Amazon isn't a walk in the park. It demands dedication, and there's a learning curve to understanding the complexities of the marketplace. But the potential for a full-time income is real. I've tried various methods to make money on Amazon, and I firmly believe that 2024 is ripe with opportunities for sellers.
Exploring E-commerce Platforms
While Amazon is the giant in the space, platforms like eBay, Mercari, Poshmark, Depop, Shopify, and Etsy offer their unique advantages. However, my extensive experience has taught me that Amazon's reach and customer base are unparalleled. It's where I've found the most success and where I believe others can too.
The Truth About Online Selling
I want to emphasize that this isn't a get-rich-quick scheme. Success requires investment—time, effort, and sometimes money. But the freedom and flexibility of working for yourself are unmatched. It's about finding the right path that aligns with your goals and lifestyle.
My Personal Evolution in E-commerce
Over the years, I've experimented with various business models on Amazon, including merch, wholesale, and private labeling. Each had its challenges. Wholesale was competitive with slim margins, and private labeling demanded significant investment. I was searching for a model that was sustainable and aligned with my values.
The Wholesale Bundle System: A Game Changer
Then, I discovered the power of wholesale bundles. This approach involves creating packages of complementary products, like accessory kits for GoPro cameras or beginner guitar sets. These bundles offer convenience and value to customers, addressing their specific needs in one go.
Why Bundles Work
Bundles cater to the modern customer's desire for speed and convenience. They simplify the buying process and solve problems. For example, a beard trimming tool kit or a mommy bag for pregnant women meets a specific need, saving customers time and money.
The Mindset for Bundle Success
Creating successful bundles requires a shift in perspective. It's about understanding your customer—knowing who they are, what they need, and how your product fits into their lives. By focusing on serving and solving problems, profitability follows.
My Commitment to Your Success
I've seen firsthand the benefits of higher margins and less competition through bundling. It's a strategy that has brought me success and one I'm passionate about sharing. Through my training resources and coaching, I'm dedicated to helping you succeed in the e-commerce world.
Conclusion: Your Path to E-commerce Success
My journey has been one of exploration, learning, and adaptation. The wholesale bundle system has been my key to a profitable and fulfilling online business. I invite you to join me in this venture, to learn and grow, and to find your own success in the vast e-commerce marketplace. Let's embark on this journey together, and I'll be here to guide you every step of the way.
“The first question you have to ask beyond how do I make a profit is how do I serve my customers? Who are my customers? What do they want?”
- Kristin Ostrander
Kristen introduces the episode and talks about her experience in selling on e-commerce platforms since 2003.
The Best Way to Sell on Amazon in 2024 (00:00:54)
Kristen discusses the best way to sell on Amazon in 2024 based on her extensive experience and the challenges of e-commerce.
Exploring E-commerce Platforms (00:01:49)
Kristen talks about the various e-commerce platforms and the potential for making money, emphasizing the value and challenges of selling on Amazon.
The Reality of Selling on Amazon (00:03:32)
Kristen highlights the challenges of starting an Amazon business, emphasizing the need for investment and the step-by-step process.
Kristen's E-commerce Journey (00:04:36)
Kristen shares her personal journey in e-commerce, from starting on eBay in 2003 to transitioning to Amazon in 2008 and the success she achieved.
Work-Life Balance and Entrepreneurship (00:07:02)
Kristen discusses her work-life balance, working from home, and achieving a six-figure income while working less than 40 hours a week.
Thrifting and Retail Arbitrage (00:09:03)
Kristen explains her initial ventures into thrifting and retail arbitrage and how it led to her first six-figure year in e-commerce.
Challenging Traditional Career Paths (00:11:37)
Kristen shares her motivation for pursuing entrepreneurship and challenges the traditional 9-to-5 career path, offering guidance for those seeking alternatives.
Conclusion and Call to Action (00:13:20)
Kristen concludes by encouraging listeners to explore their skills and consider e-commerce as a potential source of income, emphasizing the opportunities available.
Retail Arbitrage (00:17:40)
Kristen discusses her experience with retail arbitrage, its profitability, and the challenges of physical scaling.
Exploring Options (00:18:39)
Kristen explores other Amazon selling options, such as merch by Amazon, and discusses the challenges and limitations she faced.
Wholesale Realization (00:19:33)
Kristen discusses her realization about the competition and slim margins in the wholesale business, using Walmart and a piano store as examples.
Risks of Retail Arbitrage (00:21:49)
Kristen highlights the profitability but also the risks and unsustainability of retail arbitrage due to Amazon's rules and brand policies.
Private Labeling Challenges (00:25:41)
Kristen explains the challenges she faced with private labeling and emphasizes the importance of starting with a solid foundation.
Hybrid Business Model (00:28:43)
Kristen introduces her unique hybrid business model called wholesale bundles and explains its benefits and profitability.
Wholesale Bundles Definition (00:30:45)
Kristen defines wholesale bundles, explaining that they are complementary products purchased from wholesale suppliers and sold together for added value.
Examples of Wholesale Bundles (00:31:48)
Kristen provides visual examples of wholesale bundles, including an accessory kit for a GoPro and a beginner guitar set.
Benefits of Bundling (00:34:39)
Kristen discusses the convenience and added value of purchasing bundles, using examples of a guitar set and a beard kit.
Beard Trimming Tool Kit (00:36:39)
Discussion on the benefits of bundling beard grooming products together for convenience and cost-saving.
Curly Hair Care Bundle (00:37:40)
Exploration of bundling hair care products for curly hair to save time and money for the customer.
Lap Desk and Activity Kit (00:38:33)
Description of a bundled solution for travel and activity needs for children, including a lap desk, coloring materials, and a book.
Mommy Bag Gift Set (00:39:28)
Explanation of a bundled gift set designed for pregnant women, serving as a maternity hospital bag and a diaper bag.
Private Label Bundle (00:40:33)
Discussion on creating a private label bundle with branded items and a downloadable checklist.
Benefits of Bundles on Amazon (00:41:34)
Explanation of why bundles are successful on Amazon, focusing on speed, convenience, and variety for customers.
Creating Successful Bundles (00:43:43)
Insights into the mindset shift needed to create successful bundles, emphasizing understanding the customer's needs and problems.
Bundling Strategy Examples (00:45:52)
Analysis of specific product bundles and how they meet customer needs, solve problems, and bring value.
Advantages of Bundling (00:47:47)
Exploration of the advantages of bundling, including convenience, variety, and speed for customers, and the importance of considering buyer needs.
Best Way to Sell on Amazon (00:51:00)
Discussion on the benefits of wholesale bundles as the best way to sell on Amazon in 2024, highlighting higher margins and less competition.
Closing Remarks and Engagement (00:52:47)
Encouragement for audience engagement, offering to create training videos based on audience feedback, and thanking the listeners for their time.
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Thank you for stopping by. See you next week!