Being an Amazon seller is a great way to enable the lifestyle of full-time RV living. You are able to travel around to any location where there is a good stock and inventory available. Once you find inventory, you ship it straight to Amazon. They hold it for you until it sells, then they ship it to your customer for you! This is a very good way to make some income and not be tied down to a location. Amazon doesn’t care where you are. It is not like owning a brick and mortar store. You can sell from anywhere on earth because Amazon is holding your inventory for you. They have it for sale on their website which is the biggest retail website in the world. That means your inventory will be in front of more customers than any other sales venue available. Did I mention that when it sells they ship it to your customer for you? You don’t have to do anything. Think of it as a set it and forget it business. You send in inventory and you forget about it. Every two weeks, Amazon will deposit money into your account without you even thinking about it.
Finding the inventory is the most fun part of this business. You can find very good inventory in almost any small town you may come across in your travels. The reason for this is that in retail shops they have to stock a certain amount of items and predict what will sell. With the low number of customers in such a small town there will be no demand for certain items and it is almost impossible for the retail location to predict what these products will be. Sometimes, they end up with product they can’t sell. So you find any location such as a Walgreens, Big Lots, or any other shop that has a clearance section. Yes even a Walmart! Go to the clearance section and start scanning.
What is scanning you may ask? As an Amazon seller you will have access to the Amazon Seller app on your smartphone. When you find a clearance section, you can simply scan the bar code on any item and it will tell you everything you need to know. It will tell you the current selling price of that item, it will tell you the Amazon selling fees for that item, and it will calculate what your payout would be for that item. So what you would have to do is consider how much you would be paying for it and how much you will get when it sells. The difference between these two is your profit!
It also tells you the sales rank of an item you scan. The sales rank is a number that lets you know how well that item is selling compared to other items within the category. This is also an important part of deciding if something is a good buy. Using the plethora of information this app gives, you can make a fairly educated decision whether or not the item is a good buy to sell on Amazon.
This process is called retail arbitrage and has been going on for several years now on Amazon. In the offline world, retail arbitrage (or “retail arb” as it’s called), has been happening since the dawn of time! Think of it this way: your job is to fix inefficiencies in the marketplace. This item that you found in the store on the clearance rack is in a market where the demand for the product is very low. The store is having problems selling the item because it is in the middle of nowhere. There is a customer in California that is having a difficult time finding this product in his local store shelves. You can list it on Amazon and fix the inefficiency of the market by providing a product to a customer who doesn’t have access to it in his local area. For this service, you are paid handsomely. Of course clearance shelves are not the only source of inventory, but it’s the only one I will be going into in this article.
Once you have a few items that you want to ship in, it is easily done in your RV. All you need is a decent internet connection, (most park Wi-Fi will work), a printer, & a computer. Sign on to Amazon and tell them what products you have by entering in the UPC codes. This can be done by hand or with an inexpensive laser scanner such as this one. Once you tell Amazon what you have for sale, it will walk you through a process of entering data such as what condition the item is in (whether it is used, new, etc), entering in at what price you would like to set for the item, and any other pertinent information. Once everything that you are sending in that day is entered into Amazon, they will tell you where they want it sent. Normally on a relatively large shipment, Amazon will split the shipments up into three so that they can have inventory dispersed to several different warehouses around the country. Once you know the different shipments, you organize your merchandise into those different shipments. Simply organize them into three different piles. Then box them up.
Once you have them packed up, you enter in the measurements of the boxes you will be shipping. Amazon will allow you to purchase UPS postage with their UPS account which gives you a very steep discount on shipping. You will be impressed at how low the shipping costs are. Once you have the postage printed out for each box, you affix the shipping label to the boxes and take them to your nearest UPS drop off. These locations can be found in almost any town. Places such as Pak Mail, Office Depot, and The UPS Store are all UPS drop off locations. There is even a UPS app on your phone that will tell you where the nearest one is to your current location! Once the boxes are dropped off at the UPS drop off location you just sit back and wait. The goods will go up for sale and once sold, Amazon will pay you the price of the goods minus their fees.
Now that you have your first shipment sent in, it’s time to research where you want to travel next. This can be done any way that you want. You can either pick a location that you would like to visit and then research that particular area to find out what opportunities for inventory may exist in that area. You could also take the exact opposite approach. Start looking for specific opportunities that you know of and are already familiar with then find where those opportunities are and travel there. I have sourced product in every town I’ve been in. Anytime I go into a store my phone comes out and I’m looking for an opportunity. However when there is a big event such as a large chain announcing that they are shutting down multiple stores I will do research and find the stores and travel to those locations to see what opportunities exist at those stores. Usually, it’s a jackpot!
Even though there are many people out there doing retail arbitrage on Amazon, there are very few who are combining this business model with the mobility that full-time RV living allows. It is an opportunity that few realize. With the freedom to travel, the supply of inventory never dries up. If you feel like you’ve cleared out all the opportunity in a certain area, you simply pack up and move to the next location. You have the ability to travel to locations where there are little to no people who ever heard of this process. You will know when you find those areas, and you’ll want to extend your stay once you do!
This is a fun business to be in. Once you start scanning it’s hard to stop! It is my goal to help you as much as I can in this journey. It’s a good, legitimate business that pays well. If you are tired of working 20 hours a week just for free site and hookups, and you don’t like those pyramid sales products that always seem to be pushed by other RVers, this could be a great fit for you.
This was just a quick overview of the process to try to get you familiar with what the business actually is. While I have told you everything about how the business works, I have only skimmed the surface of the information you may need. I plan on writing more articles to make sure everything is understood. Please comment on this article with any questions you may have. I’ll be happy to help, and it also helps me to know what articles I need to write.
If you’re ready to get started, the first thing you’ll have to do is create an Amazon Seller Account.
P.S.- I have created a Facebook group for people who are interested in full-time RVing and running similar businesses while on the road. To get in to that group, click here and request to join!