I didn't know much about making money online but did a ton of research and finally ended up with a profitable business. I already have a successful career, but my entrepreneurial spirit won't let me just work quietly, I knew there had to be a way I could start making additional money in my spare time. I looked into email marketing, CPC/CPA, affiliate etc but none of those seemed like they would have the payout I was looking for for the time required and there didn't seem to be any real clear cut route to go.
The route I took was through Amazon FBA.
I had to compile a TON of information to figure out everything I needed to do. It seems so easy on paper, but there is really a lot to consider when doing FBA.
My product selection was probably most important. The main things I found out that were important were: Size/weight (shipping from China is expensive), no electronics, no strong brand loyalty, and finding a manufacturer that is actually trustworthy.
Samples are a MUST. I found a few products that I thought for sure I was going to sell because they looked good in the photos and the info on them was good. After I received them, they were total garbage. Most manufacturers will give free samples, but they want you to pay for shipping which is usually around $30-50 per sample, but it is well worth it.
I have a proprietary product selection process I used that I'll keep a secret for now, but I put in a lot of work and research to get where I'm at. merchantwords is a good place to start though.
I think the WORST THING about the entire process was selecting a product that was in a "gated" category and I couldn't have even imagined what a pain it is to get ungated. HOWEVER, I found an amazing article that explained exactly how to do it, I followed it step by step and it actually worked and I was ungated. What a relief considering I had already spent $5k on my product. But now I know the secret to get in gated categories and it's a huge advantage over those who do not know how to get there.
I think one of the other best value/money saving things I found was misterclipping. If you aren't going to have someone take professional photos of your products, using a digital camera and then having misterclipping edit the photos is well worth it. I had 10 photos done for $38 and they look great. Considering professional photographers want to charge $50 per image, it's quite the savings when you are first starting out and it's the images I've used to get to where I am now.
So that's where I'm at. It's a lot of work and quite stressful to grow this business as well as we have a lot of demand and getting new inventory to arrive on time can be stressful but it's quite rewarding so far.