November 2013 I had this brilliant idea that I was going to try selling on Amazon through their FBA program. About a week later I was overwhelmed, sick and completely frustrated. I had worried that I bit off more than I could chew. Between blogging and my freelance career, I was wondering if I could really add anything to my plate. My focus was on YUM eating and I really wanted to make a website I could be proud of. Sadly, I put the FBA program on the back burner.
All through 2014 that idea stuck with me. I have always had the entrepreneurial spirit. Since finishing grad school in 2013 I feel like I have just been bouncing around trying to figure out what to do with my life. I kept going back to opening my own business, online or off. We looked at buildings. We jotted down ideas. We talked to the folks at the Small Business Association and we talked to the banks. I kept blogging and tossing around the FBA idea.
During my FBA trial, I had listed a few items and had them boxed and ready to go. So, when I logged into my sellers account, all of those items were still there.
On a whim, two weeks before Christmas I thought, “what if I just sell these myself and ship myself?” Honestly, what would the harm be? It doesn’t cost anything to sell through Amazon. So, I switched my account from FBA to Merchant. Then, I added a few more boxes of items I had on hand. I added a few more. Before long my office started to look like a little warehouse again.
For those two weeks I was selling a few items a DAY. I was going to the post office every day at first, then my mail lady told me I could just stick a note in my box for her and she would come to the door and get the items. I live rural, so she knew the drive to the post office wasn’t ideal for me, especially in December! So, that worked out well.
But, let me tell you something. As happy as I was that I was getting rid of things and making some decent money in the process, I got SICK of wrapping up stuff everyday. It was time-consuming! I started to think back to my eBay days (I sold on there for 10 years) and it didn’t seem to be such a big deal for me then. In those days I would have packages stuffed in large trash bags. Then, I would patiently wait my turn in line at the post office.
Now here comes the really fun part.
Roughly two weeks. After supplies and Amazon fees I made about $150.
Now, you might not think that is a lot considering I had to wrap everything and some days it was a bit more time-consuming than others (especially when it got closer to Christmas) but, let me tell you one last thing.
I sold old VHS tapes.
Yes, you heard me right.
Old VHS tapes. Mostly, Barney.
(In my Monica “Friends” voice) I know, right?!?!
Well that really kicked me in the butt.
Earlier this week my husband and I switched my Merchant account back to FBA account. I boxed up all of my inventory and mailed it to FBA. From here on out, when something of mine sells, they will handle it all for me. We packaged up 300 items over the course of two days and sent them off.
I am thrilled to let you guys know that Nevermore Lane has an online store! (My goodies are on the UPS truck waiting for delivery, so there may or may not be something there)
I am even more excited because even though I sent it the old VHS, I also sent in books. That means my dream of owning my own bookstore is happening.
Best part? I don’t have to rent a building! Or pay utilities!
Now, I just need to figure out a writing schedule and a business schedule.
I can do it, right?
Is there is dream you’ve always wanted to follow? Did you get there following a different route?
I’ve tried figuring out the world of selling on Amazon, and this is fantastic! I can’t believe you sold mostly Barney VHS tapes. I’m totally thinking thoughts in my favorite Monica voice!
I am thankful I found some Facebook groups and a few ebooks on Amazon written by some sellers. I am still very new to it, but I think it could be the start of something good. And, if not, I am not really out anything.
Liz Mays says
Its amazing how well that all worked out. I can’t believe there is still a demand for VHS tapes!
Well good for you.!! That is great that you are starting to sell on Amazon. I have sold on Ebay auctions before… but they got to a point that I just didn’t want to deal with them. I think you made a great choice going to Amazon.
That’s why I don’t really want to go back to eBay. Too many scams going on and PayPal will always side with the buyer even if the seller has proof. I see a lot of people losing good amounts of money.
Life As A Convert says
This sounds like something I need to look into. I sell on ebay sometimes. I find things from thrift stores that I know will make a good profit. I just don’t have a lot of time to put into doing it more.
This sounds amazing! Thank you for sharing your experience with selling in Amazon, mailing out stuff can be frustrating and be rewarding at the same time. You may have to do a post about how you get those items sold on amazon.
Lois Alter Mark says
That is amazing! And impressive. And I’m kicking myself for throwing out probably a hundred old VHS tapes!
Me too! I didn’t know there was still a market for them or I would have sold some.
Kristen from The Road to Domestication says
This is all mostly Greek to me, but I know that I’ve quite a few great experiences with Amazon, so I would definitely trust them to facilitate your business! Good luck with it! Exciting!!!
I did FBA and MF for awhile but Amazon just keeps upping the fees, I literally just got another email 3 days ago. Lots of people jumping on this bandwagon for sure. Good luck with it! I wish you continued success.
Just like anything else, fees increase. I remember when they made changes on eBay and folks were jumping ship. At the end of the day it is still cheaper than opening a physical store.
Catherine S says
That is really great. I never would have thought you could make that much money off of VHS tapes.
Amber NElson says
Awesome! I’m just trying to figure out who is wanting to buy VHS tapes?
A lot of people actually. Every time I go thrifting or to garage sales I find a lot of folks walking around with them. I think it is because even though they don’t really make the tapes, a lot of people still have the players in their homes. So, why not spend a few cents to watch a movie instead of $15-$20 for a brand new DVD?
We have about 50 vhs tapes- they are so much cheaper than DVDs and the toddler doesn’t know the difference.. I think most came from Goodwill.. but we did pick up quite a few on Amazon too for things she liked and we wanted more.
I didn’t know people even still used VHS anymore. It’s great you were able to make some money off things you didn’t need anymore!
Heather D. (@GirlGoneMom) says
I hate selling on eBay. I used to be really into it. I’ll have to check out amazon.
Maureen @ A Debt Free Stress Free Life says
Glad this worked out for you. Keep us posted
Amanda Love says
I haven’t sold anything on Amazon in years. After reading this I think I need to go back to them. I have so much stuff in my house that I need to get rid of and my mom always said, one mans junk is another mans treasure.
I really would love to be able to sell on amazon. I just need to find products.
I have tons of Barney VHS tapes laying around, maybe I should give it a shot and sell them!
You should! I sold one for $20!
That is so great that you were able to go after your dreams again, and start getting things accomplished! Wishing you all the best in your entrepreneurial adventures!
Debbie L. says
It is amazing what people will buy. I am a throwing outer. I have got to stark thinking out of the box adn selling some of the old items. Great job making money on Barney VHS tapes.
Debbie Denny says
I tend to follow where ever the path sends me Glad this is working for you.
Aisha Kristine Chong says
I have never used amazon so much – but wow this is interesting and inspiring all at the same time!
Mama to 5 BLessings says
I love Amazon but have never sold anything on it before. I wondered how to go about doing so though.
Wow so happy for you that is wonderful! I have always wanted to blog. I love writing and reviewing but mostly posting helpful things for other parents and parents to be. So, although I am blogging and I’m loving every minute of it I still am not where I want to be yet. It takes time, which I’ve got so I’m just trucking along!
Annie M says
I love Amazon! But it’s also a very dangerous place for my credit card 😛
I have wanted to sell through amazon or ebay but seems local has been best for the moment. It is a hassle at times to box and ship things
I haven’t heard of FBA. I was familiar with Merchant on Amazon but I didn’t how easy it was to sell on there. I may have to give it a try.
Laughing at the Monica voice! So nice of your mail carrier to come to your door to pick up!
She’s such a doll.
Mary O'Malley says
My biggest dream is to become a published author. While I am now a blogger, I’m one step closer to that dream. Now, if I can only finish a novel and publish that. :]
I am so inspired that you kept pursuing your dream despite obstacles. They are several dreams I still want to pursue and you have given me some motivation.
Tough Cookie Mommy says
My dream has now become to be able to make enough money blogging to stop working. Not quite there yet but definitely on my way already.
My blogs are slowly getting there too. I wish I would have monetizes my older site. But, its ok. I have been blogging a long time so its fun for me, but I like that my foodie site helps to pay some bills. I am going to keep on blogging.
Sarah Bailey says
That is awesome! I have to admit I think the packing would drive me a little mad as well but getting rid of clutter makes it worth it in the end I think. x
It started to cut too much into my ‘work’ time. Soooo…it seems to be working out better now. I like getting the “Amazon has shipped” emails each time I make a sale.
Keia Blake says
I have honestly never heard of an FBA program with Amazon this has completely opened my eyes to a new world!
Thank you 😀
Tiffany (A Mom's Take) says
This is something I’ve been considering, but haven’t gone much further than that. I don’t have much time to start anything new, but I need a way to sell things, and Amazon is where it’s at in terms of selling and buying online.
Amy @ Marvelous Mommy says
Hahaha, my parents still use VHS tapes. I love Amazon, but I have never sold anything before.
Rachelle J says
I’m glad everything worked out for you! I am all for people following their dreams. My dream was to be able to work from home so I could be available for my husband and daughter whenever they needed me, and dream accomplished! 🙂