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Amazon FBA Startup Costs (Bare Minimum vs. Optimal Amount to Start)

December 30, 2023

Amazon FBA startup costs are between $100 and $20,000+, according to Amazon FBA coach Camron James of Amazon Wealth Accelerator. There are many factors that go into Amazon FBA startup costs for a business, including which specific Amazon FBA business model is being used, the cost of the product, the source of the product, and the competition level of the product’s niche. Of these factors, the Amazon FBA business model has the greatest influence on the startup costs. The three main Amazon FBA business models are private label, wholesale, and retail arbitrage. Here is a breakdown of the approximate startup capital you will need depending on the Amazon FBA business model. 

Amazon FBA Business Model

Minimum startup 


Optimal startup 


Retail arbitrage






Private label



The majority 54% of Amazon FBA sellers report using the private label business model, according to a 2023 survey of over 2,600 Amazon sellers by Jungle Scout. As such, the costs displayed in this article will focus on Amazon FBA startup costs for private label sellers. Top Amazon sellers like Kevin King of Freedom Ticket and Tim Sanders of Private Label Masters endorse the private label business model because it provides the best opportunity to build a long-term business on the Amazon Marketplace with the highest profit margin potential.

Mandatory Amazon FBA startup costs

Amazon Professional Seller Account

There are two selling plans available on Amazon Seller Central: Individual and Professional Seller account. To launch a sustainable Amazon business, you'll need to sign up for a Professional Seller account. The Professional seller account allows an Amazon FBA seller to sell unlimited products for a fixed fee, while the Individual seller account charges $0.99/sale. 

  • $39.99/month

Product Research Tool

Utilizing a proven product research tool like Jungle Scout, starting at $49.00 per month, is crucial to avoid the risk of launching an unsuccessful product.

  • $49.00 - $129.00/month

(Another option is Helium10 with a range of $39.00/month - $99.00/month, depending on plan)

Product Samples

Investing some capital into evaluating product samples helps prevent pursuing unprofitable choices, ensuring informed decision-making. You can compare product samples from multiple suppliers to determine which offers the best value. 

  • $200.00

First Order of Inventory

Most manufacturers require a minimum order quantity (MOQ) of 500 units so you can expect to purchase at least this amount on your first order of inventory. Quartz estimates the average price of a product on Amazon to be $26.86. Considering that the average profit margin for a private label product is around 25%, according to the Motley Fool, the per unit cost of the average Amazon product is just under $7. 

  • $3,000.00 (at least)
  • A lot of suppliers out there won't entertain a new distributor if they're not willing to invest at least $5,000 or more for inventory, so this number could easily go up. Also, you have more negotiation power for a cheaper price per unit if you're willing to invest in a bigger inventory. $3,000 is simply the best-case scenario if you're on a budget.

International Shipping

Many Amazon sellers import products from overseas manufacturing hubs like China and so need to pay a hefty international shipping fee to get their products into their domestic market. In fact, the majority 71% of Amazon products are sourced from China, according to Jungle Scout. Fortunately, there are many freight forwarding services to accomplish this, like Freightos or Guided Imports. Shipping costs can be highly variable, depending on factors like the product’s weight, dimensions and the season. 

  • $1,000 to $3,000+ for bulk product orders of 500+

Import duties and taxes

If you’re importing your Amazon products from abroad, your goods are subject to import duties and taxes. There are 4 types of duties and taxes to consider when importing goods into the United States, including:

  • Customs Duties - Implemented by the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) on imported goods worth $800 or more. Customs duties can be between 0% and 37.5 %, with 5.63% being the average, according to DHL. 
  • Excise Tax - Collected by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for excise goods, such as tobacco and liquor. 
  • Merchandise Processing Fee (MPF) - Fee levied by CBP depending on type of entry into the US. Formal entries pay 0.3464, with a minimum fee amount of $31.67 and a maximum fee amount of $614.35. 
  • Harbour Maintenance Fee (HMF) - Fee levied by CBP for cargo transported by sea ship. 0.125% of the cargo value. 
  • $35 - $100+/overseas shipment

UPC Barcode

Amazon requires all products to have a unique product identifier. A UPC barcode fulfills this purpose. Amazon recommends purchasing UPC barcodes through GS1. This is because Amazon verifies the authenticity of UPC barcodes through the GS1 database. 

  • $30 for a single UPC barcode 

Storage fees

FBA sellers pay a storage fee for keeping products in Amazons warehouse until they sell. Amazon charges storage fees based on the daily average volume that your products take up in the Amazon fulfillment center. Amazon FBA storage fees range from $0.56 to $2.40/cubic foot, depending on the season and dimensions of the product. 

  • $25-$100+/month for these Amazon FBA fees

Product liability insurance

Amazon requires all sellers who exceed $10,000 in sales/month to obtain product liability insurance with at least $1,000,000 in coverage. Product liability insurance typically costs around $99/month for a small business in the US, according to Advisor Smith.

  • $99/month

Recommended Amazon FBA startup costs

Amazon Ads 

Running an Amazon PPC ad campaigns is the most efficient way to drive traffic to a brand new product listing that has no rankings. In most cases, you need to run PPC for a while so that you get reviews in order to rank. The Amazon platform offers a range of advertising options, including Sponsored Brand, Sponsored Products, and Sponsored Display ads. Sponsored Products is the most popular with 75% of Amazon PPC users leveraging the ad type. 

Investing in PPC also gives you access to the Amazon Advertising Reports. These reports provide valuable product data, plus make it easier to plan, optimize, and measure marketing strategies.

  • $300.00 - $500.00/month

Promotional Giveaways

As a new seller, you'll need to generate product reviews and encourage customer loyalty. The quickest way to do this is through giveaways.

There are different promo options – pick one that doesn't break your budget. Many sellers choose to offer a 100% product rebate on a fixed number of "freebies." Other sellers prefer to offer a deep discount for a limited time immediately following launch.

  • $200.00


A trademark provides legal protection for your brand and helps guard an Amazon product from counterfeit products taking sales. A trademark, or pending trademark application, is also required for admittance into the Amazon Brand Registry. The Brand Registry allows you more privileges on Amazon, such as Amazon A+ content. 

  • $350.00 – $600.00 (depends on seller's place of residence, etc.)

LLC formation

An LLC, or Limited Liability Company, is a legal business entity. Many Amazon sellers elect to operate their Amazon business through an LLC because it provides benefits like:

  • Liability protection
  • Tax benefits
  • Enhanced credibility among suppliers
  • Improved ability to separate business and personal finances
  • $35 - $500 to file an LLC according to Forbes (not considering ongoing yearly LLC maintenance fees)

Quality control

Quality control is using a product inspection service to verify that products are manufactured to the agreed upon quality before purchasing. It’s recommended to use a product inspection service before buying products to sell on Amazon because bad quality products can easily get your Amazon account suspended. Furthermore, Amazon’s favorable return policies mean you can expect a substantial amount of product returns from customers if your product doesn’t function correctly. Fortunately, there are many product inspection services that can verify product quality during the production process prior to shipping. 

  • $299/working day for factory inspection in China

Freight insurance

Freight insurance protections cargo during transportation. It can protect your Amazon products from theft, damage, vessel accidents, and more. Freight insurance typically costs 1% to 2% the value of the shipping goods, according to Freight Run. 

  • $50+ depending on product value

Optional Amazon FBA startups costs

Design Work

This cost covers logos, packaging, product inserts, etc.

These days, many people have the software and do-it-yourself design skills to at least launch an initial product. So you can postpone this expense until later.

But if you want to look more professional, you'll eventually need to invest in design work. Since the sky is the limit with design costs, each new seller must consider their unique budget.

  • $200.00 – $400.00

Amazon A+ content assistance

Amazon A+ content allows sellers with trademarked products to access advanced options for product listings, including rich text, imagery, HD videos, banners, and more. According to Amazon, A+ content can increase Amazon Store sales by up to 20%. You can get high quality product videos and images A+ content from Fiverr. 

  • $175.00 - $780.00 

Professional Photography

Leveraging professional photography for an Amazon product listing can help a product to stick out on Amazon's saturated marketplace and boost sales, according to Helium10. You can find qualified Amazon photograph services through Amazon's Service Provider Network (SPN) or a freelancing marketplace like Fiverr. 

professional Amazon product listing photos
  • $300.00 – $500.00

Second Batch of Inventory Budget

You should have enough startup capital ready to order a second batch of inventory before you sell out of the first product order. Ordering additional product is an investment that will support sustained growth while you wait for revenues to ramp up. Most importantly, you don't want to go out of stock because it will hurt both your Best Seller Rank and organic keyword ranking.

  • $3,000+

Accounting Software

New sellers often handle accounting on their own at the beginning. With basic business skills, it's certainly possible. But since your plan is to stick with FBA and build a sustainable business, you'll eventually need better financial tracking for expenses, taxes, etc. A good option for new sellers is QuickBooks "Simple Start":

  • $25.00/month

FBA Training Course

In my experience, the best way to get started with Amazon FBA is by following a good course like Private Label Masters or AMZ Champions 4.0. We have reviewed many Amazon courses over the years and have come up with our own list of the best Amazon FBA courses

  • $500.00 – $5,000.00

Social Media Marketing Budget

41% of Amazon sellers use social media to advertise their products, according to Jungle Scout. Social media marketing can entail creating and posting engaging content to grow organic traffic or running paid advertisements like Facebook Ads or Instagram Ads. Some Amazon sellers even pay influencers to promote their products to drive more brand awareness and sales from the influencers' audience. 

  • $0 - $500+/month

Inventory management software

Inventory management software helps to automate inventory management tasks and enables efficient reordering. Amazon sellers with large amounts of multiple products can benefit from inventory management software like Skubana or Zoho Inventory to better keep track of inventory levels and ensure enough products are stocked in the Amazon fulfillment centers. 

  • $0 - $250+/month

Amazon FBA Startup Costs: 3 Real Seller Experiences

1. Camron James spent $27,110 on Amazon FBA startup costs

Camron James spent $27,110 to launch a private label product on Amazon. His major costs included $13,000 for his first and second product orders, $4,800 for Amazon PPC advertising, $4,500 for international shipping of his first and second product order, and $1,200 for an annual subscription of Helium 10 product research software. 

2. Ariana spent $4,800 on Amazon FBA startup costs

Ariana launched Vino Cards on Amazon for $4,800. Vino Cards is a wine tasting game. Some of Ariana’s major costs include $150 for a wine expert to help create the cards, $2,000 for designer, $225 for a trademark, $5,000 for 1,000 units of product, and $100 for a 3D render of her product. Ariana did not have enough money to cover the costs herself, so she used a Kickstarter campaign to supplement her own startup capital with an additional $5,125. Therefore, the grand total to launch Vino Cards on Amazon was actually $9,925. 

3. Material-Pudding-974 spent $500 on Amazon FBA startup costs

Reddit user Material-Pudding-974 claims to have spent just $500 to start selling wholesale on Amazon. The product was sold in Amazon Canada in early 2023, with a net profit of $11 on each sale. They worked on their business for at least 4 to 5 hours every day to get the product selling on Amazon. Their biggest mistake was allowing themselves to run out of product inventory. They got the product listed in Amazon Choice, but did not maintain the proper inventory levels to keep their listing there. 

How to lower Amazon FBA startup costs? 

  • Start with retail arbitrage (or online arbitrage) and scale to private label over time
  • Choose a product with a low per unit cost
  • Find a supplier with a lower minimum order quantity
  • Look for domestic product sources to avoid international shipping cost, shipping insurance, and import taxes
  • Cancel software when not active using it (Ex: cancel product research tool after finding product)

Frequently Asked Questions

1) Can I Start Amazon FBA with No Money?

No, you can't start Amazon FBA with no money. The cheapest option to start Amazon FBA is to use the retail arbitrage method and you'll need some money to buy products and be able to ship the products to Amazon.

2) Is FBA Still Profitable in 2024?

Yes, Amazon FBA is still profitable in 2024. Data from Jungle Scout's 2023 State of the Amazon Seller Report shows that 89% of Amazon sellers are profitable. Even so, Amazon seems to becoming less profitable over time because of the following challenges. 

  • FBA is more competitive than ever, with 4,000 new sellers joining daily.
  • Amazon fees have consistently risen over the years and are likely to continue rising. 
  • Amazon has at least 118 of its own private label brands, according to CNBC. That means 3rd party Amazon sellers compete against Amazon themself on many product category options. 

3) Why Do People Fail on Amazon?

  • They start with unrealistic expectations set by rags to riches stories
  • They don't account for unforeseen FBA hurdles
  • They spend profits too soon

Conclusion: Is Amazon FBA worth it? 

Yes, Amazon FBA can be worth it. Those that find success with Amazon FBA can enjoy a highly flexible working arrangement and generate hundreds of thousands of dollars in income each year. However, attaining this level of success on Amazon isn’t too common. Data from Jungle Scout shows that the majority 72% of Amazon sellers make just $25K or less in monthly revenue. Considering that the majority 59% of Amazon sellers generate a profit margin between 1% - 20%, most Amazon sellers can expect to bring home no more than $5,000/month in profit. 

Building a long term business on Amazon FBA typically requires substantial startup capital and years of patience. As such, Amazon FBA isn’t a suitable online business model for everyone. An alternative online business model that affords a high level of flexibility and income potential at a fraction of the cost and timeframe of Amazon FBA is local lead generation. Local lead generation entails creating websites to attract customers for local service businesses. Local lead generation sites typically take 6 weeks to 6 months to rank on Google, at which point you can partner with a local service business to take the leads for $500 to $3,000/month. 

Unlike Amazon FBA, a local lead generation business can earn you passive income with ease. Once you set up a local lead generation website, it requires minimal effort to continue ranking on Google and you can automate most of the processes with software tools and freelancers if necessary. Furthermore, local businesses typically stick with local lead generation agencies for the long run because a local lead generation website usually offers a more reliable and affordable marketing channel than they otherwise have available. Since you can make consistent income with minimal work, you can spend more time scaling your local lead generation business with multiple websites to create an online income machine. In fact, I’ve scaled my own local lead generation agency to over $50K in profit per month. Learn the exact process I used to create my online business with this local lead generation program

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Ippei Kanehara

$52K per month providing lead generation services to small businesses is for digital hustlers, industry leaders and online business owners.

His #1 online business recommendation in 2024, is to build your own lead generation business.

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