Lookin for the deets on Beau's FBA Course?
Y'all have come to the r'ght place
In this post you'll get the deep on Online Retail Mastery (the fancy name Beau painted on his online lessons)
In case you aint clear on what exactly Amazon edu Beau drops, check this out
Working with authorized suppliers that supply to big retail stores like:
And then begin selling these brands on Amazon by becoming “ungated” or approved by Amazon to sell these big brands.
But you might be askin'
"Why push big brands and not private label?"
Many are sayin' retail arbitrage & private labeling is much more labor-intensive and simply doesn’t work very well these days.
Beau Crabill says the Amazon seller success rate is 1%.
That makes sense as a ton of AMZ sellers in 2019 did less than 100k in sales.
Wondering how selling Walmart Products on Amazon works out?
Not very well.
Retail Arbitrage is so short term that its really not residual income that you can count on month after month.
So from all accounts, selling Big Brands like Beau teaches seems to be the way to go.
For me, I tried all the Amazon FBA business models (that's what happens when you got the FOMO bad) so I’m so done with selling products that are fads or trends. #fidgetspinners
Setting up a brand new product on Amazon is pretty labor intensive and when the money stop trickling in because the fad ends then you’re right back to square one.
Selling big brands were better but ultimately most products don’t stay hot forever.
I’m just glad I had built my multiple 6 figure local lead generation business first so even if I utterly failed at Amazon product or one product stops selling, I’d already built a strong residual income with free traffic that gives me monthly mailbox money.
Even though I still recommend lead gen as my top pick for online businesses that anyone should start first, if I had to pick between all the different e-Com or Amazon FBA business models, I’m with Beau on that one.
I’d rather be hunting big brands.
Instead of always scavaging for quick wins but not able to build anything long-term or substantial.
Here's a bit 'bout me (aka my experience)
In 2014, I gambled on a lead generation coaching program that turn'd out to be a good choice as it freed me from my 9-5 in 7 months by learning me how to build and rank these simple websites (like the tree care one next to me) that generate leads for local businesses (who give me a sliver to deliver if ya know what I mean)
After grew my lead gen biz to 35k per month, I branched out to experiment with Amazon FBA
(ton of hype around it in 2016 and I had the FOMO real bad)
I chose a few dud products, learned, and then went on to grow a couple of brands to six figures.
Best month me and my team had?
But honestly, FBA was not passive enough for me, so I sold my brands in 2019 to go full bore into local lead generation (now I'm at 52k per month as of July 2020)
Click the "Show Me How" button below to learn more.
Let's get into Beau's Online Retail Mastery
Online Retail Mastery Review
Beau's Biz Model & Coaching Style
I do like his business model of selling big brands on Amazon versus selling knock-offs brands or retail arbitrage, or private labeling.
Why is that?
Ultimately, retail brands are what gets the most sales on Amazon.
Beau’s Key Tenants to Succeed on Amazon:
What’s cool is dealing with the same suppliers that supply to the big retail stores like Wal-Mart, Macy’s, Gamestop, etc you can now carry quality products that already have established brand loyalty.
Beau keeps his training straight to the point and he adopts the no-BS philosophy of simple is better, which, not sure 'bout you, but it's right up my alley.
Because there are some super unorganized, way too complex Amazon FBA courses out there. #beentheredonethat
Even though baby-faced Beau looks like a young punk, don’t let his youth fool you.
He’s been pushin' physical products online for over a decade now because his father was an eBay guy and taught Beau the basics when he was 11.
Beau, himself, has also spent several years selling on the older online arbitrage site well before Amazon FBA became a thing.
So he knows wh't he’s talking about and from all of his experience, he understands that working with authorized suppliers & selling big brands on Amazon is the truly scalable way to go.
When you start makin' your way through the course it begins to make a boatload of sense why you (like Beau) should also sell big brands.
Module Summary + Review
Module 1: Introduction
Beau works over 3 foundational concepts to selling retail online in this module as well as guides you in the process of setting up your legal business (keeps you safe and knocks down the taxes from Uncle Sam).
The 3 Pillars that he details are:
Selling products that are in-demand
Selling Products that already exist
Sellling Products that aren't new
Retailing means that you are the first retailer to sell products to the public.
As a retailer, your goal is to buy products at a lower price and then sell at a higher price (which is why you want to be an effective negociator with your supplier)
Other Topics Beau Covers
Some final clarification: FBA vs FBM
The difference is how you are selling and fulfilling your products. FBA you are having Amazon ship your items versus with FBM you are shipping your items to the customers.
Why look into FBA/FBM?
According to Beau:
You can sometimes make more money by using one fulfillment channel over the other.
Module 2: How to Get Sales on Amazon
Only secondary to negociating with suppliers, this module is the most important thing to grasp as you get into selling on Amazon.
Here's what Beau's talkin' about when he says "Buy Box":
This is the main topic that Beau Crabill covers in Module 2: Winning the Buy Box:
How to Win the Buy Box (FAQ)
It's the add to cart section on Amazon.com
The buy box is there to reward the seller who is providing the bets customer service.
To position yourself to secure the sales.
You must become the buy box eligible - to maintain buy eligibility 100% of the time, you use fulfilled-by-Amazon (FBA) services.
To win the buy box, you must be selling your products in new condition and at the going buy box price.
You are enabled to sell your products at the highest price possible.
Other Topics Beau Covers in Module 2:
Module 3: Product Research
Utilizing Sales Rank
What is the Purpose of Sales Rank?
To know what the Sales Volume is.
(The number 1 ranking product is the product that sells the most items every month.)
Beau then showcases two tools that estimate the number of daily sales after you input the category and the sales rank.
Understanding the Price History of Your Products
Very helpfully, in this subsection, Beau works through both the big picture and some specific examples.
I found his explanation and examples to be very helpful in getting a thorough understanding the impact of price history on my product selection.
Module 4: UnGating
This is one of the places where Beau's experience on Amazon shines through.
He's both done the ungating process completely himself and has outsourced through the service provider he links to in the course.
Beau's 4th Module Covers
The fast track to approval is to know what categories that you can get automatically approved in when you turn in the right paperwork.
What Categories Aren't Gated?
Categories Requiring Pre-Approval (in addition to Un-Gating)
Categories Requiring Un-Gating
Step 1: Create A Wholesaler Account
Immediately, you are going to need a wholesaler account with a shipping address that is identical the one in your normal Amazon Account.
Do you have an LLC (Limited Liability Company)?
Put Both Names (Yours & your company's) on the application.
Step 2: Go on a Shopping Spree
You'll need to purchase multiple products in each of the categories you want to get ungated in.
**Keep Track of the Invoices**
Important Point to Remember:
Your aim in purchasing these products to resell is not to make a profit (necessarily), but to get ungated to become a seller in the category.
Step 3: Scan the Items Invoices
Treat the Invoices like your mother's white rug!
Don't put any marks on them (if you need make edits or additions, do so on copies of the originals).
Scan the Invoices Immediately upon getting them.
Then you can edit them digitally (save as pdf), and always have a back-up in the case that the paper copies are lost or destroyed by a firery tornado that only impacted the papers on your table.
(a bit dramatic, but you catch my drift)
What type of scanner should you use?
A 1988 Xerox Fax, Print & Scan machine.
I've never had a problem with documents I've used my phone's camera to scan
(there's ton's of apps you can use (I use One Drive) and, no, you can't just take a picture - Amazon's rules, not mine)
Step 4: Put in Your Request to Amazon
To send in your request, you'll need to log into the your Seller Central Account, and then find your application(s) in the catalog.
It's a little tricky but stick with me
Here's the exact steps to follow:
First, click on Catalog, then Click "View Selling Applications"
Second, type the name of the product you want to sell into the search bar, then click the "Apply to Sell" button on the side.
After doing a bit of a walkthrough on the ungating process, Beau goes over the key tenets to getting ungated in any category, which really comes down to having a mature seller account, good sales rate, & good sales history.
How to Get Ungated in any Category?
Module 5: Sourcing
What does Beau cover in in his sourcing module?
He mainly covers the who and what of suppliers.
What does that mean?
Who you should be looking to to buy your products and what you should be asking them.
A few additional "big picture" items Beau includes are:
- How Suppliers Track Inventory
- Where to Find Brand Name Suppliers
The Process of Sourcing Your Products
Why are Suppliers important?
Because if you don't have suppliers, you don't have anything to sell, which means you don't have a business.
The purpose of finding suppliers is to start selling.
What steps do you need to take to find suppliers?
Deciphering Authorized Suppliers vs Unauthorized Suppliers
What are non-authorized supplier?
Here's a few examples:
- Retail Stores
- Garage Sales
Why is it important ot make sure you are getting your products from an Authorized Supplier?
To actually be able to sell (Amazon has the right to suspend your account if you sell unauthorized products)
Where do you find suppliers that sell products you can sell on Amazon?
The Types of Authorized Suppliers
Know all the details of where your products are coming from
Kwow what questions to ask your supplier
Make Sure you can actuall sell the products offered by the suppliers you are considering buying from
The Main Four Types of Suppliers
- Wholesalers - Someone Who Buys from Other Companies
- Distributors - Someone Who Works Directly with Manufacturer
- Close Outers - Someone who Buys the Last Remaining Stock of a Brand
- Manufacturers (aka the Brand) - Someone Who Makes the Product
The Number of Suppliers You Need
In this section, Beau explains how many suppliers you should have.
The major point he drives home is that your supplying strategy should be similar to your investing strategy.
You should never rely just on a single supplier for your online retail business.
Supplier Selection Summary:
Don't Put All Your Eggs in One Basket.
Module 6: Finding Suppliers
In this module, Beau walks through 9 strategies to find suppliers.
Here I'll show the steps of his first strategy (don't want to give away the whole module)
Strategy 1: Finding Wholesale Suppliers Online (via Forums/Databases)
In this section, Beau walks through how he searches for suppliers via Wholesalecentral.com
Specifically he shows how he uses the filters.
And how he compiles a list of suppliers to vet out later.
Module 7: Stocking Up: Normal Stock vs Opportunity Deals
In this module, Beau compares Normal Stock vs Opportunity Deals, giving the details of each as well as some of the advantages and disadvantages.
How Does Buying Normal Stock Work?
When you run low on inventory, you re-order directly from the brand, which can lead to easier profit than opportunity deals.
With Normal stock, you don't need to put out a ton of investment, as you can spend a grand, getting a months supply and after that month, see a 10% return on your money.
To have a shot at an opportunity deal, you need to have a significant amount of capital and have a significantly developed supplier network.
Basically, you need to have the money to buy the stock and the awareness to know that there's stock to bought.
Module 8: Vetting Out Suppliers
In this module, Beau goes over the process of vetting suppliers, answering the question: How do you know if you are looking at a good supplier or a bad supplier?
The goal of this lesson is to outline a good vetting process.
Beau starts off by outlining the difference between good and bad suppliers.
Questions to Ask Suppliers
In this section, Beau walks through a list of questions that he advises you to ask suppliers you are considering working with.
A nice bonus included in this section is a pdf of the list of 20 some questions.
Red Flags to Watch Out for
In this section, Beau shares 3 red flags that he's notice often mean that a supplier is not legit.
One of those red flags is that the supplier never asks for your reseller's permit, your legal identification that says you are allow to sell these products.
I appreciated that Beau didn't just repeat his signs of bad suppliers from above in this section, but rather added breadth to his supplier vetting info by including additional red flags as well as explanations of why those signs are indeed red flags.
The #1 Way to Get Suppliers to Respond to You
Call During Business Hours
You gotta love the simplicity with which that Beau thinks. He doesn't tell you how to word an email that will motivate a supplier to get back to you. Sounding a bit like Mr. Smile-n-Dial (aka Grant Cardone), Beau just says, "Pick up the phone and call them!"
Assurances that Your Supplier is Legit
In this section, Beau goes over the final assurances you should see in a reliable supplier.
Module 9: Working With Suppliers
Figuring Out Which Products will Work for You
In this section, Beau talks about how to create win-win situations between you and your supplier.
But he doesn't just stick with theory, he gives real world examples about how he's made deals work and key factors you will want to think through and balance when you suggest a deal to one of your vetted suppliers.
Opening Accounts with Suppliers
In this section, Beau goes over both how to find where you can set up an account with a supplier, what to do if you can't find the form to fill out, as well as what kind of information is standard for you to provide to suppliers.
First you'll need to go to the suppliers website and find their application form to begin to open an account with their company. (Note: If you can't find it, call them and ask)
Sometimes companies will provide an email that you can send the form to or, but you might also have to mail your account application to their address, which you can likely find on their contact page.
Accessing Suppliers' Products
In this section, Beau outlines the process of how to see exactly what products a supplier offers.
Often you'll need to get an excel sheet with their products info, which you can either request or get added to their email list.
Making Educated Buying Decisions
This section is as much a lesson in business finance as it is selling on Amazon.
If you already know how to calculate your investment against your return on investment (ROI), you can safely skip this lesson.
In this section, Beau explains how to order products and how to pay your supplier.
When it comes to payments, he explains a few options (as well as their pros and cons):
- ACH Transfers (preferred by suppliers because of ease)
- Wire Transfers (preferred by suppliers because of simplicity)
- Credit Cards (suppliers will likely add 2.5-3.5% fees)
How should you order products?
Use the item number so the supplier knows exactly which product you want.
Having Your Supplier Ship Directly to Amazon
In this section, Beau walks through the process of how to get your supplier to send products directly to Amazon.
What to Say when Ordering Your Products
Learning the lingo of suppliers will enhance your communication and likely increase the speed of getting the order completed.
In this section, Beau goes over common terms that suppliers use and what they mean, so that new online retail sellers expedite their orders.
Module 10: Building Relationships with Suppliers
The Process of Building Supplier Relationships
In this section, Beau emphasizes the three keys to building strong relationships with suppliers (that he's learned over his years in the online retail business).
Why Suppliers Sell Product to All Comers
In this section, Beau talks about the reason why suppliers take all orders and how you can make yourself stand out in their eyes.
He opens up the mind of a supplier, showing their desires to move their products as soon as possible as well as build their long term book of business in order to get years of reorders from retailers.
Tactics to Build an Exclusive Relationship
In this section, Beau shows the process to build such strong relationships that they've become exclusive suppliers to him.
Keys to building exclusive supplier relationships
Why You Should Build Supplier Relationships
In this section, Beau explains the benefits of building long-term supplier relationships.
He put this section together to help new online retailers scale faster, gain additional leverage with suppliers and secure exclusivity with their suppliers.
Creating New Opportunties with Suppliers
What new opportunties are created after you build relationships with a number of suppliers?
That's what Beau covers in this section: The Benefits of Supplier Relationships.
I really like this section because Beau illustrates the benefits via a real life story of two suppliers that he has done business with, which really brought the idea of having "buying power" with a supplier down to earth.
Module 11: Miscellaneous Details
In Module 11, Beau fills in the gaps of the training, covering a variety of FBA details
In this section, Beau introduces his formula for keeping your producst moving in the FBA Warehouse while remaining under Amazon's Inventory Limits.
Generating Business Reports (in Seller Central)
In this section, Beau explains the importance of getting your business data out of Amazon Seller Central so that you can keep your business organized, profitable and headed in the direction you want it to.
Viewing Product Performance
In this section, Beau covers how Amazon tracks product performance, and how that impacts your seller rating.
Specifically, he covers the three items that Amazon gives the most weight to, which are:
- Customer Service (Your Response Rate to Customer Queries (FBM sellers only))
- Product Compliance (Quality & Legitimacy of Your Products)
- Shipping (Are Your Products Shipping on-time? (FBM sellers only))
The Ins & Outs of Removal Orders
In this section, Beau covers how you can save money by removing inventory from Amazon's Fullfillment Centers (aka their warehouses)
Amazon's Removal Order Cost: 50 Cents per Item in 2020 (source)
Getting Amazon to Reimburse You (for their Mistakes)
In this section, Beau goes over how to get Amazon to pay you for lost inventory, for customer returns that are Amazon's fault, for overcharging in fees, etc. (basically for their mistakes)
Disposing of Excess or Unsaleable Products
In this section, Beau does a complete walk through of how create a removal order or disposal order in Seller Central.
Module 12: Automating Your Business
Overview of Automation
In this section, Beau goes over the process of eliminating everything that takes time in your business while enabling you to achieve the same results.
The overall goal of this section is to enable you to sell more products and spend less time on your business.
Automating Your Product Research
Does this section look familiar?
Yeah, Beau went over it earlier, but with a twist, he showed you how to do it manually.
Now, Beau walks through how to use software to automate the process of vetting viable product ideas.
Specifically, he introduces three scanner tools:
- AMZ Analyzer
- eCom Spy
This section is a little longer than average, clocking in at just under a half hour, because Beau does a complete walkthrough of how to set up each of the above tools.
Using Virtual Assistants (VA's)
The most important part of hiring VA's, Beau says, is to have a specific part of your business in mind for your virtual assistant to manage for you.
Beau starts from square one, (so don't worry if you are new to virtual assistants) introducing what a VA is.
Wondering how to hire VA's?
Beau's got you
Don't know where to find them?
Beau's got you
Can't figure out what task to give them?
Beau's got you there too.
When you want to hire a VA, Beau first walks you through building a road map that will enable you to train your VA to successfully accomplish the task(s) you have in mind for them.
Once you've put together your roadmap, you'll need to know where to hire VA's:
Beau drops 3 common locations:
- Onlinejobs.ph (generally long term)
- Fiverr (generally short term VA's)
- Upwork (the more expensive middleground between Fiverr & Onlinejobs.ph)
Pick a location and then post your job
(Beau walks through how to do so on onlinejobs.ph, which is his fav)
You'll probably want to set up some kind of hiring funnel to find the most qualified VA's for the specific job(s) you have in mind.
Here's a pretty simple hiring funnel that I picked up from Amazon Navigator:
Automating Your Supplier Search
In this section, Beau covers how to automate finding suppliers and then how to map out the process so you can train your virtual assistant to do it for you.
One of the helpful portions of Beau's lesson was the fact that he included a list of potential objectives for the VA to do, so that I didn't have to come up with them all on my own (it wouldn't have been a huge deal, but his suggestions sure expedited the process).
Supplier Search Strategies to Teach Your VA
In this section, Beau demonstrates 3 specific strategies to teach your VA to find suppliers for your wholesale fba business.
Automating Your Product Sourcing
In this section, Beau walks through what you need to do to set your VA's up for success when sourcing products for your company.
He includes details like:
- Giving your VAs email access
- Sharing your list of suppliers with them so they know what suppliers you want to source products from
- Training them to use your scanner tools
- Doing basic to advanced product research
Some tips for success:
- Build a clear system for them to follow
- Ask them send you deals at scheduled times
- Have a back up means to contact you for "Emergency Deals" that can't wait until the scheduled time.
Module 13: Bonus Section on Scaling Your Sales
Selling in International Markets
In this section, Beau walks through the process of how to get approved to sell in multiple markets around the world via Amazon.
Another opportunity that operating your business in multiple markets presents is to partner with suppliers in other countries (Beau mentions that he has partnered with a supplier in the UK)
Selling Excess Inventory (Avoiding Long-Term Storage Fees)
If you've bought inventory and it's not selling as fast as you thought, you aren't stuck paying long-term storage fees.
In this section, Beau shows how you can off-load that excess inventory in other ways to recoop some of your money and avoid paying additional fees to Amazon.
Making Quick Flips by Wholesaling Inventory
Looking to make some money fast?
Beau opens up the door to another business opportunity to sell inventory to other suppliers.
One benefit of selling wholesale is you can increase your buying power with your suppliers by purchasing more units than your Amazon business needs to reach a steeper discount with your suppliers.
You then sell the excess inventory to another supplier.
It's looking over your products and estimating how many products you can sell at the highest price as well as calculating when you need to order more inventory based on your average rate of sales.
In this section, Beau goes through several examples on how to estimate how many products you need as well as where you should price your product.
Module 14: Conclusion
Bringing It All Together
In this section, Beau gives an overview of what he covered in the course.
Beau ends this section by saying "Now all you need to do is buy low and sell high."
This is a 23 minute intro to best accounting practices for Amazon sellers.
All You Need to Do in Your Business
In this section, Beau talks about staying focused on what needs to be done in your business.
He gives specific directives like: stay on top of keeping in contact with your suppliers.
KISS: The Most Helpful Business Strategy
In this section, Beau encourages you to keep focused on what you can do now (ie. your budget is 1000 dollars so your MOQ total has to be under that) and not worry about what you can't (ie. if your budget is 1000 dollars, you can't go after opportunity deals).
Pros and Cons of Online Retail Mastery
A Few Final Reflections on Online Retail Mastery
One of the things that I appreciate about Beau is he doesn't stick to the script, but he is very organized.
Almost in every video, he'll say something and then say something, "but you'll want to take that with a grain of salt, because of x-y-z reasons here" and then he goes on to tell a story about his experience with that something.
But one of the key differences between his course and say, Sophie Howard's Product University (FBA Seller/Course Creator out of New Zealand), is that unlike Sophie, Beau doesn't go on and on and on with his stories.
He keeps his lessons to the point, whereas Sophie tends toward over-sharing.
Amazon FBA is OK, but Lead Gen is Better, Here's Why