Top 7 Amazon FBA Mistakes – Why People Fail FBA & How to Succeed

Top 7 Amazon FBA Mistakes – Why People Fail FBA & How to Succeed

I believe that we learn most from our mistakes, not our successes. Consequently, here are my top 7 Amazon FBA mistakes with some discussion on why people fail and how you can succeed.

Amazon FBA receives a lot of the hypey, passive income limelight – it’s how I came across it.

While yes, it’s true that a powerful income can be made using the business model. But, as with any business, this is subject to hard work and sensible decision making. Your ultimate success will be determined by these factors.

Success is not a given.

Understanding this will put you in good stead to start or continue to grow your Amazon FBA business.

Ok, here are the top 6 Amazon FBA mistakes I regularly see and how to counter them:

Mistake 1 – Believing the hype that Amazon FBA is easy and will make you rich quickly


I regularly use YouTube to learn new things. One day, a sponsored Amazon FBA video appeared in my suggested videos from one of the many young ‘gurus’. It promised outrageous amounts of revenue per month and an early retirement.

Sceptical as ever, I still decided to watch it. Three years later, I have multiple successful brands and a healthy extra Amazon FBA revenue stream.

I didn’t buy a ‘course’ or pay any money for training. Use what content is freely available on YouTube and read blogs to learn the ropes. As stated, your success is largely determined by how much work you devote to the process.

Amazon FBA demands knowledge of how the Amazon algorithms work, how to source good products, how to communicate with suppliers, shipping agencies and third parties. How to create attractive listings, demonstrate good product photography and how to advertise effectively to name but a few things.

There is more to the process than buying a product from China and selling it online. This many have worked in years gone by. However, now to be really successful, you must build a coherent brand and with that comes lots of social media work and content creation.

Building these brand assets takes time and money (if you don’t have the time, outsource jobs).

I don’t mean to deter you from pursuing the Amazon FBA business model, it’s great. Just be aware of the work required and you’ll be fine.

If you need any help getting going, take a look at some of my other content or shoot me a question in the comments:

Mistake 2 – Looking at current data instead of longer trends during product research


Product research tools like JungleScout are absolutely fantastic. However, they display the forecast sales based on the current BSR (Best Seller Ranking). Don’t base your decisions solely on this!

Research the keyword on google trends, look for historical data on the product or niche. Look for a general upward trend if possible. Make sure the trend doesn’t spike once a year for two months every summer and remain stagnant for the rest of the year. This indicates a seasonal product and would result in good sales for only two months of the year.

Additionally, use camelcamelcamel.com (free) and the chrome extension Keepa (not free but worth it), for historic sales data analysis.

Make sure your keywork/product/niche has medium to high demand over a sustained period. Then look to source a quality product that fits the demand of the market. Now do a better job at marketing it than anyone else. This is how you create a winner.

Mistake 3 – Not taking enough calculated risks


I think it’s impossible to succeed in any business without taking risks. You have to risk something (usually time or money), to achieve a greater state.

Risks can be taken with no research or thought, they might pay off. However, if you repeatedly do this your business will fail with a tedious inevitability.

Take risks, but make sure they are calculated risks!

Consider the example of expanding your product line into a different category on Amazon. How do you know that anyone will buy your product in the new category? Do lots of research, hammer the trend analysis as per point 2 and take the risk with the stakes as low as you can make them.

This might be using a small order quantity or using cheaper packaging just to test a new market for interest. Spending some extra money on advertising to get as much data as you can about search terms in the new market etc.

All these things will cost you in time or money. So do your research before jumping in, but make sure you do jump in – it’s the jumping in that will grant you the success and grow your business.

Mistake 4 – Not taking enough action


A simple concept but vitally important. By virtue of the fact you are reading this, you a likely a perpetual learner. This is great, this is why you will grow both financially and personally.

But we perpetual learners, must guard against doing too much learning without the accompanying action taking. We must put to use the things we learn, or the benefit of the learning is wasted.

When you’re done reading this article, put to use something you have learned. When you finish a book, put to use something you have learned.

I aim to achieve one thing daily, that will help my business grow. It doesn’t matter how much thinking or reading I do, I must physically do one thing that will keep the business moving, and in the right direction.

This is how businesses grow over time, little by little. I urge you to do the same – take some action. One year from now you won’t believe how much you have achieved.

Mistake 5 – Not investing enough time


When just starting an Amazon FBA business you can get away with working very lean. With some Photoshop and photography skills, you can do everything yourself as everything is very small scale.

Resultantly, the ‘easy’ Amazon FBA model becomes very time consuming to do well. This makes people scrimp on the product research, jump to conclusions, put 50% effort into the little jobs and expect to achieve 100% of the results.

To be successful here you have to put 100% effort into every little job. You have to be willing to do what others won’t do. This will set your product/business apart from the rest.

When it comes to Amazon FBA, this culminates in the product photography and editing. Be prepared to spend that extra time, extra money and extra effort to create the best product.

People buy what they believe is the best product. Simple right?

Mistake 6 – Not investing enough money


It’s scary at first but:

You have to spend money to make money.

Too often I see people trying to shy away from expenses in their Amazon FBA businesses. For example they ask, can I use a free alternative to JungleScout? How can I find the cheapest supplier? How can I launch without paying for advertising?

I’m all for running a lean business, I hate unnecessary expenses, as regular readers will know. But sometimes expenses are necessary to run an effective business.

You need to pay for JungleScout for product research as it is more accurate than free alternatives. The cheapest supplier is likely the cheapest supplier for a good reason, they use cheaper materials and have poor quality control processes. You can’t launch effectively without advertising – spend money on advertising!

Spend money on tools/services that will speed up menial tasks, this will allow you more time working on important things like creating new inventory lines. This keeps your business growing and is necessary spending.

In short, don’t spend excessively, but do spend where spending is beneficial to growth.

Mistake 7 – Not outsourcing


As your business grows, so does the time requirement.

Burnout is common with Amazon FBA sellers. It’s all novel at the start and you even enjoy all the small tasks. But soon you realise all your hard work is paying you peanuts in comparison to a normal hourly wage.

Consequently, you struggle for motivation and your business suffers or fails.

If you are going to succeed long term in FBA, you need to start outsourcing smaller jobs that allow you to remain focussed on the important aspects of your business (finding new inventory for example). Focus your energy on the high revenue tasks.

There are many products and services that can automate tasks for you. Here is my experience with FeedbackGenius for Amazon feedback management if you are looking for an example.

Consider hiring someone to do smaller tasks for you. You could find someone locally or use an online marketplace to find a Virtual Assistant (VA) for less than you might expect.

Fiverr is a good place for hiring a VA, I did a review on the platform here if you would like more information about it.

Parting thoughts


This was a bit longer than I anticipated, but I feel some of these concepts are really important to understand. Hopefully I was able to convey my thoughts reasonably concisely, probably not. Here’s some key things to remember:

  • Success with Amazon FBA is not a given, it demands hard work and time.
  • Use historical trends to determine a good niche or product to pursue.
  • Take calculated risks to grow your business.
  • Invest the time to make your products/brand the BEST available.
  • Spend money to make money.
  • Use software to automate time consuming processes.
  • Outsource to continue growing.

Take care,

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