Creating a LLC for your Amazon Business

So you decided an LLC is right for you? Creating a Limited Liability Company can seem like a daunting task. When you first research it you will be flooded with offers by companies like Legal Zoom to do it for you. I just checked on this and it will cost you a minimum of $149 to have Legal Zoom do it for you. Some other companies advertise it as being only $49. You can do it from home in less than 15 minutes. Now if you’re an entrepreneur with multiple businesses and little time then ya, go ahead and out source that task. In my experience most new Amazon sellers are not in that position and they are trying to save as much money as possible. So lets save that money!

I am going walk you through an example of setting up an LLC in the state of Virginia as if it is my first time doing it.

1. Search “How to start a LLC in Virginia”
2. Skip over the ads and results until you see something more unique than the other results. In this case it is “Virginia SCC – Office of the Clerk – Business Entity Forms” Fancy right?
3. Click on that link and you come to the Forms and Fees page, click on Limited Liability Companies
4. On the next page your want the form titled “Articles of Organization” then choose the option “Form a Limited Liability Company”
5. Ok, now you’re in and you just need to fill out the requested information. You are going to need your business name, registered agent (this can be you), your principal office (place of business) and your signature. In Virginia there is a filing fee of $100.

That’s it! This process takes about 10 minutes and is super easy to do. Just replace “Virginia” in Step 1 with whatever state you are trying to file in. Each state has their own set of laws when it comes to putting together a LLC. Make sure you pay attention to what is on the website.
One thing to keep in mind is that you can always contact your state for assistance. There should be a contact number somewhere, use it if you have questions. In my experience when it comes to the states and taxes they are always very quick to help.

Another piece of advice I have is that you should not use your home address for the LLC. If you do so you could potentially negate the limited liability aspect of of the LLC. If your LLC can be tied to your personal assets in any way then that could leave you personally liable for any debts tied to the business. If you do not have a place of business I suggest getting a private mailbox from a local UPS or the USPS. Most of them have ones that show up as a street address and not a P.O. Box.

Also, one of the benefits of having an LLC is you can choose to be taxed as an S-Corp which allows you to put yourself on payroll. This is what I do for myself and my wife. We both get a check every two weeks with taxes taken out. It makes things easier at the end of the year. I highly suggest speaking with a state rep about this and make sure you can setup your business in that way. Setting up payroll is a little more difficult than setting up the LLC but can still be done online. I suggest using Gusto to do your payroll service.

Why You Should Use Tactical Arbitrage To Source Products

I have tested a few different sourcing programs for my online arbitrage business. For me the clear winner is Tactical Arbitrage. If you are looking for a tool to take your sourcing to the next level, look no further. Not only is the tool powerful but it comes along with everything else you want in a product:

1. Great customer service. Got a question? You will get response in less than 24 hours.
2. A thriving Facebook community full of valuable information and helpful people.
3. Constantly being updated based on customer suggestions. This program keeps getting better and better. I am always surprised by the things Alex Moss and his team roll out. It’s hard for me to keep up with all the updates.

Imagine being able to source 800+ sites while you sleep, filter products based on your own desired ROI, profit margins, category rank, estimated monthly sales, and pretty much any other factor you can think of. All that hard work and thinking you used to do manually can now be completed using Tactical Arbitrage. Not only is it going to do all that work for you but it is going to return your results in a beautiful easy to use and intuitive user interface. Not only does it crush the competition when it comes to the OA game but this tool can be used for wholesale sourcing, book sourcing, and even some private label product research.

 All valuable data is provided with intuitive links
All valuable data is provided with intuitive links

As you can see it returns a very clean looking interface that is highly customize-able. You can arrange the columns left to right how you see fit, hide any columns, filter out anything less than $3 in profit, less than 50 sales a month, and anything else you can think of. You can also sort your columns which is an excellent feature to make your product analyzing as efficient as possible. Not only does this team know how to build great software but they know the ins and outs of selling on Amazon. In my opinion that is what makes this is a great piece of software. It truly is built with convenience in mind.

The ability to run large scans and then filter those results however you see fit is the real power of this program.

Check this out: You can even get notified by text when a scan is complete!? I prefer to have my team notified via Slack but the choice is yours. Like I said they thought of everything.

I thought about writing a post about why I recommend using Slack as your team communication tool but I can not really figure out why I love it so much. There is just some sort of secret sauce they have figured out. It reminds me of text messaging but for business. It is very intuitive and integrates with everything. Check it out.

To get started with Tactical Arbitrage go here and use code MYG10 to get a 10 Day trial to test out the product. Anyone who signs up per my link can reach out to me directly for any advice. Plus be on the lookout for more posts on how to crush it using Tactical Arbitrage. Sign up for my email list to stay up to date on new tactics using this tool.

How to Scale Your Online Arbitrage Business

I will continue to update this post as I test new methods for my readers to try out. This post was last updated February 26th 2019…

So you’ve started selling on Amazon and things are going well. Congrats! You’ve seen the potential this business has and now you’re ready to take things to the next level.

The majority of the time this happens around the $20,000 in sales a month mark. Now you have to begin dealing with problems other than “What do I sell?”

Now you’re questions are:

“How the hell did this customer get away with returning this product?”“How am I going to recoup my costs on these returns?”“How do I deal with Intellectual Property Claims?”“How can I get more money to fund my business?””Is it time to hire a Virtual Assistant?”“How am I going to handle prepping more products?”

Biggie wasn’t lying when he said “More money, More problems”

These are important questions and I will write posts on each subject. Each question requires certain actions to resolve them and I will give you actionable advice to help you out.

For this post we are going to focus strictly on scaling. What does that mean? Selling more stuff without driving yourself crazy is what it means to me.

This is the time where you will need to take time out of your day to write down your processes, identify the work being done in your business, develop the idea of roles being played in your business, and identify what roles you will outsource. This is no longer a side job or a hobby. It’s time to shift your mindset.

It’s time to take a hand off the wheel and begin trusting other people to do some work for you. Will they care about your business as much as you? No, probably not. It took me 2 years to get over this but it is one of the best choices I ever made for my business. To learn more about hiring a Virtual Assistant you can check out my post here.

You don’t want to just jump into hiring though. You need to map it out.

Action Step #1: To help your self with the process I suggest going about your work as usual one day but add the following step: Write down everything you do as you do it. Use a sheet of paper, a word document or my favorite, a dry erase board.

Did you initiate a scan on Tactical Arbitrage? Write it down. Scan is complete, now its time to analyze your items, write it down. Did you buy some items and add them to a spreadsheet or Inventory Labs, write it down. Did you create a shipment, prep items, drop off packages? Write it down.

Tactical Arbitrage ScanTactical Arbitrage ScanTactical Arbitrage Scan

These are all tasks that lead to your goal of selling more stuff. It is important to identify all the pieces of the puzzle because now you get to the fun part: Tell other people to do it!

In this example we have the following tasks being done:

1. Initiating Scans2. Analyzing Products (Product Research)3. Purchasing4. Book-keeping5. Prep and Shipment

Which one of these should you outsource first? Prep. I hope I can make this loud and clear: You are not saving your business money by doing your own prep. In fact you are costing your business money. Prep can be easily outsourced for $1.65 per item, max. You can hire a prep center to do this or you can hire locally for $10.00 per hour. Hiring locally will be cheaper but now you have to deal with managing employees.

Amazon FBA SourcingAmazon FBA SourcingAmazon FBA Sourcing

As you can see I’ve done my fair share of prepping products

You have to decide what is best for you.

There are a lot of other things you have to consider if you choose to hire your employees. Personally, I chose to go the prep center route. I build my operating costs into my teams sourcing so we simply just add the prep cost into profit calculations when sourcing. Its that simple. Some people may disagree but I have been doing it this way over a year now.

A good prep center is hard to come by. They can make or break your business. Choose wisely. Currently, I am using Selltec Prep. Feel free to reach out to me for an update on recommended prep centers.

Action Step # 2 : To sell more products you are going to need to find more products. You can do a lot with a few VAs and manual product searching at deal sites but to truly scale you are going to need a great piece of software. I am going to save you a lot of time, Tactical Arbitrage is the way to go. To read more on why I love Tactical Arbitrage go here. At this moment there are over 800 websites you can scan using Tactical Arbitrage. All the filters you apply when manually sourcing can easily be plugged into Tactical Arbitrage. You can run scans while you sleep. Even better you can have your VA run scans and analyze products while you sleep. Once you find someone trustworthy enough you can use re-loadable gift cards and outsource the whole Search, Analyze, and Buy process. BOOM!

Now you can have your virtual assistants working for you while you sleep, have your items sent to a prep center, and have a VA or the prep center create your shipments for you. Now all you have to do is keep an eye on your sales, returns, profits, and other key performance indicators that you set.

This is scaling. With proper expectations and a little trust you can really be on a beach somewhere making money. You can actually be making money while you sleep. This is the power of leveraging a marketplace like Amazon.

Don’t get too excited though. It is not all sunshine and roses. This is not a get rich quick scheme. This is just a successful business model that can help fuel the life you want for yourself. You have to put in the work though!

Are you ready?

To learn more about product research and analyzing check out my post on Tactical Arbitrage.

How to Hire a Virtual Assistant for your Amazon Business

This post is up to date as of February 27th 2019. I will continously update this post as I discover new valuable methods for my readers…. Hiring a Virtual Assistant is an integral part of any Amazon business. The internet has given us a huge opportuntiy that every E-Commerce entrepreneur should leverage to grow their business. There are hundreds of thousands of qualified people looking for work all over the world. Which brings me to our second point of leverage, currency conversion. According to Payscale the average salary for a customer service rep based in the Phillipines will cost you about $383 a month or $2.39 per hour for a full time employee. Imagine all those menial tasks that have to be done everyday, no longer having to be done by you. No more data entry, no more checking on orders to see if they shipped or were cancelled, and no more creating shipments for products. Now you will be able to focus on high ticket purchases, creating a Private Label product, scaling your Online Arbitrage business, or having a few drinks with friends. The choice is yours!

Alright Nick! This all sounds real good but how do I implement this? I will get to that, I promise. I want to address one thing first: Another question I get has to do with people feeling concerned about possibly taking advantage of people in other areas of the world. Please drop this concern right here. Remember I am not some fake Amazon guru trying to sell you an expensive course. I am a real full time seller that has implemented everything I write about. My Filipino employees are very grateful for the work I have provided for them. They get to work at home on their own schedule, get paid directly via a payment method of their choosing, the opportunity to make an above average wage, and get to take part in a growing team where they can feel valuable and welcomed. This is a win-win situation for everyone when the system is implemented correctly.

Alright, ready to do it? Lets Gooo! First ready my post on “How to Scale Your OA business” This will help you get an understanding of the role and tasks you are looking to outsource. Once you have that you will then need to look for people to interview. These are the places I suggest looking:

1. FreeUp This is a great place to look for talent but it is more costly compared to other methods. If you have a specific more valuable role in mind then this is a good choice. Plus the owner will personally find you someone to interview shaving a lot of time off of the process. Instead of doing interviews for a week you could be done in 2 days. It will cost you though. You’re looking to pay at least $5-$7 an hour for an assistant here. Payment methods can be setup through Freeup via ACH, PayPal, and Credit Card.
2. Upwork – This is another great place to look with a lot of extra features. You can see work that they have previously done and reviews on the work done. You will have to personally vet the freelancers here. In my experience you are looking to pay at least $5.00 an hour. It will cost ya less than FreeUp potentially, but will definitely take more of your time. Payment is handled through the Upwork network.
3. Kaziwork – I found 2 great employees here. They are pre-vetted, trained, and they even have their own E-Commerce University program. The resumes on this site are great. They even have videos showing you the skills these freelancers have. You will have to do a little work yourself but your cost is going to start at $3.00 an hour for an employee. They do have a monthly fee but do provide value for that fee. You get access to ongoing support and they have on-boarding guides. Once you find an employee you can drop out of the monthly program. You will need to setup your own payment arrangement if you go with Kaziwork.

I recommend Kaziwork if you are looking to train your employee on how to do the work you want done. If you are looking for someone that has skills you lack then I suggest going with FreeUp.

Before I wrap up I want to cover payment methods. I suggest using Remitly. Remitly makes it very easy to send money and it also verifies that your potential employee is actually who they say they are. Setup and remittance is easy. Use this link to get a $15 credit in your account when you sign up!

Questions? Holla at me!