Sunday, 22 January 2017

My Amazon FBA Journey - Abbreviations

In 'My Amazon FBA Journey' posts I'm going to cover the good and the bad as it has happened to me (and my daughter). The bad are not likely to be negatives for the Amazon FBA system, but rather the affect it had on me as I come to grips with how it all works.

I will try and offer useful insights into what I've misunderstood, learnt, tried and failed, tried and succeeded. Let's just say it's quite a journey.

In this post I'm going to list a few of the abbreviations I've come across, which are never clearly explained, so I've often to run a Google search to find out for myself. A lot of things are assumed by writers and help lines, SKU for example. We know what it does , but what does it stand for - and do I need to use it? (Well yes, you do.) 

An acronym is an abbreviation which can be said as if it's a word - which is why users assume everyone knows what they are talking about. It's jargon - and the use of jargon should only be with people who use it themselves. So if you want to bring in new people, then use the full phrase, followed by the initials - ie always say what it means early on in the verbal or written conversation. (Here endeth the first grammar lesson!)

So, for what was intended as a quick post, here are just a few of the acronyms and abbreviations which you need to be aware of in your Amazon FBA (or merchant) business inventory.
  1. SKU - A Stock Keeping Unit (SKU) is a product and service identification code for a store or product, often portrayed as a machine-readable bar code that helps track the item for inventory. A stock keeping unit (SKU) does not need to be assigned to physical products in inventory. Use it to identify your products quickly. This is your ID code for the type, model, colour, size etc of the product or service you are selling. Find out more in Wikipedia:
  2. ASIN - (Use of this one really annoyed me btw!)  The Amazon Standard Identification Number (ASIN) is a 10-character alphanumeric unique identifier assigned by and its partners for product identification within the Amazon organization. Wikipedia again:
  3. FBA - yes, even the FBA term itself. Fulfilment by Amazon helps you grow your business in the UK and internationally when you sell on Amazon and through other sales channels. In fact it to be grammatically correct it should be used as simply FBA otherwise it reads 'Amazon Fulfilment by Amazon', which is a bit daft. But FBA on its own applies to other things too, so even I tend to always say 'Amazon FBA'. (Google FBA just for fun!)
One more I would like to mention here and now is the Buy Box. It is neither an abbreviation nor an acronym. It actually means what it says, but there is an awful lot of perceived mystery and exclusion around it. And I don't think there needs to be.

The Amazon Buy Box simply refers to a seller's product having the yellow Buy Box in their listing, which in turn means most people will click the yellow box to buy - so because it is against your product, you get the sale. 

However, because Amazon sell stuff too, and have such tremendous buying power, there's a bit of a myth surrounding this that you haven't a hope of 'winning' the Buy Box. Other sellers have the same opportunities as you to do though - and with my very first batch of products, when I was testing the system, I dropped my price to just below the others' and the Buy Box was mine! (But one has to avoid getting into a price war!) Read up about the Buy Box, but don't think for a moment that you will never, ever benefit from it - it just depends who you are up against at the time.

That's all for now. I'll put some more acronyms in as and when I come across them.

Lyn Hill

Sunday, 15 January 2017

My Amazon FBA Journey

Using the massive power of Amazon, the Fulfilment By Amazon (FBA) programme is for people like you and me to sell physical products using their site as if it were our own.

Here is some background for this first post in what I intend to be a series of articles as you join me on my journey with Amazon FBA selling.

For starters, while I have been working some kind of additional income generating business for many, many years, for the last 15 I have leaned more towards online marketing which I can come home to of an evening and do from my armchair with a laptop. eBay was one of my successes (and is similar to the FBA concept in many ways) but my USA supplier did the dirty on me and my family circumstances changed so I had to stop.

I will also add that I am of pension age and still work full-time as a self-employed database administrator. I have no intention of retiring properly - but I am tired of getting up in the morning and no paid holidays or sick leave.

My SO is just as weary but has little interest in anything business-wise but will no doubt be pleased to benefit from the fruits of my labours. B-)

The other person who is with me in this venture is my daughter. She has run her own very successful gardening business in the past, but her health means that she can no longer do this so is now earning just above minimum wage. She has the enthusiasm to help me keep going through the being worn out by the time we get home syndrome.

In this blog I am going to chart my journey for you, give you the links to the various information I have found useful and some warnings about the not-so-useful stuff I've learned. I will keep it first person (I instead of we) for the most part, as I want you to know this is indeed me talking to you. So here we go...

I started with the Amazon FBA (Fulfilment By Amazon) programme in November/December after I received an enticing email from one of the most interesting entrepreneurs in the UK, Robert Evans. (His emails are wonderful, by the way!) 

It was after I had read the first lesson of Rob's new FBA course that I realised I could do this FBA thing, so having talked it over with my daughter, we got started. 

(By the way, I live in the UK, so everything I am writing about this relates to my UK Amazon FBA experience. Other countries' processes may vary. Some of the links I add will be affiliate links which mean I may receive a commission. I would like to think that you will find my blog useful enough to sign up to something through me, but understand that you may prefer not to.)

The Enticement
I have been trying to find an online kind of business which I am comfortable with - which means I can see how to do it, even though there may be a steep learning curve; I think I will enjoy doing it; it isn't so monotonous that I will get bored with it; it doesn't have high start up costs so I can do it on a shoe-string; doesn't require me to take phone calls or plug into weekly meetings or webinars (I hate videos too) and I won't be pestered by US companies trying to enrol me into their services. 

I've been following Robert Evans (check out his YouTube Channel - is quite a lad. He has a great sense of fun, amusing style of writing and always seems to come up with ways and means of doing business which are very down-to-earth and do-able. I have bought a couple of his systems and most recently I was so intrigued by his FBA offering that I decided to sign up for it.

His unique selling point (USP) was that he was going to write up his FBA journey 'live', so to speak. And true to his word, this is what he has done. He releases each part of his course once he's done it and of the ten parts we are (at time of writing) up to part eight.

The plus side is that he can present it in easy to understand chunks. One of the few downsides is in having digested the lesson and actioned it, we have to wait for the next part. So, to supplement my learning, and having read the first three lessons very quickly, I then went on to buy some Kindle books, researched some FBA sites online and tried to move my business along faster than the lessons.

I must say that this course of action seems to have worked for me quite well. 

The ship leaves harbour...

I'm going to finish this post with a bullet-point summary of what we did and where we are right now:
  • I started the course on 30th October 2016. 
  • Set up our Amazon Seller Pro account a few days later.
  • Researched using the guidance from the course and bought some products.
  • Got my head around what I had to do to get them listed with Amazon.
  • Worked through the fear of a) what to buy, b) making a mistake, c) DOING IT ANYWAY!
  • Sent off our first box to Amazon at the beginning of December - 8th to be precise.
  • Sold out of all but one of our 14 products within 3 days.
  • Claimed our disbursement from Amazon at the beginning of January (£99 - being what Amazon pay us once they have deducted their fees)
  • Had one product return notified (I have to ask for a product removal to get it back)
  • Bought some more products and shipped them off just a few days ago and I am now waiting to see how well they sell.

Here are what I consider to be the most useful links I can give you right now

The first has to be to FBA Wizard Pro. There are other product sourcing sites which Rob recommends, but by lesson 6 he had found this one and I can understand why. It's brilliant. !4-day money back guarantee to test, lots of helpful videos and an incredibly supportive admin/developer who answers questions almost instantly. I can't praise Shaun highly enough, so here's the link to FBA Wizard Pro. I have also subscribed to their Wizard Bar service as that is so very, very useful: FBAWizardPro

ProfitSourcery has some great PDFs if like me, you prefer reading - a 7 day trial at time of writing (although I don't use them at the moment, they got me started): ProfitSourcery

And for the wholesale side I have joined Esources : Esources and I'm thinking about joining

I use TopCashBack - see if the store where you've found the deal you want to buy to resell is listed with them. If it is then you'll get some cash back! TopCashBack

Some Kindle books
I just yesterday came across a UK specific ebook:

The A-Z of FBA - by Ned Browne

Others I have been through are USA specific:
Amazon FBA Decoded by Erdal Gul
Amazon FBA Complete Guide by Dan Johnson

There are masses of them! Each one may just have that little insight which will help us all exponentially.

Some specific advice
Watch your profit margins. I work on the basis of fees taking up about one-third of the selling price - on top of which we have to buy the product first and add any shipping to get it to us (unless I can do pay and collect). Look out for sales - but due diligence, always!


  • I strongly recommend you set up a Gmail account specifically for everything related to your FBA business.
  • If you want to flip Amazon products, you must not use your own personal Prime account to buy them. Set up a separate account (Amazon don't mind) and make sure you use the right one.

That's all for now. I'll be back in a few days with some more miles added to my Amazon FBA journey.

Lyn Hill

Thursday, 4 February 2016

A Great Social Media Marketing Course - Shaw Academy - Personal Review

My, my - that was easy!

I've just achieved a Diploma in Social Media Marketing!  

(Pretty good for an old codger like me. Gained a Distinction too.)

So, what's this course all about? 

Ten lessons
Four Assignments
One Exam


I am so pleased with the course that I decided to sign up as an affiliate and do my very best to promote the Shaw Academy which I did it with.

Right now, I'm so excited with my result (only took me 20 minutes to answer 100 questions) that I just couldn't wait to set up this post. Where I will fall down is in not doing it perfectly, but you know: perfection takes time and if we wait for it we will never get anything done! (Sorry Daniel!)

So, with this very succinct personal review, please check the Shaw Academy website to see what they are offering. They are not expensive and I found the Social Media Marketing very easy to follow, despite the fact that I couldn't join even one session live online.

Very Good points
  • Daniel Byrne's lovely Dublin lilt
  • Comprehensive lessons for the Big Five Social Media sites (can you guess which ones?)
  • Each lesson at least 1 hour long - with Q & A session at the end
  • Detailed walk-throughs of setting up your promotions
  • Detailed discussions of analytics on all
  • Online Reputation Management concepts
  • Strategies
Not quite so good
  • A written transcript would take a fraction of the time to read (but probably not sink in so well, if I'm honest)
  • Some of the walk-throughs were a bit basic - but then I have done that sort of thing already, many of my fellow students may not have
  • Contact with course leader seemed to be one-way - him to me - even though I always answered his messages as if they were indeed personal. (It didn't alter the value of the course content.)
Learning Points I will take on-board (eventually)
  • Use beautiful, relevant images wherever possible (images attract more eyeballs to stay)
  • Use all the analytical tools available to plan campaigns and monitor effect
  • The correct tone for the site being used
  • Even though I hate the time it takes to watch a video, I did enjoy them and I never closed down before the absolute end in case I missed something important
  • The value of online learning - in my own time, even if I can't attend live. Do it anyway!
  • There's more to Social Media than meets the eye, so still lots more to learn 

Why don't you pop over and take a look at what's on offer. If you do one, look out for the fantastic Lifetime Family Membership offer which may come your way!


Monday, 1 April 2013

How Fast Will My Online Business Grow?

I have just come across someone else's blog post which I think summarises one's expectations pretty well. It's from Brian Rooney (TrafficWave and TOAN) and here is the link to it:

The Role Of Patience In Network Marketing

I think the phrase 'Network Marketing' can be applied to most of the programmes which I am a part of - after all, although I don't go out meeting people, and I really don't waste my valuable time on social sites - I am advertising in various ways to get people to at least come over and take a look at what I am offering. I share some things with my online friends who I may meet in various traffic exchanges or share an email with from time to time.

But I'm not going to digress - pop over and read Brian's blogpost. It's very, very good.

The Role Of Patience In Network Marketing


Saturday, 2 February 2013

ProfitClicking Keeps Improving

ProfitClicking Keeps Improving

I know I'm writing a lot about ProfitClicking, but it's such an interesting system that I'm treating these blog posts as an ongoing ProfitClicking review. Hopefully it will help interested people to make a decision about joining or not, and give a bit more confidence in the programme to those who have joined, but are not too sure if they did the right thing.

Here's a message which I sent today to 2 people who have recently joined my downline:


Thank you for joining me in ProfitClicking. I'm not going to keep pestering you with messages, but I did want to say hello and let you know how I use the system.

It took me a while to get my head around it all, but I am seeing my funds increasing every day. Over a couple of months when I started, I put about $200 in of my own money, but now I just keep re-investing - usually every day if I can login. I built up my surfing credits by surfing more than the requisite 3 sites daily, which means that I don't need to worry about that. Also, I have bought a couple of Panels and upgraded them, but you won't need to do that for a while.

The main thing to do is surf 3 sites a day (or double) - I suggest 6 a day for a week or so. No need to do any more - use that time to surf elsewhere instead, if that's what you like to do. Then re-invest the funds in your wallet by buying ad packages - or if you want to, put in some of your own money over a period of time.

Oh - and don't forget to add your 3 websites so other members can see them.

As a guide, by doing what I have said above, I now see $30
or more every time I login - last week I had $43 one day and 3 days later another $43.

Bear in mind that ProfitClicking will take back the 'free' $10 startup about 45 days down the line, but they can only do that when they see the funds in your account, so you don't really miss it. (I don't know why they say it's 'free', but they do.)
I say it as I find it. It IS working and I have high hopes for a genuine long term income with ProfitClicking. I want to retire sooner rather than later!

But it isn't the only string to my bow, so I will soon start to post about some of the other things I am doing and methods that I use too.

String + Bow - My Archery Bog

Monday, 15 October 2012

Quick Update For ProfitClicking Upgrade

Quick Update For ProfitClicking Upgrade

Just received this response from ProfitClicking support in answer to my question about not being able to upgrade at the moment. There's nothing to worry about. Everything is in hand!.:

Hello:Our members do not lose their matured purchases, they are in the queue waiting for the matrix to be completed, then all accounts will be adjusted. IT Dept. is still working on the site.

You do not need to upgrade in Profit Clicking in order to participate in the ad packages, even to get commissions from your referrals!

Only after 4 of your Ad Packages mature, does it start to get interesting to upgrade in Profit Clicking, so you earn more money than just your daily sales profit.

Currently, the upgrade button is not functional. Please keep in mind, that there is no need to be an upgraded member at this point in time, other than access to the "Big Success Breakthrough." The Ad Package feed is inactive so whether you are upgraded or not you will not be receiving free PC Panels for every four matured Ad Packs. You also don't lose anything because your expired Ad Packs will be pending until we resume the feed.

It won't be long now so please keep an eye out for the latest announcement in your dashboard.

Your upgrade to Level 1 will provide you with several benefits:

1) Access to the PC Success Course, the "Big Success Breakthrough," worth thousands or even much more if you are able to apply this training to your own life.

2) Ability to receive the second half of your Ad pack earnings, by allowing you to receive free PC Panels (matrices) you're entitled to when your Ad Packs mature -- worth a great deal, depending on the extent of your Ad Pack participation.

3) Entitlement to buy PC Panels (matrices) without having to first participate in purchasing Ad Packs potentially makes you the fastest money available at Profit Clicking without promoting your website.

Upgrade to level 2 will cost $57 every 3 months - Pays a commission of $28.50 per sale. Product: Killer Success Tricks 1-7

Upgrade to level 3 will cost $117 every 3 months - Pays a commission of $58.50 per sale. Product: Killer Success Tricks 8-?

PC2 and PC3 are coming soon!

Thank you for being a valued member of Profit Clicking.


Thursday, 27 September 2012

What's happened to Just Been Paid?

What's happened to Just Been Paid?
Just Been Paid/JSS is now ProfitClicking. It has been a tedious process, but the money is rolling in again and they have come up with a much slicker site. Still a few teething problems and lots still to do, but although I was really disappointed at first, I'm now seeing the benefits.

Practicalities: not much has changed other than the daily requirement to surf at least 3 sites every day. Now that's a bit of a pain if you want a vacation as you won't get paid for the days when you can't surf. I need to see if it's possible to do it on my mobile (cellphone) then it won't be quite so bad.

Rather than buying 'positions' you now need to buy ad packages - still $10 each and do the same job. The weekday and weekend % benefits look as if they have doubled; not sure if that's permanent, but good to see.

Some days the system seems really slow. Best to leave it and go back an hour later, I've found. It has taken weeks! A hard time for everyone, but true to their promises they look as if they will take JBP/JSS to new heights and I'm with them all the way.

Pop over, take a look and grab your $10 starter cash (pay it back automatically after 45 days): CLICK HERE.