For the eighteenth episode of the DNQ interview series, I’d like to introduce Anthony Bui-Tran. At 24, Anthony has already built a $1 million dollar Amazon FBA business and is showing others how to do the same!
In case you don’t know already, Amazon FBA is a platform in which you can sell physical products through Amazon. Basically you ship your product to Amazon’s warehouse, and whenever you get sales, Amazon will fulfill your orders and you profit!
I saw he was a reader of my blog and a friend of a friend so I decided to reach out to him about FBA advice. We went on call and he was happy to do an interview as well. Below is our interview, check it out 🙂
How Anthony Bui-Tran Built a $1 Million Dollar Amazon FBA Business
Sharon: Tell us about yourself!
Anthony: Hey, I’m Anthony, 24, born in San Jose, California but raised in Houston, Texas. My dream was to live the digital nomad lifestyle and I’m doing it by selling on Amazon! Last year I did $1.1 million in sales. I’m hoping to do even more this year!
I enjoy helping others and teaching about Amazon via my Youtube and Facebook group Seller Tradecraft. But in my free time I enjoy traveling, working out, and surfing when I get the chance. It’s not the same when you live in Texas.
Sharon: Why did you choose Amazon FBA out of all the other passive income methods?
Anthony: When I started the barrier to entry was simple and still is, relative to say starting a coffee shop! Which off the bat could cost you $100k to start. I also always hated packaging and shipping 100s of boxes a day to eBay customers.
When I found out I could just ship one giant box of 100 to Amazon and let them handle it. It was a no brainer.
Sharon: What price point do you think is the minimum for a product on Amazon?
Anthony: Ideally I would want a product that is above 15 dollars now-a-days. I have a lot of lower priced items and it works. Now I’m shifting towards high priced products in order to differentiate. It’s also because I have more access to capital and resources. Doors have opened ever since I’ve been documenting and sharing more about my journey. Who would have thought?! It’s basically how we ran across each other!
Sharon: It totally helps to share your journey and it’s super cool how we met!
Do you mainly use AliBaba for sourcing and manufacturing your products?
Anthony: Of course! It’s a website everyone should start off with. I also use 1688, taobao, and jd.com. These websites are mainly in Chinese but Google Translate can get you pretty far. However I don’t actually do it myself anymore. I’m fortunate enough to have a team in China help me out! Basically the way it works is I have an idea, they go source it, and if they meet my metrics such as ROI and profit margins, I’ll go ahead and review the idea to either green light it or not.
P.S I’m trying to give back to my team in China with more business. If you’re interested you can find more details at www.zallyimports.com.
Sharon: Have you ever had any issues with shipping product directly to the Amazon warehouse?
Anthony: Nope never personally. It comes down to working with people you trust and know the process well. Not only that but we have our systems and processed dialed in other to prevent these through various checklists.
However…. there was one incident. A few months ago, in June or so, we were working with a newer freight forwarder. Somehow the freight forwarder had illegal fur in my container. This was a shared container and I did that to save space. I got my money back for shipping and they air shipped everything back. The worst part was it took over 75 days to get my items back because customs held it and they had to sea ship it back to China.
Sharon: What are some external tools you use for your Amazon FBA business?
Anthony: I have a resource document that we call our crafting guide that I share with everyone in my group. But my must haves would be:
1) Junglescout – Product Research
2) Zally (www.zally.io) – Amazon calculator with Instant metrics such as profits and ROI. Disclaimer this is my tool I build that’s free!
3) Sellerlegend – Accounting overview of your business
Here’s the Crafting guide: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1RM5OTlU9o3ZBiUEVMB68WhceVt7n9i7gxU6oG4TLgu0/edit#heading=h.tlcf1biwnckx
Sharon: What are a few basic tips on finding the right product for Amazon FBA?
- Don’t follow the herd. Everyone’s metrics will be different somehow. Don’t go for the small, light, fits in a shoebox. Be willing to sway away from your own criteria too.
- Don’t fall in love with your product – Don’t launch a product if the numbers don’t make sense even if you love the product. This is business, make the money then start your passion projects later.
- Turn your mindset from a consumer to a creator viewpoint. Ask yourself why you buy things and ask what your friends have bought recently.
Sharon: How much money did you put into your first private label FBA product?
Anthony: Budgeted a whole $5,000 while working my first corporate job.
Sharon: How do you know when a product has failed and you can’t get it to work?
Anthony: Depends on your definition of failing. To me if an item is not profitable after three months, takes longer than 6 months to run out of stock, and doesn’t have at least 20% margins then it’s not worth it most of the time.
Sharon: What do your days look like now?
Anthony: I like to stay busy and I actually work more after quitting my job. Do I have to? No. The business will run by itself and it’ll be fine for a few months.
I usually wake up around 8:30am, eat, meditate for 10 mins and then go to the gym. As long as I knock out my morning routine I’m pretty happy with how the rest of the day goes.
During the day, I work on finding new products and my new ventures that excite me:
Seller Tradecraft – My community where I create a lot of educational content on Youtube and in my Facebook Group Seller Tradecraft. I really do believe that if I can do it then anyone can too.
Zally – My free app for Amazon Sellers, my goal is to make it the must have, starterkit tool for all amazon sellers.
Zally Imports – My way of giving back to my team in China for changing my life and business by providing them more clients.
ProfitZing – It’s a secret software for Amazon sellers. It has not been released to the public. You can expect to hear a public announcement before the year ends.
Sharon: What are your next steps and goals?
Anthony: For me my main goal right now is to bring my mom home from Puerto Rico. She left when I was 16 to start a business but she’s always yearned to come back home to Houston where her family, friends and me are. The reason she left in the first place was to support her and myself.
My goal is to be able to repay that back and for her to be happy at home. So in esscene I think being finacial stable will lead to everything being dandy.
Sharon: Any last words and advice?
Anthony: Words of advice? Understand why you want things. Understand what your goals are and then work backwards from there.
Thanks Sharon for having me! I’ve been a long term reader of your blog before I even quit my job. Being a digtal nomad is awesome and the fact that we can work from anywhere rocks. Hopefully our travels cross one day!
If you guys have any other questions, please feel free to contact me via my Facebook page Anthony Bui-Tran https://www.facebook.com/anthonybuitran/
I really enjoyed speaking with Anthony! He gave great advice and perspective on the FBA business, and I do feel more confident with this income stream after having spoken with him. Thanks Anthony for your help!