Selling on Amazon - Year One

It’s been a bit over a year since I started selling physical products on Amazon (I did mean to do some ongoing posts about it during that time, oops). I’ve learnt a lot in the year, made some great decisions and some total shite ones. I will share a bit here and document where the business is at now (August 2016).


I’ll start with the money shot.

Screen Shot 2016-08-19 at 16.44.53

So I’ve done a bit over £150k in sales on and about €15K on the other european Amazon marketplaces. Meaning I’ve hit the threshold to have to register for VAT (boo). This has come off a stock investment of about £30K and all profits being reinvested. Profit margin is about 25% after Amazon fees, VAT etc.

I split the business into the following distinct parts:
Sourcing - Finding stuff to buy and sell at a profit
Prep and ship - Preparing the goods and shipping them out
Business Management - Accounts, VAT, running stuff and other boring crap
Education - Keeping up to date on trends, tools and changes in this business model landscape
I will do more detailed posts on each of these at some point (but don’t hold your breath).


toys In May 2016 I became a grownup and got dedicated business premises. I started off by packing boxes in the kitchen, boxes would come in and go out the same or next day. I out grew that pretty quickly so started storing stuff in half the living room, which soon filled up. Next a very good friend (if you have interest in aquatic systems check him out) offered me space at his industrial unit. This meant I could start buying in bulk and get deliveries on palettes, and drip feed stock in as required.

In May 2016 I took the plunge and got my own unit. It’s 1,100 square feet costing £700 per month and is 5 minutes from my house. So my mate has his unit space back and my family have a semi normal house again (thanks for the support and understanding).

What Next

When I started writing this I was getting ready for 2016 Q4 (you know that silly shopping season), I’m now at near the end of Q4 and finishing this post so I can do a fuller post on my Q4 shenanigans (which I think have been pretty epic). So pretend your reading this in August 2016. But Merry Christmas.

About Al Carlton

Al quit the 9 to 5 rat race in January of 2007, before then he was a software engineer and systems architect of financial system. Nowadays Al spends the days running his various businesses and experimenting with different ideas and opportunities.
Al can be found on twitter at AlCarlton.

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