How to do Retail Arbitrage while raising a family and working a job

So you’re looking to make some extra money and you heard selling on Amazon can be a good way to do that. Selling on Amazon is a great way to bring in some extra money and can even replace your income from a regular job.

It’s not easy but it is possible. A little strategy can go a long way here. So let’s start at the beginning.

Maybe your working a 9–5, you come home to your family and making time for other money making activities just doesn’t seem doable. After all you have to spend time with your family. Time flies by, kids grow up way too fast, and it’s important to be there for them each day.

I get it. I have a wife, two kids, and a baby on the way as I write this. I work from home, have 3 businesses, and have about 337 new business ideas every day lol. Maybe not that many but my mind is always seeing opportunity and I have to remind myself to focus on what’s in front of me.

I respect the fact that so many people are thinking about how important family time is. It is the most important thing in life, in my opinion.

But what if we looked at differently? What if we changed our mindset? What if we realized that taking time now to build the life we want for ourselves and our family was a net positive for ourselves, our children, and our significant other?

The shift in mindset is what will help fuel you through the growth stage of your new business venture. Taking a little time away from family in order to build your business now can lead to more time with your family a year from now and for the rest of your life, potentially.

Imagine yourself a year from now, you spent the past year working extra hours in the evening doing retail arbitrage. You had some late nights, missed dinners, maybe even missed a few baseball games…ya that sucks, but what if all that hard work led to financial freedom?

What if all that hard work and missed time led to you being able to quit your job, become your own boss, maybe bring family into the business?

Now instead of waking up at the crack of dawn, getting stuck in traffic to go to a job you don’t enjoy doing, only to make enough money to barely get by…

Now you’re in control of your schedule. You wake up when you want to wake up, work when you want to work, and have the opportunity to make more money if you decide to scale your business. That’s one of the great things about Amazon is you can be as little or as big as you want. You can make millions (you’ll be busy) or you can make $100,000 a year but have a lot of free time to do the other things you love.

So the first step is sacrifice. You’re going to have sacrifice some things to get where you want your potential business to be.

If you’re willing to do that then keep reading.

There is going to be a learning curve when you first get started. You’re gonna have to learn how to source products, how to calculate Amazon fees, and how to determine how quickly an item will sell.

There are a lot of free resources out there that will teach you this stuff.

Once you get that figured out you will now begin developing a process, a method to your madness, something that can be replicated and outsourced.

Now you just have to get that process out of your head and onto paper. These are called Standard Operating Procedures. SOPs allow someone else to step into a role and do the job how you need it to be done. Without these procedures you’ll be stuck doing the job yourself and as you grow you’ll become busier and busier and your new hustle will just feel like another job.

That’s not what we want to happen, but it happens to a lot of new entrepreneurs. Plan ahead and you will avoid that trap.

You’re going to need 2 procedures, one for sourcing and one for prepping. As you grow you may need sourcing procedures for each store you visit.

I suggest outsourcing prep work first. It’s a lot easier to teach someone because there is no risk involved in prepping like there is in sourcing. When sourcing you have to assess risk and make judgement calls according to the risks you are willing to take. Risk assessment can be built into SOPs but it takes a little bit longer to figure that out, at least it did for me.

For prep work I suggest looking for local teenagers that want flexible work. Depending on your location something in the range of $10-$15 an hour will be decent pay for that type of work. There are alot of people looking to make money while working flexible hours. Prep work can be done any time of day. You can use your garage, someone else’s garage, a storage unit, or a warehouse space if necessary.

The next thing to outsource is sourcing. By now you should have your process written down. Your employee will need to know what BSR you are aiming for, what profit margins and/or ROI you are looking for, how to look at current reviews when analyzing variations and they will need to know how to read a keepa graph. It always boils down to the keepa graph for me. All that stuff needs to be written into your procedures. Don’t be tempted to just verbally communicate them, write them down. People quit, they mess up and you have to let them go, they get sick etc…

You need a system that anyone can be plugged into at any moment.

They will also need to present themselves decently to store employees and managers. Building the right relationships with store employees can be the difference between a $5000 haul and a $15,000 haul. A small gift also goes a long way when dealing with employees. Seriously, a $5 gift for 5 employees can have a huge ROI in the long run.

This position will cost you $11-$15 an hour. I suggest offering bonuses on the products purchased to motivate them to source more. You can get as creative as you want with your bonus structure. There is plenty of margin left to offer bonuses that can get an employee an extra $500-$1500 a month.

You as the business owner have to learn to trust others to do the work for you. You have to be ok with them not doing as good of a job as you will do. Maybe you will find someone who can do it better, if not, that’s ok.

As long as your procedures are in place and you monitor what’s going on you can still have a good handle on what’s going on in your business and you can ensure things get done how you want them to be done.

As I write this I have an employee in the garage doing prep work. He is also able to source $30,000 of product every month while only working part time. I took him in store a couple times, showed him my process, and now my RA business is mostly hands off for me.

I used to do it all by myself and I was good at it, I still am. I enjoy going out shopping, chatting with the employees, and hanging out for an hour and a half while they check all our stuff out lol but I have plans for the business so I can’t dedicate my time there anymore.

That’s how you can do RA while still working a job and having a family. It will take some sacrifice at first but I’ve taken my RA business to six figures a month using the process I just described and I don’t do any sourcing or any prep.

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