How much does it take to get started as an Amazon Private Label Seller?

amazon moneyIn the course of my day, I am often asked how much it takes to get started as an Amazon Private Label seller and how much money can you make.

Let me tell you the real answer, it depends…

In the words of Mr Einstein, it’s relative.

It’s relative because it depends on how much money you want to make and what your life goals are.

There are many people out there who tell you that you can make a gazillion dollars in a very short time by simply selling Amazon private label products.

Can you, yes.  I have met several people selling Amazon products that seem to make more each month than the GNP of all the Caribbean countries combined.

Are you likely to?  Probably not.  

money to burnThe people who are making $50,000 plus each month started out with large email lists or huge facebook pages of people who they could call on to buy their product.  Not to mention massive advertising budgets to run seemingly endless ads.

Their initial inventory purchases were maybe $50-100,000 plus.

I think it’s hard for most people to relate to that.  

But deep down you want to believe that you can do that and you’re so thirsty you want to drink the metaphorical Kool-Aid.  (If you’re under thirty and have no clue what that reference means, just google Jim Jones, Guyana)

I don’t want to be Debbie Downer here, but if you’re one of the small percentage of people who are capable of doing this, you’re probably not reading this article.

But what if you want to make a little extra each month?  To pay the mortgage, the car payments or take a decent vacation. Maybe even help pay for the kids college?

you betchaIs that possible?  Absolutely!  Is it probable?  Imagine in the best Fargo, North Dakota accent you’ve ever heard….YOU BETCHA.

Possible to make $1000 a month, $3000, $5000?  Enough to eventually quit your job?

Yes and it’s very doable.  I have met 100’s of people who do that.  

They are no different than you or me.  When they started they had no email list or facebook page.  Their inventory budgets and advertising budgets were nominal.

But the beauty is that after they learned, they simply scaled up their business to whatever point they wanted.

OK, Mark this is more what I am interested in doing.  show me the money

So what’s the skinny?  Tell Tom Cruise to show me the money…

This is how I started and is fairly typical.

My first product was a whopping $400.  That included shipping from China.

The item was $1.60 w/shipping and I got 250 pieces.

By month 1, I had paid off all the inventory.  By month 3, I was making $1000 a month in profit.  Still do to this day off that one product.

Of course I reorder when needed.  But for me, that $400 has turned into $1000 a month profit or $12,000 a year.  All passive, recurring income.

I now have other products, but that was what I got on just $400

Your initial inventory may be more, but there are thousands of different items available to get started for less than $1000

If you learn how to do this with one product, you can do it with 3, with 5 products.  When you do work once and continue to get paid, you can always scale your business.

So is it realistically possible to make 3 grand a month, yes.  5 grand…yes again.

You do have to get started and yes you do have to work.  Will there be times you’ll be nervous?  Of course.

BTW, let me let you in on a little secret.  Everybody gets scared and nervous.  You just have to have to confidence, confidence from knowledge to be able to manage those emotions so you can move forward.

Will people tell you you’re crazy.  Probably.  These are the same people who have never owned a business and go to work everyday as employees to a job they probably don’t like and feel they can advise you on starting a business.  

The irony there speaks volumes…

But Mark, I was born under an unfortunate star…I’m the one person who it won’t work for….I’m different than everyone else. I’m not Irish, I have no luck.  I saw black cat yesterday.

Blah, Blah, Blah……

The worse case scenario for the pessimists among you….

Would a loss of a few hundred dollars ruin your life?  Really???….that kind of thinking is what’s killing you.  I’m getting irritated just typing it.

Should you start selling on Amazon?  Don’t know.  That’s for you to decide.  But at least now you know what to it might cost and some realistic income potential.



Already an Amazon Seller?  Interested in a little help, maybe validation of your product and market or need some marketing direction?  Then take a look at my 1 on 1 coaching.  I accept a limited number of people into my coaching program.  Click here to learn more

1 on 1 coaching


Mark Scott Adams is a serial entrepreneur who has started, built and sold six businesses.  He has sold millions of dollars of physical products on and offline over the last two decades.  He is currently a speaker, author and successful Amazon Seller.  To take his free amazon sellers training click here.   To Get his free product checklist list click here


  • Fran Kennedy

    May 5, 2015

    Really learning lots from your training and many thanks! One question – when looking for a product, do you advise sticking to just the top level category of the Best Sellers, and not even looking at subcategories?

    • Mark Adams

      May 6, 2015

      Hi Fran:
      Thanks for you comments! If you’re looking to do a similar product, it should be one that is already successful. Typically a BSR under 10,000. However you should put your own spin on the product and make it different and hopefully better so you can charge more. Good luck.

  • Erica

    April 16, 2015

    I can’t seem to find a product with an MOQ of 100-300 for an OEM product! They may advertise a low MOQ, but that’s for blank product. For OEM products, the MOQ is 1,000 plus. Would you recommend one’s first product purchase to be without a logo? Or how do you convince them to create you a 100-300 piece OEM custom logo order?!


    • Mark Adams

      April 16, 2015

      Hi Erica:

      Typically private labeled MOQ can be higher, but in many cases the manufacturer will do a smaller first order if you agree to larger future orders. Use the phrase trail order or sample order. That seems to work. Keep looking there are lots of manufacturers who will do smaller quantities, it can be tough in certain industries, however.

      I would never start out without my item private labeled. Too easy for someone to do the same thing. Go to the effort to make you item unique.

      Good luck to you.

      • Erica

        April 16, 2015

        Thanks for your quick response! To make your item unique – at the beginning – that would seem to require a custom mold or something like that (aka something expensive!)? For something like the BBQ gloves that you mention in your first video, you’d be buying those straight from the manufacturer as is – no customizations to the glove itself – with or without your logo on it?

        I’m just trying to figure out if a product makes sense to invest in 500 products with my logo on it to start ($3,000!), or should I invest in 100 products without my logo on it ($400) and once I’ve got my marketing down, place my next order for custom logo products…? Thanks so much in advance for your thoughts on the matter!

        • Mark Adams

          April 16, 2015


          You can in many cases have the item in a different color or create more premium packaging, etc. You don’t have to have new molds or completely new products created.

          The reason you start out with your items private labeled is so someone else can’t go to the same producer and buy the same items and compete with you for the buy box. Then your just doing resale or arbitrage.

          Go in with your best shot at success. Branding or Private labeling done correctly makes you product stand out and also gives the buyer a reason to buy you product us the other items in the market.

  • kathy

    February 2, 2015

    Mark,I found a product that has 304 reviews and 236 best-selling rank is this a good product to consider or is it too competitive.

  • Mark Adams

    November 12, 2014

    I agree Trevor. It’s really not hard is it?

  • Trevor

    November 12, 2014

    The most important thing to do is to take action, it took me a while to make my first contact with potential suppliers but once i did i wondered why i had waited so long.