Amazon Account Reinstatement and Suspension Prevention

Want to Retire from Your Day Job by Q4?

Want to Retire from Your Day Job by Q4?

A lot of people start selling on Amazon.com to generate part-time income in the pockets of time they have after work, kids, etc. Once they are making money it is inevitable to wonder, “Can I actually make enough to leave my day job behind me forever?” According to Frank Florence, the answer is a resounding YES!  He is currently accepting new clients for one-on-one coaching that is designed to do exactly that – in only six months. 

As a customer of Frank’s BookSalesFinder program and someone who has read his books, I was very interested to learn more about his program.  I’ve built and sold several small businesses. Ideally, this will be the last one I ever have to build.  I’d like to retire young and walk the Great Wall of China one day. Frank is currently living his dream in Europe where he answered my questions in a series of email conversations.

Q. What does your one-on-one business consulting include?

A.  Basically, I teach my clients how to find and sell any item online for profit. I make sure they are successful in setting up their online business and I teach them how to put their businesses on “autopilot” so they will not only quit their day jobs in six months but it will continue to generate income with zero work. The pieces of my six-month plan include:

•    1 year of BookSalesFound.com to help you build your online store fast
•    1 Year of ScoutBotPro.com (Music Feed) to make online sourcing a breeze
•    50% off SitesForSellers.com to automate your local sourcing
•    Learn how to sell any item online for profit
•    4 of my online business books
•    Individualized action plan based on your city, time, resources and goals
•    Access to my private Facebook group for students of the program
•    One-on-one email support for life
•    30-day refund policy

Q. You talk about autopilot – what does that mean to you?

A. Autopilot is simply outsourcing every link in the chain so that you become the business owner and not an employee. I’ll give you an example. I do a lot of online sourcing. One of my favorite methods is buying under-priced items on eBay and selling them via FBA. For this I have a full-time buyer located in the Philippines. I give her rules to purchase by and when she finds a good item she buys it and has it sent to my Lister (my sister). My Lister then lists the items on amazon via FBA and sends them in. Amazon takes care of all the pick, pack and shipping tasks and I have a fully automated autopilot stream of revenue.  This is just one example. There are many ways to set up an autopilot business using Amazon and eBay.

Q. You have your clients set up their autopilot businesses in six months which sounds like a lot of work. Do they need to quit their jobs right away?

A. No. In fact, I don’t recommend it until month five at the earliest.  During those early months my clients work really hard during the evenings, weekends, etc. to get their autopilot systems running. It is a huge commitment to their future but it is do-able, particularly when you know that you’ll be able to quit your day job for good in month six.

Q. When you talk about “hard work,” how many hours a week are you talking about for the guy/gal with a day job?

A. If automation and an autopilot business is the goal, you need to be able to get your business to the point where you can start hiring people.  The more hours you can put in per week the faster you will get there.  I always recommend people put in as many hours as they can.  My job is to get you to make the most of those hours from day 1 so you can avoid a lot of the mistakes I made and cut your learning curve.

Frank Aaron FlorenceQ. After it is set up you claim they can keep it running with zero work? That seems too good to be true.

A. I know it does, but I’ve done it for years.  After working my butt off to get my business up and running, I was able to spend a whole year traveling across Southeast Asia – totally paid by my Amazon business.  Since 2009, I’ve lived in 25 countries and have no plans to return to a typical work-lifestyle. I’m currently living in Budapest.

Q. But you have to do some stuff, right? Like paying taxes and other admin things? Or do you outsource everything?

A. I outsource everything! Even taxes. I have a bookkeeper and a CPA who files my taxes electronically for me. Don’t get me wrong – I still work – but I am always working on new businesses instead of maintaining the old ones. Going back to my source-on-eBay-sell-on-Amazon business example, the only time I would need to spend time on that is if I lost one of the links in the autopilot chain and had to hire someone new.

Q. How many hours a day or week do you spend on your Amazon business now?

A.  I spend a few hours per month on my Amazon business. Most of this time goes to expanding the business.

Q. Do you need a certain amount of cash on hand to buy inventory?

A. No. Of course it helps to have a stack of cash, but it’s not a requirement.  This is 1-on-1 so we can make it work on any budget.  I started with 50k in student loans and a few hundred dollars. Anyone can do the same!

Q. Is your one-on-one consulting for new sellers, established sellers or both?

A. It’s for both.  I’ve been able to help both new and experienced sellers.

Q. What does your coaching have to offer the FBA seller who has been selling for a while like me?

A. If you’ve been selling for a while and you’re still listing and buying your own items I can help get you automated.  If you’re still part time and you want to go full-time I can help. If you just want to make more money I can help.

Q. How is this different from courses on online arbitrage or Amazon autopilot that my readers may have seen out there?

A.  I don’t know anything about these courses, but what I am offering is not a course. This is one-on-one coaching based on the individual’s specific needs and goals. I don’t think anyone else is offering coaching at this price with these bonuses.

I’m living what I coach. This program is not a theoretical experiment. I’m living in a posh apartment in Budapest as I run my business.  I tell my clients the exact type of business to start and how to start it. I share the tricks I’ve used in order to travel all over the globe for years. Even if you don’t plan to ever leave your city, my coaching will help you achieve the time and resources to pursue the things and experiences that excite you the most.

Q. Is this for books only? I know you say “any item” but your BookSalesFound service and books that you offer as part of the package are book-focused.

A. This is for any item on Amazon or eBay. I started with books and I think they are still a great place to start, but I now sell items in most categories and the principles for most categories are the same. It really comes down to what you’re interested in selling and what kind of inventory you can source with the least amount of cost and time given your location and knowledge. Creative Sourcing For Booksellers is the only book-focused book of mine and most of the principles could easily be applied to other types of inventory.

Q. When you help them set up their business does that also mean tech support to help them understand the technology, listing programs, SellerCentral, etc.?

A. No, I am not tech support. I can help with recommendations of technology. I can also redirect tech questions to the best way to get them answered from Amazon or the technology supplier.

ParisQ. When you talk about “retiring” how much money a month is that on average? $4K a month? $10K a month?

A. That all depends on the retiree’s goals. I lived in Chang Mai Thailand for three months and never spent more than $600 per month.  In Central and Eastern Europe I rarely spend more than $1500 per month.  If you’re living in New York you are going to need a lot more than if you’re living in Buenos Aires.

Q. Can you tell me more about ScoutBotPro? Is it only for books?  The sales video is book focused.

A. ScoutBotPro.com is not just for books. We currently have six “feeds” which include the following categories on Amazon: books, electronics, music, movies, video games, kitchen, beauty and toys.  These bots find opportunities in these categories and make them available to subscribers every day.

Q. If every subscriber is getting the same information I am from ScoutBotPro, doesn’t that make it the same competitive market that a book sale is or a deal-sharing group?

A. Yes and no. Everyone is getting the same information, but everyone has different buying strategies. If you want to get alerts before the competition you can bid on the “first alerts.” The first alerts give the winning bidder access to the alerts 30 seconds before anyone else.

Q. Quite a few of my readers have expressed disillusionment with toys after this past Xmas and frustration with crazy low-ballers that cut into margins or slow down sales (if you wait for them to sell out). What would you say to these sellers? Do you teach them how to find inventory that has little or no competition?

A. The inventory that is easy to get i.e. retail arbitrage toys is going to be competitive, that’s just the way it is. I’m not going to say don’t do retail arbitrage, but don’t put all your eggs in one basket. If one method of sourcing or one kind of inventory is too competitive, move on. Nothing lasts forever and the sellers who are willing to adapt are the ones that survive.

Q. What is Sites for Sellers?

A. This is a new service where we set up a buying website for you to buy inventory locally from the public. Imagine a brick-and-mortar store that buys used books. You would advertise to the public that you bought these items and people would come to you and sell them. Half-Priced Books is a good example. With SitesForSellers.com instead of a brick-and-mortar store we set you up with the website to buy inventory from the public. Again books are the example, but this would work for any type of inventory you could buy locally.

Q. You live overseas. Do you also sell on other Amazon platforms? Which ones?

A. I am currently only using Amazon.com. I have used Amazon Canada in the past.

Q. What types of products do you sell?

A. Electronics, CDs, collectible video games, collectible records, collectible books, Collectible VHS, toys, kitchen items.  Some of this I sell on Amazon and some are best on eBay.

Q. How long have you been selling on Amazon?  For how much of that time have you been full-time?

A. I started around 2006 and was full time within a few months.  I was right out of college so I had a lot of time to put into the business and my costs were low. I was able to build quickly.

Q. What drives you to write about your experience and to coach others?

A. I’ve always been a teacher at heart. I studied elementary education in college, but never really got a chance to teach because my Amazon business took off. Now I’m combining the two. Coaching others has been extremely gratifying and something I look forward to each day.

Conclusions

Many people who start working for themselves trade in one job for another – and in the beginning you often do have to do everything yourself – but the goal of working for yourself is NOT to have to work so hard.  You want to build something for the future that can be sold and enjoy your life as you go. You don’t want to be too old or too bitter to try adventurous, vigorous activities.

Years ago I read The E-Myth by Michael Gerber and it changed my life.  I went from being a freelancer with helpers (basically) to building a business I could sell – where everything was delegated and managed by someone else. It changed how I viewed my purpose as a business owner.  I realized that I needed to build something that could survive outside of me and that would have value. I needed duplicate-able processes.  I needed to separate myself from my baby and be an owner, not the business. I made the business about something else besides me. I sold that first business and my second business. I will one day sell this Amazon business.

Frank Florence realized this early in his life.  His business is an interesting combination of the E-MythFerris quote which teaches you to build a business that can be duplicated and be taken over by someone else, and Timothy Ferriss’ Four-Hour Work Week which reminds us to actually DO something meaningful and exciting with the rest of those 36 hours per week.

I recently read Ferriss’ updated version of his book and it was transformative. When I had first read it years ago it was “cool idea! smart guy!” and I took some of the ideas like hiring a virtual assistant but I never really could imagine having a business that I only worked for a few hours a week.  Now that I’ve been selling on Amazon for a while (and given that I started with only 10 hours a week), I see the possibilities for myself.

In Frank’s life, travel and living overseas is important. In my case, I want to travel to visit family for longer visits, take nice vacations every year, pay off my mortgage and build a nest egg for the time in my life where I may not be able to work at all. Most importantly to me, I want the freedom to be creative, to think and to write all kinds of books, not just Amazon-related. I want flexibility and control of my time and to make money even if I’m not working.  Talking with him made me think about my Amazon business differently.

I started my business in desperation as a part-time solution to a $1,500 a month problem. Now I’m looking at my business as an engine that will drive an entirely different kind of life for me. I want it to be the vehicle for doing things I really enjoy. I want my husband to be able to retire. I want to not worry about how I’m going to pay for the experience.

I want to squeeze my business around my life instead of the other way around.  As my husband’s coworkers called him at 2:00 a.m. to deal with yet another crisis last night (funny how they all happen on evenings and weekends) I thought, “we have to get the hell out of this situation!” We rely on his income and benefits.  I want us to be able to rely on my Amazon business completely. He needs freedom, too.

What about you? Are you ready to retire by the end of 2015 and live off your Amazon sales?  Frank Florence did it and he knows you can, too.  Check out his one-on-one coaching here*. It is currently a $197 one-time fee.

For me, it was a no-brainer to sign up even though my personal timeline is longer than six months, because I wanted to have lifetime email access to ask my questions and get pointers. In my opinion, he is not charging enough for his time.  As a consultant for more than 25 years, I know at some point he’s going to stop doing this, or charge a lot more for it because the demands on his personal time will be too much…and he already doesn’t need the money.

Last Chance for Florida Classes!florida

Speaking of living the dream, I’m going to Florida this week for my grandfather’s 95th birthday (yay!) and to spend a week in the sun with my family.  While I’m there, I’m leading two classes at a Pompano Beach Wal-mart and offering in-person, private one-on-one consultations. There are only two slots left for the in-person consultations.

Big Blog Changes

Just a quick note for those of you who don’t get my newsletters/blog notifications.  I’m reducing the frequency of my blog to 1-2 times a month rather than 3-4 times a month.  I’m not going anywhere and I’m not going to stop writing – it is one of the things I love to do – but I’m reclaiming some of my time to pursue my dream.

I thought about writing shorter, less in-depth blogs and then realized I’m incapable of doing that. I’m a magazine writer in a twitter world….

*If you click on this link and decide to sign up, I will make a small commission. I use commissions like this as a way to compensate me for the time I spend on my blog.  However, you can reach the same page without an affiliate link at: http://czarnovel.com
19 Comments
  • Cynthia Stine
    Posted at 12:02h, 24 February Reply

    I’ve gotten some emails about the links giving cautions. This is a setting on your browser that tells you when there’s a hidden or shortened link. I find it very annoying myself and have turned it off in my browser. Anyway, I wanted ya’ll to know it is OK to click on through and see the links. I used http://bit.ly to shortened them. I went back and updated the blog with the longer, more ugly links so hopefully most of you won’t even get the notice. Cheers! 🙂

  • Laura Fox
    Posted at 12:55h, 24 February Reply

    I would be very interested to hear what your thoughts are on this program after you are in it for awhile and maybe report back if/how it has helped to grow your business.

  • Cynthia Stine
    Posted at 14:05h, 24 February Reply

    Laura,
    That is definitely my plan. I’ll shout it from the rooftops when I achieve my dreams. In writing this post, I was thinking about all the people I know who have been hurt by the economy the past 15 years, who are afraid they can never retire, who have huge debts and who also have big dreams they want to fulfill. I want all of us to make it.
    Cheers,
    Cynthia

  • Simon
    Posted at 16:01h, 24 February Reply

    Hi Cynthia, does Frank’s coaching apply to UK sellers or just US?

    • Cynthia Stine
      Posted at 18:01h, 24 February Reply

      Simon,

      Most of the techniques Frank uses can be done anywhere FBA and eBay are available. According to Frank, some of the bonuses won’t be as helpful for you because they are Amazon.com-centric vs. .uk. Being able to email him with your questions and to get one-on-one advice works no matter where you are.

      Hope this helps!

      Cheers,
      Cynthia

  • Cathy
    Posted at 10:53h, 25 February Reply

    Cynthia, are there any testimonials or information from other people who have taken Frank’s training?

  • Cathy
    Posted at 11:03h, 25 February Reply

    Hi Cynthia,
    I’m a bit confused as to what he is going to teach us. Are we going to be doing RA & OA? Is it something like SaleHoo? Are we going to have VA’s doing the searching??? Plus it sounds like he real strength is be selling books. So is that going to be the “main” focus? I just want to make sure this is right for me. Thanking you in advance for your response.

    • Cynthia Stine
      Posted at 11:45h, 25 February Reply

      Cathy,

      Great questions! I asked Frank about books too and he assured me that what he coaches is being applied to all kinds of products, not just books. He started with books in the beginning and his first book was about books, but he now sells a range of new products in other categories. The focus of his coaching is automating the business and getting out of the day-to-day of running it. That means you can do OA, RA (with an outsourced buyer), wholesale…whatever works for you.

      I’m not familiar with SaleHoo.

      Frank maintains confidentiality of the people who get coaching from him. I asked him the same thing about customers I could talk to. As a long-time consultant myself, I get that. People don’t want to get into details about their businesses. What you might do is ask him if he’s worked with someone in your particular situation before. That’s what I did. When you sign up, you’ll get his personal email address.

      Frank offers a 30-day money-back guarantee so if you sign up and it turns out to not be what you thought it would be, you can get your money refunded.

      Cheers,
      Cynthia

  • Ka chra
    Posted at 10:05h, 28 February Reply

    It would have been more beneficial to put this blog out sharing your experience AFTER you had a chance to try it out for 30 days or 6 months. There is a very high chance for newbies to get sucked into tall claims like these kinds of services & these things are obviously backloaded with several upsells.

    • Cynthia Stine
      Posted at 21:43h, 28 February Reply

      Ka,

      I understand your perspective and I plan to write about my experience as I go. By all means, wait and see. I’ve put it out there that I plan to make enough money off my Amazon business that I could retire and now I have to live up to it. I am somewhat terrified. I know that more than 4,000 people will be watching to see what happens. Of course, so does Frank. He has lots of incentive to be a good coach.

      I have always been honest with my readers about what I’m doing and why from my affiliate links to mistakes I’ve made and more. It is also condescending to assume that people will get “sucked in” and don’t have the ability to make up their own minds.

      Frank offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. If any folks feel it is not a good approach after trying it for a few weeks, they can leave the program. Regardless of whether they leave or stay, I hope that any of my readers who signed up for coaching with Frank will let me know how it goes for them so I can share their experiences – good and bad – with the broader community.

      Cheers,
      Cynthia

  • Dave Snyder
    Posted at 12:33h, 08 March Reply

    Cynthia,

    I am just wondering how the coaching is going now that you are about 2 weeks in? I signed up for the coaching and thus far I am not impressed. I received the books and one email that gave me advice. I have been writing back and forth with Frank but he is full of questions and very little education at this point.

    I feel that your book taught me a lot more for a lot less money invested. I am waiting for you input before I ask for a refund as I might be missing something.

    Dave

    • Cynthia Stine
      Posted at 20:40h, 17 March Reply

      Dave,

      So far so good! See my latest blog post (March 17, 2015) for an update on my progress. I plan to write up something every month or so. I’ve been emailing back and forth with Frank and am really happy with the quality of the advice I’m getting from him. I’ve already automated some processes, hired a lister and more.

      Cheers,
      Cynthia

  • Fight Back! Save Your Amazon Business from Banishment!
    Posted at 18:34h, 17 March Reply

    […] trying to build my business to where I can retire in six months. Frank Florence is helping me. Read my recent blog post about it […]

  • Cathy
    Posted at 03:54h, 19 March Reply

    Retire? I’d be happy to get this business down to 30 hours per week! I look forward to reading your progress – you really are an excellent writer. I always enjoy and learn something from your posts.

  • Sue
    Posted at 13:12h, 07 August Reply

    Hi Cynthia,
    The affiliate link to Frank Florence’s one-on-one coaching is not working. I also tried going directly to his site but the add to cart link doesn’t work. Do you know whether the offer is still valid?

    Cheers,
    Sue

    • Cynthia Stine
      Posted at 16:32h, 07 August Reply

      Sue,

      It should be. I’ll check into it and get back to you as soon as possible.

      Cheers,
      Cynthia

    • Cynthia Stine
      Posted at 16:34h, 07 August Reply

      Sue,

      The first link is working for me. Please try again. It may have been a glitch.

      Cheers,
      Cynthia

  • Marret
    Posted at 23:41h, 22 September Reply

    You wrote this article in Feb, and mentioned you’d be updating with results. How is it going for you, Cynthia?

    • Cynthia Stine
      Posted at 12:39h, 23 September Reply

      Parts of it are going very well indeed. I successfully automated 95% of my selling business in very short order. I sort of had to because – very unexpectedly – my reinstatement consulting services took off. I also wrote another book that is coming out next week – Suspension Prevention. I’ve only spent a few hours a month on selling over the past few months. I have a pick and pack team, I buy OA and wholesale and I don’t shop in retail stores any more. I haven’t seen my own inventory in months.

      Currently my account is in maintenance mode and generating about $3K a month simply because I have so little time to evaluate deals and add to my SKUs. Still, I bought a bunch of inventory for the holidays and I’m excited at what I can do in my limited time. Frank was a huge help for me not only in automating my seller account, but also in helping scale up on the consulting side. I have a team of six in the Philippines right now plus 3 other US-based consultants and an assistant. I never imagined this when I wrote that blog post.

      My goal was to generate about $7K a month net from my selling business by the end of the year – on a regular basis. Then my husband and I could “retire” if we wanted to. I’m not going to make that just from selling. But it isn’t because I couldn’t. It is because new opportunities came up for me.

      Cheers,
      Cynthia

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