This is the story of an entrepreneur that knew what he wanted, went after it and now runs a company that sells millions of dollars worth of goods on Amazon every year. The best part: he started off by raiding the clearance aisles at Walmart and Target and re-selling them brand new on Amazon.com. Here’s his story.
What started off for 29-year-old Ryan Grant as a part-time gig sourcing old college textbooks and selling them on Amazon has now become a $2.5 million dollars a year business as an Amazon seller.
During his early entrepreneurial days at Winona State University, he used to set up textbook buyback events about a couple of times a year on campus. He then got on Amazon and listed them for a profit. His initial gains were not that impressive – about $10,000 in profits per year – but it set the tone for his future business.
What it also did was encourage him to take up the FBA option, or Fulfilled by Amazon. This is where a seller, for a fee, can ship all the items at reduced UPS rates to Amazon’s fulfillment centers, which then handle and ship each product as the orders come in.
What Grant essentially did was go to the local Walmart or Target, head for the clearance aisle, and compare the price of each item on the Amazon seller app to see what kind of profit he could make. This simple process allowed him to maximize his profit on high-demand items.
By now Grant was working as an accountant, but he knew he had chosen the wrong career path. He used to work weekends and make about $1,000 month putting in an average of 10 hours a week.
Once the business got off the ground, there was no looking back. By September 2013 he quit his accounting job and, three months later, after working full-time on his newly set up business, was making $9,000 in profits per month.
Today, Grant’s business employs 11 people and sells almost $2.5 million a year on the e-commerce platform. But there were lessons learned along the way as well. In 2015, he got stuck with a bad batch of nail files for dogs, which cost him $2,000 in dead inventory and a two-day suspension by Amazon.
Since then Grant has made sure that all the stuff he buys for re-sale are from legit companies and have proper invoices to back them up.
In all, Grant has sold over $9 million worth of store-bought merchandise on Amazon. Here’s CNBC’s video coverage of Ryan Grant, the embodiment of the entrepreneurial spirit.