We sat down with StartupCamp’s CEO, Chris Graebe, to hear how he went from full-time pastor to multi-million dollar Amazon entrepreneur.
Check out the bottom of the article for more details on his newest free training.
4 kids. A 5th on the way. And a full-time job as a pastor.
That’s where Chris Graebe was in 2015 when he decided to try his hand at Amazon.
Fast forward four years—he has sold over $2.2 million worth of products on Amazon and completely transformed his life. He bought his family a new house and now works from home on his own schedule, with the complete freedom to travel and spend time with his family.
Graebe still manages his Amazon business in a few hours every week, but now dedicates his time to helping other people realize their entrepreneurial dreams as the CEO of StartupCamp.
How did he make it all happen?
We sat down with Graebe to get some practical advice for people who are serious about changing their lives and to learn about the launch of his newest training.
Q: Had you always wanted to be an entrepreneur? What changed in 2015?
A: I always dabbled in entrepreneurship, but I didn’t stop making excuses and get serious until 2015. I saw a few other people making money on Amazon, and I realized how real the opportunity was for new sellers.
Q: Why Amazon, anyway? Did you consider other kinds of businesses?
A: Definitely. Like I said, I had tested the waters a bunch before then.
What sold me on Amazon was that it was the perfect opportunity for a pretty fresh entrepreneur. The startup costs were extremely low (practically nothing, compared to a traditional brick-and-mortar business) and you didn’t need technical skills. You just needed a laptop and a few extra hours a week. Even a dad of 5 with a full-time job could spare that.
Q: Can you explain selling on Amazon for someone new to it?
A: Selling on Amazon is actually pretty simple. The first thing a seller does is study the Amazon marketplace for opportunities. There are a ton of products on Amazon, but I promise you, there’s always space for more.
Next, you line up a supplier. It’s pretty easy to find a reliable manufacturer in China or the U.S. on Alibaba.com. You buy your products at wholesale prices, which are crazy cheap. I’ve been totally spoiled as an Amazon seller. When you know what a product actually costs to make, even Walmart prices make you sick.
Finally, you ship your products to an Amazon warehouse and list them on the site. For a cut, Amazon handles all your logistics, so you can literally be selling and making money 24/7. It’s awesome.
Q: Alright… So why isn’t everyone doing this?
A: From talking to students at StartupCamp, there seem to be two main fears. One is navigating the world of suppliers and shippers. Which is scary, for sure… Until you realize that they are all legitimate international businesspeople.
The other big fear is simply losing money. And that’s another myth. Even if your product isn’t selling well, you can always liquidate it using Amazon Lightning and break even (usually still profit).
Q: You got started in 2015. Is it too late for new sellers to get in?
A: No way. Actually, the opposite is true. In 2015, Amazon was basically the wild west for sellers, but now it’s a legitimate industry. Amazon has built 3rd-party sellers into its business model. The more it expands, the more room there is for us.
Q: So what’s your best piece of advice for new sellers? What helped you succeed?
A: I just created a brand-new training that is exactly what new sellers need. It’s called 4 Levels of Amazon Mastery and right now you can sign up for free.
This 25-minute training lays out the steps you need to follow to build a life-changing business selling on Amazon. You’ll see right away whether Amazon is the right opportunity for you.
It will also set you up perfectly to take the next steps and start building your business immediately.
Q: Any final words for new sellers or entrepreneurs?
A: Just keep taking small steps, and celebrate as many of them as you can! I’m rooting for you—and so is everyone at StartupCamp!
There you have it. It takes guts to start any new business, but as Graebe explained, the risks of starting an Amazon business are actually much lower than most people realize. If you’re interested in becoming a seller, be sure to check out his new training!