About Me

I am 28 years old and from a small town in southeastern Minnesota.  I went to college at Winona State University where I graduated in December 2011 with a double major in Accounting and Business Administration and a minor in Management.  I obtained a job in the accounting field working in downtown Minneapolis right out of college.  I worked at this position for a little over a year and a half before I decided that it was time to create my own future and decided to step away from my job.

My last day at work was September 20th, 2013.  Quitting my job is allowing me to work on my entrepreneurial pursuits full time.  Some of which are related to buying and selling online which is what I will be writing about on this blog.

I have been selling online in some capacity since I was 18, and have gained a level of experience where I felt confident that I could make a decent income without a “normal” job.  I began slowly selling on ebay and amazon and have over the years learned a great deal about what works and what doesn’t.  I have been full time selling online and self-employed since September of 2013.  I have shared many and continue to share my experiences selling online on this website.

Although this blog will share many financial aspects of the selling online business, there are many other factors that contributed to me wanting to do this full time.  The first of which is freedom.  I now run my own schedule and don’t have to be at work for as many hours as my employer says, and be limited to a few weeks of vacation per year.  This is one of the biggest benefits.  I control my own time, and don’t have anyone telling me when and if I can do certain things.  This is a double edged sword of course, because if I put in no effort then I will not make any money and then I will likely have to go back to a job.  This fact keeps me motivated to working hard for myself.

In my free time I enjoy spending time with family and friends, playing sports, being outdoors, and living life.  If you want to know more just ask!

Or feel free to send me an email to ryan@onlinesellingexperiment.com.

91 Responses

  1. Jim Stewart
    Jim Stewart / 12-3-2013 / ·

    Hey Ryan, love your blog. Here’s a holiday gift for you. Go to http://www.thechivery.com and buy as many of the “Keep Calm and Chive On” green tee shirts as you can. They are never available but I just bought a bunch thanks to their cyber Monday extra inventory. They are $28.00 each on the chivery site, and sell on ebay for $42.00 to $70.00 on average. It’s a score! Rock on bro!

  2. John Smith
    John Smith / 1-7-2014 / ·

    Would this be a viable part-time gig for a student trying to put himself through college? By this I mean putting 20-30hrs a week into

    – Buying items in thrift stores, flea markets, etc to sell for profit
    – Taking time to list them
    – Boxing everything up and shipping them out

    How many hours a week do you think you put into this business?
    Thanks again and best of luck with your sales!

    1. Diane
      Diane / 2-19-2014 / ·

      Definitely! My husband and I are semi-retired and put in about 15 hours per week for our FBA business. This includes scouting, listing, packing and shipping. We split the duties so that we’re not doubling up on them and we make more than enough to live on for a month. We’ve learned to scout about three days a week and then take an afternoon to pack and ship. It would be perfect for a college student.

  3. Des
    Des / 2-28-2014 / ·

    Hi Ryan,
    Love your site and info. I’ve been an FBA seller since January 2012 and am also looking forward to a FT income. Can you talk about the Laser Barcode Scanner you mentioned with Jessica Larrew? What exactly does it do, how does it work and why it’s worthwhile to buy. Also, same questions on the DYMO label. (I use FBA scout and my computer printer). Thanks – Desiree (Des)

  4. Des
    Des / 2-28-2014 / ·

    Thanks! BTW: I am local – Eagan – specifically. 🙂

  5. Jennifer
    Jennifer / 3-5-2014 / ·

    Hi Ryan,
    First, thank you for making all this info public and sharing your experiences. I am a complete newbie and have only just begun. So far, I haven’t been very lucky, but I’m sure I’ll improve over time!

    I’m hoping you can help me with a couple of questions. I wasn’t sure where to post them so I hope that this spot is okay. If not, please let me know.

    Do you ever buy pet products for FBA? Amazon won’t allow me to sell them as an individual, but they don’t list it on their restricted list. Do you know if you are required to have a Pro account to sell pet items?

    Have you ever bought discounted items on Amazon to sell them yourself at a higher price through FBA?
    My example, I saw a great deal at Petsmart for pet shampoo, but they only had 2 bottles. There is also a great deal on Amazon for the same product and the company selling them claims to only have 15 left. Would it be wise to buy out the rest of their products to resell them myself? Even with shipping costs, I would still be able to make a profit and buying them out would make me one of four sellers.

    Thank you for your time!

  6. Jennifer
    Jennifer / 3-11-2014 / ·


    Thank you for responding and for the info! I will most likely have more questions and be emailing you soon!

  7. NT
    NT / 3-20-2014 / ·


    Great blog! I’m just getting started in FBA, but your blog has been a great resource and seeing your success has kept me motivated. Thank you! I took your advice on buying Arbitrage by Chris Green and it has been an excellent source of information. The book has helped me better understand the entire program and has laid out some excellent strategies that have helped me in getting started.

    By the way, I’m also a Minnesotan. I work in downtown Minneapolis and live in St. Paul.

    Thanks again! Keep up the great work!

  8. MLH
    MLH / 3-29-2014 / ·

    FlyerTalk is a site with a number of travel related forums, mostly related to points earning/redeeming. One such forum is Manufactured Spend, where people discuss ways to increase spending (with little to no actual cost) to get points/rewards/cashback. Those discussions are also closely linked with credit cards rewards – whether in the form of signup bonuses or category spending multiples. The reason I got in to resale was the 5x bonus one gets on Office Supply spending with the Chase Ink Bold/Plus cards.

    Yes, I’m in the Twin Cities, over in the west burbs.

  9. cheb
    cheb / 4-21-2014 / ·

    Hello Ryan,

    I am very curious about FBA. Can i be successful with FBA even if I lived outside US? Im from Philippines and I have been selling as a merchant in amazon for 2 months now. I have already made a few sell. I read your blog and thinking about taking another level from being merchant to FBA. Can I do amazon fulfillment without me physically in the US?



  10. cheb
    cheb / 4-22-2014 / ·

    Hi Ryan,

    Thank you for your honest response. If you stumble upon someone can receive, label, pack, and ship items to amazon please do let me know. I have been searching longer hours looking for solutions about my case. Im really appreciate what you are doing here in your blog. You are not just giving people advice but influencing people like us to be successful as you.


    Cheb Casino

  11. Jason Durken
    Jason Durken / 5-6-2014 / ·

    Hey my friend, I’m very interested in the Amazon FBA program as well as general online selling. Is there a good book you can recommend to get me started?

  12. Neil
    Neil / 5-11-2014 / ·

    Hi Ryan,

    Great blog. Will stay updated on your progress. What course would you recommend on learning how to do this business? I have about 1k to spend on a course. Thanks!


  13. Neil
    Neil / 5-14-2014 / ·

    Great! Thanks Ryan

  14. tony
    tony / 6-21-2014 / ·

    Thanks for the blog. I have the same mission with you. I want to share my experience in selling online. I may put too much focus on eBay that I believe is dying. I have just started selling Amazon FBA for a month and the sales is really good.

  15. brian
    brian / 6-25-2014 / ·

    Hi Ryan,i’m from Australia and am keen getting started selling inventory on Amazon fba.Probem is there are no amazon warehouses in Australia and shipping stuff to the U.S. would be too expensive.I may enquire about retail arbitrage throgh Walmart etc.Have you any suggestions.Cheers Brian.

  16. Paulina C
    Paulina C / 8-17-2014 / ·

    Hello Ryan
    Thank you very much for sharing with us about your experience with amazon and ebay. I’m new at fba and i’m just starting to list on amazon. Just listing things has been very hard for me but I wont give up because this business is fun. I have a question, do you take your tax resale certificate to all the stores you go to buy merchandise to sell, or not?
    thank you!!

  17. jezr
    jezr / 8-29-2014 / ·

    Hi ryan , great blog and advice , id really like to get into the FBA but i’m finding it diffcult to source products comeptiviely to then list on amazon. Any advice on how and where to source products?

  18. Alexandr
    Alexandr / 9-19-2014 / ·

    Great posts, Ryan!
    You are created really interesting blog :).
    Few minutes ago I sent you message to your email – please read when you will be able.

  19. Adam
    Adam / 10-14-2014 / ·

    I love the blog. I am off to a great start so far, doubling my sales and profits each month. In one of your first posts you mentioned purchasing pallets of liquidation items. Do you continue to do that or are you just sourcing at stores? What is your experiences with liquidation?

  20. Karl
    Karl / 10-17-2014 / ·


    I don’t know how much of your sourcing you do online, but have you ever tried PriceBlink — it’s a great (and easy) way to quickly check prices on your desktop browser. We’ve had over 2 million installs strictly from press/word-of-mouth (we don’t advertise), but some of our biggest users are FBA/eBay Sellers for whom PriceBlink is a huge time saver.

    PriceBlink is a free browser add-on that, when you’re viewing a product online, will automatically check over 11,000 stores for lower prices. It will also alert you to coupons for the site your’e viewing. Our extension is the most highly-rated price comparison and coupon add-on available for Firefox, Chrome and Safari and we were named one of Lifehacker’s Top 10 Must Have Browser extensions.

    I hope you find it useful.

    Best regards,

    Karl Quist

  21. Patrick G
    Patrick G / 11-6-2014 / ·

    Just found your site so much great information thanks for sharing. So much great information
    I cant get my new Dymo 450 turbo printer to print out the FBA single labels do you have any instructions posted on how to set up. spent hour with Dymo teck support last night and still an not running. the machine prints but not on label correctly.
    have tried several different labels.
    currently using 1 1/4 x 2 1/4
    Any help in the correct direction would be appreciated

  22. Kent Hranicka
    Kent Hranicka / 11-10-2014 / ·

    Hi Ryan,

    I really find this blog to be helpful and I appreciate your sharing your results and methods. I noticed on your P and L statements that you are paying out commissions (to sourcing people I imagine). I am wondering if you would be willing to share the commission structure, or if you have knowledge of an industry standard relating to commissions for sourcing. Thanks for any help that you could provide. -Kent

  23. Judy
    Judy / 11-12-2014 / ·

    Hi, Ryan.
    Great blog! The details you put must come from your professional background. Thank you for educating us who try to learn online business. I seen all your numbers growing rapidly conglatulations! I am trying to understand and came across this question. Did you add over 110K worth of inventory out of your own pocket? I ran your sales and costs from Jan-Oct 2014 and figured in the last 10 months you had appx. $260K Sales, 62K Net, 3.5K taken out cash, then 178K added inventory. That means 116K (178K-62K-3.5K) has to come from out of pocket? Am I understanding wrong? Please help.

  24. Richard
    Richard / 11-25-2014 / ·

    Hello. Hey I’m really confused here. My wife ordered a bunch of toys we are getting ready to send to Amazon warehouse that are a bit on the big size but light in weight. We want to use the shipping boxes they came in.
    However, Amazon says the box should not be any longer than 25 inches on any side.
    However, if you read the rules, they seem a bit confusing to me seeming to allow for bigger boxes.
    Ok, the boxes we’d like to ship to Amazon are: 26 inches by 20 inches by 15 inches.
    Can I use these boxes or are they too big? I want to of course use Amazon’s UPS discounted rates.

  25. Richard
    Richard / 11-25-2014 / ·

    Ryan, hi its Richard again.
    Ok, this is related to my previous question on box sizes.
    The toys that will be going in the shipping boxes (which hopefully we can use, which are 26 by 20 by 15 inches) are 19.5 inches by 5 1/2 by 17 3/4 inches(again these are the box dimensions of the toys themselves). If this helps.
    Again, the bottom line is I’m wondering if its OK to ship them in the 26 by 20 by 15 inch boxes. I’m just worried about that 25 inch rule. The rule seems to contradict itself.
    Thanks, Richard

  26. Des Kamman
    Des Kamman / 12-2-2014 / ·

    I ship 20″ x 20″ x 36″ boxes all the time.

  27. Mike
    Mike / 12-4-2014 / ·

    Hi Ryan,

    I just discovered your blog, thanks so much for all the information you share. I’m just getting started (literally today) with FBA/eBay as a way of making money. I was recently laid off again and want to develop my own job going forward. I have two questions: How much should I plan on “investing” for inventory and is there a certain area/category of product you would suggest focusing on to get started? Thanks again for your willingness to share your experience with us!

  28. Mike
    Mike / 12-5-2014 / ·

    Thanks Ryan! I appreciate the feedback. Have a great Holiday Season!


    Mike P.

  29. Leslie
    Leslie / 12-15-2014 / ·

    Hi Ryan,

    I am planning on starting to resell after the holidays. I have recently retired and would like to use this method to make some extra money. How much merchandise should I start out with and how quickly before you were making your living reselling?

    I really enjoyed reading all the valuable information you shared.


    1. Leslie
      Leslie / 12-16-2014 / ·

      My comment seems to be stuck in moderation. Any suggestions??

  30. Zacharie
    Zacharie / 12-27-2014 / ·


    I’m new to the Amazon FBA business and have a quick question. I purchased used DVD players and a router from the local thrift store. The problem is that they don’t come with the original packing and only the power plug.

    I was wondering how do I package them? Do I have to buy a separate box for each or can I use shrink wrap on them? How do you package used electronics that don’t come with original packaging?

    Please help.

    Thank You,

  31. George
    George / 1-5-2015 / ·

    Hi Ryan!

    I love all the tools and resources you have put together here. I am a long-time ebay seller that has made the switch over to amazon the middle of last year. I do mostly FBA inventory, with a couple products that I fulfill myself.

    My question to you, is that I am looking for an online tool that will help me track products that I am looking into acquiring to sell on amazon.

    In my intense googling, i stumbled upon a website called asintracker.com.

    Have you ever heard of this site? Can you provide some insight into a tool like this?

    Thanks for your help!

  32. John
    John / 1-6-2015 / ·

    Hi Ryan am impressed about your sales am trying to start an online business can you give suggestions on the product to start with especially now that valentine day is coming. Thanks.

  33. Paul K
    Paul K / 1-19-2015 / ·

    Hi Ryan, I’m also from Minnesota and worked in downtown Minneapolis. Who did you work for? I was at WF for years until I got laid off on June.

  34. Ashlee
    Ashlee / 2-1-2015 / ·

    Hey! I just found your website and am so encouraged! I JUST started selling on Amazon a month ago and am super excited about the potential. I’m using FBA and love it! My first month I was thrilled to do $926 gross sales with a net profit of about $400 after all the fees and the original product price. I just need to find more things to sell! Thanks for sharing the links to inventory lab and feedback genius. I can’t wait to start utilizing those. I’m so glad I found your site. I used to sell on Ebay, but Amazon has given me more profits, so I’m going to start focusing there, but this is all new to me. I really want to grow this business and really hoping your blog has some great pointers!

  35. Ash
    Ash / 5-17-2015 / ·

    Hey Ryan,
    I’ve been following your blog for a week now and I’ve learned so much about FBA. I do have a question about selecting products to sell on Amazon. What criteria do you use for product selection? Are you guided by product BSR rank and number of reviews? I’m trying to sell my first item online and I already have some products in mind, but not sure if they will sell. Please advise. Ash

  36. maliks09
    maliks09 / 5-27-2015 / ·

    Hi Ryan, I love your site. Thank you for providing useful content that Amazon sellers can actually use! I am also trying to take the self-employed strategy for mainly: freedom! Thanks again for the great advice and wonderful content.

  37. Leslie
    Leslie / 6-29-2015 / ·

    Hi Ryan,

    Thanks for clearing me up on the fees. It does makes sense now. I guess having Amazon take care of everything once I ship my products to them is peace of mind and worth it in the long run.

    I have products that have no UPCs on them, so I will need to purchase some. I was wondering if you could recommend a vendor as I believe there are a lot of scams out there.

    Thanks so much for all the valuable information you post. It is so encouraging for us newbies.


  38. Ted
    Ted / 7-13-2015 / ·

    Hi Ryan,

    Sorry to see that your account was suspended. Hopefully it’s up and running soon. That’s always a gut wrenching feeling even thinking about it…

    I found your website because I too am considering giving up my state job as a police officer for the opportunity to be my own boss. I admire you for having the courage to step out of your comfort zone and pursuit a career where you create your own work schedule.

    I hope to one day in the near future be able to step away as well. After this Christmas rush, I’ll make my decision.

    Great site. Just wanted to drop a comment. Take care


  39. Keith
    Keith / 1-13-2016 / ·

    I’m new to your site but found you through Side Hustle podcast. Your story is inspiring, keep grinding and plead keep posting about it.

    I’m thinking of jumping into the FBA route vs niche sites and Ebook. I have question for you though that I’m hung up on. When venturing into private labeling a product already sold in Amazin, how do you make sure you’re not infringing on a copy right or patent?


  40. Jason
    Jason / 2-22-2016 / ·

    Hi Ryan,

    I’m currently in a $50k job like you were. What preparations did you make prior to making the leap? Unlike your position back then I have a mortgage and considerable debt. So right now i can’t just put in my two weeks.


  41. Travis
    Travis / 4-26-2016 / ·

    How can we contact you about our affiliate program Ryan? Thanks sir!

  42. bo peng
    bo peng / 12-15-2016 / ·

    Hi Ryan, can you share some thoughts on FBA Small and Light program? Are you on that program? Is that really invite only, as most people are saying?

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