61: How Ryan Quit His $50k/year Job to Sell Online Full-Time

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In this edition of The Side Hustle Show I’m joined by Ryan Grant, founder of OnlineSellingExperiment.com, and a guy who turned his online selling side hustle into a full time gig.

Ryan and I connected on Twitter after I published a post from Travis Scott on how he earns $500 per month with Amazon’s FBA program.

I’m pretty fascinated by this opportunity, both by how smart Amazon is to crowdsource their inventory, and by how real people are making real money with this side hustle.

During our conversation, Ryan and I cover how to get started and how he’s planning on ramping up his business.

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  • How Ryan got his start selling online.
  • How much he was earning part-time, when he felt comfortable quitting his job, and how his income has grown since then.
  • The start-up costs and strategies for sourcing inventory today, including the criteria he uses when shopping.
  • Ryan’s favorite items to flip.
  • How to deal with product returns (hint: Amazon takes care of it for you).
  • Our thoughts on the future and risks of “retail arbitrage.”
  • Ryan’s #1 tip for Side Hustle Nation.


What do you think? Is this a viable side hustle for you? Is there a risk in it getting overplayed?

I’m intrigued by it, since the start-up costs are so low. Some people I’ve talked to are making good side money doing this! What say you? Let me know in the comments below.

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Nick Loper

About the Author

Nick Loper is a side hustle expert who loves helping people earn more money and start businesses they care about. He hosts the award-winning Side Hustle Show, where he's interviewed over 500 successful entrepreneurs, and is the bestselling author of Buy Buttons, The Side Hustle, and $1,000 100 Ways.

His work has been featured in The New York Times, Entrepreneur, Forbes, TIME, Newsweek, Business Insider, MSN, Yahoo Finance, The Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Financial Times, Bankrate, Hubspot, Ahrefs, Shopify, Investopedia, VICE, Vox, Mashable, ChooseFI, Bigger Pockets, The Penny Hoarder, GoBankingRates, and more.

9 thoughts on “61: How Ryan Quit His $50k/year Job to Sell Online Full-Time”

  1. Hey Ryan and Nick… thanks for the great episode. I’ve been doing research on Amazon’s FBA but am based in Canada. Do either of you know if the apps that were mentioned in the podcast can gather the information for Amazon.ca?


    • Hey Chris,

      Glad you enjoyed the episode! I checked on Profit Bandit’s website and they do support amazon.ca. I didn’t see anything definitive on Scanpowers website but I believe they support amazon.ca as well.

      Best Regards,

  2. Two quick tips from a “big data” perspective:

    1. When you are comparing prices, consider use Amazon’s app instead of another pricing app. You are providing free geo-coded pricing information to Amazon when you use their app, but they are unlikely to use it “against” you (except to strengthen or weaken their own inventory position, or to negotiate better prices with vendors). Using another pricing app you might be unwittingly be providing info to another person or company in retail arbitrage. You can see an example of helping others in retail arbitrage on the ProfitBandit Services Catalog Page Creation portion.

    2. Barcodes are not 100% universal. If you think you have a killer deal, and the item doesn’t pop up through your app, it could be due to the fact that the Brick & Mortar store got the product prior to Amazon (or from a different factory). Take a few seconds to look up the item manually (only if its a killer deal, you don’t need to waste your time on everything).

  3. Hi Ryan,

    We currently sell on Amazon and are doing well, recently we ordered some items in bulk had them shipped to Amazon for FBA. We did our research and the items looked to be a good investment. The first shipment went great, low competition, good margins, we sold out in 3 weeks. The 2nd shipment, we doubled our order and shipped them off. When the items were checked in, we were now in competition with Amazon because they had started stocking the item. It is 2 months later and we have sold 11 of the 96 items sent (we sold 48 in 3 weeks) and can’t lower our price anymore without a loss. I do not want to discourage, just wanted to share our experience with sending bulk inventory to FBA. I believe Amazon has a very smart business model and it makes sense for them to have other sellers test the waters for them before committing to a large inventory purchase, however it does suck to be in competition with Amazon when they never run out of inventory! Good Luck.

    • Hi Rush,

      Thank you for sharing this experience. This is one of the risks of selling on amazon is that amazon or anyone else can come in at a lower price at any time. It is possible, although I would say somewhat unlikely that amazon started selling the item strictly because you did well with it. What is more likely is that you found an “amazon window” where amazon was out of stock for a portion of time in which you were able to sell at a higher price. If you want to see for yourself to check, you can go to http://www.camelcamelcamel.com and check the amazon price history of the item. Regardless of what the reason was, I agree that it sucks when it happens, and it’s something good to be aware of.

      With that said, I always recommend especially when starting out that sellers go wide versus deep. By this I mean buy a large variety of different products versus large quantities of the same product. By default this diversifies risk.

      Thanks again for sharing, and feel free to reach out if there are any questions I can help with.

      Best Regards,

  4. Hi Ryan,

    I was wondering do you have any recommended sites that offer wholesale/bulk products that I can sell on Amazon?

  5. Hi Ryan,
    I am currently working on a FBA student documentary and I was wondering if you would allow me to use some of your podcast as examples of sellers.


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