A lot of sellers enjoy having a house with a garage or basement to set up operations for listing products on Amazon.
But if you live in an apartment, what are your options?
To be frank, not many.
But that is ok because when you are first starting out you won’t need a lot of room. If you are selling on FBA then you really only need temporary space to list and pack your products before they are dropped off at your local UPS or Fedex location.
But as you scale, you will most likely need more room.
When I first started out selling on Amazon I had a house but then sold it and moved into an apartment. One of the first things I did was go out and rent a storage unit to hold crap I really didn’t need.
Then it dawned on me. 💡
Instead of paying the storage facility each month to hold crap I wasn’t going to use, why didn’t I just clear it out and put the space to work for me to make money?
So that is exactly what I did.
Things you will need to list Amazon products in a storage unit
There are a few conventional and unconventional things you are going to need when setting up your storage unit listing space.
Folding table for workspace
The first thing you will need is a flat table workspace so hold all of the same items that you may find in someone’s office as they list products. You can buy more than one (we recommend this) and set it up in the configuration that best suits your workflow.
Having ample surface space for your Amazon listing activities will be key to your success and peace of mind. The more organized you are the more streamlined your business is
You are going to need a laptop, but the good news is that if you haven’t gotten one yet then you can take a deep breath because they are not that expensive anymore.
You can get a simple one for under $400 at a Costco, Office Depot or Target no problem.
You need a laptop because you will want to be as mobile as possible as you shift between home and the storage unit.
You will also need one to use AccelerList or any other listing application that works in the browser.
Most importantly, you will need internet access. This is another easy one as well.
All four of the big wireless carriers all offer mobile wifi hotspots via a paid plan. You might already have the option now but don’t know it.
You are going to need electricity because something has to power the laptop, lights, label printer and anything else aiding your listing workflow.
If the storage facility is big enough or owned by a national company then they usually have outlets spread out pretty generously but all most all of the time you will need an extension cord to reach the outlets.
Once you know where your electrical outlets are you can better plan your workplace in the storage unit. That includes mapping out lighting coverage as you will most likely be working at night sometimes.
When it comes to lighting I used a construction grade light that you may be accustomed to seeing on work sites around unfinished buildings.
I actually recommend a combination of two work lights like this. The reason is that one will give you great and broad directional light and the other will be for hanging directly over your workspace table for maximum exposure.
Scanner with mount
TaoTronics has been the go to work horse for most Amazon sellers and the one above seems to be the newest version. Long Range Capture is important as you will be moving around the storage unit scanning items.
You will need a Amazon label printer as well, especially for books as Amazon just announces you will no longer be able to send in books without an Amazon label on it.
The beauty of having space to call your own is that you can then list Merchant Fulfilled AND FBA.
But even if you are just listing FBA, having a place to store boxes both filled and unfilled really keeps your space organized.
Check out how this eBay seller took charge of his storage space and got it organzied.
Important Safety Tips
Whatever your configuration is of your workspace you always need to be safe. Believe it or not, there are plenty of risk factors when listing in storage spaces.
- Always tell a family member or friend that you will be listing at the storage unit each time you list. This way if you get hurt or don’t check in on time, they know where to find you.
- Avoid listing while it is raining. This can lead to potential electrical hazards and ultimate death (just kidding).
- Be careful with your box cutters. You are not the King of the North and that is not a sword. If you cut too deeply you could potentially bleed out if not helped immediately
- Use your legs while lifting heavy boxes. If you throw out your back then it could be very scary as you try to get help laying on the floor.
- Watch out for moving cars or trucks. There a lot of careless people out there speeding through storage places so be careful and pop your head out of your space before you commit to exiting
- Watch out for heavy storage doors. This includes the main roll up door and any thick doors in the hallways. Most places have heavy doors that swing shut so that property management doesn’t have to walk around the entire place closing doors. Those heavy doors can knock you out or smash your ankles.
- You are only renting the place, it’s not yours. Avoid confrontations with other renters. This is not your place and it’s not storage wars so don’t get into a fight over something stupid.