Scooter Kristi Lofton Husband and Wife FBA TeamIn this Thrifting For Profit Show with Debra Conrad, our special guests are:  Scooter and Kristi Lofton, Husband and Wife FBA Team.

At the end of March 2014 Scooter and Kristi started their FBA journey when they joined Jessica Larrew’s ABC Bootcamp.

What is so amazing about Scooter and Kristi is in this short time they have taken a leap of faith and gone full time with their Amazon business.

Scooter recently quit his full time job, Thursday August 21st, 2014  and they source together as a team.  All this and they have yet to experience their first 4th quarter.

Their dream before they even came across the idea to sell on Amazon via FBA was to find something they could do together and have fun with.

That’s the subject of today’s entire show:  Scooter and Kristi Lofton, Husband and Wife FBA Team

Today, Charlene Anderson is helping me answer questions on the air and in the chat room.

Ramping Up With The BootCamp

250x250 AddScooter heard about Jessica Larrew’s ABC Bootcamp on Pat Flynn’s podcast and shared it with his wife, Kristi said let’s give it a shot and they have not looked back since.

Scooter use to be a tennis professional and used to teach tennis for a living
so his brain works in progression and that is exactly how Jessica teaches, she does not give you step 4 before she gives you step 3.

Not only did they watch the course video’s but then they did the homework for sourcing that was given to them.

They started scanning in the house just like Jessica teaches in her course and they where having fun with it.

Scooter had been working and Kristi was a SAHM.  He would scan on his lunch hour or any free time he had to begin with since he was out working in the field, Kristi was scanning also and they would talk and text and compare items they sourced apart.

Look At This Picture

kristiandscooterloftonthriftingforprofitepisode89Scooter and Kristi are just like you and I.  They have two daughters one is a senior in high school and the other just went off to college.  They have a mortgage, car payments, etc…

Kristi says they have figured out that they do better if they source together. She thinks it is more fun and they keep each other motivated this way. Also if one gets discouraged the other encourages them.

Their strategy for success has 2 parts, the first part is to scale down their life style for example they don’t want 2 car payments. Secondly, is ramping up their Amazon business to replace the income they had before. With these strategies they can get to their goal quicker.

Mainly Doing Retail Arbitrage

Since this is going to be their first 4th quarter you can imagine how anxious they are.  Right now they are doing mainly retail arbitrage, but after 4th quarter they are looking forward to doing wholesale and hiring VAs to take advantage of other strategies.

They also know their limits at one point they had hired a VA, but when putting the VA strategy in place they realized it was taking on to much to quickly.  This will be something they revisit after 4th quarter because they understand the value of having a VA.

With these two it is all about the hustle, they are not afraid to put the hard work in to their Amazon business.

Niches – Build Relationship With Store Managers

One reason Scooter and Kristi are enjoying success and mind you success during the slow season for most sellers “summer”, is of the relationships they have fostered with store Managers.  These relationships are so powerful that store managers actually take pictures of UPC codes and will call them up.  This translates into the store managers looking for products for Scooter and Kristi to send in to Amazon.

They think managers like them because they are forming long term relationships. They know that Scooter and Kristi will be shopping in their stores spending a lot of money. When you get to know someone and build a good relationship, they are more likely to want to work with you by giving you discounts and keeping their eyes open for things that could possibly be good deals for you.

Lots of Competition?

Scooter feels there is no competition based on the beast that Amazon is, he thinks we are just on tip of the ice burg!

Their daily goal is to source and send in 40 items every day and they know the average selling price that those 40 items need to sell for to reach their financial goals.

Great tip from Scooter:  If you think I am just going to go out today and find 40 things you will not feel overwhelmed, because it’s daunting if you go out and think I have to go out and replace an income.

What It Feels Like To Actually Say I Am Leaving My Job

When do you get to that point?

You will never get a total fuzzy feeling in your stomach to quit a full time job that provides you with guaranteed income but at some point to get where you want to be you have to take that leap of faith.

For Scooter working was actually getting in the way of sourcing, sometimes they would get multiples of a product and they would notice that they made more then he made in one day at his JOB.

Their Goal is to work 40 weeks out of the year and travel the other 12, I am sure they will be sourcing while traveling.  But the best part is feeling good about not going to a J.O.B. because they own their time.

New Wholesale Sourcing Guide Coming Soon!

Be the first to learn about the new book from Charlene Anderson and Darla Flack:
Wholesale Sourcing: A Step-by-Step Guide for eCommerce Businesses

Click Here and Sign Up For Notification >>  <<

Okay… Have A Great Weekend and Happy Sourcing!

That’s my story… and I’m sticking to it…

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Debra Conrad

Next week’s show…. No Show.  I’m headed for CES 2 Dallas to Speak!  Have you grabbed you tickets to the live stream?

I’ll be speaking at this event – click here to see how that happened:

Listen live to the show Fridays, 2pm ET at
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Getting-Approval-For-Gated-CategoriesIn this Thrifting For Profit Show with Debra Conrad, we discuss… Getting Approval For Gated Categories.

If you are a new FBA Seller or a Seasoned Seller getting approval for gated categories will increase your profits.

You will be amazed at what you can sell on Amazon IF you just take the time to get past the gate keepers.

Amazon categories that have recently become gated are Grocery, Beauty, Health and Personal.

These are very popular and profitable categories on Amazon.

For every Amazon Seller the following categories are gated:

Automotive Parts and Accessories

Clothing, Accessories & Luggage


Kindle Accessories

Motorcycles, ATV & Protective Gear

Sexual Wellness


Sports Collectibles


That’s the subject of today’s entire show:  Getting Approval For Gated Categories

Today, Charlene Anderson of Purveyor Of All Things Creative is helping me answer questions on the air and in the chat room.

First How Do You Know You Are Approved To Sell In A Category:

You must be logged into your Amazon Sellers account

Go to Categories and Products Requiring Approval

Then select the category you want to see if you are approved in or wanting to request approval.

On the next page you will see a button “Request Approval” click it and it will let you know if you are approved.

Why Does Amazon Have Gated Categories?

Some categories on Amazon require special approval to sell items, the reason for this is to limit the addition of new sellers to the category based on the volume of existing sellers in the category or the types of brands represented in the category.

In addition, Amazon also uses gated categories to limit the addition of new sellers which allows them to closely monitors seller performance this ensures a high-quality experience for their customers. 

How Do You Get Approved For A Gated Category?

Are you a Pro Merchant with Amazon?  If you are not this will be your first road block, very easy road block to overcome all you have to do is become a Pro Merchant.

In addition to having the Pro Merchant account there are other requirements a seller must meet:

  • Order Defect Rate
  • Prefulfillment Cancel Rate
  • Late Shipment Rate

All Categories on Amazon are not created equal, different categories on Amazon have different requirements for getting approved in.

When applying for a gated category it is very important to follow Amazon’s instructions to the letter.

You will follow the same steps as mentioned above that you followed to see if you where approved in the category.  The only difference is you will click the “Request Approval” and follow Amazon’s instructions.

What Do You Do If You Are Denied Approval?

Do not freak out if you are denied.  Your denial might of  happened based on a simple error on your part that can be easily correct.

Not only do you have the option to reapply unless Amazon has indicated to you that they have made a final decision on approval into the category you are applying for in regards to your account.

No need to fret,  you still can sell on Amazon in these other categories:

  • Toys and Games
  • Books
  • CDs
  • DVDs
  • Baby
  • Kitchen & Dining
  • Pet Supplies
  • Sports & Outdoors
  • Office Supplies

So in the mean time keep sourcing in these categories and reapply.   You can still get creative and stand out from other Amazon Sellers by creating bundles.

As a side note, if you are a new FBA Seller it would be wise to take some time and sell in the default categories before requesting to be approved in gated categories.  This will prove to Amazon you are a legit seller.

Okay… Have A Great Weekend and Happy Sourcing!

That’s my story… and I’m sticking to it…

debra conrad sunglasses

Debra Conrad

Next week’s show…. Scooter and Kristi Lofton a Husband and Wife FBA Team.

Listen live to the show Fridays, 2pm ET at

Eliminate Amazon Competition

You Have The Power To Eliminate Amazon Competition

These ideas could eliminate the frustration we all have with competition and take back some control of our business.    


Ryan-Grant-Online-Selling-ExperimentIn this Thrifting For Profit Show with Debra Conrad, our special guest is: Ryan Grant

Ryan Grant is the “Online Selling Experiment – Making a Full Time Income Selling Online

Ryan has been selling online in some capacity since he was 18 yrs old,  he attended college at Winona State University where he graduated in December of 2011 with a double major in Accounting and Business Administration and a minor in Management.

 He obtained a job in the accounting field working in downtown Minneapolis right out of college.  And worked at this position for a little over a year and a half before he decided that it was time to create his own future and decided to step away from his job.

His last day at work was September 20th, 2013 allowing him to work on his entrepreneurial pursuits full time.

Since quitting his job he has kept a detailed blog of his journey.

Today, Charlene Anderson of Purveyor Of All Things Creative is helping me answer questions on the air and in the chat room.

Amazon and Ebay Seller

Ryan sources both for FBA and Ebay, and every month he shares his combined earnings with his readers on his blog.  In addition to that he shares helpful tips he’s learned along the way.

Walked Away From 50K A Year, Why?

Ryan answers this question by sharing a quote from Steve Jobs:

I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

The answer for Ryan was No, and the simple reason is that he has dreams that he would rather be pursuing than working a job that is working to fulfill the dreams of others.  He made this choice because this is what he wants to do, and he knew if he did not do it he would likely regret it down the road.

Financial Results From Selling On Amazon and Ebay

Ryan’s goal with sharing his financial results is to prove that this can be done, and give encouragement to others who want to fulfill their dreams.  This shows that working hard, smart, and sticking with your plan  it can and will  pay off.

Recently Ryan added a new section to his financial results:  “Commissions” which he explains to be what he is paying toseveral individuals who are helping him source products.  He has various arrangements with each of them, ranging from upfront payments to a percentage of the profits when items sell.  

Experiments Related To Online Selling and the Lifestyle It Allows

Online Selling Experiments, yes after all that is the name of his site.  One Experiment was around sleep after he had watched a Ted Talk.  Like most people Ryan had a schedule that did not allow for sleeping an extended period of time since he was in high school.

This experiment would all him to find an “equilibrium” amount of sleep that is right for him on a nightly basis, most likely in the 7.5-9 hours per night range.  With the desired outcome leading to being more productive, happy, and healthy in his waking hours, without having an alarm clock influencing your sleep cycle. 

Experiment in Coaching

Coaching with Ryan?  Yes, Ryan offers live coaching calls where you can discuss a particular topic.  You can chat  with him in either 30 minute or 60 minute sessions to answer any questions you may have.  

Recently Ryan was asked the question: “What would you do with $1,000 and no prior knowledge of FBA”?

Debra’s Review Of Proven Sourcing

Brett Bartlett’s Proven Sourcing

Okay… Have A Great Weekend and Happy Sourcing!

That’s my story… and I’m sticking to it…

debra conrad sunglasses

Debra Conrad

Next week’s show…. “Getting Approved For Gated Categories”.

Listen live to the show Fridays, 2pm ET at


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Thrifting For Profit Podcast – Episode 86 – Bill Bumphrey – Amazon Seller

August 1, 2014

In this Thrifting For Profit Show with Debra Conrad, we have a special guest: Bill Bumphrey. I met Bill at Danni Ackerman’s meet-up group in Las Vegas, where I spoke about selling on Amazon FBA to eBay sellers. We connected again this year when I went back to Las Vegas to speak at Danni’s More […]

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Thrifting For Profit Podcast – Episode 85 – Keywords For Amazon Product Pages And Advertising

July 25, 2014

In this Thrifting For Profit Show with Debra Conrad, we discuss … Keywords For Amazon Product Pages And Advertising. If you are creating product pages for your own unique products – you need strong keywords. If you are using the advertising tools Amazon offers – you need strong keywords. Do you even know what keywords […]

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Thrifting For Profit Podcast – Episode 84 – Chat With Barrington McIntosh International Selling Coach

July 18, 2014

In this Thrifting For Profit Show with Debra Conrad, we are having a chat with Barrington MdIntosh … International Selling, Bundles and more. Barrington is a stay at home dad. His 4 year business has allowed him to resign from his corporate job and spend his time with family, traveling and growing his business. Barrington […]

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Hot Weekend Sale Is Almost Over

July 6, 2014

It’s hot – hot – hot here, and hubby has to work the entire weekend. I’m planning on catching up on creating bundles with products that have been waiting (sitting in boxes for a while). Yes… I am working this weekend! (I have plans for an unplugged weekend in a few weeks). If you are […]

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Thrifting For Profit Podcast – Episode 83 – Organizing Your Space – Be More Efficient

July 3, 2014

In this Thrifting For Profit Show with Debra Conrad, we discuss … Organizing Your Space – Be More Efficient. It’s a well known issue with many Amazon and eBay sellers – we are disorganized! Who has time to make an efficient space? Yet – when our space is efficient, we are more productive. Last week […]

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Hot Hot Hot 4th Of July Weekend Sale

July 3, 2014

I hope you are getting ready to take some time off to be with family and friends over this holiday weekend. It’s hot – hot – hot here, and hubby has to work the entire weekend. I’m planning on catching up on creating bundles with products that have been waiting (sitting in boxes for a […]

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