Let’s learn about Checkmate Flips' decision-making in hiring his Amazon virtual assistant, and more so, what FIRE is.
Who is Checkmate Flips?
He’s been selling online for a little over 3 years now. It started with his brother that came back from college break and said he is making 600 dollars extra a month, selling used clothes. At that time, Checkmate Flips was still a student and wanted to give it a shot, since he always wanted to flip online. After a while, he ended up getting into online arbitrage, selling in an app called Deep – an app wherein college students sell clothing. With that, he sold mostly clothes and shoes.
When Checkmate Flips was in his master’s degree and Covid-19 happened, it canceled everything for several months. Wasn’t enjoying his internship that much and would love to do online arbitrage full time. He did this for several months until he got into the swing of things.
At the beginning of 2020, he also sold used books from garage sales to Amazon. He noticed that it was much easier to find profitable inventory for Amazon FBM, and the listing process was much better. Transitioned completely to Amazon selling used books for 9 months. In the process, he then again transitioned to doing retail arbitrage and online arbitrage.
Instead of doing the thrifting model of selling on Amazon, where it has to go to a garage sale or thrift store in a state sale. He already knows the products that sell well on Amazon and he buys them at a discount price and sells them on Amazon.
Isn’t Checkmate Flips worried about complaints about authenticity?
He said that is the elephant in the room whenever he talks about Amazon. In order to avoid having invoices, IP complaints, and more. He makes sure that quality control is always on point, making sure that his return rate is good. Checkmate Flips also looks at the Keepa graphs to be sure there are massive drop-offs and sellers are the brand selling on the listing.
He always double check to avoid mistakes. Because when he does make a mistake, he doesn’t really have the receipt to cover himself. The ending is he will just take that hit on his account.
On top of that, he’s been recently adding a volume of items that he’s not going to have problems with. Items that he has receipts for a higher ratio of good transactions on his account.
Checkmate Flips and his VAs
He hired his Amazon virtual assistant last December, and they have been working together for around a year now. He has one Amazon virtual assistant for his Amazon business, and another one is editing for him.
The VA who assists him in his Amazon business is working with prep centers. For a while, Checkmate Flips was putting off purchases, which was taking me an hour a day. His VA is finding profitable items for him to purchase if he wants to, and helps him with research. That way, he is not spending 2 hours looking into something that his VA is now trained to do.
Although he is an Amazon seller, he does not spend the full time of his day doing Amazon. Checkmate Flips spends 15 to 20 hours a week on the Amazon store so he could cut that down more with the help of his VAs. He said that if he didn’t have his Amazon virtual assistants with him, he would probably be doing 30 to 50 hours a week.
Why did Checkmate Flips decide to hire a VA?
He honestly said that he struggled to grow on a daily basis because he wasn’t letting his Amazon virtual assistant into his replenishable and also his account. It scared him that his VA would get on his account and purchase items and scam him. But eventually, he realized that he needs to delegate with software and other things. If they are doing 60% of the same ability that you do and you’re not the one spending the time doing something. It will save you a lot of time and it’s just going to be a good thing for any Amazon seller in the long run. You get some of your time back to go spend it, whereby you can really add value to your business.
You may be better at sourcing down rabbit holes and you might do it efficiently, but that’s 8 hours of your time that you’re not getting back. When you delegate a task to your Amazon virtual assistant, they might spend a little more time than you, but the good thing is that at least you don’t have to worry about that task anymore.
Why a virtual assistant from the Philippines?
For Checkmate Flips, people from the Philippines know the English language very well. Also, Filipinos are educated and can do the job well. There is also the Filipino culture where a lot of people in the Philippines are doing work remotely.
How did he hire his VA?
Since Amazon selling is a skill sell that you build by doing things slowly over time. His first virtual assistant was adding up his transactions when he was selling books. He thought of how to hire someone full time and have enough time for them. It’s a skill that grows over time.
Combining all the information that he got from watching YouTube videos from experienced Amazon sellers’ experience guided him through his own journey.
8 Things Learnt About Reselling on Amazon by Checkmate Flips
Making rapid growth on Amazon in just a few years is a challenge not many can do, especially starting the business while still in school. True to his name, Checkmate Flips takes stuff online to flip and sell online with the help of VAs.
Checkmate Flips’ day-to-day operation with his VA
Basically, he sends his virtual assistant an email, outlining the things he wants her to do on a specific day. He would also sit down with his VA and go over the work he would like to be done in a week. Doing this saves him a lot of time.
When Checkmate Flips purchase an item, he wants his VA to track his replenishable sheet – how many are in stock, potential profit sent the amount of money spent on the inventory, and prep center sheets. It usually comes down to finding profitable leads for him to review, then purchase.
Checkmate Flips’ recommendation to beginners
When hiring a virtual assistant, they may only be 60% as good as you at sourcing and potentially even worse. Because they don’t quite understand your business model and they haven’t worked with you before. So if you ask them to find leads at the beginning, 2 out of 10 are leads that you would actually purchase. You could rip them down and destroy them over those 8 leads, but the best way is to say your comments or suggestions for them to be better. And if you phrase it better, they tend to learn faster. Being positive and giving your Amazon virtual assistants positive reinforcement has helped Checkmate Flips in growing its business.
If you have 10 problems; 9 problems and 1 outstanding success. When you focus on the 9 failures and nitpick them, you are not helping them learn and grow with you. Your virtual assistant obviously would want to quit and move on. And when you focus on the successes, they would want to turn that 9 failures into 9 successes.
It is enough when your Amazon virtual assistant is getting the job done and helping you push your Amazon business forward. For him, there’s an area that he grows into assisting them to get the most out of doing the work.
What does 2023 look like for Checkmate Flips?
The goal is going towards 10,000 profit per month and he is at the point where that is the norm. Checkmate Flips tells the story of last year, 2022, he did 15% profit 21:28, 16,000 profit. A couple of months, but then there were also months where things went wrong, ending up being not as profitable as he wanted it to be.
The stability within the business is a good thing for any Amazon seller, but high stability is what we aim for. And that is won with the consistent operation.
He is still debating on what his goals even are and he still needs to sit down and think about it.
What is FIRE?
For those who don’t know, FIRE basically stands for Financially Independent Retire Early. It’s the idea that building up enough money so that you could live off of the passive income. If you passively made enough money, you would have the option to not work if you don’t want to work. Just work on things that you would like to work on.
Everything is a big balancing act, and that is the idea Checkmate Flips is working towards at the same time. If you don’t want to hate your life until you get there.
If you have something that you enjoy – a dream you go towards that you try to live the best life. That means you do FIRE.
Recommendations to people who want to FIRE
The two ideas of FIRE are basically getting to a point where your money is vested, whether it’s divided stocks. You make passive income on that and then you can also cut down your expenses and increase your income in order to make that happen faster.
There are just a ton of resources on YouTube, and they are everywhere with your own research. You can also use Amazon as a vehicle to create money and then invest in more passive assets and to do that is incredible.
Time to scale your Amazon business with a Virtual Assistant