In this article, we’ll talk with Carter Maxwell and learn from his Amazon journey.
Interested in learning about successful Amazon selling strategies? You will meet Carter Maxwell from the Selling Fast Lane, whom I randomly met in the Philippines. Carter shares his experience with selling on Amazon using virtual assistants offers valuable lessons and tips from his online arbitrage journey. Read on to discover more about his journey and learn how you can apply his strategies to your own Amazon business.
- Who is Carter Maxwell?
- Why did Carter Maxwell start e-commerce early?
- What was his journey before Amazon?
- When did he start selling on Amazon?
- What is Carter Maxwell’s business model like?
- Why quit private labels?
Who is Carter Maxwell?
Carter is currently 22 years of age, but he has been in the e-commerce space for a good while. He started at eBay at the age of 12. He’s been at Amazon for about six years. At the moment, the business model he does is online arbitrage. His business is doing anywhere from around $50,000 to $55,000 a month in the last rolling 30 days.
He personally has a team of two virtual assistants who work for just his Amazon business, specifically product research and tracking. Apart from that, he also has a service-based business, the Selling Fast Lane. This is where he and his team provide different services, like leads for other Amazon sellers, which he has a team of eight for.
Why did Carter Maxwell start e-commerce early?
He went up to his parents and asked them to buy him a new pair of shoes and the like, but they denied him and told him that if he wanted it, he’d have to buy it himself.
This irked him to study and learn how to make extra money. Carter opened up Google and searched for ways how to make money as a teen. The answers were the usual, you know, walking dogs, mowing your neighbor's lawn, just some of the basic little tasks. But one of them was to start selling on eBay.
So, he tried selling a coin that his aunt had gifted him. Carter put the item up for sale on eBay for 99 cents on a seven-day auction and it sold for $25. This opened the door for him to sell more items as he tried to figure out how to grow and scale his business. Learned from then on and it got him to where he stands today.
What was his journey before Amazon?
For most entrepreneurs, you're just trying a bunch of different businesses, Carter was just trying to figure out what worked best for him. Before the eBay selling, he was selling candy at school, selling stuff on eBay, and selling stuff locally, like on Facebook Marketplace, and Craigslist. He had even started a phone case business.
Before the age of 18, he had started like 15 different businesses and obviously, every single one succeeded, but along the way, he figured out that OA has been the most profitable for him. He realized that OA is the business model that allows him to make the most money. So, he just kept chugging along there.
When did he start selling on Amazon?
Carter started at the age of 16, he started selling used books, CDs, video games, and some electronics. Just going to thrift stores, finding items that are sold for cheaper than their current market value and re-selling them or flipping them, for a profit.
The landscape of Amazon was so much different at the time, six years ago. As of today, 2023, there's so much more content out there. There are people that teach, that offer training courses. Six years ago, there were just basic videos. There was no such thing as online arbitrage. It was just reselling, maybe a little retail arbitrage. And those are just kind of the models Carter was using back then.
What is Carter Maxwell’s business model like?
Currently, his business is 100% online arbitrage. However, when Carter first started, in that six-year period, he was doing reselling. Selling items like used books, electronics, and video games. After that, he transitioned into a private label, which had a couple of products that did really well, but also a couple of products that failed.
Then he found retail arbitrage, where the money was a little more consistent. It didn't require a lot more start-up capital. So Carter focused his efforts on retail arbitrage. He did that right around COVID and for like a year or two after, and that's where he made a considerable amount of money. That's how he started the Selling Fast Lane Discord. He was selling patio heaters and pools, and he thought, “You know what? Let me just post these products.”
Carter then started to learn more about online arbitrage and put more time and spend more money on inventory. The business model just looked a little more scalable. He was able to start outsourcing his prep to a prep center, and he then hired some virtual assistants. It’s the model that he’s working on right now and looking to continue to scale.
8 Things I Learned from Carter Maxwell about Reselling on Amazon
From OA, private label, and to wholesale, Dan Boufford a.k.a @1000asins does it all. In our interview, we talk about his Amazon business that has made him a 8 figure seller, and how he's currently diversifying his businesses.
Why quit private labels?
When it comes to Private Label, as he states, he is definitely no expert, money invested, there's just a higher barrier to entry. So you don't see many beginner sellers really entering that market. And if they are, they have more capital at their expense. You're basically buying, let's say, 10 of these phone cases. You're putting your brand on it. So, you're contacting suppliers overseas. Most of the time it was in China. You're getting those products over here, quality control. You're having to create your own listing. And so it just takes a lot more time and money involved in really getting a product up and running, which can be super beneficial long-term, but if you don't know what you're doing, you can be out of money pretty quick.
Obviously, more sellers came onto the market, but he had a really difficult time with quality control on his best-selling product. It was a lightweight product and it was a bit difficult to use. So, it started racking up a lot of negative reviews on the listing. That really started to kind of shoo people off to the side. Also, he had been generating more money and income from retail arbitrage. So, you know, as he started putting more time into that, the product started to slip and he just kind of slowly phased out of it.
Would he venture into private labeling again?
Yes, there's definitely a huge market. New products are being added all the time. Carter feels that he already has a pretty good foundation and maybe a little more capital now than he did three or four years ago. So, I think if he was to enter in there, he’d be a lot more comfortable.
What would be the metrics of success for private labeling?
Capital would be one. Some people have maybe $300 to $500 and they're looking to start making money on Amazon. Private labeling probably isn't the best option at that moment. Once you start getting to that $1,500, $2,000 range, I feel like that's a lot of money that you can start investing in a single product. I think the second thing would just be experience, just knowing how the Amazon platform works, and how FBA works. There are a lot of little loopholes. things that you can kind of implement on the private label side, which could be beneficial. But I would just say experience is one thing.
Why hire Virtual Assistants?
Virtual assistants are just game changers for any business. For every entrepreneur, the biggest thing is your time. Every single day, like you’ve got other businesses, you've got hobbies, you can't be spending, all this time on what we consider lower ROI tasks, like, managing your account health, checking emails, and making sure everything's smooth flowing. Virtual assistants have been and currently are a huge help in any form of business.
Where does he get Virtual Assistants?
Carter says that Thomas has taught him a lot through the videos that he produces and through some other Amazon sellers who create content on the topic. He uses OnlineJobsPH, that’s the main site that has worked best for him.
What’s the best way to create traffic on your job posting on that website? Well, step number one is you need to create your job post for $69. I believe you get a monthly subscription, so pay that 69. job post up, and then usually after a week or two, you'll be able to make your hires, then you can cancel that $69 charge. Then you want to create just a great job post you're going to put in, potentially what you're going to pay US-wise monthly.
Should you hire part-time or full-time virtual assistants?
The only thing is if you're hiring part-time, they obviously need to provide for themselves, and their families. How are they spending that extra time? Are they going to spend that other part-time with another seller or they could potentially take your leads and also share them with them and get a two-for-one? Personally, Carter likes to hire full-time. There's not a huge difference in the amount that you’re paying, but I do believe that bringing I'm able to provide them with the right training. I know that they are fully invested in being my company. So full-time is most definitely what he prefers and encourages.
How did he develop a good relationship with his team?
One big thing was to make a team group chat on WhatsApp and have them all basically send a message when they're logging into work and when they're logging out of work. So each VA has two messages a day, and then you have to leave a little animation emoji on each person's message. So it just started creating more engagement. And over time, people start sharing a cool thing in their day or maybe they share their dog or their animal. And it just starts building a little more community effect. Developing a healthy company culture is of utmost importance if you want every cog in the system to be working smoothly with each other.
How does he deal with the ‘yes sir, no sir’ mentality with his VAs?
The yes sir, no sir, it's kind of tough because obviously, they're wanting to show respect to you. you're the boss, they want to be as respectful as possible. Tom’s tip on that is what he currently enforces within his own business, he tells every worker that he has “If you call me, sir, I'll fire you”. if you're hearing Yes, sir, no, sir, it's because you're not asking good questions, you're whether they can answer the yes or no. Instead, you should start asking open questions whether they have to give you an answer.
What are his plans for the future?
Carter wants to continue to grow the business, he wants to continue to sharpen my skills. He continues to hone his skills so that he can hopefully share those skills back on social media wherever someone is on their journey as an Amazon seller. Though he is always open to other businesses. Continuing to say that he doesn’t want different businesses because then his time would be divided. Carter already has the Selling Fast Lane service business, his Amazon business.
Real estate is a business venture that he is continually wanting to learn and invest in. He’s got some money in the stock market and had a little money in crypto. Just continuously learning and keeping himself open to different opportunities, and partnerships.
Grow your business like Carter Maxwell!
The best way to contact Carter Maxwell is through his Instagram account or his YouTube account. You can also contact him through his Selling Fast Lane service business.
To learn more from successful Amazon sellers, we've got you covered! Our previous articles feature experts in online arbitrage, including Romer the Roamer, Raiken Profit, The Gravy Train, Scott Needham, Checkmate Flips, Fields of Profit, Gavin Sweeney, Jonny Smith, Flips4Miles, Clear The Shelf, Oliver Flips, Taylor Jones, 1000 ASINS, Soros, FBA Makayla, Samara, Nathan Hirsch, FBA Boys and Casey – Kick Flips. These experts in online arbitrage have shared their Amazon journeys and valuable insights, providing you with a wealth of knowledge to draw from. Keep learning, keep growing, and keep crushing it on Amazon