The Amazon VA Conundrum

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Nathan from Freeeup is with us on the Amazon VA Conundrum, he started buying and selling books using Amazon and drop shipping. Nathan found a baby products niche while in his dorm-room. After getting swamped, he looked into hiring people and hasn’t looked back.

Growing Pains

  • Really have to be strict in the vetting process to avoid the Amazon VA conundrum and set expectations when bringing on a VA
  • Depends on where you are in your business as well
  • Typical areas for a VA include Customer Service, book-keeping and sourcing
  • Things that don’t lead to expansion or growth or scale are ripe for a VA
  • Repetitive tasks make sense to go to a VA
  • You work on the business and not in the business

How do you Hire?

  • Get away from your business for a day and come up with a list of how you’re spending your time
  • Where are you spending your time
  • prioritize it from easiest to hardest
  • Get the easy things off your plate first


  • Always an element of risk
  • Even if you hire your best friend they can still make a mistake
  • Look for someone who can care about your business
  • Focus on attitude and passion as well as skills
  • VA working on multiple Amazon accounts is a risk
  • Never give a VA your main Amazon account username and password
  • You can setup user access in Seller Central to limit things

Ways of working

  • How do you work with your VA
  • Some people like face-to-face, or video chat or just writing and email
  • Nathan prefers to work in the written word so that it’s there in black and white and the VA can refer back to it
  • All in chat or in text so it can be read again
  • In a 30 mins phone call a sentence might get lost and an issue can appear down the line
  • Identify what’s good for you as a business owner – VAs need to know how you want to work

Interview Process

  • The trip-up rounds
  • Danny doesn’t look at the fist CVs coming in the first round
  • His autoresponder send them the questions etc
  • On the 2nd or 3rd round Danny gets in touch
  • Making sure they are investing their own time – if they can’t fill out an application then will they be into your business
  • People can be really good at the application process and not so good on the job – dig deeper
  • Look for the passion and communication skills
  • Once you’re through the interview – the test is only just starting
  • Test them a little bit and know you can work with them

Treat people well

  • Show your VA respect
  • Give a path of education and learning to them to encourage them
  • Some people don’t realise how their tone is coming off
  • Nathan had this problem – he was losing VAs
  • He asked his mail VA to give him feedback on how he was performing
  • She told him that he was saying stuff that VAs are taking to heart but that wasn’t how he was meaning what he was saying
  • This feedback helped him go from 50% turnover in staff to 20%

Digging in

  • What part of the job is taking the most time
  • What are you struggling with
  • Get them to ask you questions and seek answers
  • Questioning shows that you do care and you’re trying to work it out


  • No minimum
  • Can do 8am to 9am just to help you get caught up
  • They will need to fill their hours and will look for other clients to fill their hours
  • You could hire two part-timers to fill full-time to give you a buffer


  • Low level $5-10/hour – Followers you have everything setup and processes clear
  • Mid-level $10-30/hour – specialists, Amazon listings, graphic design or book-keeping
  • Experts $20+ – can audit your business, execute high level game plans, project manage, supervise low-level workers
  • People hire the wrong level for the work needed and it doesn’t work
  • Get people at a rate they are happy with
  • Offer too low and you might get someone take the work but be looking for other work that pays what they want


  • Initial people that join the business early and help grow it – their pay rises as the business grows
  • Raises 6 months or every year
  • A Christmas bonus is okay
  • SOme people do the 13th month – Nathan doesn’t

Keep them engaged

  • People care about more than money
  • Want to be part of a community
  • Want to grow and feel they are contributing to the business
  • Keep them informed
  • Event a part-time graphic designer – tell them goals, how the company is doing, how their work impacted
  • Help them feel involved in the growth of the company


  • freeeup.com – go sign-up
  • Book a free meeting with Nathan