Selling on Amazon is incredibly convenient, with quick turnaround times, since so many people first check out Amazon or eBay for the best price and variety deals, before heading to their local store.
Whether you’re starting a full-time business or just looking for a new hobby, Amazon is a great way to build an audience and grow fast. It’s also very easy, even if the steps provided elsewhere seem complicated and confusing. This article lays out the whole process from A to B, and beyond.
Before selling on Amazon, keep in mind:
- The most successful sellers on Amazon sell unique and niche products or used items for a competitive price.
- Products on Amazon can only be listed once, so if there already is the same item that you are selling, you won’t be able to make your own listing and will have to associate your product with the one that already exists.
- Some shipping methods won’t be available to you as a new seller, at first. You will have to earn’ them.
- Most of the time, the same product is offered by a number of other resellers, which means high competition and your success will depend mostly on how competitive your price is.
- If you’re selling the same product as Amazon is, you’re unlikely to have many sales.
- The customer requires must be answered within 24 hours. Even if it’s Christmas.
- Amazon has a lot of rules. Make sure you get familiar with them.
- Not all Amazon sellers are decent. It’s very likely that others will try and copy your products, price or selling strategy.
- Not all Amazon customers are nice. There will be people who will leave false negative feedback and reviews – who knows why.
Steps to Becoming an Amazon Seller
- Decide what you want to sell and pick the right niche. Be very clear about what you’re going to offer your customers and why they need it. Make sure you sell something that people want.
- Decide what kind of business you’re going to be. There are 4 types:
- The only way you will be able to have a sustainable income is by offering a competitive price. A lot of the sellers on Amazon are resellers.
- A seller of oversized or hazardous products. However, these types of products have many restrictions and high selling costs on Amazon, therefore it’s unlikely to bring much profit.
- Private label seller. You can do quite well with this type of business, but only if you can launch new products quickly and evolve rapidly before the copycats come in.
- National brand seller. This category applies if you already have a business outside Amazon with a good customer base. Selling on Amazon, in that case, is highly encouraged since your customers are already looking for your products on the site.
- Determine your sales goal. How much do you want to sell? In what time frame: weekly or monthly?
- Pick one of Amazon’s selling plans. Depending on your product type and your sales goal, you’ll have a choice of either an individual or professional account. Selling more than 40 units a month? Professional account. Less than 40 units a month? Individual account.
- Register your marketplace. Create an account and provide all the required information, including any relevant tax forms.
- Choose the way you’re going to fulfill customer orders:
- FBM, or Fulfillment By Merchant. You do all of it: storing your products, packaging, shipping, and dealing with any late, missing or damaged items.
- FBA, or Fulfillment By Amazon. You are only responsible for the selling of your items, while Amazon takes care of the rest of the process mentioned above. However, FBA also comes with additional fees.
- Upload your listings and start selling.
- Customers will find and buy your products.
- Ship your products to the customer. Amazon will notify you when your product is sold, so you can start preparing it for shipping, or let Amazon do it for you.
- Get Paid. Amazon will release your payment once the period of time allowed for returns ends.
Additional tips for successful selling on Amazon:
- Use SEO in your product descriptions and provide accurate information so that the filter categories, available for customers when they use Amazon search, would direct them straight to your product.
- Upload only professional images of your products.
- Make sure customer service and communication is your top priority.
- Remove negative feedback. Email the unhappy customer with sincere apologies and offer an Amazon gift card for their trouble. Only when they reply thanking for your apology and the gift card, explain to them why the mistake occurred and politely ask them to remove the negative feedback.
- Use a Refund Manager like AMZReimburse to get back money owed to you from Amazon, including damaged inventory.