Lot's of people ask us how to sell on Amazon so we decided to do an in-depth look on how to get started. Amazon is a popular online marketplace that's why a lot of people want to join the bandwagon. I really can’t blame them because Amazon is an amazing company that revolutionized itself through the years. Their technology is very efficient as it caters to bring different products to its consumers. They became a powerhouse as they think of new ways to make their marketplace more systematized to its customers and retailers.
This article will be focused on the step by step process to help you start including the pros and cons, how much will it cost, what products to sell and everything you need to know.
This will be an all in one article for people who wanted to learn everything, an ultimate guide on how to sell on Amazon. You better hang on tight because this is going to be a very long ride. How to sell on Amazon coming right up!
Is Selling Online For You?
Today, it isn’t advisable to just be satisfied with having a brick and mortar business. E-commerce has become very popular as you don’t need to set up a physical business just to sell. You can easily set-up your online business with just a click of a button. This is why a lot of businesses are leaning to selling online as it is cost-efficient and easy to manage.
In our age today, selling and buying online has been a popular trend as shopping evolves itself with our world becoming digitized. People are busier than ever, everything is moving fast, everyone is online and likes it quick and instant. Shopping can be a problem if you don’t have time but thanks to platforms like Amazon, these make it convenient to shop without it being a hassle to their everyday living.
If you want to hop on the trend, to move your business forward and is looking for greener pasture as a seller, then you better sign-up and do your business with Amazon. It has amazing benefits that will make your business grow, make you earn money and can help you build a brand. Joining the platform will give you extraordinary success.
Why Sell On Amazon?
There are a lot of benefits if you choose Amazon as your online business. You get to learn a lot of things and it will help you make a lot of money. However, it isn’t all sunshine as you will also experience hurdles in Amazon.
Knowing the good and the bad on how to sell on Amazon will help you know if this is the right business avenue for you.
Let's take a look at some of the good things for selling on Amazon.
Easy to use
Amazon’s platform is one of the easiest ones to use as it is very simple. In able to start you just need to register and then begin adding a product to its catalog. You can choose between their array of products from their catalog or add new products.
If you feel like selling more, it is better to avail of their professional plan for you to be able to use its bulk tools so you can upload it in batches instead of doing it one by one. I will discuss it more on Amazon’s pricing plan later on in this article.
Great Accessibility to Consumers
If your target is selling and making money online what you need is a lot of audiences where you can sell and market your products. Amazon is the perfect platform to reach audiences as it is known worldwide and uses its platforms to look for products and purchase them. Amazon is not only known for its products they sell, they are also known for great customer service that is why they have a lot of repeat customers.
This will be an advantage on your part for your products to be represented by Amazon as they keep on coming back and look for other products to buy. You will get a lot of exposure as the market audience is global.
Utility and Service
Amazon is an amazing machine for selling because of its platform. Their selling infrastructure is efficient as all you need to do is make your products available to them and they will do the rest for you. This is very visible in their selling platform called FBA or Fulfillment by Amazon which I have already done a review before.
Aside from that, they have the most equipped centers and employees, so you don’t have to worry about your shipment, processes and customer service. This will help you focus more on marketing your products, focus more on what you need to improve your business and other related needs.
Of course it isn't without its flaws. Let's take a look at them.
Since Amazon is one of the most popular online marketplaces in the world today, you are not the only one who wants to be part of it. The competition is huge!
A lot of businesses are taking the advantages that the company has to offer, so there are a lot of products that will be similar to yours. You might need a lot of work to do in order for your product to stand out. You will need a lot of time to make market research about your niche and be able to market as not doing this will decrease your sales.
It isn’t cheap when you choose Amazon as your marketplace regardless if its a professional account or FBA you need to pay for fees. One example is storage fees, as you need to pay them even if you are making sales or not.
The best thing to do about it is to research about their plans and make sure that it will suit your business budget needs. You might be making sales but if the money from your sales is lesser than your fees that you are paying then maybe it's time to think things through.
Lack of Control
By signing up with Amazon, you also agree with their terms and conditions as a seller. The company has a free hand to change its policies and it makes you vulnerable as it merchant and can’t control it.
You also don’t have access to your customers as its information comes from Amazon itself. You won’t have any full access to your customer's information. This will lead to your dependency on the company. Yes, you will be selling a lot of your products but the customers will never be your own.
How To Sell On Amazon?
Part of how to sell on Amazon is to know what is the cost of the startup. It depends on where you are getting the products from. Amazon isn’t particular where it gets your products to sell as it would be your sole decision and responsibility alone.
You can get it from different sources like retail stores, wholesale suppliers and private label manufacturers. Each of them has different mechanics and dynamics and it is up to you what works well for your business.
After working out where are you going to get your products, let’s proceed with the things you need to do on how to sell on Amazon.
How to register on Amazon?
If you are pretty sure that you would like to do business on Amazon, the first thing to do is sign up with its platform and make sales. It is very simple to register in Amazon, you could be a noob and do it instantly. I will tell you the step-by-step process on how to have an Amazon account as its seller.
Step 1: Search for Amazon
Firstly, you need to go to Amazon’s website, amazon.com so you can register. Amazon’s site is uncomplicated and easy to navigate to. You can even use it with your smartphone, laptop, and iPad just make sure you have an internet connection.
Step 2: Click Sell on Amazon
If you are on the Amazon page already, scroll down and click on the “start selling Amazon” button. You will be able to find this on the left side bottom of the page. Also, click the register button that is located on the top-right side of the page. Once click, you will be directed to a registration form that you need to fill.
Step 3: Choose a Seller account
Amazon offers to types of membership and it is your choice if you want to join their professional seller category that costs $39.99 a month. This works best for sellers whose target is to sell more than 40 products a month.
If you think you can’t attain that yet, then it's suitable for you to get the standard account and change it whenever you want. The free account works well with start-ups as this could help them to learn the platform without shedding some money out of their business.
Step 4: Verify your email
In able to use your account properly, you need to verify your email account. Amazon will send a one-time password for you to use to verify your email. This pin will help you with the next step.
Step 5: Official name and Seller agreement
Once you have verified your email or phone number the next step will be filling up your official name that will appear on your national ID card. For the Amazon seller agreement, you need to read carefully and understand the content before clicking on the agreement box.
Step 6: Business Info
This next step is filling up information about your business. Business name, business address and location should be declared and contact numbers. This is vital as the buyers will be able to see it whenever they check out your information.
Step 7: Billing Info
You need to fill up and give your billing info. It might be scary to give so much information but you don’t need to worry about that. Amazon is very reliable when it comes to security and every information is confidential, especially your bank information.
Step 8: Product Info
This is the last step in registering with Amazon as a seller. In this step, you will need to provide your product information. Your information will be able to differentiate your business and products from others. This is to let the buyers know what your business provides.
By giving information you will also be specifically let your customers see your products because you provide categories and specifications.
How to find products to sell?
Now that you are already set up and registered as an Amazon seller, the next thing to do is find your product to sell. If you already have that’s good to know, but what if you don’t have it yet?
So how do you find profitable products to sell on Amazon? Here is how.
Narrow Product Research Criteria
It is difficult to think of a product that will sell, especially if you are just starting. It can be overwhelming and difficult to find a niche that will branch out and generate sales.
Always remember when it comes to picking a niche, the goal is to make it roadblock free. It will make you motivated and make more progress.
On your research, a way to look into products that sell is through its ads. If it's under sponsored ads, then for sure the product is selling well.
Amazon has a list of restricted categories, in order for you not to waste your time looking at categories then eventually see it is restricted you need to check out their list first. Some products and categories are also in need of application and approval from Amazon.
Choose the Right Online Tools for Product Search
When it comes to product research you need to use a tool that allows your ideas to be filtered out from the bad to the good ones. These kinds of tools won’t pick a product for you to sell because that doesn’t exist. What you need to do is to make the best decision based on the data that is available.
You can look into product research tools such as Unicorn Smash, Startupbros, and Jungle scout. These will help you search for products and filtered them out.
How to Find A Supplier for Your Product
Let’s say you already choose a product to sell and now you are thinking where do you get those products? You need to find a supplier.
It is recommended to have 3 or more products to start selling on Amazon. Also, to remind everyone, there is no perfect product. It requires great execution that is better than your competitors to make one.
If you know Alibaba, this is a platform where you can get suppliers. If you want to use Alibaba here are the steps on how to get a supplier for your products.
- Open the Alibaba page and click “Join Free”
- Enter your email address and verify it.
- You need to fill out your basic information such as first name, last name, location, phone number, and password. They will also you to input the name of your company.
- Confirm your personal information and complete your Alibaba account. You can now start exploring and buying products from Alibaba.
Requirements for Suppliers
You might feel wary when it comes to choosing suppliers. That is why you need to set up a criteria to know who can be trusted. Here are some minimum requirements you could use to filter out the many suppliers like Alibaba has.
In order for your money to be secured, it is better that the supplier has Trade Assurance, PayPal or Alipay which is the most secure of them all. They are a Gold supplier of Alibaba and to top it all, make sure that the supplier is assessed and certified by them.
It will be difficult in the beginning to have an honest supplier that you could trust to deliver quality products. They like to compete on the price and you have to pick someone who is willing to offer you a better and fair price.
If you like a product from Amazon and would like to sell that as well, finding the exact product might be crucial. They really look the same where it be on Amazon or Alibaba.
It is better to find a supplier that communicates well with your products needs especially when you are going to put your brand on it.
How to negotiate with suppliers?
When it comes to getting products, we want to make good deals from our suppliers. In able to do that you should know how to negotiate. The goal of it is to get a lower cost of your small orders. Some negotiations go so well that you can get a credit back on their sample products.
In Alibaba, you need to contact the suppliers. Click on the “contact supplier” button on the bottom right side of the photo. In ordering products, you don’t need to order immediately, you may contact them to explain what you want so they will give you an estimate.
What you need to do is create an open line of communication with your future supplier. Be confident with your idea and open-minded as well so you can have better communication with your supplier.
In your initial message to them introduce yourself and your company you are representing. Let them know why you think they will be a good supplier for you and what are the products that you are interested in purchasing. This is where your negotiation skills will be needed as you give the number and the amount of the products. Wait for their reply and see how it goes.
You don’t need to be nervous with communicating what you want and what are your expectations with them and their products as they are people too. As this will be the first of many conversations with them, it can go back and forth until you reach a deal.
It is advisable that you present yourself as a representative of your business to give you strength in negotiating with them. Set proper expectations too, don’t make it too much that it seems like you are taking advantage of them as it won’t work. They are business people too and want to make money like you.
Be reasonable with your expectations as you need to let them understand that there are processes, inspections, and standards for you to be able to trust them and earn your company’s business.
Having a good relationship with your supplier will make your business fruitful.
Supplier shipping hack
Did you know that some international courier shipment or parcel deliveries can be cleared without duty and taxes? Well, it is true.
Shipping isn’t free but it can come with taxes when it comes from other countries. You are expected to pay around $150 to the supplier if you want it to be shipped directly at your doorstep and small orders can be 5 to 20 units. In March 2016, the United States of America raised their de minimis value for e-commerce parcels to $800. So, that is why it can be cleared.
Also, you need to remember that before giving it to Amazon to be sold. You need to inspect them and prep them. You don’t want to risk giving them faulty products as it will cost you too. Better safe than be sorry later.
When it comes to shipping your products from the suppliers, the most reasonable amount is $50-$150. If you are going to fly the products then expect a higher cost. You also need to remember that it is not cheap to ship products and don’t think of the price as unreasonable.
How To Create an Amazon Listing and Ship it to Amazon FBA
First, you need to you seller central account and click on the inventory and select add product. The next thing you need to do is click the “create new product listing” and start from there.
You need to choose the category of your products and be reminded that it is not restricted because if it is, you won’t be able to create it until you’re approved. There are a lot of categories to choose from that doesn’t require approval. Find the closest thing you see that relates to your product.
After setting it up, you need to fill in the required info. You can just fill it up and it doesn’t need to be put on live yet. Fill other information such as title, manufacturer, brand and price. You can edit each one of them once you go live. Your goal for filling it up is to get your listing published.
Another thing that you need to do is buy a UPC code as you need it too for your products. If you already have it then open the folder with the UPC JPEG and paste down the number. This will be entered in the “product ID” area of your listing. When you are all done and double-checked all of it, click save and finish.
The next thing to do after you finish all of it is to create a shipping plan.
How To Create an FBA Shipping Plan
You can already start selling on Amazon when you created your listing but you also need to create a shipping plan.
First thing you need to do is you go to your seller dashboard, click on edit inventory and click to “change to fulfilled by Amazon”. After that click on “convert only” and then refresh the page and click on “print item labels”.
To create your inbound shipment, click on edit and “send/replenish inventory”. Also, in replenishing your items select case-packed products if you are going to send all of your products in one box but if you are sending multiple products in different boxes then you should select individual products.
Next thing to do is to fill in the ship form field. You can fill in your house address or the address of your inspection service for preparing your products after receiving them from your supplier.
There will be an instance that you need to fill out a Hazmat Review Form. You need to tell Amazon how many units are you sending to their warehouse and how many are you sending to them. You also need to need to download its exemption sheet and fill it out. This is to check if you have hazardous products since it isn’t likely just click “no” and save it to your desktop and upload the document and click continue.
The last step is to fill out the dimension of your product and give some information. It doesn’t need to be an exact measurement but don’t make it completely wrong. You need to input units per case and how many cases are you sending. Just click on continue after typing the number of your products.
It will also ask you if there is any prep that is required from Amazon after shipping your products to them. You should answer no as you are going to prepare your products or your inspection team before sending it to them. Just hit continue.
You will see on the platform “who labels” and just select merchant as your products will be labeled by you or the supplier where you got your product from. No need for you to print labels unless you want to create stickers for your products. Just click continue again after selecting the right buttons.
How to know where to send your products?
After filling out your shipping plan, Amazon is the one who will decide where is the Amazon FBA warehouse that you could ship your products.
They will give you the address and you can send it yourself or let your freight forwarder do it for you so it can reach the FBA warehouse. You should always make sure if your information is correct. Click on “work on shipment” to select what kind of shipment you prefer.
How to Prep and Ship your Products to FBA Amazon
Select your products that you are going to send to Amazon. You have the option to use UPS, DHL, FedEx or US post office for your shipping services. But if you are going to use a third party for your shipment, you need to ask them the details and information.
Again, you need to make sure all your shipping information is correct. You need to know the weight and dimensions or better to weight and measure it yourself. You need to input all of this on your shipping details on the platform.
Next is shipping labels, you are required to print your box shipping labels. You just follow the instructions on how to do it. If you are wondering what shipping address you are going to input, if you are shipping from your house then just put your house address.
There are Prep Requirements that you need to check first so that your products will get accepted in the FBA warehouses, so you better know about it.
Once you sent your shipment you need to get their tracking numbers from the shipping company. On the platform, you will see tracking number boxes, and you can enter the numbers on the dashboard.
Before shipping out your products, you need to take photos of them to be posted on your seller account. You don’t need to get a professional to do it for you as you can do it yourself.
Your aim is for your product to stand out and there are ways to make that. You can even just use your phone and just be creative when it comes to presenting your product. Make it enticing so that the audience will take a second look and buy your products.
Product listing is the essence of Amazon FBA but then some tend to neglect it. Sellers thinks that it is just enough that their products in on the product listings but there are more ways. You have to think of more ways how to rank your products and grow your business. There are some ranking tricks out there but it will help a lot if your use optimized listing.
If you fully optimize your product listing will help you to have the best relationship with your customers.
How To Get More Sales on Amazon
Now that you are all settled with your Amazon FBA business, what you need to do is to think of things on how will you get more sales.
We all know that Amazon is one of the fastest growing online stores, a lot of people know the brand and trust it. As a seller you want your name to be attached to them so you can be able to reach a lot of people and make a lot of sales.
However, even if it is a very popular platform, being a seller of Amazon’s business doesn’t guarantee sales. There is a tight competition inside Amazon that you need to keep up with, that is why your chances being big is slim unless you are going to be proactive with your brand and products. It will be a bit difficult to make your first sale but it is part of the business, nothing is easy.
There are many tricks out there and you can easily search for it on the internet, it aims to improve your sales and give you a lot of tips. However, because businesses are also different from each other, what works for others may not work for you. It will be a lot of trial and error and could be exhausting. So, it is advisable to pick tips that match your line of business.
So let me tell you how you can improve your sales and keep your business floating.
In our world today, almost everyone wanted to be practical in life. As a result, when it comes to buying things on the market, they are looking for the best price that they could get their hands on. As buyers, they are not willing to spend a lot of money on expensive products, especially when they can get the same thing but for an affordable and fair price. This is why you need to make a lot of product research from your competitors that are selling the same thing before listing it on your platform.
It would be suicide if you set your prices higher as compared to those in a physical store as buyers will just buy the product in a store near them. You need to think of a price that will leaned the buyers to buy from you rather than the physical store. There are a lot of sellers on Amazon right now and you also have to keep them in mind, their number is growing and your competition will multiply.
This is why you will be having difficulty in making a lot of sales. Your expectations of the sales you are going to make will be hit by the reality that it won’t be easy. Fortunately, you can control this and you can have the chance to stand out from the rest, a competitive price tag is an answer to that. If you have a competitive price tag, your customer will consider buying your products instead of your competitors.
If you are thinking that you might make losses while making your price competitive, you don’t have to worry about that. It is because Amazon has a “match low price’ feature that enables a seller to be aware of their competitor's price, so you can make adjustments that won’t hit you so hard.
High quality and real images
Images, videos and photos are the one thing that captures the attention of sellers that is why it is essential in making sales on Amazon. Successful online entrepreneurs agree that it is the best way, especially with quality images. If you are a buyer, would you choose a product with a crappy low-quality image? You’ll probably look the other way around. This is why you need to understand that buyer needs to feel a connection to the product and they will be able to with the use of your images.
If you want your business to level up, then you should focus on investing in high quality images of your products. You may opt to do it yourself, there is no problem with that if you can make it your own. But if you don’t know anything about photography, then you could invest on professionals to do it for you. It may be expensive, but it is definitely worth it.
If you are using these photos on your business platform, keep in mind that you have to use real photos. It is not advisable to use just a random image from the internet. A lot of people can tell if your images are authentic or not especially if you got it from the internet. There might be a lot of consequences if you use a fake one and you don’t want to experience that.
Marketing Engagement beyond Amazon
Social media is a known powertool today as everyone uses it. This will be an advantage for you as they reach a lot of people. Facebook, Instagram, Youtube and a lot more have millions of users, and this will be a great assurance that these people can turn into potential clients.
Marketing engagement shouldn’t just be focused on your Amazon platform and social media will help you go beyond it. What is good about Amazon is that they allow sellers to divert traffic from social media platforms, that can go into online stores. It is essential to make campaigns and promote sales. A marketing strategy that would be good is to create coupons so that people will be enticed to get it and then you can get traffic to your products.
Aside from marketing strategies like coupons and campaigns, tapping the power of social media influencers will also drive traffic to your products. It might be expensive, but influencers have a lot of followers that could be your customers. The important thing is getting your product out there and making it known.
Use a Professional Amazon account
If you are going to choose to be an Amazon seller, it is advisable that you get the professional account. For business start-ups, the $39.99 seems intimidating but if you want a good investment you should see what it has to offer. It has a lot of features that are beneficial to your business. If you avail it, you’ll get to apply to sell on Amazon’s restricted categories like clothing and jewelry. If you are aiming to sell on these categories then it will be a good move for you.
In addition, the professional account offers access to free feedback tools like spreadsheets and inventory reports. These are vital tools when you are running a business because it will help you in making business-related decisions. To give you more of an edge, they have a feature that can grab the attention of your customers which is their gift and promotion feature.
You can also have access to a buy box which will improve your sales amazingly. There is a report released by Amazon that 78% of the sales came from the buy box. Imagine having this tool and taking advantage of it. What makes Amazon’s professional seller account more helpful is that you can save $0.99 that could be lost if you don’t have one. It may seem small but if you total of it, it will be big money especially if your sales are skyrocketing.
Maintain Good Customer Service
Since Amazon is a big marketplace, as a seller, the first thing that pops out of your mind is your competition. There are a lot of sellers and products in Amazon and the competition is enormous. This will keep you on your feet and remind yourself that you should work hard in gaining the trust of your customers. The best way to earn their trust is through great customer service.
You need to be proactive and accommodating when it comes to your customer's inquiries and not let them wait. There will be instances that you will encounter return issues in selling on Amazon. Therefore, you must learn how to solve these problems and be professional about it. Letting them feel that you have a good work ethic will increase the chances of you having loyal customers.
Customers feel connected if they feel they are valued. Being valued mean their inquiries and problems are acknowledged and you take action in solving it. Amazon is known for its excellent customer service, especially when it comes to handling return goods. They also handle all the customer service and all you need to do is sit back and let them do the work. This is the reason why Amazon customers keep on coming back.
Amazon brings a lot of customers to buy your products even if they don’t know you. That is how people think Amazon as a trustworthy brand that is why they keep on coming back. There are different types of buyers in Amazon, some buy products because they trust amazon and some people buy when they think that the seller has good products and do some research first before buying.
You need to define what type of seller are you and to prove it is through reviews. If pictures or images make them look at your products, reviews will decide if they will buy your products. This is why reviews are vital for products because people want to know if it is worth the buy.
Buyers don’t automatically put reviews on your product unless they really like it or it sucks. Of course, you don’t want some crappy review of your product as it will turn off potential customers, what you want is good or better yet excellent reviews.
In asking for reviews, you need to ask them politely for it and don’t force them if they don’t want it. You want to accumulate a lot of positive feedback as much as you can as it is good for business.
Sell what people want
It is difficult to find a product that people will buy. So while in your research about the products that you sell, you should find out what people will like. You need to put in mind that your potential customers are your bosses and you want to provide what they want instead of what you want.
You have to put yourself in their shoes and think about what they are thinking when purchasing products. You also need to be in the know of the current trends that could lure them as people tend to buy things that are popular and what is in demand.
Building your brand
Amazon can help build your brand by exposing it to a lot of people. According to their sales records, those who have the most sales in their platform are from known brands instead of standard sellers.
As a seller, your goal is your brand to be known so people are more inclined to purchase your products. You need to invest your time and money in your branding such as setting up your own logo and the flagship product that will make you stand out.
Follow Amazon rules
When signing up to any platform you are obliged to follow its regulations, Amazon is one of them. You need to follow their rules in which they are very transparent as you need to agree with their guidelines before you are able to sign up with them.
Rules are made to be followed and not following the guidelines will have consequences and it will be hard for your business if you get on the wrong side of Amazon.
It’s been a long ride and now we are here to conclude this article on how to sell on Amazon. I hope you gained a lot of knowledge about the ins and out of selling on Amazon and I hope this article is one of the reasons why you opt to use as a seller platform.
Partnering with Amazon will help you reap a lot of benefits for your business. It won’t be an easy ride but it will be definitely worth it in the long run.