Looking to start your own business? Want to get out of the daily grind and experience the freedom of setting your own schedule? Amazon FBA is a great way to do that! Read this guide and learn how to sell on Amazon for beginners!
Why should you use Amazon FBA?
As one of the biggest online marketplaces in the world, Amazon is a platform that has been proven to be able to reach millions of buyers all around the world. The scale and reliability of its global fulfillment network are the most significant factors behind its meteoric growth.
Now, through the Amazon FBA program, ordinary people like us can leverage this system to drive our own success. A new business owner no longer has to worry about the financial and time constraints involved with shipping products to an ever-growing customer base. Instead, you can focus on growing your products and providing great service.
Create an Amazon Seller Account
You aren’t going anywhere without an Amazon Seller Account, luckily the process to create one is very straightforward. Head over to Amazon.com. Most of you will already have a regular account which you can log in with to speed up the process. If not, you only need to provide them with some basic information to set one up.
After you log in, go to “Your Account” and look for the “Sell” link under the search bar. There are two seller account options. The first is for businesses that cost $39.99 per month and with which you can sell unlimited products or an individual seller account that costs $0.99 per item you sell. As you can see, there is little difference beyond the fact that you will save money if you sell more than 40 items.
You will then need to provide some basic information for your business, such as the name, niche, display name, link to your online store (if you have one), and phone number among others. Afterwards, you just need to specify details for how to receive payments and how to pay Amazon for the service, and you’re done!
You can now start selling by listing your products and choosing how you want to complete fulfillment!
Decide what kind of business you want
It might surprise you to learn that there are multiple ways in which to run an Amazon FBA business. This is a very personal choice and also depends a lot on your current circumstances, financial situation, and any opportunity that might present itself.
Third party reseller
This process is also known as retail arbitrage. Basically, you find retail stores locally or online that sell the product you want to use for Amazon FBA. You then purchase those products from them and resell them on Amazon.
This model is a little bit risky as you will most likely have minimal profit margins and will rely on little-to-no overhead and the sales numbers of a popular and well-known product. You will also be relying mostly on buyers who are unable to find the product locally and are unable to find someone willing to ship them
Once you understand this process, the name is very revealing. With this kind of business, you buy products that might or might not be branded (in most cases not) and brand them yourself. You might wonder where do you even get such no-brand products?
Alibaba is an absolute treasure trove for those that want to go into private labeling. You can buy products at basement prices and mark them up considerably.
This model does come with its own obstacles. You will need to negotiate with manufacturers, ship products (most likely from overseas), deal with taxes and customs, relabel them, and then ship them out. Sellers Playbook has created a system that helps you with all these details. Attend an event to learn more about our training and coaching opportunities!
This one is fairly obvious. Through this method, you will be creating your own products from scratch and shipping them to Amazon for fulfillment when bought. Depending on whether you already have a product or not, this could be the hardest business model to pull off. The problem with a completely new product is that you have no reference when it comes to market research. The upside is that you don’t have as much head-on competition.
Choose what product(s) you want to sell
Do your market research
There is no doubt about it, choosing the right product will play a major role in your immediate success, long-term scalability, and how hard you need to work to make Amazon FBA work for you.
There are two critical factors you need to consider. In most cases, both are dependent on the BSR (Best Seller Rank) rating of the product. If you want to sell a product that is already in the Amazon marketplace, you will need to weigh its popularity against the competition in the market.
The more popular the product, the higher it is on the BSR, and the more people want it. In other words, you have a larger consumer base. However, it also means you will be facing stiffer competition from bigger sellers.
Other factors to consider are the turnover rate of the product, the sales volume, the seasonality of the product, and the profit margin. There are many other, smaller, factors to take into account and you should explore these thoroughly.
Another factor many don’t think about is how easy the product is to ship. The heavier and bulkier the product is, the more expensive it will be to ship. The more fragile, the less willing people will be to risk having it shipped to them.
Find a source
The next thing you have to do, hopefully having decided on a killer product, is to find a source for it. To an extent, this will largely depend on your type of business model. Obviously, if you create your own product you don’t have to think about this, but you might need to think about how you will scale up your manufacturing process in the future.
We have already mentioned Alibaba as a possible source for products if you want to do private labeling. Just remember to check the importation of the products as this could be a potential problem area. You will also need to look at the various forms of shipping such as by air, boat, and then domestically by train truck. It will also be up to you to contact these manufacturers directly and work out a deal.
The easiest option, if you’re doing this on your own, is to buy retail locally. However, this is also the toughest market to compete in. Many people wait for huge clearance sales in their neighborhood that others might not have access to. Then they buy these products in bulk and sell them on. That might be too opportunistic for most people. Liquidation or surplus stores are another potential source for this kind of seller.
Ship your product in
The last part is the easy one. By signing up with Amazon FBA, you will be leveraging their powerful fulfillment system. You will be able to ship at competitive rates to a global audience without needing the extra staff, warehouses or logistics.
Amazon will supply you with product labels that you should put on the packages you ship to the nearest fulfillment center. From here, it’s all up to Amazon. You will just need to make sure your products reach the fulfillment centers on time. It’s also important to consider the selling rate and seasonality of your products as products in storage too long might be subject to penalty fees.
Market your products
Create your listings
Creating product listings with Amazon is fairly straightforward. However, the way in which you present your products can affect your bottom-line dramatically and help you better compete with others selling the same products.
Firstly, you will need to find out if this exact product already exists in the Amazon marketplace. This allows you to compete on an even footing for that product and informs consumers what they are buying.
Images are also very important. Professional looking images can go a long way to make customers trust you and view your product favorably. Take professional-looking photos and don’t copy others if it infringes on the owner’s rights!
Also, do keyword research around the product and enter these keywords into the relevant field. This will have a massive effect on your search engine ranking. It pays to research good product descriptions to make sure that your products sound as appealing and trustworthy as possible.
Remember to ensure that you pick the right fulfillment method, which in this case is Amazon FBA!
Search Engine Optimization
If you truly wish to grow and expand your online business, you need to take some time and study SEO principles and techniques and start to employ them. SEO is usually the factor that separates those who merely supplement their income from those who make a living (and a very good one) off Amazon FBA.
Search Engine Optimization (or SEO for short) comprises the techniques that you use to get a higher search result ranking with search engines such as Google. The most apparent benefits should be obvious. If you are higher up in the Google search results, the more likely it is that someone sees your products and comes to you first.
Amazon already implements SEO techniques. Products on Amazon consistently rank at the top of search results. However, this might not necessarily be your product if you are selling something that already exists. One way of boosting your SEO is by running your own blog or online store. On your site, you can give buyer advice or product reviews and link to your products on Amazon. Just don’t get too side-tracked by this early on as it opens a whole new world that can quickly eat up all your attention.
Customer Reviews and Ratings
Technically, this should form part of your SEO strategy, but customer reviews and ratings are so important that they deserve their own section. These make a huge difference when it comes to product’s ranking on search engines and when it comes to affecting potential buyers decisions.
Up to 90% of online customers think that reviews are just as important as real-world advice from someone they know. Roughly the same amount will check reviews before they even consider buying a product. Reviews and ratings are a way of viewing unbiased feedback on a product or business. Many will move on if they aren’t present at all.
This means you need to come up with a strategy to get more reviews and ratings on your products and to make sure customers are happy enough with the products and your service to rate you highly.
Don’t get too comfortable
The demands of consumer, market conditions and the competition never stop changing, so neither should you! Even the most established and most successful Amazon sellers are still learning every single day.
Whether it’s dealing with increased or declining demand, new laws and regulations, strategies of your competitors, problems in supply or branching out into something new, you should always keep one foot on the pedal and your hands firmly on the steering wheel.
Read any Amazon FBA success story, and you will see that every single one of them has faced their fair share of challenges. The difference between those who make it and those who don’t is the ability to adapt over time and to seize any opportunities that come up.
This is only the start of how to sell on Amazon for beginners
This guide for how to sell on Amazon for beginners is just one way that the Seller’s Playbook wants to help you. Join us at one of our events to learn more about building your FBA business.