Starting an Amazon store is no easy feat. Read anyone’s testimonial about their Amazon FBA experience, and you’ll learn that the venture takes incredible patience, hard work and a high tolerance for failure. If you’re really serious about making a profit with Amazon, you’re going to have to treat it like a full-time job.
If this sounds scary to you, then don’t worry – that’s a good thing. A smart Amazon FBA seller is aware of what the job requires and the possible risks associated with it. One of the best things you can do to set yourself up for success is to take Amazon FBA training courses. Below we’ve outlined what it entails to start an Amazon store and how we can help you in your mission.
Defining your business strategy
Every Amazon seller will have to go through a process of trial and error that could last several months before they find a business strategy that works for them. If you’ve read any Amazon FBA success stories, then you already know that you’ll have to fail several times before you can start making a profit, let alone a living.
This is where Amazon FBA training can be of great service to you. We can teach you how to make effective price comparisons, what items that are popular with buyers, where you should look for products, and much more. You’ll find out when certain items are more likely to sell. We’ll also teach you strategies for earning cash back on your purchases. Learning these lessons early on will give you a head start over the competition.
Navigating the Amazon terms of service
Amazon sellers need to follow an extensive list of requirements and policies if they want to avoid being penalized or kicked off the platform. Unlike eBay and Craigslist, Amazon is positioning itself toward professional sellers, not amateurs. While this is great for customers, this means sellers will need to take their role seriously. Starting an Amazon store isn’t like any average side gig.
Some of the Amazon seller violations are extremely obvious. For example, you shouldn’t include pornographic content or sell products recalled by the manufacturer. Most sellers will know to avoid these things. But for every obvious violation, there are another ten that you’d never know about if you didn’t read all the terms of service.
Amazon FBA training can keep you in the clear. Without it, you could be in a world of hurt.
Violations you’ll find in the Amazon seller terms of service:
- “Do not include HTML, DHTML, Java, scripts, or other types of executables in your detail pages.”
- “For in-home services, if you send a non-approved technician to fulfill a service order, your selling privileges may be removed.”
- You may not write reviews for products or services that you have a financial interest in, including reviews for products or services that you or your competitors sell.
- “A seller cannot use a business name that contains an email suffix such as .com, .net, .biz, and so on.”
- “MAIN images must have a pure white background (pure white blends in with the Amazon search and item detail pages – RGB values of 255, 255, 255).”
- “Using product detail pages to cross-merchandise or cross-promote a product is prohibited.”
These are just of the few of the thousands of stipulations Amazon places on its sellers. You could honestly spend a full day looking through their terms of service and still not get through them all. Amazon has put a lot of time and effort into protecting its customers. Just look at this page dedicated to educating sellers on how to list “fidget spinners” alone.
Writing effective product descriptions
There’s a lot more thought and strategy that goes into selling a product on Amazon. Unlike Craigslist, it isn’t enough to list an item online and leave it alone. There are millions of Amazon FBA sellers like you who are competing for the same consumers and possibly selling the exact same product as you. And since Amazon’s terms of service are so detailed, these other sellers will most likely be just as reputable as you are. Navigating your way to success will require a lot of marketing and business savvy. There’s no way to learn it all overnight.
One of the strategies to stand out from the competition is to write an effective product listing. This could take you several hours to complete. Amazon has an extensive style guide. If you don’t follow each and every rule, they can “suppress” you from the website.
Here are just some of the many rules you must abide by:
- Do not capitalize conjunctions (and, or, for), articles (the, a, an), or prepositions with fewer than five letters (in, on, over, with).
- You may receive a quality alert on your listing if your image includes borders, watermarks, text, drawings or sketches of the product, image placeholders, colored backgrounds or lifestyle pictures, and multiple colors of the same product, among other things.
- Avoid including the seller name, website URL, company-specific information, promotional language such as “SALE” or “free shipping,” E-mail address, or details about another product that you sell.
- Show the entire product, and have the product occupy at least 80 percent of the image area.
Not only do you have to write an appealing description that follows Amazon’s guidelines, you also have to set a competitive price. Pricing your item isn’t as simple as looking at a competitor’s listing. A smart Amazon seller will take into account cost of shipping, Amazon commission, Amazon FBA fees, customer return fees, and so on. A comprehensive Amazon FBA training can walk you through all of this.
Collecting sales tax
As an Amazon seller, you’re required to set up sales tax collection options. You will have to handle sales tax in each state your business has a nexus. A nexus is a connection between your business and the state that requires you to collect and remit sales and enforce a tax. It’s possible for your business to have a nexus in a state even if you aren’t physically there. Amazon FBA training can help you determine which states your business has a nexus in.
Amazon FBA training can also teach you how much sales tax needs to be charged depending on the state. There are two ways to determine how much sales tax you must charge: the origin basis and the destination basis. Any successful Amazon seller will know the difference between these two.
And as if that wasn’t enough, you also need to know how much tax applies to each item. This can be confusing to calculate if you have a nexus in multiple states as each state’s guidelines differ. For example, grocery items in Tennessee are taxed at a 5% reduced rate, while Minnesota doesn’t even place taxes on clothing and grocery items. This is yet another complicated issue that Amazon FBA training can assist you with.
Still interested in starting an Amazon store?
You might be feeling a little overwhelmed after reading all that information. But don’t worry, because this is where Seller’s Playbook Amazon FBA training can help you. We offer extensive training combined with insider tips to optimize your success. Read what our students have to say about our program and get ready to take the next step towards starting an Amazon store. We’re ready to help!