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How To Start Selling On Amazon

How To Start Selling On Amazon

Amazon is known to be one of the biggest selling platforms in the world. According to Statista, as of April 2021, Amazon registered around 407 million visits per month in the UK alone. One of the best things about Amazon is that anyone can sell on the platform ‒ you don’t necessarily need to be a big retailer with a huge warehouse.

You can sell on Amazon even if you have no selling experience. Want to start selling on Amazon? Here’s how to do it.

Is it worth selling on Amazon?

According to statistics on Amazon’s website, they have more than 300 million active customer accounts. These accounts exist in more than 180 countries. Amazon aims to become the most customer-centric country in the world by constantly seeking out new ways to add value for their customers. By selling on Amazon, you contribute to providing those customers with the best selection, the best price, and the best customer experience.

Amazon is a go-to website for shoppers and sellers alike. As an Amazon seller, you’re part of a diverse community of retailers and sellers of all types and sizes, from Fortune 500 companies to creative visionaries selling their handmade wares from home. No matter their size or structure, sellers on Amazon share the common goal of reaching Amazon’s hundreds of millions of loyal shoppers. Amazon reports that third-party sellers (who were allowed to join Amazon as sellers in 1999) have grown over the years to account for 58% of all Amazon sales, growing at an incredible rate of 52% per year.

Before you start selling on Amazon

Amazon has two selling plans: Individual and Professional. These can be considered standard and premium selling plans. These two plans offer you flexibility in the type of selling you wish to do ‒ you can sell one item or thousands if you choose. Before you register, you should take the time to consider which plan is the best fit for your business. The biggest difference in these plans is the way they are priced.

Amazon’s Individual plan charges the seller $0.99 per sale, whereas the sellers opting for the Professional plan are charged a flat fee of $39.99 per month, no matter how many items they sell. Amazon suggests that it makes the most sense to buy the Professional option if you sell more than 40 items a month. The type of plan can be changed at any time, so if you’d feel better starting with an Individual plan and upgrading to Professional when sales pick up, you’ve got that option. It’s worth noting that no matter which plan you end up choosing, there are additional selling fees that will apply.

What you need to register as an Amazon seller

A crucial step in selling on Amazon is an obvious one: You must register as an Amazon seller. The registration process is very straightforward:

  1. Visit https://services.amazon.com
  2. Click ‘Sign Up’
  3. Follow the prompts and create your Amazon Seller Account

That’s it. Simple! Some things you’ll need on hand to complete your registration are:

  • Bank account number and bank routing number
  • Chargeable credit card
  • Government-issued national ID
  • Tax information
  • Phone number

If you’re prepared with the above, your entire registration process will take minutes to complete.

How much will it cost to sell on Amazon?

Depending on your selling plan, there are different fees for selling on Amazon. There are three main types of fees related to being an Amazon seller:

  1. Subscription fees – Subscription fees are the fees that you pay for your selling plan. As previously mentioned, Amazon offers an Individual selling plan in which the seller pays $0.99 per item. They also offer their Professional selling plan, which charges sellers a flat fee of $39.99. This amount doesn’t change, no matter how many items you sell.
  2. Selling fees – Selling fees are what you are charged per item sold. Based on the category of the product, they are a percentage of the selling price. Selling fees also include variable closing fees, which are only applicable to media selling categories.
  3. Shipping fees – Amazon shipping rates apply when you fulfil orders yourself. These rates are determined by the product category and shipping service that the buyer ends up choosing for their order.
  4. Fulfilment by Amazon – There are fees for order fulfilment, storage, and optional services for products that Amazon fulfils for you as part of Amazon’s dropshipping equivalent, Fulfillment by Amazon service, commonly known as FBA.

How to list products on Amazon

The first step in selling a product on Amazon is creating a product listing. If you are selling a product that another seller is already selling on Amazon, you can match their existing product listing. If you are the first and only seller of a product, you will need to create a new listing. Each seller’s selling plan determines how they upload and list their products. If a seller has chosen to use a Professional seller account, they will have the option to list all of their products in bulk with bulk uploads or inventory management using third-party systems. Sellers with the Individual plan must list each of their products one by one. Successfully listed products are available for sale to both B2C (Business-to-Customer) and B2B (Business-to-Business) customers. The result is that your offers will reach a wider audience and without any additional fees all from just one account.

Getting started with listing products

When selling products on Amazon, the website needs a product ID to properly identify the precise item you’re selling. These IDs are typically an ISBN, a UPC or an EAN. If you match a listing, you will not need to provide a product ID as it already exists. Amazon may require that you purchase a UPC code for a new product or request an exemption for the listing of a new product. Each product listing will also need the following to be complete:

  • Stock keeping unit (SKU)
  • Name of the product
  • Description of the product and bullet points
  • Images of the product
  • Relevant keywords as well as search terms

Restricted product categories

Amazon prides itself on giving its shoppers a safe, comfortable shopping experience. They want their customers to shop with confidence. For that reason, certain products are known as restricted product categories. To sell in these categories, Amazon will likely request that you supply additional fees, performance checks and other qualifications. To receive approval to sell certain brands or list items within a restricted category, you can request approval from Seller Central. Some of the restricted products and categories listed by Amazon include:

  • Alcohol
  • Animals & Animal-Related Products
  • Automotive and Powersports
  • Composite Wood Products
  • Cosmetics & Skin/Hair Care
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Food & Beverage
  • Human Parts & Burial Artefacts
  • Jewellery & Precious Gems
  • Lock Picking & Theft Devices
  • Medical devices and accessories
  • Offensive and Controversial Materials
  • Pesticides and pesticide devices
  • Plant and Seed Products
  • Postage metres and stamps
  • Recalled products
  • Surveillance Equipment
  • Tobacco & Tobacco-Related Products
  • Warranties, Service Plans, Contracts, and Guarantees
  • Upholstered Furniture, Bedding, & Other Quilted Products

How to ensure a successful listing and product launch

If you follow best practices when adding listings, you can greatly increase your chances of success. Shoppers will be able to find your products more easily if you are sure to add descriptive titles, use clear pictures and have concise feature bullets to your listings. Some factors that could negatively impact your product launch include:

  1. Variation problems – You should consider listing products as variations if the products only differ in colour, scent, size or other minor details. If customers expect to find a product listed on one page but need to go searching, it will negatively affect your listing.
  2. Image compliance – Listing photos have specific requirements they must adhere to. They must be a minimum of 500 x 500 pixels and set against a plain white background. The product should occupy at least 80% of the image area.
  3. Product IDs – Do your homework about Global Trade Item Numbers and make sure you meet the relevant requirements. The consistency of these codes promotes confidence in the range of products in Amazon’s catalogue.

How to deliver products

When selling on Amazon, sellers have two main options for sending purchased goods to their customers:

  • Merchant fulfilment – This simply means that the seller stores and manages their inventory and ships their products to their customers themselves. As soon as an order ships, Amazon charges a shipping fee based on the product category and the shipping service selected by the customer. The shipping fee is then passed on to the seller in the form of a shipping credit. There are set shipping rates for all products with an Individual plan, so you need to decide if you can still price your products profitably when factoring in shipping costs. You can use Amazon’s Buy Shipping tool to find the best deals on shipping labels from Amazon’s trusted network of shipping partners, ship and confirm your order, and track shipments.
  • Fulfilment by Amazon – The company operates 175 fulfilment centres around the world that contain more than 150 million square feet of storage space. When sellers choose Fulfillment by Amazon, they can store your inventory in those warehouses, saving sellers the expense and inconvenience of storing and managing inventory. These sellers also become the beneficiary of Amazon’s customer service and returns, automatic Prime eligibility and Free Super Saver Shipping. These all contribute to helping them quickly grow their businesses. FBA is very simple:
    • Step 1: The seller ships their inventory to Amazon where it will be scanned and put up for sale.
    • Step 2: When a purchase is made, each order is packaged and shipped directly by Amazon to the customer.
    • Step 3: Amazon is responsible for collecting payments from the customer. The seller is paid any available funds by Amazon every two weeks.
    • Step 4: In the event of any problems, any questions, returns, refunds and such are handled by Amazon’s customer service team, saving the seller the stress of dealing with unhappy customers.

Amazon Seller Central

Once you have registered as an Amazon seller, you will be able to access your Seller Central account. Seller Central is an important resource for selling on Amazon, acting as a portal to your Amazon business and providing all of the tools you need to manage your selling account. With Seller Central, you can also add product information, make inventory updates, list all of your products and manage payments. It is a hub of useful information that will help you along your journey in navigating your Amazon business. You can do many things from Seller Central. Here are a few:

  • The Inventory tab allows you to manage your inventory and update your listings.
  • Bookmark the templates you use most often and download your own business reports.
  • Your seller performance can be monitored with customer metrics tools.
  • Get the assistance you require by contacting Selling Partner Support and using the Case Log to open tickets for the help you need.
  • Track the sales of all the products you sell on Amazon on a daily basis.

Amazon Seller app

Your Amazon Seller App allows you to manage sales, fulfil orders, find products for sale, respond to customer inquiries, edit photos, and create listings from your phone.

Helpful tips

For new sellers on Amazon, the journey is exciting but can be intimidating. Here are some helpful tips for first-time Amazon sellers to keep in mind:

  • Check for new orders daily – Keep on top of when customers order a new product so that you can promptly fulfil the order and ship it out.
  • Keep track of your inventory – Be sure that you are always aware of exactly how much stock you have. This way, you’ll avoid ever being unable to fulfil a product due to being out of stock without realising it.
  • Keep your pricing up to date (and competitive) – Keep an eye on similar products to yours and make sure that you are pricing yours within the right range, as customers frequently gravitate towards the lowest price.
  • Work for a five-star rating – Strong customer response is essential to being a successful Amazon seller and improving your credibility on the platform. Some ways to cultivate that rating is:
    • Accurate product descriptions
    • Prompt shipping
    • Be upfront with customers about any delays or changes to their orders
    • Respond quickly to questions (within 24 hours)
    • Encourage positive feedback on your packing slips
  • Follow the rules – Amazon’s seller guidelines are set in stone. Make sure you understand them and follow them to the letter.

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