The above question lingers on a lot of minds. Briefly introducing Amazon, it is one of the largest and still growing e-commerce websites, Amazon serves as a legit forum through which retailers are able to make their products available for purchase to the general public on their very own platform. Amazon has also served to create an additional forum through which manufacturers are able to market their goods. Various and almost all legitimate brands are also allowed to thrive on the website. Amazon simply takes a little percentage of whatever price is allocated to a product on its website while also giving advertisement opportunities to various companies.
Judging by the revenue and capitalization of the market, Amazon is the largest internet retailer in the world. Their e-commerce system has over time evolved beyond simple business to customer relationship to the present customer to customer practice it employs today. This system allows anyone to sell on the website. With an annual revenue exceeding US$177 billion and a current market capitalization of US$803 billion, who would not want to be a part of this rapidly improving franchise?
How to Start an Amazon Business: for Retail Traders and Manufacturers
So once more, how does an individual start to sell on Amazon? Though Amazon has a lot of requirements concerning businesses interested in joining them, some business niches can open an Amazon account without approval. These companies or businesses deal in books, video games and computers, electronics, office products, baby products, pet supplies, sporting goods, music supplies, and many more. Some other business niches need the approval of Amazon before they can be joined. These niches include jewelry, fashion and beauty, luggage and travel accessories, services, wine, collectible books, fine art, health, and personal care, watches, and a few others. All these have their individual requirements as outlined by Amazon.
How do you sell things on Amazon? For starters, you need to create a personal account.
Creating an account is not really rocket science. You just need your email to be registered through Amazon Seller Central, where basic information about yourself would be requested at first. This information would be made up of your name, your email address, and your password. Next, you would be redirected to various other screens where other information would be requested. This time around, the information requested would be concerning the business, which entails the tax information and the address of the business.
There are two types of account:
- Individual - allows you to sell goods as an individual; You can sell no more than 40 products and pay a commission from each product in the amount of 0.99 cents; This option is good for small businesses with low sales;
- Professional Seller - an account of a professional seller, which allows you not only to sell products but to create your own brand (Private Label); commission fee - 39.99 per month.
If, after starting a business, you see, an individual account does not satisfy you anymore, you can always go to Professional Seller in your personal account settings.
A Professional Account is needed if a retailer has plans of transacting on a large scale or simply put, selling a large number of goods. A Professional Account is important to large scale transaction businesses or retailers as they are simply required to pay once a month in the form of subscriptions. But as an Individual, a stipend of 0.99 cents is paid for the sale of each item. This may not seem like much, but when you recall that you would offer discounts on occasion, employ the use of competitive pricing (to beat other retailers` and businesses` price) while still expecting a very substantial amount of profit to invest in the business, every cent would become a very important part of your and every dollar would need to be well spent. The monthly subscriptions are accompanied by a few other bills.
Following that, you as a retailer or a manufacturer would then need to be scrutinized and approved by Amazon to be a part of the specific niche or product type that (as mentioned previously) would need the approval of Amazon to join. All of these special business niches have their individual approval requirements. Altogether there are about 22 such special niches, they include:
- Fine art.
- Automotive and Powersports.
- Clothing and Accessories.
- Major appliances.
- Video, DVD, and Blu-ray.
- Collectible books.
- Collectible coins.
- Sexual wellness.
- Gift cards.
- Independent design.
- Shoes, Handbags, and Sunglasses.
- Sport collectibles.
- Grocery and Gourmet Foods.
- Luggage and Travel accessories.
- Textbook rentals.
- Entertainment collectibles and.
- Health and Personal care.
Retailers involved in any of the business niches above would receive their very own set of instructions before the final submission of their applications.
A few more processes are required, but they are all straightforward.
Do not forget to open a separate Bank Account for a business on Amazon. Your Personal Account can also be used, but there may be difficulties with possible financial checks.
Next, you start inputting the goods or services you are offering. This is also a simple step by step procedure.
1. Create Listing and Select Product.
This will display two options:
1.1. Purchase of UPC codes (UPC codes can alternatively be referred to as barcodes) when the product in question is made by your brand. Brand new barcodes would be advised because if you make use of barcodes gotten from shady characters and the barcodes end up being recycled UPC codes, Amazon will automatically identify you as a fraud and your products as fraudulent purchases and will consequently shut down your account. A legitimate UPC code will be unique to your products on Amazon. Another benefit is that when your products can be linked to a legitimate UPC code, automatically an Amazon Standard Identification Number (ASIN) would be attached to your already listed products (or subsequent products for first-timers).
1.2. The second option "this product is made by another brand," this option is for dropshippers. Dropshippers are obviously those involved in dropshipping, whereas dropshipping is the simply a situation where a product is sold, and the seller is not responsible for shipping the products or carrying an inventory. The responsibility for shipping the products or goods to the customers and also keeping inventory lies with the manufacturer. There is little to no risk for the dropshipper, requires minimal skills (provisions of a reasonable customer base, excellent administrative skills, and wonderful marketing skills), and no worries about warehouse cost. Although there is a serious disadvantage for dropshippers, Amazon does not allow them usage of the platform or its privileges. The only service from Amazon available to dropshippers is Amazon`s FBA (Fulfilled by Amazon) program.
- Next, you simply search for your desired product and click on Select, once the product is found.
- Then finally, you would be required to “Publish” before the entire process could be referred to as having been completed.
The next process would be to ensure that at whatever point in time and in whatever quantity a customer decides to place an order of your product on Amazon, the product is still in stock during and after the transaction. This is to make sure that the customers do not place orders on products that are already out of stock. After all, an unhappy and unsatisfied customer is likely to give a negative review.
Finally, but as equally important as the rest is the process of advertisement and promotion of your Amazon store. Amazon can help you create Ad campaign (Amazon ADs) for a given amount, or you can use whatever publicity or advertisement scheme you are comfortable with. This means that you simply create traffic in your store and boost sales.
The above steps are a detailed but straightforward guide to help you to understand how to sell on Amazon.
How to Start an Amazon Business: for Individual Sellers, Including How to Find Products
Just in case you are wondering how to sell stuff on Amazon, as an individual, Retail Arbitrage is a real serious source of some side cash, or if you do really well, it could turn into a full-blown business.
It starts with the setting up of an Amazon seller account. This account grants you the right to freely gain access to an app that would prove to be useful. This is a free app that helps you gain access to information that would make it easier for you to start researching various items on Amazon. As a beginner, the use of individual seller account would prove to be a reasonable choice as you do not have to pay on a monthly bases. Opening the account is a piece of cake. When you attempt to open an Amazon account, on the lower part of the page, you will notice a text "sign up to become an individual seller," click on the text. After clicking on the link, a series of follow up applications would be filled, and you would be done in a jiffy. This makes you a certified seller on Amazon.
The app mentioned earlier comes into play now, it is the Amazon Seller App. This app gives you information on products you find, such as their fees, their selling prices and a lot more. The process is quite simple, with your mobile phone, the only “difficult” job you have is scanning the barcode of whatever product piques your interest, and the related information is displayed.
Finding products after downloading the app is not really a problem. You just locate any big box store that would be convenient for you to visit and stroll in. once in the store, locate a section or aisle marked “clearance." Once found, make use of the app to scan the barcode of any product you choose (using your phone camera) from the clearance aisle. A page on the screen should appear containing a lot of information, but the ones that require your immediate attention are:
- Your Eligibility: under the eligibility section, check if you are eligible to sell the scanned product on Amazon.
- The Sales Rank: this is located toward the left-hand corner of the screen. This is vital because it tells us the literal rank of a product, hence how fast the product will sell. The higher the rank or, the lower the number, the faster the product will sell. Generally, any rank lower than 200 000 should be a good starting rank for beginners.
When you have ascertained that you are eligible to sell, and the rank is to your liking, you can then input your selling price, and how much you can purchase the product and how much it cost to ship the product to Amazon.
The aim of this endeavor is to make a profit. So how can you be sure that there is a profit? There are two tests:
- After inputting the required information, a net profit number will be shown at the bottom of the page. If the net profit number is more than your minimum profit threshold, things are going in the right direction.
- The second test is to calculate how much your return would be on investment percentage. Remember that this second test is viable only if the first test is "going in the right direction," that is if the net profit exceeds your minimum profit threshold.
For the calculation of the return on investment percentage, simply divide the net profit by the cost of the item.
It is not always easy to make a substantial profit at first but don't be discouraged. Instead, widen your options and scan as many products as possible. Also, do not overprice your products, try to keep your selling price within the range found on the FBA program for similar products.
Amazon FBA - Full Package for Private Sellers
For sellers, Amazon provides a special service - Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA). In essence, Amazon assumes all services for storage, delivery of goods to the buyer, solves issues with the return. The seller only needs to find a Supplier of goods and control its timely shipment and delivery to Amazon.
This program can be selected for one product that you sell, as well as for absolutely all products from your listing.
Pros of the program:
- you do not need your own storage, you do not care about packaging, timely shipment;
- saving money in storage, transportation, packaging of your goods;
- your products are included in the program Amazon Prime and are available to customers with paid accounts, which gives an advantage over other sellers; plus - guaranteed delivery of goods within two days;
- saving Shipping option is available - free shipping for orders from 35$.
Amazon is a service where you only need to think about sales and promotion of your products. The rest of the Amazon takes over.
So the questions of how does Amazon work? And how to start an Amazon business, have been handled.
How Much Is the Sale?
Amazon has regular and irregular fees when using the FBA program.
1. Sales fee
- Referral fee - depends on the category of goods that you sell; on average - 8-15%, but maybe more; see the entire list on Amazon;
- Fulfillment fee - includes payment for order processing, acceptance, packaging, delivery of goods to the buyer.
2. Monthly fees
- for Professional Seller - $39,99 for using the account and FBA monthly storage fee (depends on the size of the product, its quantity (in cubic feet) and the month);
- for Individual - 0,99 cents for each product you sold and FBA monthly storage fee.
The irregular charges include fees for long-term storage of goods, packaging, return arrangements, etc.
Of course, commission fees are not small, but in any case they will be cheaper than organizing the storage, packaging and delivery of your goods to the customer.
Amazon also presents its retailers with a lot of avenues to expand their businesses.
For starters, the opportunity to create a Private Label. This is a scenario whereby the retailer or supplier legally owns the products being sold. The retailers pay the manufacturers to make the products under their own Private Label. Though there is no immediate jump in profit, when you make a good reputation for whatever product you have under your Private Label, there is a possibility that you can expand to sell other products and still get good customer response because the customer now trust your Private Label. For starters, though it is advisable that you use products that have a high demand and low competition (usually around the ranks of 1000-1500 on the Amazon product ranks); it`s about finding the right niche for you.
Additionally, the Amazon Global Selling Program initiated in 2017 has been recorded to have grown by over 50% and cross-border sales contributing more than 25% of all third-party product units sold. So what exactly is holding you back? Join the program; more nations are upping their E-commerce game, take Europe as a case study. It grew to about $625 billion in the year 2017, and more astonishing growth is expected.
So, the Private Label, Amazon Global Selling Program, and even the previously mentioned FBA Program all give room for business expansion.
Play all your cards right either as a retailer or an individual and you are looking at some serious cash in due time. If market conditions are right, then the results you will get from your endeavors will be well worth the initial stress.
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