Saving for your child’s college, padding your retirement income, or getting ready for your upcoming vacation – all are great reasons to make a little extra money. Maybe you’re looking to start a side hustle, or maybe you’re looking to go full-time into selling and be your own boss. Either way, a great way to do that is by selling on Amazon – the largest e-Commerce space.
Ready to get started? We can help you become an eCommerce success!
Here’s your step-by-step guide on how to become a successful Amazon seller.
1. Find Product
What are you going to sell? That’s the first thing you need to ask yourself. You need to determine what product(s) you want to sell before anything else.
There are a few different ways of acquiring products for sale: retail arbitrage, private label, and wholesale.
RA, or retail arbitrage, is when you visit physical retail stores to acquire your product. The goal is to buy them at a discount, then resell them on Amazon for a profit.
Online arbitrage is the same principle, but with buying products online instead of at a physical store.
Retail arbitrage is where many Amazon sellers get started. It’s a great way to get your feet wet and get started, but without a huge upfront investment. It doesn’t require a lot of physical space or financial commitment.
Private label selling involves finding a manufacturer who can create and a generic product, which you then label as your own brand. These goods can be produced cheaply in bulk.
Wholesale product selling involves buying products from a major brand at a wholesale price, then selling them on Amazon. You are only selling these products with the approval of the major brand.
Other Things to Consider When Choosing Products
There are a few other things to consider when choosing what products you will sell.
One is the barrier to entry. How fierce will your competition be? If you’re competing against popular labels in a crowded marketplace, your chances of success will be low.
Second, you need to consider market trends and anticipate them. Some products are seasonal and will have peaks and valleys throughout the year of when they sell – or don’t.
Speaking of sales, you also need to consider the revenue and profit potential of each product.
2. Open an Amazon Account
Now that you have determined what your product will be, you need to open your Amazon Seller account. This is the online portal for your Amazon sales business.
To open an account requires:
- Business email or Amazon account
- Credit card
- Government-issued ID
- Tax information
- Phone number
- Bank account
As you can see, the requirements are nothing out of the ordinary for operating a business.
When you open your Seller account, you also need to determine what selling plan you want. An Individual Plan costs $.99 per unit sold. The Professional Plan costs $39.99 per month, regardless of how many units you sell.
If you plan on selling a lot and want to advertise your products, the Professional Plan is the way to go.
3. Decide Your Fulfillment Method
Now you need to decide your fulfillment method. The fulfillment method refers to who stores, picks, packs, and ships the products. Amazon offers two options: FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) and FBM (Fulfillment by Merchant).
Fulfillment by Amazon places the fulfillment responsibility solely on Amazon. Using this model you send the product to an Amazon fulfillment center. When an order is placed, Amazon picks the product, packs it, and ships it to the customer.
Amazon also takes care of returns and other customer service issues.
FBA is a very hands-off model. In exchange, Amazon charges additional fees.
Fulfillment by merchant means you handle all aspects of storage and fulfillment. You also handle all problems with customer service.
4. Create Your Product Listing
Once you’ve accomplished all of that, you can create your product listing on Amazon. This is the product page people will see when viewing your item on Amazon.
A product listing consists of:
- Product title
- Bullet points – these are your product features
- Product description
- Backend keywords – these are hidden keywords only visible to you and Amazon
- Pictures – these are the images of your product
You need to write some great copy for your product listing. You also need professional-quality images that accurately represent your product.
You also need to include relevant backend keywords. Customers won’t see these hidden keywords, but they’re still important. You can include either additional keywords that don’t fit into your title or common misspellings of your item.
5. Find a Manufacturer
If you have decided to sell private label products, you need to find a manufacturer. If you are going the wholesale or retail arbitrage route, you can skip this step.
Finding a manufacturer is going to take a lot of research. Make sure to take the time to research and contact multiple manufacturers.
A few factors to consider when looking for a manufacturer:
- Knowledge and experience – look for someone who can answer your questions and guide you through the process
- Technical capabilities – look for a factory that can produce, or already is producing, goods similar to your own
- Reputation – look for a factory with good labor policies
There are also benefits to choosing a U.S. factory over an overseas factory. It’s easier to monitor the quality and overall manufacturing process when the company is within a few hundred miles, as opposed to thousands of miles away in a completely different time zone.
U.S. manufacturers can also accommodate smaller batches of products, as opposed to larger minimum orders required from overseas manufacturers.
If you’re not sure where to start, there are a few websites you can use.
Maker’s Row specializes in U.S. manufacturers. They offer end-to-end manufacturing help.
Global Sourcing Specialists (GSS) connect startups to international manufacturers. They may be worth considering if you are looking to mass-produce a product overseas.
Alibaba lets you search for both products and overseas suppliers.
These are just a few of the sites you can use to start your search for a manufacturer.
6. Order and Ship Your Product
Now you’re ready to order your product. Try to order at least a couple of months’ worth of product to ensure you have enough for your initial sales.
If you chose Fulfillment by Amazon, the product will need to be delivered to one of Amazon’s fulfillment centers. You need to inform Amazon of an inbound shipment via Seller Central.
If you chose Fulfillment by Merchant, the product will be sent directly to you. Alternately, you could have it sent to a warehouse. You need to work with the manufacturer and a freight forwarder, who will deliver the goods from the factory to its warehouse destination.
Once the product arrives, give it a close inspection to ensure the quality is up to your standards. You can either do that on your own or hire a third-party inspection company. The latter is perfect for FBA products.
7. Optimize Your Product Listing
You’ve already created a product listing, but now it’s time to optimize it. You need to ensure that your listing reaches the largest number of potential customers.
The best way to do that is organically through SEO or search engine optimization. In short, this means increasing your visibility when a user searches for a product via a search engine. It’s much, much better to have your product show up on the first or second page of search engine results, as opposed to the third, fourth, or fifth page.
Think like a consumer and do some research on what keywords people are searching for when they shop for the kind of products you sell. Then incorporate those keywords into your product listing.
8. Start Promoting Sales
This is where business really picks up. Now that you have your product listing and stock, it’s time to promote it. There are a ton of different ways to do that – some paid and some free.
There is paid advertising such as PPC (pay-per-click) advertising. PPC advertising is when you as an advertiser pays every time a user clicks on your online ad. Paid search ads are a popular form of PPC advertising.
For example, a consumer searches for a product on Google, clicks on your PPC ad, and gets directed to your product listing on Amazon. As a result of them clicking on your ad, you pay a small amount, and hopefully, make a sale when they visit your product listing.
There are also free and low-cost marketing options such as social media marketing, email marketing, and blogging. This kind of marketing can be affordable or even free, but potentially can be time-consuming. For best results, follow our tips.
Become an Amazon Seller Wizard
There’s a lot of work involved in becoming an Amazon Seller. It’s not always easy money, but it can offer you the opportunity to be your own boss, set your own schedule, and increase your income.
This guide is enough to get you started, but for more expert advice you should attend one of our workshops. Wizards of Ecom offers multiple classes each month dealing with Amazon and eCommerce.
We offer both online classes and in-person classes for those in Miami and South Florida. What are you waiting for? Sign up today and become an Amazon Seller wizard.