How to Sell on Amazon
Amazon is the largest network of online retailers, and it makes sense that you want to capitalize on their success, by leveraging products of your own to sell, whether you are drop-shipping or creating a unique product of your own. However, being successful a success Amazon business seller takes a lot more than a product and profile. Selling on Amazon is not free, nor is it overly expensive, but it’s important to have a strategy going into selling on Amazon, before you start with a loss, before you’ve made any progress.
Overview of How to Sell on Amazon
Before you get started, you’re going to know about the different information customers receive from product pages, so you can optimize your listings for maximum performance.
In the above screenshot, the center green box highlights the 3rd party seller of the product, which is what you’d be when selling on Amazon. That section is called the Buy Box, meaning that when someone clicks ‘Add to Cart’, the item from the 3rd party seller featured will be the one added to the cart. Joy of Giving is the 3rd party seller for this item. The green box in the bottom right corner shows other 3rd party sellers, but are not in the Buy Box. When selling, your item will either show up in the Buy Box or the Other Sellers section; it will be one of three shown. For buyers to see your product, they’d have to click through to see all sellers of that product. So how do you get to be in that coveted Buy Box spot? While not all factors are known, there are a few things you can control.
Fulfilling Amazon Orders
You’ve probably heard about selling on FBA, but you might not know what it is. Amazon FBA is a fulfillment method for the products you sell. There are different fulfillment methods available to use, but fulfillment method can play in with your chances at the Buy Box. Amazon FBA is one of the easiest ways to fulfill orders. When you list an item on Amazon and set the selling price, you’ll also prepare your items to ship to an Amazon fulfillment warehouse. You can use one box to send all items, as long as they are being sent to the same warehouse, however, the Amazon shippings are a limit of 50lbs per box and a maximum of 150 units per box.
Once you send your items to the warehouse, Amazon takes care of the rest. When it arrives at the warehouse, Amazon will verify the product and condition, then activate your listing. When someone orders the item, Amazon will ship it to the customer, and at that time, they will deposit your cut of the sale into your seller account.
Benefits of using Amazon Fulfillment
There are a number of benefits to using Amazon FBA:
- When Amazon has the inventory of your product, it can be offered with Amazon Prime, which is a huge selling point to the estimated 63 million Prime users. The free two-day shipping is why many people rely on Amazon for a large portion of their online shopping. Amazon is even offering one-day, same-day and 2-hour delivery in select cities.
- The trust factor that comes with the Prime badge can help convert users on your product, even if the product price is slightly higher than another’s without Prime.
- Items sold using Amazon FBA have the same return policy as Amazon products, giving more trust-factor that their products will arrive as described and on-time, and get excellent service for returns if needed.
You can also do “merchant fulfillment” where you ship the products out directly. This is usually the best case for one-of-a-kind items or on-demand products
Get Started Selling
Before you start selling your product, you need to decide how much to sell your items for. When deciding on the price, you have to take into account the price for your item sold by other sellers, Amazon fees, shipping fees, and cost to make the product. You can use the Amazon Seller App or the Fulfillment by Amazon Revenue Calculator. Also, do research before setting an arbitrary price for a product otherwise you might come up with a loss rather than revenue.
When you calculate what your profit margins need to be on the products you are selling, get ready to list your item. Try not to list too far below the lowest price because this could start a price war that diminishes profit margins. To be aggressive with your pricing, you could match the lowest price and for more conservative pricing, try anything from $0.01 to 1% higher than the lowest price of the same fulfillment method. Pricing can be part calculations and part intuition. There are no rules on how you should set your prices, but do what is best for your profits and the market.
Monitoring Your Amazon Listings
After you’ve shipped your products to Amazon for fulfillment (if you are doing Amazon FBA) or you’ve activated your own listings for merchant fulfillment, you’ll need to monitor your listings until your products sell because there are a lot of negative factors that can push your listing down to the bottom. This is crucial, especially if you have the Buy Box spot. There are a variety of Amazon monitoring software programs available to help you monitor your listings without wasting time and effort staring at your phone and taking action.
When choosing an Amazon listing software that monitors your products, you’re going to want to prioritize which features are most important to you and how much you want to pay for the service. There are a variety of features available including:
- Hijacker monitoring
- Listing leeches
- Negative reviews
- Product keyword ranking changes
- Product image changes
- Best Seller rankings & badges
- Product suppressions
- Product category changes
Instead of paying for Amazon keyword software, Amazon listing software, product ranking tools, and a variety of other software programs, find one that will allow you to do more than one for a low price.
Any time a hijacker is on your listing or an Amazon update affects your listing, Amazon monitoring software can not only alert you to these problems but can often provide immediate action for you.
The goal when selling on Amazon is to strive to get your product in the Buy Box so you can maximize potential profits. Even a day out of the Buy Box spot can significantly diminish your profits, so one of the most important parts of how to sell on Amazon, is not the setup or determining price, it’s ensuring you can effectively monitor your listings and to secure your placement in the Buy Box.