Posted by Amanda Stein on 2023-07-05 | 15 minute read
Just start selling on Amazon and improve as you go along using information from Seller Central and Amazon seller apps.
Tips for effective Amazon sellers
- Understand the Importance of a Good Candidate: Don't just focus on the product, but also the seller. Your reputation as a seller is crucial for your success.
- Decide What to Sell: Before you jump into selling, make sure you have a clear idea of what product or service you want to offer.
- Use Tools and Methods: Use available tools and methods to increase your efficiency and productivity. However, do not rely solely on them, trust your instincts as well.
- Fast and Efficient Delivery: Amazon customers value fast and efficient delivery. Make sure you can meet these expectations.
- Finding Suppliers: Spend considerable time finding reliable suppliers. This is crucial for long-term success.
- Plan Logistics: Once you have chosen your product and found your suppliers, plan your logistics thoroughly. This will help you avoid any last-minute hassles.
- Pass the Registration Process: Before you start selling, you need to register as a seller on Amazon. Make sure you pass this process.
- Set Product Listings: Once registered, set up your product listings. Make sure they are attractive and informative.
- Start Selling: Don't wait for the perfect moment, just start selling. You can improve as you go along.
- Use Seller Central: Amazon's Seller Central is a great resource for sellers. Use it to gain valuable insights and information.
- Use Amazon Seller Apps: These apps can help you manage your business more efficiently.
- Constant Improvement: Always look for ways to improve your business. Use feedback from customers and insights from seller central to enhance your operations.
- Adapt and Evolve: The market is constantly changing. Be ready to adapt and evolve your strategies to keep up with the trends.
- Customer Service: Always prioritize customer service. A happy customer is more likely to become a repeat customer.
- Keep Track of Competition: Keep an eye on what your competitors are doing. This can give you valuable insights on what works and what doesn't.
- Stay Committed: Selling on Amazon is not a get-rich-quick scheme. It requires dedication, hard work, and commitment. Stay focused and committed to achieve long-term success.
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This is the essential guide on what is required to sell on Amazon. Learn abot the legal and regulatory requirements to open a seller account and start selling immediately on Amazon.
We all know someone who sells on Amazon and is making 6 figures working on their laptop and markets of their own time. Who wouldn't want to sell on Amazon, start as a side hustle to make a few extra thousand dollars a month, and maybe grow it into a full time Amazon business.
Maybe you even have an idea where to start. A product of a niche that can scorch the Amazon marketplace. But now, what? What is required to sell on Amazon?
In this guide we are going to go over all that is required to sell on Amazon. From registering, to managing Amazon seller central all the way towards dominating the Amazon store. It is aimed at first timers and will include simple and easy to follow explanations. Feel free to skip between the paragraphs to quickly get to any topic that is holding you back.
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The easiest way to register as Amazon sellers is to prepare. Otherwise the process of creating an Amazon seller account and account setup can and will be excruciating.
Here you can find Amazon's official becoming a seller guidelines but you have to remember it's easier read than done. This is much harder if you are residing in a marketplace other than the one you wish to sell in, and is even harder if your local authorities and banks operate in a different language.
In order to create an Amazon seller account you need to have all of the following:
Please note that proper documentation is needed. For example, you will need to provide documents with your bank account information that proves its existence.
As mentioned, the list for opening an Amazon seller account seems simple enough but you are likely to run into many problems. As an example, while you can open an account anywhere in the world Amazon requires documents in one of a few acceptable languages. Sometimes Amazon will reply with an answer stating the problems that caused your application to be rejected, but they are often hard to decipher and solve.
One workaround many sellers take, is pay an Amazon Agency to take care of the bureaucracy for you. While it costs money, it can save a lot of time and headaches.
Necessary Paperwork (Amazon Seller Account Checklist)
Let's face it - we are all into this space to make money, so understanding your expenses is important. This is especially true as you are starting out - it is one thing to invest time and effort without making a buck, but losing money in the process? No way!
To make the cost structure easier to understand, we will divide it into a few segments.
How much does it cost to sell on Amazon?
Simple enough, Amazon offers two plans you can choose from. The Individual seller plan and the Professional seller plan.
The individual Amazon seller plan
This plan is a good example, of lowering the entry bar. Amazon completely waived off any monthly payments and will charge you per items sold.
For each item you sell on Amazon, you will pay $0.99. It is a good plan to start with when you are not really sure about your ability to sell, the customers' response to your offering etc.
As with all Amazon plans, you will also be charged additional selling fees, but at it's core you are paying a fixed price per item.
Pros of the individual seller plan
The main advantage of the plan is that there's no commitment. You pay as you sell which lowers the set up costs almost completely.
Cons of the individual seller plan
When you are selling 40 items or more, this plan automatically becomes mroe expensive than the Professional plan.
Another key disadvantage is that you can not advertise when using this plan which puts a very low limit to the amount of sales you'll be able to make. So, if you can't advertise, you are subject to organic discovery (i.e. searches in the marketplace), right?. Unfortunately, using this plan will not allow you to qualify for top placement.
You are also restricted from using the Amazon API. What this means, is that you can not use apps and tools that will help you sell more and better manage your seller account (more on that later).
Who should use the individual seller plan
This plan is good for people selling a few items per month, sellers who are just making their first moves in the Amazon world.
Consider this plan in your exploration phase when you are trying to decide what to sell, and how to sell. The minute you are getting series about selling on Amazon, you are ready for the Professional Amazon seller plan.
The professional Amazon seller plan
This plan is the best fit for 99% of Amazon sellers. It costs $39.99 per month (as always, there are additional selling fees).
Pros of the individual seller plan
As the main plan for Amazon sellers, this plan allows you all that you would expect. You can advertise your products, qualify for top placements on product detail page, you can use apps, tools and advanced reports.
Management also becomes easier in the professional selling plan that offers more options and tools.
Cons of the individual seller plan
The professional selling plan is undoubtedly superior, the only reason not to use it is if you are just starting out and want to test the water.
Who should use the professional seller option
This plan is the right one for pretty much and Amazon seller once they start taking selling on Amazon seriously. It will give you the ease of mind you need, and access to the API which will allow you to use Apps.
What is the cost to sell on Amazon?
On top of the cost of the plan, Amazon charges you additional fees. Here are the main Amazon seller fees you should be aware of.
Amazon referral fees
Since your items were discovered on the Amazon platform, they are subject to a referral fee collected by Amazon. Unlike other Amazon seller fees, referral fees vary depending on the category of the item you sell and range from 8% (for some electronic devices, consoles of some grocery items) to 45% (for Amazon device accessories). There's also a minimum $0.30 rate in case the fee didn't reach that amount.
Refund administration fee
Whenever you refund a buyer, Amazon will refund you the referral fee minus a refund administration fee of 20% of the referral fee or at least $5.00
There are various other Amazon seller fees, such as High-volume listing fee of $0.001 per SKU, Closing fee of $1.80 per item in Books / video games and similar categories.
Making sense of the Amazon selling fees
One of the first concepts you should be aware of is FBA - Fullfillment by Amazon.
This is an Amazon service that helps you grow using Amazon's logistics network. Amazon will take care of receiving, packing, shipping, customer service, and returns of such orders. They will even assume responsibility when a user gives a negative feedback about any of these activities.
This method also helps you reach higher rankings on Amazon's search and is a very good alternative. Before using FBA, make sure you familiarize yourself with the FBA associated fees.
This is the most obvious of the FBA fees since you are charged for any fulfillment done by Amazon for any of your orders.
Inventory storage fees
Long term storage fees
An extra fee for long term storage in the fulfillment centers
Removal and disposal fees
These fees occur when you ask Amazon to dispose of an item in your inventory.
Returns processing fees
This fee is for orders with free return shipping
Unplanned service fees
This happens when your items arrive to Amazon unprepared or not labeled. Amazon will take care of it for you for a fee.
While there seem to be a lot of FBA fees, the Amazon FBA option is used by many of the highest grossing sellers and there is a good chance it will fit your needs perfectly.
Ok, so you are past the registration process and you understand the cost structure for every item sold, now you just need to know… what item are you selling 🙂
There's practically an endless choice of products that you can sell on Amazon. This paragraph lists some ideas about how to locate a successful product and how to assess your chances of success.
How do I decide what to sell on Amazon?
Determining the kind of seller you plan to become is an easy choice but it's still a choice you must be aware of. It will make decisions clearer and remove much confusion
Some sellers are selling on Amazon exactly what they are already selling elsewhere. Whether on other e-commerce platforms or online marketplace (like eBay, or Walmart), on their own site (Shopify, WordPress or Wix) or even selling offline (Do you remember how once we had to go to places to buy stuff… creepy).
The advantage of selling what you already sell elsewhere is that you have domain expertise, you have knowledge on the competition and logistics are much easier to handle. Often, such sellers also have a private label and enjoy a lot of advantages that come with having a brand. Without a doubt this is the superior option.
If you are already selling a product, all you have to do is explore the competition on Amazon and if the winds are right, you can start selling immediately and increase your turnaround from this great new platform.
Other sellers started their selling carreer on Amazon and are making ridicolous amounts of money. They were able to locate a good product, set up the logistics and started seeing the sales come in.
The first challenge here is to find a product, than understand the landscape, competition and workout the logistics.
No worries, this option is viable and is performed successfully by many selllers. There's no reason you won't be able to use it as well. We will touch on Product exploration in the following paragraphs.
The practice of Reselling or Retail arbitrage, can be used by existing sellers as well as seekers, but is more common with the latter. Reselling means you as well as other sellers purchase the items from a manufacturer, and sell them elsewhere (like Amazon).
The great benefit of this method is that set up is super easy - it's an existing product, manufactured by others, you can see the reviews and rating it got to understand its value.
The downside is that it will be very easy to compete with you, you are not controlling production and so on.
Many of the resellers experience fluctuations in sales, which means they are always looking for new products to sell. Consider if this fits your character and the lifestyle you wish to maintain.
What type of an Amazon seller are you planning to be
Since the success of a product depends on so many factors, there is never a definite answer on what is the best item to choose. However, don't despair, there are a few tools you can use to improve your chances of success.
Yes, common sense. First and foremost trust your instincts. The easiest way is to answer questions, such as these:
Would I buy this product? Is it a product people I know would buy?
Is this a product I'd buy online or in a physical store? Where would I search for it, Google or Amazon?
Search for similar products and relevant keywords (meaning search time a buyer will likely use) on Amazon and see how fierce the competition is. Can you compete with their prices? Do you have a unique value proposition?
There are many Amazon seller apps that assist you with product discovery, Helium10 and JungleScout are the most prominent ones. Such tools help you assess the marketplace and help you find underserved products and locate opportunities.
Recently, Amazon launced Opportunity Explorer a tool that slices and dices Amazon data to help you find out what you should sell. It is currently available only in the United States and German marketplaces.
Is my product a good fit?
Many sellers are retail arbitrage sellers using dropshipping, meaning they buy manufactured goods and resell them on Amazon.
How do I find suppliers?
Alibaba's AliExpress is arguably the most popular website to find suppliers whose products you can sell at Amazon. However, there are many other alternatives you should check:
They can be cheaper from AliExpress and many buyers use them to buy a product they can sell for huge multipliers on Amazon.
Where can I search for suppliers
There are other aspects you must consider on top of price. As you go through this process you should make sure the supplier is reputable and that you can communicate with them. You can find great suppliers who simply can't converse in English, making an otherwise attractive deal, non relevant.
Price is important, but shipping costs and shipping options are just as important. You need to understand the cost of shipping as well as the timelines. These can bare great expenses and quickly erode your profitability.
What should I consider
Good job, you've created your professional seller account, found products to sell and suppliers and it looks like you have everything needed to start selling on Amazon.
Selling on Amazon requires juggling a lot of balls in the air at the same time and is not a trivial task. However, it is a manageable taks and more importantly it's an incremental task. You can improve one step at a time until selling on Amazon becomes a second nature to you.
You can also use Amazon seller apps that will make selling on the Amazon marketplace much easier and more profitable.
Selling on Amazon
After the registration process, you can access your Amazon seller central account where you can set up everytning, apply to sell products, manage product listings, set the product detail page, maintain your seller account and track your progress.
Amazon seller central is your homepage as a seller. This is where you connect your business bank account, reply to customer feedback, register your brand (relevant for brand owners), hop between the marketplaces (for Amazon global selling and conducting business internationally), manage your existing listing and product categories.
So, the importance of Amazon seller central is evident, but where's the catch? Well, there's a lot you can do there, but it is hard to manage. First of all there is a lot of data, and second of all, it requires manual handling.
The basics - your seller central account
Becoming a top seller is a long race. Always be testing yourself. Alway improve and always look for weak spots
Are you selling the right product? Maybe switch to another product category that has less competition.
Maybe a new listing will improve your sales.
Make sure to always collect reviews and feedback. They are the best indication of how good (or bad) your products are and are a crucial factor in selling more.
Your account statistics
Always keep track on your statistics. Make sure you know how much you sell, what's your profitability per product is and adjust accordingly. If the seller central data is a bit hard to swallow, use a dedicated Amazon [seller dashboard](amazon-dashboard-for-sellers.html#the-different-types-of-seller-dashboards) like MissionControl to make this easier on you.
Trial and error
Remember that the professional account has access to the Amazon API? Here's the reason it is so important. Many third party sellers are using seller tools and seller apps to better manage their Amazon business.
These apps are pieces of software that give you superior management capabilities.
For example, you can check your account's health, you can easily manage your product listings, set the right selling price and you can automate feedback and review collection for each item sold. This can help you win the buy box.
Oh wait, we didn't mention the buy box yet. Got to fix it! The buy box is the holy grail for anyone with a selling account. When a customer searches for an item, out of all possible third party sellers, they will be directed for the seller who won the buy box.
This saves you time and can significantly imporve your profitability. We warmly encourage you to read more about how the use of an Amazon seller app can make your Amazon business more profitable.
Amazon seller apps
This is a summary for those of you skipping straight to the end. All new sellers better follow these five steps. Learning how to sell on Amazon and selling your products online will become a much easier process.
How do I sell on Amazon in 5 steps?
Go over the list of documents, prepare the copies in a good quality and apply for a seller account.
Prepare the paperwork
Understand how much you will pay for Amazon per month, per item and understand your cost structure. This is an important part in tracking the perfect products to sell.
Understand the cost structure
We can not stress enough the importance of finding a good candidate. You can use tools and methods but don't neglect your common sense and instincts.
Decide what you are going to sell on Amazon
You must be able to deliver fast and efficiently, go over the segment on finding suppliers so you can prepare logistically to selling on Amazon.
Find your suppliers
The most important part is.. just do it. Pass the registration process, set product listings and start selling and imporve as you go along using inforamtion from seller central and Amazon seller apps.
Start selling on Amazon
Frequently Asked Questions & Answers
- How can switching to a different product category potentially improve my sales?
- What are the benefits of creating a new listing for my product?
- Why are collecting reviews and feedback important for my products?
- How can reviews and feedback impact my sales on Amazon?
- How can I encourage customers to leave reviews and feedback on my products?
- What should I do if I receive negative feedback on my product?
- How can my account statistics help improve my sales?
- What should I do if my account statistics show a decrease in sales?
- How should I interpret the data from my account statistics?
- How can I improve my product to garner better reviews and feedback?
- What are the advantages of selling a product in a less competitive category?
- How can feedback and reviews influence the perception of my product?
- How can I use my account statistics to improve my product listing?
- How can a new listing help me if my product has negative reviews?
- How do I know if I’m selling the right product?
- How can I use reviews and feedback to make improvements to my product?
- How can reviews and feedback impact my product’s ranking on Amazon?
- What are some strategies to stand out in a highly competitive product category?
- How can I leverage account statistics to forecast future sales?
- How can I ensure that my product remains competitive in its category?
Answer: Different product categories have varying levels of competition. By switching to a product category with less competition, you have a greater chance of standing out and attracting more customers, thus potentially improving your sales.
Answer: A new listing can potentially improve your sales by providing a fresh start. It may attract new customers who haven't seen your product before or renew interest among customers who viewed your product previously but didn't make a purchase.
Answer: Reviews and feedback are a crucial factor in selling more because they are the best indication of how good or bad your products are. They can attract more customers if they are positive, or indicate areas for improvement if they are negative.
Answer: Positive reviews and feedback can significantly boost your sales by building trust and confidence among potential buyers. On the other hand, negative reviews can deter customers.
Answer: You can encourage customers to leave feedback by following up with them after their purchase. You can send them an email thanking them for their purchase and kindly asking them to leave a review or feedback.
Answer: If you receive negative feedback, it's important to address it professionally and promptly. Respond to the customer, apologize for any issues they had, and offer a solution. This can show potential customers that you care about their experience and are committed to resolving any problems.
Answer: Your account statistics can provide valuable insights into your sales performance. They can help you identify trends, understand customer behavior, and make informed decisions to improve your sales.
Answer: If your account statistics show a decrease in sales, it's important to analyze why this may be happening. There could be several reasons, such as increased competition, negative reviews, or changes in customer behavior. Identifying and addressing the cause can help improve your sales.
Answer: Interpret the data from your account statistics by looking for patterns or trends. For example, if you see a spike in sales at a certain time of day or week, consider focusing your marketing efforts during those times.
Answer: You can improve your product based on the feedback you receive. If multiple customers are complaining about the same issue, it's a clear sign that you need to address that aspect of your product.
Answer: Selling a product in a less competitive category can increase your visibility and chances of being noticed by potential buyers. It also means fewer products you have to compete with for a customer's attention.
Answer: Feedback and reviews greatly influence how potential customers perceive your product. Positive reviews can increase trust and encourage purchases, while negative ones can deter potential customers.
Answer: Account statistics can show you how customers are interacting with your product listing. You can use this data to improve your listing by tweaking your product description, images, or price.
Answer: A new listing can serve as a fresh start if your product has negative reviews. It gives you the opportunity to address the issues raised in the reviews and present a improved product to your customers.
Answer: You can tell if you're selling the right product based on sales, reviews, and feedback. If your product is selling well, has positive reviews, and receives good feedback, it's likely you're selling the right product.
Answer: Look for common themes or issues in your reviews and feedback. This can be an indicator of what needs to be improved in your product. Once these issues are addressed, it can lead to better reviews and increased sales.
Answer: Reviews and feedback are a key factor in Amazon's ranking algorithm. Products with more positive reviews tend to rank higher in search results, which can lead to increased visibility and sales.
Answer: To stand out in a highly competitive product category, you can focus on providing exceptional customer service, collecting positive reviews, optimizing your product listing, and offering competitive pricing.
Answer: Account statistics can provide historical data on your sales trends. By analyzing this data, you can predict future sales patterns and plan your inventory and marketing strategies accordingly.
Answer: To ensure your product remains competitive, regularly review your pricing, keep an eye on your competition, gather and respond to customer feedback, and continuously look for ways to improve your product based on reviews and sales data.