If you’ve been keeping up with the news lately, you know that Amazon is well on it’s way to taking over the world.
But, all jokes aside, Amazon is a great way to start your journey to becoming your own boss. Many folks make a lot of money on Amazon, and with more products on the market now than ever before, there is more opportunity to find a good niche and start selling!
However, it does take lots of research, hard work, and a decent budget to start selling on Amazon. It takes dedication to win at Amazon selling though, many people are discouraged and quit before they even have a chance to take off.
In this article we’ll outline the steps it takes to become an Amazon seller, while expanding on each step to give you a better understanding of the requirements.
In essence, the steps are as follows:
- Find a product to sell on Amazon
- Open an Amazon account
- Choose your fulfillment method
- Create your amazon listing
- Find a manufacturer
- Order and ship your product
- Optimize your listing
- Start driving sales
Without further ado, let’s learn how to sell on Amazon!
1. Find a product to sell on Amazon
First things first, you must find a product to sell! It’s not as easy as it seems though… just try and think of a product that everyone uses but is not widely available on Amazon yet. Then, search for that product on Amazon. Are there at least two pages of results for that product? Try again!
You’ll need to do quite a bit of research regarding products, competitors, and keywords in order to find a winning product.
Good options for beginners are:
- Retail arbitrage (visiting big box stores and buying up discontinued products to resell) is a great way to get your feet wet selling on Amazon. Online arbitrage is the same thing, but from discontinued products online.
- Private label selling is a very scalable way to sell on Amazon where you find a generic product, buy in bulk, and brand it to your own label
- Wholesale means you buy from major brands and resell their products
This guide is tailored specifically for private label selling (because it is the most scalable).
This doesn’t change your first step, though. Start thinking of product ideas and conducting research on Amazon and other online areas.
Use tools like Product Discovery to find a list of options within your budget and sales goals.
2. Open an Amazon account
Once you’ve selected your product and conducted your research, the next step is to open an Amazon account. This may seem pretty straightforward but you’ll need to open a seller account specifically.
You will require the following information to get started:
- Business name and address
- Telephone number
- Credit card/bank information
- Tax information (If you have an LLC, add your EIN. If not, you can use your SSN)
When sales start rolling in, Amazon payments will go directly to your bank every two weeks.
There are two types of account options, individual and professional. Individual seller accounts are free but have some limitations. This is a good option to start with if you’re only selling a few things but only allows you to sell up to 40 items a month.
3. Choose your fulfillment method
Next up is selecting how your products will be fulfilled. You can use either Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) or Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM).
If you select FBA your items must be stored in Amazon’s warehouse so they can pack and ship your products when a customer orders them. Amazon also takes care of customer service and returns with this option, making it very easy to use.
If you select FBM you will list your products on Amazon but handle all aspects of fulfillment yourself. You take on all the responsibility associated with shipping including late and damaged merchandise, which will affect your Amazon rating.
4. Create your amazon listing
Now you need to create your listing.
You simply need to login to Seller Central and start creating the listing. This is where you explain what your product is, what it does, and why customers should buy it.
A lot of private label manufacturers provide a good base for this information, along with product specs like materials, dimensions, and ingredients (if applicable).
You will also want to list any keywords in the product description so that people searching for your product find it either on Amazon or on Google when they search.
Including high quality photography is also important.
5. Find a manufacturer
In our situation, let’s say we’re a private-label seller using FBA fulfillment. Most sellers in this area get their products from Alibaba. This is a great site to begin searching for someone who can supply bulk orders while also creating or sourcing some packaging for the product.
You can check their seller records to see if they are a Verified Supplier. Gold Suppliers are also sought-after in terms of quality assurance.
You can also ask if the seller has experience with Amazon and meeting the requirements of their process.
It is recommended to buy some competitor products from Amazon and from Alibaba to test the quality and then make your selection.
You can also use services like WholesaleFury.com. Sites like these are for group wholesale orders for getting the best prices without having to order too much stock. They use sites like Alibaba for their products, but group together orders to get amazing wholesale discounts. If you don’t see a product you want, you can post one of these group orders yourself, make money for managing the group order, and save on your investment more than you would’ve without WholesaleFury. Putting you a step ahead than anyone not using it! So if you want to start with less stock but want the volume discounts, WholesaleFury is for you!
6. Order and ship your product
Once you have selected a supplier it’s time to order and ship your product!
If you are using FBA fulfillment you can ship your product directly to Amazon, which is super convenient. If you’re using this option you’re going to need the specific FNSKU provided by amazon, box labels and pallet labels, so the warehouse can properly allocate and find your products once someone orders them.
You will also need to let Amazon know when to expect the order by creating an inbound shipment in your seller area.
You can also consider an inspection using someone from Alibaba’s inspection directory, to find someone in the origin country to inspect the goods and make sure they are of the right quality.
If you’re wondering how much to buy, it’s recommended to have about a two month supply of product so you have enough time to gauge how it’s selling and make any adjustments with enough lead time.
7. Optimize your listing
At this point you’ll want to optimize your listing by implementing search engine optimization (SEO) best practices. This will require a bit of research but the goal is to improve the listing to reach the most customers possible.
You can use a program called Keyword Research which will give you a list of the top keywords to include in your listing. It is important that the title also includes top keywords.
8. Start driving sales
This Listing Builder tool provides an efficient and simplified way to create a listing, helping you build each element. Enter your title, product features/bullet points, description, and backend keywords, and you’ll generate an optimization score, telling you how effective your listing is. If it needs some work, the score will tell you and you can keep adding keywords from the displayed list to increase your score.
When your listing is optimized, you can update it in Seller Central!
You’ve completed all the necessary steps to becoming an Amazon seller! Now you can start promoting your products online and watch the sales roll in.
You can run ad campaigns or offer product giveaways using Influencers or your own social media accounts, if they are large enough.
You could also consider pursuing viral marketing like unique YouTube videos, or sponsoring a YouTube video of someone who is popular in the same space as your product.
Ideally, your ranking will go up on Amazon’s search results. Both sales and rank influence each other on Amazon. As sales increase, your organic rank will also increase. This helps your visibility and will drive more sales, which increases your rank.