Becoming an Amazon Seller: A Guide for First Timers
Amazon is one of the single most powerful and authoritative ecommerce platforms on the planet. Entrepreneurs can literally make millions just by learning to leverage the digital storefront correctly and efficiently. Yet winning the ecommerce game is anything but easy. If you want to make this your core business, it takes loads of education and dedication.
For an entrepreneur, business owner, or anyone else who is looking to take advantage of the rewards that can be reaped from Amazon’s marketplace, there must be an intimate understanding of the best practices involved with setting up, sending potential buyers to product pages, and gaining conversions. But before that knowledge can be acquired and applied, a solid foundation is the foothold needed for a business to be successful selling products on Amazon.
The first thing you need to do on Amazon is select a category. You can either choose to “Sell as an Individual” which is typically only recommended if you plan to sell 40 items or less per month as this costs $0.99 per sale. Most business will fall into the “Sell as a Professional” category. Choosing this option will require Amazon to charge you a $39.99 per month subscription fee which will ultimately be much more cost effective.
Next up is to establish your seller account. Here you will enter information such as:
- Business Name — The name visible to customers in Amazon’s marketplace
- Legal Name and Address — If your company is registered, be sure to use the exact name and address you have already registered with
- Contact Information — Amazon will use this to contact you with order notifications, service updates and more. Customers will also use this info to contact you with questions about their orders.
- “Ship From” Location — This will be listed with your product information but does not affect the shipping time frame or cost for buyers
- Bank Information — Amazon will provide payments for products every 14 days directly to your business bank account
- Shipping Options — Here you can select where you are willing to ship to as well as if you will offer expedited shipping
Finally, you will need to set up your seller profile. This is where your customers will become familiarized with your company, shipping and return policies, customer feedback, and so forth. You will want to fill out:
- About Seller — This is all about your business. Much the like “About Us” section of a website, this will tell your company story, philosophy, and any other info you would like to provide.
- Seller Logo — An ever important part of branding. Logos must be 120×30 and cannot contain a URL or any other references to your website.
- Return and Refund Policies — Information for customers on how to ship items back and refund timeframes. Be aware that Amazon requires sellers to accept returns for at least 30 days.
Now that your account is active and filled out, it’s time to list and sell your products.
Selling on Amazon
To begin listing and selling items, you will first need to tell Amazon if you are selling products already listed on Amazon or something entirely new. If you select products that are already listed, you can utilize stock images and descriptions that exist on the site, although, a more personal touch is recommended. If what you are selling does not currently exist on the storefront, you will need to provide additional information such as search terms, images, descriptions, SKUs, and related details.
If you are looking to only sell a handful of products, they can be added using the Seller Central Add a Product tool. If you are adding multiple products that are not listed on Amazon, however, you will want to download the Inventory File Excel template for your product category. You can then fill in and upload all of the necessary details.
Once your products have been uploaded, you can utilize Seller Central to monitor incoming orders and performance metrics, update inventory, and many other things. If you are selling a product that already exists on the site, it is wise to optimize your listing in order to beat out the competition.
The tricky part about selling products that other sellers already offer is that Amazon will make you compete for the “Buy Box”, which is where customers can add items to their carts. Only one seller will be given the buy box while others will be listed under “More Buying Options”. Amazon has not released the criteria for obtaining this top slot, however, be sure to optimize things like price, availability, customer service stats, reviews, and more for the best chances of winning this position.
Once an order has been placed, you have two options of how to get the product to the customer. The first is to go with Fulfillment by Amazon in which the company will handle packaging and shipping for you. The rates for this are dependent on the category your product falls in. The alternative is Seller Self-Shipping which will require you to be responsible for managing inventory levels, packaging, labeling, and shipping.
All that’s left to do now is collect your cash. Congratulations, Amazon Seller.
There are a plethora of benefits available to those who utilize the platform correctly and learn to optimize their listings and operations. Businesses could use this as a way to supplement income and expand their offerings, or use it as a business within itself. It all comes down to the goals you are trying to achieve, and how good you get at drawing attention to your digital storefront.
Need help with optimizing your Amazon listing and gaining more conversions? Call us at 760–262–4252 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and can help turn you into an Amazon authority.
Originally published at www.fanaticsmedia.com on April 13, 2016.