How to Sell on Amazon for Beginners

On my site The Private Label Playbook, not only do I encourage Amazon private label sales, but I also like to teach how to sell on Amazon for beginners. I didn’t get my start in private label. I started with selling books, then retail arbitrage, online arbitrage, and finally private label.

Here’s some of the different sales methods for how to sell on Amazon for beginners:

  • Used books. I got started with books (and so did Amazon). What’s fun is there’s no one way to sell books on Amazon. You can do like I did, and buy wholesale book lots at estate sales and closed bookstores. You could get a scanner app for your phone and scan books at used book stores looking for profitable books. Or you could flip textbooks by buying them cheap on Ebay (or even Amazon) and selling them Amazon Prime. This method is one of the easiest to do since most people have a few used books in their own homes they could sell, and books are cheap to buy used (I used to buy them for a quarter or less in bulk).
  • Retail arbitrage. RA is the sales method of going to department stores or discount stores and looking for low-priced items which sell for more on Amazon. Think of it like a treasure hunt! I did a little bit of RA, but it never really stuck with me as it felt like a lot of work. But there are those that swear by it.
  • Online arbitrage. OA is very similar to RA as it requires you to find low-priced items on one platform to sell on another. I used to do this with board games and books (still do sometimes). It’s a little less work than RA, since you can do it from the comfort of your own home.
  • Wholesaling. Whenever you buy a lot of products in bulk — especially at a deep discount — to sell on another platform, this is wholesaling. Wholesalers work a lot like those who do arbitrage, as they’re not creating their own product listings. However, if you’ve got the cash to get started, wholesaling can be a lot easier than online arbitrage or retail arbitrage since you’re buying a whole lot of products all at once.
  • Private label. Finally, there’s my favorite method of selling on Amazon. Private label is the process of research in demand product categories, determining whether or not there’s a hole in that product’s demand, and then filling the demand by sourcing products overseas. The product will carry your own label and you will create your own product listing. This is the method I cover in The Private Label Playbook.

How to Sell on Amazon for Beginners:

No matter what you’re selling, the process is the same.

  1. Research products. A large portion of your time will be devoted to research. Of course, the Private Label Playbook outlines the methods private label sellers use for finding products to sell through research with programs like Jungle Scout. But if you’re going to do a different method of sales, I recommend using a program called Keepa. Keepa actually inserts a graph into each Amazon listing that lets you see the average best-seller ranking, average sales price, number of listings (used or new), whether or not Amazon sells it, and so much more. And the damn thing is FREE. Can’t beat that.
  2. Source products. Once you know what products you plan on selling, start sourcing. If you’re a wholesaler or private label seller, you can use Alibaba or Aliexpress for this. If you source books, you can check Craigslist or Ebay to buy books in bulk. For arbitrage and online arbitrage, it’s anywhere you can find a good deal.
  3. Send products to Amazon. When I started writing this article, I knew that if I really wanted to teach how to sell on Amazon for beginners that I’d have to make sure they avoid one of the big mistakes I made starting out: don’t merchant fulfill your orders if you don’t absolutely have to. Use Amazon’s fulfillment centers as part of their Fulfilled-by-Amazon program (FBA). They inventory, store, pick, pack, ship, and handle customer service for you. All you do is pick up a check and make sure you have enough inventory.
  4. Advertise and promote. Some products, like those you’d buy doing arbitrage or wholesale, will sell themselves. But if you’re doing your own products, you’ll have to advertise and market those. I cover the steps on how to do that in The Private Label Playbook.

Hopefully, this guide will at least get you excited at the prospect of starting your own business earning a passive income with Amazon. If you have any more questions about how to sell on Amazon for beginners, please leave a comment below.

Also, be sure to read the free report How to Find Profitable Products on Alibaba to Sell on Amazon, which will help you get an idea of how private label works.

Good luck!