Whether you own wholesale products or you have a small business and are looking for an e-commerce site to bring in some extra cash, Amazon is a great place to sell your product. In 2017 alone, there were more than 300,000 third party sellers that began selling on Amazon.
Making money online is already an intimidating process and learning a whole new way to do it can be overwhelming. I wanted to share with you how you can become an Amazon seller and everything you need to know that goes into it.
After reading this guide, you’ll be able to easily set up an Amazon Sellers account and start posting your products for the consumers to purchase. Let’s talk a bit more on why you may want to become an Amazon seller in the first place.
There are a lot of e-commerce sites to choose from, so why go with Amazon? For starters, Amazon has an incredibly large customer base that will be available to you. They also have a ton of business management tools and distribution tactics that help sellers sell more products than what they could before using Amazon.
One of the biggest pros for choosing Amazon over other e-commerce sites is that you don’t even need to have a product to sell. If you have a service like food delivery or a home cleaning company, you’ll be able to use the Amazon Home Services area of the website to gain clients.
While all this information sounds great, you may want to see proof that Amazon will be worth your time, money, and effort. Does the website actually have the potential to bring in that many customers? How much money does the average seller make? Let’s talk a little bit about the numbers game.
Out of every single website in the world, Amazon takes the top spot for online retailer. In 2018 alone, they made $232.9 billion in revenue and their net income rose by nearly 31%. You’ll like to hear that 50% of those sales came from third-party sellers like you! Now that’s a lot of money!
There are 12 different Amazon marketplaces around the world. This helps your product grow and expand all around the globe, thanks to Amazon’s wide customer range. The countries that have marketplaces at the time of writing this article are the following:
|The United States||Canada|
|The United Kingdom||France|
Across all of these marketplaces, there are over 5 million sellers that have listed nearly 2 million products for sale. The places with the highest number of third party sellers reside in China and they share around 25% of the total marketplace value.
If you use Amazon’s fulfillment center, which we’ll talk more about later, they ship worldwide. Another great thing that could benefit you is the fact that the company has lent over $3 billion to smaller companies (to help top up or increase their inventory on Amazon)!
What you sell makes a big difference on how much you can make using this popular e-commerce site. The top spot goes to those who sell electronics, followed by clothing, shoes, and jewelry. If you sell home and kitchen products or health products, you’ll be taking the third and fourth place in terms of popularity ranking.
There is on average around 3,000 new sellers that join the website everyday. Nearly half a million have already joined this year in America, followed by India and then the United Kingdom.
All of these statistics can be exciting, but how does one go about selling on Amazon?
A Step-By-Step Guide To Selling On Amazon
There are plenty of sources available where you can learn how to sell your products or services on Amazon, but they can be confusing and leave you feeling lost. This happened to me and is the reason why I wanted to share with you a step-by-step guide on how to sell on Amazon. Let’s get into it, starting with the first of five steps.
Step 1: Signing Up For An Account & Choose A Category
You can’t just start selling on Amazon using the standard account used for buying products. You have to
create an Amazon Seller account. When you do so, you also have to provide information about your business, read the policies provided, and choose a specific category to help your product sell.
When it comes to choosing a category, there are three to choose from. I wanted to break these down a bit more so you can easily find which category your business belongs in.
- Amazon Individual Seller – This category is for small businesses that expect to sell less than 40 items a month. This is the cheapest option, costing $0.99 per transaction, with a few additional small fees.
- Amazon Pro Seller – This is for businesses that plan to sell over 40 items in a month. You have to pay a subscription fee of $39.99 a month, plus the same additional small fees that the Individual Seller category has.
- Amazon Vendor – If you consider yourself a wholesaler, you can sign up for the Amazon Vendor category. Amazon will take care of all of the product marketing, fulfillment, shipping, and stock. This is the most expensive category, but you also get the most out of it and these features can be important if you’re selling a lot of product.
It’s important to note that depending on what product you’re selling on Amazon, it may need approval to be sold. Some products are only allowed to be sold on Amazon Pro Seller accounts.
If you sell one of the following items, you’ll need to make sure you sign up for the Pro category. The items listed below are not all of the ones that need approval, but you can find that list in its entirety here.
- Laser pointers
- Electric scooters
It’s also important to note that some products are restricted from being sold on Amazon. This includes very specific items such as prescriptions and you can find a detailed list of those items that are restricted here.
Now that you’ve chosen a category, it’s time to fill out the information when you’re creating your account. I’ve broken down what information you’ll need to include to prevent any confusion:
- Your business name is the name that customers will see when they view any product of yours.
A legal name and address should be your business entity that you’ve registered with the same address it was registered with.
- Your contact information is what will be used if Amazon needs to send you any information about orders. Customers will also use this contact information to ask questions or reach out for any reason. This can be the same information for both the customers and Amazon, or separate information for each.
- You’ll need to fill out an area that talks about where the products ship from. This won’t affect the shipping time or cost for the customers; it just helps some buyers choose between one product over another.
- The last two things you’ll need to fill out are your bank account information and shipping options you’d like to offer. You will receive two payments a month from Amazon, one every 14 days. You can have it directly deposited into your business bank account when payment is ready.
When it comes to shipping options, you need to select where you’d like to ship to and choose if you’d like to have the option for customers to pay extra for expedited shipping.
The last part of setting up your account and choosing a category is setting up your seller profile. You can’t do this until your account is considered “active” through Amazon. It’s important to set up your seller profile for customers to check out and look for any information they may be trying to find.
You don’t have to fill it out completely at first, but there are a few sections that are more important than the others and should be filled out first.
- The section “About Seller” is the first one you want to fill out. This is a little “about me” section for customers to learn about your business, how it started, what you believe in, along with any goals or things you want to customers or clients to know about your brand.
- Your returns and refund policy section is another important one to have filled in right away. This area is where you let customers know where they can return items if needed, along with an address, and how long it will take for them to receive a refund. It’s important for you as a seller to know that Amazon requires a minimum of 30 days to return a product, but you can extend that longer if you’d like.
- Thirdly, your logo. It will be one of the first things customers see pertaining to your business. This is where you can make an impression without it looking like you’re trying to. You have to make sure that the logo doesn’t have a URL to your businesses website and it must be 120 by 30 pixels for sizing.
Step 2: Listing Your Products
Now it’s time to list your product(s). It can be a bit confusing at first, but eventually you’ll be able to list products without even having to think about it! You’ve already started an account, which is the first step!
You can either sell products individually or in large batches, depending on the category you choose. Things that come in a variety of different colors or sizes like clothes, shoes, or phone cases are considered to be single listings.
Moreover, the products you want to sell on Amazon will fall into one of two categories:
1. Products that are already listed. The nice thing about selling products that are on Amazon already is the fact that you can use things like stock images and you don’t have to write your own description.
The only bits you’ll actually have to change are how many products you’re selling, the current condition of the products, and your shipping areas and availability. To set yourself apart from others that are selling the same thing, you can offer things like free shipping, expedited shipping, and/or lower prices.
2. List a completely new product on Amazon. For this, go to your dashboard and select “list a new product”. Fill out information such as the price, shipping options, and quantity you have for sale.
You must add items individually if you’re selling less than 50 items. If you’re selling more than 50 items, list them by adding in the UPC code that is on the packing.
Step 3: Keeping Track Of Inventory
So, now you not only have an account, but you have listings that are live on Amazon; congrats! It’s important to keep track and manage your inventory properly to make sure you have enough to sell and that you’re selling enough product to make revenue.
This step may not be the first, but it is the most important. Having product that is mismanaged, leading you to tell potential customers that it is out of stock is the easiest way to lose money on e-commerce sites. Amazon has built-in tools on the Seller Central Dashboard where you can adjust and keep track of your inventory.
Step 4: Selling The Product
Once you have your product listed and you’ve had customers place their orders, it’s time to get the product from point A to point B. To do this, you have two choices on how you’d like to go about fulfilling and shipping orders.
You can fulfill the order yourself, but if you choose to go this route, keep in mind that you are responsible for everything. This includes inventory, packaging the product, labelling the post, and shipping the product to the customer. This can be a lot of work if you have tons of sales coming in and a small team, which is why there is a second option.
You can have Amazon fulfill the orders for you. They take care of everything listed above, including the packaging and labelling tasks. This does cost you a monthly fee but is easily worth it if you’re selling a lot!
Step 5: Getting Paid & Paying Fees
Making money is probably one of the top reasons you’re wanting to sell on Amazon in the first place. There are fees that will come out of the revenue that you make every two weeks. When this happens, you’ll be notified via email that you have a payment from Amazon.
Below are a handful of the fees you will experience as a seller on Amazon. Don’t let this list overwhelm you, but do consider if all of these fees are worth it if you’re a smaller business.
- Monthly seller fee is $39.99 a month if you have a Pro account or $0.99 per sold item if you have an individual account. Again, if you sell more than 40 items per month, consider going with a Pro account.
- Referral fees can change depending on the product, but you can expect to pay less that 15% of your product’s total listed price.
- Return processing fee is something Amazon will charge sellers if a customer requests to return a product.
- Stock removal fees are for FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) sellers who want to get rid of their unsold stock and want Amazon to do the work for them.
- Inventory placement fees is another fee for FBA sellers. This gives the seller more control over shipping matters via fulfillment centers.
- FBA export fees may be added to products that are shipped internationally.
- Monthly storage inventory fees are charged to those who choose to use Amazon warehouses to store their product. As you can tell by the name, this is a monthly fee.
- Pick and pack fees vary depending on the size of the item (the smaller the item, the smaller the fee); this can be charged if you have Amazon ship you product and handle any customer service issues.
There you have it! In just five simple steps, you’ll be able to set up your Amazon Sellers account, keep track of inventory and get paid! It’s important to follow these steps and pay attention to any competitors you may have on the e-commerce site. There are plenty of things you can do to stand out, such as lowering your price or having a longer return policy.
Hopefully this guide helps you showcase your product or service to the millions of people that visit Amazon. With it being the largest e-commerce site in the world, you’ll likely be successful selling your products and making some extra money! Good luck!