How To Sell on Amazon for Newbies: Step-by-Step Amazon FBA Tutorial
How to Sell On Amazon: Risk-Free, Step-by-Step Tutorial for Beginners
I’m sure you’ve heard by now:
- Half of every dollar spent online is spent on Amazon.
- Amazon continues to grow at an exponential rate. The company’s revenue for the twelve months ending September 30, 2018 was $220.957 billions, a 37.11% increase from the previous year.
- 19 percent of Amazon professional merchants brought in more than $1 million in sales
- Over 200,000 third-party sellers generated over $100,000 in revenue in 2018
Amazon’s revenue growth exceeds the growth of new Amazon sellers. This means that there is more money available to each seller.
Since you are reading this, you are probably very interested in learning more about the exciting opportunities of selling on Amazon, which is the #1 online marketplace (in fact, it is the biggest business opportunity of our time).
This tutorial will cover the Amazon platform, as well as some ways in which you can make money on Amazon. Here is what you will learn in this tutorial:
- What to look for on Amazon when evaluating products
- 3 strategies to find free products for re-selling on Amazon
- A quick overview of how to use the free Amazon Seller app to source products
- The nitty-gritty of listing and shipping your first items to Amazon
By the end, you’ll know what you need to do to start selling this week. What are you waiting for?
Let’s get started.
A few DISCLAIMERS:
- This is a LONG Post 🙂
- This post is written for NEW SELLERS
- This post covers strategies that are Risk-Free or Low-Cost (if you are looking for a private label tutorial, this will not help; but if you are a beginner, we recommend you read it either way)
Amazon Platform Overview: Seeing the Amazon platform Through the Eyes of a Seller
Listing products for sale on Amazon is so user-friendly that anyone can do it. Amazon collects a reasonable fee for each item sold. However, that’s a small price to pay for entering the world’s largest online marketplace, where millions of customers have access to your product(s).
Let’s break this down into steps. First, you’ll want to learn how the Amazon platform works and what elements to pay attention to. This will help you make smart business decisions.
Imagine that I’m interested in “Kids Card Games” and I decide to look at the product listing for ‘Hoyle’s 4 in 1 Card Game’.
The product listing for this particular item might look something like this:
There are a few important factors you need to consider when checking out a product listing and we’ll explain them below.
The Third-Party Amazon Seller
The seller in this case is ‘Crawford’s Corner’ and is identified below the words ‘In Stock’. ‘Crawford’s Corner’ is a third party seller on Amazon. When you decide to start selling on Amazon, you’ll get to choose your own unique seller name, and you will be considered a third-party seller too.
Amazon Tip: Pay careful attention to how many sellers are selling the same product on Amazon. Why? Because the greater the number of sellers, the more competitive the product is.
For example, if a certain phone case is selling at the rate of 10 units a month, and there are 10 sellers for that particular product listing, then no seller is going to make much $ (not many customers are purchasing that phone case, and there is an abundance of sellers to choose from).
However, if a certain phone case is selling at the rate of 1,000 units a month, and there are 30 sellers offering that phone case, then each seller can expect greater sales and more revenue by offering that product– even though there are more sellers than in our previous example. For now, just remember to notice the number of sellers. The fewer, the better.
A Quick Tutorial on the Amazon Buy-Box
In our example of the 4-in-1 Fun Pack, Crawford’s Corner has the Buy Box. This means that when a buyer clicks on the ‘Add to Cart’ or ‘Buy Now’ Button for the 4-In-1 Fun Pack, Crawford’s Corner will be the seller.
Having the Buy Box is desirable for a seller. Why exactly?
Here are some valuable points to keep in mind regarding the Buy Box:
- Only one Seller can have/hold the Buy Box at any point in time
- An estimated 80% of all product sales come from the Buy Box. (This is the main reason why having the Buy Box is so desirable).
- The Buy Box can rotate among Sellers. (This rotation is governed by an algorithm that Amazon uses which considers seller metrics, price and other criteria. These details are not crucial at this stage, so let’s move on).
Amazon Tip: Remember that when selling on Amazon, holding the Buy Box is very desirable and means more sales for a Seller.
Most of the time, an FBA seller has a higher chance of holding the Buy Box. The game card example above is a bit unique because an MF seller is holding the buy box. Though it happens sometimes, it is rather rare.
Let’s continue with our review of the product listing.
Other Amazon Sellers
In the picture above and further below the Buy Box, there is another box entitled ‘Other Sellers on Amazon’. In this earlier picture, this product is also being sold by three (3) other sellers. However, popular products can have dozens of Sellers.
If there are more Sellers offering the same product for the same price, you can click on the link below the “Other Sellers on Amazon” box to view all of them.
Here is one example below of what the “Other Sellers” page will look like. This page is simply a list of all the sellers who are selling a particular product, starting with the cheapest price and moving toward the more expensive (this is how Amazon lists the competitors).
Fulfillment Options for Amazon Sellers
Another important factor to consider involves the fulfillment method for each product ordered.
In our earlier example of the 4-in-1 Fun Pack, this product is Fulfilled by the Merchant. This means that when a buyer places an order, the product will ship directly from the Merchant to the Buyer. The Merchant is responsible for properly packaging and mailing the product to the Buyer. No Amazon Distribution Center is involved. In this situation, the Product is Merchant-Fulfilled, and it is referred to as ‘MF’ in seller circles.
Another option is to have Amazon fulfill the purchase for third party sellers, such as Crawford’s Corner. This option is known as Fulfillment By Amazon or FBA.
FBA may save the Seller valuable time on shipping and handling, in exchange for an additional fee which is paid to Amazon. In the ‘Other Sellers’ image above, the seller appearing at the bottom of the list is an FBA seller. Next to this last seller, you will notice the Prime logo below the price. This is how you can identify that a third party seller is using FBA.
Another important factor to consider for each product is the sales rank.
If you find yourself on a product page, scroll down to the section entitled ‘Product Details’ (or ‘Product Information’) in order to find the product’s sales rank.
The sales rank is a numerical value that reveals the popularity of a product. This # indicates how well the product sells in relation to the other products within the same category. A product with the rank of 1 is the ‘Best-Seller’ in that particular category (and sells the most units in the category).
In our example above, this particular item is ranked as the 1,295th product in the Sports & Outdoors category. This means there are 1,294 products in the Main ‘Sports & Outdoors’ category that rank higher than this one because they sell more units. Also, notice the different categories each with different rankings. ‘Sports and Outdoors’ constitutes what is called the Main Category. Other categories listed below the Main Category are sub-categories.
Referring back to our ‘Product Details’ example, notice that the same item is also ranked as the 6th item in the “Playing Cards” sub-category. However, we are NOT interested in a product’s rank in a sub-category. We are only interested in its rank in the Main Category.
Amazon Tip: When you become an Amazon Seller and find yourself making purchasing decisions involving what products to buy in order to re-sell on Amazon, consider only the rank of a product within its Main Category.
Note that the lower the sales rank (also referred to as BSR in seller circles), the more units the product is selling in comparison to other products within the same category. When we purchase products to re-sell on Amazon, we always look for items ranked toward the lower side of the numerical spectrum and closer to the # 1 rank. Usually, we are are most interested in products that have a rank of 150,000 or lower in most categories (there are some exceptions to this rule, but this tends to be a good rule of thumb starting out).
Given the game’s rank, this product is selling approximately 2,000 units a day.
The last thing you want to note is that the sales rank is a dynamic number and is subject to change. Depending on the product, this rank may even change up to a few times per day.
Amazon Product Example #2: Brief Analysis
Let’s take a look at another product and review some of the important factors we’ve been discussing:
Notice the following highlighted by the arrows above:
- The ‘5 Second Rule’ Game Product above has 24 used and new sellers.
- Amazon.com is holding the Buy-Box
- According to the image below, the sales rank for this Product is # 105 in the Toys & Games Main Category
- According to the sales rank, this product is likely generating approximately 8,600 sales per month (don’t worry about sales estimates yet)
By viewing any product listing on Amazon, you can easily discern whether the product is popular or not (by reviewing the product’s sales rank). You can also identify what your competition will be like if you decide to sell that same product on Amazon (by reviewing the number of sellers on the listing).
At this point, you may be asking yourself, ‘But where would I find an item like this one to re-sell on Amazon? And even if I had an item for sale, how would I make it available for purchase on the Amazon platform?’ These are great questions. Let’s cover them one by one.
In the next section of this tutorial, we will be addressing the following topics:
- How do I find products to sell?
- How do I start selling on Amazon?
How To Find Product To Sell on Amazon?
In order to sell products, make money, and run a successful ecommerce business, you will first need to purchase products at a price that is lower than the price at which you will sell them. You need to buy low and sell higher. This is basic economics 101.
Third-party Amazon sellers use various strategies to find and source products that they may then re-sell on Amazon at higher, profitable prices.
First, let’s unpack the most popular sourcing strategies (or sourcing models) used by Amazon sellers. And then secondly, we will take a look at some free and paid strategies to get you started on your Amazon journey.
1. Flipping Products – or Arbitrage: This sourcing strategy involves finding a product in one location (either locally or online) and selling it in another location (in our case, Amazon or eBay) and at a profit.
For example, you might find an item in your local Walmart (perhaps a clearance item) that is selling on Amazon for a much higher price. Or, you might find a regional item in your city that is not available in other areas, and yet which consumers are still interested in purchasing.
As an Amazon third-party seller, you may want to make this hard-to-find item available to Amazon shoppers around the country. You (and Amazon) can bridge the gap and buyers may be willing to pay a premium for your service of making this product available to them in their particular area.
Here is one example below of an arbitrage item, specifically an used book:
2. Consignment: This strategy allows you to position other people’s items for sale online (whether on Amazon or eBay). Usually, the product owner makes an arrangement with you as the Seller to sell his/her product for an agreed-upon percentage of the sale proceeds.
For example, you might have a friend who has boxes of books and needs to get rid of them. Offer to sell some of these items for them for a percentage of the profits.
Or local charities receive large quantities of new and used donated items. And these charities rarely have employees who are experienced or gifted in online sales. This is where you can come in, and be their Amazon selling partner in the context of a Consignment strategy. You could make an offer to sell some of their inventory for a certain commission. This works best for higher-priced items, but it may also work well with other items as well.
3. Wholesaling: This strategy involves buying goods in bulk from a manufacturer or distributor, and then selling them directly to consumers.
As a new seller, it may be difficult to secure this kind of relationship with a big distributor. However, new sellers may be able to secure wholesale agreements from small businesses in their area by buying a product by case.
Don’t think that buying wholesale has to be a large investment. While most companies require an initial investment of $250, small companies allow you to start with even less than that. For instance, one wholesale account I have started allowed us to buy only 6 units for a whooping total of $31.5. It was enough to test the item and determine that we can make money with the product.
Most small business owners need help selling on Amazon and they don’t have the time to learn how to do it (we know this because many small businesses owners have candidly shared this truth with us). So, this allows you to help your own community by selling locally-sourced items. It’s a win-win for everyone.
4. Private Label: This strategy involves the selling of a product manufactured by another company, but labeled with your own company information.
When visiting large retail stores, you may notice that many of these stores have their own unique brands.
For example, Walmart has its own grocery brand called ‘Great Value’. Under this brand, Walmart sells many different product types, including canned goods, juices, cereal bars, pasta, and more.
Walmart doesn’t actually have a factory making these items. Instead, Walmart first pinpoints a reputable food producer that can make the desired product. Then, Walmart puts their label on that product, and sells it under their brand, which in our example, is ‘Great Value’.
The product below is one example of a private label item.
This Private Label strategy is also available to smaller sellers like you and I. Many factories and manufacturers are willing to put another company’s label on their own items, as long as the seller orders a larger quantity of these items.
WHERE TO FIND YOUR FIRST ITEMS TO SELL ON Amazon?
Now that you’re aware of the various sourcing strategies available to Amazon sellers, let’s unpack some specific tips to get you started on your quest for finding items that are profitable for resale.
In this next section, our focus is on low-risk strategies.
If you have a strong work ethic and more time than money, then the following tips may be a good fit for you. Most of these tips involve finding free products. However, you will need to hustle.
We’ll also take a look at strategies that require startup a little bit of capital, even if that startup capital is as low as $100.
If money is tight and you have little or none to spend on building up your product inventory for resale on Amazon, don’t worry. You’re not out of luck!
Inform family members, friends, and those in your circle, that you know how to sell items online, and that you’re looking for products to help you do so. (And don’t worry. You won’t be lying. By the end of this tutorial you will know how to sell items online!).
You may have opportunity to purchase these items at a very reasonable price, or some items may simply be given to you free of charge. I recommend that you work out a deal to sell the items and split profits after rather than paying upfront.
Once your friends and family are aware that you sell online, you are more likely to experience requests and opportunities to sell some of their lesser-used or even new items on Amazon. Over the years, I’ve had several people approach and ask me to sell their items. These diverse products have included books and even new electronics.
You may also have people who reach out and let you know they have an attic or a garage full of stuff. Go through it and make a deal with them!
As mentioned previously, you may want to seek out a local charity and offer to help them sell some of their donations for an agreed-upon compensation fee. As you look for an organization to partner with, you will likely get many ‘No Thank You’ responses. However, don’t give up. Keep pressing on until you find a person/organization that is willing to let you sell their items on consignment.
Tips To Partner With a Non-profit?
In the event that a local charity or a non-profit organization agrees to partner with you, share with them your strategy: you will ask for donations on behalf of the charity/non-profit and then sell those items online, again, on behalf of the charity. This must be done in a moral and open manner and with full disclosure (i.e. via a flyer, handout etc) to all parties involved, including the donors.
As an example of this kind of scenario, let’s say that, at your invitation to donate, an individual donates a high-quality flashlight to the charity with which you have an agreement. You receive the flashlight on behalf of the charity, and proceed to sell it online. The flashlight quickly sells for $20 profit (after all Amazon fees), and your agreed-upon compensation fee with the Charity is 50%. In this case and for the one item sold, you have made $10 for the Charity, and you have earned $10 for your services provided.
You may also approach libraries or thrift stores in a similar manner and inform them that you represent Charity X and that charitable donations are welcome and appreciated.
You can also post free ads on Craigslist and Facebook, announcing that you accept donations on behalf of Charity X. Identify what kinds or categories of donations are most beneficial for the Charity given resale factors and mention these kinds of categories when inviting/requesting donations.
Once you have received a number of desirable donations, check the price of each item (or a similar item that most closely resembles it) on Amazon to determine the profit potential of each product. We’ll talk more about this later.
Make sure to diligently document all your expenses, including driving/fuel costs and Amazon fees. Also log the $ and % that goes to you and the $ and % that goes to the Charity for each item according to your arrangement. It might be a good idea to log the hours worked and the dates on which work was accomplished. This documentation aspect is important, so keep accurate records and be prepared to provide these records to the Charity/Non-Profit Organization which which you are partnering.
In this kind of a partnership, I would suggest a 50/50 split of the money earned, since you are doing the majority of the work.
In the event that the charity/non-profit organization has access to an email list of local donors (which is usually the case), then invite the organization to email their supporters requesting donations on your behalf. This is another way to collect items for resale. Then, as items are donated, proceed to do the work of selling these products, while keeping track of all expenses, and sharing the profit with the charity/non-profit organization.
Free Local Products
Another method of acquiring items is through scouring local websites such as Craigslist or Freecycle. Here, you may find several items with good potential for resale. I have personally acquired many boxes of books from Craigslist for free over the years.
Why would a stranger give away items for free? They can have all kinds of reasons for this. Perhaps the individual is moving. Or perhaps the owner has been unable to sell certain items during a recent garage sale, and wants to free up some space in the house. Whatever the case, opportunities to find something being given away for free are many.
For example, at the time of writing this tutorial, I did a quick search on Craiglist for books in my area. The following is one of the search results. You may find these kinds of opportunities encouraging and surprising!
I once met an individual who build his business initially by re-selling free furniture he found on Craiglist. He would get the piece(s) of furniture and flip it for profit sometimes as quickly as within a few days.
So, be creative! There are all kinds of items you can find for free on Craigslist.
Partner with Local Businesses
After reviewing this tutorial, you will understand the steps needed to set up an Amazon account and to position items available for sale on Amazon (or even eBay). And you will be able to offer your help to local businesses (or you can always use the training we provide in our flagship course, the Proven Amazon Course, to cut months or years off your growth curve and avoid thousands of dollars worth of mistakes).
This approach involves identifying a local business that has unique items for sale and that is open to the potential of selling some items online. In this context, you would present an honest and compelling case for the ‘why’ of partnering with an online retail specialist such as yourself.
If hired, your role would involve setting up and managing their Amazon account for them in exchange for a small commission. When you find such a partner, do not attempt to list all of their inventory online at once. Instead, choose 5-10 items that you believe will do well in the Amazon space, in part because other similar items are selling well. Research other similar products on Amazon when making these decisions, comparisons and assessments.
Amazon Tip: Many brick-and-mortar businesses carry products that are last year’s models. These products do not sell well in their store, but they may be hot sellers online if interested Amazon shoppers are unable to find them in their area.
If you find a local business willing to partner with you, always remember to check their back room and/or clearance items for products of interest.
When partnering with a local business, your primary task will be to go through the available items, pick the hottest products, and then sell them online. Only after the items sell you split the profits with your local business partner. In our community, we teach these types of creative partnerships all the time.
I hope these ideas are helping you see that if you are willing to hustle, there are many ways to get free products. When desirable products cost you little or nothing to acquire, your potential for profit is high (and conducive toward successful business) :).
Because the risk is low, we also recommend the following method, which is low-cost and low-risk. It is the main paid sourcing strategy that we most recommend to new sellers: retail arbitrage (or flipping online items found locally). Let’s go deeper.
Retail Arbitrage: Low-Cost Sourcing Strategy
Many students in our community are making a good income flipping local products online.
Armed with only a smartphone, you can find profitable items at many retail stores in your area. When first starting out, it may take more time to pinpoint hot and profitable products. However, if you are committed to diligently honing your craft and learning what’s hot and what’s not, you can do well in this space.
And if you want to get there faster and easier with less strain, then you should consider our newbie-friendly course, Amazon Selling 101. It is a step-by-step course that will cover the basic steps you need to take to build a scalable Amazon business focused on retail arbitrage.
Let me prove to you that this arbitrage model actually works.
Here is a brief description of a current listing on Amazon. This item is a collection of 6 African-American dolls. It’s sales rank is #56,634 in the Toys & Games Category, which means it is selling approximately 84 units per month (by the time you are reading this, the data on this item might have changed–remember, Amazon is a dynamic platform).
Guess where you can find these Fashion Dolls? How much do you think they cost? I’ll let you in on the secret. They cost $1 each and you can find them at almost any Dollar Store location.
So, this means that the total product cost is $6 plus tax. When you send this item to Amazon, you would also have to make sure all these dolls stay together. For this reason, you would put them into a poly bag (which you can purchase for very little). Let’s assume the total cost for this product is $7.
After all Amazon fees, you can expect to make about $8-9 per unit once the item sells.
As you look at items in your local retail store, and consider them for resale on Amazon, you have to options for how to use your smartphone to find profitable products
- Scan the product barcode
- Type the product name into the Amazon Seller App (a free app available to everyone who sets up an Amazon seller account–more on that later).
Below is one of the images that popped up when I typed “fashion dolls” on the Amazon Seller App.
In the image above, you can see the product’s sales rank, which is #56,634 in the Toys category. You can also see the lowest available price, which is $31.99.
The Amazon Seller App is also a great and helpful tool because it reveals whether you are eligible to sell an item or not. As a new seller, many brands and product types will be restricted for you. So, make sure to check your selling eligibility before you purchase any arbitrage items. The Amazon Seller App is ready to help you with this (again, the app is free to use once you set up your Amazon account).
The Amazon Seller App also helps you calculate the profit you can make on a product. With the App open on your smartphone, simply tap on the little arrow (see red arrow in the image below) next to the lowest price and you will see the following screen (on the right of the image below):
Given the lowest price, the Amazon Seller App can determine your cost to ship the product to an Amazon warehouse, since you would likely want to sell your products through FBA.
You can also enter the cost of purchase in order to get a helpful idea of what your profit will be. This does not factor in the cost for any boxes or shipping supplies that you may need to purchase in order to ship your items to Amazon. However, these expenses are generally reasonable and predictable.
Once you find an item such as this one, start out by purchasing a few units (most people start with 2-3 units). In the Fashion dolls example, this would mean 3 units x 6 dolls per unit = 18 dolls total.
Next, ship these 3 Units to Amazon in order to determine how well they sell. If the units sell quickly, then go back to the same store and replenish your inventory. The second time, if you sold out quickly, buy 5-8 units, and repeat this process according to the demand for your product(s).
Just like this item, there are thousands of products available for purchase locally and ready to be flipped online for profit.
No one is suggesting that this is easy. But it does work. If you have any questions about any of these models, please feel free to take advantage of, and ask your question in, our Free Facebook community of over 50,000 members! There are numerous fellow Amazon sellers who will be glad to help you out.
So, what happens once you find products to sell?
How To Sell on Amazon FBA
Here is the process in a snapshot:
- Find a product to sell
- List the product on Amazon
- Prepare and box the item(s) and ship them to the warehouse Amazon assigns
- Sell your first product
- Receive your earnings. After Amazon ships the item to the buyer, Amazon will deposit your share of the sale into your account.
Now that we’ve covered several product sourcing strategies, let’s dive into some of the technical aspects of actually selling on Amazon.
Setting Up Your Amazon Seller Account
Before you can make an item available for purchase on Amazon, you will need to set up an Amazon Seller Account. For this Seller account, we recommend that you use a different email address that is not associated with the personal Amazon account you use to purchase items on Amazon.
There are two types of Amazon Seller Accounts. Below is a table comparing the two. You can also find this information on Amazon’s site from which is being borrowed.
The Individual Plan is recommended if you are making less than 40 sales per month. Once you sell more than 40 units per month, you should switch to the Professional Plan.
The disadvantage for the Individual Plan is that it limits the number of categories in which you can sell. There are other benefits to having a Professional Plan, but these do not affect you as a new seller. As a result, if you choose the Individual Plan, reconsider these Plan Options if you want to have access to all the selling categories or once you are selling consistently on Amazon.
Whatever your decision about selling plans, registering for an account is necessary and simple. You will need the following items to register:
- Your legal business name, contact information, and address. (Your legal name can be your business name).
- An email address. (We recommend you set up an email account specifically for your Amazon Seller Account).
- A credit card with a valid billing address
- A phone number. (When setting up an account, you will want your phone nearby).
- Your tax information. (Have your Social security number ready if you are applying as an individual. Have your federal tax ID number ready if you are applying as a business).
- An Amazon Store name. (Something simple like ‘Joe’s Store’ works great. Don’t overthink it or worry too much about what you should choose because you can change this name later).
To get the registration process started, go to sellercentral.amazon.com and click the ‘Register Now’ button as shown in the screenshot below.
Next, follow the prompts on the screen to enter the appropriate information. You’ll be all set up in just a few minutes! And that will make you a third-party Amazon seller, so welcome to the community!
Once you have registered your Seller Account, you’re ready to list your products and make them available for purchase on Amazon.
Listing Products on Amazon
- List products already on Amazon
- Or list products that are not yet on Amazon.
As a new seller, it’s easier to start by selling on listings that are already available on the Amazon platform. Unlike eBay, where every seller creates his/her own product listing, Amazon requires multiple sellers to sell the same item under the same listing. This is why you may find 25 different sellers offering the same item under the same listing, rather than 25 different listings for the same item.
You should NOT create another listing for an item that is already listed on Amazon. This goes against Amazon’s terms of service and can get you in trouble.
So, let’s assume for a moment that I want to list a certain book for sale on Amazon.
First, I would enter the ISBN in the Amazon Search box (if I intended to sell another product, I would enter the barcode number or the product name).
Next, I click on the appropriate book listing. Always insure you list an item on the correct listing. Check out the example below.
Under the book’s title, there is usually a “Sell on Amazon” button. Click on it and it will require you to log in using your Seller Account credentials (i.e. email and password).
Once you are logged in, you will see the screen where you can enter your product price, product condition, and choose your fulfillment method (i.e. who will ship the item once a buyer purchases it).
NOTE: Whenever listing used Items, insure you provide an honest and accurate description of the item and its condition. To get access to the description box, enable the ‘Advanced View’ (see image above).
Unlike used items, new items do not need these kind of additional descriptions. What would you include in the product description for an used book? Let’s assume the book has underlining on a few of its pages and some scuff marks on the cover. These are the types of details to be included in the condition description.
How should you price the item?
As an FBA seller, your competitors are other FBA sellers. As a result, your pricing should consider their prices, but not the MF prices.
If you want to sell quickly, then make your sale price match or slightly beat the lowest FBA offer. This lowest FBA offer is the lowest sale price for a Prime item that is in a similar condition as yours. As you gain more experience, you will develop your own pricing strategy.
Once you are done entering the appropriate information, click on the ‘Save & Continue’ button at the bottom of the page. Your book is now listed under your Seller account and is available for sale on the world’s largest online marketplace.
NOTE: If you choose the FBA fulfillment method, then you need to ship the item to the Amazon warehouses. And your item will become available only when it reaches the Amazon warehouse.
Congratulations! Now you know how to list your own product on Amazon.
Before we cover the basics of shipping your items to an Amazon warehouse, let’s cover some of the benefits of using Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA).
Benefits of Using Fulfillment By Amazon
The biggest benefit for using Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) is that your products will qualify for free two-day shipping to all Prime members. This free and fast shipping makes your product more appealing to buyers. Many Amazon shoppers prefer FBA products over their Merchant-fulfilled counterparts, even if they have to pay more for it.
In addition to the free and fast shipping and delivery, Prime buyers choose FBA items over MF items because they trust Amazon more than they trust third-party sellers. They know that in the unlikely event that a product arrives in an unexpected or undesirable condition, they can expect a smooth return process from Amazon’s customer service.
Also, for you as an Amazon seller, handling the shipping logistics and order fulfillment over to Amazon results in more streamlined operations for you and your business. For instance, you won’t need a large storage area for your products. When I started selling used books on Amazon (about 10 years ago), I was living in an apartment. Making the business work was a challenge. But you will not have that problem when you use FBA.
And there’s also another important factor that makes FBA stand out. The fulfillment method is one of the factors that impacts whether a seller wins the Buy-Box or not. Being an FBA seller tends to increase a seller’s chances to win the Buy-Box.
The bottom line is that FBA sellers tend to sell more and make more money.
Using FBA is not free for the seller. Based on your product’s weight, Amazon charges a fee for handling order fulfillment on your behalf. However, you may find this to be money well spent and well worth the cost for the reasons specified above.
Because FBA allows you to leverage Amazon’s warehouses and their infrastructure, you can really scale up your own business.
Shipping Product To Amazon Warehouses
Once a product is listed on Amazon as directed above, you will need to add the item to a shipping plan in order to insure it is successfully delivered into an Amazon warehouse.
The first time you create your FBA shipment, it might feel like a lot of work. However it does get easier after the first time.
After listing your product, you will be taken to a screen that asks what kind of scannable barcode your product will have on it. Simply click ‘Continue’ (you should always put the barcode Amazon gives you for each specific SKU on each item that you ship to Amazon–this is called FNSKU).
You just need to follow the screen instructions to complete your shipment and get a pre-paid shipping box label for your items.
On the next screen, choose where you will ship from (the default address is the billing address you entered when you set up your Amazon Seller account). Make sure this is correct.
Then choose whether your will ship “individual products” or “case-packed products.” When you start, you will most likely shipped an array of various products in the same box. So, choose “individual products.”
Lastly, click “Continue” to advance to the next step:
Next, enter the quantity of the product you have to sell.
If you have more items (other SKUs) to add to the shipment, once you get to this screen, you can simply exit and go through the listing/shipment process again for the second and the third and the rest of the products.
When you are done listing all your products, you will need to click “Continue” to download your product labels (make sure you cover every other barcode on the product). Unless you send in glass items, you can click “Continue” on the “Prepare Items” page.
Once you have your labels, review the shipment content, and click “Continue” to get to the last step: finalizing the shipment in order to get a shipping label. Enter the box content and box information (the shipping cost will be determined by your box weight and box size) on this page.
Whenever you use FBA, you have to ship your items to where Amazon directs you. For this reason, it is usually better to have more products to list and ship to Amazon. The inbound shipping cost per item tends to be lower.
For example, in creating some shipments for some of our used books, I noticed that either 30 books or 60 books is the ideal number. Most times, these books get divided into two separate shipments.
When you get started on Amazon, you can get many of the supplies needed to ship your items to an Amazon warehouse for free. Craigslist is a good source of free shipping boxes. Start saving any bubble wrap you get with any of your own online orders or ask family and friends to do it for you.
For the small Amazon barcode labels, you can use the Avery 5160 labels (30 labels to a page, 1″ x 2-5/8″). These can be found in most local stores or you can buy some online.
If you use UPS for shipping your boxes to Amazon (which is what most sellers use), then you can get their Peel and Stick Label (2 per page) for free. You will apply the shipping label to the box. In the past, when I ran out of peel and stick shipping labels, I just printed the shipping labels on a regular piece of paper and taped it to the box. There is always a solution to each problem. Be creative!
After your box is ready to be shipped, drop it to any UPS location and . . .
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