How to Sell on Amazon: 10 Tips for Beginners
So, you have your own business and are asking yourself how to effectively sell your products on Amazon? For beginners, the answer to this question is definitely multi-faceted, but not rocket science. However, you do need a few pointers and general basic knowledge of the platform if you want to find out how to sell Amazon. Our 10 tips will give you just that! Find out how Amazon is structured, which products you should sell, how to advertise them, and how to avoid competition. Continue reading to receive our best tips for selling on Amazon and Amazon FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon).
A Short Introduction to Amazon
On the biggest online retail platform, Amazon itself acts as a seller alongside other renowned sellers such as musicMagpie, World of Books Ltd, momox co uk, WeBuyBooks, Book Depository, the list goes on. Small and medium-sized sellers also contribute to Amazon’s success – already around 300.000 on Amazon UK alone. In 2018, almost 60% of internationally traded goods on Amazon were not sold by Amazon itself, but by marketplace sellers. Selling their product as single items or in the thousands, these merchants use Amazon as a platform either for their side-business or as a main source of income.
Setting up an Amazon seller account is quite simple. The hard part is attracting customers to your offers. But watching your business enfold and evolve is a lot of fun if you are well prepared. Our following basics and tips accelerate your start and prepare you for the challenges you might face on your journey to becoming a successful seller.
Our Best Tips and Tricks on How to Sell on Amazon Successfully for Beginners!
1. Sell Something Useful – The Problem With Product Selection on Amazon
When is the last time you saw someone buy a fidget spinner? Before even thinking about how to sell on Amazon successfully, you need to know what you want to sell on Amazon. Your selection should not only be seasonal and trendy, but also profitable. If they are not, your Amazon adventure may be over before you want it.
Amazon themselves are a good example for selling useful products. Categories that are predestined to make your product fly off the shelves are household, technology, fitness, toys, and pet supplies. Look out for the bestsellers on Amazon and let them inspire you. Prior knowledge of certain categories is always advantageous, especially when you are pitching to potential customers later on. But even without, you can easily choose a category and read up on the products. When you have gained enough experience, you can also expand your portfolio with articles from the other categories.
How to sell successfully on Amazon for beginners often depends on many different factors and gets a little confusing from time to time. As an example, you have to make sure that the sold products are not too cheap and not too expensive. Every expensive product means a very high capital commitment, whereas if your products are too cheap, your margins will be so narrow that they are only worthwhile on a very large scale.
A rule of thumb says that the sales price should initially be between £10 – £30 in order to successfully start selling on Amazon. Two tips in passing: A repricer can help you to set the optimal selling price – but think carefully where you want to set your lower price limit in order to keep a certain margin.
2. Easy to Start – Registering on Amazon as a Seller
Have you decided on a product or a specific category? Then it’s time to register as a seller on Amazon.
If you made your decision to sell at Amazon after reading our tips, you should also be clear on how much you want to sell. As a small extra income, the individual rate of £0.75 per item sold is reasonable. This includes all the basic features – product setting, own shipping, and customer service. If you stick with less than 40 items sold per month, this option is just right for you.
If you think you’ll sell more and want to take advantage of other Amazon features, then the professional rate at £25 (excl. VAT) per month is more convenient for you.
The professional fees include a better overview of sales figures, the option of placed advertising and more available categories. The cost is already worthwhile when achieving more than 40 sales per month. This should be your minimum goal.
Your lower price limit is necessary to keep a certain margin.
3. Play by the Rules – Amazon’s Terms of Services (TOS)
When it comes to selling on Amazon, be sure to play by the platform’s rules, but don’t hesitate to use a few tips and tricks to give yourself an advantage over the competitors.
Before you start selling, familiarise yourself with the guidelines that apply in your specific marketplace, as they are often very strict and should not be taken lightly. Keep in mind that non-compliance will result in the suspension of a product or even your entire account.
As you can see, the answer to “how to sell on Amazon for beginners” is not always as simple as one might think.
Speaking of rules, Amazon also has a couple of unwritten regulations that are not included in the TOS – or anywhere else for that matter. Good examples for these are the algorithms responsible for the search (A9) and the Buy Box.
If you want to win the Buy Box, you have to be the best seller of a product. The best seller offers, among other things, fast shipping, flawless customer service, and top prices. Since many sellers often sell the same product, the existence of only one Buy Box means that the competition is tough.
Even though the Amazon algorithm is not transparent, you should study it to sell your products on Amazon in the best possible way. Every other tip depends on this advice.
4. Discover the World – International Amazon Marketplaces
When researching tips for selling on Amazon, remember: The UK is not the only option available to you. Before deciding how to sell, also think about where to sell! For the professional sellers in Europe, the marketplaces also offer the possibilities to sell in countries such as France, Germany, Spain and Italy. If you want to expand into these countries, you can use Pan-European FBA services and sell on the country-specific Amazon portals. Keep in mind that due to Brexit the Pan-European program is not distributing your items automatically from the UK to EU and vice versa. You need to send your items to a European FBA warehouse from where they will be distributed throughout the EU territory.
If you don’t speak a second or third language, just start with the UK and ship to other countries from there. Germany, the Netherlands, as well as other surrounding countries, place orders via Amazon UK. But be aware: After Brexit all FBA inventory transfers between EU and the UK will stop!
It’s difficult to keep everything in mind on the topic of how to sell on Amazon. Especially for beginners. What is usually overlooked by the newbies, is that FBA sellers do not even necessarily have to speak the local language! The reason for this is that, in the Pan-EU programme, Amazon takes care of fulfillment and customer service. Selling on Amazon for beginners was never more simple.
5. Take it Seriously – Customer Service at Amazon
Customer is king. This is also stated in the above-mentioned guidelines. There should be as few returns and bad ratings as possible.
The quotas for negative seller ratings and returns are painful to cope with, especially at the beginning. With few orders, this can quickly result in a warning from Amazon. In the event of non-compliance, Amazon can even block the account.
Therefore, always make sure to sell high quality products and, most importantly, provide pristine customer service.
“Start with the customer and work backward.“Jeff Bezos
There are many tips out there for selling on Amazon. Using FBA is one of them. If you want to play it safe in terms of customer service and fast shipping, taking a look at Amazon FBA might be worth your while. With Amazon FBA, your relevant marketplace offers you its own storage capacity and takes care of customer service and shipping, meaning that you don’t have to worry about these metrics in regard to the question of how to sell on Amazon. Even for beginners, using Amazon FBA can be of high value, because it means that you can allocate your energy into other areas such as product expansion or marketing.
6. Be Quick to Ship – Amazon Prime is a Must-Have
Shipment is also included in the Amazon guidelines. Most customers are used to prime shipping and want to receive the package as soon as possible. Again, there is only a specific quota of delayed shipments or late deliveries allowed.
This rate is one of the most important metrics that sellers must have under control in order to sell successfully on Amazon. Our tip: If you want to reduce stress, you can switch to FBA and have the goods shipped directly from Amazon’s warehouse with a prime label. According to Amazon’s specifications, prime shipping takes 24 hours within the United Kingdom. With the prime logo, customers know that Amazon guarantees this and are automatically more willing to buy from that specific seller.
When shipping your goods privately, you can choose a shipping service provider yourself. Here you decide which provider is the cheapest for you and – in an optimal case – has a post office nearby. With the standard shipping methods, the customer will receive the package after 2-3 days.
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The middle ground between shipping privately and using FBA is the program “Prime by Seller”. After you have qualified in a test, you send your items with the Amazon shipping stamps and the Prime logo. To get and keep the logo, you must always ship your products the same day.
Calculate carefully which shipping method is the best for you. Besides costs, it depends on your products whether FBA, FBM, or Prime by Seller makes the most sense. If the products are bulky or are in stock for a longer period of time, they are hardly suitable for FBA since the service fees are calculated according to the price, size, and weight of your items. For wholesalers, however, FBA is sometimes absolutely necessary in order to stand up to the competition.
Here comes another tip for selling profitably on Amazon: Start simple! If you are just starting out and do not yet need a large warehouse, shipping from your own living room can also be a viable option and might even have a certain romance to it if you keep in mind that a lot of big fish nowadays started out by selling from their garage – Jeff Bezos included.
How to Sell on Amazon for Beginners: Using Your Own Private Label
7. Convince Your Customers – Pictures, Bullet Points and Descriptions on the Amazon Product Page
Once you have decided on what products you will be selling, it’s time to get down to business: uploading the product to Amazon. For this you need, among other things, an SKU (specially created article number), an EAN/GTIN/UPC/ISBN (identification number for the product), product information, pictures, and texts.
While EAN and SKU are used to identify the product, the other data is used to describe the product in an attractive manner for the buyer. The pictures, on the other hand, give the customers a first impression of the product.
It is very important – almost essential – that the images of your product are in high resolution, as customers love to zoom in to take a closer look. In addition to classic product pictures, it is always advisable to show pictures in use. Integrate awards or advantages in the pictures in order to sell as many products as possible via Amazon. Hiring a professional photographer should definitely be considered, since the customer often decides whether to buy or not to buy depending on the picture.
Bullet points for the most important information
The bullet points are essential, as this is where the customers obtain their information about the product. The most important information and purchase arguments must be brief and concise. What colour is the product? What material is the product made of? What can the product do? How does it make the customer’s daily life easier or does it bring joy to the pet? These are all points worth mentioning.
The description, which is a little further down, provides additional space to go into more detail about the advantages of the product and for storytelling about the company. Take a look at what competitors have written and find inspiration on how to sell on Amazon. Especially for beginners, customer feedback from the competition is extremely valuable: What did customers particularly like and what did they dislike about the product? Find that out, and continue building from there.
8. Be Loud – Push Product Ranking with SEO
Although Amazon offers simple ways to present products to customers, some work is required to get a good ranking in the search results and increase traffic. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a cornerstone to ensure that your products are listed right from the start and sell as successfully as possible on Amazon. Our tips for this:
- The basis of a good Amazon SEO is keyword research. Aim to find keywords that your potential target group searches for the most
- Use these keywords in your product listing, for example in the product title and description
- Pay attention to the words your competitors use in the product titles, bullet points and descriptions
- In addition, you can look at Amazon’s autocomplete feature. This works similar to Google search – if you enter your product type there, you will know which words customers actually search for
- Always enter important search terms in the backend too! This is essential for a high ranking.
All these measures attract visitors to your site. Nevertheless, you should consider external ads or marketing measures to get more traffic to the site. But be careful! Too much traffic without a purchase leads to a bad ranking .
For external marketing measures, keyword-optimised blogs with links to the product, affiliate and social media advertising are ideal. Whoever relies on Amazon’s internal marketing measures must first get hold of the Buy Box. Unfortunately, neither advertising nor conspicuous actions can be started before that.
How to Sell on Amazon: Optimisation for Beginners – Sales, Prices and Stock
9. Leave the Competition Behind – Set and Keep the Amazon Buy Box
Always keep an eye on the competition. Price adjustments made by your competitors can lead to losing the Buy Box. Adjusting prices every minute is not a solution because that would swallow up too much time. However, optimising the price is essential to selling profitably on Amazon, this applies to new and advanced sellers as well. There are hardly any tips when it comes to adjusting prices manually, which is the reason why many people use a repricer.
A repricer calculates the appropriate price and changes it automatically. The dynamic repricer from SellerLogic does not calculate the cheapest price, but the optimal one. This keeps you one step ahead of your competitors.
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10. Save Time – Get Support for Amazon FBA Storage Problems
Now that you are an expert on selling on Amazon, take our tips and put them into practice. The last thing you should remember is this: Amazon makes mistakes too!
In the FBA warehouse, for example, items can be damaged or simply disappear. Also, dispatched orders can contain errors. Only a few damaged products or errors are reported by Amazon to the seller. To ensure that this is not a hidden loss for you, our reimbursement manager Lost & Found finds undiscovered errors in the FBA warehouses and informs you right away.
Since communication with the Amazon Customer Service is not always easy for sellers, the tool goes even further. To save time, Lost & Found will also help you contact the Amazon Customer Service to make the reimbursement process quick and easy.
Conclusion: How to Sell on Amazon for Beginners? Get Started!
Remember to not get hung up with particularities about how to sell on Amazon. Even for beginners, the best tip is to just get started! Use your new basic knowledge of Amazon to pave the way to success in the marketplace. Find the product that suits you best. Start your business at Amazon and experience the feeling of joy when your sales increase and your products sell better on Amazon with every day. With our tips, you will hopefully succeed in doing this more quickly than others!
As you can see with the FBA, Amazon offers you a lot of help, so that you as a seller can promote your sales. When selling, however, do not forget that Amazon always focuses on the customer. Once they are satisfied, things will run smoothly for you.
When it comes to selling on Amazon, certain tips and tricks can increase your sales. The same goes for tools; you can optimise and automate your sales step by step with the right Amazon tools. Within a very short time, you will be on the first page of the product search, holding the Buy Box in a firm grip, shipping packages to satisfied customers, and expanding product-wise and country-wise at the same time.
By the way: You can also use SellerLogic tools on a global scale for Amazon, so selling for beginners is even possible on different marketplaces. Nothing stands in the way of the internationalisation of your business.
Good luck on your Amazon journey!
Image credits in order of appearance: © Giorgio Pulcini – stock.adobe.com / © Prostock-studio – stock.adobe.com / © Monthira – stock.adobe.com / © Tierney – stock.adobe.com