You are able to ship items to Amazon in bulk, and they handle getting the items to the individual customers. I mentioned above that there was another option when selling on Amazon that does not require you to use Fulfillment by Amazon. This means that you will keep the items you have for sale at your location and when an order comes in you will ship the item directly to the customer. The first step in how to sell on Amazon is setting up your Amazon seller account. You can do this by going to sellercentral. This is a free app that is available directly through Amazon that will give you details on the selling price, the fees, among a few other details, of any product that is available on their website.
This app will allow you to use the camera on your cell phone to scan the barcode of any product, and will then show you the pricing and fee information for any item that you are considering selling on Amazon. If you go to the Fulfillment by Amazon Revenue calculator, you will be able to search for any item that you are considering selling on Amazon.
You will then enter the price red arrow , how much it will cost you to ship to Amazon black arrow , and how much the product costs you green arrow. I recommend running every single item you sell on Amazon through this calculator or a different tool that serves the same purpose. With calculators like this available, you should know exactly how much you can expect to profit on every item that you are selling on Amazon.
Now that we have a tool that shows us how the fee structure works when selling on Amazon, we need some items to sell. The first potential way to find some initial items to sell is by seeing what you have around your home. A couple of the most common items that might make sense are books or any gifts that you have received and never opened. The second option is to buy items that are available at low prices at a local retail store. Generally these items will be on sale or clearance. The idea is to find items that are selling for less in the retail store than they are selling for on Amazon.
This practice of buying items at low prices in retail stores and then selling them on Amazon is known as retail arbitrage. The experience gained through retail arbitrage also provides extensive knowledge about how selling on Amazon works, which can be applied to other inventory sourcing methods in the future. To go started with retail arbitrage, you need to set up your seller account so that you can have access to the Amazon Seller App. This will provide you with the information that you need to see if an item is worth buying to resell. After you have the app installed, go to a local big box store in your area.
Once you are in a store, look for a clearance section or aisle similar to this:. This example shows a Walmart clearance aisle. On this screen, you want to check for 2 things. The first is to make sure you are eligible to sell the product on Amazon under the selling eligibility section. The second is the sales rank shown in the top left-hand corner. On this particular item, we can see that the sales rank is 60 in the toys category, which is an exceptionally good rank.
The sales rank is a piece of information that Amazon provides that gives us an idea of how fast an item is currently selling on Amazon.
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At this stage, there are 2 quick checks that you want to go through. The first is to see if the net profit number shown at the bottom is higher than your minimum profit threshold. If the item meets your minimum profit threshold, then you will want to calculate a return on investment percentage.
You can do this by dividing the net profit by the cost of the item. For any item that fits all of the purchasing guidelines, I recommend purchasing up to 6 of the item. When you are first getting started, I recommend scanning as many items as possible. When first getting started though, I recommend scanning as many items as possible.
At this point, you might be wondering what items are actually selling? Or what an actual retail arbitrage trip looks like? If you want instant access to the download, you can get it by clicking here. In this section, I went over what I recommend when just getting started selling on Amazon. Now, that we have some items that we want to sell on Amazon, we need to know how to price them. When selling on Amazon using the Fulfillment by Amazon program, I recommend pricing at a similar level to the other Fulfillment by Amazon sellers on the listing.
To get to this screen, view all of the available offers for the product. The field will be filled in with the number of sellers on that particular listing. Now for the screenshot above, you can see that I filtered the view for only prime eligible items and items in new condition.
I recommend filtering the view to match the condition and fulfillment method of the item you are pricing. When pricing your items, I do not recommend pricing below the offers you are competing with. Pricing below your competition can often start a chain reaction of lowering prices and can quickly erode margins. On the more aggressive side, I recommend matching the lowest price of the same fulfillment method. Pricing is something that you will definitely get a better feel for as you gain more experience selling on Amazon, but these general guidelines should be a good starting point.
Listing your products for sale and getting them sent into Amazon warehouses is your next step once you have sourced your first products. I also offer a day guarantee on the course. I offer it as a curated source of step-by-step instructions, but you can also go the route I did when starting and figure it out on your own.
The first one is here. When you have sourced your first products and are ready to send them in for FBA, this post will teach you everything you need to know to do that. The first thing that I would say is that if selling on Amazon sounds good to you, commit to giving it a shot. You can test the retail arbitrage strategies that are laid out in this post in just a few hours, and going through that process should be eye-opening. The other main thing that I would say is to set realistic expectations. Selling on Amazon, particularly via retail arbitrage, takes some work on the front end.
If you are going to go for it, be willing to put in the necessary work. The effort can definitely pay off. Hopefully, this post has answered most of your questions about how to sell on Amazon and gives you a better idea of what selling on Amazon really means. Let me know in the comments below, what other questions do you have about selling on Amazon? Thank you for your detailed information! How does this add up? In the example you mentioned your math is correct. Let me know if you have any other questions on this.
Just heard you on the SPI podcast — great work! You just saved me hours of researching. Thanks for the awesome resources! The links to your shipping to fulfillment guide and your financial results pages are dead…gives me a error. Thanks for the heads up.
My site recently underwent a redesign, and looks like I missed those. I just double checked and they are working now. Let me know if you have any trouble accessing them. I just tested it on my end and it seems to be working now. Hi there and thanks for the fantastic info! I am excited to get started. And props to Pat Flynn for helping me find you! Can you tell me or point me to where I find out why that is and how I can refine my searches in stores? Thanks so much! Items that show up as not available to sell on Amazon, could either be restricted, or not have any listings available on Amazon.
There are certain brands and product categories that require you to apply for approval to be able to sell. Definitely learned a lot about pricing practices, in-house brands, and why I prefer shopping on Amazon. Half way through the day I realized I should have recorded all of these to try to get some real data. At the end of the day, I scored two items that met every criteria. Wait until some seller history established? If so how much? On the items that did not have a sales rank, this can mean that the item has never sold before, or it can be in a category that Amazon does not have sales rank for.
If the product has verified purchase reviews, and no sales rank, then you can still be confident that it sells. In terms of restrictions, right away I would focus on items you are already approved to sell as opposed to applying for approval. Over time, it likely will be worth seeking some additional approval. Yes, you can sell items with a quantity of 1. I heard you on SPI, great interview. I found the episode very interesting and full of actionable advice.
Thank you for that. You have given me courage to get out there and do it. Thank you again! Found you on SPI. I plan to set up my Amazon seller account and get started. Your selling experiment is an awesome way to get started. I am super excited! Thanks so much for all of the info. If i just want to try this do i need to pay to become a seller? I just sell one or two things, i could end up with a net loss. You should be able to sign up for a seller account for free. I went to go sign up as an individual seller and they are still charging Am I in the wrong place as well or did something change?
You should still be able to sign up for free. Thanks a lot for providing all this content! Quick question: Is it possible to start up this business from the Netherlands? Are there specific things I should pay attention towards? Thanks for the comment. Thanks for your reply Ryan, you are a true inspiration for me. Is this option available on all platforms? Great podcast guys! Actionable and very real content.
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Question as I have never sold on Amazon. Just input the size of the boxes you plan on sending and you should be able to estimate the costs. Great post and podcast recently guys! Appreciate the solid content. I had a question about shipping. Is there a workaround if shipping is extremely high? Thanks, keep up the great work.
It will definitely be higher than shipping from the continental US, but should still be doable. Ok so we just started the Amazon business and we have a couple of items to list. The item in question populated as a bookshelf when it is a small pocket organizer. In this instance, I would recommend opening a case with Amazon seller support to see if you can get the listings associated with the correct items. Great article and loved the interview on SPI podcast. I am excited to get started and see where it leads! In the past you could with a free account.
My wife and I heard you on the SPI podcast and are getting started with our first set of inventory. I had a question on sales ranks.
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Look forward to hearing your thoughts on this. In cases where the ROI is higher it often does make sense to expand the sales rank guidelines. The guidelines that I recommend should keep you out of trouble, but they are by no means hard and fast rules. The reason for this is you will learn much more by trying as opposed to not. I heard you on SPI and was inspired to try this. Thank you for sharing your story and for providing a step by step guide on how to get started. However I am having difficulties determine how much it will cost me to ship products to Amazon?
How did you get the. Glad you enjoyed the podcast. I just listened to you guys on the SPI podcast. It was very good and has sucked me in to the potential of online selling.
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I was under the impression signing up would be free. There used to be a free account for selling on Amazon, but that might not be available anymore. Yes you can sell products manufactured outside the US. You will need to get a UPC for your product to be able to list it on Amazon. Hi-Love the information you are providing. What happens when the customer wants to return the item? And anything to be concerned with when it comes to taxes on the profits that amazon sends us?
Thank You. Any item that is fulfilled by Amazon will have the same return policies as if Amazon sold the item. So the customer is able to initiate a return directly through their own Amazon account if they want to return a product they purchased. In terms of taxes, this is definitely something to pay attention to. You should be paying taxes on the net profit your business earns from selling on Amazon. Hi guys. I am jumping into it. It did say i could create my own listing, but i was choosing pretty normal items.
Any advice on this would be great. Thank you. Clothing is a category that requires a separate approval to sell in.
How to Sell on Amazon for Beginners — The Ultimate Guide
Hi — One question I have is regarding sales tax. How do we handle doing sales tax. However, I do have one question in mind.. Do you think buying items off of retailers like Alibaba is a good start as well? If so, I would like some tips on how to really go about it and just little niches to give me a push, so to say. Thank you!! Glad you enjoyed the post. Then from there you could potentially do a test on Alibaba in the future. Going the retail arbitrage route will decrease the number of things that have to go right to see initial results.
Less than me?????? Amazon is willing to sell items at a loss to provide a great deal for customers. I mean just to promote other product to sell then I earn a commission? To actually sell on Amazon then you will need to have physical inventory that is available to ship to a customer. If you want to just promote products in return for commission on Amazon, then I recommend checking out the Amazon Associates program. Very helpful article with most of the details covered. I think some details about this are required to be covered?
I would recommend using a freight forwarder to get the items into the US and then go from there. Hi Ryan, Thank you so much for your website and guidance. Can these names be changed after the account is created like shifting name to an initial and last name? The legal business name is the name of the actual entity that your business will be operating as. This could be an LLC if you have one setup or could be your name if you are operating as a sole proprietorship.
The display name, is the name that customers will see on Amazon when they are viewing items you have for sale. This post is primarily about starting by selling existing products. I will add a post about getting started with new products to my list of future potential blog posts. I am curious about how to obtain a Product ID to sell new products not already offered on Amazon. Can you help me with the steps?
Thank you for this post. It is super helpful. I am brand new to selling on Amazon and am trying to figure out what I can start out selling. Glad this post was helpful for you. You can view a list of all categories and their approval requirements on this link HERE. I eventually want to sign up for your course and learn to sell on Amazon full time and quiting my current job. Before I make this commitment, I need to know if having a low credit score will effect my business growing. We had unexpected medical bills on credit cards that has caused us to settle with banks.
I have a checking account and 2 open credit cards now to get things started. If so, then no worries. If all my business is done through my checking account, then no worries. And hopefully, the credit card will be just for the monthly fee. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks Ryan. Sorry if this was somewhere in the post, but two questions: Does it now cost to sell on Amazon? What does Amazon charge to warehouse the item while you wait for sale? You can still sell on Amazon without a monthly subscription fee, you can see the differences in the plan HERE. In terms of fees for items that are stored, you can find more details on that HERE. Because there is a detailed description of Buy Box eligibility for Professional selling plans, I am unsure whether the free individual selling plan also can be Buy Box eligible.
To my knowledge an individual account is eligible for the buy box as well. Do you have a link that says otherwise? As of April 17, , there seems to be no option to choose between an individual seller and a professional seller account when signing up. What if I am unable to sell the item in Amazon? Can you please list out the downside of my item sitting in the amazon inventory for ever?
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If you do have your item stay in Amazon warehouses for over 6 months, then you will be charged long term storage fees and are pretty significant. For items that are in stock for less than 6 months you will pay a few cents per month in storage fees. Thank you for all of your insight.
There is generally a timeline for when you can send back in. It varies depending on the year, but typically if you remove an item due to avoiding long term storage fees, you have to wait a couple months at least before you can send the same items back to FBA warehouses. How do I get started in selling on Amazon. This post you commented on outlines the process. What part of this post do you have questions on? Do you suggest signing up with Amazon Seller Account with your personal Amazon Prime account or should you sign up with a different email to keep things separate?
As long as you have never opened a seller account before, I would go with a separate email to keep things separate. I am looking at selling something that has good numbers, but bad reviews on the Amazon website. Should I steer clear, or what is the repercussion of selling something that gets a bad review? Will I have to refund? So a product with bad reviews is potentially more likely to get returned, but the worst case scenario would be having to issue a refund. I live in Canada, do you have any advice on how I can sell to the US market?
Thanks for your time! My guess is that getting setup in Canada first would be easier to get started, and then from there you could potentially expand into the US. How frequent is it to have items accrue a charge from the warehouse for sitting too long? Big thank you for all of your work on this! This post goes into some more detail on the storage fees. Great post, very informative! Quick Question, what is the most cost efficient method to ship products to Amazon to maximize profits?
Glad you enjoyed it. I recommend using either UPS or Fedex, both of these will be options when you are creating your shipment to Amazon. You can compare the prices between the 2 on the shipment creation screen as well to make sure you are getting the best price. I think you are confusing net profit and net payout. The net payout is the total amount that I am paid for the item after Amazon fees. The net profit is the amount leftover after Amazon fees as well as the cost of the item.
Hope that clarifies it, and let me know if you have further questions. How do I put product information on amazon? Do I need to create or does it automatically shows up once I send merchandise to amazon? Also can I buy products from alibaba and ship them to amazon? For Alibaba, you could do that. At what point do you recommend setting up legal options? Many companies offer white label products for its clients, which provides enormous advantages to your business. Every time your customer purchases your product, he will see your logo and connect it to the experience he had.
This association will encourage them to come back to your store again. The more people see your logo, the better. Assure your label can be part of the purchase experience. Be thoughtful through the sales funnel, present your logo since the advertising efforts to the label and package. You might own a small online clothing business, but you can be professional. A label might seem insignificant, but it changes perception over your company. Customers understand that this kind of detail cost money, and they tend to associate it to a professional company that cares about its reputation. Before starting your branding strategy and sketch your label, ask yourself these fundamental questions:.
Attract people to your website and convert into sales! If you have done your market and target audience research, you already know which platforms will have a better performance and which language you should use to bring them. Focus on the main one, the one your target audience likes to hang out more. What matter here is the quality, not quantity. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest all are great tools to work on with your marketing strategies. Paid Advertising — Google Adwords, Facebook, and Instagram Ads are some examples of effective ways to reach out to potential customers.
Study the platform you will use and the best method of extracting great results. These tools allow you to select your target audience and stipulate a budget to invest in each campaign. Influencers — Connect to influencers that could be your brand ambassadors. They will help you grow your brand awareness and conversion. Content Marketing — A strong content connects you to your audience, considered one of the most used practices to drive traffic to your online shop. Give fashion tips, create videos, e-books, podcasts, and articles. Use your creativity and deliver content your audience would be interested.
Overstock means financial loss; understock means unhappy customers that might not come back. For instance, many manufacturers send boxes that are sealed, so reselling those items is difficult because often the customer will damage the product box when opening and breaking the seal. Think of how Best Buy sells their open box products. So, if you accepted returns on breast pumps, you would literally be at a loss for that sale.
There are similar issues with intimate apparel, swimsuits, cosmetics and many other types of products. When writing your return policy, consider that you may need to spell out different policies for specific items you sell. One cost of doing business online is the cost of credit card processing. Luckily, over the past 20 years, collecting money online is easier than ever. Again, you want to add the cost of credit card transaction fees to your spreadsheet for each product as a cost for each item that you sell.
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Most credit card processing companies will charge a per transaction fee and then a percentage based on the cost of the item s sold. Collecting sales taxes from your ecommerce customers has always been a confusing and gray area — and it is probably going to get a lot more complicated in the very near future. Check with your accountant to identify the best strategy you should use in your ecommerce business.
Because of this, cities and states are losing millions and often billions of dollars in sales tax revenues. This is especially true if you have an Amazon store or Amazon is doing your fulfillment. This means you may have to collect sales taxes from your customers, and then submit those sales tax funds to the city, county and state of those customers. If these types of laws pass, paying sales taxes will become complicated quickly — so start doing your research and preparing now.
Create a spreadsheet and keep track of the following costs for each product at a minimum :. For instance, are you going to offer free shipping? If so, those shipping costs including the costs of shipping supplies, like shipping boxes, packing tape, labels and the time it takes to pick and pack the orders need to be added to the cost of each product. If someone orders more than one product from you, that impacts the size of the shipping box, the weight of the box and the shipping costs.