How to Start Selling on Amazon: A Complete Guide

Are you planning to open a store on Amazon? Looking for a profitable niche? Wondering how to attract customers? Then this guide is just right for you. Find out how to kickstart your Amazon business, choose the best products, set up your Amazon seller account, and promote your brand.

  1. How to choose the right products
  2. How to find reliable suppliers
  3. FBA vs FBM: Which method is better?
  4. How to set up an Amazon seller account
  5. How to register a brand on Amazon
  6. How to optimize your product listing
  7. Amazon fees
  8. Advertising on Amazon
  9. Final word

How to choose the right products

Start by researching the market. Let’s touch upon the key factors that you need to consider.

Demand

A high-demand product is the one that resolves the problem (problems) of your target audience. Consider one or several products that you’re knowledgeable about. Think about the problems that your potential customers might be having. Based on that, identify the unmet needs of your target audience.

The best way to gather information on these issues is by reading theme-specific forums, discussions on social media, and question-and-answer websites like Quora.

Competitive niche

Printed T-shirts are a great example of a super popular product. On the flip side, competition in this niche is outright ruthless. One example of a polar opposite product is Asian condiments. If you decide to sell this type of merchandise, you won’t have to face tough competition. However, these goods aren’t particularly popular customers. Your goal is to find an ideal niche that is half-way between these two opposites. 

Product weight and dimensions

Yor product weight and dimensions are the two factors that directly affect the amount of shipping costs that you’ll have to pay. Focus on small and light-weight goods. The lower your shipping costs, the more profits you’ll be able to make. Also, steer clear of fragile or perishable goods unless you want to complicate the shipping process and raise its cost.  

Amazon approval

Before you start selling your products, you’ll have to acquire a special approval from Amazon. The online retailer will ask you to submit the documents confirming that your products are of legal origin and proper quality. This requirement is valid for such goods as collectible coins, watches, works of art, music pieces, etc. Click here to see the full list of products that require approval from Amazon.

Life hack. Amzscout is a smart tool for product research that will make starting a business on Amazon so much easier for you. It features an impressive suite of advanced tools that will help you pick a promising niche, find trustworthy suppliers, study your competitors, launch effective ad campaigns, and much more. 

How to find reliable suppliers

The biggest B2B marketplace, Alibaba is hands down one of the best online platforms for searching suppliers. When looking for a good supplier, you need to make sure they:  

  • accept safe payments, e.g. PayPal or AliPay;
  • have plenty of positive reviews from other sellers;
  • offers good prices and terms. 

Pick several suppliers and ask them to send you product samples for assessment. Alternatively, you can order a small batch of products to see if they’re high quality. Pick the supplier with the best price-quality ratio.  

FBA vs FBM: Which method is better?

FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) is a fee-based method of selling on Amazon that takes the responsibility of storing and shipping the products off your shoulders. Amazon will handle packing your orders, shipping and handling, customer service, and even product returns. The products sold under the FBA model are marked as “Amazon Prime”.

Who should be using FBA. Be sure to choose this model if you’re selling big amounts of products within the same category. In this case, you’ll be making enough profits to cover all the FBA fees. 

When using the FBM (Amazon Fulfilled by Merchant) model, you need to communicate with customers, take orders, pack and ship the products by yourself. 

Who should be using FBM. Choose this model if you’re just starting your selling business and can handle orders on your own. 

Important! You can only use the FBA model for a limited range of high-demand products.

How to set up an Amazon seller account

You can become an Amazon seller in a few simple steps.

Step 1. Go to the Sell on Amazon page and click the “Sign up” button. 

Step 2. Enter your mobile phone (or email address) and password.

Step 3. Choose between the Individual and Professional selling plans. If you’re new in the selling business, go for the first option. The Individual  plan costs $0.99 per each unit sold. The Professional plan will work fine for established sellers that sell 40 units per month and more. Professional sellers pay a flat monthly fee of $39.99. The good news is that you can change your plan at any time.

Step 4. Enter your financial information:

  • bank account number and bank routing number;
  • credit card data;
  • ID number;
  • tax information.

For more information on how to start a successful business on Amazon, read this comprehensive guide

How to register a brand on Amazon

Amazon sellers have an opportunity to enroll in Amazon Brand Registry. By doing so, you unlock a bunch of hefty perks and tools designed to help you grow your brand. Here are some of the brand building benefits that Amazon businesses can capitalize on:

  • showcase more information about your e-commerce business, such as your brand backstory, product characteristics, extra images, etc.;
  • advertise your brand;
  • access customer analytics;
  • benefit from brand protection tools (e.g., protection from copyright infringement).

How to enroll in Amazon Brand Registry:

  • make sure your brand name has a registered trademark (brands with a trademark pending registration are also accepted);
  • log into the Amazon Brand Registry by using your Amazon account;
  • enter your brand name, trademark registration number, and product categories;
  • submit an enrollment request.

Once Amazon has successfully verified your information, your brand will be added to Amazon Brand Registry.

How to optimize your product listing

An Amazon product listing is the page for each item that you’re selling on Amazon. Your product listings affect your ranking in Amazon search results. You can create a listing based on a ready-to-use template or from scratch, depending on whether or not Amazon has your product category. Here is how you can find that out:

  • log into Amazon Seller Central Account;
  • choose Inventory – Add a Product;
  • search for the right category or create a new one by clicking “Create a New Product”;
  • select the category while making sure it doesn’t require further confirmation. 

As the final step, fill the listing with your product information.

Product title

The length of your product title cannot exceed 200 characters. Capitalize each word. Use keywords. An important thing to remember is that you’re creating a product title not only for search robots, but for potential customers as well. Outline the unique advantage that sets your product apart from competition. It can be a durable material, practicality, big-name manufacturer, etc. 

Images

Amazon allows its sellers to upload up to 9 images of each product. The minimum image size is 500 x 500 px. Aim for high-resolution images that will look good when enlarged. Here are a few more useful tips: 

  • Use white background.
  • Your product must be in focus.
  • Your product photos must be taken from different angles.
  • Avoid imagery with watermarks or inscriptions.

Product advantages

Your goal is to convince your potential customers that your product is exactly what they need. Make a bullet list of your product’s basic features and strengths. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • How can my product be useful to my target audience?
  • What makes my product better than other similar items? 
  • What are the key characteristics of my product?

Here are some quick tips for compiling a clever bullet list:

  • Your list shouldn’t be too long. Outlining 5-6 bullet points would be enough. 
  • Find an organic way to incorporate the keywords into your text.
  • Avoid subjective opinions that provide no information (e.g., “the best”, “beautiful”, “popular”, etc.). 

Description

In the description, you need to expand on your product advantages and characteristics (see the section above). We’ve come up with a few guidelines:

  • Write in short, concise sentences. 
  • Use concrete facts and statistics (as opposed to vague language).
  • Structure your text by splitting it into logical paragraphs.

Reviews

The best way to boost your review count is by asking your existing customers to leave positive testimonials about your products on Amazon. You can do that via socials or newsletter. The more positive reviews your product has, the higher it will rank in Amazon search system.

Rating

Your product rating is determined by customer reviews. That’s why you need to do everything in your power to keep your audience happy. 

  • If customers are complaining about the same problem or defect, you need to find a way to resolve this issue without delay.
  • Give instant feedback to negative reviews and look for a solution that would sit well with both yourself and your customers.  

Amazon fees 

Amazon charges its sellers different types of fees. What fees you have to pay depends on your selected selling plan and your product category. 

Selling plan fees

The size of this fee is determined by your selling plan. Individual sellers pay $0.99 per each unit sold, while Professional sellers are charged a monthly fee of $39.99.

Selling fees

Selling fees are paid per each unit sold:

  • referral fee is a percentage of the total sales price and varies from 8% to 45%, depending on your product category;
  • variable closing fee is associated with media products, such as video games, music, etc.

Shipping fees

The amount of shipping fees is determined by your selling plan.

  • If you choose the FBA model, you’ll have to pay for the full range of Amazon services, from storage to shipping.
  • If you choose the FBM plan, you only pay for shipping.

Advertising on Amazon

Amazon sellers can benefit from three types of ad campaigns.

Sponsored Products

Your product will be displayed in Amazon search results. By clicking on it, customers will be taken to your product page. 

Sponsored Brands

Amazon shoppers will be seeing your brand name, logo, and products (no more than 3 items) in search results. Upon clicking on your brand, a customer will be taken to your Amazon store. Keep in mind that this type of advertising is only available to registered brands.

Lightning Deals and Coupons

This advertising method enables you to display your promotions (discounts, coupons, gifts, etc.) where potential buyers can see them. This is an excellent way to boost your sales and grow your customer base. 

Final word

Amazon offers a bunch of advanced tools for skyrocketing your sales and growing your business. When starting off, be sure to concentrate on market research and planning. Once your selling business is up and running, it’s important to keep track of your financial performance and adjust your promotion strategy as you go. We wish you loyal customers and high conversions!

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Blog editor and content marketing specialist at Logaster. Expert in web marketing and branding. Writes complex concepts with simplicity. Natalia’s articles contain useful guidelines on how to build a successful brand and promote it online.

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