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A guide to selling your products on Amazon

It’s hard to imagine that the dominating online shopping force that is Amazon, began its days as a humble online bookstore.

But since it was established by Jeff Bezos in 1994, it has experienced an extraordinary amount of growth, moving into the sale of nearly every product category imaginable and becoming only the second company to reach the coveted $1 trillion milestone.

Third party sellers on Amazon

Third party sellers have been able to use Amazon as an e-commerce platform since 1997, when its Marketplace was first unveiled (known then as zShops). These days, more than half of all Amazon sales come from these third-parties, and this figure is increasing every day.

With 197 million people browsing Amazon each month, choosing to sell your products on the site is the next logical step, putting your product in front of Amazon’s vast audience.

To help you sell effectively and gain the highest revenue, we’ve compiled a handy guide for first-time Amazon sellers – take a look:

Selling your products on Amazon

Choosing the right plan

Amazon offers sellers a choice of 2 plans:

Individual – Ideal for those selling . There is no monthly subscription, but sellers will be charged $0.99 per item sold plus any additional fees required. You should note that the Individual plan will only allow you to list items one at a time, and there are a select few product categories that you will be unable to sell (which we will explore in more detail later on).

Professional – The best option for those that will be selling in higher volumes (more than 40 items each month). There is a $39.99 subscription plus any additional fees with Professional, but here you have the ability to upload items in bulk and access more categories.

Select your categories

Amazon provides 20 basic categories that all sellers, no matter which plan they choose, can list their items under. However, there are 15 further categories which are available only through the Professional plan, that you will need approval for. Amazon has done this in order to retain the integrity and quality of the products sold within these categories.

As a result, if you wish to sell items that fall into the following categories you will need to have a Professional account:

  • Apparel
  • Beer, wine and spirits
  • Beauty
  • Grocery
  • Health and personal care
  • Jewelry
  • Personal care appliances
  • Watches

A full list of categories and their requirements can be found here.

Set up your seller account

Once you have identified which plan you need, it’s time to set up your account on Seller Central – this will become the platform on which you will manage and sell your products. From here you simply need to click ‘register’, ‘start selling’ and, finally, complete your details.

List your items

Now that you’re an official Amazon seller, you can get started on listing your items.

Depending on your plan, you can either upload these in bulk or one at a time. Amazon has made it as simple as possible to do this. If your item is already being sold, you can match it against existing listings, either by barcode or product name, and then simply choose the quantity, condition and shipping details for each item.

If your item is new to the Amazon Marketplace then the listing process is a little more time-consuming. Here you will be required to complete all product attributes (i.e. title, description, etc.), as well as identify the Universal Product Code (UPC) or a 13-digit number found on your product’s barcode, and the Stock Keeping Unit (SKU) number, used by sellers (i.e. you) to track stock.

Choose your shipping options

Sellers can either choose to ship items themselves, or take advantage of Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA).

FBA allows you to send your products to Amazon’s fulfillment centres, where they will be stored, picked, packed, and shipped to customers across , Canada and Mexico.

Choosing FBA will be a no-brainer for the majority of sellers as it essentially handles the entire process for you, even returns. And if you need any more encouragement to use this service, sellers using FBA will gain the distinctive Prime badge on eligible products. This carries Amazon’s promise of fast delivery and excellent customer service, as well as making your products some of the first that Amazon customers will see.

This will ultimately lead to more efficient delivery, happier customers and a great deal less stress for you; sellers typically experience a 30-50% increase in sales with FBA.

Promoting your products

To get the most out of the platform, ensure your product listing is as detailed and engaging as possible for potential customers. This means great images and clear yet descriptive text.

When it comes to standing out among your competitors, nothing is more effective than great product reviews. Amazon allows sellers to send emails to customers to encourage reviews of their purchases. However, sellers must abide by Amazon’s strict guidelines when sending these emails and guarantee that these reviews are genuine and not incentivized.

Each time you sell an item, you will receive a notification in your Seller Central dashboard and payment (less Amazon’s fees) from your sale directly into your bank account.

Paid advertising

If you want to give your product that extra boost that it needs, Amazon provides sponsored pay-per-click advertising for sellers. This will allow your product or brand to take pride of place in search results. Your campaigns can either promote individual products or your brand, and comes with the option for manual or automatic targeting.

Reviewing your product performance

To keep track of your sales performance, your Seller Central dashboard can provide comprehensive reports on multiple areas, such as sales, page traffic, inventory and much more. This will allow you to identify trends in sales performance so that you can focus your promotion efforts and achieve higher returns.

The opportunities that selling your products on Amazon are enormous, and the platform is growing ever-more popular by the day. Have you tried selling on Amazon? We’d love to hear your story on Twitter.

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