Do you want to know how to start selling on Amazon?
In our beginners’ guide to selling on Amazon, we will take you through the entire process step-by-step and give you our pro tips.
Some people still ask “is selling on amazon worth it?” Well, it definitely is, and selling on the Amazon Marketplace is still one of the best ways to make money online.
People like you and me can now sell to millions of Amazon customers using Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA).
So how does a beginner start selling on Amazon and how does Fulfillment by Amazon work?
Let’s dive in break it all down for you…
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- Part 1: Is Selling on Amazon Worth It?
- Part 2: What is Amazon FBA?
- Part 3: The 5 Amazon Business Models
- Part 4: What to Sell on Amazon FBA
- Part 5: Finding Products to Sell on Amazon
- Part 6: How to Open an Amazon Seller Account
- Part 7: How Much Does It Cost to Sell on Amazon?
- Part 8: Listing and Selling Your Amazon Products
- Part 9: How to Get Your First 100 Sales on Amazon
- How Can a New Seller Compete on Amazon?
- The Amazon Buy Box and Why It Is So Important
- Summary – What To Do Next?
Part 1: Is Selling on Amazon Worth It?
Is Amazon FBA worth it in 2022? Amazon is still by far the largest online retailer in the world and just keeps on growing. In 2020 Amazon’s revenue was 386 billion USD compared with eBay and Shopify’s 10 billion USD.
That makes Amazon 38 times the size of eBay or Shopify!
Third-party sellers using the Amazon marketplace now make up over 50% of those 386 billion in sales. This means you only need a tiny slice of the Amazon pie to make a small fortune.
“The Amazon Marketplace Is a Huge Opportunity for Sellers.”
Advantages of Selling on Amazon FBA
+ Amazon has a huge loyal customer base you can quickly tap into.
+ Simple monthly cost – no need for expensive marketing or new websites.
+ Hands-off – Amazon will pick and pack and store your products.
+ No need for overheads like storage, couriers, and wasting time on these processes.
+ An almost passive process means more flexibility for vacations, family, and other sources of income.
Selling on Amazon vs eBay
Having sold on both Amazon and eBay, we would say Amazon has stricter rules, but if you are prepared to put the work in, the rewards are a lot bigger. When we have the same product listed on both Amazon and eBay at the same price, we get around 5-10x the sales from Amazon compared with eBay.
On the other hand, selling on eBay is more relaxed and a lot better suited to selling used items. There is also less chance of getting your account closed down when selling on eBay. With Amazon FBA, it is always a very real danger.
If you want to make a real full-time income online, I still believe selling on Amazon is the most accessible and realistic way of achieving this.
Part 1 Summary: Amazon is probably a better option than eBay or Shopify for most online sellers.
Part 2: What is Amazon FBA?
So what is Amazon FBA and how does it work? FBA stands for ‘Fulfillment by Amazon’. With FBA, you simply send your products to one of the Amazon Fulfillment Centers, and Amazon will take care of the rest.
Amazon will store your products, send any orders to your customers and deal with any customer service issues or returns.
You can also sell using FBM or ‘Fulfillment by Merchant’. This is where YOU send the order to the customer using your own courier and deal with customer service and returns.
Should You Use Amazon FBA vs FBM?
We recommend all sellers, especially beginners, use Fulfillment by Amazon. It usually works out cheaper than Fulfilled by Merchant and you tend to make more profit overall. Another advantage is you don’t have to deal with packing, shipping, or customer service.
Once you have sent in your stock, your Amazon FBA business can almost run itself. Using Amazon FBA also frees up time to focus on sourcing more stock and scaling up your business.
Another big advantage of FBA is that for your customers ordering from you is the same as buying directly from Amazon. The customer will get all the advantages of Amazon Prime shipping and free returns.
This is why FBA sellers get more sales than sellers using Fulfilled by Merchant. Customers who have Amazon Prime membership will usually buy from FBA rather than FBM sellers.
Amazon does charge sellers to store products in their warehouse, but this is at a fairly competitive rate. If you sell on other platforms like eBay or your own website, you can even ship orders from your Amazon FBA inventory to these customers. This is known as Multi-Channel Fulfillment (MCF).
Part 2 Summary: Using Amazon FBA is a far better option than using FBM and for most sellers. FBA should result in more profit and less work.
Part 3: The 5 Amazon Business Models
So which Amazon business model should you choose? Where you source your products to sell on Amazon will depend on which business model you are using.
“You should weigh up the pros and cons of each Amazon business model carefully before starting.”
The Amazon business model you choose will have a huge impact on the type of business you create and your chances of success. You should weigh up the pros and cons carefully and not rush into anything.
Let’s look at each Amazon business model to help you decide;
1. Retail Arbitrage (RA)
Retail Arbitrage is where you visit physical bricks and mortar stores, like Walmart, and buy stock straight off the shelves to sell on Amazon.
You can use the free Amazon Seller App to scan products and find if there is profit to be made. The Amazon app will also tell you if you are allowed to sell the product.
Retail Arbitrage works if you can find a product at a lower price than it is currently selling for on Amazon.
“arbitrage is the practice of taking advantage of a price difference between two or more markets.”Wikipedia
We often recommend beginners test the water with Amazon Retail Arbitrage. This is because there are low start-up costs and therefore lower risks.
If you can make Retail Arbitrage work, then you can probably make more advanced strategies like Wholesale or Private Label work too.
The advantage of Retail Arbitrage over Online Arbitrage is that you are only competing with other sellers in your area. Some people also prefer to physically see and touch the products they are investing in.
✅ Pros – Easy to get started and low start-up costs.
❌ Cons – Time-consuming and hard to scale up. It can be dispiriting if you spend all day sourcing and come back empty-handed.
RECOMMENDED TOOLS FOR RETAIL ARBITRAGE
RECOMMENDED COURSES FOR RETAIL ARBITRAGE
>> Amazon Boot Camp V4 <<
FREE 7-Part Arbitrage Training: FREE Amazon FBA Starter Course! 😍
2. Online Arbitrage (OA)
Online Arbitrage is where you buy products from an online store and then resell them on Amazon.
Some people see Online Arbitrage as the next step up from Retail Arbitrage. Online Arbitrage has the advantage that you can do it all from home as you get the products delivered. This means it is more scalable and less time-consuming.
The products are delivered to your home or a prep center and then forwarded to the Amazon FBA warehouses.
Realistically, you will need to use software to source the right products. Manually searching for deals online is not really viable.
Luckily, there are some awesome software tools that will automatically identify profitable products you can sell.
✅ Pros – Easy to get started and low start-up costs. You can run an Online Arbitrage business from the comfort of your own home and any time of day. Amazon sellers who have a full-time 9-5 job can often run an Online Arbitrage business in their spare time. You can use software to automate the process and save time.
❌ Cons – Lots of competition and you have to constantly keep sourcing new stock.
RECOMMENDED TOOLS FOR ONLINE ARBITRAGE
RECOMMENDED COURSES FOR ONLINE ARBITRAGE
>> Proven Amazon Course <<
3. Amazon Private Label
Private Label is where you import a generic product from China, normally using Alibaba, brand it yourself, and then list it on Amazon. You can also get unique products designed and manufactured from scratch.
Researching, manufacturing, and launching your new product can take months. However, once launched, Private Label becomes less time-consuming than other business models, as you are not constantly having to source new products.
Amazon Private Label does require a lot more investment upfront than Arbitrage and you can easily spend $1500 or more on your first product.
“Amazon Private Label is considered high-risk, high reward.”
Once the product is live, you then normally have to invest in marketing strategies and Amazon Pay Per Click to generate sales.
Some Private Label sellers are making a good living from just one product. They still have the option to grow their brand and launch a whole range of related products.
Private Label is a lot more competitive than it used to be, and you will often find multiple listings for the same branded generic product. Also, the Chinese manufacturers are starting to sell directly on Amazon and can easily undercut your pricing.
✅ Pros – Your own unique products and higher margins. Less time-consuming once you are up and running.
❌ Cons – High start-up costs, high risk, and can take months to get launched.
RECOMMENDED TOOLS FOR PRIVATE LABEL
Helium 10 – Everyone doing Private Label should have this powerful suite of tools, as it is free to start using. Keyword Research and Tracking, optimize PPC, find profitable products, highlight refunds Amazon owes you, spy on competitors, hijacker alerts for your listing, and many more tools– Helium 10.
RECOMMENDED COURSES FOR PRIVATE LABEL
4. Amazon Wholesale
Another business model to get away from a lot of the competition on Amazon FBA is to buy from wholesalers or distributors.
“…the biggest sellers on Amazon are using the wholesale model.”
To open an account with a quality authorized wholesaler, you often need to be an established and registered business.
Do not expect the pricing to always be that competitive. We sometimes find they are actually more expensive than retailer stores. Wholesalers will, however, have unique products, promotions, and bulk deals.
If you source from wholesalers or distributors, they will provide you with official invoices. With Amazon often requiring these invoices to sell restricted brands or in gated categories, this is a big advantage.
Amazon sellers can build a very solid large-scale business using the wholesale model. In fact, a lot of the biggest sellers on Amazon are using this sourcing model.
✅ Pros – Reliable supply, very scalable, legal protection, less competition, unique discounts, proven products.
❌ Cons – Moderate start-up costs and you will need to look professional when applying for an account.
More details on buying from wholesalers and distributors can be found here: Finding Wholesale Suppliers and Distributors for Amazon FBA.
RECOMMENDED TOOLS FOR WHOLESALE
We recommend using Tactical Arbitrage to help find deals from wholesalers – you can upload wholesalers’ price lists to help find profitable products.
RECOMMENDED COURSES FOR WHOLESALE
5. Amazon Dropshipping
Dropshipping on Amazon is a high-risk strategy. Amazon is so strict that a few late deliveries or lost orders will result in your seller account being shut down.
“…do not use Chinese suppliers to dropship on Amazon.”
With a lot of Amazon dropshipping, you are trusting a third party to deliver orders and keep your customers happy. These dropshippers are often based in China and therefore can prove unreliable.
If you are going to dropship on Amazon, then only use reliable local wholesalers who offer express shipping. You will also need to keep your seller central inventory pricing and stock levels updated regularly so you avoid being unable to fulfill orders.
We strongly recommend you do not use Chinese suppliers to dropship on Amazon – your seller account will not last long. Dropshipping works a lot better on eBay, Shopify, or your own website as you have more flexibility.
✅ Pros – No need to invest in stock or warehousing, so it’s very easy to start.
❌ Cons – Very High Risk and your Amazon seller account is likely to be closed down. Dropshippers cannot use FBA therefore find it harder to compete for orders. Dropshipping is actually against Amazon’s Terms of Service.
Selling Liquidation and Clearance Items on Amazon
If you find reputable liquidation companies and build a good relationship with them, this can prove to be a very profitable niche.
You can buy new items as well as used or damaged stock. If you buy new, it at least removes the need to carefully inspect each item’s condition.
Some of the stock available will be discontinued products and some will be from companies that have gone out of business. Often you will then have unique stock which you can resell on Amazon with very little competition.
For a comprehensive list of all the best Amazon sourcing options, please download our essential guide:
Part 3 Summary: So where do you start? If you are new to selling on Amazon, it is probably best to try out some Arbitrage first to get a feel for how Amazon FBA works. You can then look at developing your own Private Label brand or start buying from wholesalers and distributors.
Part 4: What to Sell on Amazon FBA
What should you sell on Amazon FBA? Once you have chosen between Arbitrage, Private Label, and Dropshipping, you need to know how beginners can source the right products for selling on Amazon FBA.
What Can I Sell on Amazon as a New Seller?
Amazon are quite strict on what can be sold on the FBA marketplace. Before stocking up on a particular product, you need to check you have permission to sell it.
To keep their customers happy, Amazon needs to make sure sellers are only listing genuine products. You should get official invoices for everything you buy just in case Amazon needs to check your products are authentic.
There are different rules for each category and some categories are restricted for new sellers. The amount of time you have had your Amazon seller account will partly determine which categories and brands you can sell.
How to Get Ungated on Amazon
If the category you want to sell in is gated, then you can apply for permission from Amazon. To get ungated, you will need to have a professional seller account and supply invoices from authorized suppliers of your product.
Ungating – this is the process of getting approval to sell in Amazon restricted categories
There are also many brands that are restricted/gated and you may need to contact the brand owners to get written permission before listing them.
Gated Categories for Amazon USA
- Collectible Coins
- Personal Safety and Household products
- Entertainment Collectibles
- Fine Art
- Holiday Selling Requirements in Toys & Games
- Join Amazon Handmade
- Join Amazon Subscription Boxes
- Made in Italy
- Music & DVD
- Automotive & Powersports
- Sports Collectibles
- Streaming Media Players
- Video, DVD, & Blu-ray
Restricted Products for Amazon USA
- Animals & Animal-Related Products
- Art – Fine Art
- Art – Home Decor
- Automotive and Powersports
- Composite Wood Products
- Cosmetics & Skin/Hair Care
- Currency, Coins, Cash Equivalents, and Gift Cards
- Dietary Supplements
- Drugs & drug paraphernalia
- Explosives, Weapons, and Related Items
- Export Controls
- Food & Beverage
- Gambling & Lottery
- Hazardous and Dangerous Items
- Human Parts & Burial Artifacts
- Jewelry & Precious Gems
- Laser products
- Lock Picking & Theft Devices
- Medical devices and accessories
- Offensive and Controversial Materials
- Pesticides and Pesticide Devices
- Plant and Seed Products
- Postage Meters & Stamps
- Recalled Products
- Recycling electronics
- Subscriptions and Periodicals
- Surveillance Equipment
- Tobacco & Tobacco-Related Products
- Warranties, Service Plans, Contracts, and Guarantees
- Other Restricted Products
- Refrigerants: Ozone-Depleting Substances and Substitutes
- Ink and toner cartridges
The Top 5 Amazon Categories by the Total Number of FBA Sellers
- Home & Kitchen
- Sports & Outdoors
- Toys & Games
- Health, Household & Baby Care
- Beauty & Personal Care
The Selling Family Ungating Service
If you want help to get ungated in the most lucrative categories, we highly recommend The Selling Family Ungating Service. This service will help you get ungated quickly and fully within the Amazon Terms of Service.
Using this service will allow you to sell toy brands such as Mattel, Barbie, Funko POP!, Fisher-Price, Hasbro, Disney, and more.
It will also open lucrative sub-categories such as Topicals, Baby Topicals, Baby Diapering, Oral Hygiene, and Feminine Hygiene.
You can find more details on ungating Amazon restricted categories here:
Part 4 Summary: Before investing in stock check you are allowed to sell the brand or in the category selected.
Part 5: Finding Products to Sell on Amazon
How do you find good products to sell on Amazon? Exactly how you source products to sell on Amazon will depend on the Amazon business model you selected.
However, there are still some basic product criteria you should use to give you the best chance of success.
Criteria for Winning Products to Sell on Amazon;
1.✅ Best Sellers Rank under 50,000.
2.✅ Return on Investment (ROI) over 30%.
3.✅ Profit Per Sale (PPS) over $10. If you are making less than $5 on an order, you can easily find your profits wiped out by competitors lowering their price.
4.✅ Size – smaller the better. Avoid ‘Oversize’. Smaller products will mean cheaper shipping and also cheaper storage. This all impacts your bottom line.
5.✅ Avoid Gated Brands or Categories – it is best to avoid until you are more experienced.
6.✅ Avoid High-Risk Brands – any doubts then avoid.
7.✅ Value – between $10-$40 is the sweet spot.
8.✅ Products that will maintain value or increase in value rather than becoming obsolete.
9.✅ Low Returns Rate – look for an Amazon review rating of at least 4 stars.
10.✅ Categories – start with Toys, Home, or Office and build from there.
11.✅ Buy Price – ideally below RRP/SRP or the average sale price over the last 3 months – and still be able to at least break even.
12.✅ Wide Appeal – bonus if you can sell on other platforms like eBay.
13.✅ Low Seasonality – you can sell all year round, not just one season like Halloween or Christmas.
14.✅ Simple Products – best to avoid glass, lithium batteries, fragile items, or complex products.
How To Find Products To Sell on Amazon for Each Business Model
Finding Retail Arbitrage Products
To get started with Retail Arbitrage, you need to open an individual Amazon selling account and then download the Amazon seller app.
Then visit stores like Walmart, Target, Home Depot, Big Lots, Staples, Office Depot. When in the stores, use BuyBotPro or the Amazon Seller App to scan the barcodes on each product and see if there are any you can make a good profit on.
Finding Online Arbitrage Products
To start finding products for Online Arbitrage, you will most likely need to use software like SourceMogul or Tactical Arbitrage. Both offer a 10-day trial so you can get started. You can also search manually and maybe look at deal sites, clearance sections of websites or look for discount codes.
Finding Private Label Products
With Private Label, you need to start with product research, as you will be creating the product from scratch. Start by using tools like Helium 10 or Jungle Scout to find high-demand, low-competition products. You will then need to contact suppliers on Alibaba or AliExpress to get quotes for the products.
Finding Wholesale Products
Before contacting wholesalers, we recommend setting up a company name and company email. Then apply for an account and ask for their price list, ideally with barcodes for each product. You can use Tactical Arbitrage or Sourcemogul to then automatically scan through these lists for profitable products.
Part 5 Summary: If you are an Amazon beginner, you should check products against the criteria listed above to avoid costly mistakes.
Part 6: How to Open an Amazon Seller Account
The Amazon Marketplaces with the highest volume of orders are amazon.com, amazon.co.uk, amazon.ca, and amazon.de.
When new sellers are setting up an Amazon Seller Account, they can choose between an Individual Selling Account or a Professional Selling Account.
There are benefits to having a professional account, such as lower selling fees, but it will cost $39.99 per month. If you have an individual account, you will get charged about $1 extra in Amazon selling fees per sale.
We recommend beginners test out selling on Amazon with an Individual Selling Account first and then upgrade if it works for you.
Amazon recommends you should sign up for a Professional Selling Account when you are selling more than 40 items per month or if you are a registered business. You can still use Amazon FBA with an individual selling account.
Don’t worry, you can downgrade or upgrade the account type later on.
Advantages of a Professional Seller Account:
- You can apply to sell in gated categories.
- You can win the Amazon Buy Box.
- You can use Amazon advertising tools.
- Access to bulk data feeds and API integration.
When you first set up your Amazon Seller Central account, you are given the option to link it to your existing buying account. We recommend you create a new, separate seller account with a new registered email address.
This is what you will need to open an Amazon seller account:
- Business name, address, and contact details.
- Bank account number and bank routing number.
- A chargeable credit card like Visa or Mastercard.
- A phone number.
- Your tax identity information (an SSN or EIN is only required for U.S. businesses)
Part 6 Summary: It is usually best to test out an Individual Seller account before upgrading to a Professional account.
Part 7: How Much Does It Cost to Sell on Amazon?
Amazon FBA Startup Costs
How much does it cost to sell on Amazon? When beginners start selling on Amazon FBA, initial costs will largely depend on which business model they are following i.e. Arbitrage, Wholesale or Private Label.
Amazon Arbitrage Costs
- Amazon Individual Seller account $0
- Inventory $150
Arbitrage Optional Costs
💰 TOTAL STARTUP COSTS FOR ARBITRAGE – $150 – $700
Amazon Private Label Costs
- Amazon Professional Account $39.99
- Inventory $1000 – $3000
- Official UPC codes $250+
- Shipping $500
- Product Samples $100 – $150
Private Label Optional Costs
- Product Photography up to $300
- FBA Course $1000+ (Marketplace Superheroes)
- Software (Helium 10 or Jungle Scout) $30 a month
- Inspection Service $100- $300
- PPC Advertising $250
💰 TOTAL STARTUP COSTS FOR PRIVATE LABEL – $1850 – $5500
How Much Are Amazon Selling Fees?
How much are the Amazon selling fees? There are a number of different Amazon selling fees new sellers need to be aware of. Amazon beginners often overlook these fees and then find they are making a lot less profit than they thought.
You can also check the ‘Fee Preview’ column in your Seller Central ‘Inventory Management’ to get an idea of the fees you are likely to be charged.
Amazon Referral Fee – this is a percentage of the final selling price. Referral fees range from about 7% to about 15% depending on the category.
Here are the current Amazon referral fees for the USA as an example:
FBA Fulfilment Fees – this is the fee Amazon charges for picking, packing, and shipping your FBA products to the customers. This is normally about $1-4 per order, depending on the size of the item.
Amazon Storage Fees – Amazon charges a fee each month an item is stored in their warehouse. This is about $0.75 per month per cubic foot. As an example, a toy would cost about $0.05 per month and a large item like a printer would cost about $0.20.
As you can see, Amazon FBA storage fees are quite low and it usually works out cheaper than renting your own storage unit or warehouse space.
Storage fees do increase substantially in the busy 3 months before Christmas, so you will need to be more careful about how much stock you send to FBA.
Additional Fees – you will pay extra if you get Amazon to label your products or add special packaging.
Additional FBA Service Rate/Unit
- Removal $0.25 – $1.90 per item
- Disposal $0.25 – $1.90 per item
- Label Service $0.30 per item
- Bagging $0.50 per item
- Opaque Bagging $1.00 per item
- Bubble Wrap $0.80 per item
- Inventory Placement Service $0.30 – $1.30 per item
Part 7 Summary: Starting with Amazon Arbitrage can cost as little as $150. For Private Label, it can often be over $1500. Always take into account the seller fees.
Part 8: Listing and Selling Your Amazon Products
How to Get Your First Products Live on Amazon
I always think the best way for beginners to learn how Amazon FBA works is to just get started and sell something. Taking real action will avoid you being trapped in ‘paralysis by analysis’.
Getting your first product live on the Amazon Marketplace will remove a lot of the mystery. Starting your Amazon business will quickly become less overwhelming.
We recommend you try buying a low-cost popular product and get it listed. If you make a profit, it’s a bonus, but it’s more about the valuable lessons it will teach you.
You will have taken real action and cleared the first big psychological barrier sellers face. Suddenly it is no longer all theory and you are officially an Amazon seller! 💪
PRO TIP: Remember if your products don’t sell or you change your mind you can get Amazon to return them for a small fee.
How to List Products on Amazon
If you are using Amazon FBA, then you need to ship your stock to the Amazon Fulfillment Center to get started.
How do you list a product on Amazon? First, you need to add your products to your inventory.
You do this from the Inventory tab – then select ‘Add a Product‘. Enter the barcode, ASIN, or title of the product and it should find a matching listing.
If you can’t find a match in the Amazon catalog, which is unlikely, then you will need to create the product listing from scratch. I would definitely try to avoid this if you are a new seller.
If you are doing Private Label, you will always need to create a new listing. You need to use a unique UPC barcode purchased from GS1 for each new product you sell.
The next step is to enter your price, condition, and your own internal SKU code for the product. You can then choose to have orders Fulfilled by Amazon or Fulfilled by Merchant.
Make sure you select the 2nd option for Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) otherwise your products will go live immediately and you will be obliged to ship any orders to the customer. If you select FBA, then the listing will only go live once Amazon has received your stock.
When selling used items, remember to be honest about the condition of the products. If anything, you should err on the side of underselling it. This way the customer is likely to be pleasantly surprised and leave good feedback.
PRO TIP: Avoid using ‘stickerless commingled inventory’. Amazon will mix your stock with other sellers’ stock. If other sellers have faulty items or poor quality products, then your customers might receive these and you will get bad feedback as a result.
Shipping to Amazon FBA
How do you ship to Amazon FBA? Once you have added the product to your inventory, a shipping plan can be created. This is where you enter the quantity of each product you are sending to Amazon.
Some products may require special preparation and you can opt to have Amazon do this for a small fee or do it yourself. If you are just starting out, it is probably easier to let Amazon do it.
Then you print your FNSKU labels and attach them over the barcode on each product. You can get Amazon to add the labels, which again costs a small amount but is recommended for your first shipment.
Amazon will then ask you for the total weight and dimensions of the boxes and charge you for this. Ideally, you want to send a decent size full box to keep shipping costs down.
Amazon will charge a minimum of about $5 shipping, so you might as well send as many products as you can for this price.
There is no minimum quantity though and if you wanted, you could ship one single item. The shipping would still be $5, so it would probably wipe out any profits.
Sending a box about 50cm x 50cm x 40cm weighing under 15Kg should cost around $5.
You then need to make sure your products are well protected and packed in the box. Then seal up the box and attach the UPS shipping labels on the outside.
You can arrange for UPS to collect the parcel or drop it off at a UPS access point. Amazon will pay UPS for the shipping and then deduct this amount from your selling account balance.
PRO TIP – Amazon charges for the overall dimensional rather than the actual weight of the shipment. This is usually Length x Width x Height in cm then divided by 5,000. On most parcels, it will be more than the actual weight. They also charge a small amount for each extra parcel. Therefore, the cheapest way to send to FBA is fewer, larger well-filled boxes.
How to Prep Products for Amazon FBA
Make sure all the items you are sending are in the condition the customer will be expecting. If any are damaged in any way and you are listing them as new, do not be tempted to send them in.
You should either return the damaged items to the supplier or list them under ‘used’ condition. Another option is to sell them on eBay.
Remember, your seller account is very valuable, and it is never worth risking negative feedback from customers.
PRO TIP: Remember to remove all pricing stickers or any references to the stores where you bought the products. To remove stickers, use a hairdryer or heat gun to heat them up, then carefully peel them off.
When boxing up the products, it is more important to protect the products than have a nice looking parcel. Use the toughest box you can find and just remember to cover up any visible barcodes or labels.
You can then use bubble wrap, offcuts of card, or paper to pack out around the edges of your products, so if the box does get damaged, the items are protected away from the sides.
PRO TIP: Before sealing the box, take a quick photo of the contents. This will show they were in good condition and the quantities you sent. This can then be used if there is a dispute with Amazon over damaged stock or missing inventory.
Shipping to the Amazon Fulfillment Center
Your inventory should take between 2-5 days to get to the Amazon Fulfillment Center and then a few days to be processed before going live.
Remember as soon as the stock is booked in the products will go live on Amazon, so this is a good time to double-check your selling price.
Once your products start selling, Amazon will take their cut in selling fees. Amazon will transfer the remaining funds to your registered bank account roughly every two weeks.
Basic Supplies We Recommend for Preparing Your Amazon Shipments
Part 8 Summary: We recommend Amazon beginners learn on the job, so invest in a few items and get them listed.
Part 9: How to Get Your First 100 Sales on Amazon
How Can a New Seller Compete on Amazon?
Competitive pricing is the main way to get sales on Amazon, but there are other things you can do:
6 Proven Strategies To Get Sales on Amazon
1. Source your products carefully at the lowest prices, which will enable you to drop your prices if a competitor drops theirs.
2. Using Fulfilled by Amazon gives you a big advantage. FBA sellers can have higher prices than non-FBA sellers and still get the sale.
3. Avoid having to compete directly with Amazon. Amazon does not sell every product on the site. Amazon are happier to leave a huge chunk of products to third-party marketplace sellers.
4. Win the Buy Box. Even if Amazon are selling a product, they will often share the Buy Box. If you have a good price and performance metrics, then they might let you have the sale.
5. Target low competition products with less than 5 other sellers.
6. Offer a great service. This way Amazon are more likely to give you the Buy Box. It may take a couple of months to build up your seller metrics, so get started now.
We have more details on buying the right products in our guide:
How to Find the Best Products to Sell on Amazon 👈
The Amazon Buy Box and Why It Is So Important
When researching how to sell on Amazon, you will see people referring to the ‘Buy Box‘.
“the seller with the Buy Box will get about 90% of the orders.”
If you have the Amazon Buy Box, it means you are the main seller on the product page. When a customer clicks ‘Add to cart’ it is your product they are buying.
The seller with the Buy Box will get about 90% of total orders for that product, so you really need to focus on winning it. It can make a huge difference to your volume of sales.
How Does Amazon Decide Who Gets the Buy Box?
Amazon uses complex algorithms to determine who is the Buy Box seller. It is not just based on price. It also depends on how good your selling stats are, your stock levels, how long you have been selling, your selling history on the product, and whether you are an FBA seller.
FBA sellers will normally win the Buy Box even if their price is 10% higher than Merchant Fulfilled sellers.
If you have been successfully selling a product for a while, you can be more expensive than other FBA sellers and still keep the Buy Box.
As an example, we currently have a product which we have sold for about 6 months, priced at $140. Amazon is listing it for $120 and another FBA seller started at $130, but we still kept the Buy Box.
It is purely our selling history and metrics that mean Amazon allows us to keep the Buy Box and make healthy profits. Amazon can be nice to sellers sometimes :).
Buy Box Featured and Other Sellers
Featured Sellers are sellers who meet the criteria to have the Buy Box but are not the winner. Amazon will sometimes rotate all Featured Sellers so they get a share of the Buy Box. This means they all take turns and for part of the day, they might be the main seller and get the orders.
If you do not meet the Buy Box requirements, you are simply one of the ‘other sellers’. To see your offer, the customers have to click through to a separate page. This is why you are a lot less likely to get an order.
If there are no sellers that meet the requirements of the Buy Box because their pricing is too high or seller stats are poor, then Amazon will place all sellers on this separate page.
We have a full guide on how the Buy Box works and how to win it here: How to Win the Amazon Buy Box: Ultimate Guide
Part 9 Summary: Being the Buy Box seller is key to success on Amazon and using FBA is a key factor in winning the Buy Box.
You need to get started as soon as you can if you want to make selling on Amazon FBA a reality rather than just a pipe dream.
Summary – What To Do Next?
Thousands of people make a full-time income from Amazon FBA. They have only achieved this because they took action and invested the time and energy required to build their business.
Take a look at these guides to help you find your first products or invest in the best sourcing tools:
The 5 Best Selling Tools for Amazon Product Sourcing
A lot of sellers will sign up for an Amazon course to help jump-start their FBA business. These are our current best rated Amazon courses:
- Marketplace Superheroes 🏆
- Amazing Selling Machine
- Freedom Ticket with Helium 10
- Amazon Boot Camp
- Proven Amazon Course
- The Wholesale Formula
All the Amazon courses listed have received positive feedback from students and produced thousands of successful Amazon sellers.
Good luck and please ask any questions you have in our Facebook groups to help you get started.
With the help of our community, Amazon beginners can stay focused and motivated and build a successful online business.
Take Action Today!
Good luck and Happy Selling!
Article By James PercivalFounder and Lead Editor of The Selling Guys
James has been selling online for over 15 years. He has focused mainly on Amazon selling but also has experience of selling on eBay, selling globally, building ecommerce sites and much more.
He still runs a very successful ecommerce business but decided to help other sellers to make money online through ‘The Selling Guys’ website and the ‘Amazon Selling for Beginners’ Facebook group.
He has 3 children, two dogs and a (now missing) cat.