5 Things You Need To Know Before Selling On Amazon | Guest Post by Ashley Coblentz
Selling on Amazon can be a great way to earn an income. Shopping online is continually growing in popularity and Amazon is the king of online market places. Starting out as a brand new Amazon seller can also be a little intimidating when you aren’t sure where to begin. There’s a lot you need to know and feeling overwhelmed by it all is completely normal.
While there are a lot of tips out there for selling on Amazon not all of those tips are geared towards beginners and first-time sellers. If you have ever started reading a list of tips only to walk away with more questions than answers you aren’t alone. The tips you read about might be helpful later but right now they aren’t helpful at all.
Starting out your Amazon journey doesn’t have to be overwhelming if you know where to look for the right resources and help. Finding tips and tools that are meant for first time sellers is the key to learning as much as possible before you start selling. With that in mind, here are seven things you need to know before selling on Amazon.
1. The Difference Between FBA and FBM
Don’t feel overwhelmed just reading that. These are very common acronyms for Amazon sellers and they’re easily explained. FBA and FBM are the two shipping options you have as an Amazon seller. FBM means “Fulfillment By Merchant” and it’s a seller option where you yourself handle all the shipping of your items after your customer places their order.
FBA is “Fulfillment By Amazon” and it means that you’ll ship your items to Amazon and they’ll ship the items to the customer. FBA allows customers to take advantage of their Amazon Prime shipping benefits as well. That’s a big deal because a lot of customers will choose Prime eligible items over other similar items because it saves them money on shipping.
FBA does have some fees associated with each listing and item you use FBA for. The good thing to know about this is that there are Amazon FBA fee calculators to help you understand how much a listing will cost, and how to use that information to make sure you’re pricing your item correctly. You’ll want to make sure you aren’t losing money by pricing too low.
2. How Listing Fees Work
There are fees for each listing and product you sell on Amazon. The fee structures vary depending on things like the category you sell in, and which type of seller account you have. Amazon offers two selling plans; the individual plan and the professional plan. Understanding the difference is important in making the right decision.
Individual sellers pay a flat fee of $39.99 per month in addition to other listing fees. It’s ideal for anyone planning to sell less than 40 items per month. The reason 40 items is the cut off is that professional sellers do not pay a monthly fee but they do pay a .99 cent fee per item sold. As you can see, at 40 items you break even and at that point the pro plan saves money.
You’ll also want to be aware of how refund administration fees and FBA fees work. It’s inevitable that you’ll have at least a few returns and Amazon does charge a fee for that so making sure you’re aware of how all the fees work before you start selling can help you avoid some unpleasant surprises along the way.
3. Your Listing Titles And Information Are Really Important
Amazon sells millions of products and customers have to be able to find what they are looking for easily or they’re going to assume Amazon just doesn’t have that item. Because you’re going to be competing with other sellers to grab a customer’s attention you have to put special focus on how you title your listing, and what your product description says.
Keep in mind that Amazon is going to use your title, your product description, your category choice, and anything you choose to tag your listing as to decide if it’s relevant to a customer’s search. These things are too important to just guess and hope you made the right choices. The best thing you can continue to do as you make your listings is to use a keyword tool religiously.
4. Understand What It Means To Win The Buy Box
This is a term you’re going to hear often while you’re selling on Amazon. If you aren’t sure what it means, that’s completely fine. It’s not a familiar term unless you’re already an Amazon seller. The “buy box” is the space reserved for the item customers can at to their cart (or choose the buy it now option) without clicking on a list of sellers who have listed the same item.
Winning the buy box is a big deal. Customers don’t often choose to expand the list of sellers available if there’s already a product in the buy box. It’s easier to just click the add to cart option and check out without thinking twice about it.
Amazon is pretty secretive about the exact algorithm they use to determine who wins the buy box on an item with multiple sellers. They do state that it’s related to low price, inventory, seller ratings, and good reviews. They just don’t expand on how much each thing matters or if there’s more to it than that.
5. Know About Your Resources Before You Get Started
There are tons of seller tools out there for you to use. You should know about them before you get started so you know where to go when you hit a bump in the road. You’ve already read about a few really useful tools like keyword tools and FBA calculators. These aren’t your only options though. There are tools out there for just about everything related to selling on Amazon.
The point with this tip is just to be aware that these tools are out there and they really do make a big difference. If you find that you’re repeatedly running into a problem there’s probably a tool out there to help you fix that. If you aren’t sure, one other resource that you can use is Amazon’s Seller Central. There you can ask other sellers for advice and see how they handle the same issue.
Selling on Amazon is something that can be very exciting and fulfilling. As long as you’re doing your research before you get started you’ll be fine once you list your first item. The key is just to make sure you stay informed while you go. Remember that you don’t want to get so excited about being a seller that you rush the research process.
The more effort you put in the more you’re going to get out of it in the long run. It may not be the most exciting part of your Amazon journey but it’s one of the most important parts. When you do finally start selling and you see how well your listings are doing you’ll realize it was all worth it. Good luck and happy selling!
About The Author
Ashley Coblentz is a lifestyle blogger currently writing for Synccentric and political journalist. After graduating from college, she worked as a Registered Nurse at one of the largest hospitals in South Dakota until deciding to be a full-time mom.
She remains very passionate about the nursing profession and often volunteers in her extra time to teach community education classes on first aid and other related topics. She has one amazing child who keeps her on her toes.
Who knew 10-year-olds could have so many questions? If you want to keep up with her and see what she’s writing next you can find her on Twitter or check out her portfolio for other fun reads.