How to Sell on Amazon
Since Amazon came to be on July 5, 1994, it has stood the test of time and has proven beyond reasonable doubt that it has come to stay. The Amazon we discuss here is not the forest of South America, but of the pioneering ecommerce web platform that sells all kinds of product.
Although Amazon started as an online bookstore, it has grown in the past 23 years to a haven of all products conceivable ranging from home supplies to industrial machinery. Although the hardcopy books on which it was founded is still being traded there, it is the softcopy books which run on its Amazon Kindle platform that is making the most wave at the moment.
Why Should You Care?
Amazon is the world’s first and most popular ecommerce website. Not only is it the most trusted one, it is perhaps the most profitable. A proof of this can be seen in the life of its founder, Jeff Bezos who is among the top ten richest men in the world.
People say wealth is infectious, and so is poverty. This statement has never been truer or better proven than in the Amazon phenomenon. Not only does Amazon make its owners and direct employees rich, it has also made many average men and women successful just by providing them with the platform to market their products. There are individuals who would have otherwise been financially hopeless which Amazon Kindle has given hope by rewarding their ability to write.
In fact, you should consider selling on Amazon for the following reasons:
- Amazon is the world’s leading online store, hence, you are guaranteed an audience made up of compulsive buyers.
- Amazon’s web pages are powerfully optimized for search engines. This means both you, your product and your brand will get more publicity and rank higher when you use Amazon as your ecommerce platform.
- People trust Amazon and will readily make payments through the site. This is something you do not get if you run an unpopular online store or just getting started in this line of business.
- It is a great way to make money online whether you own the products you need to sell or not.
- If you are inexperienced in the ecommerce world, Amazon is a great way to learn and earn in one swift stroke.
The advantages could go on and on but we need to get down to the business of the day. So, are you ready to start selling and making money online? Let’s begin. Making money by selling on Amazon takes place in a number of ways which we will discuss immediately.
Step One: Niche Down
Wait a minute. Even before thinking about niching down, it is important that you decide what form of product you want to sell at the moment. Basically, there are two forms of products you can sell on Amazon. We can be simply referred to them as hard products and soft products.
By hard products, we are looking at tangible products such as Industrial materials, furniture, kitchen supplies, electronics, hardcopy books and more. Soft products will however refer to those products we cannot handle physically per se such as e-books that feature on Amazon Kindle, audio books as you would see on Audible, music albums, and every other kind of products that one cannot be physically handled.
Irrespective of the type of product you want to sell, some things are certain: you want to make money, you want to succeed, and as a result, you must choose a niche. This simply means deciding on which category of products to sell.
Before selecting a niche, briefly answer all of the following questions:
- Do I love this kind of products?
- Am I willing to continue promoting and marketing them even when the sales are no forthcoming?
- Are there people willing to pay for them?
- Are there enough of these people to guarantee the possibility of earning something substantial from?
- Can I easily ship these items from my location after an order has been placed?
If you answered “Yes” to all of these questions, you have got yourself a niche. And what if you think you can perform in more than one niches? The answer would be simple: there are niches you will record your best performance with; so opt for that niche. After all, you can always switch products later on.
Congratulations on successfully choosing a niche. We may now proceed to the next step.
Step Two: Register
After choosing a niche, the first and only possible thing to do next is to register on amazon. Fortunately, it is easy to do so. What is more? Registering on the platform is totally free too.
Simply visit Amazon’s official website and follow the sign up prompt on its homepage. As soon as you have registered and confirmed your email address, you become a proud owner of an Amazon account. But then, you are not ready to start selling. No. Not yet. You will need to set up your merchant or seller account.
To do this, you have to click on the Your Account tab which you will find at the top right corner of the page that displays when you sign up. When the window loads, click on Your Seller Account and proceed to clicking Start Selling. After the window loads, you will be able to fill out a form. There you will input your name, address, business or individual name (depending on whether you intend to run the business as an individual or a brand).
Take your time to go through the information you have provided them as not all of the data you input can be readily edited afterwards. After checking and all is good, you can proceed to clicking the tab which reads Register and Continue.
Step Three: Listing Your Product
This is a very simple thing to do but not one to be done in a haste. Listing your product goes beyond just a few clicks. This is perhaps the most important part of the selling process since it will determine how much traffic your product gets and how much sales you generate. One mistake in this stage can frustrate your efforts or even reduce your success rate.
In simple steps, this is what you have to do:
a) Search for an item that is most similar to what you want to sell, or even the exact copy of it. Whatever it is you want to sell on Amazon, someone, perhaps, is already selling it. Simply search for it and create your product with its photos (Don’t worry about this. It’s automated). But if you cannot find anything similar, there’s provision for uploading pictures of your product.
b) Assuming you found a similar product or have uploaded yours, the next thing to do will be to select Condition of the Item. Here, you can state whether you product is new or a fairly used on, so as to give buyers an idea of what is obtainable.
c) Next step will be Pricing. Pay particular attention to this part of the entire process. You must price your product strategically if you ever want to record tangible success selling on Amazon. To achieve this, do the following:
- Carry out a careful research to find out the average price your competitors are selling the same product.
- Price a little bit lower than them especially if you are new to the platform. But do not give potential buyers the impression that you are selling crap by pricing too low.
- Practice what I call Progressive Pricing. This simply means to offer a product for more than one price but at a decreasing rate depending on the volume of purchase. For instance, you can offer to sell one piece for $10, 10 to 50 pieces for $8.25, and 100 pieces and above at $6.
- Consider adding free shipping options to attract bulk orders.
Step Four: Shipping Methods
This is the third step and one of the most important steps if you are selling a physical product–of course, you cannot ship a soft product. You can decide to ship only to buyers within a specific locale such as the United States only, or offer international shipping to just about every country in the world.
In this section, you can also state the shipping fee depending on the quantity a buyer purchases, or even offer free shipping. Either way, this is the place to manage your shipping.
Step Five: Submit Listing
This is as simple as clicking the button which bear the aforementioned term. After this, your product will be live on Amazon listing and visible to buyers.
Having successfully listed your product, let’s discuss how to handle sales and manage the business. When an order comes in on any of your products, deal with it like this.
1. View Your Marketplace Orders
Use this link to find out if anyone has ordered your product.
2. Verify Complete
Simply use this to show that you have attended to the order.
3. Verify Method of Shipment
Here, you verify whether you can ship to the buyer’s destination since some buyers unknowingly order items that are not available for shipment in their regions. Also verify if the address provided exists or looks authentic.
4. Print Receipts and Address Slip
Although many buyers and sellers care less about this, it pays to print and document these invoices. There’s a chance that a dispute may result during the transaction; this is where these documents may come in.
Use cartons or any other suitable material to wrap the buyer’s package. Do well to write the buyer’s name, address and contact information on the package for easy identification at the point of collection. You may also attach a sticker that advertises your business or brand on the package.
6. Ship It
This is as simple as using your chosen parcel delivery service to send the package to your buyer.
7. Confirm Shipment
Use this functionality to let both the buyer and Amazon know that you have mailed the package.
What next? It’s time to earn money after your efforts. For new sellers, Amazon waits 14 days to credit their accounts for understandable reasons. But famed sellers don’t have to wait as much.
Becoming successful selling on Amazon is simple but not easy. You have to pay attention to every step of the selling process especially in your product descriptions. That’s where you get to make potential buyers place orders for your products. Don’t forget to optimize your product description for search engines to improve visibility. Good luck selling on Amazon!