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How do I sell on Amazon?

Amazon has made online selling easy. Because of the huge reach that Amazon have, many retailers sell more on Amazon than they do through their own website and even their own Bricks and Mortar shop.

Getting started is simple:

(1) Sign up for a Professional Account (a few tens of pounds a month).

(2) If you are selling items already on Amazon; say how many you have to sell, define the prices and set the shipping options. Or add your items to the Amazon Catalogue first.

(3) Sell stuff!

(4) Ship it, and receive payment from Amazon each few weeks, less their commission.


What do I need to do to sell on Amazon. or... The Amazon Sellers Quick Guide.

1. The Amazon Catalogue: Millions of fully defined items waiting for you to sell them.

Amazon has an extensive catalogue, and if you are selling items already in it, then you can be up and running in no time.

Each item on Amazon is given an "ASIN" reference, and this ties together other product references such as ISBNs and EANs.

2. The Amazon reach: Amazon has huge global reach thanks to local Amazons in many countries.

As a third party seller you could be selling on Amazon marketplaces in the UK, USA, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Japan, India, China, Mexico & Australia.

Some are easier to set up than others, China and India require some form of local presence for instance.

3. Using Fulfilled By Amazon: Letting Amazon ship your orders directly from it's Fulfillment Centres can make life simple.

FBA is appealing to many retailers as it simplifies the fulfillment process enormously. You ship your items to their warehouse, allowing Amazon to deal with your orders.

It can prove a surprisingly cost effective option.

4. Restricted Categories: You may have to get specific permission from Amazon depending on what you are selling.

To protect Amazon customers, certain categories are restricted and require that you register your interest in selling in them via Seller Central.

Groceries, Perfumes and Toys are among the areas that Amazon will seek approval.

5.  The Amazon Buy Box: Winning the Amazon Buy Box can boost your sales a great deal.

To win the Buy Box, you'll need a great selling and fulfillment history as well as a great price. Winners of the Buy Box are sellers you score across a range of Amazon Seller metrics.

In some categories, such as Media, you can only win the Buy Box if you use FBA.

6.  Seller Metrics: Keep your Seller Metrics high or you will risk being suspended from Amazon.

Amazon monitors the performance of it's third party sellers closely to protect their brand and their online reputation.

They set tough targets: An Order Defect Rate of less Than 1%; An Order Cancellation Rate of Less Than 2.5%; and a Late Shipment Rate of Less Than 4%.

7. Stock Control: You must avoid overselling on Amazon, so realtime Stock Control is a must.

To avoid breaching Amazon's quality metrics it's essential that you fulfill all your orders.

That means that if you are selling the same items through other channels you must have some way to keep your stock levels accurate, and a way to update Amazon fast.

8. Competitive Pricing: There are many thousands of sellers on Amazon, and that means your prices need to competitive all the time.

If you are selling items that are also being sold by other retailers then it is essential that you use automated repricing software to keep your listings competitive.

Automated repricing is a must to remain competitive.

9. Product Listing Optimisation: Getting found on Amazon is essential if you want to sell your items. To do that your listings need to be properly set up.

When you add items to the Amazon Catalogue it is important that you create a listing that can be found and that will create sales.

You need a great title, great bullet points and a great description to get found. If you don't take the time to do that then your sales will disappoint.

10. Handling Complaints: Amazon take their customer complaints seriously, so it is vital to handle then promptly and well.

Bad feedback from your customers will result in your account being suspended by Amazon. So it's incredibly important to have great customer service and to resolve things speedily, especially refunds.

If a customer leaves a poor review against your business, but the review is about a product, then you can have that removed.

11. Amazon Fees: Each category has it's own set commission level.

In addition to the monthly fee, Amazon also charge a selling fee. It is a percentage of the price the customer pays, and that percentage varies depending on the category.

Amazon also charge a fixed Closing Fee in certain categories such as Books, 50p in the UK.

Excluding Amazon Device Accessories; Percentage fees range from 8% to 15%.

12. Vendor Central: If Amazon are selling your goods directly, Vendor Central is where they are managed.

Third Party Sellers will manage sales via Seller Central.

However, Vendor Central is where manufacturers and distributors manage their sales directly to Amazon. If you are using Vendor Central then you are acting as a supplier and Amazon is  acting as the retailer.

If you use Vendor Central then bear in mind that Amazon is a powerful buyer, and that you lose control of the listing quality.

Selling on Amazon will revolutionise your online retail sales

Why should I sell on Amazon?

Amazon is dominant when it comes to online sales, NOT selling on Amazon means you are missing out on an increasingly large sales opportunity. You may have good reasons to avoid Amazon, but here is why you should.

1. Amazon's 12 country specific sites allow you to sell globally with little overheads.

2. More than 50% of online product searches start on Amazon, making it the number one place to sell your goods.

3. It's comes with little risk, you only get charged when you make a sale (other than a modest monthly subscription fee).

4. If you opt for FBA you can take away the pain of fulfilling items yourself.

5. It's easy to get started and you'll probably sell a lot more through Amazon than you do through you own site.





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