Amazon is the world’s biggest online retailing site, reporting approximately $89 billion in sales for 2014. What many consumers do not know, however, is that the products they buy from the Amazon website are not always sold by Amazon. In fact, more than 33 percent of items sold on Amazon are from third-party sellers.
It may be easy to start selling through Amazon, but it can be much more difficult to sustain sells. The following tips could help you find ongoing success as an Amazon seller:
- Register as a professional seller – An individual selling through Amazon will be charged a 15 percent commission and 99 cents per sale. If you register as a professional seller, you will be charged $39.95 per month plus the 15 percent commission, but you will not need to pay the 99 cent fee per sale. This means that if your volume is greater than 40 pieces per month, it would behoove you to become a professional seller. Becoming a professional seller has several additional advantages. For example, it allows you to sell your products in categories that are normally restricted (including clothing and car accessories to name a few).
- Sell with Fulfillment by Amazon (“FBA”) – To sell FBA, you will need to have all of your merchandise sent to Amazon, and they will ship it for you. While there is a fee for this, it is offset by Amazon’s good deals on shipping services. Besides that, things sell much faster when you choose this option. Whatever you pay in fees can easily be recouped through increased sales volume.
- Follow the rules – Seller Central sets the rules for conducting business through Amazon. Make sure to know and follow these rules.
- Get Amazon’s Buy Box – There is a reward for accounts that are in good standing and offer the lowest prices: Their products will go into the Buy Box ahead of other sellers. You can “win” the Buy Box by offering low prices and unique products.
- Respond to customer communications – Amazon wants customers to be happy, which means you should reply promptly to their concerns.
- Fulfill shipping orders within one business day and provide tracking information – Adhere to this requirement or risk losing your featured seller status and having your account closed.
- Update UPC codes – At times, manufacturers update their products without making the corresponding changes to their UPC codes. Make sure that the UPC code you enter in Amazon tracks with the right version of the merchandise you are selling.
- Ask for customer reviews – By increasing your positive review count you’ll stand out as a stellar Amazon seller.
Amazon opens many doors to entrepreneurs. With a little know-how and professionalism on your part, you can not only break into the online retail industry but thrive as well.