If you are planning to start an Amazon FBA business, then you are in for a treat. You can get started with very little investment and see your product fly off the shelves. But there is no shortcut to success. And if you don’t pay attention to details, you will likely lose money instead of making it. The following are some important things that must be done while starting an Amazon FBA business.
How to start
Before you take another step, write a thorough business plan. This is where you lay out all of your goals, strategies and potential obstacles. If you don’t know where to start, a range of Amazon FBA courses are available. This makes it easier for you to start. If you are set on doing things by yourself, though, here are some tips on where you can begin.
Describe the product(s) you intend to sell through Amazon FBA? Who are they for? What demand can be found in the market? How will this product solve a problem or fill a need within the market/target customers? How does this product fulfill demand, in reality, better than other similar products already being sold on Amazon/other competitors’ products? Why should people buy from you instead of from one of those competitors?
What kind of profit do you think you can make with this product, how much money will be required to start the business, how much revenue do you need to break even, and what will be your profit margins? How much money are you willing to invest in this business? There are always tips on how to start if you have a small budget, so you can take a look at that too. Who is your target audience? What marketing methods have you used before in other businesses or even on a small scale with friends/family to promote an idea? What steps will you take if no one seems interested in buying your product within 30 days of it being posted online, including lowering the price or discontinuing the product altogether.
How much time can you invest every day towards running this business? How many hours per week do you anticipate spending on planning, research and managing inventory? Do not forget that Amazon (and eBay) charge monthly fees for selling through their platform. The fees add up to more than $1,000 per year. So you will need to factor that into your business plan.
Get Your Product Accepted by Amazon
Every product that is sold through Amazon must be listed in their catalogue and the seller needs to go through a verification process. This involves creating an online catalogue and uploading images of your product and then sharing information such as price (in which format), shipping details, availability, condition, size etc. You also need to provide all necessary guidelines for using your product pictures. It’s best to hire someone who has experience with this if you don’t know how to do it yourself or don’t have enough time for it (most people spend 2-3 on this step). Once everything is verified, you are ready to send in your inventory.
Send Your Inventory to Amazon Warehouses
When you are selling through Amazon FBA, the products are not stored at your home or office. Instead, they are kept at Amazon warehouses. There will be two shipments for every product that you sell on Amazon — one is when it’s sent into Amazon by you and the other when it’s sold by customers. You will have to pay fees for both of these processes (but only if the product sells). These fees usually work out to about 15% of the sale price, so plan accordingly. Even though it sounds complicated, this entire process goes fairly smoothly once you do it a few times after getting some experience under yours. Always keep records so that you can manage your business more efficiently.
Handle Customer Service and Returns
Before you launch your business, think of the questions that customers might ask and include the answers in your FAQ (frequently asked questions) section on the website or product description page. You should also take a look at other similar products and see if their sellers offer any kind of customer service. For example, do they provide replacement parts? Do they offer guarantees? What is their return policy? Ideally, you should always aim to offer as much as possible to your customers within reasonable limits. The last thing that you want is to lose them as life-long customers because of one bad experience. Think about it from the perspective of those who buy from you — would you want to get stuck with something that is not exactly what you were looking for or get no help if there was some kind of problem with your purchase? You should always learn about customer service and returns.
Create Your Amazon Seller Account
To start selling through Amazon, you will need to create an Amazon seller account. This process is free and pretty simple. You will be asked to provide information about yourself, the business name (if applicable), address, phone number etc. You can set up your payment method by linking it to a debit/credit card so that all the fees are deducted directly from your account balance. Once done, you can list your products on Amazon FBA.
Post Your Products Online on Amazon
There are two ways of doing this — active and passive options:
Active Listing — Here, you will need to create a listing for each of your products and manually upload the product information. This is considered to be the best option if you plan on selling only one or two products because it gives good control over prices and listings.
Passive Listing — If you plan on selling more than 20-30 items, this is the better option, since it allows you to automatically list new products without doing anything on your part. Plus, it’s easier on your pocket! All you have to do is pay $1 per month and then give Amazon some text and image links for all new products that you send into their warehouses. You can set about 10 keywords for each product so that they show up when searched using those words (which increases chances of sale) and also add the product to relevant categories.
With the boom in online shopping and the ease of reaching all parts of the world, selling through Amazon has become very popular. The entire process is pretty simple once you get used to it, so if you are looking at starting a business selling your own goods or as a side-business, consider trying it out by following this article! Always keep records and strive to offer great customer service because that can make or break your business when selling through Amazon and other platforms too.
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