How to get started on Amazon FBA and what are the necessary things to prepare? Find out in this article.
Are you tired of having to work for other people just so they can pay your bills? Are there days when the only thing that makes life worth living is a paycheck and yet, despite how much money one might make in their lifetime, it never seems like enough. What about considering another way to earn? How about getting started on your own Amazon FBA? Any idea?
The idea of making passive income by buying some items from retail stores then reselling them on Amazon sounds too good or maybe even impossible to be true. But, it's not. Amazon FBA or “fulfillment by Amazon” is a process where you send your products to an Amazon warehouse and let them do the rest.
If you're feeling motivated to start your own Amazon FBA business but don't know where to start, this article will guide you through the basics of what you need to do before getting started.
What You Need to Get Started on Amazon FBA
First and foremost, in order to become an Amazon FBA seller, you'll need a valid Amazon Seller Central account. This can be done free of charge by going to: https://sellercentral.amazon.com/. Once you have registered for an account, it's important that you familiarize yourself with the different features and tools that are available for use.
One of the most important tools is the “Fulfillment by Amazon Calculator”, which can be found by clicking on the “Inventory” tab and then scrolling down until you see it. This calculator will help you determine if selling your product or products through FBA would be profitable or not, based on specific information that you input.
This tool is invaluable because every business needs to make a profit. Once you have determined whether it's worth selling your product(s) through FBA or not, then you are ready to start finding products that meet certain criteria in order to maximize your profits while minimizing your costs as much as possible.
Basics of Amazon FBA
If you're interested in starting your own Amazon FBA business, there are a few things you'll need to do first. Let me outline the basics of getting started and what you should prepare for before launching your business.
1. Research what products to sell
The first step in starting an Amazon FBA business is researching what products to sell. There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing products:
- What are people searching for on Amazon?
- What are the best-selling products in your category?
- Can you find a supplier for the product?
- Is the product seasonal or trendy?
Once you've narrowed down a few potential product ideas, it's important to do some research to find out what the market potential is for those products.
- Visit Amazon and search for your product ideas. Check out some of the top-selling or recently viewed products in that category and see if a similar product has a high sales rank.
- Check out bestseller lists on Amazon and other websites related to your product niche, such as Buzzfeed's “20 Products That are Hitting the Online World by Storm”, which includes a list of hair tools being sold by third party sellers through Amazon FBA.
- Start with small quantities when you're first starting out so you don't spend too much money until you know there's demand for your product. Once you've got an idea of the market potential, you can increase your inventory.
2. Create an Amazon Seller account
The next thing to do is to sign up for an Amazon Seller account. This is where you'll list your products for sale and track your sales and orders. You can register for a free account on Amazon Seller Central.
Of course, this is just the start so read on for the next basic steps.
3. Find a supplier for your product
The next step is finding a supplier for your product. If you're selling a physical product, you'll need to find a supplier who can not only provide you with the product but also package and ship it to Amazon's fulfillment centers. When looking for a supplier, it's important to make sure they have experience shipping products to Amazon and that they're familiar with the company's requirements (more on that later).
When choosing which products to sell through Amazon FBA, make sure they meet all of the criteria mentioned below and only purchase them after considering the impact on your business should Amazon no longer be carrying that product or raising its price.
Once you've bought your products, you can send them into Amazon for selling. It's best to break your products down into individual orders so that they are easier to handle and track. Then, it'll be time to send in your items!
Since sending in boxes of items is difficult unless you have the manpower or enough funds already saved up, it'll be helpful to divide each box into smaller units. This will make things more manageable because once a package arrives at Amazon's warehouse, they assign a barcode within minutes and then mail out the box as soon as possible. Since every company is a little different, you should contact Amazon directly for specific information regarding what types of items need pre-packagization before shipment and which ones do not.
Once your items arrive at Amazon's warehouses, there is no need to worry about them. They'll be handled and sold as if they were always available for purchase on the site (and they're continuously checking the demand for an item, even if it isn't currently available through FBA). When your products sell, you'll receive a notification to let you know and another notification when the money has been deposited into your account.
Criteria in Choosing What Products to Sell on Amazon FBA
When choosing what products to sell through Amazon FBA, it's important to keep the following criteria in mind:
- The product must be able to be sold for a profit. This is determined by the FBA calculator.
- The product must be unique or have a unique selling point. (Something that makes it different from all of the other products being sold on Amazon)
- The product must not require much hands-on work (such as prepping, shipping, and handling customer service inquiries).
Once you've chosen which products you want to sell, it's time to start acquiring them. The best way to do this is by visiting local retail stores and scanning their shelves for potential products. However, before purchasing any items, it's important to keep in mind that Amazon FBA is not retail arbitrage. This means that you cannot go into a store and buy something just because it's cheap.
Retail arbitrage means that you're buying products at one price then reselling them for another. Using this business model can be extremely risky because if Amazon changes their prices or makes certain items unavailable for purchase (for whatever reason), your profit margins could go down the drain.
4. Determine product requirements
Before you can start selling a product on Amazon, you'll need to make sure it meets the company's product requirements. There are a few things Amazon looks for when approving products, such as:
- The product must be sold new and be in its original packaging.
- The product cannot be a food, beverage, drug, tobacco, or weapon.
- The product cannot be counterfeit or used.
- The product must meet certain size and weight restrictions.
- The product must have an FNSKU (more on that below).
5. Get an FNSKU for your product
In order to sell a product on Amazon, you'll need to get an FNSKU (Food and Drug Administration Product Serial Number) for it. This is a unique identification number assigned to your product by Amazon that helps track it in their system. You can apply for an FNSKU through the Amazon Seller Central dashboard.
6. Label your products with an FNSKU
Once you have an FNSKU, you'll need to label your products with it. The best way to do this is to print out the barcode and attach it to the product packaging. More information on how to do this can be found in Amazon's product labeling guidelines.
7. Set up shipping arrangements with your supplier
If you're selling a physical product, you'll need to make shipping arrangements with your supplier. This means deciding who will be responsible for shipping the products to Amazon's fulfillment centers and determining the shipping costs.
8. Set up a bank account and tax information
In order to start selling products on Amazon, you'll need to set up a bank account and provide your tax information. You can find more information on Amazon's requirements for setting up a bank account and providing tax information in their seller guidelines.
9. Package and ship your products to Amazon's fulfillment centers
Once you've got everything ready, it's time to package and ship your products to Amazon's fulfillment centers. Your supplier should be able to help you with this process. Products are typically shipped in bulk to one of Amazon's fulfillment centers.
10. Sell your products on Amazon
Once you have a product at an Amazon fulfillment center, it can be listed for sale on Amazon through the Seller Central dashboard. Your product will show up in the “New and Noteworthy” section of relevant categories if it meets certain guidelines, such as having a competitive price and being new to the market without many other sellers to compete with you. More information about this process can be found in Amazon's seller basics guide.
Since selling through Amazon FBA can take some time before orders start to come in, we recommend finding other ways to make money while you wait for those first sales to roll in. You can do this by taking advantage of all of the tools that Amazon Seller Central provides such as creating ads for your product through Amazon's sponsored ads program or by starting a blog.
11. Advertise your Amazon FBA products
Marketing is important because you need people to know that your product exists so they're able to purchase it from you instead of someone else. This could include advertising or making sure your product is visible online, such as through social media or product listing websites.
If you're already advertising your products on social media, then this isn't necessary for you. It is important to note that simply selling items on Amazon does not qualify as advertising. However, if you're using other platforms to get people interested in what you have to offer and then sending them over to Amazon Seller Central through affiliate links or banner ads, that counts as official advertisement. The best part about it is that anytime someone clicks one of your affiliate links/ads and makes a purchase within 24 hours, you'll get paid even if the item they buy isn't one of your products.
Since newsletters are an extremely effective way of reaching out to past shoppers, we recommend creating one and including a discount code for your products. This will help to increase traffic to your Amazon Seller Central page, and as we all know, more traffic means more sales.
Additional things to remember:
You'll also need to keep track of your inventory and make sure you're not selling products that you don't have in stock, as this could lead to unhappy customers.
You should also be prepared to handle customer questions or complaints, as these could arise at any time. Amazon provides a number of resources to help sellers with this, such as an online help center and a seller community forum.
Selling on Amazon can be a great way to increase your product's visibility and reach a larger audience. By following the steps above, you'll be on your way to starting a successful Amazon FBA business.