A lot of people are starting their online business this 2020. It is the first thing that comes to mind now to people who do not want to risk going out too much and work away from home during this pandemic. Selling online is very common due to its convenience and saves you more time and money. Instead of looking and paying monthly rent for a physical store, having a seller account on some online platforms can help you sell your items 24/7, and you can monitor it on your device while sitting at home while enjoying a cup of tea.
According to NPR/Marist Poll, Amazon is the number 1 online platform where 92% of America’s online shoppers use. It means there will be some potential customers who are going to be interested in purchasing your products. Amazon is famous for all sellers and consumers, locally or internationally. So, if you plan to start your online business, Amazon is the best platform to start. But how to start? By creating your very own Amazon seller account. And by also determining if you will use Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) service or Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM).
What is Fulfillment by Amazon?
Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) is one of the most convenient ways to sell your items on Amazon. This service is where Amazon handles the storage, picking, packaging, shipping, and customer service. Sellers who use FBA service can offer fast and free shipping to their customers. It is one of the advantages of sellers who use FBA. The whole idea of FBA service is the convenience for both sellers and customers. If you plan to make your business bigger and run for a long time, using FBA and familiarizing it is highly recommended.
What is the difference between FBA and FBM?
Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM) is when the seller is in control of all the handling and shipping procedures. Instead of paying an FBA service fee and shipping your inventory to the Amazon warehouse to handle, the seller uses their resources and ships them directly to the buyer. There are times that FBM is cheaper than FBA service. Fulfillment by Amazon fees depends on the weight and dimensions of the items. If sellers can ship their customers’ orders for a lower price in contrast to using FBA through their delivery partners/logistics, it is practical to use fulfillment by merchants.
How much do I need to start selling online?
This can only depend on which product or items you are planning to put on your listing. You can also start a small business with 500$ if you can find unique or popular items that are currently trending. Products that have a price range of 15$-30$ are good. According to my research, consumers tend to do impulse buying for these items in this price range. You can start with an individual account. An individual account lets you put 40 products on your listing. Each time a customer buys a product, the seller pays 0.99$. One can use the Amazon FBA calculator to compute all the costs easily.
Starting your FBA Business
Starting a business needs a carefully crafted plan to ensure that everything is in order before starting to buy your products and put your listings on Amazon.
- Check the top best sellers on Amazon and search for most wished items. Explore some online mall platforms where you can buy the latest fashion trends or items you want to sell. It is useful if you want to sell something that you have passion about. That will narrow down your search. Since most of the items on Amazon were manufactured in China, we recommend Taobao or AliExpress. You can also find a lot of items here for a reasonable price. If you can’t read Mandarin, Taobao agents can take your orders. Of course, there is a fee. Just look for the legit agents. You must have a steady product supplier. Every time you order, don’t forget to get sample items to check the product’s quality.
- Create your first seller account at Amazon Seller Central. Or, if you want things to be orderly, you can create a separate email address for your seller account with your online store’s name/brand. Then use this email address when making your seller account on Amazon.
- When you have your items ready, start putting UPCs on them. It will be useful, especially when keeping track of your inventory.
- Create your Amazon product listing. Make sure the pictures of your items are in High resolution, so the potential buyers can see the items. And also, make sure your items have “Prime Eligible” and enjoy free shipping options for prime members. You can upload a file that contains each of your products. Try to give enough information about your products and make your product listing interesting.
- Managing your inventory is a must. You need to monitor your inventories, so you will know when you are going to replenish your products and for you to never run out of units. You have to make sure that your inventory level is updated regularly. You can use Seller Snap to keep track of your inventory levels and to understand when you are running low on your inventory and how soon you should replenish your products and for you to see if your business is doing well, which items sold fast and items that are barely selling.
- Reading your customer’s review. Customers frequently leave feedback and stars. Feedback is important to any seller’s business. According to my research and experience, a seller with plenty of positive feedback can gain more trust and is more appealing to any potential buyers. The more you have positive feedback, the more you will have an increase in sales.
- Monitor your sales activity and optimize your items. Like using important keywords and inserting it with your product name or description. Use the Amazon Algorithm to your advantage. The importance of using keywords to your products is it increases its visibility. And you have to display the most important information about your items, especially if the items are essentials.
It isn’t easy when you are starting a business using the FBA service. You have to do a lot of research, and you have to be patient about many things, including yourself. The list above will help you figure out the step by step process of becoming an Amazon seller.