Are you wondering how to take advantage of a multi-billion dollar marketplace and sell stuff on Amazon? In this post I’ve put together a step-by-step guide for beginners that will give you an overview of the process and help you decide if this whole deal is for you.
Firstly though, if you are thinking of selling through Amazon, I would seriously recommend that after reading this post, you immediately go and read this book.
So here are my 8 easy steps for how to sell stuff on Amazon:
1) Find a hot product
The first thing you need to do is find something to sell on Amazon. It is important that you find a product you’re at least mildly interested in so that you:
a) get more out of your new business venture and
b) can inject some passion that your customers might pick up on.
Check out the current bestselling products on Amazon in a category you are interested in. The rule of thumb is, if it has less than 1000 reviews, there’s still an opportunity to be had and the competition won’t be too much. The product doesn’t have to be in the top bestseller spots either. As long as it’s in the top 5000 products of the top level categories, you’re good.
You can also find hot products before they blow up on Trendosaur.
2) Find and connect with suppliers
Once you know what you want to sell, go to Google and type in the product name, then add the term ‘suppliers’ or ‘manufacturers’. You’ll probably see the website Alibaba in the top search results. Many Amazon sellers import from China and Eastern Europe from this site.
Just make sure to check all of the quality assured boxes when you’re searching so it only shows trusted and accredited suppliers.
3) Receive product samples
Choose at least 3 suppliers to receive samples from and be willing to pay around $30 each for them. You can’t cut any corners here, because you need to assess what your customer will be receiving and pick the best product.
Simply send a message to the supplier, say you are going to be selling on Amazon and you’d like to receive a paid sample. If you can demonstrate you are serious, in some cases, the supplier might send you the sample for free.
- Choose a product that will sell for between $7 – $60 and, ideally, weighs less than 1 pound so it will be easy to ship.
- For any product that goes on the body (face cream, hair gel) or is taken orally (supplements, food products), use a supplier in the US so it’s FDA approved, or Western Europe so it’s FSA approved.
- Check that the supplier can repackage the product with your own branding before paying for a sample.
- Choose based on which product is the best quality, not which unit is cheapest!
4) Design your own brand/logo
Now you have to name your brand. Brainstorm a list of words that mean something to you and a list of words related to your category or product.
For example, if you live in California and you’re going to be selling kitchen gadgets, you might name your brand ‘The Cali Kitchen Company’. Or if your daughter’s name is Emily, you could name your brand something like ‘Emily’s Kitchen’. By making it personal to you, your beliefs, your surroundings or your life, it will be easier to create a brand name and it will mean so much more to you.
After you’ve created a brand name, go to Fiverr and get a logo designed. Check that the designer has created branding for a similar business and get them to supply a full set of files (including AI, jpeg, png and print ready pdf) that you will then be able to send to your supplier to incorporate into the packaging.
It’s not essential, but it can also build trust in your brand if you secure your domain name and build a simple website.
5) Sign up to Amazon FBA
By signing up to Amazon FBA you can automate selling through Amazon and manage everything from your laptop. Amazon will store your inventory and when someone buys your product, they will ship it for you. It does eat up extra margin, but it makes your life easier, provides a better service to your customers and will build the trust often required for someone to make the purchasing decision.
6) Get your supplier to send inventory to an Amazon warehouse
Once you’ve signed up to Amazon FBA, all you need to do is get your supplier to send your first batch of personally branded product to the Amazon warehouse address and reference provided. Simple!
7) Create an outstanding Amazon listing
Listing products on Amazon is very competitive, so if you want to sell stuff, your page needs persuasive marketing copy that is benefit lead and SEO optimized.
That’s where an expert Amazon copywriter like me comes in! I see so many listings suffering from ‘the curse of knowledge’ where the seller only lists the features of a product instead of the benefits.
Feature = this amazing face serum includes 100% pure aloe vera, organic witch hazel, green tea extract and vitamins E, D & C.
Feature + Benefit = this powerful anti-ageing formula of clinically tested ingredients contains 100% pure aloe vera and organic witch hazel to restore your skin’s youthful glow and give you back your confidence.
Your sales copy needs to answer the consumer’s number one question:
“What’s in it for me?”
You also need excellent product shots and lifestyle imagery of your target audience. Your supplier should provide products shots that you can then get a designer to cut out so it’s on a white background (you can get this done on Fiverr too). You can source superior lifestyle imagery from libraries like Fotolia and Dreamstime.
If you decide to go for it, my Amazon Listing Service can help you out with an outstanding listing that will kick your competition’s ass.
8) Manage your stock levels and monitor your account online
From your Amazon Seller Central dashboard, you’ll be able to monitor everything from how many page views your listing is getting to where your product ranks in your category. Most important of all, you’ll be able to monitor your sales.
You’ll also be able to see when your stock is running low. When this happens just get your supplier to send more stock directly to Amazon. Just remember to leave enough time so you don’t run out of stock and give your competitor the edge.
If you’re at this stage you’re doing well, because low stock means you’ve made good sales. Perhaps you’ll grow your brand and stock a range of products off the back of your success…
And the best thing is? All of this can be done from the beach with a laptop, making you a true digital nomad.
Check out more tips for selling on Amazon in these posts.
Now you’re no longer a beginner. Good luck!