Is Selling on Amazon FBA Worth It? A Guide For Beginners

Over 2 million sellers are currently leveraging Amazon’s FBA program, without this program we’d of struggled to get our business off the ground. To help you decide whether FBA is right for you, I will be answering this question; Is selling on Amazon FBA worth it?

Enrolling in the FBA program means you get to take advantage of Amazon’s shipping and fulfillment services. FBA sellers also benefit from the Amazon Prime shipping program.

Let’s me take you through the specifics of FBA in more detail.

Amazon FBA – The Basics

FBA, or Fulfilment by Amazon, involves sending your products to Amazon for storage and distribution. It’s simple; a customer places an order, Amazon picks, packs and ships the order for you.

One of the big plus points is that they’ll even handle your returns and refunds – this alone makes the fees worth it.

Amazon FBA takes the hassle out of fulfilling orders and ensuring your products reach customers safely and on time.

There are also two ways to approach the FBA model; you can either resell other peoples products or sell your own under a private label brand.

Amazon sellers usually refer to reselling as either online arbitrage, retail arbitrage or wholesaling. These three models are slightly different, but the objective is the same, buy low, sell high.

As a private label seller, you’re entirely in charge of your products and your brand, which means your profit margins are usually higher too.

I am not the biggest fan of online arbitrage, I have tried it, but won’t be doing it again – you can read why here.

Amazon pays sellers on a bi-weekly cycle. Amazon calculates your sales, deducts the necessary fees, and deposits the funds into your bank account.

Amazon will reserve part of your balance to ensure there are no order issues.

As a first-time seller, you will have an extended reserve period, I’ve covered everything you need to know about payment in this article.

Amazon has multiple fulfillment centres all over the world; this means customers receive their orders quickly, and you have the opportunity to scale your business globally.

Amazon does the heavy lifting whilst you can work on growing your business.

The Cost of Amazon FBA

With Amazon FBA, there are two primary fees to factor into your product pricing; storage, and fulfillment fees.

Amazon Storage Fees

To store your products, Amazon charges a monthly fee – this fee applies regardless of whether you make sales or not. The storage fees depend on how many cubic feet of storage space your products require.

Fees also vary based on product-size tier as well as the time of the year. Oversized products are much easier to store. Smaller items, on the other hand, require specific types of shelving and drawers, making storage more specialised.

From January to September, standard-size products cost $0.75 per cubic foot, and from October to December, the cost is $2.40 per cubic foot.

For oversized products, the cost is $0.48 per cubic foot from January to September and $1.20 per cubic foot from October to December.

If you want to sell goods that Amazon class as dangerous, expect to pay anything from $0.78 to $3.63 per cubic foot.

Products that are stored by Amazon for more than 365 days attract long-term storage fees. Amazon does this to keep operations as efficient as possible – it encourages sellers to move products faster.

Amazon Fulfillment Fees

Every time Amazon needs to pick, pack, and ship one of your products, they charge a fee based on dimensions and weight.

Standard-size non-apparel items have fulfillment fees that range from $2.50 to $5.42. Standard-size apparel items range from $2.92 to $5.95.

Oversized product fulfillment fees range from $8.26 to $137.32, and for those selling dangerous goods, fulfillment fees range from $3.85 to $157.12.

You can see Amazon’s guide to product dimensions and weight here to get a more accurate idea of the fees you can expect to pay.

These costs do tend to fluctuate, so it helps to keep track of changes. This way, you can adjust your prices and still make a profit.

I’ve gone through the exercise of comparing different storage and fulfillment options, and Amazon’s prices are challenging to beat.

I recommend using Amazon’s revenue calculator to determine your costs and potential revenue before you make any final decisions.

Is Selling on Amazon FBA Worth It?

If you don’t want to manage your fulfillment and distribution network, Amazon FBA is the right program to consider.

Let’s look at some of the plus points of becoming an FBA seller.

  • Turn Free Shipping Into a USP

Customers that shop on Amazon have come to expect good deals and extras such as free shipping. As an FBA seller, you can use Amazon’s low shipping fees to your advantage.

The shipping and packing fees for products sold via Amazon are a lot lower than if you had to do it all yourself, this makes it much easier to offer free shipping on orders and boost your bottom line.

  • Selling Online Becomes Easier Than Ever

Amazon truly simplifies the eCommerce process. Instead of having to pack products, fill out address labels, and handle deliveries, Amazon FBA does it all for you. All you need to do is decide what to sell, keep your inventory in stock, and manage the marketing side of things.

With Amazon FBA, you get to focus on running and growing your online business instead of worrying about the day-to-day logistics.

  • Returns & Refunds Are Taken Care Of

Ok, so not having to spend time dealing with returns and refunds frees up your time as a business owner. If a customer contacts Amazon, they can organise to return the product and obtain a full refund, without you having to do anything. Having someone to assist you with this aspect of customer service is a lifesaver, particularly when you’re just getting started. Keep in mind that Amazon’s free-returns policy is only applicable to the customer – you still need to pay a returns processing fee.

It’s worth mentioning that you will still have the responsibility of responding the customer messages. If a customer messages you on Amazon, you have 24 hours to respond. When we started, we’d handle this ourselves, but we now have a team of customer service agents ready to assist our customers.

Next, let’s look at some of the potentially challenging aspects of being an FBA seller.

  • Amazon Has Very Specific Requirements

Whichever products you decide to sell, you will need to ensure they are prepped and packed according to Amazon’s specifications. If they aren’t, Amazon will charge you additional fees to assist with this.

Here’s a video explaining how we prepare and package our products before we send them into Amazon.

YouTube Video

  • You Need to Sell to Skip Unnecessary Fees

Amazon fulfillment centres aren’t storage units – they expect you to sell your products. Products that don’t sell within six months will attract higher storage fees – even more so after a year. When this happens, sellers consider liquidating their stock. You can read more about this here.

The trick is to manage inventory in a way that ensures you don’t end up with excess stock. How popular you expect a product to be and seasonality are two considerations when calculating and managing inventory numbers.

  • Commingling Products Can Be Risky

For efficiency purposes, Amazon gives sellers the option to commingle or pool their products with similar products from other sellers. Unfortunately, some sellers will send in counterfeit or damaged products; this puts your brand’s reputation at risk. If you are a private label seller, you won’t need to worry about this; no other seller should be selling your products.

  • Sales Tax Compliance Can Be Difficult

With Amazon’s fulfillment network, there’s no telling whether your items will stay at the same fulfillment centre, they move stock around regularly. Sales tax compliance can become tricky; I’d recommend looking at software like TaxJar to streamline this process.

 

Is Fulfillment by Amazon Right for You?

FBA is one of the best ways to try your hand at online entrepreneurship, but it isn’t for everyone.

For FBA to work, you need to have confidence in the products you sell. In my opinion, Amazon FBA is the perfect place to grow and nurture your very own private label brand.

Amazon should be used as a platform to grow your business, but long term, you shouldn’t rely on it entirely. Use Amazon to build a snowball of product sales; you can then use that profit to build your brand away from the Amazon platform.

Amazon is a fantastic platform, but don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. In our training, we talk about the power of growing a brand on and off the Amazon platform.

We’ve leveraged Amazon in this way, and it’s a decision we have not regretted.

If you want to compare Amazon to other platforms, here’s my take on Amazon vs eBay.

If you have any other questions about starting a business on Amazon, leave me a comment below.

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How To Find Products To Sell On Amazon (My Secret Weapon)

Today i’m going to show you how to find products to sell on Amazon.

This is going to be a step by step guide to help you find the right product opportunities.

If you want to build your own passive, online business Amazon is a great place to do it.

nick ebusiness boss

My name is Nick (Hello, that’s me above) and i have been a full time Amazon seller for over two and a half years.

A few years ago i felt stuck, working in a job that i really didn’t like…

Now don’t get me wrong, it could have been much worse! I just wanted more out of my current situation.

When i first started learning about selling on Amazon i was hooked almost immediately.

If you understand how to do properly you can build the ultimate passive income business!

Today i’m going to show you the technique i have used to find hundreds of products to sell on Amazon.

These methods have worked for me and they can work for you too, you’ve just got to be willing to put in the work.

Before we get into the method, let me show you how selling on Amazon works.

How Does Selling On Amazon Work?

Ok, so when it comes to selling on Amazon you have two main options:

  • Fulfilled By Merchant (FBM Seller)
  • Fulfilled By Amazon (FBA Seller)

If you are an FBM seller you will have to ship out every order yourself.

This may well suit you and your business set up, you’ll pay less in Amazon fees BUT you’ll have the cost of fulfilling and managing that side of things (No, thank you – Not for me)

With FBA Amazon do all of the heavy lifting for you…

With this business model all you need to do is send the goods you wish to sell to one of Amazon’s FBA warehouses and from there they do the rest.

It’s pretty simple, a customer will buy something and Amazon will pick, pack and post the product out on your behalf…

The Amazon FBA business model is the reason myself and my two business partners could work full time whilst building up our Amazon business on the side 😉

Now, be warned… You will need to be prepared to work hard.

Amazon FBA requires time and effort but it is so worth it in the long run.

We’d spend most of our evenings and weekend working on our Amazon business, we still all had full time jobs when we started.

Anyway, enough about that… Let’s dive into the method.

Let Me Take You Through My Process – Step By Step

In order for me to answer this question effectively i want to break down the process step by step.

Finding a product to sell on Amazon is pretty straight forward once you understand what you are looking for.

I’d encourage you to refer back to this guide during the product research process, you need to be asking yourself the following questions.

What Does A Good Product Opportunity Look Like?

For me a good opportunity is something that’s in high demand but has low levels of competition.

This really applies to anyone in business.

It’s that age old supply and demand business model…

Anyway, we want to find a product with high demand (Lot’s of potential customers) but a low supply (Not many potential competitors).

If you can serve a market like this you can dominate the space with your own private label amazon product…

This leads us on to an important question.

How Do You Find Products With High Demand But Low Competition?

The Amazon platform is home to millions of different products, so how are you supposed to find the right product to sell?!

In order to answer this question, we need to think about some key product characteristics.

Once you’ve learnt my technique you can use the following checklist to improve your product sourcing decisions.

1. Priced Between $20 – $30

In my experience this has always been the sweet spot…

A customer will require much less convincing when purchasing items under the $30 mark…

These are the sort of affordable products we want to consider selling.

When times get tough some people will stop and think about those $50 – $100 purchases.

Your associated costs will also increase with the products price point.s

This is why i recommend this price range for anyone that’s just starting out.

2. Avoid Seasonal Products

Some people have great success with seasonal products BUT if you haven’t got experience you could be putting yourself under unnecessary pressure….

I prefer to look for the evergreen products that have demand all year round.

With seasonal products you have limited windows of peak selling opportunity.

Let’s say you’ve got a product like a handheld fan…

Well this product will sell like hotcakes in the warmer months but as it cools down so will your demand.

You don’t want to be left with excess stock that you can’t sell for another three – six months.

3. Look For Products With Under 500 Reviews

Reviews matter a lot to Amazon’s customers… and they should matter to you as a seller.

Avoid products that have more than 500 reviews, unless you have experience or a superior product.

There is so much opportunity out there, you just need to be patient and use the right tools.

4. The ShoeBox Rule

This is one that i learnt from Greg Mercer (CEO of Jungle Scout) it’s a great rule for beginners.

Look for products that are small and light and that you could fit inside a shoebox.

The reason for this is that the smaller and lighter the product, the less the associated costs will be.

If you are sourcing your products from overseas your freight costs will also be determined by the size and weight of the consignment.

The bigger and heavy the product, the more it’s going to cost you to ship.

Amazon will also charge you more to ship the product out, if you are using the Amazon FBA business model you’ll lose more of your profit.

5. Differentiate – Try To Stand Out

You need to try and give your customer a reason to purchase your item over your competitors.

I fully understand that it isn’t always possible or financially viable to make big changes to a product.

But you can differentiate yourself from the competition in a number of ways:

  • Quantity – Can you offer more than your competitors?
  • Design – Is there a design aspect you can improve?
  • Color – Is there a different colour that your target audience may prefer?
  • Additional Bonus – Can you include something extra to compliment the product (eBooks, Free item etc)

It doesn’t have to cost you the earth, if you are struggling for ideas speak with the factory and see what’s possible…

Improving one individual design element can make a huge difference to the customer experience.

Look at your customers negative reviews and see if there are any pain points you could solve…

I explain exactly how you can do this in the video below.

YouTube Video

6. Manufacturing – Keep It Simple

We want to avoid complicated issues when it comes to the manufacturing side of things…

Try to focus on products that are simple to make!

If you are only just starting out you might want to avoid electronics (unless you have experience and connections in this field).

When investing your hard earned money, you need to minimize risk where ever possible.

If you buy 1000 battery chargers only to find that they have a fault or safety issue your life as an amazon seller is going to be short lived!

If you haven’t got experience stick to products that are simple and easy to manufacturer.

Now you know what to look out for let me tell you how i go about finding these products.

Techniques To Help You Find The Products You Want To Sell

Now there is a number of different tools you can use to find products to sell.

I’m going to show you the two methods i use most at the moment.

These two methods focus on one piece of software but if you’d like to use something different you can absolutely do that (I’ll give you some alternative software options at the end).

The Automated Black Box Method

Currently i like to use a tool called BlackBox…

It’s been created by the guys over at Helium 10 and it makes product research a lot easier for me.

By using this tool you have to power to trawl through and find potential amazon products based on set criteria…

Now, as promised i’m going to show you exactly how to find products with high demand and low levels of competition…

YouTube Video

I’d seriously recommend watching the video above, it’s going to be the quickest way for you to learn this method.

The above method works because the filters we set are allowing us to see product opportunities that aren’t too popular yet.

Well the products are popular with consumers but NOT popular with Amazon sellers… Yet

This means we can find our way into the market.

We have the opportunity to launch a product and take our seat at the top table.

If you are only just starting out products like this are going to give you longevity without the need for a huge marketing budget.

Use this method to make a shortlist of potential ideas, then go through the strengths and weaknesses of each one.

The Manual Extension Method

Although this method takes a little more time and attention it is still one of my favorite methods.

The good old fashioned manual trawl.

First things first, you are going to need this handy chrome extension.

For enhanced results i’d recommend using this method with the above automated blackbox method I’ve just covered…

The black box method will give you a number of keywords that could be of interest to you.

Make a list of all of the keywords/product ideas and head over to the Amazon marketplace of your choice.

Ok, so let’s use the example we found in the video…

how to find products to sell on amazon

So if you watched the above video you’ll know that the keyword “Cigar Ashtray” looked pretty interesting.

Blackbox told us that the monthly search volume for this keyword was over 20,000 a month!

The average product review level for this keyword was also 43!!!

Are you starting to see the power of this method?

I thought you’d like it.

Ok so let’s get back to the manual extension method…

Next i’d take the keyword “Cigar ashtray” and head over to Amazon.com for further investigation.

finding products to sell on amazon

Ok so I’ve searched this keyword on Amazon, clicked my chrome extension button and instantly I’ve been given A LOT of useful data.

We can see here that there is real potential with this product…

The sales were actually a little higher when i recorded the video but still with the low level of competition it could be a product idea for beginners.

Personally i’d be looking for a product with more sales, as a rule of thumb i want to aim to sell at least 10 products a day.

That’s 300 sales a month.

So for me, i’d be going back to the drawing board to start the process over again.

The manual extension method will take time, but trust me it’s worth it long term!

Anyway, as you may know i’m a full time Amazon FBA seller…

As mentioned earlier… FBA stands for fulfillment by Amazon.

If you enroll your products in the Amazon FBA program they will store, pick, pack and send products out to customers as your orders come in.

I love this business model because it allows me to focus on the growth side of the business rather than the heavy lifting.

So, if we are looking at the Amazon FBA model is product research any different?

How To Find Products To Sell On Amazon FBA?

So let’s look at some of the key things you need to think about if you want to find products to sell on Amazon FBA.

Best Products To Sell On Amazon FBA

The main thing to think about with Amazon FBA is the size and weight of the product you want to sell.

The bigger, heavier products will cost you more on the fulfillment fees side of things.

You’ll also pay more in Amazon storage fees.

If you don’t want to use Amazon FBA (not sure why you wouldn’t) your other option is FBM.

FBM stands for fulfilled by merchant and it simply means you are fully responsible for the storage and fulfillment.

You’ll need to store, pick, pack and post out every order that comes in…

Here are some more useful tips for Amazon FBA.

1. Avoid The Best Selling Products

We want to avoid the extreme ends of the spectrum.

The products in the top 100 of any category are going to be VERY competitive.

This is largely due to the fact that Amazon publishes the top 100 sellers in each category.

If you don’t have the budget or experience you are going to find things difficult.

Look for the products that are popular but not too popular.

2. Look For Durable Not Fragile Products

We’ve already spoken a lot about the weight and size of a product but the durability is also important.

Selling products that are easily breakable is just going to increase your risk.

If you are sourcing products from overseas your products are going to be moving around a lot…

When your products are checked into Amazon FBA you’ll only be able to sell products that are in top condition.

Amazon will reject any damaged items.

3. Start Small And Build Confidence

When we started selling on Amazon we ordered 500 units for our first order.

We actually sold out pretty quickly BUT i’m glad we started with a smaller amount.

If you haven’t sold a product on Amazon before i’d recommend starting with a smaller order quantity.

An initial order of say 500 – 1000 units might be a good starting point.

Nowadays the minimum we order is around 3000 units…

But we have built up our confidence over the years.

We’ve been selling on Amazon for some time now and order quantity is still a risk we have to calculate.

Hopefully these tips are useful for you if you are trying to work out what to sell on Amazon fba.

When it comes to selling on Amazon you do have different options when it comes to the business model.

I discuss each of the business models in the article above but to give you an overview the most popular models are:

  • Amazon Private Label
  • Online Arbitrage
  • Retail Arbitrage
  • Amazon Wholesale

I’ve had experience with each of these business models but now i’m fully focused on Amazon private label!

With private label you actually own the asset that generates the income, that’s why i love it so much!

How To Private Label Products

So how can you private label a product to sell on Amazon?

This is a question i’m asked quite a lot and i get it, when i started the words “Amazon private label” were a foreign language to me.

To private label a product you first need to find a factory/supplier that produces the product you wish to sell.

With private label a manufacturer creates the product for you to sell under your own brand.

You may well of heard people referring to private labeling as white labeling, they are both the same thing.

Some people struggle to get their head around the private label concept and i did too at the start!

Think of it this way, a factory or manufacturer wants to produce as many products as possible…

The more they produce, the more money they will make.

This is why is makes sense for a factory to offer a product solution for private label sellers.

As a private label seller it’s your job the sell the product.

It’s a match made in heaven.

The factory can focus on manufacturing, the private label seller can focus on the selling 😉

Is Selling On Amazon Worth It?

So here is the big question, is selling on Amazon actually worth it?

This is a very simple question for me to answer:

Yes, it is.

However, i would say that it depends on your business model.

With the online arbitrage business model we found that we were doing a lot of work for a very small amount of profit.

For us the private label business model was a much better fit.

The profit margins are higher and you actually own the brand as an asset.

If you build your brand in the right way it can be incredibly valuable.

You won’t experience the same benefits when selling other peoples products.

Building a brand gives you the chance to build a relationship with a tribe of customers.

Selling on Amazon has allowed me and my two business partners to quit our jobs and work for ourselves full time.

In my opinion the Amazon private label business model is the gold rush of our generation.

Selling on Amazon is worth it IF you are making a profit and working as you want to work.

Conclusion – Let’s Wrap It Up

I wanted to write this article to show you with your Amazon product research.

Hopefully you now know how know a lot more about the process.

I’ve managed to create my own online business and freedom using the exact methods I’ve shown you.

Now i also promised to give you some other alternative product research software options.

Helium 10 is the software that i currently use the most but i also really like Viral launch.

I’m going to make sure i put together some tutorial videos for the YouTube channel so you can see exactly how i use it.

They have a number of different amazon seller tools that i find really useful.

Over the years I’ve also used Jungle scout on and off.

I’ve actually written an article to compare both jungle scout and viral launch, if you are interested you can read it here.

I really hope you have enjoyed reading this article.

If you’ve got any questions please ask away below and i’ll do my best to help.

One more thing, if you really want to take your research to the next level you should check out our training.

From from me soon!

Nick

nick ebusiness boss

eBusiness Boss

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Do I Need a Tax ID to Sell on Amazon? (Important Info)

Before you can start any business, you need to do your research. In this guide, I will be answering the question: Do I need a tax ID to sell on Amazon?

My name is Nick, and I’,m one of the co-founders here at eBusiness Boss. I learned how to become an online entrepreneur through trial and error, and now I’m passing this knowledge onto you.

If you’ve decided that you want to launch your career as an Amazon entrepreneur, you may be wondering whether you need an Employer Identification Number (EIN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to get started.

Let’s get into the details.

Do I Need a Tax ID to Sell on Amazon?

The answer is, yes, but let me explain why.

One of the main reasons why a tax ID is required to sell online is because Amazon needs to identify sellers. Tax IDs help protect buyers and sellers by preventing sellers from having multiple accounts.

Then there’s Internal Revenue Services (IRS). At the end of each calendar year, Amazon needs to disclose its sales numbers to the IRS. These numbers compared to the income need to be reported by each seller.

Amazon requires an EIN from each seller to report on sales and give the IRS the information they need.

Lastly, there’s US Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The CBP requires identification numbers to process imports and ensure your products reach Amazon’s warehouses as quickly as possible.

As a new seller, you may also be wondering whether you need a business license to sell on Amazon – I’ve answered this exact question in this guide.

EIN Basics – The What & Who

An Employer Identification Number, or Federal Tax Identification Number, is assigned by the IRS and consists of 9 digits. An EIN classifies taxpayers who need to submit returns every year.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a sole proprietor, corporation or LLC, if you earn more than $600 annually, you require an EIN.

To obtain an EIN, Amazon sellers require an ITIN or Social Security number (SSN). The one exception is that if you’re a sole proprietor but don’t have any employees, you are ineligible for an EIN.

Once you sign up as an Amazon seller, you will need to complete a tax interview via Amazon Seller Central. Have your EIN or SSN ready for this part of the process.

What about UK sellers though?

Yes, Amazon UK sellers also need to have a tax ID to sell online, but not in all cases.

In the UK, online sellers need to be VAT registered to transact on Amazon. However, this is only required if you exceed the 12-month threshold of £85,000 in gross sales.

If you’re an international seller who is storying inventory in the UK, you will also need to register for VAT.

If you want to sell in the US from a country outside of the US, there are certain things you’ll need to know, the video below explains all.

YouTube Video

Registering for a Tax ID as an Amazon Seller

US Sellers

EIN Registration on IRS Website

Here are the steps to follow to register for an Employer Identification Number as a US seller.

  1. Visit the IRS Website to Determine Your Eligibility

If your business is located in the United States or a US Territory, you can register for an EIN.

To do this, the IRS will require an SSN or ITIN.

  1. Complete the Online Application Form

Before you start the online application process for an EIN, make sure you have all the necessary details ready – you can only complete this application in one session.

The session expires if you’re inactive for 15 minutes, which requires you to start over again.

Along with your SSN or ITIN, the application process requires details about your business as well as some information about you as the owner.

  1. Submit Your Application

The good news is, once you submit your application, you immediately receive your EIN. You can download, save, or print this confirmation to complete your Amazon seller application.

UK Sellers

VAT Registration on Gov.UK Website

Here are the steps to follow to register for VAT as a UK seller.

  1. Visit the Gov.UK Website to Apply Online

Most types of businesses can register for VAT online – a group of companies can register for one VAT number.

As a UK seller, you would start by creating a Government Gateway account, which you will use to submit your VAT returns to HM Revenue and Customs every year.

There are some instances when an online application is not possible, though.

Applicants need to register for VAT via post if:

In these instances, applicants need to register via post using VAT1.

EU residents who want to sell in the UK should use VAT1A, while UK sellers importing goods from the EU should use VAT1B.

Once you receive a VAT number after a postal application, it’s possible to register for an online account to submit returns.

If you prefer a more hands-off approach, there’s also the option of using an accountant for the registration (this is what we do).

Once they send you the VAT number, again, you can register for an online account.

Regardless of how you choose to apply, you will require details on your business, turnover, and the specifics of your bank account.

  1. Wait for Your Certificate

In most cases, applicants don’t need to wait longer than 30 working days to receive their VAT registration certificate. You will either receive it by post or online via your Government Gateway Account.

Getting Started on Amazon

Unfortunately, these admin-focused tasks are all a part of starting an online business.

Once you complete the basics, you can focus on running and growing your online store.

Now that you know a tax ID is necessary, you are one step closer to becoming a successful Amazon seller.

As a new seller, another area you might want to look into is barcodes. I’ve put together this helpful guide on UPCs that you should have a read through.

There is also one piece of advice I give to new sellers – never stop learning.

I highly recommend you check out the eBusiness Boss Private Label FBA Course to enhance your knowledge and hone your skills.

If you have any questions about the tax ID process, drop a comment below.

Good luck!

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Do I Need a Barcode to Sell Online? (Covering Amazon & More)

Every online seller should know about barcodes. When I started selling online, I struggled to understand them fully. Today I will be answering the question: Do I need a barcode to sell online?

This article is going run through everything you need to know about barcodes, as Amazon is one of the most popular selling destinations we are going to focus on practical examples relating to that platform.

When you start listing your products on Amazon, UPC codes are required. If you’ve never seen this acronym before, you may be a bit confused.

The good news is barcodes aren’t complicated; you need a basic understanding of what they’re all about and what a platform like Amazon needs from you.

Let’s get into it.

Do I Need a Barcode to Sell Online?

The answer is, yes, you need a barcode to sell online. Amazon and many other platforms won’t ask you for a barcode. Instead, they will ask you for a UPC code (or an EAN code if you sell products in Europe).

When selling on Amazon, you’ll need to complete the Product ID section.

When selling in the US you’ll need to select UPC from the drop-down menu.

You won’t be able to list new products without this code (unless of course, you file for a UPC exemption).

If you happen to be reselling a product, you can enter the existing barcode number in the relevant product identification area.

If you’re short on time today, here is a video explaining the different barcodes platforms like Amazon require.

YouTube Video

The Basics of Barcode Types

Before I run through the product example, I think you’ll benefit from knowing more about the different barcode types.

ASIN (This is Amazon-specific)

Also known as Amazon Standard Identification Number, ASIN is a 10-digit number that’s assigned by Amazon once a product is listed. Amazon needs a UPC code to create an ASIN number for a product.

GTIN

GTINs form part of the product codes you use, including UPCs and EANs. GTINs consist of 14 digits and are used to identify products or services.

GCID (Again this is Amazon-specific)

Once you sign up for Amazon’s Brand Registry program, you receive a unique identifier (GCID). This code is required when listing your products to help identify them. This ID is reserved for products that form part of your registered brand.

In the past, GCIDs were used in place of a UPC, but this is no longer the case. If you are approved on Amazons Brand Registry program but don’t have a barcode, you’ll need to apply for GTIN exemption.

UPC Codes – Amazon’s Main Requirement

Also known as the Universal Product Code, a UPC is one of the most common barcode formats used today. Not only is it an Amazon requirement, but it’s used in physical retail stores globally too.

Retailers need suppliers to add UPC codes to products to track them – Amazon does the same thing.

You will need a unique UPC code for each type of product you want to sell. If you have 100 units of product A, they can all carry the same UPC code. However, products A, B, and C all need different UPC codes.

The UPC code is the digits underneath the barcode.

UPC Code sample

If you’re planning to sell products within a European market, you’re also going to need an EAN code instead.

EAN stands for European Article Numbers, with EAN-13 and EAN-8 being the two most popular forms amongst online sellers.

The type of EAN used depends on factors such as product category and distribution channel.

Purchasing UPC or EAN Codes

Online sellers usually either purchase their codes from GS1 or a reseller.

Just be sure to do a bit of research on resellers because many of them replicate and resell Amazon codes, which can cause problems in the long run.

On the whole, I’d avoid purchasing barcodes from anywhere but GS1.

If the code doesn’t match GS1 database records, your listing could potentially be suspended from the platform you sell on.

GS1 created the GTIN system, so if you want to avoid future hassles, I suggest purchasing your codes directly from them.

GS1 UPC Code Generator

The Process of Purchasing & Assigning UPC & EAN Codes

Here are the necessary steps you would follow to purchase your barcode.

  1. Apply for a Company Prefix

The company prefix refers to the first 6 – 8 digits of your barcode – it’s the product manufacturer’s unique identifier. The company prefix will stay the same across each of your product barcodes.

The unique product code that follows the company prefix is what identifies your products.

To start purchasing UPC codes, you need to complete an online application form on the GS1 website.

Before you begin the application process, figure out how many barcodes you think you’ll need.

Along with the number of products, keep in mind that different product sizes and variations need their own barcodes.

Pricing of barcodes depends on how many you plan to purchase.

GS1 Barcode Pricing

If you’re still undecided on the platform you want to sell on, give this article a read.

  1. Assign Unique Numbers to Your Products

Also known as GTINs, each of your products now need a unique number. Any UPC code must be 11-digits long and have a “check digit” – GS1 calculates this.

A GTIN is a combination of your company prefix, a unique product number, and your “check digit”.

You can perform a bulk GTIN calculation using this tool from GS1.

  1. Choose and Place Your Barcodes

If you’ve chosen to go down the Amazon FBA route, you will be required to place UPC barcodes on your products. These barcodes are used to track items throughout the order fulfilment process.

For sellers who won’t be packaging or designing their labels, you can obtain a digital barcode file from GS1, which can be incorporated into the label.

If your labels or packaging is already complete, you can always order adhesive barcode labels that can be applied manually.

Whether you’re using a sticker or digital file, place your barcode in a visible place. It’s also essential for the barcode to have enough white space around it to make it easier to scan.

When it comes to Amazon, things get a little more complicated, to read our full guide on Amazon barcodes click here.

Listing Your Products on Amazon

Now that you understand what’s required in terms of barcodes, you can start the process of listing your products on Amazon.

Again, I highly recommend skipping potential problems and instead purchase your UPC codes directly from GS1.

If you are new to the world of Amazon, I think you will find this guide to product packaging and inserts useful too.

As always, if you have any questions or comments, I would love to hear from you in the comments section below.

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Can I Sell on Amazon Without Brand Registry?

Signing up as an Amazon seller is one of the best ways to earn an attractive income. However, competition is tough, and it’s essential to take steps to protect your business. In this guide, I will be answering the question: Can I sell on Amazon without Brand Registry?

The answer is yes, but not without a few risks.

As an Amazon seller, I spent years learning about the risks associated with running an online business (many times, I learned the hard way).

Some of the more common risks associated with selling on Amazon include:

  • Hijacked listings that sell knock-off products
  • Low-cost manufacturers selling similar products at a reduced price
  • Category saturation that requires dramatic price drops to compete

Registering a trademark with Amazon’s brand registry is one of the best ways to keep your online business protected. However, just how necessary is this step?

Let’s get into it.

Amazon’s Brand Registry Explained

This exclusive program offers some clear advantages. Registered brand owners gain access to monitoring tools that protect their trademarks.

They also benefit from the following:

  • Greater control over brand and product listings
  • Internal assistance with incorrect listing details and IP infringement claims
  • A+ Content access, which helps product listings stand out from competitors
  • Increased visibility through rich media and alternative advertising options

Unfortunately, the Brand Registry program won’t completely prevent other sellers from selling your products. You also can’t white or blacklist other sellers yourself.

Can I Sell on Amazon Without Brand Registry

Amazon Brand Registry Trademark Requirements

As of 2017, anyone wanting to sign up for the Brand Registry program needs a registered trademark. US sellers would need to apply for a trademark at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

Here are the steps you would take when registering a trademark in the United States:

  1. Make sure your brand name and logo are unique by checking the official USPTO database.
  2. Select a class for your trademark. A Trademark class categorizes the types of products you’re planning to sell. Different classes attract different costs.
  3. Find a licensed trademark attorney to file your application.

Now you wait – some brands can wait up to a year to receive an answer from USPTO.

Luckily, Amazon has an IP Accelerator service who can help speed up the trademark process and your Brand Registry application.

Once you’ve submitted an IP Accelerator request or received your confirmation from USPTO, you should be a part of the Brand Registry program in about two weeks.

To avoid any further delays, double-check the eligibility requirements for the program.

If you’re a UK seller, you can apply for a trademark via the Intellectual Property Office. The steps are very similar in the sense that you need to search for any existing trademarks that might clash with yours.

If nobody objects to the registration, you can expect to receive your trademark within four months.

Can I Sell on Amazon Without Brand Registry – Why You Shouldn’t

Let me get into some of the reasons why I feel Brand Registry is worth it.

Better Brand Protection

If you’ve worked hard to develop your brand strategy, the last thing you want is for someone to ruin your success.

The Brand Registry program helps safeguard your products with the help of an experienced internal team.

This team assists members with reports on review manipulations and marketplace violations. They also report on listing issues and assist with IP infringement claims.

We learnt this the hard way, several years ago we made a trademark mistake with cost us well over $100,000 (Details in the video below).

YouTube Video

Hopefull that video can help you avoid the same mistake, anyway back to the article.

Lastly, the internal Brand Registry team will also keep an eye out for and report on technical issues pertaining to your listings.

If you have any pending cases, you can monitor them from your dashboard.

If you wanted to take things up a notch, you could also register for Transparency.

This program applies transparency codes to your products, ensuring only authentic stock is shipped. Customers can also use this code to verify the authenticity of your products.

Amazon Transparency Program

The transparency program is an extra cost, we’ve decided against it for the moment.

Access to A+ Content Manager

Formerly known as Enhanced Brand Content, A+ Content is a must-try tool, and it’s only accessible to members of the Brand Registry program.

A+ Content improves your sales by adding rich text and media to your product descriptions. Not only does this help you stand out from competitors, but it naturally boosts conversions too – if you set it up correctly that is.

Product videos are one of my favourite features of A+ Content. This feature is particularly useful if you have a product that requires explaining. It can often mean the difference between making a sale and a shopper leaving your store.

The A+ templates are customizable and easy to use, so you won’t need any customizable templates to set up an attractive storefront that stands out.

Amazon does need to approve the content before it goes live, though, which is generally a quick process.

You can read my full review on A+ Content here.

Share Your Brand Story

Another way to engage with shoppers is to tell your brand story. Brand Registry members also have access to Amazon’s Live Creator, allowing you to live stream video stories and demonstrations.

You can even set up a live chat to answer questions directly from customers.

To get started, you will need the Amazon Live Creator app. Once you’ve selected the products you want to live stream, you can use a smartphone or external camera to start streaming.

Shoppers can discover live streams using the Amazon website or app via your product listings or storefront.

You can take a look at Amazon Live to see what other brands are currently doing.

Amazon Live

Create a Headline Ad Campaign

Headline ads appear at the top of a page in Amazon’s search results, and as a Brand Registry member, you’re able to create and run these types of ads.

Headline ads are an ideal way to increase brand discovery and determine what messages shoppers see. Headlines ads work in a similar way to PPC ads in the sense that they’re linked to keywords, and you pay per click.

This means you have a higher chance of converting users who are already searching for your products. Once a user clicks on your ad, they’re immediately redirected to your storefront or product page.

If you’ve taken advantage of an A+ Content template, your store immediately has a more significant impact on potential customers, which should further increase conversions.

Access In-Depth Data

Lastly, as an Amazon Brand Registry member, you also have access to detailed analytics and reports that help you better understand your customers.

Amazon Brand Analytics

The more you know about your customers, the better your product and marketing-related decisions will be.

Brand Analytics gives you access to data on customer behaviour, including the search terms they’re using and which products they’re purchasing together.

As a brand owner, you now know what products to upsell and cross-sell and which keywords to use in your campaigns.

You also gain access to necessary demographic data, which you can easily export to CSV. Date like this can help guide and enhance your marketing campaigns.

Access my full review on Amazon Brand Analytics here.

Selling on Amazon as a Brand Registry Member

If you’re serious about turning your Amazon store into a lucrative business, I recommend signing up for the Brand Registry program.

There are some additional steps involved, and it does cost to register a trademark, but the extra protection and benefits are worth it – in my opinion anyway.

Once you sign up for the Brand Registry program, please make a point of using as many of the features as possible to make it work for your brand.

I would also recommend checking out the eBusiness Boss Private Label Amazon FBA Course if you want to enhance your skills as an online seller.

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How to Liquidate Amazon Inventory and Avoid Facing It Again

Today I’m going to run you through how to liquidate Amazon inventory.

Nobody wants to have to admit defeat and get rid of their inventory, but these things happen.

Whether you’re overstocked, have a slow-seller, or you want to move onto new products, you’ll need to know how to liquidate Amazon inventory you can no longer use.

Before we jump into the options, let’s look at the main reasons sellers have to do this.

Knowing When It’s Time to Liquidate Your Inventory

While there are several reasons why Amazon sellers choose to get rid of their inventory, these are the two main reasons sellers do it.

A Product Just Isn’t Selling

A product that won’t sell is no use to you as an online entrepreneur – I’ve had my fair share of non-sellers.

This doesn’t even need to happen gradually, either.

Insufficient research and marketing tactics can both kill your sales right from the start.

In other instances, products that were once popular can gradually start to lose rankings and fall away.

The reality is the vast majority of products have a limited lifespan.

So, eventually, sellers do need to get rid of finished products to avoid draining their resources.

You may want to hold onto the stock to see if things change, but this only makes the financial loss even more significant.

This is the first reason to liquidate your inventory.

If you want to double-check your sales numbers and store stats, here’s some information on Amazon Brand Analytics and Sales Rank Charts.

A Product is Costing Too Much

When a product is popular, sales are high, and it helps justify the associated costs, including Amazon’s warehousing fees.

When sales slow down, however, the associated costs can rack up pretty quickly.

Amazon charges additional fees for items that move slowly or not at all.

If this is happening to you, it’s time to liquidate your inventory.

How to Liquidate Amazon Inventory at the Right Time

There isn’t a right time to liquidate your inventory. This is a decision you need to make based on your sales numbers and research. You need to shift your dead stock at a point that feels right for you.

If you’ve gone down the FBA route, moving the excess stock as soon as possible eliminates unnecessary storage fees. What’s more, knowing you’re cutting costs will get rid of any extra pressure you’re feeling to make more sales.

Once you get rid of non-sellers, you can immediately shift your focus to the products that are making money.

If you want to find better products the next time around, use the strategy I talk about in the video below.

YouTube Video

Amazon Inventory Liquidation Options

Next, let’s look at your liquidation options.

Drive More Traffic to Your Listing

This is more of a last resort than jumping straight into the liquidation process. If you want to give it one last shot, I suggest increasing your PPC budget.

Before you do this, look at your product offering compared to the competition, would you choose your product over theirs?

If not, you’ll be wasting your money.

If keyword-based PPC campaigns aren’t working for you, give Headline Search Ads or Sponsored Products a try.

You should only really consider this option if you want one last shot at resurrecting the listing.

Decrease Your Product Prices

Discounting your products is one of the most straightforward ways to clean out inventory.

There are two ways you can go about this. You can gradually decrease your prices to lose as little money as possible, or you can slash your price to a break-even point.

When we’ve liquidated Amazon stock in the past, we’ve worked out our break-even point and sold through the stock; this beats paying Amazons removal charges.

Approach Competitors

Depending on product features and branding, you may be able to sell your stock to a competitor. Naturally, this tactic works better when the products are unmarked and as basic as possible.

If you decide on this tactic, make sure your negotiation skills are in top form. Keep your prices as close to cost as possible to make as much of a profit as possible. Don’t forget to keep removal order fees in mind.

If this seems like a time-consuming task to you, you may want to consider hiring an Amazon virtual assistant.

Run a Giveaway or Promotion

Giveaways and promotions are always enticing and can help you move some of your stock without too much effort.

Buy-one-get-one-free is an excellent route to consider; you can set up these promotions within Amazon and use your marketing images to tell people about it.

If you’ve got one related product that sells well, you could use the power of that listing to boost the one that isn’t performing well.

The positive knock-on effect of this tactic is that you also boost brand awareness, which can increase sales of new products.

Contact a Liquidator

If you’d prefer to get rid of stock with as little fuss as possible, consider selling it to a liquidator.

Liquidators are part of an eCommerce network, making it easier for them to find buyers for your stock.

Unfortunately, Amazon no longer offers liquidation services, so you would need to work with a third-party.

If you don’t know of any liquidators, take some time to research your options and be ready to do some negotiating.

Unless you agree on a price, there’s no reason to settle on a particular liquidator.

I feel this is one of the better ways to make back some of what you invested in the inventory.

Consider Other Platforms

I’m an advocate for Amazon, but when you need to get rid of inventory, sometimes you need to consider other platforms.

eBay and Shopify are two platforms I would recommend for liquidating inventory in the most cost-effective way possible.

If your stock is sitting within Amazon’s FBA network, this is still easy to do.

With Shopify, you can integrate with Amazon FBA; this article explains the process step by step.

Amazon and Shopify go together very well, here is a video explaining out you can get the most out of the two platforms.

YouTube Video

Amazon Disposal Request

Lastly, if you want to move on, you can head straight to the dumpster.

Many sellers that operate outside of the US and UK tend to go down this route.

Amazon will need you to complete a disposal request and pay a disposal fee.

Fortunately, disposal fees are lower than removal fees.

You can submit your disposal request via Seller Central by clicking on the Inventory Management Options menu item.

Destroying any excess inventory is also an excellent way to protect your brand’s reputation if you still plan to keep selling online.

Avoiding Amazon Inventory Liquidation

The aim of the game is to avoid having to liquidate your Amazon inventory in the first place.

To do this, you’ll need to ensure that your product research and sourcing is as good as it can be.

Here are some key considerations to keep in mind to avoid inventory liquidation:

  • Improve your product offering Amazon is incredibly competitive; if you want to succeed in the long term, you’ll need a better product offering than your competition. In our training, we teach students how to use Amazon data to create a vastly superior offering.
  • Low competition markets As we all know, Amazon reviews are king. Don’t try to enter markets that are saturated with established sellers with 1000’s of five-star reviews, put yourself in the customer’s shoes, are you giving them a good reason to purchase yours over everyone else’s?
  • Avoiding high-risk markets is incredibly important. The following types of products are considered high risk in my opinion; fragile, seasonal, electronics or hazmat.

I like to focus on low competition evergreen products, by evergreen I mean products that sell consistently all year round.

Final Thoughts

Inventory liquidation happens to most Amazon sellers at some point, it isn’t the end of the world, but you need to do what you can to learn from your mistakes.

I also highly recommend having the right tools to assist you with product research; they can save you a lot of time and money in the long term.

Once you understand product life cycles and know how to identify the right products to sell, you can spend a lot less time worrying about dead stock.

If you have any questions about getting rid of inventory, leave me a comment below.

Until next time…

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How To Open an Amazon Store (A Guide For Beginners)

Amazon is a renowned marketplace and one of the best places to begin your journey as an online entrepreneur. It’s a step I don’t regret taking, which is why I’ve put this guide together on how to open an Amazon store.

There are a number of platforms you can use to sell products online, but Amazon stands out for a few reasons.

One way that Amazon makes it easier to succeed as an online entrepreneur is their marketplace access, you literally have millions of potential customers at your fingertips.

As a platform, Amazon is focused on providing a superior customer experience, something you as a seller can benefit from.

Before you get started with the set up of your Amazon store, let’s look at how these stores work.

How Amazon Stores Work

Fortunately, the Amazon platform is easy to navigate and understand as a potential seller. Here’s what an Amazon store allows you to do:

  • Promote Your Brand and Products. A store helps potential buyers locate your product portfolio and any related items – it also increases brand awareness.
  • Create an online store without coding skills. If the thought of having to build a complex online store has previously stopped you from taking the leap, that changes with Amazon. Using drag-and-drop functionality and pre-designed templates, you can easily create a customized online store without coding knowledge.
  • Benefit from a unique web address. When you create an Amazon store, you get a unique Amazon web address. This way, you can drive people directly to your store via ads and social media marketing.
  • Access store insights and tools. As an Amazon store owner, you get access to insights and tools that can help you grow your store and boost your sales.

Amazon Seller Requirements

How to Create an Amazon Store

In order to set up an Amazon store, you need to meet a few requirements.

To be accepted as a seller, you will need the details of your legal business, an email address, a credit card or bank account details, and a contact number.

If you’re a US seller, you will also need a tax ID, as well as a state tax ID. If you happen to be a UK seller, you will need to register for corporation tax.

If you want to open a US Amazon store but you live outside of the US watch the video i made below, it explains the steps.

YouTube Video

I recommend reading through my blog about business licenses to see the additional requirements for starting an online business.

How to Open an Amazon Store

Now that you know the basics of what you require to get started, these are the steps you need to take to open an Amazon store.

Building an Amazon Store

  1. Create Your Seller Account

The first step in this process is to create a professional Amazon seller account. Once you enter all the necessary details, you get to purchase an online store and select the items you want to sell.

Amazon still needs to put you through a verification process before you can get started though. Along with double-checking all the details you provided; they will also contact your business to verify it exists.

It’s reassuring to know that Amazon’s approval process is strict, so not just anyone gets to sell on its marketplace. This process helps protect sellers and customers by limiting counterfeit goods and sales.

It also helps remove sellers who aim to manipulate organic rankings, a tactic that makes it difficult for other sellers to succeed.

Along with the details mentioned in the previous section, you also want to have a copy of your ID and bank account statement ready during sign up.

  1. Register with Amazon Brand Registry

Once you’ve been approved as an Amazon seller, you need to apply for the Amazon Brand Registry program.

This not only allows you to open an Amazon store for free, but the tools help you to improve your brand.

Amazon Brand Registry gives you access to restricted selling categories, as well as enhanced marketing and advertising features. Unfortunately, resellers can’t access these tools.

Once your brand is registered, you have the ability to create a branded storefront and enhanced content for your product pages, which includes rich text and media.

As a registered brand, you also don’t need to worry about counterfeit sellers or anyone who attempts to violate your brand’s trademark.

In order to qualify for Amazon’s Brand Registry program, you need a brand serial number, which you can obtain from the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

You also require a list of countries where your product is manufactured and distributed, a product label image, and product images.

  1. Use a Template to Create Your Home Page

Now that you have a seller account and a registered brand, you can start on your home page.

Start by logging in to your Seller Central account, click on Stores and Manage Stores. This will show you which of your brands qualify for store creation.

Once you select the brand you want to use, Amazon provides you with additional prompts, which includes selecting a template for your home page.

There are four different themes to choose from, one of which will be best suited to your brand requirements.

Amazon Store Templates

  1. Create Pages for Your Store

After you’ve finalized your home page, you can start adding more pages to your store. These are generally based on deals, best-sellers, and catalog categories.

Structure your Amazon store pages in the same way you would a regular eCommerce site. This means making sure users have the best possible experience. Focus on navigation, convenience, and general usability.

Once your pages are in place, add content tiles to each of them. This is the content customers will interact with on each page, including video, images, and products.

  1. Add Products to Your Store

The next step is adding the products you want to sell to your store. Fortunately, it’s easy to upload your entire range in one go.

Every product has an ASIN, which makes it possible to copy and paste your products. Amazon makes it easy to search for the ASINs for each product you want to sell. If you are creating your own products, once you’ve create a listing you’ll find your ASIN on the manage inventory page.

If you’re still searching for the right products to sell, here’s a video that will help with the process.

YouTube Video

  1. Get Approval from Amazon

If you’re happy with the design and set up of your pages, do a few final checks. This includes checking the grammar and spelling, images, and navigation. You can also check your store in Preview mode to make sure the pages are showing up how you envisioned they would.

Once you submit the pages, Amazon will review them before setting them live. In most instances, stores go live in a minimum of 72 hours.

Making the Most of Your Amazon Store

Here are some additional tips that will help you get the most out of your Amazon store.

Plan Out Your Store

Even though Amazon is a powerful platform, it’s still a highly competitive marketplace. Taking the time to plan out your store and come up with a creative design will serve you well in the future.

By planning out your store, you ensure it’s easy to navigate. The easier it is for potential buyers to explore your product line, the better it is for your bottom line.

It all starts with choosing the right template for your Amazon store. The marquee template is ideal for telling your brand’s story in a creative way, while the product highlight template allows you to showcase a flagship product.

The product grid template displays a larger number of products and is ideal if you don’t have a core product that you want to promote.

Lastly, there’s a blank template for those who want to be creative in a way that works for their brand.

Along with choosing the right template, don’t forget to choose colors that fit in with your brand as well as high-quality images. A site that showcases quality media and looks cohesive is automatically seen as more trustworthy.

Create Awareness of Your Unique URL

Having a unique Amazon URL is one of the perks of having a store, so make sure you’re promoting it in all the right places.

Have an email database? Create a campaign to launch your new store. Have a social media following? Make sure you’re directing customers to your unique URL.

By making customers aware of your URL, it’s easier for them to remember your brand and find it later on again.

Prioritize Your User Experience

Amazon stores make it easy to create a memorable experience for customers. From handpicking your products and inserting them into unique displays to using dynamic widgets to boost store functionality. There is so much you can do to enhance your customer experience.

Create a Diverse Marketing Strategy

There are ways to promote your store on and off Amazon, make sure you’re doing both.

One way to drive more traffic to your Amazon store is to create Headline Search Ads, which appear at the top of search results. Another is to link to your store on product detail pages.

If you’re marketing your store on social media or other third-party platforms, always use your unique URL.

Amazon’s reporting tools are also a must for optimization, you can then make improvements to increase your views. Amazon Store Insights gives you access to product-specific metrics.

Here’s some of the data you can view:

  • Views. The number of times a page was viewed over a specific period.
  • Visitors. Total number of users or devices that accessed a store page on a given day.
  • Sales. Total estimated sales received for each product within 14 days of a user’s last visit.
  • Units Sold. Total estimated units visitors purchased within 14 days of their last visit.
  • Organic Traffic. Traffic generated within Amazon, including detailed page links.
  • Headline Search Ad Traffic. Traffic received from headline ads.
  • Tagged Sources. Traffic tracked via custom source tags, which can be created for multiple traffic channels.
  • Other. Any other traffic that can’t be categorized.

If you want to improve your Amazon selling skills even further, check out our Private Label Amazon Training.

Scaling Your Amazon Store

There are four core business models that 3rd party sellers use, we’ve tried a few but now only stick to one.

Retail Arbitrage

Retail arbitrage involves purchasing products from retailers at a lower price to sell them on Amazon at a higher price. This can be a more time-consuming way to scale your business, but it’s still effective for some.

Many sellers choose to hire a virtual assistant to make this tactic slightly less time-consuming. Here’s what you need to know about hiring an Amazon VA.

The ideal is that you’re able to sell a product for at least three times the price you purchased it for. Sourcing products is of course the bit that requires skill.

Having to prep these items before you send them off to Amazon also takes up a lot of time, if you don’t want to do it yourself you can consider using a 3rd party prep partner.

This isn’t the business model we recommend but some people find success.

Online Arbitrage

Online arbitrage involves purchasing products from an online source to resell on Amazon.

To make this tactic work, it helps to search for products across a larger number of sites, to scale you’ll need VA’s to assist you. We tried this for around a year and decided that it wasn’t for us.

While this tactic works for some, we won’t be doing online arbitrage again, here’s why.

Wholesale

Wholesale is another potential route, it’ has become more popular recently, but you’ll find that profit margins are much tighter. On the plus side, inventory availability is vast if you can find a build relationships with the right suppliers.

The process is fairly straight forward, you purchase from a wholesale supplier or a brand direct, prep your products and send them into Amazon, rinse and repeat.

One of the biggest cons of wholesale is that you’re more than likely purchasing top-selling products, which means the competition is potentially high.

Private Label

As a private label seller, products are manufactured for you with your own labels and logo.

In most instances, sellers outsource the manufacturing to China or India. However, with the right manufacturer, you can keep it local and still make a profit.

The reason why private label is my preferred choice is because nobody else can sell your product without your permission.

To grow your business using this tactic, you simply need to find more products that you can manufacture and sell on Amazon. You could even outsource the product sourcing to someone in the country you plan to manufacture in.

Many sellers use platforms such as Alibaba to source products. Alibaba can be good, we use it too just make sure you’re aware of the potential risks.

We started our private label business with around $2000, it’s a brilliant business model if you know what you are doing. I always tell our students, focus on building a brand not just a random line of products.

Opening Your Amazon Store

Creating an Amazon store is hardly complicated – what does take time is the strategy behind it.

It’s important to build a brand, understand your target audience, and know which products are going to bring you the most profit.

I would highly recommend undergoing some training and using any spare time to educate yourself on what it takes to become a successful seller.

We’re always posting new useful content on here as well as our YouTube channel.

Have any questions about how to open an Amazon store? Post them in the comments section below.

Speak soon!

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What is Amazon EBC and is it different to A+ Content?

Amazon is an impressive marketplace, but it’s also crowded. It’s taken me years of trial and error to find what works for me as an Amazon seller. My name is Nick, a co-founder of eBusiness Boss, and in this blog, I will be taking you through the ins and outs of Amazon EBC.

Amazon EBC, or Enhanced Brand Content, is designed to help sellers differentiate their listings to improve conversion rates and increase sales.

But does this tactic really give your listings the additional push Amazon claim? Here’s what you need to know.

Amazon EBC Explained (AKA A+ Content)

Amazon Enhanced Brand Content is a premium feature. It allows sellers to optimize their product listings using video, images, and rich text.

However, you might not find many mentions of Amazon EBC for much longer. In 2019, Amazon integrated EBC with A+ Content, which is what this feature is now called.

Amazon A+ Content gives you the opportunity to provide a superior user experience using detailed product information and media. The result is faster purchase decisions and fewer returns – ideally, anyway.

To benefit from Amazon EBC, or A+ Content, you need to be an approved brand owner, which means going through Amazon’s Brand Registry process. Once Amazon gives you the green light, you’re free to add optimized content to ASINs using a variety of templates.

Here is one example of a template.

Amazon EBC Page

This only applies to ASINs that form part of their approved brand catalog though.

There is also Premium Amazon A+ content, which goes beyond the basics, creating the ultimate customer experience.

Premium Amazon A+ content is most often used by larger brands. Mainly because it’s expensive and by invite only. The difference between A+ Content and the premium version is 16 additional modules and extra selling tools.

Is Amazon A+ Content Worth It?

Any tool that can give you a competitive edge as an Amazon seller is worth considering. Amazon EBC, or A+ Content, provides you with a few extra ways to persuade your customers.

Many sellers have jumped on board with this trend because of the challenges they previously experienced with Amazon’s limited guidelines. This includes copy limits and formatting restrictions.

Here are some of the reasons why I would recommend giving A+ Content a chance.

  • Grab the attention of more shoppers. A product listing is instantly more attractive when the text is formatted and there are videos and eye-catching visuals. Plus, the copy is much easier to skim – something all online users do.
  • Highlight product benefits. With the ability to use high-quality images in a whole new way, it’s easier to showcase the features and benefits of your products. Shoppers can now get a good look at your products before they buy, which makes their decisions much easier. Plus, the more customers know about your products, the more you’re protected from counterfeit listings.
  • Incorporate proven marketing tactics. Using A+ Content means you can test out different colors, formatting, and templates to find what works for your customers.
  • Reduced return rate. Lastly, when a customer has detailed product information available to them, they’re far less likely to return their purchase. This also means better reviews for your brand.

Creating A+ Content – A Quick How-To

Here are the steps to follow to get started with Amazon A+ Content, formerly known as Amazon EBC.

  1. Register Your Brand

If you haven’t already, you will need to enroll in Amazon Brand Registry. Only once you’re approved can you proceed with A+ Content sign up and creation.

Amazon Brand Registry

  1. Navigate to A+ Content Manager

Once you login to your Seller Central account, go to Advertising and click on A+ Content Manager. From there, click on Start Creating A+ Content.

Amazon A+ Content

  1. Select a Module

Here, you have two options to choose from, you can see these two options below:

Amazon A+ Content Module Options

Self-Service Modules

If you choose this option, you need to provide your own content and copy and build your own layout using different modules. You can choose up to five modules per page. Thereafter, you need to pay for additional modules.

The modules you decide on depends on the product you’re selling, as well as your goals. Modules fall into categories such as full-width images, comparison charts, and multiple images. You may have to spend some time experimenting to create a page that fits your brand.

Amazon Builds For You

If you choose this option, Amazon takes care of the design and layout of the A+ page – you simply provide the content and media. The price per page is more expensive than the self-service option though.

Once Amazon has reviewed the page and your content, it will go live in 7 business days. Regardless of the option you decide on, make sure you stick to Amazon’s guidelines or you may have to start the process all over again.

Amazon A+ Content – Key Considerations

There are a few things you should keep in mind before you decide to go ahead with A+ Content:

  • Signing up for this feature will not provide you with any organic boosts. This is because A+ Content is not indexed. Know that your original description is still available via Seller Central though and may still be used by Amazon for indexing purposes.
  • If you want to create A+ Content for products already listed by other vendors, be prepared to pay extra.
  • Before submitting your page, you can see a desktop and mobile preview. Be sure to check both versions to ensure your customers are seeing what you’re hoping they are.
  • Once you confirm your PO, you have a month to submit your A+ Content.
  • Want to modify your page? You can only do so within the first 2 business days after it’s been published.
  • Your content and media need to be unique and you can’t mention any competitors. Failing to do so will result in the page being rejected.
  • Don’t make any claims such as being the number one selling product in your category.
  • Stay away from references such as free or bonus and don’t go into shipping or guarantee details in this copy.
  • All images need to be high quality.
  • Sellers outside of the USA aren’t able to upload videos to A+ pages at this time. It is said to be available on an invite-only basis though.
  • Don’t link to any external websites in your A+ Content.
  • By signing up for A+ Content, you agree to Amazon removing your page at any time. However, this mostly only occurs if a vendor violates the terms or fails to fulfill orders on time.

I would highly recommend planning out your content ahead of time to ensure you meet Amazon’s guidelines the first time around and to avoid unnecessary changes.

Related Article: What Does Renewed On Amazon Mean?

The Cost of Amazon EBC (AKA Amazon A+ Content)

Accessing Amazon A+ Content is free for all sellers and vendors. However, if you want to access Premium A+ Content, be prepared to pay a whole lot more.

I’m talking anything from $250k to $500k. Plus, you will need to receive an invite to benefit from the premium version.

For standard A+ Content, there are 12 different modules to choose from – the first five standard modules are free. The mix of modules you choose and the number of pages you build will determine the final cost of your pages.

How to Create Standout Amazon A+ Content

It’s not that difficult to meet Amazon’s eligibility requirements, but how do you ensure your copy results in more sales?

Here are a few best practices to keep in mind as you plan out your A+ pages.

Choose Your Products Carefully

Amazon recommends focusing on premium products if you’re considering A+ Content. When a product costs a bit more, customers tend to need a little extra convincing. The last thing they want to do is part with their money, only to end up with an inferior product. It’s also advisable to start with your best-sellers before trying to grow other pages.

If you’re hunting for new product opportunities, here’s how you can use Amazon Launch Pad to find them.

YouTube Video

Highlight Your USP

Haven’t thought about a unique selling point for your best-sellers? Now’s the time to do that. To create a USP, jot down the major benefits of using your product and outline how it would help customers. Whether this is in their day-to-day life or with a specific problem.

Remember, benefits are not features – benefits are linked to emotions and needs.

Keep Your Copy Clear

When creating the content for your A+ pages, stick to short, concise sentences that a user can easily skim. Only tell buyers what they need to know and avoid any unnecessary fluff. Don’t use any special characters and symbols in your copy either, including copyright and trademarks. Amazon will likely reject your copy if you do this.

Break Up Text with Media

Instead of having paragraphs of text, break up your copy with eye-catching visuals and videos. The images should emphasize what you’re saying in your copy to further sell your product. Check that your images are the right size and resolution before you submit your page, or Amazon might reject it. It should be noted that image requirements are different per module too.

Lastly, strike a good balance between lifestyle images and real product photos. If you haven’t already, invest in some professional photography.

Use Reviews to Your Advantage

Reviews can be a valuable tool when crafting your A+ pages. Take the time to read through any past reviews to get a good idea of what your customers really value. This way, you know exactly what to focus on in your copy. You can even go through a few competitor reviews for similar products.

Don’t Forget to Proofread Your Content

This might sound like a simple tip, but all too many sellers forget to do so. To avoid rejection and ending up with a listing with bad grammar, double-check your copy before submitting. If you aren’t able to submit your changes within 2 business days after publishing, you have to resubmit the page all over again. It’s best to just get it right the first time.

Keep a Consistent Brand Image

Creating multiple A+ pages? Make sure your designs are uniform, especially if your products are related and listed under the same brand. See this process as you designing your entire product catalog. This will ensure you choose colors, copy, and media that are consistent. If you have a website, these pages should be an extension of your site.

I’ve also put some additional tips together on how to optimize your Amazon listings that you can apply to your A+ pages.

YouTube Video

Should You Consider Amazon EBC (AKA A+ Content)?

There’s no denying that these pages can enhance your listings and help you stand out in a competitive space. This in turn can boost your bottom line and help you grow your online empire.

Since this is a free feature, I would recommend trying it out on some of your top products. Once you get a feel for how buyers respond, you can move onto other products.

If you’re new to Amazon or don’t have a lot of additional capital, there’s absolutely no reason to go with the premium version of A+ Content. You can do a lot with A+ pages without having to spend any exorbitant amounts of money.

In addition to this, you may have also heard about Amazon’s Early Reviewer program. You can read my full review on this feature here.

If there’s one thing Amazon does well, it’s providing sellers with tools that will help them optimize listings and boost sales, Amazon Brand Analytics and Sales Rank Charts are two areas you need to understand. Take the time to understand them before your competitors do.

I hope you’ve found this article useful, if you’ve got any questions ask away below.

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Do I Need a Business License to Sell on Amazon? (Important)

When starting a business, you want to do things right the first time around. If you’re thinking about becoming an Amazon seller, you might be wondering, do I need a business license to sell on Amazon?

The short answer is; it depends. There are several factors that need to be considered when working out whether or not you need a business license, including your location and what you intend to sell.

Let’s get into the specifics.

Do I Need a Business License to Sell on Amazon?

It’s only logical to think that you might require a business license to sell goods online, but this is only true if the products are Federally regulated. Since most goods that are sold online are consumer products, they don’t require approval from the U.S. government.

This doesn’t only apply to Amazon either – you also don’t need a business license to sell on Facebook, Shopify, eBay, or Etsy.

The benefit of not needing a business license means you can take some time to prove your ideas work, without having to make a major monetary commitment.

The same applies to sellers who want to start a business on Amazon UK – a business license is not necessary.

What is necessary in both the US and UK is to keep a record of your income for taxation purposes. Organizations such as the IRS (or HMRC in the UK) are only interested in what you’re doing if you’re earning an income.

Related: Since you’re new to Amazon, you may want to read my blog post on how Amazon pays sellers.

When to Register for a Business License

There are some instances when a business license is necessary.

The first is if you’re planning to sell Federally regulated products.

These are the categories that require a license for online sales:

  • Agriculture
  • Alcoholic & Tobacco
  • Aviation
  • Firearms, Ammunition & Explosives
  • Fish and Wildlife
  • Maritime Transportation
  • Mining
  • Nuclear Energy
  • Radio and Television Broadcasting
  • Transportation

The second reason why you might want to register for a business license is to legally protect yourself.

Deciding on a Business Structure

The risk associated with running an online business is low, but it doesn’t mean things can’t go wrong. Many online entrepreneurs operate under a business structure to be safe.

If you decide to operate without a business license, you would do so as a sole proprietor. Any income that you receive from your sales would be reported on your income taxes. This applies in both the US and the UK.

Operating as a sole proprietor is ideal if you’re only planning to sell a small number of goods every month.

The other option is to set up a Limited Liability Company (LLC). This is one of the easiest ways to separate your business and living expenses and protect yourself in the event of a lawsuit. Should your LLC face any legal issues, your personal finances and assets are protected.

Setting up an LLC can also offer tax benefits in some circumstances. In the UK, while sole proprietors are charged 20-45% income tax on profits, an  Limited Company (UK’s version of a LLC) only currently pays 19% corporation tax on profits. In the US, income tax for LLCs versus sole proprietors is dependent on the state.

The average LLC filing fee in the USA is $132 – this varies per state. In the UK, setting up a company can cost as little as £12.99.

In the UK, it takes several hours for your business license to be finalized. Those wanting to sell in the US will need to wait between 3 and 5 business days.

If you are thinking about selling in the US from a country outside of the United States, you may find the video below useful.

YouTube Video

 

DBA Registration

If you’re a US seller, you need to register a DBA after you’ve decided on a business structure. Every state has different requirements for registering a DBA.

When you form an LLC, the registration forms will require you to choose a business name, the name you will be operating under. The cost of registering a DBA also varies per state.

Tax Registration

Lastly, anyone who starts earning an income from online sales will need to register for tax and file the necessary tax returns – including sole proprietors.

As a sole proprietor, you would use your personal income tax number or social security number to submit your returns in both the UK and the US respectively.

As an LLC owner in the US, you need a sales tax and federal tax ID. Depending on the state you’re doing business in, you need to collect sales tax. Not only that, but if you sell to someone in a different state, you need to report it to that state.

When selling online in the US, sales tax can become complicated… Consider using something like TaxJar to help streamline the process.

You can apply for a sales tax number by contacting your state’s tax authority or department of revenue.

When you open your US business bank account, you’re going to need a federal tax ID, also known as an EIN. Sole proprietors don’t need an EIN unless they file excise or pension plan tax returns in the US.

You can apply for an EIN with the IRS at no cost.

If you register a Limited Company in the UK, you will need to apply for corporation tax. Most entrepreneurs do this at the same time as registering their business with Companies House in the UK.

There’s also the option of applying for corporation tax via post, an agent or third-party software.

If your gross year-to-date turnover reaches £85,000, you must register for VAT with HMRC too.

Filing Tax Returns

Most sole proprietors file their tax returns themselves, but when you’re earning additional income, you may want to get professional assistance.

If you’ve registered an LLC, it’s highly recommended that you get an accountant to assist you with your returns to ensure you’re doing everything correctly.

Get Started as an Amazon Seller

Now that you know whether you need a business license to sell on Amazon, you can get to the fun part – making sales!

If you’re considering online arbitrage instead of going the Amazon FBA route, You may want to read my blog about why we decided against it.

You don’t need to stick to Amazon either.

If you want to find out more about other online platforms you can sell on, here are some of the industry favorites.

Whatever you decide on, Good Luck! I wish you the same success that we have found.

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What Does Renewed Mean on Amazon? (Complete Guide)

When you first get the idea that you want to sell on Amazon, all the terminology can feel a little overwhelming. You may have many questions such as what does renewed mean on Amazon, our blog has been created to help you with these sorts of questions.

My name is Nick, and i’m one of the founders here at eBusiness Boss, when I first got started, I had just as many questions. The good news is that once you get the basics down, being an Amazon seller becomes a lot easier.

 

What Does Renewed Mean on Amazon?

Renewed refers to the pre-owned and refurbished products sold on Amazon. It’s a program designed for sellers who would prefer to appeal to thrifty customers who want to buy used items for less.

The problem that often arises with buying pre-owned goods is the risk.

Nobody wants to buy an item only to discover it doesn’t work. This is where Amazon Renewed is trying to change things.

The program guidelines ensure that the products sold by sellers are still high quality.

Amazon Renewed

As a seller, signing up for the Amazon Renewed program places your refurbished products in front of A LOT of people…

These people already trust the Amazon brand, as a third party seller you can benefit from that.

This for me is Amazons way of trying to compete against eBay when it comes to the used product market.

 

What is Amazon Renewed For?

The Amazon Renewed program is for products sold by qualified manufacturers or third-party refurbishing companies.

Here are the types of products that can be sold under the Renewed umbrella:

  • Smartphones and other wireless devices
  • Televisions
  • Gaming consoles
  • Personal computers
  • Cameras
  • Printers
  • Headphones
  • Home and kitchen appliances
  • Power tools and garden equipment

If you choose to sell your refurbished products using Amazon Renewed, you’re going to need a way to inspect and test them.

Let’s take a look at the other qualifying criteria.

 

How to Qualify for Amazon Renewed

There are a few requirements you’ll need to meet to start selling via Amazon Renewed.

 

Product Inspection Process

Quality is a top priority for Amazon, which is why Renewed sellers need to prove that their products have been inspected.

Your product inspection process should produce a full diagnostic report and prove the product was cleaned. Should the report uncover any defective parts during inspection, they need to be replaced before you can list the product.

Any products you choose to sell also need to look like new. This means no visible imperfections.

 

Product Warranties

Amazon Renewed needs sellers to provide a solid 90-day product warranty that covers any defects a buyer might encounter. The warranty excludes faulty installation or poor maintenance on the customer’s part.

If you want to list items with no manufacturer warranty, you’ll need additional permissions.

This requires a submission of at least 8 images of the sample unit so that Amazon can review it. They need to see the box that the product will be shipped in, the inside of the packaging, and views of the product from the top, bottom, and all sides.

 

Discounted Price

Even though you need to prove your pre-owned products are high-quality, they’re still pre-owned.

Amazon states that any refurbished or pre-owned product prices need to reflect a discount of at least 5%.

Naturally, this means knowing what the product costs new, out of the box.

 

Business History

Along with listing quality products, Amazon Renewed also only works with trustworthy brands. To sign up for this program, you need to prove that your business is established.

One way to prove this is to produce invoices showing at least $50,000 worth of pre-owned product purchases within the last 3 months. Or a minimum of 500 refurbished units. Keep in mind that any products that sell for $15 or less won’t count towards the 500 units.

The only way to include lower-priced items is to blackout the required unit amount and submit invoices with dollar amounts instead.

If you’re an existing Amazon seller, your order defect rate needs to be under 0.8% over the last 3 months to qualify for this program.

Planning to sell Apple products? This requires invoices totaling $2.5 million in refurbished Apply products from the last 3 months.

 

Getting Started as an Amazon Renewed Seller

Next, let’s look at the steps you need to take to start selling via the Amazon Renewed program.

  1. Register as an Amazon Seller

Interested in selling pre-owned, refurbished or open-box products? The natural first step is to be a registered Amazon seller. To do this, head to Amazon Seller Central and create an account.

Amazon Renewed Sign Up Form

As a new Amazon seller, you might be interested to know about how they pay their sellers – read more here.

 

  1. Source Product Opportunities

I am an avid believer in product research and selling pre-owned products is no different. If you already have the necessary inventory to sell via Amazon Renewed, I would still suggest doing some research to evaluate opportunities and the competition.

If you haven’t purchased the necessary inventory just yet, make product and competitor research your first order of business.

When researching products, you first want to look for items with high demand and low competition – this is where the opportunities lie. In the video below i explain how we usually find low competition product ideas.

YouTube Video

Lastly, find products that you can price within 5% of the product’s current price if purchased new. Tools such as Helium 10 are excellent for product research, making it easier to find that happy medium between high demand and low competition.

Many people choose to use virtual assistants to help them with this process. Not sure if you need one? Here’s what you need to know.

 

  1. Buy Inventory

Now that you know what you should and shouldn’t be selling, you can start sourcing your inventory. If you haven’t done this before, there are a few sources that I would recommend for pre-owned and refurbished items.

The first is liquidation companies who buy excess merchandise from manufacturers. They take care of the refurbishment and sell them to sellers like yourself.

When working with a liquidation company, you need to take their prices into consideration to ensure you can still make a profit. Don’t forget to find out about their testing processes and what reports they can provide you with.

The second option is to purchase goods directly from a manufacturer. Not all manufacturers refurbish the products themselves though – something to keep in mind when evaluating options.

There is also Alibaba, a platform that’s often used by Amazon sellers. This is my top choice for purchasing refurbished goods that are of good quality. Just be sure that you vet the manufacturers to avoid scams.

Here’s my guide to what Amazon sellers need to know about using Alibaba.

 

  1. Apply to Sell on Amazon Renewed

Once your inventory’s ready to go, you need to apply to sell on Amazon Renewed. This means meeting the necessary requirements mentioned earlier, including minimum inventory, a warranty, and a clear product testing process.

Most sellers can expect to receive approval in 14 business days.

Once you’re approved, you can start listing your certified refurbished or pre-owned products.

 

Why Choose Amazon Renewed?

There are a number of excellent reasons to consider becoming an Amazon Renewed seller.

The first being that you get to join an exclusive program and avoid some competition. As you can see, the application process for Amazon Renewed is stringent – not just anyone can start selling.

This alone leaves you with a lot more room to succeed than if you chose to sell new products.

As a Renewed seller, you also benefit from high customer trust due to Amazon’s quality requirements. Not to mention the fact that Amazon receives millions of visitors every month.

Amazon’s eCommerce solutions make selling to a global marketplace that much easier, regardless of whether your products are new or not.

If you’re planning to add Amazon Renewed to your current business model, you have the opportunity to grow both your brand and sales.

In closing, Amazon Renewed is the ideal option for anyone who wants to try a slightly different route to market, while still taking advantage of Amazon’s giant marketplace.

Selling pre-owned and refurbished products does come with its own effort and challenges, but overall, when done correctly, it’s highly rewarding.

If you’re wondering whether eBay might be a better marketplace for your pre-owned goods, here’s my full review on Amazon vs eBay.

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