Amazon is a powerhouse in the eCommerce world. The company generated over $469 billion in sales in 2021 and is on track to hit a new historic high this year. For entrepreneurs, Amazon can be an excellent opportunity to start a business. Remember that $469 million figure from earlier? Well, third-party sellers accounted for an impressive 50% of that total. And with Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), it’s easier to start.
This guide will show you how to start a successful Amazon business, from researching product opportunities to launching your business and everything in between.
Step 1: Sign Up for an Amazon Seller Account
The first step to starting an Amazon business is to sign up for an Amazon Seller Account. You’ll need to provide some basic information about your business, including:
- Business name
- Phone number
- Credit card information
- Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN)
Once you’ve completed the sign-up process, you’ll be ready to start listing products.
Step 2: Research Product Opportunities
Now it’s time to start thinking about what products you want to sell on Amazon. When you’re first getting started, it’s essential to choose a product that meets the following criteria:
- It’s niche: The more specific and niche your product is, the easier it will be to rank in search results and get noticed by potential customers. Look for niches where the top sellers have <200 reviews.
- It’s not too competitive: If there are already a ton of sellers selling the same or similar products, it will be challenging to stand out and make a profit.
- It’s in demand: Make sure there is a market for your product before you invest time and money into sourcing the products. Use Amazon’s “Best Sellers” list and Google Trends to get an idea of your product’s demand and search trends.
If you’re on a budget, you can do all your research for free using Amazon’s publicly available data. However, if you’re willing to spend some money, 3rd Party services and tools make it easy to find the best opportunity.
Read More: How to Find Profitable Products to Sell on Amazon
Step 3: Sourcing Your Products
Now it’s time to start sourcing your products. For those who don’t know, sourcing is a business term that describes finding a source for the products you sell (e.g., a manufacturer). There are a few different ways you can go about this:
You can manufacture products yourself if you have the resources and knowledge. You’ll need to create a product mock-up, find a factory to produce it, and get it shipped to Amazon.
Source Products from Wholesaler/Supplier
You can source products from a wholesaler or distributor. If you’re not interested in manufacturing products, you can find a wholesaler or distributor willing to work with you. AliExpress, Alibaba, and SaleHoo are popular places to connect with reliable manufacturers.
You can find products on discount/clearance from retailers, and this is an excellent option if you’re looking for products to sell on Amazon on a budget. You can find clearance items at physical stores or online; before buying, check that the products are in good condition and likely to sell before you buy them.
Liquidation & Auctions
You can look for liquidation sales. When a company is experiencing existential financial difficulties, they’re sometimes forced to start liquidating assets (such as products) as quickly as possible to repay creditors. While these liquidation sales are relatively rare, they’re one of the most budget-friendly options for sourcing products.
Step 4: Evaluate the Product
Once you’ve found a few potential products, it’s time to evaluate them. There are a few factors you’ll want to consider:
- Profitability: Can you sell the product for more than you paid? Use Amazon’s Profit Calculator to get an idea of your potential profits. As a general rule, aim for products that typically sell for 4X their cost.
- Competition: How many other sellers are selling the same or similar products? If you already see the same product on Amazon, it’s probably time to move on (unless you can undercut the price).
- Weight: How much does the product weigh? You’ll want to prioritize products that weigh 5 lbs. or less since they’re cheaper to store and ship with FBA.
Step 5: Deciding your Order Fulfillment Method
Amazon sellers have two options: Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) or Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM). Both of these options have their pros & cons; however, for this article, we will go with FBA. To use FBA, you’ll also need to sign up for that program. FBA is a fulfillment service offered by Amazon that allows businesses to store their products in Amazon’s fulfillment centers. When an order is placed, Amazon will pick, pack, and ship the product to the customer on your behalf.
There are a few benefits of using FBA:
- Faster shipping times: Customers expect fast shipping when they order from Amazon, and FBA can help you meet those expectations.
- Improved seller standing: FBA sellers often see a boost in their Amazon Seller Rating, which can lead to more sales.
- Eligibility for Prime Badge: Customers who are members of Amazon Prime will see the Prime label on Prime-eligible FBA products.
If you want to take advantage of these benefits, you’ll need to sign up for FBA and create a shipping plan. Luckily, this is easy to do. Start by going to your Amazon Seller Central dashboard and selecting “Fulfillment by Amazon” from the sidebar.
From there, you’ll be walked through creating a shipping plan. You’ll need to provide information about the products you want to send to Amazon and how you want them stored. Once you’ve created your shipping plan, you can print out labels, attach them to your products, and send them to Amazon.
Step 6: Launch the Business
After signing up with Amazon and establishing your supply chain, the next step is to plan and launch your business.
There are a few things you’ll need to do to get started:
- Create well-researched & attractive product listings: As we mentioned, you’ll need to create product listings for each product you want to sell on Amazon. The listing must be well-researched using the best keywords and include high-quality images and compelling product descriptions.
- Optimize your listings for SEO: In addition to creating attractive product listings, you’ll also need to ensure they’re optimized for Amazon’s search engine optimization (SEO). This will help potential customers find your products more easily.
- Promote your products: Once they are live on Amazon, you must promote them. You can do this through paid advertising, social media, and other marketing channels.
Step 7: Manage Your Seller Account
Once the business is up and running, your success will depend upon the proactive management of your Amazon Seller Account. This includes monitoring your sales, responding to customer inquiries, and dealing with any issues that may arise.
The good news is that Amazon makes it easy to manage your seller account with their Seller Central platform. Seller Central gives you access to all the tools and resources you need to run your business, including order management, inventory management, reporting, and more. You will need to monitor your sales, respond to customer inquiries promptly, and deal with any issues that may arise. By doing so, you’ll be able to keep your business running smoothly and ensure a positive customer experience.
One of the biggest benefits of building a side hustle or passive income stream with an Amazon seller business is the ability to create a life on your terms. You’re not beholden to a boss or a traditional job, and you have the flexibility to work from anywhere in the world. Whether you’re a stay-at-home parent, a digital nomad, or a full-time employee looking to supplement your income, an Amazon seller business can be the key to unlocking a more fulfilling and financially secure future.
In fact, it’s not just a side hustle. It’s a chance to create a new way of life. So, what are you waiting for? Take the leap and join the ranks of successful Amazon sellers today. The world is waiting for your unique perspective and products.