How do you sell products effectively on Amazon when you don’t know much about them (or nothing)? That is the question we will answer in this comprehensive guide. We will focus on the techniques and things to know (or avoid) to really succeed in doing “business” thanks to the most famous marketplace in the world. This article is much more than just a tutorial as there are dozens on the web!
5 Reasons to sell your products on Amazon
#1 You don’t need to create a website
Creating a website takes time, especially when it’s an e-commerce site. Not only do you have to create your site “technically” but you also have to build trust around your shop… which sometimes takes months or even years. With Amazon, you can take advantage of their easy-to-use platform and start selling products with just a few clicks.
#2 You don’t need to get traffic yourself
You have to drive a lot of traffic on an e-commerce site to make it profitable. Traffic generation is not done with a pair of sleeves. Again, it often takes many months. Selling on Amazon allows you to enjoy a lot of traffic without having to do SEO! Amazon gets about 200 million unique visitors per month…
#3 You can hand over logistics to Amazon
Amazon gives you the “Fulfilled by Amazon” program, FBA, which allows you to take advantage of the US giant’s logistics infrastructure. Amazon is responsible for storing and delivering your products after each order. It is recommended you get a serious Amazon business training course from Matt Clark
#4 No complicated merchant
Amazon manages payments and refunds for you. You are paid every 14 days directly to the bank account you have informed. Amazon is probably the best marketplace to use, and the most flexible.
#5 Amazon’s customer support is impeccable
Amazon’s customer support is known for its quality whether you’re a customer a seller. You can contact them for any request or question, you will have a very quick answer.
How does it work? How much does it cost?
To sell on Amazon, it’s very simple: you just have to create a “Seller” account, which gives you access to the “Seller Central” interface. When creating your account, you must provide information (credit card, phone, company details, etc.). Then you download your products to the platform and use your account interface. To learn more about registration, it’s here. It costs 39 euros (HT) per month – a commission that varies depending on the type of products sold.
What products to sell on Amazon?
Are you convinced of the opportunity to sell on Amazon? But what types of products sell? Here are some explanations.
The three ways to sell on Amazon
You have three options:
- Sell other people’s products. You sell products marketed by a brand, by supplying you with it.
- Sell white-label products. They are usually very inexpensive to acquire, but because they do not have a recognizable brand, their value is difficult for customers to perceive. As a result, these products are more difficult to sell.
- Sell your own products, providing you with suppliers like Alibaba. This allows you to make more margins. This solution, which has become increasingly popular in recent years, is arguably the most cost-effective.
In this guide, we will focus on the latter category of products. To get started, you need to list product ideas. Here are three tips for finding product ideas:
Think about your hobbies and passions, and the products associated with them.
Identify problems and pain points, and look for products that could solve these problems.
Read magazines that cover topics of interest to you and list the products that are featured in advertising spaces.
Try to make a list of 10 to 20 products.
It’s a very good start. To help you in this work, let’s take a concrete example. You have identified a promising and growing niche: Uber drivers. To work, an Uber driver needs two things: a car and an iPhone. Here is a list of products that could interest Uber drivers: suction cups to fix the iPhone, iPhone 6 chargers, coffee cups, portable vacuum cleaners, deodorants…
How big is the market?
You can answer this question using your Google friend. You’ll soon find press reports about the number of active drivers on Uber and more generally statistics about the platform’s drivers. Also, remember that your niche also more or less indirectly includes drivers using other applications of the same type. If the niche is large, you must answer the second question.
How many people look for these products every month?
To answer this question, you can use the free “Google Keyword Planner” tool. You’ll find out how many people search for the products you’ve listed each month- via keyword queries. Note: This tool is based on queries made on Google, and can therefore deviate slightly from the volume of queries on Amazon. Nevertheless, this gives a good idea of the demand for a particular product.
Are these products seasonal?
Google Keyword Planner doesn’t let you know if the products on your list are seasonal or not, i.e. if there are variations in demand during the year. For stock building and marketing strategy, it’s important to be able to answer this question. There is a very effective tool for this, and completely free: Google Trends. Here is the result obtained for the “Sunscreen” request in France:
It can be inferred from this graph that the demand for sunscreen peaks during the summer. Which is not very surprising!
Who are your main competitors?
To answer this fourth and final question, you can use Amazon directly and learn about the flagship products (the top sales). This provides information about your main competitors, the products they market and the prices charged.
It’s generally important to use Amazon’s search features. Because you should know that today there are more people looking for products on Amazon than on Google. When you click on a product in the results page, and scroll to the bottom of the product page, you can find out where it is in Amazon sales.
How do I find suppliers for your products?
Now that you’ve identified the high-potential products you’re going to sell on Amazon, you need to find suppliers. When it is looking for suppliers, you have two main solutions:
If your product is perishable (e.g. food) or is a product to be applied to the skin (creams, cosmetics), you must source from local suppliers.
For all other products, the best suppliers are Chinese!
If you want to sell deodorants to Uber drivers, you need to stock up in China. Specifically: on Alibaba the first supplier platform of the Middle Kingdom. It is by using this platform that you will find suppliers the fastest and most easily. Let’s say we’re looking for cushions. We type “cushions” into the search bar. A list of suppliers/products is offered. When you click on a product, you get to a product page. Alibaba, until then, works exactly like… Amazon.
Once you’ve identified a product you’re interested in on Alibaba, you need to take several steps:
Contact the supplier to verify that the price displayed corresponds to the actual price, to obtain information on delivery times, sample cost, quality control, wholesale offers, the location of the production company, etc.
Test product samples, so you can check the quality of the products first-hand and compare them with the quality of your competitors’ products. Depending on the products and suppliers, the samples are free or paid for. In any case, delivery is charged.
Check that this is a serious business, with references. Use Google, apply for certifications or hire a quality inspector to visit the company.
Before you commit, make cost-effectiveness calculations. Make sure you’re a real winner. This involves calculating all your expenses (including the cost of the product) and comparing it to the selling price.