I’ve been seeing a lot of questions over on the Wholesale Help private Facebook group about Amazon – we cover eBay quite thoroughly, but what about Amazon? Well, if you’ve got questions, I’ve got answers, which is why this is the first installment in the series I’m calling “Amazon Seller’s Tips and Tricks”. I’ll still be doing my other eBay videos and Reader’s Questions, but we’re going to toss Amazon into the mix as well. We’ll begin by addressing the ups and downs of selling with Amazon FBA.
Now, what is FBA? That stands for “fulfilled by Amazon”, and it means that you ship your items to the Amazon warehouse, and when they’re ordered by customers through Amazon’s site, they pack and ship your item for you. Basically, once you’ve sent them your stock, your job in the sale of your item is finished. It’s relatively new in the UK, and I actually took a very helpful course on it called “The Proven Amazon Course” by Jim Cockrum. He and other experienced Amazon FBA sellers from the US (where the system originated and has been in place for years) share their experience and tips with sellers that are new to the FBA process, and it was extremely helpful in avoiding the pitfalls that can become some sellers when going through a new channel. I’ll be doing a more in-depth review on this course later on, though, so check back for that.
For me, the automation of the process is a major plus. I can just send them a load of things and I’m done. This way, I can go away on holiday and continue to sell items and make money. Also, it’s a huge time saver. If you send Amazon 180 items, you’ve already got 180 items listed for sale on their site. You can use this as a tool to really scale up your business and make more sales very easily.
Of course, since Amazon is careful with its vendors, you can’t always jump right into selling in certain categories. There are some you can get into right away, but others, you’ve got to work towards. With some categories, you have to apply to Amazon for the ability to sell items, and there are stipulations. For example, you have to have an established eCommerce site. Amazon does this because it’s very invested in customer satisfaction, and want to make sure you’re trustworthy before it takes the risk of you selling high-profile items to its general public.
For all of the work they do for you, though, the fees for Amazon FBA are much higher than over on eBay. But, consider everything they take care of for you – they receive your items, unpack them, log them in their system, store them until they’re sold, repack them, and ship them out. It’s not a lot of money for everything you’re getting from them.
The other downside is that you’ve got less control selling through Amazon. You’re on their site, but make no mistake about it, those are their customers, not yours. For example, if the customer wants a refund, Amazon will typically just give it to them without even notifying you. Oftentimes, you don’t get your item back, either. They take customer satisfaction seriously, and will go above you to make sure that their clientele is kept happy.
Some categories can get quite competitive as well. We’ll discuss this more in-depth later on in the Amazon Seller’s Tips and Tricks series, but it’s something to beware of. Always do your research before diving in.
Check out the video below for more information. Be sure to check back often for the next installment of Amazon Seller’s Tips and Tricks, and let me know what you think about Amazon FBA!