Posted by Alex Jackson on 12th Oct 2018
For a long time now eBay has been the best place to get your start in the world of e-commerce sales. If you’re a regular reader of our blog, you probably already know that eBay as a selling platform is just the first step in a long journey. You need to have an active presence on multiple platforms in e-commerce because diversification is the key to selling success! Today there is a virtually endless array of selling platforms out there to choose from that could be ideal for your business but let’s focus on what will be for many the next stop in their e-commerce journey. That next stop is Amazon; it’s the world’s largest online retailer and its estimated to now have about 5 million marketplace sellers across its 12 platforms ( Amazon USA, UK, Germany, France, Canada, Japan, India, Italy, Spain, Mexico, Brazil, China). The sales from these marketplace sellers are just staggering, $118 Billion is the estimated total for 2017. Is there more room for growth? Amazon estimates that one million new sellers will be added just this year! Some may ask if Amazon is the biggest, why not just start selling on Amazon first? Well because Amazon is not for an inexperienced seller. Sure, setting up an account is quite easy, and the interface is user-friendly, but there is a lot more you need to know before you start your battle for that buy box. Before you start selling on Amazon make sure you have a firm grasp of these basics.
Play by their rules- it’s easy to get setup as a marketplace seller but also easy to be shut down if you are in violation of Amazon rules so make sure you have a firm grasp on these before you get started. One of the nice things about Amazon for sellers is that these guidelines are fairly straightforward and are not subject to constant change like some other selling platforms so read them carefully and make sure to abide by them. What are the rules? You can find them here Amazon rules.
Go pro as soon as possible- Set yourself up as a professional seller as soon as possible because it has a few key advantages first off it will save you $.99 per sales transaction and at $40 bucks a month for professional seller status its fairly easy to recoup. Second as a pro seller you can create and add items not currently available in Amazons catalog. Third only pro sellers can request to sell in some of those coveted restricted categories. Last but not least if you ever want to own the buy box for a particular item, that’s the little add to cart box were the vast majority of sales happen you have to be a pro seller.
Understand FBM or FBA- Understanding these two options of how your merchandise is processed and shipped is critical to a new seller. Which is right for your business really depends on you. Fulfillment by merchant may be the way to go as you learn the platform but understand that it does have its downsides and can limit your growth. Fulfillment by Amazon is great you simply send your merchandise into one of Amazon’s DC and they ship out the items as they sell. The downside is its not free and they don’t store your merchandise for free so before you ship off your garage full of merchandise over to Amazon be sure to understand how these fees can add up.
So is Amazon right for you? Yes, absolutely and it’s a tremendous opportunity for any seller looking to rapidly grow their business but do your homework before you dive in and you are guaranteed to start out on the right foot.