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Many of us want to earn extra cash (aside from our “day job”). And lately, I’ve had lots of friends asking how to sell items on Amazon.
Selling products on Amazon has become quite lucrative — but it also has its own set of challenges.
There are strict policy guidelines, several restricted product categories, and intense competition from many other sellers.
The good news is you can make extra money selling on Amazon!
If you follow the helpful hints spelled out in this article, you will increase your success — because the more you know how to sell items on Amazon, the faster you’ll make money.
These are the 5 ways to be successful at selling on Amazon:
- Choose the right type of Amazon seller account for your needs.
- Follow the seller guidelines that Amazon has established.
- Sell the right products online for your target audience.
- Use value-based pricing when deciding how to price your items on Amazon.
- Put the customer’s needs first when dealing with returns and feedback.
If you’re new to selling on Amazon, I can tell you it’s super simple to get started — as long as you pay special attention to these tips.
#1 – Choose The Right Amazon Seller Account
When you’re first learning how to sell items on Amazon, you start by opening a new seller account. You’ll have to decide between an individual or professional seller account.
- If you plan to sell just a few items each month, an individual seller account should be fine.
- If you plan to sell a large number of products and earn money selling on Amazon, you should look into a professional seller account — which has fewer restricted product categories.
Here are some benefits of being a professional Amazon seller:
- You can use 3rd party services. If you plan to list a lot of items, using a service like Inventory Lab allows you to batch list your products and print your labels on demand.
- You can apply for restricted categories. There are several restricted categories on Amazon — if you want to apply to sell those types of items, you must have a professional seller account.
- You can receive cost savings. If you sell more than 40 items a month, you save money (99 cents per item that sells).
- You can create product bundles. This allows you to differentiate your products from others and provide more value to your customers. Check out this bundling information to help you create a unique product demand.
- You can create new listings like private labels. If you want to do a private label or bring new wholesale products to the marketplace, you can as a professional seller.
- You can win the buy box. — If you’re selling a particularly hot item, you want to win the buy box so that you can sell out fast.
Here’s what to do before and after you register for your professional Amazon seller account.
#2 – Follow The Rules
One of the most challenging aspects of selling products on Amazon is staying compliant with seller guidelines (which are numerous). Amazon sends account warnings for inadvertently violating policies. A violation can lead to the suspension of your account.
These are the 3 most common Amazon seller violations:
- Violating product listing rules — These are the products you can’t sell on Amazon even if you have a professional seller account.
- Not following the bundling policies — Be sure to keep up with the latest UPC policy and bundling policy.
- Operating multiple Amazon seller accounts — When it comes to using multiple accounts, you’ll need to have “legitimate business reasons” to have more than one account.
Be sure to read all the Amazon seller guidelines before you start. If your account happens to get suspended, take the time to write a polite email explaining what went wrong and how you’ll fix the mistake. Chances are, Amazon’s customer service will be willing to forgive you the first time.
If they do, here are the steps to reinstate your suspended Amazon seller account.
#3 – Sell The Right Stuff
Finding the right items to sell can be difficult when you’re just getting started and still learning how to sell items on Amazon.
Sometimes a product category may no longer accept new sellers at all — so you should constantly check the categories list to make sure that your product is eligible.
Also, the number of sellers on Amazon is growing at a phenomenal rate — so the competition is stiff these days. Hot-selling products tend to attract more sellers, which lowers the average selling prices for those items.
Here are some great tips for selling on Amazon like a pro:
- Customize your product, based on reviews from your competitors. Try to focus on what your competitors aren’t offering. For example, customers will leave reviews and say exactly what they wish was different about the product they purchased.
- Consider selling oversized items. Most other Amazon sellers tend to stay away from oversized products. That leaves a huge hole in the market that you can fill.
- Concentrate on your entire market. You want your product to be the top-selling item on Amazon, so make sure that all of your items are customized in ways that matter the customer.
- Use product descriptions wisely to differentiate items. Specifically, highlight the difference between your product and your competition’s product. Use more descriptive words than they tend to use — like “professional quality” or “heavy duty.”
Want to add products? The Amazon seller app is a great tool to scout for products at retail stores. This app will also tell you if a product is in a restricted category or not, as well.
TIP: Amazon is strict when it comes to product listings and descriptions! When you’re deciding how to sell items on Amazon, you need to make sure that the item’s condition is accurately represented in the description, and that both the item and packaging meet customer expectations.
#4 – Set A Fair Price
You should avoid getting into a price war with other Amazon sellers listing the same item. One of the quickest ways to lose money is to lower your price to match a competitor’s price.
The best way to avoid losing your profit margin is to use value-based pricing.
Value-based pricing ensures that your customers feel happy paying your price for the value they’re getting. Pricing according to the value your customer sees in your product prevents you from short-changing yourself while creating an experience for customers that’s most aligned with their expectations. Source
Yes, you want to list your items with a competitive price. But a price war can eat away your profit margin.
Value-based pricing considers the value of the item — as opposed to the cost the company incurred to create and produce it.
To sell enough to make a profit, you’ll need to determine how much money (or value) your product will generate for the customer.
Here’s a great guide for setting value-based prices on Amazon.
#5 – Focus Heavily On Customer Service
Finally, many Amazon sellers tend to forget about the importance of customer service. E-commerce is no different from traditional retail when it comes to making your customers happy. So while you’re still taking notes and learning how to sell items on Amazon, be sure to pay attention to the little things that you learn along the way — the hidden gems that will continue to make your customers happy.
The easiest ways to keep customers happy when selling on Amazon are:
- Respond quickly to customer inquiries. Customer retention and turning first-time buyers into lifelong customers must be your #1 priority.
- Handle returns expediently. Fast, accurate fulfillment is a critical when selling online. If you’re concerned about not meeting customer expectations, you can use Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA).
- Deal with disputes in a professional manner. You have 5 business days to respond to a dispute notification, but its best to respond immediately. You can issue a refund to the buyer or present your case to Amazon.
- Always put the customers’ needs first. Consider how quickly people’s opinions appear on social networks. And keep in mind that your competitors are only a click away, as well. If you want your brand to thrive online, focus like a laser on customer satisfaction.
If there’s one reason we’ve done better than our peers in the Internet space over the last 6 years, it’s because we have focused like a laser on customer experience. — Jeff Bezos, CEO & President of Amazon
TIP: Buyers can leave positive and negative feedback on your Amazon seller account — which can help or hurt you. If a buyer leaves poor feedback, try sending a polite email asking if there is anything you can do to fix the problem.
Selling on Amazon can be a great way to enter the world of e-commerce. Just know that it can be a bit challenging in the beginning. There’s an art to knowing how to sell items on Amazon. It will take some practice and fine-tuning along the way.
If you follow the above tips, your chance of success will certainly increase and you’ll be able to earn extra cash in no time!
I’m a health nut, a frugal mom, a dog lover, a DIYer, and a gadget girl. Personally, as a post-divorce, working single mom on a budget I have a lot of experiences that I enjoy sharing so others can learn from the things I wish I knew earlier! Professionally, I’ve worked full-time in a variety of marketing, sales, and editing jobs. You can always find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as Managing Editor at The Fun Times Guide (32 fun & helpful websites).