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Passive Income via Amazon Retail E-commerce

by L.D.Vinci | Published August 8, 2017 | Edited: August 28, 2017

Background on Amazon’s retail platform (Day 0)

A to Z, Amazon carries it all! Amazon is focused on giving its customers the best retail shopping experience. At the time I wrote this article, Amazon’s stock price had just broke $1000 per share for the first time, and for that fleeting moment Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos, displaced Bill Gates as the richest person in the world. Trivia aside, Amazon moves tons of products every single day. It is not clear how much total retail sales there were on Amazon, but most analysts estimate between $100 to $200 billion worth in 2016. The total e- commerce sales in the US for the year 2016 were estimated to be about $391 billion. [1] If we take a conservative average of Amazon’s total sales for 2016, $136Bln [2], then we can calculate that Amazon makes up about 35% of the total retail sales in the US for the year of 2016. If the average price of a product on Amazon, ~$25.00, then we end up with a ridiculous ~5.2 billion products sold. Amazon is still viable as an e-commerce retail platform, but it is much more saturated than it was around 2011. The fairytales of exceeding $1 million gross revenue is month is much harder to come by these days then it was 5-6 years ago, but sellers are still able to make a living off of Amazon retail right now.

Now let’s digest some of those absurd claims that you’ve no doubt seen around the web. Ten thousand dollars ($10,000) a month is a fairly common claim to monthly revenue. We can break the monthly revenue down to get an idea how fast your hypothetical product needs to move via Amazon’s platform.

Product Price Required sales per month (units) Sales per day (units/day)
$25.00 400 13.33
$12.50 800 26.67

Assuming $10,000/Mo Gross Revenue (Exhibit 1)

If you were lucky and you somehow sourced an awesome product that you could retail for the price of $25, then you would need to sell 400 units of that product a month to be able to achieve $10,000 in gross revenue. That is 13 to 14 units EVERY DAY! What are the chances of you finding a $25 product that is selling like hot cakes without much competition? I would say extremely rare. A product around the $12.50 range is more realistic, and at $12.50 one would need to move about 27 units a day for 30 days straight to be able to achieve $10,000 a month. This can seem overwhelming to some especially if you are new, but don’t get blinded by these outrageous claims. These high revenue claims usually serve only two purposes – clickbait and a source of discouragement. The last thing I want is for you to feel discouraged and quit because your first month selling on Amazon did’nt net you any income. Not making $10K or even $1K on your first month on Amazon is completely normal. Again, set realistic goals for yourself and reevaluate them after you have achieved them. Don’t aim for the stars if you haven’t even touched the clouds.

Pre-requisites (Day 1 – 2)

Before you begin looking for products to sell on Amazon, you need to be aware of the different ways one can sell products on Amazon. The three methods to selling products on Amazon are retail arbitrage, wholesale, and private label. Wholesale and private label retail is essentially the same methods except private label goes a bit beyond wholesale by attaching a brand to the products you sell. When you private label a product then you should be the only seller of that specific branded product thereby reducing the competition you would be up against if you were selling a generic version of that product.

Take flashlights for example. If you were just selling a flashlight, you would probably be going up against hundreds, if not thousands, of other sellers selling that same exact generic flashlight. If you could somehow get your company name and logo (e.g. Planet X) onto that flashlight, then you would be the only store selling a Planet X flashlight. Private labeling also allows you to build your brand reputation, loyalty, and reviews. However, private labeling typically carries a higher cost of goods sold (COGS) because wholesalers typically charge you a fee to set up and use your logo. With wholesaling, you are typically looking for a product that either is not already on Amazon, or the product is on Amazon but is priced well, has decent best sellers ranking (BSR), and minimum competition. Retail arbitrage is basically buying a product at a lower price (deals, clearance, etc) and selling it on Amazon at a higher price. This guide will mainly go over details about wholesale and private labeling, but we will also touch briefly on what retail arbitrage is.

In order to start selling on Amazon, you will need an Amazon account. You may already have one as a consumer, but we will actually need to have a “sellers” account to be able to sell products on Amazon. A regular account and a seller’s account are not the same, but they can be under the same general account. For example, if you already have the consumer account you can create a sellers account under the same account (same email log-in ID). There are two types of seller’s accounts available to you. When you first sign-up for a seller’s account you will be placed, by default, into what is known as the “individual seller’s” account. You can also upgrade your individual account to a “professional” seller’s account if you are willing to pay a subscription fee of $39.99 a month. I know what you’re asking. “What’s the difference between an individual and a professional account?” I got this directly from Amazon.[3]

Individual selling plan Professional selling plan
$0.99 per item fee for each item that sells Monthly subscription fee
Single listing creation Multiple listing creation using spreadsheets and uploads
Online listing and order management Inventory and order management using reports and feeds
Access to tools on Seller Central to perform account functions Access to Amazon Marketplace Web Service to upload feeds, receive reports, and perform other API functions

Difference Between Individual and Professional Accounts (Exhibit 2)

The main difference here is the fee schedule difference between the two account levels. Individual account charges you a $0.99 “fixed closing fee” on top of your normal Amazon fees while the professional accounts waive this 99 cent fee but charge you $39.99 a month instead. If you are selling 40 items or less per month, the individual account will suffice as your total fixed closing fee charge of $39.60 will still be less than the $39.99 fee to go professional. If you sell, or plan on selling, more than 40 items per month then the professional account will be the wiser choice since your $39.99 monthly charge will remain fix no matter if you sell 41 units or 41,000 units per month.

FMPI – I would suggest you obtain your individual sellers account first and play around with it. The Seller’s Central (you online base of operation on Amazon) will seem a bit intimidating at first with all the buttons, pages, and reports available to you. Before you go professional, I would suggest that you already have your products on hand, prepped, and maybe even shipped out for FBA (we’ll cover FBA more later). The trick is to not waste any time when you start paying for the Professional subscription.

When you do move over to a professional account (because I imagine all of you will be selling more than 40 items per month) be aware of the seller’s identification verification procedure that will be required of you. The verification procedure will require a few articles from you – a government issued ID, a banks statement, and an EIN number or Employer Identification Number. Employer identification numbers are super easy to obtain from the IRS. [4] If you don’t have a business entity, you can simply apply using your social security number.

FMPI – When I verified my LLC with Amazon, the documents I submitted were: 1) front and back colored scans of my US driver’s license 2) a copy of my LLC’s most recent bank statement with all dollar amounts and account numbers censored and 3) My LLC’s EIN. After I submitted everything, I was approved within a few minutes (your times may vary).

If you were already selling on an individual account or have products already listed, you will see that all of your listings will suddenly become “currently unavailable.” Don’t be alarmed! Your inventory didn’t just disappear into thin air. Amazon just put a temporary hold on your listing pending your identification verification. I found this one out when I contacted seller’s support after finding all of my items suddenly unavailable to purchase. The Amazon representative explained to me that Amazon usually sends out the link to get verified a week after you upgrade your account to professional. I don’t know why Amazon wants to force a seller to wait a week after we’ve already paid our monthly dues; seems like a waste of time to me, but that’s the way it is. After you have submitted all the required documentation and get verified, then you’re good to go again.

Note that Amazon does all of this verification to cut down on sellers that give Amazon customers a bad experience. Because of this stringent verification process, Amazon knows exactly who you are and if you break Amazon’s terms of service, rest assured that you and your account will be banned from ever selling on Amazon again. It is important that you read and understand the terms of service and make sure that you do not break any of the rules because you only get one try.

In order to list any product on to Amazon’s platform, the items listed must have a UPC or universal product code. You remember those barcodes that cashiers scan on products you have in your shopping cart at the local supermarket (with the exception of produce)? Yea, that’s a barcode. To keep it simple, a barcode is unique to every single item in the world. If you have 1 product you would need one barcode; if your one product has different variations then you would need a unique barcode for every single color variation, size variation, etc. If you are selling retail arbitrage, you won’t have an issue with UPC barcodes because everything you buy should already have a barcode of its own. If you decide to sell your own private labeled products or any other product you source from China, you will need a UPC for each item type. A UPC code actually has 2 pieces of information displayed in the form of a string of numbers – the company or manufacturer unique code and a product number. This information is important for inventory tracking and swift product recalls, but the cost of acquiring UPC’s for your products fall onto you. Some people will say that you can get cheap codes from barcode resellers who buy bulk codes and sell off small sections of it, but I would argue against it because

  1. The company does not guarantee they will resell the codes that they have already sold you
  2. Your company’s name will not be registered to that barcodes company/manufacturer number
  3. It will be a problem later on down the road when 2 different products show up on Amazon with using the same barcode number

There is only one legitimate way to obtain UPC barcodes for your company and products and that is by registering under www.gs1us.org. GS1 is a non-profit organization that maintains the database of all of the UPC codes used around the world. If there is ever an issue with the ownership of a specific barcode, GS1’s database will be the authority. Here is the fee schedule displayed on GS1

It can be hard for people to invest this amount of cash towards operating expenses, even before knowing that their products will move off the shelves, but I would not condone using UPC’s from a barcode reseller as it has a high potential of causing you more problems later on when Amazon decides to crack down on authorized use of UPCs.

GS1 Fee Schedule (Exhibit 3)

GS1 Fee Schedule

It can be hard for people to invest this amount of cash towards operating expenses, even before knowing that their products will move off the shelves, but I would not condone using UPC’s from a barcode reseller as it has a high potential of causing you more problems later on when Amazon decides to crack down on authorized use of UPCs.

Product research (Day 3 – 9)

Researching the market and finding the right product to sell is obviously essential to your success on Amazon. The trick is to find the product that has good demand, BSR, and profit margins. Your research won’t yield you decent products or ideas in a few hours - proper research usually takes days. There are a number of tools you can use to aide your research; here are some of the ones I use personally.

Jungle Scout

iDevAffiliate

Jungle Scout is quick and easy to use, and it comes in two forms – web-app and chrome extension. With the web application version, you run the program on Jungle Scout’s cloud and you get access to product tracker, niche finder, and the ability to create a list of products you have in interest in pursuing. The Chrome extension version basically runs through your Chrome browser and pulls data directly from Amazon’s website while you are browsing.

FMPI - Reasons why I would recommend Jungle Scout – Intuitive GUI, program is quick and responsive, JS offers a 14 day money back guarantee.

Unicorn Smasher / AMZ Tracker

AMZ Tracker banner

Unicorn Smasher, don’t let the funny name distract you from its relevance as an Amazon product research tool. Unicorn Smasher was the first product research tool I tried when I first started with Amazon e-commerce simply because it was offered as a free extension on Chrome. The free version of Unicorn Smasher was a good tool for me to learn how product researching worked and how the estimated revenues are calculated.

FMPI - Reasons why I would recommend Unicorn Smasher – Free easy to use Chrome extension. Upgradable in the future for more options. Real-time data while you browse through Amazon much like Jungle Scout.

FBA Toolkit

FBA Toolkit gives you the information you need to make calculated estimates yourself without the help of a program or Chrome extension. On FBAToolkit’s landing page you’ll first notice a bunch of graphs. Don’t be intimidated by these graphs as they are easy to interpret. Each graph corresponds to each of the main categories or departments on Amazon. Take the first graph “Toys and Games” for example. The graph shows you a scatter plot of “sales per day” as a function of “sales rank” of a specific product. The clear trend on every single graph is that the lower your sales rank number (lower is better) the higher your estimated sales per day. Knowing this, you can browse around Amazon for a product that you think has potential. On the product page, scroll down to where it displays “Product information” to find what the “Best Sellers Rank” is for the product in a specific category or department (See Figure 1).

Example of where to find BSR

Example of BSR (Figure 1)

In the example picture we see that this specific product was ranked #21 in the “Toys and Games” department (That is an excellent rank!). We can estimate based on inputting the BSR into FBAToolkit’s graph for toys and games that a product at the rank of 21 would be selling an estimated 85 units per day on a 30 day average (See Figure 2). You do most of the legwork with this method, but it is oftentimes good for you to use FBAToolkit as a means to double check your findings obtained through Jungle Scout, AmazeOwl, and Unicorn Smasher.

You should never fully trust the results you get from just one source. A lot of Amazon sellers (myself included) use multiple tools to verify a product's viability. Also be aware of the other variables that have an effect on how well a product will/might do on Amazon.

  1. Best sellers rank is the easiest way to gauge a product’s sales force, BUT keep in mind that the BSR changes constantly. Check the BSR of a product over a period of a few days to find its average.
  2. Reviews are very important to sales force too. A well reviewed product at a higher BSR could potentially outsell a lower BSR with a low review score. When you first launch your own product, remember you are starting off with zero reviews. It will be a while before you start to accumulate enough reviews for your product.
  3. Competition is extremely fierce especially on low ranking BSR products - everyone wants a piece of the pie. When competition is high, then the overall profit you’re going to get will be diluted.
  4. Demand is a variable that is hard to judge. Sometimes you have to go into a niche market to be able to make any profit because the mainstream stuff is just too competitive, but how do you know that you aren’t going too niche where demand is way too little? Some people gauge demand by looking at how many competitors there are. Just know that there has to be demand for your product or you aren’t going to move the products at a profitable speed.
  5. Price is also a factor. Research suggests that the sweet spot on product price is between 5 and 25 dollars. This is the price range that most consumers are willing to spend without second guessing themselves.

I would start looking at products on Amazon that relate to a hobby you enjoy. For example, if your favorite hobby was gardening. You would start looking at common tools you use like sheers, shovels, pots, etc. After realizing all of these generic products are not viable due to competition, you start thinking outside the box. You try looking at gardening attire, gloves that have better grip, or even knee pads that help protect your knees when you kneel down. This is generally how your research progresses. You start with something familiar to you because you know the niche well, and you go through this type of thought process where you just start spitting out ideas. Most of the times, the first set of products you come up with are going to be too generic with a lot of competition. As you go more and more specific on the product, you’ll find that you have more opportunities. Once you have a list of items thought up and written down, go to your research tools and start checking each of them against the variables we talked about previously.

Let’s assume you’ve found that “Gardening Knee Pads” is the product that has the best potential out of everything on your list, and you know the knee pads have potential because you found that this product has the potential to reach a low BSR in “patio lawn and garden” on Amazon, has a good price range between $5 to $25, and has demand based on the number of sellers and reviews there are. Now it is time to move on to product sourcing!

Sourcing your first product (Day 10 – 25)

Your product can come from many different places of origin. Of course, we would always try our best to support product made in the USA, but if my profit margins are too low with the US product then I will be forced to look at other vendors. Most of the products I have wholesale purchased come from China, and the internet has definitely made it easier and easier to import from China. One such indispensable wholesale platform that I personally use is Alibaba. Alibaba is the platform that connects businesses in China (and other countries) to businesses around the world, and Alibaba goes above and beyond to vet their vendors and gain your trust. I will be giving you a walkthrough of the sourcing procedure using Alibaba as my wholesale platform.

You can browse the site and take in all of the possibilities, but you will need an account to be able to communicate with the different sellers on Alibaba. Go ahead and create an account on Alibaba which will also allow you to save or favorite products to compare later on. Being a good consumer means that you do your due diligence before putting your hard earned money down for anything. Don’t ever go with the first supplier you see. Sourcing a product, especially from overseas, is not an easy feat to accomplish because there’s a time difference and language barrier to consider. Most of the times, a supplier is well established on Alibaba will most likely have a sales associate that is pretty fluent in English (at least through email communication), but the time difference is usually what causes most of the delays. For example, Beijing is 13 hours ahead of the US. When you type an email during the day in the US, it typically won’t get answered until about 8 – 10PM because the suppliers would be just starting their work day there. So let’s go through the steps that I take to find the best deals from the most trustworthy suppliers on Alibaba.

  1. After you’ve created an account on Alibaba you can start searching your high potential products. We will continue to use “knee pad for gardening” as our high potential product. Simply type your term into the search function and see what comes up.
  2. On your search results page, go ahead and start filtering your results by first checking, under “supplier types” both the trade assurance and gold supplier options. Trade assurance is Alibaba’s guarantee that you will get what you ordered, and a gold supplier is a company that has been in good standing on Alibaba for some amount of time. I would recommend that you deal with suppliers that have a MINIMUM of 3 years gold supplier status because anything below 3 years can be easily paid for and obtained (or so I’ve heard).
  3. Alibaba - Trade assurance and gold supplier
  4. Then I would go down to the “sort by” option and choose “transaction level.” A supplier’s transaction level is depicted by the number of diamonds under their company’s short profile to the far right of the product. I tend to choose the supplier with at least 3 diamonds and higher because these are the suppliers that will be most responsive to your requests. Careful, the first result is not always the best choice because it is a "sponsored" position meaning someone paide for that first spot.
  5. Alibaba - Sort by transaction level
  6. Finally, check the price per unit and minimum order quantities on each product – obviously lower is better. Hopefully you’ll come out with a list of up to 3 suppliers, if you’re lucky. Click on each item that you have an interest in. Look through the description, pictures, company profile to see if everything is on par with your expectations. Personally, I always look for good pictures and a well written description of the product and the company. Below is an image of what I chose as my hypothetical product.
  7. Alibaba - Hypothetical product
  8. Next step is the RFQ or request for quotation. In addition to your request, I usually also ask to see a catalogue of other product the supplier offers because chances are good that they offer something else related to your niche market that you haven’t already thought of in the research step. Kindness and courtesy go a long way so always be nice when establishing and maintaining communication!
  9. After you’ve decided on if you want to go with either regular wholesale or private labeling, next on the list is ironing out the order. I usually ask about better pricing here, right before the order gets placed. You do not have to reveal how you are planning on selling the items you bought or where, but I usually say that my competitors (anonymous) has products similar to this “knee pad” and are selling it for X dollars so it would really help if you could offer me [Insert price here] on this knee pad I want to order to remain competitive. Usually Chinese suppliers are only willing to budge if you place large quantity orders, but it never hurts to try.
  10. Afterwards both parties will need to agree on a payment method and shipping method. I would highly suggest paying through Alibaba on your first transaction with the supplier because you have never done business with them before. Paying through Alibaba is the only way to cover your order through Alibaba’s trade assurance. The suppliers will oftentimes try to persuade you to use Paypal claiming that if anything happens, it will be easy to get your money back from PayPal, but I don’t believe that a chargeback through Paypal will be quicker than a reimbursement from Alibaba’s trade assurance. After you have completed one or two flawless orders with the supplier, then I would consider using Paypal. Until then, I would suggest you to stick to paying through Alibaba. NEVER wire transfer money, it’s just too much risk for you.
  11. Shipping – the final costs that a lot of people forget about. I remember the first time I ordered through Alibaba, I had everything picked out and prices negotiated for. Then came the quote for the cost of shipping… It is true that the more you order the cheaper your shipping charge will be, but ordering a whole shipping containers worth of product is just impossible. For small orders, suppliers will typically ship via express. From my experience, if the order is under $1000 then the suppliers won’t have to prepare a customs declaration. If you are paying through Alibaba the suppliers will typically split the invoice up so that the totals of every seperate invoice doesn’t exceed $1000. The bad news is, when they create multiple invoices you get hit with Alibaba fees for each invoice. Rule of thumb is: small orders use express, medium orders can consider LCL (less than container load) shipping, and large orders should use LCL or FCL (full container load).
  12. Inspect your order as soon as you receive your shipment. As soon as the supplier provides a tracking number for your shipment, the “trade assurance” countdown will start. You will have 15 days to raise a concern or complaint to Alibaba about your order so check your shipments as soon as you receive them to check for any discrepancies.
  13. Great! You have successfully purchased your first wholesale order. Now let’s get our Gardening Knee Pads listed on Amazon!

Listing your first product (Day 26 – 29)

If the knee pads you have are unique (meaning no one is selling one like yours on Amazon) then you will need to have a UPC ready to use because this is will one of Amazon’s requirements. I would also recommend that you already have at least 5-6 high quality photos taken of your product edited and ready to upload. The default photo, or the photo that will represent your listing on the search results, should be your product covering at least 80% of the photo with a white background. What I usually do is have 5 photos showing various angles of your product and have one photo where it is staged. An example of a staged Gardening knee pad picture would be putting it in a garden or have someone wear it while working in a garden. Now we will go over the step by step guide to listing your first product onto Amazon.

  1. First login to your Amazon seller’s account. In the navigation bar on the top, hover your mouse over “Inventory” and select “Add a product” from the dropdown.
  2. Amazon - Add a product
  3. On the add-a-product page, you have one of two options. You can either search by product name, UPC, ASIN etch, or you can click on “Create a new product listing” below the search feature. Since we are listing our unique gardening knee pad, we will choose to “create a new product listing.”
  4. Amazon - Creat a new product listing
  5. Now we are directed to the product classification page. Amazon has a ton of product categories; luckily there is a search feature to help you navigate to the best category for your product. Go ahead and type in what your product is in three words or less and click “find category.” I searched for “Gardening knee pads” and found the exact matching category called “Gardening knee pads” under “Patio, Lawn & Garden.”
  6. Amazon - Selecting the category
  7. Now we enter vital information on your product. The product information page contains hundreds of fields divided up amongst 7 tabs. There is really no need for you to go into the “advanced view” on each of these tabs especially on the first go. This page can seem intimidating at first, but once we go through it once you’ll see that it is not that hard!
  8. I don't usually start with the first "Vital Info" tab. Instead, I usually start with uploading my product images. Make sure the “Main” image follows the rules strictly. Remember 5-6 pictures of your products should be the minimum.
  9. After the images, I move on to the “description” tab. You’ll want a good number of “key product features” as this is the first thing shoppers will see upon reaching your product landing page. You’ll want to have between 1 to 4 key feature points all of which should solve a problem or need. For example, a good key feature for the knee pads could be “NO MORE PAIN – Gardening knee pads help save your knees from kneeling down on hard or uneven surfaces while you work in your garden. Never again will you have to experience the pain of accidentally kneeling on a pebble!”
  10. Next, fill out the product description. The product description is not really as important as the key features as it shows up lower in the page above the product information section. What I usually do for the product description is paraphrase the key features into one paragraph. You might be wondering how some products have a fancy product description section where there are pictures and long descriptions. These fancy descriptions are from sellers who have enhanced brand content from registered brands and trademarks.
  11. Moving on to the “keywords” tab. The keyword section is very important and luckily there are tools to help you find good keywords. One tool I use is the “keyword planner” on Google Adwords. You will need to have a (free) Google account to be able to access Google Adwords - https://adwords.google.com. Once you are in, click on the “tools” tab and select “keyword planner” from the drop down. Then select “search for new keywords using a phrase, website, or category.”
  12. Google Adwords - Keyword planner
  13. Enter a short phrase (~3 words) that best describes your product. I went with “gardening knee pad” for our hypothetical product. Then hit the “get ideas” button.
  14. Google Adwords - Enter your own keywords
  15. Now you will be brought to a page where Google will list a bunch of keyword ideas sorted by relevance. Go to the keywords list and copy everything you see there on the first page relevant to your product.
  16. Google Adwords - Highlight and copy the keywords
  17. Paste all of these keywords into the “search terms” field on Amazon.
  18. Now move down the list and fill in each section by selecting relating information from the dropdown. If you feel that your product has more than one attribute, you can click on “Add more” below the entry field for each section. Example of what I chose for the “Gardening knee pad” product
    Target Audience - Adult
    Subject matter - Spring, Summer, Autumn
    Other Attributes - portable
    Intended use - indoor outdoor
  19. On the “More details” tab you can put in the shipping weight and dimensions if you know it, but this tab is not really important to fill out. If you go into advanced view you can see a whole bunch of details that probably wouldn’t even make sense for your product.
  20. Now to the “Offer" tab. You can tell that this information is important because of the exclamation mark next to the tab’s title and the red outlined text fields. Enter in the quantity you wish to be listed, the condition and your price per unit. “Fulfillment channel” is where you want to make a decision on how you want to fulfill orders to your customers.
    “I want to ship item myself to the customer if it sells.” This means that you will keep your own inventory and fulfill orders yourself. When a customer buys your product, you will be responsible for shipping and customer service. I would only choose this option if you are selling a one-of product that no one else carries or produces.
    “I want Amazon to ship and provide customer service for my items if they sell.” This option means that you want to go with FBA (fulfilled by Amazon). This option will also make your listing eligible for Prime. If you are selling a product that has competition, I would recommend going with FBA because the likelihood of someone purchasing a product because of Prime when there are both options available (Prime and non-Prime) is somewhere around 95-98%.
  21. Amazon - Enter in your offer and fulfillment channel
  22. Finally, we will go to the very first tab - “Vital Info.” Choose a product name that includes what your product is along with some vital info and keywords but keep it under 250 characters. For the gardening knee pads I went with “Gardening knee pads - comfortable knee pads for gardening, cleaning, work - cushion to protect knees - black.” Put the main description at the very beginning, then follow up with short description plus other keywords, and finally the problem that it solves for the customer. Lastly, we will enter in the product UPC code that we have registered with GS1 and click "save and finish."
  23. Amazon - Enter in your product's vital info

Sending your product to Amazon for FBA (30 – 31)

Now that your first product is listed, we will go over how to ship your products out for FBA (fulfilled by Amazon) given that you selected FBA as your fulfillment channel in the previous section. If you did not elect to have Amazon fulfill your orders then this step will not apply to you, but you will need to still have your shipping materials (boxes, tapes, labels, etc) ready when customers start ordering your products. We will pick up where we left off in the previous section and assume that we starting back with a fresh login to Amazon for this section and our product is already added into our inventory.

  1. Log in to Amazon sellers’ central. Hover your mouse over the “inventory” tab and select “manage inventory” from the drop down. If you finished the previous section and successfully listed your product, then you should see your newly listed product here in the inventory list.
  2. Check the box located on the far left of each listing you would like to have sent off for FBA. as soon as you check any box, you will see that the “Action” menu right below the “Manage inventory” title is enabled. Click on this Action button to reveal a dropdown of options. Choose “Send/replenish inventory.”
  3. Amazon - Send and replenish inventory from seller central
  4. Amazon will then redirect you to a page which will ask you to reconfirm that the selected products are indeed the ones that you want to send for FBA. Select “Yes continue” if everything looks good.
  5. You will then be shown a list of the products again. We won’t need to do anything other than review the list and click “Send inventory.”
  6. Now we choose the option “create new shipping plan” because this will be our first shipment of our new product, and then we will choose “individual products” for the package type because our product is individually packed. Afterwards, click on the “continue to shipping plan” button and the section below that was previously greyed out will now be visible. Again you will see the list of products that you are shipping in for FBA. Fill out the quantity that you are shipping for each item on the right under “units” and hit continue.
  7. The following page will be special packing instructions from Amazon if your product is known to be delicate or fragile. Since your listing is something brand new (no one else sells under the same UPC#), Amazon will not actually know to tell you to pack your items carefully. Use your best judgement! if you are shipping wine glasses, you aren’t going to want to just throw them in a box and ship it right? For our gardening knee pads, we aren’t too worried that they will get damaged during shipment so we will hit continue and move on.
  • Sources:
  • [1] https://www.census.gov/retail/mrts/www/data/pdf/ec_current.pdf
  • [2] http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/amazon-statistics/
  • [3] https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=200306550
  • [4] https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/apply-for-an-employer-identification-number-ein-online