Amazon is a game-changer for any brand looking to sell its products directly to customers. It’s the world’s third-largest search engine, and the place where millions of people go first when they want to buy something new.
If you have a product you’d like to sell directly to consumers, becoming an Amazon seller is a great way to do it. Their primary selling platform, called “Amazon marketplaces,” operates as one of the most popular online shopping destinations in the world.
As of June 2018, there are almost 300 Amazon marketplaces operating in different countries across the globe. Each one serves a unique customer base with their own set of product listings and categories.
If you’re interested in learning more about how you can leverage Amazon to boost sales and generate new revenue streams for your business, keep reading for our guide on how to sell on Amazon as an independent seller—and sell more on Amazon as a third-party vendor with Vendor Central—so that you can get started right away!
What is Amazon Marketing Services?
Amazon marketing services (AMS) is an advertising and product promotion program that helps Amazon sellers increase their profits by providing them with access to a variety of promotional tools.
- Sponsored products, which display your products in search results
- Product display ads, which show up when shoppers look at items on the site
- Headline search ads, which appear above organic search results on Amazon
- Text ads, which are shown to shoppers on the homepage marketplaces tab No matter what type of Amazon seller you happen to be, there’s something for everyone in AMS.
If you’re interested in becoming an Amazon seller and want to learn more about the benefits of AMS and how it can help you grow your business, keep reading!
What’s the difference between selling on Amazon as an independent seller and as a third-party vendor?
To start, it’s important to understand the difference between being an independent seller and a third-party vendor. When you list your items in your name on Amazon, you are considered an independent seller.
As an independent seller, Amazon charges you a fee per sale plus additional fees for storage, customer service, and shipping.
When you list your items through Amazon’s Vendor Central program, however, they charge a fixed monthly fee for access to their e-commerce platform. By working with Vendor Central as a third-party vendor, you can also sell new products without having to worry about the logistics of storage and handling inventory management—Amazon takes care of that for you.
This is why many vendors choose to work with Amazon as their preferred partner.
How to sell on Amazon as a third-party vendor
There are two ways to sell products on Amazon: as a first-party seller or as a third-party seller. If you’re a brand owner, you can make your goods available for purchase on Amazon through the first-party selling program.
This involves creating an account with Amazon, uploading your product listings, and handling customer service and payments all in one place. With this program, you control pricing and availability of your products—and if they sell out, they’re gone.
If you have an existing business that already sells offline or online outside of Amazon, then becoming a third-party vendor is right for you. This placement is perfect for businesses who want to use the power of Amazon’s platform to reach new potential customers without giving up their own website or inventory management system.
Third-party sellers create their own listings using Seller Central (the same platform non-brand owners use), which is where they list their items for sale—including prices, quantities, descriptions, and photos—but handle fulfillment themselves.
There are no listing fees on the item you sell; however, there may be monthly subscription fees that are required to maintain your selling privileges.
How to Sell on Amazon as an Independent Seller
If you’re an independent seller, the first step is to create a free account and complete your seller profile. Fill in your contact information and upload your product images. You can also provide basic details about your business, including a company name and website address. Next, it’s time to enter the details for each of your products.
You can provide as many or as few as you want, but don’t worry if you don’t have all of the details. The more products you enter, the more likely they are to show up on Amazon search results pages, so start with what you have now and add more later.
This section will take some time to fill out—the product listing templates are extensive! Amazon wants full information on each of your products so it can be sure customers know exactly what they’re getting when they purchase from you.
Some things that might need to go here are size, color options, delivery specifics, brand logo choice (if applicable), country of origin or manufacturing location (if applicable), where your items ship from (if there’s a difference in price for customers shipping within certain regions), and any additional features like free shipping or fast shipping options .
Once all of this is filled out and submitted, it may take one-to-two days for Amazon marketplace team to review your request before it goes live on Amazon marketplace sites around the world.
How to use Fulfillment by Amazon
One of the best ways to sell more on Amazon is using Fulfillment by Amazon. This service provides sellers with the ability to send their inventory to Amazon for storage and orders. Once a customer places an order, Amazon will ship all of your products directly to them!
To be eligible for this service, you have to have minimum volume of at least 10 items per month, from a single seller account. You’ll also need to be selling in at least one category where Amazon offers FBA services.
Amazon Advertising Strategies
One of the most popular Amazon advertising strategies is Sponsored Products. When you have a product that’s new to Amazon, it’s a great way to quickly rank your item as one of the best sellers on the platform.
You can also choose to advertise products in specific categories by selecting keywords for your campaign.
Amazon Advertising Strategies: Sponsored Products One of the most popular Amazon advertising strategies is Sponsored Products. If you have a product that’s new to Amazon, it’s a great way to quickly rank your item as one of the best sellers on the platform.
One strategy is creating a Sponsored Product campaign and targeting items that are relevant to your business. For example, if you sell kitchen appliances, you could target items like coffee makers or food processors.
All you need is $50—or less—to start advertising on Amazon with this approach. You can also choose to advertise products in specific categories by selecting keywords for your campaign.
For example, if you sell natural beauty products, you may want to advertise in “Beauty & Personal Care > Beauty > Skin Care > Acne Treatment” where there are over 50 million monthly shoppers who are interested in acne treatments for teens and adults alike.
Amazon Advertising Strategies: Targeting Your Audience If there are certain customer demographics that would be more interested in what your brand has to offer, then Amazon advertising enables you to target them specifically with campaigns tailored towards their interests or
The Basics of Selling on Amazon
Amazon is a popular shopping destination that sells products in different categories, and they sell them at discounted prices. This means if you want to sell your products on Amazon, you’ll need to compete with the other brands that are already listed.
For example, if you have an item in the “Kitchen and Dining” section of the site and someone else is selling a similar product for less, Amazon will automatically show the person’s product first.
In order to compete with other sellers and make sure you rank high within Amazon search results, it’s important to optimize your listing so that it features prominently within Amazon marketplace rankings. Here are some tricks you can use:
- Use keywords that relate specifically to your product when naming your listing
- Include as much detail about your product as possible (such as size, color, or weight)
- Boost visibility by offering free shipping or two-day delivery
- Offer competitive pricing to get ahead of the competition
How to Become an Amazon Seller
There are two main ways you can sell products on Amazon as an independent seller. The first, and easiest way, is to register for an Amazon Seller Account, which is free to do. You can then list your products for sale by using the Amazon Marketplace Web Service (Amazon MWS) or use the Amazon mobile app.
The second method, called Vendor Central, is a little more complicated but also offers a lot more benefits for your business. With Vendor Central, you have access to Amazon’s wholesale pricing and the ability to manage inventory in bulk.
You also have the option of listing your products in additional countries or vertical categories, like Home & Kitchen or Clothing, Shoes & Jewelry. If you want to start selling on Amazon but don’t know where to get started, here are some tips that will help you sell more on Amazon:
- Register with a UPC label provider like GS1 US (GS1 Member Organization) or ITF International Trade Data System (ITF)
- Open up a PO Box in order to collect payments from customers
- Use the Fulfillment by Amazon program if you want your products shipped and stored by them
- If you sell anything with batteries included in the product itself—like electronics—register with SafeMark battery enforcement agency
How to sell on Amazon as a third-party vendor (Vendors)
The first step to selling on Amazon is to sign up with Vendor Central. This process will require you to fill out a short form with your contact information and business details.
Vendors enjoy the benefit of having their own dedicated storefront, so they don’t have to share their space with other sellers like they would if they opted to sell as an independent seller.
After getting set up, you can begin listing your products for sale. Amazon provides tools that allow vendors to manage inventory and shipping, which is especially helpful if you’re also running your business offline. Amazon offers a range of benefits for third-party vendors:
- Prime shipping options which offers competitive rates
- The ability to use Fulfillment by Amazon services
- Advertising opportunities on the site
- Access to sales data and metrics
How to sell on Amazon as an independent seller
One way to use Amazon to sell your products is as an independent seller. If you’re interested in selling on Amazon without giving up too much control, this is a great option.
As an independent Amazon seller, you manage your own inventory and fulfill customer orders through the Fulfillment by Amazon program (FBA).
You can also opt to store inventory at a fulfillment center or storehouse that’s close to your customers. You have total control over pricing, shipping options, and order processing. And as a result of being able to manage your business so closely, you have more visibility into the day-to-day operations of your company than if you were using Vendor Central.
That allows you to react faster to changing market conditions and make changes quickly when necessary.