Written by Jodie Pride
22nd April 2015 • 11 min read
Amazon has seen an increase in popularity over the past few years due to the ever-expanding market for online retail. It has become the world’s largest online retailing site a huge volume of traffic and search queries, making it a highly valuable shop window. While most people think that when they purchase something from Amazon, they’re buying from the company, they’re often buying from a 3rd party seller – these make up around 33% of all the items sold on Amazon. Selling on Amazon is easy enough, but here are some tips how to sell on Amazon like a pro.
First things first, before we tell you how to sell on Amazon, you’ll want to sign up to Amazon and then register as a professional seller. There are 3 reasons why you want to do this:
- You could save money on fees if you’re selling 40 items or more a month. Amazon charges you 15% commission plus 79p per sale, but Amazon pro costs £25 and only charges you the commission and not the extra 79p.
- You can create product bundles, and also make listings for products not currently being sold on Amazon.
- Amazon has restricted categories which you must apply to sell in (e.g clothing, jewellery), however you can access these as a pro seller.
USE FBA (FULFILMENT BY AMAZON)
This is Amazon’s fulfilment service, which allows you to send all of your items to Amazon and once it’s been sold, Amazon handles shipment for you. Amazon also takes care of customer service, communications and returns and refunds. Your items will probably also sell quicker because they will qualify for free shipping by Amazon.
NEGOTIATE WITH SUPPLIERS
If you use the same suppliers for certain items, then it’s well worth trying to negotiate a deal with them. If you’re a loyal customer who regularly buys goods in bulk, they’ll probably be willing to give you a good deal to keep your repeat custom. This is a great way to help save money.
USE HIGH QUALITY IMAGES AND FOLLOW AMAZON IMAGE GUIDELINES
One of the easiest aspects you can control when you’re wondering how to sell on Amazon is your images. You want to make sure your items are photographed against a plain white background and are well-lit so you can get a good quality shot. There is now a requirement that images be at least 1006 pixels in certain categories, but this is widely encouraged in most categories. Having larger images lets the buyer zoom in so they can see the image more clearly and close up.
ACCURATE PRODUCT DESCRIPTIONS
Having correct and detailed descriptions of your products can not only help people find exactly what they are searching for, but also protects you from negative feedback – if your customer receives the product only to find it’s slightly different from your description, they could give you poor feedback and negative reviews, which will be detrimental to your reputation as a seller (and help you lose customers).
You should make the most of the space you are given and fill it full of keywords – but you also want to make sure your customers can understand it. Avoid punctuation and special characters as these won’t be included in searches.
USE THE AMAZON KEYWORDS TOOL
Once a listing is created in Amazon, you’re given a field in which to list keywords. These are words or phrases that buyers will type into Amazon’s search box to find the products they’re looking for.
- Amazon no longer searches bullets and descriptions for keywords – they only look at the title and the keyword field, so don’t repeat keywords in the keyword field that you use in your title.
- Use a suppliers name in the keywords. For example, if you’re selling a Samsung laptop, include “Sony Vaio” (one of the top brands) as a keyword. That way, if someone is searching for a “Sony Vaio” computer, your listing will come up on the same page, but because your laptop is cheaper, you have a good chance of making that sale.
- Another example is if there is more than one variant of typing the name of your item – e.g “makeup” vs. “make up” then include both terms as keywords so that your item will come up when both terms are searched for.
- You could also use popular misspellings or alternative phrases of words so that your listings come up on the first search.
- If your item still hasn’t sold in one month, try lowering the price to be more competitive.
RESPOND TO CUSTOMERS AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE
When a customer communicates with you, Amazon wants you to answer it within 24 hours and if you do not that is a demerit against your account. You can access customer questions through Amazon Seller Central, and you can set up your account so customer questions are forwarded to your email address so you can answer them even if you are not currently on Amazon.
ASK CUSTOMERS FOR FEEDBACK
Amazon buyers rarely leave feedback until asked. Feedback Five is a great tool which automatically emails your customer telling them that if there’s anything wrong with the transaction to let you (the seller) know and give you a chance to fix it. Emails are sent automatically and contain a link for them to click on to eave feedback. This can help prevent negative feedback situations as customers are invited to contact you first before leaving feedback.
GET PRODUCT REVIEWS
If a customer leaves feedback that mentions they like the product, send them a “thank you” email and leave a link where they can write a product review for your item.
TRY TO REMOVE NEGATIVE FEEDBACK
If you receive neutral or negative feedback, you should email the customer right away with with agenuine apology and try to include a small token – an Amazon gift card for example – of your sincerity. Don’t ask the customer to remove the feedback right away, but hope that they will appreciate the gesture and thanking you for your concern, then explain how the error was made and politely request that they remove the feedback.
PACK YOUR SHIPMENTS TO AMAZON CORRECTLY
You’ll want to ensure that your items are decently packed to avoid damage, delays and penalty fees. Amazon has strict requirements when you send items to their fulfilment warehouses. Here are tips for packing:
- Choose the correct size box for your units. Too large containers will need to be filled with sufficient packing materials so that the box will not collapse during shipping.
- Use a sturdy box
- Remove any previous shipping labels or markings from re-used boxes to avoid confusing postal staff
- Individually wrap items
- Be generous with packing materials to avoid damage
- Use strong tape
- Use a single address label that has clear, complete delivery and return information
- If an item breaks in shipping Amazon used to automatically reimburse you for it. But Amazon requires you to have two inches of packing material on all sides and top and bottom of the box. If your item breaks and you do not have the required packing materials, you will not qualify for reimbursement.
- Dispatch items within two working days of order notification. This is a requirement of being a Marketplace seller.
UPDATE YOUR INVENTORY DAILY
You’ll want to stay on top of your inventory to avoid buyers purchasing items that have been sold. You could try using and inventory management software to automatically take care of this for you, and can be extremely helpful if you’re selling on more marketplaces than just Amazon.
IN SUMMARY – 5 TAKEAWAYS
- You can save 79p per sale if you are sell more than 40 items a month.
- Images must be at least 1006 pixels
- Make your title & keywords strong – Amazon no longer searches bullets or descriptions
- Get feedback from your products – try Feedback Five
- Manage your inventory across all platforms with some inventory management software
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