The Quick Start Guide To Selling On Amazon
This video is mainly directed to the people who don't have the webinar or cant afford it, or have no interest in purchasing it but you still want to get the information. We know that until the end of 2018, Amazon will be waving the $39 fee per month. Which allows you to sell on Amazon for free without paying a monthly fee. However, you are still paying fees on the items you sell. But if you sell nothing, you pay nothing.
In 2017 alone I was able to make over 6 figures alone on Amazon. I can't guarantee that for everyone, but I can say that there is a lot of potential to make that amount. This video is just to help you get an idea of how to start selling on Amazon. if you need more help then i would suggest that you look into getting my Amazon webinar.
1) Amazon Settings:
Setting up your Amazon settings is like a foundation layer. You want to make sure that everything is set up correctly. Don't forget about doing your shipping settings and your tax settings as well, that way you aren't screwing yourself over. Also if you want to offer any type of gift wrapping or gift message options, make sure those are set up too. Not setting these things up can make or break you when it comes to sales. Yes, I know that this is a lot to do but it has to be done, and done right the first time!
Just to recap, these are just some of the setting that you will need to go through on your Amazon account.
- Shipping Settings
- Return Settings
- Tax Settings
- Gift Settings
- Artisan Profile
- and Policy Settings
I am going to go into more detail about the 3 top priority settings that you should be doing.
a) Shipping Settings:
One thing that I get a lot from sellers that cant get the correct weight for there product. Don't worry I will tell you some math skills that help you out. If you already have your shipping set up, make sure you pay attention to make sure that you aren't over charging for shipping or undercharging. When you log into seller central, top right corner will be your settings. Click on it and go to shipping settings. You can create templates to help you with your shipping.
One template you can have is for Domestic shipping. Which is locally or in the US. If you are selling in the US. And then you could have priority mail. Which I highly recommend because there are a lot of people who wait until the last minute to order things and want it fast. By not offering that, you could be loosing out on potential sales. Check out my other blog post here that goes into more detail on why offering priority shipping is so important. Make sure that you have a good scale that can weigh your products in oz like this.
Domestic Shipping (Standard Shipping)
The reality is that people don't know how to calculate the per order and per pound situation. It tells you that you can put a dollar among per order or per pound. Lets go over per pound first. You are going to guess, then see what it comes out to then adjust from there.
For example: For my product, it is 4 oz per stationery set. Yours might be 5 oz or 6 oz. What ever that amount is, if its in ounces you are going to take 16 oz which equals 1 lb, and type it on your calculator. and divide it by the number of ounces your product is. Your basic ONE item. So in my case it would be 4 oz. So 16 divided by 4 is 4. Next your going to put a dollar amount in that shipping area. For example i have $4. So now its $4 per lb. You are going to take the $4 per pound and divide it by the number you got earlier (which in my case was 4) So $4 per lb divided by 4 =$1. So it is charging that customer a $1 for that item. But you might think " it cost me more than just a $1 to ship!!". In that case you adjust accordingly. For instance you can charge $6 per lb.
For example: You can do 16 oz divided by 4 which equals 4. Now that you have changed it to $6 per lb, you are going to do $6 per lb divided by 4 which equals $1.50. Lets try with a different number than 4. Let's say that your product weights 5 oz. You will still be doing the same math, but with a different number. For example: You would take 16 oz divided by 5 oz. Which will equal 3.2 Now set a number for $ per lb. Lets say $10 per lb. Now take that 10 and divide it by the 3.2 number you got earlier. Which should come out to $3.125. That is the amount that you are charging them in addition to the amount per order.
Adjust the numbers until the math makes sense of that you should be charging them. Once you figure that out, you don't have to change it again. In your listing you can tell Amazon how much your item weights, and that's how it will know what to charge. This will vary depending on what you sell, like if you sell stationery and furniture. The shipping cost will obviously not be the same. You can create another shipping template for the heavier items you sell and assign it to those SKUS. Another thing to keep in mind is when buyers add more than one thing to their cart.
For example: What if they added 3 stationery sets. So in my case the math would be easy. One stationery set = 4 oz. So you would multiply 4x3 which would equal 12 oz. Make sure that the math makes since if they add more than one thing to their cart. Keep adjusting the amount until it make sense. You may have to add $1 per lb, or $1 per order to get the numbers where they should be. Remember that these are systems, don't put it past Amazon that things might not be adding up on their end. If you find that nothing is working, then you can try getting in touch with Amazon to make sure you are calculating it correctly.
b) Return settings:
This setting seems to get people upset, because they don't fully understand it. Amazon doesn't try and hide the fact that they are jerks to seller unlike other platforms who try to hide it. And you don't realize that your getting screwed over until a return happens. Amazon will always favor the buyer in these situations. When you go to your return settings, I would highly recommend that you click on the e-mail format so you can receive return request to authorize, close, or reply. The reality is if you sign into your amazon account often, you wont miss those return request. The next thing underneath, which is what I put is returned authorization prepaid label. Every single one of those options will tell you that you authorize Amazon to automatically accept returns. However, I have the FIRST one checked off. I want Amazon to automatically authorize and provide a prepaid shipping label for return request that meet Amazon policy.
However, most of my items don't qualify for return. Therefor Amazon will never authorize because it doesn't meet Amazon policy, which means it would have to go through me and then I will determine and decide if I want to accept the return. Some of my items are personalized and some are not, like most of my wedding items. The ones that are not personalized, they get to choose their envelope color or in some cases the color of the paper for signs. Because it has a variation, Amazon assumes that it is a custom item. For me, I don't view those as "custom" items, so they are more than welcome to return it and I will refund them if it doesn't come back damaged.
However if you have an item that is pre-made, like a item that you could sell through FBA that doesn't require anything from you or any personalization then clicking that option will allow it to automatically authorize if it is within Amazons policy. The last thing that you should fill out under the general return settings is return merchandise authorization number settings. This could be beneficial to the people who sell a lot on Amazon and usually get a high number of return request.
For example: You sell 500 units a day, imagine that you would get quite a few return request. You would want to provide Amazon a return merchandise request number so that it is easy for you to identify who is returning what. So when the packages come in the mail and you have to refund that person, it makes it easy to manage. However, I think for most sellers having Amazon automatically generate a return request number is absolutely fine.
Now lets talk about the Return-less refund under settings. If you are in the handmade on Amazon market place, then more than likely you are not going to qualify for this. Meaning, that when someone has a return request, depending on your item that seller may feel like " why am I going to pay for their label" It could cost more to pay for their label then it is for them to just keep the product. This option is mainly only beneficial to high volume sellers. If you do decide to do the return-less refund, you can add rules to it.
For example: If I wanted to tell Amazon that all my wedding cards (to my usher, to my best man etc) to be return-less refund. Another example would be if they received it damaged or if we made a mistake on our end, then it would be accepted as a return-less refund.
c) Tax Settings:
This will vary depending on your state. This doesn't effect your customers because they are not the ones who have to pay this tax, you are. Don't assume that Amazon or Etsy will automatically take out these taxes, because they don't! and you will be screwed when it comes time to do your taxes! Go into the tax settings and click on view, edit tax calculation settings. You have to know your state rules.
For example: I live in Texas. So I charge taxes on orders that are being shipped to any address in Texas.
Click on the State that you live in and put your EIN number in. Which is your state registration number. Then there will be a link that tells you to put in your tax code. If you don't know what your tax code is, there is a link on the same page that you will tell you your tax code depending on what you sell. It usually will take up to 1 day for them to review it and to start charging your customers tax.
I'm going to break it down for your in two different sections, which are : Handmade listings and Regular listings.
When someone sells handmade you still get found in search. Handmade is just a section in Amazon, like books, electronics, clothing etc... Regular listings on Amazon are different compared to handmade Amazon listings because they require UPC's. ( Universal Product Code). When you are making products, you must have a UPC attached to that item. You can buy around 500 UPCS for only a few bucks. You must get them from a good source, and be Amazon approved. If you have been denied from selling on Amazon handmade, try applying for regular Amazon. If you don't want to sell on regular Amazon because your products or more custom, then apply for Amazon custom. If you don't want to sell there then I would suggest that you get your own website.
Your photos are a big factor when it comes to selling on Amazon. They prefer very clean photos, neutral backgrounds, the use of props is frowned upon. You can use props as long as it doesn't look like something your offering.
For example: If I have a note card and pens around the note card. Some people might think that they are getting the pens as well. The reality is that white backgrounds do better on Amazon. Also if you offer any type of variations, make sure that you are also showing those options in your other photos for that listing.
For example: Color variation, size variation, material variation etc...
There are several different types of variations you can use. Make sure that you are using the variation that makes the most sense for that product. Also, make sure that it isn't confusing for the customer. You may find that you will need to change the variation to become more user friendly. Don't forget to check out my blog post here, that will give you 5 great tips on how to improve your photos, descriptions and variations to improve sales.
For example: In some of my listings, the customer can only change the ink color for the name and not the image. So in that listing I would change Ink color or Ink color for name to make it clearer.
Remember that you can only give them up to 20 options. If you have more than 20 options, you have to allow them to type it in. Which can be problematic. In the sense that they might type something that makes no sense, but to them it does. Using variations allows you to charge more depending on which variation.
For example: You can charge extra for a larger size.
Remember to calculate to see if it will cost you more to ship. If it does, then I would recommend that you include that amount in your up charge.
Think about what the customer will be using your product for. Think about if they did leave your listing, think about why they left. What about your listing did they not like?
For example: You didn't have the size they wanted, didn't have the color they wanted, didn't have the material they wanted, shipping cost was to high. See what you are able to offer and add those to your variation. I go into more detail about how your variations help with your conversion in my Amazon webinar.
c) SEO- Search Engine Optimization
SEO is the keyword phrases you use in your titles and tags. Remember that there are character limits when using keyword phrases in both titles and tags. The title is 100 character limits. The style keywords (all of the boxes combined) has a limit of 250 characters total. In the general keyword section also have a limit of 250 characters. However, I noticed that in some of my listings I pass the 250 limit and still get found in search. However if you are starting new, then I would not recommend that you pass that limit. If you are thinking about editing your current SEO in your listings, don't. I would not recommend that you edit the listings that are currently selling. You can edit the listings that aren't doing so well, and optimize the SEO to more relevant in search.
There are a few ways that you can find out which keyword phrases people are actually searching for, and I go into more detail about that in my Amazon webinar. But the most popular way that I would recommend is using the search bar in Amazon. By using that, it will show you what Amazon customers have already searched for. There are other ways that you can do it.
For example: Using paid programs, looking at your search term report from advertising campaign. Before you start looking up keyword phrases, you need to brainstorm. Think about what words or phrases people are using for that type of product, and what they could potentially use it for. What occasions people can use it for etc. Make sure you are using keywords that are relevant to your product. Don't use keywords that have nothing to do with what your selling.
For example: If you are selling pens. Do not put in your keywords : birthday party decorations, baby toys, personalized jewelry etc.
Amazon, unlike Etsy does not rely on SEO as much as. When you are first starting out, Amazon uses your SEO to bring in more sales. Once you have bought in enough sales to make you relevant, then Amazon uses your listings as a whole to bring more sales, not just your SEO. Once again, I go over into this in more detail about pricing, shipping and how to make your sales convert better within my Amazon webinar. The more sales you have, the more relevant you become on Amazon. You can have sucky SEO and bring in a lot of sales that will make you more relevant. But I highly recommend that you don't use that strategy. Bottom line is that you need to work on your SEO and try to figure out how to convert people better. The number of views that you have are important. Look at how many views you have and then look at the amount of sales you have. Then look at the listings that aren't converting well and see what you can do to convert people better. Don't forget that your reviews lead to more sales. What people say about your products determine whether or not they will buy from you. I would recommend that you start doing marketing inserts for your packages. For my Amazon customers, I use a one sided insert that walks them step-by-step on how to leave a review on my shop. Using something like this will prompt the buyer to leave a review. Remember that when you are using a insert to get people to leave a review, you cant bribe them. You cant offer them a discount code to leave a review. Not sure what marketing insert to use for your business? Then check out my marketing insert templates that range from Etsy, Amazon, your own website, and gift message! If your still unsure about how SEO works, then I recommend that you get my SEO webinar here. It will walk you through everything from what the basics of SEO are, and how to apply SEO correctly to your listings.
I know most people don't want to spend any more money than they have to on their business. But the reality is that advertising gets your products seen by potential buyers and could lead to more sales.
First thing you should know about advertising is there are both manual and auto campaigns. If you are just starting out, I would highly recommend that you use Auto campaigns. Auto campaigns literally take the key word phrases from the listings that you want to advertise and use those to get your listing found. And yes you do have to pay for it. If you decide to run a auto campaign you can look at the search term report and see what phrases are getting the most people in, or that is getting the most people in AND converting. If you decide to go with a manual campaign, you can take those keyword phrases and use them. Using a manual campaign allows you to use the keyword phrases you want. Once you figure out which keywords work best, you can stop wasting money on auto campaigns and use the keywords that you know are converting well on your manual campaign. You can also target something specific. Don't forget to get a task tracker like this to help keep you organized when you are running your campaign.
For example: In my mermaid note card listing, I can have my manual campaign target my mermaid keywords that I know are going to convert. Such as personalized mermaid gifts, Mermaid not cards, Mermaid stationery for girls etc.
When you use a manual campaign, its recommended that you use specific keywords that accurately describe your product. That way when the buyer searches for those keyword phrases it will be an exact match for what they are looking for and lead to more sales. You can also run campaigns that are more directed to the holidays.
For example: Gifts for her, Gifts for him, Valentines day gifts for her, Christmas gifts for him etc..
If you are going to run a campaign for any holiday make sure that you have prepared it in advance, no one will be shopping for gifts the day of the holiday because they know they wont receive it. Make sure that if you do decide to run a campaign, that you know how much you can spend. Don't pay for something that you cant afford.
For example: If you can only afford $10 per day. After you get your campaign up, you are then allowed to say how much you want to be charged per click. To figure out how much your should be charger for per click, you first need to know your conversion rates.
For example: If you conversion rate is 10%, that would mean for every 100 customers you get 10 people who purchase. So that would be 10 cent per click times 100 people would be $10. Don't forget to monitor you campaigns and see how well they are doing. Usually if you go to your campaign section, in the last row will show you your campaign percentage. You should never pass 20%. If you do hopefully its only for a day.
You should always look at it in a 30 day time span. Giving it at least 30 days will give you a more accurate percentage of how well it is doing. Don't wait only 14 days and then check it, give it time to work. If you find that you are spending way to much, you can go into your manual campaign and see which items are getting clicked on and not producing any revenue. You can either lower the cost per click or take that listing off your campaign completely. Your conversion rates will vary depending on what type of market you sell in, but I find that on Etsy the normal conversion rates are 1-3% and on Amazon it should be 1-5% at least. Your Amazon conversion rates should be higher. Want more information on how to do Amazon ads? Then check out my blog post here that will show you how to run a sale an knock it out of the park!
When you check on your business reports, ALWAYS look in a 30 day time frame. If you are just trying to see how things went yesterday, then that's fine too. When you go into the list of items, you want to look at the products that have at least 100 views. You can sort them from highest to lowest, and then look for the ones that have at least 100 views. If you are newer to Amazon and none of your listings has had at least 100 views, then you can do a 60 day time frame.
Once you have found the items that have at least 100 views, you want to check the conversion rates, which will be listed right next to the item. If you see that some of your items that has at least 100 views aren't converting well, then write that listing down and then later on you can go into that listing and tweak it to make it better. After you looked at your conversion rates, you need to check out your top viewed items. and check conversions in general. Last, you want to look at the items that have the lowest views, or that you think should have more views than they currently do.
For example: If you have a listing that has had 1,000 views within the past 30 days, and then you have some listings that only had 50. Look at those listings and see why they aren't getting clicked on. Check to see if you exhausted EVERY keyword or phrase that you can use to describe this item. If you believe you have exhausted every keyword you can use, then look at the other details of that listing. Do you accurately describe the product? Can you add more variations to it? Are the pictures pleasant?
Well there you go guys, those are the quick tips to selling on Amazon. Remember if you want to get more information about everything Amazon, you can get my Amazon Webinar here. Don't forget to check out my blog post here, that will walk you step-by-step on how to calculate your conversion rates and how to increase them!
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