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Amazon is the world’s largest online marketplace where almost anyone can list their products and make profit. It is especially important to note it is a profitable venture for entrepreneurs with minimal start-up capital. However, at first it sounds simple but there is a lot of work involved in order to have a successful business on Amazon. Here you will find some key areas to consider when starting a business on Amazon. 

What is an Amazon FBA Business? 

Most products listed on Amazon are from independent sellers using Amazon fulfilment. FBA stands for ‘fulfilment by Amazon’. This essentially means that Amazon holds the seller’s stock and distributes and ships it when orders are made. Additionally, the customer service is also handled by Amazon, including returns. 
 
For the customer, this makes no difference as the delivery options, returns policy and customer service are the same. 
 
An FBA is the middle ground between a very small, bedroom business and a company with a lot of staff. Amazon FBAs take a lot of the weight from the seller’s shoulders by handling part of the operations. The main focus for the seller is getting sales. 
 
Additionally, you can have multiple FBA businesses around the world - you just need to deliver the stock to the Amazon FBA warehouses. 
 
Using Amazon’s FBA is not mandatory - you can choose to be responsible for storing the stock, shipping & customer service but bear in mind that might mean you will need more resources such as money, time and staff. 

Establishing your Selling Strategy 

Before registering for an online seller account on Amazon, you will be asked to choose a selling plan. Your choice here should be influenced by your strategy, what and how much you are selling. For example, on the Individual Plan you will be charged £0.75 for each item you sell. On the other hand, the Professional Plan costs £25, regardless of the number of items sold. Additionally, Amazon takes a referral fee from each sale as a percentage of the sale value, depending on the product category. 

How To Set Up Your Amazon Seller Account 

Ideally, you would already have a company set up as you will need to provide: 
 
Business email address or Amazon customer account; 
Chargeable credit card; 
Valid passport (identity verification protects sellers and customers); 
Tax information; 
Phone number; 
A bank account where Amazon can send you proceeds from your sales. 
 
After setting up your Amazon seller account, you will have access to Seller Central. This is the website where you can monitor sales activity, manage inventory and add new products, update your prices, communicate with buyers and solve customer service issues. 

How To Source Your Products 

Depending on your strategy, you might be a reseller of popular products or a brand owner who manufactures their own. If you are in the latter category, sourcing your products should already be in place and you might be able to secure your stock in time. For reselling products you could use either dropshipping or be a wholesaler. 

How To Add Products 

While you can sell almost anything on Amazon, provided it is not illegal, there are some categories that are open to all sellers, some require a Professional account and some require approval, while some are completely prohibited to be sold by third parties. Check out where your products you intend to sell fit before you choose your selling plan ideally. 
 
To add your products you can do so using Seller Central or via an API, either Amazon Marketplace Web Services (MWS) API or you can build your own.  
 
A Product Listing should contain: 
A product identifier, such as GTIN, UPC, ISBN, or EAN to specify the exact item you’re selling. 
A SKU, which is a product ID you create to track your inventory; 
Offer details, including price, product condition, available quantity, and shipping options; 
Product details like name, brand, category, description, and images; 
Keywords and search terms to help buyers find your product. 
 
If there is already another seller listing the same products, you’ll match an existing listing. The product identifier might be already in place in this case. Amazon combines data from the different sellers and offers on a single detail page. Sellers can contribute to the listings detail page information and request reviews of that information, to ensure the information displayed is correct. 
 
In the case of a completely new product, a new listing will be created. You can also register the product you own under a registered trademark using Amazon Brand Registry. This is a free service that allows you to have more control over product detail pages using your brand name. 
 
In order to fill out the Product Detail Page you will need to input: 
 
● Title: 200 characters max, capitalize the first letter of every word; 
● Images: 500 x 500 or 1,000 x 1,000 pixels to increase listing quality; 
● Variations: different colors, scents, or sizes; 
● Succinct, descriptive sentences highlighting key features; 
● Description: Keywords improve the chances that people will find your listing. 

Marketing Your Products 

On Amazon, the most popular products usually feature Prime shipping, which is free to Prime members and provides fast shipping. You can get the badge on your products by using Amazon FBA described above. 
 
You can also advertise your products on Amazon so they show up top of the page. This gives you more visibility and better reach. Another way of promoting your products is using a limited time deal or a discount coupon for customers. 
 
Setting a competitive and fair price is the straightforward way to ensure your success while selling on Amazon. There are hundreds if not thousands of products in the same category and customers are always looking for the best deal. 
 
After your first sale, encourage your customers to leave reviews on the page of the product they purchased. Listings with multiple positive reviews have a higher chance of selling to future customers, as it shows you are a trustworthy and reputable seller. 
 
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