Amazon is the king of eCommerce in the U.S. with over 280 Billion dollars in net sales in 2019 (Statistica, 2020). Starting a store on Amazon seems fairly straightforward. Amazon makes it easy to get your products in front of possibly millions of their customers without a lot of hassle. Actually making money on Amazon consistently is not always as easy, but it definitely can be done. Making money selling on Amazon can even be life-changing, providing you with monthly income and a lifestyle that is not required to be tied to a desk or cubicle, giving you time and monetary freedom most people only dream about. Here we will provide you with a basic guide on making money selling on Amazon. Follow these guidelines and you could be earning a steadily growing revenue on this incredible platform before you know it.
Deciding What to Sell
Choosing products to sell on Amazon can be simple but it can also be a bit tricky. It can be simple because overall you simply need to identify whether there is a demand for the items you would like to sell. You can go to keywordseverywhere.com and add it’s plugin to your desktop to determine what people are searching for every month. Generally speaking if there are at least 20,000 monthly searches for an item, then it has a good chance of being successful selling on Amazon. You can also use Google Ads Keyword Planner tool to verify how often items are searched for online.
In most cases you simply need to determine if there is a good demand for the products you want to sell and find a supplier (unless you somehow are the supplier yourself). Identify products that not only have a good demand but also products that are not already being sold by too many other stores. Look for product categories that are not already saturated so that your competition is not too tough. For instance, electronics is one of the most popular products on Amazon. Some entrepreneurs may think this means they should simply find a type of electronic they can drop ship through the platform and go for it. Unfortunately it’s not that simple and entering the Amazon marketplace by selling the most popular products could mean exposing your business dreams to more threats of failure than necessary. Instead, seek to sell products that have a niche of enthusiastic fans, but not thousands of other store owners selling the products.
In some instances you may have certain criteria required for getting some items approved by Amazon to sell. One of the major differences in selling products through Amazon versus selling items through your own website on a platform like Shopify is that you must follow Amazon’s rules in order to have access to their customers. Think of it like a busy shopping mall with hundreds of millions of shoppers. If you wanted to sell your products in a physical mall, you could not simply take your product display into the mall and start making sales. There would be an application process and specific standards you would be required to adhere to. Amazon is no different in this regard and there are also products you need special approval to sell on the platform.
To make your decision making process a little easier, here is a list of categories you are free to sell on Amazon without approval:
Amazon Device Accessories
Baby Products (Excluding Apparel)
Business Products (B2B)
Camera & Photo
Clothing & Accessories
Health & Personal Care
Home & Garden
Industrial & Scientific
Luggage & Travel Accessories
Shoes, Handbags & Sunglasses
Software & Computer Games
Tools & Home Improvement
Toys & Games
Video Games & Video Game Consoles
Categories requiring Amazon approval include:
Automotive & Powersports
Grocery & Grocery Food
Historical & Advertising Collectibles
Video, DVD & Blu-Ray
Amazon does this to uphold certain safety and counter-counterfeiting standards. If you happen to want to sell items on the list that require approval, don’t let that deter you. Simply go through Amazon’s process to get approved.
Select an Amazon Selling Plan
Amazon has two selling packages, Individual and Professional. The main difference is in how many products you intend to sell. If you’re selling only a few items at a time, you probably should choose the Individual plan, which costs .99 per item sold. However, most people who are selling a larger variety of products on Amazon will need the Professional plan which allows you to sell an unlimited amount of products for 39.99 per month.
List Your Products
After you have registered your selling plan account, it is time for you to start listing your products. If you have the Professional Selling Plan, you will be able to list items you are selling in batches using bulk listing, or you can list products to the Amazon marketplace one at a time.
Market Your Products
Even though the Amazon marketplace has millions of visitors per day, it’s not likely that enough of these visitors are going to automatically find your products. Cause a scene! Get your products noticed by advertising on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram or purchasing ads on search engines like Google and Bing. The more targeted traffic you can drive to view your products on Amazon, the more products you’re likely to sell. In addition to these external marketing channels, Amazon has its own marketing component on the platform. For certain product categories, (if you are enrolled as a professional seller) you can utilize Amazon’s Sponsored Display Ad service which basically allows you to retarget Amazon shoppers with ads displaying your products both on and off of the Amazon platform.
To drive more awareness and conversions within the Amazon marketplace, you might also consider Amazon’s pay-per-click ad service called Amazon Sponsored Products. Finally there is Amazon’s Sponsored Brand Ads service, which allows sellers to present their products to customers in image carousels and product descriptions at the start of their shopping journey.
This service can go a long way with engaging your customers early enough to get their attention before they even notice your competitors.
Managing success and growth in your Amazon business will be difficult if you do not have an adequate system for monitoring your progress regularly. Luckily Amazon has a great dashboard for keeping tabs on your progress. In particular, pay close attention to the metrics that are focused on increasing customer satisfaction, conversions, and keeping your business from even coming close to being suspended by Amazon for not meeting minimum standards. Metrics that help you to do this include: Pre-fulfillment Cancellation Rates, Order Defect Rate (ODR), Late Shipment Rate, Earnings, Inventory Performance Index, and Best Seller Rankings. These metrics measure progress from within the Amazon platform but it has also become possible to review the results of outside marketing with the Amazon Attribution Program. The program (now in beta status) can be used to identify earnings from traffic that originates outside of Amazon like Instagram, Facebook, Google and many other online sources. Monitoring progress gives you the ability to grow your business by making proper decisions and adjustments based on the data.
There are many people earning a great living selling products on Amazon. Applying the ideas in this article should help you to hit the ground running. Amazon has continued to increase sales year after year, with a great deal of those sales coming from entrepreneurs just like you. Don’t let this amazing opportunity to make money on one of the most revolutionary e-commerce platforms in history pass you by! To get a head start with starting a successful Amazon business, check out our pre-made Amazon business plan that you can easily make your own.
“Amazon – Statistics and Facts” (2020) https://www.statista.com/topics/846/amazon/