The Path to Small Business Success as a Seller on Amazon

by Craig Anthony

2 min read

Amazon has been a launching pad for successful entrepreneurs and small businesses. If you are starting a small business, Amazon offers you many of the advantages and benefits of a large corporation without all the accompanying work. You simply buy goods, list them on the site and instantly obtain exposure to the millions of customers Amazon already serves. More than 40 percent of Amazon’s total unit sales consist of such third-party sellers’ selections. Find out how to become a successful small business reseller on Amazon.

Getting Started

Determine what type of small business reselling you plan to do. Amazon has two options to start selling, either as an individual or a professional. The individual category is for sales of up to 40 items per month, while the professional category is for sales of 40 items or more per month. The fee structures differ for each option, so try to estimate how many items you expect to sell per month. You can always start as an individual reseller and then change to a professional reseller later.

Choosing and Marketing Products

The key to choosing products is focusing on items that offer healthy profit margins. For example, if you can buy popular, year-old video games for 50 percent off, then sell them on Amazon for approximately retail price, you have a comfortable 50 percent profit margin. A wide profit margin is important for covering expenses such as the shipping costs to send items to Amazon’s warehouse and Amazon’s percentage of the sale price. Good sources for products are clearance sales at retailers, flea markets, and auction sites, such as eBay. Try to find high-demand products that are not also already being sold by many other Amazon sellers.

Good product descriptions are critical to attracting buyers, since that is what consumers read when considering your product. Have a catchy and accurate title for your product to motivate viewers to click on for more information. The product description should be accurate and complete, but also be written in a compelling way that entices viewers to buy the item.

Focus your sales pitch toward the group of consumers that are most likely to buy a given item. If, for example, you are selling iPods, keep in mind that your target audience will most likely be individuals between 18 and 35 who are looking for items that can be easily transported and stored. Emphasize this in your product description.

Be sure to do your due diligence and thoroughly fact-check every piece of information you provide to ensure accuracy. Don’t make claims that the product cannot realistically live up to.

Record Keeping

You need to keep thorough and accurate accounting records for your business, including things such as inventory, purchase orders, expenses and sales taxes. The easiest way to do this is with a good accounting software program, such as QuickBooks Online. This will enable you to track your all your expenses and revenues, as well as run key financial analysis reports you can use to increase the profitability of your business.

References & Resources

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