An Introduction to Selling Physical Products on Amazon

Intro to Amazon.com Sellers

Pretty much everyone buys stuff online today and Amazon.com is the behemoth of online selling.  Most people think everything sold on Amazon is a product that is made or sold by the company Amazon.  In reality, almost half of the products for sale on Amazon.com are sold by third party sellers.  A third party seller can be anyone, like a large corporation such as Kitchenaid or an average joe who threw up a product to sell similar to what you might find on eBay.  Next time you go to buy something, take a close look at “the buy box”.  This is an Amazon term for who the default seller is when you click the ‘Buy Now’ button.  Usually this is the seller with the lowest price since Amazon wants to encourage the lowest prices possible for every product on their site.

Check out the picture below.  This product is sold by a company named ‘Alpha Grillers’ and is ‘Fulfilled by Amazon’.  The phrase ‘Fulfilled by Amazon’ is generally shortened to FBA and this is the part we are most interested in.

how to tell if a product is sold by a third party FBA seller

What Fulfillment is and Why It Sucks

Imagine if you had a hot selling product and you were selling 50 units per day.  In order to sell that many products every day you would have to spend hours sitting at your computer downloading and printing labels, slapping the labels on boxes, packing your product in the box then making trips to the post office or UPS store to ship everything out.  Afterwards you would have to run back to your computer and copy all of the tracking numbers back into your website so your customers could find out when their shiny new present is going to arrive.  And you’d have to do that EVERY day for EVERY shipment that came in.  Sounds exhausting and tedious right?  And if you want to do this as a side hustle to make some extra money you would have to do all of this after you get home and eat dinner which would leave you with absolutely no free time.  Fortunately, there’s a better way!  The FBA way (catchy isn’t it?).

FBA – Our Savior

FBA allows you to send your products to Amazon and sell them on their website, Amazon.com.  When a customer orders the item, Amazon will handle all of the fulfillment work which means they use their huge warehouses to hold your product, ship it out, and give the customer shipping and tracking information.  They will also handle all customer service and returns so you don’t have to spend any time on the day to day work.  Another HUGE benefit to the FBA program is that your product will be Prime eligible so all of those Prime members get free 2 day shipping on their order at no additional cost to you.

Prime Customers Spend Over 2x Per Year vs Non-Prime Customers

Business Insider quotes a study from RBC Capital from 2014 that says the average Amazon Prime customer spends more than double than the non-Prime customer does every year on Amazon.  That’s $1,500 per year for the average Prime member vs $625 for the average non-Prime member.  Obviously getting your product in front of these types of consumers is a huge opportunity and you get the privilege of doing so by letting Amazon take over the grunt work of shipping.  Win-win.

But I’ve Never Sold Anything, Can I Do This?

This all probably sounds good but you probably have the same doubts I had when I got started.  “I’ve never sold anything online before except for some old junk on ebay.  No way I can do this”.  But you’re wrong!  Selling products online is pretty straightforward and the hardest part is getting people to see your product.  Luckily with Amazon’s HUGE built in web traffic they can take care of that part of the equation.  Think about what you do when you want to buy something online.  You probably go to Amazon.com and search for the item.  Hundreds of millions of people do the same thing every year and these are the people Amazon will direct to your products to buy.

Here are my results from 1 year of selling on Amazon.

over 100k in amazon sales in 1 year with no experience

So with no prior experience and no knowledge of how to sell ANYTHING, I’ve sold over $100,000 in the past 12 months.  The craziest part is there are sellers out there doing that much business in just 1 month, even 1 WEEK!  And they all started with no knowledge of how to sell on Amazon.  The only difference between the people who made it and the ones who didn’t is they took the time to learn and take action.

I will have a series teaching people how to sell on Amazon available soon, here’s an outline of the different topics I’ll go over which will get you started from no knowledge, to having a product up and selling online.  Hopefully this post was a good enough introduction to selling on Amazon and to show you that people with no background can gain results and significant income from selling physical products online.

  • Picking out what product to sell
  • Finding a manufacturer to make your product for you
  • Ordering samples and checking for quality
  • Placing your order with the supplier and making sure you don’t get ripped off
  • Creating a high quality product listing with photos and compelling sales text
  • Getting initial reviews and sales momentum
  • Setting up PPC advertisting and optimizing your keywords
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