2021 Guide to Reverse Sourcing: Find Products and Amazon Wholesale Suppliers

29 - How to Reverse Source

Understand the reverse sourcing strategy to find winning profitable products and wholesale suppliers to expand your Amazon catalog!

In this article, we’ll be covering a new product scouting strategy called “reverse sourcing.” Whether you are a new seller or an experienced seller, reverse sourcing can be an awesome method to find reliable suppliers who produce winning products.

If you haven’t already, I highly suggest you read our previous blog on How to Source Your Amazon Business with Leaf Sourcing before you learn about reverse sourcing. Essentially, leaf sourcing is a scouting method that uses one product as a starting point to finding similar products that have high profitability and sales performances. While both leaf sourcing and reverse sourcing are great individually, they work best when used together.

By the end of this article, you will have the knowledge to execute both reverse sourcing and leaf sourcing! Then, you can combine these two methods and develop an optimized product sourcing strategy to find winning products to grow your FBM or FBA business.

What is Reverse Sourcing Wholesale?

To understand reverse sourcing, you need to understand how traditional sourcing works.

In the old methods, sellers would source products by contacting suppliers, manufacturers, or brand owners. After establishing a business partnership, sellers would get access to the supplier’s product catalogs where they can select which products they like, and then stock their stores full of these products. Although it seems simple enough, the traditional sourcing process has one major flaw: sellers never knew which products would sell or which products would have a good return on investment. Essentially, the traditional process was extremely risky, like throwing a dart in the dark and hoping it would hit something. The status quo often led to sellers purchasing random products that seem like good investments, but down the line, these products performed very poorly leading to negative profits and excess inventory.

The new method, reverse sourcing, negates a lot of the risk by adding a crucial step. Instead of starting with the supplier, reverse sourcing starts in the opposite direction: with the product first. Instead of going directly to a supplier, sellers using the reverse sourcing method identify one profitable, sustainable, and replenishable product. Once a seller identifies a single product, you take the product and identify the supplier that produces that single product. From there, you can ask that particular supplier about their catalogs and source other profitable products that they produce to add to your store.

Reverse sourcing guarantees that the single product is profitable and every additional product will add more guaranteed profits. From one single product, reverse sourcing allows sellers to identify a reliable supplier and access a ton of other profitable products. As a result, reverse sourcing takes away all of the risks from the traditional sourcing process and supplies sellers with profitable, sustainable, and replenishable products to sell on Amazon or any other e-commerce platform.

Why You Should Use Reverse Sourcing for Amazon FBA

While we’ll go into further details about how exactly reverse sourcing works, here are some of the clear benefits you gain by using reverse sourcing.

  • Benefit #1: Easy access to suppliers. Finding quality suppliers may be one of the most difficult parts of sourcing products for your store. By using reverse sourcing, you can easily identify suppliers who are guaranteed to produce your product. This cuts down the product research time significantly and allows you to contact suppliers as soon as possible.
  • Benefit #2: Reduce the risk of DOA products. DOA or “dead on arrival” products are products that do not sell well. We discussed this a bit in the previous section, but in traditional sourcing methods, sellers essentially guessed on products and hoped that they would sell. This often led to sellers buying a ton of products that never sold or sold poorly, lost capital, excess inventory, and poor return on investments. By reverse sourcing, you guarantee that at least one product sells well and can center your business around a guaranteed winner.
  • Benefit #3: Access to supplier catalogs. While you could get access to a supplier catalog with traditional sourcing, reverse sourcing helps you find multiple profitable products more efficiently. Once you reach out to a supplier of your initial product, you can request access to the supplier’s entire catalog and then hand-pick winning products to stock your inventory.
  • Benefit #4: Cut out the middleman. In traditional sourcing, products are often provided by distributors, not manufacturers. Distributors are essentially middlemen who purchase bulk products from manufacturers and then resell them to sellers at a higher price. Meaning sellers had to pay extra for the cost of goods because they had to go through distributors. With reverse sourcing, you go directly to the manufacturer and can negotiate for the lowest price possible. With the lower cost of goods, your profit margins may increase significantly, and products that were not profitable before are suddenly gold mines.
  • Benefit #5: Build more personal relationships with manufacturers. We discuss this topic heavily in our blog about 5 Rules to Maximize Supplier Relationship Management. In summary, reverse sourcing empowers sellers to work directly with manufacturers. By collaborating and working collectively with your supplier, it leads to more personal relationships and trust. This may ultimately provide additional perks such as reduced prices on goods, reduced shipping costs and fees, and exclusive rights to specialty products.

With the benefits in mind, let’s jump right into how to reverse source for products.

Step 1: Picking Your Initial Product

The first step to reverse sourcing is finding your initial product. When finding your initial product, you should use 3 core criteria:

  1. The product is NOT sold and shipped by Amazon. If the product is sold and shipped by Amazon, dump it and find a different product that isn’t.
  2. The product should have 3 or more sellers. If the product has less than 3, it probably is a private label product that you won’t be able to source.
  3. The product’s selling price is at least $20 or more. Products sold for less than $20 usually don’t provide enough profits after you pay for the cost of goods, FBA fees, service fees, etc.

*Note that these are the same 3 criteria you should use with leaf sourcing. This is a hint at how you can use leaf sourcing and reverse sourcing at the same time!

For our example, we found this product:

Portable Blender, Personal Size Blender Smoothies and Shakes, Mini Blender 4000mAh USB Rechargeable with Six Blades, Handheld Blender Sports, Travel, Gym (Blue)

As you can see from the photo, this product meets all of our core criteria for an initial product. The product is shipped by Amazon but sold by another company, Aoozi. The product has more than 3 sellers. Lastly, the product is sold for $29.99, which meets our selling price threshold.

Step 2: Contacting the Wholesale Supplier or Brand Owner

The second step is quite easy: find the supplier or brand owner. In this case, the brand owner is “Aoozi.” To find their contact information, simply type the brand name into a search engine like Google or Bing. We instantly found Aoozi’s website where they sell their portable blender and even include different web pages for their other products including webcams and LED lights.

While we could look into their product catalog now, what we want is at the bottom of their webpage where it allows you to “Contact Us,” or Aoozi in this scenario.

After clicking Contact Us, you will be directed to a contact form and be given the address, phone number, and email to connect with the brand owner.

At this point, you can choose your communication method depending on your urgency. We recommend either sending them an email to schedule a meeting or a phone call if you are prepared to make a deal immediately. Whichever method you decide, remember that your goal is to move towards action whether it be asking for a catalog, landing a contract, or putting in an order.

Step 3: Requesting a Product Catalog

Before you land a wholesale contract and start sourcing immediately, we highly recommend step 3, which is to request a product catalog from the supplier. The product catalog is a list of all of the products the supplier produces and is available to purchase for sellers.

The supplier should also provide a pricing sheet that explicitly states the product, ASINs, cost of a single unit, the minimum order quantity (MOQ), and the selling price or minimum advertised price (MAP). As a seller, this is a huge resource because you can see all the different products you could potentially order to supply your inventory.

Step 4: Conducting Product Analysis

Once you receive a product catalog, move to Step 4 to conduct proper product analysis. We cover product analysis in our blog A Guide to Product Analysis, but you typically have two options: manual product analysis or automated product analysis with an FBA tool.

For manual research, you should calculate the profitability of the product by accounting for the cost of the good, the selling price, FBA fees, service fees, shipping costs, and storage costs. We recommend using Amazon’s FBA revenue calculator to help speed up this process. For the FBA calculator, simply enter the ASIN or product identifier (UPC, ISBN, EAN) and the calculator will allow you to compare all the potential costs. Afterward, you should receive a net profitability figure that provides the expected return. Sellers need to take their time analyzing entire catalogs. Miscalculating a single product can have huge implications on your revenue and profit margins as well as the overall health and sustainability of your business.

The second option, and the one we highly recommend, is using an FBA tool to automate all of these bulk calculations for you. Manual product analysis can take days if not longer depending on the size of the catalog. Some catalogs are in the thousands, so automated product analysis is essential for picking the best products with the best profit margins and return on investments (ROI).

If you do not already have a tool, check out Sellgo’s FBA tools. Within the Search Management tool, you can easily upload the product catalog from the supplier and the Profit Finder will conduct bulk automated calculations for you. After, you will get an organized table of all the products that you can filter and sort based on profit margins, ROI, and more. Instead of wasting hours doing manual work, you can just use FBA tools to get the best products instantly.

Step 5: Source Winning Products and Sell, Sell, Sell!

By Step 5, you should have finished product analysis on your supplier’s catalog and have a list of products you expect to bring in tons of revenue and profit.

Looking back on the reverse sourcing process, you started with a single product. From there, you got into contact with brand owners, collected catalogs, analyzed the products, and now you have a list of products that you know will be profitable. Not only were you able to increase your inventory with reverse sourcing, but you hacked the system, lowering the risk of DOA products and can ensure secured revenue and reliable sales!

The last step is to start selling! You can contact your supplier again and put in an order to begin sourcing and selling products on Amazon.

Combining with Leaf Sourcing

Now that you understand reverse sourcing and leaf sourcing, let’s think about how you can use these strategies together to maximize your product scouting process! Leaf sourcing and reverse sourcing begin at the same place: the initial product. Once you identify your first product that meets the 3 core criteria, you can then implement leaf sourcing and reverse sourcing cohesively.

Leaf sourcing will enable you to find new products that are similar in price and profits to your initial product. In comparison, reverse sourcing focuses on identifying reliable brand owners and suppliers. When you identify new products with leaf sourcing, simply use reverse sourcing to find the supplier for the new products and contact them about their product catalogs or landing a wholesale contract. As you find more and more products with leaf sourcing, you can use reverse sourcing right after to find more and more suppliers! These two strategies together provide the perfect storm for any seller trying to expand their catalogs with new products or meet new suppliers.

In the end, your product scouting process will lead to amazing products that will grow your sales and suppliers who will support your business and accelerate your growth!

Revamp Your Amazon FBA Inventory with Product Sourcing Strategies

Congratulations! You’ve successfully learned how to use leaf sourcing and reverse sourcing strategies that will drive your Amazon business! The next thing to do is start implementing these strategies now and start finding new products to sell.

Although these strategies may require a ton of work, you can automate a lot of the bulk work by using useful FBA tools including Sellgo’s Search Management, Profit Finder, and Product Tracker tools! Check out these tools at Sellgo.com to quickly source products and begin selling today!

How to Source Your Amazon Business with Leaf Sourcing

28 - How to Leaf Source

Need to find products to expand your catalog and sell on Amazon? Learn the leaf sourcing strategy to 10x your product sourcing and sales!

If you’re an Amazon seller, you’re constantly looking for new profitable products that you can add to your Amazon catalogs. To maximize your product scouting, you should try to utilize multiple methods of product research to help expand your width and coverage. In doing so, you’ll gain access and knowledge of profitable products and suppliers to put your Amazon business over the top. One of the most productive and efficient strategies that every Amazon FBA seller should know is leaf sourcing.

In this blog, we’ll be introducing you to the methods of leaf sourcing and why you should integrate this strategy into your daily standard operating procedures for your Amazon FBA or FBM businesses.

What is Leaf Source Good For?

For starters, what is leaf sourcing and what is it good for? Leaf sourcing is the method of finding one profitable product then using that first product to find other similar products with identical or similar profit potential.

This may seem a bit complicated at first, but we’ll go into more details on how leaf sourcing looks below. If you want a quick example, check out the picture we included above. Starting from Product #1, we’ll find its product page on Amazon and then scroll down to the suggested products Amazon provides you. From there, we’ll examine all of these recommended products to see if any would be viable options to source.

Leaf sourcing is one of the best strategies to quickly and efficiently scout thousands of products with high-profit potential. After an hour of product sourcing, sellers who efficiently use the leaf sourcing strategy will have a long list of hundreds to thousands of prospective products they can source and add to their Amazon catalogs and begin selling!

Leaf Source Benefits

Leaf sourcing provides a ton of benefits for any seller at any level of experience. First, leaf sourcing is quite easy. While it may take some time and is extremely manual, leaf sourcing when done correctly can lead to hundreds or thousands of prospective profits in a matter of hours. It also provides easy filtering to remove potentially negative or poor-performing products.

The second is that this process can be automated quite simply. If you are a more experienced Amazon FBA seller, you could delegate this task to a Virtual Assistant or employee to take over the responsibilities. Leaf sourcing is easy to do and even easier to teach. Not to mention, all of the time you saved delegating leaf sourcing to someone else saves you time that you can then reinvest into other jobs and responsibilities.

The third is that this process is free! Leaf sourcing can be done by anyone and anytime. All you need is a computer or laptop and internet access to scout products on Amazon. Simply go onto Amazon.com, find your first product, and then start leaf sourcing right away.

With these benefits in mind, let go right into how to use leaf sourcing!

Step 1: Picking Your Initial Product

The first step is to find your initial product. This first product serves as your starting point and represents the “base” of the tree for leaf sourcing. When selecting your initial product, we recommend the following criteria:

  1. The Product is NOT sold and shipped by Amazon. If the product is sold and shipped by Amazon, dump it and find a different product that isn’t.
  2. The product should have 3 or more sellers. If the product has less than 3, it probably is a private label product that you won’t be able to source.
  3. The product’s selling price is at least $20 or more. Products sold for less than $20 usually don’t provide enough profits after you pay for the cost of goods, FBA fees, service fees, etc., so it is best to pick a product sold higher than $20.

With these 3 criteria in mind, pick your initial product to start leaf sourcing. For our example, we’ll be using this product:

Portable Blender, Personal Size Blender Smoothies and Shakes, Mini Blender 4000mAh USB Rechargeable with Six Blades, Handheld Blender Sports, Travel, Gym (Blue)

As you can see from the figure, this product meets all of our requirements. While the product is shipped from Amazon, the product is sold by Aoozi US and is most likely another FBA seller. The product has 4 offers from different sellers, meeting the 3 seller minimum. And lastly, the product is sold for $29.99, which meets our third requirement and will most likely be profitable if we source and sell this product in our store.

Step 2: Checking for Similar Products

Next, we’ll stay on this product page but scroll down to the bottom where Amazon has a row of recommended products labeled, “Customers who searched for “blender” ultimately bought.”

This row of recommended products is a potential gold mine of similar products with similar sales prices and profit margins. Amazon does the work collecting all of these alternative products, now it is your job to go through each of these products using the same criteria as before.

We’ll look through this row for products not sold and shipped by Amazon, with 3 or more sellers, and that sell for at least $20. As we look through more and more products, the products that fit these 3 criteria can then be added to your list of potential products you can source.

In just 20 minutes, we used our first product from Aoozi US and found 2 other similar products that meet all of our criteria. Now, we have a list of 3 potential products.

Product #2

Product #3

Step 3: Creating a Product Tree

By this point, you should have your initial product and a couple of other similar products. While you’re at a good place, leaf sourcing doesn’t stop here. You continue leaf sourcing by looking at the similar products recommended under the new products you just found!

Our initial product, (referred to as Product #1) was used to find two other products (Product #2 and Product #3 respectively). With leaf sourcing, you can now use Product #2 and Product #3 to find even MORE potential products.

For our example, you take Product #2, for us it was the NutriBullet NBR-0601 Nutrient Extractor, 600W, Gray, scroll down the product page to the recommended products, and repeat Steps 1 and 2. We look through the new row of “Customers who searched for “blender” ultimately bought” and find potential products that fulfill the same 3 criteria we used earlier.

We repeat this process for Product #3 as well. You can keep going even past Product #2 and Product #3 by finding more products then leaf sourcing the new products for Product #4 to infinity.

As you can see, the initial product serves as the base of the tree, each new product is a branch, and these branches lead to even more products. Leaf sourcing provides an endless stream of similar products that you could spend years and even lifetimes exploring. In just a few hours, you turned a single product into an entire product tree filled with plentiful products that you can then use to expand your catalogs.

Source Now, Sell Later

Leaf sourcing should be one of the first strategies you implement and conduct if you hope to get your Amazon business off the ground. By scouting profitable products, you get access to a bounty of options to source your Amazon FBA or FBM business that you can sell and grow over time.

We want to emphasize that this is just one method of product scouting and is the first step. While leaf sourcing is beneficial, it is not the fastest and most efficient method to scout products.

If you want to speed up product scouting, check out Sellgo’s Chrome Extension and Profit Finder tools where you can conduct leaf source multiple products at once, automate bulk calculations, and export all the profitable products to a spreadsheet. Not only does this give you the power of leaf sourcing, but it optimizes the entire process to allow you to source and sell products 10x faster!

15 Questions You Need to Ask Your Amazon Wholesale Suppliers

27 - Vetting Suppliers

Vet every supplier before you sign a wholesale contract! Ask them 15 questions and find out if your supplier is legit or if you should quit!

As you approach landing your first wholesale contract, you should remember to vet and perform due diligence before you sign any contracts. Suppliers go through a strict vetting process before they agree to add any potential sellers. Like suppliers, sellers should be cautious before agreeing on a contract with potential suppliers. This means asking your potential suppliers and partners a series of questions to ensure the supplier is authorized, legitimate, and reliable.

In this blog, we’ll be covering 15 questions that every seller should ask their supplier. If at any point the supplier cannot provide a clear response or simply shows they are unauthorized, we recommend canceling any contract negotiations and requesting refunds on any orders until the supplier can be thoroughly reviewed. Remember, Amazon wholesale is all about relationships. If your supplier cannot be transparent with you, it will be hard to trust them to be your business partner. Now, let’s jump into some questions!

Understanding the Amazon Supply Chain

The first series of questions are going to focus on understanding the entire supply chain. Essentially, you want to find out what you CAN and CANNOT do.

Question 1: What Can I Sell On Amazon?

The first question you must ask is simply, can I sell your products on Amazon? While this may seem silly, many manufacturers dislike Amazon and Amazon sellers for various reasons. Some suppliers will only allow specific products to be sold on Amazon, while others may flat out deny any products to be sold on Amazon. Regardless, you need to see what products, if any, are you allowed to sell on Amazon. If the supplier says you cannot sell any of their products on Amazon, you can try to negotiate a trial period or convince them to let you test out selling a few products. If they do not budge on their stance, it is best to move on and find a new potential supplier that will allow you to sell their products on Amazon.

If they allow their products to be sold on Amazon, you’re in luck! You can then move forward with the questions below.

Question 2: What is Your Minimum Order Quantity?

The next question is what is the minimum order quantity (MOQ)? The MOQ is the minimum amount of products or amount of money that sellers must spend if they want to order products. Some manufacturers’ MOQ is a unit minimum (a certain amount of stock) or it could be a spending minimum (a certain amount of money spent on products). The MOQ question should be straight forward and some sellers will even produce a price sheet with the MOQ for all of their items in their catalog. Take a look into the MOQ and see if the pricing matches your available capital resources. As always, pick suppliers whose MOQs suit your business needs.

Question 3: How Do You Source Your Products?

This next question allows sellers to understand the quality and legitimacy of the supplier’s products by asking where the supplier sources their products.

Do they manufacturer the products? Are they an authorized distributor?

Every Amazon supplier needs to be authorized, especially if they are selling brand-name products. It is important to note that Amazon only allows authorized products to be sold on their site. If they see issues with counterfeit products, they will not hesitate to suspend your account. When purchasing stock from a supplier. you need to ask where they are sourcing their products. If they are a manufacturer, they need to provide clear documentation to prove that they are an authorized, legitimate supplier If they cannot provide any resources to confirm this claim, you need to run and request a refund if you have submitted an order. It’s always better to be safe than sorry!

Question 4: What Condition Are Your Products?

Adding onto the last question, you should inquire about the conditions of the products. Most suppliers will state their products are all in a brand new condition more often than not. Amazon always prioritizes new products overused, especially within the Buy Box.

Sellers should always confirm the product condition before submitting any product order. If the supplier can only provide used or refurbished products, it may be best to move onto a new supplier.

Question 5: What Is Your Lead Time?

The lead time is the period it takes for the products to arrive once an order is placed. Most suppliers will have products on hand and ready to ship out. But for large orders, it may require some more time. Ask the supplier, if I put in an order and pay for products today:

How long will the products take to arrive at my facility or an FBA center?

What is the expected shipping and waiting time?

This question is more important to you, the seller than it is the manufacturer. While you always want your supplier to have high urgency and efficiency with orders, this question will be more important for you to forecast sales projections and know when to re-order products.

Question 6: How Often Do You Add New Products?

Most if not all suppliers regularly add new products to their catalogs. If you sign on as one of their sellers, you want to make sure you get access to all the new, profitable products to add to your Amazon business. This is why you should always ask, how often do the suppliers add new products? Some will add products weekly or monthly while others may have new products for every quarter or new year. Whatever their schedule is, inquire about new products and see if you can get access to them. New products can lead to more sales, higher profits, and accelerated growth for your business.

Question 7: Do You Have A Catalog You Can Provide Me?

Always ask for the catalog. Some suppliers and manufacturers may not provide you with a full catalog until you sign a contract, but it never hurts to ask beforehand. Asking for the catalog empowers sellers to analyze all potential products and view how profitable they can be. By having access to a catalog and performing simple product analysis, sellers can determine the profitability of a catalog before even landing an account. If you’re not sure how to perform product analysis, check out our previous blog on A Guide to Product Analysis to determine the profitability and return on investment (ROI) of any product!

Getting to Know Your Amazon Supplier

By now, you should have a decent understanding of the supply chain, the supplier’s products, and what exactly you can sell on Amazon. Now, it is time to get to know your potential supplier better. These questions below will focus on helping you validate the authenticity of the supplier to ensure they are authorized, ethical, and dependable.

Specifically, these questions will reveal how transparent and cooperative a supplier will be with you. Sellers should strive to find business partners that are open and actively willing to collaborate. If at any point you feel like the supplier may be acting suspiciously or is not straightforward with you, it may be best to move on to a new supplier.

Question 8: How Long Has Your Company Been in Business?

The first question is an easy one, how long has the supplier been in business? This question is very direct but reveals a ton about the supplier. Suppliers with longer histories will be more reliable than ones with short lifespans. Although don’t be too hasty about this question, suppliers can easily lie about the length of operation. This question is a softball that will allow you to transition into deeper, more meaningful questions.

Question 9: Which Product Category Do You Make the Most Sales?

Next, you should inquire about their current operations, with an emphasis on their performance. This is when you should ask, which product categories do they make most of their sales revenue? Some suppliers may focus on electronics while others can range to food or beauty products. Listen carefully to what they respond with, as it may be a good indication of where you should start your product analysis. If the supplier has a lot of sales in electronics and technology, maybe start looking into those products first.

Question 10: Where Do You Make Most Of Your Sales Now?

Some manufacturers and suppliers will focus a majority of their efforts on brick and mortar stores while others will be entirely online sales. There is no “right” or “wrong” answer here, but one thing all sellers should be wary of is if the supplier states they mainly work with Amazon FBA sellers. While this may be great for you as an Amazon FBA seller, think of the potential competition you have for this supplier’s attention and the potential competition for this supplier’s products.

For starters, they may work with dozens or even hundreds of other FBA sellers who are all fighting for the same things. All the FBA sellers sourcing from the same supplier means you all have access to the same catalogs and products, which equates to more competition in the Buy Box, fewer sales, and limited stock availability. Ultimately, this question will determine if the supplier is even worth pursuing. If they have a long list of FBA sellers, you might want to move on to a new supplier whose products and catalog will provide you with more benefits and less competition in the long haul.

Question 11: Where Are Your Manufacturing Locations or Warehouse Locations?

Another straightforward question with huge implications, where are your supplier’s manufacturing locations? If your supplier states that they do not manufacturer their goods, they may be a distributor which means you’re talking to a middle man rather than an actual manufacturer. Note that distributors will sell you products at a higher price than the manufacturer would. If this is the case, you may want to reconsider signing a contract and instead focus your efforts on contacting the manufacturer of the products who can give you a better deal.

Question 12: Does Your Company Participate in Trade Shows or Other In-Person Events?

This particular question is more applicable to domestic manufacturers and pre-2020 before the start of the pandemic. As COVID-19 restrictions lift, you may see more and more events pop up such as tradeshows and exhibitions. You may be wondering why you would ever need to ask your supplier if they participate in live events. But, in-person events provide you a huge opportunity: meeting your supplies face-to-face. While it may seem like a lot of work, the opportunity to meet your suppliers in person, converse, and establish more personal relationships is invaluable. This is how to build strong rapport and long-lasting business partnerships that will empower your business and accelerate your growth long-term. Who knows, it may even lead to more perks such as access to exclusive products, bigger discounts, and more.

Ask About Amazon Purchase Orders

Now that you know more about the supply chain and your supplier, you can now move onto the last set of questions. These questions focus on one thing: Amazon purchase orders. If you were to submit an order right now, what would happen? What should you expect? The following questions provide sellers with an insight into some of the logistics they can anticipate if they decide to sign a wholesale contract.

Question 13: Do You Provide Shipping to Amazon FBA Centers?

First, you should inquire about shipping methods. Does the supplier provide direct shipping to Amazon FBA centers? For FBA sellers, this is an essential and invaluable question with huge implications for your business model. If the supplier provides direct shipping, then that is fantastic news. This means your supplier should provide packaging and prepping services and you will not need to hold any physical inventory in your home or warehouse.

If the supplier does not provide direct shipping, you need to consider how this will impact your business and logistics. If they cannot provide shipping to Amazon FBA centers, do you have the resources and space to store inventory? Do you want to package the products yourself or pay Amazon’s service fees for them to prep products? We go into high-level details about shipping in our Amazon Shipping 101 article. All of these decisions can severely impact your profitability and business growth. Depending on the answer the supplier provides, account for those potential costs and fees before signing a contract.

Question 14: What Payments Do You Accept and Are There Additional Payment Fees?

After shipping, ask about payment methods. Payment methods will vary depending on the manufacturer’s standard operating procedure (SOP). Some suppliers only accept one method of payment while others accept a multitude of payments. This can range from checks or credit card payments to wire transfers. Inquire about all possible methods and pick the one that makes sense for you and your business needs. We also want to note that some payments charge extra fees such as a 3% on all credit card payments.

Question 15: Can You Provide Invoices to Get Brand Approvals From Amazon?

The last question we want to bring up is about invoices. You should receive invoices after you put in an order to pay for your products. Some products are “gated” or restricted on Amazon and will require you to undergo Amazon’s approval process before you can add the products to your inventory. Amazon has restricted categories, subcategories, and brands that need to get approved. We discuss this more in detail in our blog on Getting Ungated in 2021.

Essentially, the invoices you receive from the supplier can be used for Amazon’s approval process. If you want to sell restricted products, make sure to ask your supplier if they can provide invoices so you can get ungated. If your seller is authorized and licensed to produce the branded products, this should be no issue at all. But, if the supplier cannot provide an authorized invoice or any other documentation to validate their operation, leave immediately and request a refund for any orders you paid for. They may be potential counterfeiters and will try to sell you fake products. Prioritize your business first, don’t risk selling fake products and losing your Seller Central account!

Start Amazon Sourcing!

If you reached this point, you should have vetted your potential suppliers and have decided to move forward to signing an account contract or to find a new supplier. Regardless of your decision, you now have a simple procedure to vet and validate any potential manufacturer before you even submit an order. While these 15 questions are a great way to review your suppliers, we want to emphasize that these should not be the only questions you should ask! Be curious, ask as many questions as possible to ensure your supplier is legitimate and authorized. Whether it be 15 questions or 1500 questions, you should always ask questions before you agree to any business partnership.

Once you have investigated your potential supplier and confirmed their operation, you can start looking into their catalogs and source profitable products to grow your Amazon FBA business! For our sellers out there, we can help you find high-demand, profitable products! Check out our tools at Sellgo.com like our Search Management tool and Profit Finder to organize your supplier’s catalog. Quickly identify winning products that will accelerate your business’ growth and start making money today!

6 Strategies to Win the Amazon Buy Box

26 - Winning the Buy Box

Need to increase your Amazon sales? You’ll need to develop a Buy Box strategy! Add these 6 tips to your game plan and dominate the Buy Box!

The Amazon Buy Box is the ultimate fight of champions for Amazon sellers. Like Charon who provides passage for souls on the river Styx, the Amazon Buy Box is the gatekeeper that controls which businesses will thrive and which businesses are dead on arrival. If you shop on Amazon, you are probably already familiar with the Buy Box. Whenever you go onto a product’s page, the Buy Box allows the buyer to buy the product now or add it to their cart. Underneath the buying options, the box notes the seller for the product and the shipping method. Amazon takes into account multiple logistics such as the location of the buyer, the selling price, and the fulfillment method to determine which seller would be best to fulfill the order. Then, Amazon will rotate the sellers to ensure that all potential sellers have an opportunity to make a sale. We touch on the Amazon Buy Box in our blog on 3 Hacks to Beat Amazon Top Sellers.

If you are an FBM seller, these tips will be extra valuable since you will be competing with both FBA and other FBM sellers. Amazon curates the Buy Box for FBM sellers solely based on price, shipping, and other logistics we’ll cover below. If you use FBM, then you will need to strategically manage your product to be more valuable than FBA listings.

FBA sellers have it a bit easier since Amazon will automatically pick the FBA seller as long as they fulfill the same criteria. Whether you sell through Amazon FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) or Amazon FBM (Fulfillment by Merchant), all sellers need to develop their strategy to win the Buy Box. Without a strong and developed Amazon Buy Box strategy, the listings you post for your products will never make it to the top of the Buy Box and you can kiss any potential sales goodbye.

In this blog, we’ll be going over 5 different strategies that you can implement into your FBA or FBM Buy Box strategy that can give you the edge over the competition. Without further ado, let’s get to it!

Buy Box Price on Amazon

The first contributing factor to the Buy Box that FBA and FBM sellers have to consider is the selling price for their items. For FBA sellers, your price just needs to be the same as the other FBA sellers. Since Amazon will curate the Buy Box, as long as your product is the same price as the other sellers, Amazon will automatically revolve the seller until you are the product provider. While this means that you can’t monopolize the product, it means everyone will get a piece of the pie relatively evenly.

For FBM sellers, the price plays a huge part in your Buy Box strategy since Amazon curates the Buy Box entirely differently. Instead of revolving all the sellers around, Amazon will prioritize the seller with the lowest price for that product. This means, the lower your price, the higher the chance of winning the buy box. We recommend that if you an FBM seller and you want to have an advantage in the Buy Box, price your product at least 15% lower than the lowest FBA seller’s price. This is where it gets tricky because that 15% can impact the profitability of your product. Be sure to take that into account before you sell through FBM or source a product. If the 15% bites into your profit margins, you may want to reconsider selling that product.

Amazon Prime Shipping

The next strategy to take into account for your Buy Box strategy is the shipping method. For FBA sellers, this process is quite simple since most products at Amazon Fulfillment Centers are eligible for Prime shipping. This provides an added benefit for both the seller and the buyer since the seller can provide more incentive for the customer and can get rid of more of their stock. On the other hand, the customer also gets their items promptly rather than waiting the normal shipping period of 5 to 7 business days. If you are an FBA seller, ensure that your products are eligible for Prime shipping so you can add this perk to your Buy Box strategy.

As with FBM, sellers should consider utilizing the fastest shipping method. Note that once again, this can severely impact the product’s profit margin if the shipping method costs too much. But, FBM sellers need to provide potential customers with a similar shipping time as FBA sellers. The faster the delivery time, the likelier that you win the Buy Box and capture the sale.

Selling on Amazon Reviews

Reviews are the lifeblood for Amazon and online shopping in general. Most if not all online shoppers rely on Amazon reviews to find the best products and identify the best sellers. Like product reviews, seller reviews indicate the efficiency and productivity of the sellers. Sellers with good reviews will thrive in the Buy Box while sellers with a lot of bad reviews will barely survive. Along with the rating, the amount of reviews also plays a crucial part in your Buy Box strategy. Amazon will reward sellers with higher quantities of reviews with more Buy Box wins because they have earned that trust from Amazon. If you do not have any reviews or only a few, it will be infinitely harder to win the Buy Box.

What does this mean? If you are a new or inexperienced seller, you probably have little to no reviews on your account. That is perfectly fine! Everyone has to start somewhere! As you continue to sell more and more, you will obtain more seller reviews and build your Amazon Buy Box strategy. Whenever you make a sale, remember that the buyer can give you a good or bad review depending on how you fulfill the order. Keep this in mind whenever you sell, the top priority is satisfying the customer.

Amazon Sales History

Sales history is important to both FBA and FBM strategies when Amazon is picking the winner of the Buy Box. While sales history is the sole determining factor, Amazon will consider the seller’s performance metrics to ensure the seller has a good track record. This means your key performance indicators such as how long it takes for you to ship products, return rate, and defect rate will contribute to Amazon selecting your listing to represent the Buy Box. This isn’t surprising at all. On Amazon’s end, they want to make sure the seller they choose does not have any prior incidents or problems in the past. If you have a bad sales history, it’ll be harder to win the Buy Box.

What does this mean? Have high urgency and high priority for all sales. Make sure to inspect all of your products for any defects and to ship items as soon as possible. Remember that every sale can potentially help or harm your sales history, so try your best to satisfy your customers because your Buy Box strategy relies on it!

Condition of Products

The condition of the product plays a minor but important role as well. For FBA sellers, more likely than not, you are selling new products. The product’s condition will play a bigger role for FBM sellers who are more likely to sell used products. Amazon’s Buy Box will also prioritize new condition products overused since most Amazon shoppers want new products. You cannot impact the Buy Box if you are selling used products. Just keep in mind that new condition products will have higher sales potential than used products when sourcing for your inventory.

WARNING: Sold and Shipped by Amazon

The last and probably most important strategy when developing your Amazon Buy Box strategy is…

STAY AWAY FROM PRODUCTS SOLD AND SHIPPED BY AMAZON. Some listings will explicitly state that the products are being sold and shipped by Amazon. If that is the case, RUN. Stay away from that product and look for another that is not sold by Amazon.

This is not because you’re scared, but simply because you cannot beat Amazon at their own game. Not only can Amazon match your lowest price point, but they can also even go lower and intentionally LOSE MONEY because they are a multi-billion dollar company. They do not mind losing a couple of bucks on a single product because it’s crumbs to them. Remember when we said Amazon curates the Buy Box? Well, because they curate the box, if they match the lowest price, Amazon will curate the Buy Box to win automatically.

What does this mean? You will never win if you’re fighting the giant that is Amazon. That is okay! There are millions of other products that are not sold by Amazon that are profitable and can help you grow your business.

Becoming Buy Box Experts

With these 6 strategies, you can become the next Buy Box expert and dominate the next Buy Box you compete in. Remember, whether you’re an FBA or FBM seller, or whether or not you’re competing with Amazon or other sellers, your business will grow if you continue to develop your strategy and build a strong sales history. The only way to do so is to keep on selling and keep grinding to strengthen your business.

Even if Amazon takes over your Buy Box, don’t worry! We can help you find new profitable items that you can use! If you’re searching for new products that are profitable and non-competitive, check our Product Tracker and Sellgo’s other tools that can help turn your business into another giant.

Amazon Restricted Products: How to Get Ungated on Amazon in 2021

25 - Getting Ungated (Amazon Restricted Categories)

Ungated your Amazon Seller Central Account and unlock restricted products to grow your inventory, Amazon business, and profits!

You’ve started selling on Amazon and you’re trying to add a product to your Amazon Seller Central account. Then, you encounter a message warning you that the product you are trying to add needs additional approval from Amazon to sell. You probably did not know before, but that product is one of many on Amazon’s restricted products that require verification before you can sell anything! Don’t worry, the process to get ungated to sell these products isn’t too hard.

In this guide, we’ll be discussing why these restrictions are in place and how to get ungated to sell any of Amazon’s restricted categories, sub-categories, and brands.

Amazon Approval Needed

Amazon has a long list of various products and categories that they intentionally restrict to add safety guidelines and authentication processes, To sell a restricted product, sellers have to undergo an approval process which involves providing documents, invoices, checks, and other qualification forms to ensure all products are handled correctly and authenticated by Amazon. Amazon also looks for sellers who have good performance metrics such as low cancel rates (less than 3%), low defect rates (less than 2%), and low late shipment rates (less than 5%). Sellers with good metrics and solid proof of the product’s authenticity and safety guidelines can easily get ungated to sell restricted products. If you are a seller that does not meet these metrics or does not have the required documentation, your process for approval is still possible but may take longer to be approved.

Sellers who are unsure if their products are restricted can do a simple test to check for any qualifications. On your Amazon Seller Central Account, try to add the item in question into your inventory with the ASIN or product identifier. Once you locate the item, click “Show limitations” and scan for any additional requirements. If there are none, then the product is already approved and is good to go. But, restricted products will have a button to “Apply to sell,” these are the products that need to be ungated. If this is the case, then you will need to submit documentation to authenticate the product before you can add it to your inventory.

Why Sell Gated Products on Amazon?

Why would sellers even want to sell restricted products? The answer is quite simple: less competition and higher sales potential. Not all sellers will go through the approval process to get ungated to sell restricted products. As a result, these products provide less competition, which translates to more buy box wins, more sales, and better return on investment. Essentially, restricted categories and products provide sellers with a greener field of high earning potentials that would be otherwise unavailable without these restrictions.

If you have the opportunity to sell a profitable product that happens to be restricted, you might want to seriously consider going through Amazon’s approval process to take advantage of this winning product.

Amazon Gated Categories

The first product restrictions all sellers should consider are Amazon’s gated categories. Amazon has 5 primary product categories that require approval before you can start selling. These include:

  1. Grocery & Gourmet Food
  2. Jewelry
  3. Music
  4. Video, DVDs, & Blu-ray
  5. Watches

It makes a lot of sense for these categories to be restricted and required for approval to sell. Food and other consumable goods can lead to injury or illness if not properly handled and shipped. Expensive goods like jewelry and watches must be authenticated to prevent any Amazon shopper from being scammed with fake goods. And categories like music or DVDs are often bootlegged and have a high risk of illegitimate goods.

We included links to Amazon’s requirements for each of these categories that you can use if they apply to your potential products. Each of these gated categories has Seller requirements such as the seller’s performance metrics, along with product requirements and additional documentation (primary source of inventory, amount of units, and any receipts or invoices to confirm the authenticity). If you are selling any of these categories, make sure to click on the links and look over what you will need to get approved.

For the product’s information and the handling procedures (specifically for food and consumable products), you will need to work closely with your supplier to obtain this information and ensure they are following all necessary protocols. Especially if you are sourcing with wholesale and private labels, you want to prevent any potential risks since it will negatively impact your business. The last thing you want is to have a lot of food products that make your customers sick or expensive goods that end up being fake. If poorly managed, these categories can ruin your business and reputation or even lead to potential legal action.

Amazon Gated Subcategories and Amazon Gated Products

Other than restricted product categories, Amazon also has restrictions for specific products and sub-categories. These are particular products that have special requirements due to safety, authentication, and collectible status but do not apply to an overall category. These gated sub-categories and products include:

As we mentioned above, these sub-categories and products all have guidelines tailored to ensure safety and authenticity to protect both sellers and buyers from fraudulent or hazardous goods. For more valuable goods such as collectible coins and sports collectibles, sellers will need to provide additional documentation to confirm the credibility and validity of the seller and product. As with restricted categories, if you are purchasing these gated sub-categories and products from a supplier or manufacturer, coordinate and communicate with them to obtain this information.

We have included the links to Amazon’s approval process and requirements for each respective sub-category and product if you need it for your products! Alternatively, you can check out all the restricted categories here.

Amazon Restricted Brands

There are some branded products that Amazon restricts to prevent potentially bootleg or inauthentic products from being sold on Amazon. Amazon does not have an explicit list of restricted brands, but when sellers try to add it to their inventory, they’ll receive an approval warning to request to be ungated.

During the approval process, Amazon will request documentation to validate that the seller is buying branded products from an authorized manufacturer. Since brands have plenty of doppelgangers and bootleg products, it is vital to confirm that the manufacturer is licensed to produce that brand’s products, Amazon will also request an invoice to confirm that you paid for the products and the amount/quantity.

If you are unsure if your branded products are legitimate, contact your supplier and request verification for a manufacturing license that proves they are authorized to produce goods for that brand. If they are unable to provide any proof or licensing for that brand, you may want to find a new seller and request a refund if you have purchased branded products from them. If no action is taken, it may be possible that the supplier sold you fake products that could potentially penalize your Amazon business and seller account.

Sellers can also check if their brands need approval by trying to add the product’s ASIN to your inventory. Brands requiring the approval process will have an option to “Apply to sell.”

Leveraging Ungated Amazon and Amazon Restricted Categories

Congratulations, your products are now ungated on Amazon. While the process can require a couple more steps, it is not too difficult to get ungated and it provides plenty of benefits in return. Restricted categories and products can be very profitable and tend to have a lot less competition, providing sellers with a greener field of products that can leverage to increase their catalogs, increase potential earnings, and grow their businesses.

For help to find restricted or unrestricted products that you can add to your Amazon FBA business, visit our website at Sellgo.com and our FBA tools!

5 Rules to Maximize Supplier Relationship Management

24 - Supplier Relationship Management

Selling on Amazon is all about relationship building, especially with suppliers. Read how to create, build, and maintain long-term relationships!

Whether you’re a wholesale seller or a private label seller on Amazon, your business relies on and revolves around building and maintaining strong relationships with your product suppliers and manufacturers. Regardless of your experience or success selling on Amazon, these relationships are necessary to sustain your business in the long run. Simply put, you can’t do it without them.

In this blog, we’ll be discussing how to manage relationships with your suppliers, with a heavy emphasis on maintaining, preserving, and cultivating strong, healthy, and transparent relationships with your business partners to empower your business for the long haul. Now let’s jump into it!

Rule 1: Value Your Supplier Relationships

Amazon selling is all about relationships. Half of Amazon selling is building relationships with your customers, and the other half of Amazon selling is building relationships with your suppliers. Your supplier wants one thing: consistent and respectful sellers who can purchase their goods. Sellers also want one thing: products they can resell for a profit. If both sides work together and are harmonious, each party will reap the benefits of their labor. However, this symbiotic relationship only works when both sides understand the value of the other and both work towards the common goal.

A valuable tip we provide to all Amazon sellers: building relationships is a marathon, not a sprint. If you treat your supplier relationships like quick transactions, you will miss out on plenty of opportunities and make the relationship more strained and less efficient. By changing your perspective towards relationship building for long-term goals, your business will become more efficient over time and you’ll be able to manage your relationships much more easily!

Rule 2: Humanizing Manufacturers and Suppliers

For sellers, the second tip we can provide sellers is to be considerate of the person on the other side of the deal. Most supplier-client relationships are more harmful and negative than you think. The sad reality is, many sellers forget that their suppliers and manufacturers are other human beings. Whether you’re communicating through the phone or email, your suppliers are people who are trying to help you and your business.

Whenever you communicate with your manufacturer, keep this in mind. Be polite, professional, and kind. Treat your supplier like you would a co-worker or a friend. As we mentioned above, both sides have the same goal and you both can only reap the rewards if you work together. Treating your manufacturer like a machine will lead to poor and negative relationships that can tarnish your reputation and suppliers canceling contracts. By engaging and positively interacting with your business partner, you cultivate and transform your business relationship into a personal relationship. In the end, both sides will be more than happy to work together. Not to mention, more polite and considerate clients will stick out to suppliers, and these positive relationships will translate to more benefits down the road.

Rule 3: Creating Trust and Mutual Respect with Amazon Suppliers

Mutual trust and respect are essential to maintaining long-term relationships with your suppliers. While they can be developed in multiple ways, we want to focus on three key tactics:

1. Expectations

There is a lot at play when it comes to meeting expectations and standards. Suppliers want sellers who meet their expectations. Expectations can be meeting sales quotas, while some may be as simple as acting professionally. Sellers who can satisfy their suppliers and meet their standards will always be prioritized over sellers who don’t. If your suppliers suggest something, consider it and do your best to meet those standards (unless their requests are outlandish or impossible). Do not make expectations that you do not follow through on. This includes making false promises or going back on your word or contract. Failing to meet expectations leads to more distrust and can negatively impact your relationships.

2. Urgency

Urgency comes in various aspects of professionalism. If you put in an order, suppliers want their sellers to pay for their goods in a timely and punctual manner. If you want to order products, do not wait until the last minute to notify your manufacturer. If you slack off or have no sense of urgency, you become a liability to their business. Lack of urgency reflects poorly on your reputation and business and can also damage the supplier’s efficiency and create financial problems. Simply put, be professional. Have high urgency on all business decisions, especially those that can impact other stakeholders like your supplier,

3. Communication

Communication is clear enough. Be transparent and communicate with your supplier consistently. Your suppliers are your business partners. If you need something or if you are falling behind schedule, tell your supplier as soon as possible. Do not keep your supplier in the dark. Whatever happens, make sure they know so it does not impact their business.

Rule #4: Building Long-term Relationships with Product Suppliers

Like we always say, building and sustaining relationships is a marathon, not a sprint. If you think of relationships as a short-term objective, you’ll sacrifice long-term sustainability for short-term benefits.

One example of prioritizing short-term benefits over long-term benefits is price negotiation. Suppliers usually have set minimum order quantities (MOQs) or strict price points for the cost of goods. These costs may be FINAL and suppliers rarely budge on their price points. A few sellers will not accept that price and will try to haggle to a lower price, even though the price is final. Suppliers and manufacturers may see this negotiation as disrespectful or will argue that the seller is asking for too much. We’re not saying you should never negotiate, always negotiate when possible. But, you must take into consideration the policies and standards expected by your supplier. Remember that your suppliers are people too, and you do not want to alienate them or jeopardize your relationship for short-term benefits like saving a couple of bucks during negotiation.

You may come across a lot of these tense situations with your supplier. Remind yourself that you want to preserve your relationship with your supplier and prioritize longevity over short-term benefits. Do what is best for your business and your relationship.

Rule #5: Want the Best Wholesale Supply? Become Their Favorite Seller!

Favoritism is prevalent in most aspects of our lives. Whether it be in school with your teachers or buying food at a restaurant, favoritism exists. Amazon sourcing and your relationship with manufacturers are no different. All suppliers will have favoritism towards some sellers over others. Favorite sellers could be the best selling ones or even the sellers who are the kindest towards the supplier. Nonetheless, these favorite sellers always get the best supply. We discussed this in detail in our article on Landing Wholesale Contracts, but generally, you want to become your suppliers’ favorite seller. Sellers who have high value to their supplier will gain additional perks such as access to exclusive items/products, better discounts on buying inventory, and more attention and care from the supplier.

While your goal should not be to be kind to your supplier just to get these benefits, it’s important to note that suppliers have favorites. If you can establish strong relationships with them, they might provide you with some of these perks. But, don’t go into relationships expecting or prioritizing these benefits, Genuinely try to build authentic relationships, and maybe the perks will come after,

Prioritize Building Your Relationships

Many sellers will overlook their relationships with their suppliers because they see that relationship as transactional, a one-time purchase that is not going to lead to anything. But the best-sellers are the ones that understand and truly value their relationships with everyone, not just the suppliers. If you want to become a top seller, you have to take the time and resources to manage your relationships with all stakeholders including your supplier. Treat your suppliers like you would a co-worker because, in the end, you all are working for the same goal. By being collaborative and cohesive, both parties become more efficient and more profitable in the long run.

For more tips and tricks on supplier relationship management or how to find a manufacturer, check out our blogs and FBA tools to help you get started!

4 Best Amazon Reviewer Checkers for Shoppers and Amazon Businesses

23 - Amazon Review Checkers

Fake reviews hurt everyone! Sellers and shoppers can work together to stop fake Amazon reviews with these 4 Amazon Review Checkers!

While the world is filled with heated debates and arguments, I think something we can all agree on: fake product reviews suck. Whether you are a buyer or seller, fake product reviews ruin trust and reliability when it comes to online shopping. It is not a surprise that reviews are the backbone of online shopping. In some studies, it is reported at up to 80% of online shoppers use product reviews in some way, with 24.6% only trusting verified product reviews. Product reviews are essential to online shopping for multiple reasons like measuring a product’s quality or build. testing a product’s usefulness, and evaluating the value of a product. Fake reviews disrupt the process of online shopping since we never know if the reviews we read are from real customers or if it is from someone who is trying to manipulate or exploit the review system.

In this blog, we’ll be focusing on how to stop and prevent fake Amazon reviews with Amazon review checkers and how sellers and buyers can work together to build stronger, trustful, and transparent relationships.

Why You Should Check Fake Amazon Reviews

Buyers and sellers alike struggle with fake online reviews.

For buyers, this is a huge barrier to purchasing anything online. Fake reviews build a lot of mistrust between the buyer and seller since buyers cannot trust if the product will fulfill their needs and expectations. Fake reviews can be filled with misinformation, misleading recommendations, and false experiences that can leave real buyers with a ton of stress and resentment. In the end, buyers will be less likely to purchase products or unsatisfied with the performance of the product. Buyers want to reduce fake reviews to make sure they are getting the best quality, price, and value out of their products that lead to the highest satisfaction possible.

Sellers also suffer from fake reviews. For fake negative reviews, it leads to fewer sales, fewer profits, and a bad reputation that may deter future customers. Even fake positive reviews can be harmful since unsatisfied customers will try to get refunds on your products which creates more hassle for sellers in the long run. Sellers want to minimize the number of fake reviews to create more transparent relationships with their buyers, which will lead to a better, more positive personal brand and stronger relationships with customers. Sellers will notice that customers appreciate brands and business who they can trust and be more likely to buy from the seller in the future.

How to Check Reviews on Amazon

There are a ton of ways that buyers and sellers and manually check for fake reviews. Here are a few that we think are great:

1. Does the review focus on the product?

Product reviews should be about the products! If a product review focuses too much on commenting on the seller or customer service, then it’s no longer a PRODUCT review, These reviews can be intentionally done to attack the seller or customer service with negative or malicious intent.

2. How long are the reviews?

Reviews that are shorter and have less coverage are always a bit more suspicious than long reviews that provide in-depth analysis of a product

3. How frequent are the reviews?

Reviewers will try to hyperinflate positive or negative reviews in a short period, so the reviews will have timestamps that note when the reviews were submitted. Fake reviews are often posted in a very short period, sometimes days, sometimes within a few weeks.

Alongside product reviews, we also recommend looking at the profiles of the reviewers themselves.

1. Does the review have a lot of reviews?

Reliable and trusted accounts have a ton of reviews. If an account does not have a ton or has a lot of short reviews, the account may be a spam account or fake account make to trash or promote products artificially.

2. How frequent or recent are the reviews?

Accounts with a lot of reviews in a short period tend to be fake accounts used to hyperinflate or hyper-deflate products with fake positive or fake negative reviews.

3. Is the reviewer verified?

This can be a really fast and easy way to make sure the reviewers are real people. Verified buyers should have some type of badge to validate their purchase.

Amazon Fake Review Checkers

Reading hundreds of reviews to find and report fake Amazon reviews can become a long and meticulous task. One hack that can cut down this time is through using Amazon Fake Review checkers, tools that specialize in breaking down large quantities of reviews and sorting the good and the bad reviews. Once sorted, shoppers and sellers can utilize the tool to determine the best course of action depending on their needs. Here are some of the tools we recommend to both shoppers and sellers!

Review Meta

ReviewMeta is one of our favorite tools for checking Amazon reviews and the best part: it’s completely free! ReviewMeta provides a chrome extension and browser plug-in that shoppers and sellers can use on Amazon.

ReviewMeta is a great tool for both shoppers and sellers to get real and honest insight on products to buy and sell. After installing the extension to your browser, head to any product page on Amazon and click their icon in the top right corner. Then, ReviewMeta will capture all the data on the page including the ratings, reviews, the reviewers, and the statistics behind each reviewer. Next, they run the raw data into their analyzer can display an easy-to-read graphic of the key points. Based on the data, ReviewMeta will provide deep analytics including a pass/warning/fail score on reviews, an adjusted rating that excludes suspicious reviews, the most and least trusted reviews, as well as any additional keynotes or details they picked up.

ReviewMeta not only provides great analytics for the products but also investigates the actual reviewers. This means shoppers and sellers can note reviewers with suspicious reviews or reviewers who may be fake. The adjusted ratings provide a clearer picture of how well-liked each product is.

Fakespot

Fakespot is our second recommended product, and is mainly for shoppers but can also be helpful for sellers as well. Fakespot is also free to use and can be installed as a Chrome Extension. Once installed, Fakespot can be used right away to shop or sell. When used, Fakespot provides two super awesome reports.

The first report is a product summary of the products you’re shopping for on Amazon. Each report will include “review highlights” that touch on the product’s quality, competitiveness against similar products, price comparison, shipping durations, and packaging quality. This real-time analysis also highlights the best reviews from that product’s page so shoppers know which reviews to trust.

The second report is a seller summary called “Guard” which tells users if a seller is reputable or if they have had prior issues with shoppers. Users get to know the person selling the products and will put a “caution” label around suspicious sellers. Fakespot will even provide an alternative “better” seller who is more trusted. For shoppers, this is a great and useful tool to prevent potential buyer-seller issues or having to return an item with defects. For sellers, this provides an opportunity to check your reputation and strengthen your relationship with potential buyers! Sellers need to prioritize their business and personal brand to ensure they create strong, transparent, and trusted relationships with their sellers. If you are a seller with a “caution” label, it’s time to fix your image so you can earn more sales!

eComEngine’s FeedbackFive

The third tool on our list is eComEngine’s FeedbackFive. FeedbackFive is our first recommended tool with a paid pricing plan, but they also provide a lite version that is free to all users. This tool is also tailored towards Amazon FBA sellers, sorry shoppers! For sellers, eComEngine provides a new method for sellers and buyers to communicate with one another. Along with providing the usual analytics (sales, orders, etc.), FeedbackFive places heavy emphasis on communication and emailing between sellers and their customers.

In their dashboard, eComEngine provides a “negative feedback” tab that sellers can use to find and analyze potential fake reviews. If the negative reviews are authentic, sellers can also use this tool to email upset customers and mitigate any conflict. They even provide services to automate emails to customers. Whether it be fake reviews or real reviews, eComEngine’s FeedbackFive is extremely valuable for Amazon FBA sellers.

AMZ Review Tracker

AMZ Reviews Tracker is our fourth tool and second tool that requires a pricing plan. They charge as little as $50 per month for their Basic plan and up to $400 per month for their Legend tier. For sellers who want to test the product, they can also sign up for a 7-day free trial.

AMZ Trackers provides various tools that they label under “Offense” and “Reconnaissance,” but we want to focus on their “Defensive” tools for Amazon sellers. AMZ Trackers offers two tools for defense, which include Negative Review alerts and Hijack Alerts. The Negative Review Alert tool notifies sellers if a potentially negative or malicious review is posted on one of their products. Sellers can respond to the reviewer to try to resolve the conflict, or if it is a fake or misleading review, sellers can notify Amazon and report the review. Because they receive an alert on these posts, sellers can mitigate the risks and damage of a negative review quickly before it can harm their potential sales.

Reporting Fake Amazon Reviews

If you come across a fake review, either through looking yourself or using an Amazon review checker, there are two options that you can do to help stop and remove fake or malicious reviews.

Option 1: report the reviews for abuse. This option is available under any review submitted on a product page. Every review will include a “Report abuse” option.

Option 2: report the reviews to Amazon’s community email, community-help@amazon.com.

Combating Amazon Fake Reviews

Amazon reviews are a fundamental part of online shopping and Amazon for both shoppers and sellers. Having fake reviews not only hurts shoppers who want to purchase high-quality items but can also be detrimental to Amazon sellers who rely on authentic reviews to build trust and relationships with their customers. By working together and utilizing the right tools, we can help clean up Amazon and make online shopping a positive, genuine, and rewarding experience!

Complete Guide to Bulk Buy and Bulk Shipping for Your Amazon Strategy

22 - Advanced Shipping Tips Delivery Methods + LTL Truck Mass shipping techniques

Expand your Amazon FBA business and increase earnings with bulk buying and bulk shipping products to sell on Amazon.

At some point, your Amazon business will begin to pick up and you’ll be selling out your inventory very quickly and you may see your profits begin to plateau. To expand or surpass the plateau, some sellers will expand their businesses by growing their inventory and their stock. Instead of buying a couple of products from a manufacturer, they start looking towards more advanced strategies such as bulk buying and bulk shipping. Bulk buying, also known as “mass buying” is the process of buying mass quantities of a single product at a lower price and then reselling the large quantities for a profit. Instead of small quantities, sellers order large shipments, whether it be pallets or truckloads, to be shipped to Amazon FBA for selling. For sellers hitting a profit plateau, bulk buying and bulk shipping are great opportunities to scale your business.

These advanced strategies for Amazon FBA can become extremely risky due to the commitment and high capital required to buying truckloads of merchandise. But, if sellers can execute bulk shipping correctly, it can lead to massive profits and financial growth.

If you are reading this blog, you’re most likely an established Amazon FBA seller and are looking for new opportunities to expand your e-commerce business. If that is the case, you are in the right place! In this guide, we’ll be going over some advanced Amazon strategies regarding buying and shipping bulk products and how you can leverage this opportunity to massive business growth.

Price Negotiation with Suppliers

Before you can even consider bulk buying and bulk shipping products to Amazon FBA, you have to communicate with your current wholesale or private label supplier or manufacturer to see if they can meet your manufacturing demands. Depending on the number of products, discuss the opportunity with your supplier to see if bulk buying and bulk shipping is even possible or worth pursuing.

You want to inquire about the manufacturing timeline and potential price points. When it comes to supplying larger quantities of products,

  • How long will it take to produce?
  • What methods of shipping does your supplier provide?
  • Does your provider have a minimum order quantity (MOQ) for mass buying?

Next is discussing price points. This is where you should negotiate with your supplier regarding the cost of goods. If you are buying more products,

  • What is the lowest price you can get per unit?
  • What is the recommended selling price?
  • How profitable would it be?
  • Do you have enough capital to meet their minimum requirements?
  • Can you sell enough stock to maximize your earnings?

While you should be respectful and try to maintain a strong and transparent relationship with your manufacturer, it is vital to remember the amount of risk you are taking in bulk buying. As a seller, you are fronting a ton of capital and taking on a lot of risk by greatly increasing your normal inventory order. You want to ensure you are getting the lowest prices for your bulk order so you can maximize your profit margins and return on investments (ROI).

Shipping from Supplier to Amazon FBA

Eventually, you and your supplier will agree on the negotiations and you can then move forward to the shipping and delivery logistics with bulk orders. After you put in a large order for any product, you have two options depending on what your business can handle.

Option 1: Sending the products to your location (home, garage, warehouse, etc.) for you to inspect and ship to Amazon

For option 1, the process is quite simple. Once the shipment arrives, you can decide what to do with the inventory. Some sellers inspect the products then ship the whole pallet to Amazon. Other sellers may take their time, hold some stock and send some off to sell. This option will have added benefits like being able to do quality assurance before the products are sold, lowers potential storage fees by having less stock at Amazon’s warehouses, and provides more agency to sellers who have control over their inventory.

Option 2: Working a deal with your supplier to directly ship to an Amazon Fulfillment Center

If you choose option 2, the process is a bit more complicated but will be less work for sellers in the long run. Sellers can work out a deal with their suppliers to directly send all of the stock to FBA centers for the seller. This option requires a lot more communication and cooperation with your supplier since they will need to package the products based on Amazon’s requirements, apply labels to the products, and send them off to Amazon. As a seller, this option is less work since they will not have to interact with any physical merchandise, but can also lead to more risk, especially if you are shipping products overseas. With more established suppliers, many of them already have a program for FBA sellers, so make sure to inquire if your supplier has a similar program.

Small Delivery Parcel (SDP)

When shipping to Amazon from a supplier, you have a couple of different shipping options that vary in price depending on the quantity, amount, size, and weight of your products. For smaller packages, most sellers rely on “Small Delivery Parcel” or “SDP.” SDP is provided by most delivery carriers including FedEx and UPS, which also offer Amazon exclusive discounts. To use SDP, you have to abide by the following requirements:

  1. All packages must be less than 150 pounds in total
  2. Each box cannot weigh over 50 pounds
  3. Boxes must be less than 25 inches for the size, length, and width

If eligible, your products can be sent by SDP from the supplier. Make sure to negotiate with your manufacturer regarding the shipping price or delivery service and determine which would be the best option for your business needs.

Less Than Container Load (LTL)

Some products and packages may be too heavy or too large to fit under the constraints of SDP. An alternative for sellers shipping large quantities of products is using “less than a container load” or “less than a truckload” also known as “LTL.” From the name, you can infer that this shipping method utilizes large freight trucks to deliver these products.

Do not worry, you do not have to fill up an entire freight truck! LTL means that you will be using a freight truck that is delivering multiple products from various sellers. A single seller uses a portion of the entire freight truck, and by having a ton of sellers join in, these small portions will fill up the entire freight for shipment. For sellers, this is the best alternative method to SDP to ship large amounts of stock.

Shipping Pallets

As always. Amazon has a ton of shipping instructions and packages requirements that all sellers and their suppliers must follow when shipping to an Amazon FBA center. A single LTL shipment cannot have more than 5,000 boxes, anything over will require multiple shipments. Most if not all LTL shipments utilize wooden pallets which are 40 inches x 48 inches. All of your products must fit within the dimensions of the pallet. For tall products or multiple boxes, Amazon may require additional pallets or “double stacking” every 48 inches of height. Boxes of packages that can be placed on pallets shrink-wrapped, and shipped to the Amazon Fulfillment Center indicated in a seller’s Seller Central account.

With Amazon, there will also be pallet label requirements. Ensure that all four sides of the pallets have a secure, visible, and easily accessible barcode label that can be quickly scanned. The labels should have all of the usual information including the shipping address, sending address, ASIN or product identifier, and SKUs. For more information on how to label and ship products, you can check out our guide on Amazon Shipping 101. In addition to the usual information, Amazon also requests shippers to include a label regarding the pallet weight and how to handle the products at the FBA centers.

  • For product boxes that weigh over 50 pounds, labels should state “Team Lift.”
  • For product boxes over 100 pounds, labels should state “Mech Lift.”
  • For product boxes with multiple SKUs or ASINs, labels should state “Mixed SKU.”
  • For products that have multiple products sold together under a single SKU, labels should state “Sold As Set.”

Photo provided by Amazon at https://sellercentral.amazon.com/gp/help/external/200978400

This information is extremely vital for the Amazon FBA workers to quickly and safely store their products. Remember to communicate with your supplier or manufacturer who is sending in your products to ensure they are upholding Amazon’s shipping and labeling guidelines.

A couple of suppliers may refuse to label products or may not offer that service, if that is the case, you can still ship the products to Amazon but will have to pay for Amazon to label the products for you through their Labeling Service. This method is perfectly fine and safe, but all sellers using this option should take note of the cost and how it can impact their profitability.

Bill of Lading (BOL)

The next step for shipping LTL and product pallets is the Bill of Lading or “BOLs.” BOLs are shipping receipts that the sender obtains and signs once a shipment is picked up by the freight truck company or carrier. This document is usually provided by Amazon, and should include the following information:

  1. ASINs or product identifiers
  2. Seller’s name and legal name
  3. Sending address (either your address or your supplier’s address)
  4. Carrier name and their standard carrier alpha code (SCAC)
  5. Carrier’s shipping reference number (PRO#)
  6. Shipment information such as the number of pallets, boxes, products
  7. Freight and shipping costs

For shipments that are a full truckload (FTL), you will also be required to include the trailer and seal number and SLC or “shipper load and count,” along with the information we listed above. After the shipment is picked up, the BOL will need to be signed by the sender (whether it be the seller or the manufacturer). Amazon will send BOLs to the seller’s email. If your supplier is sending in the shipment, quickly get in touch with the sender and provide them with the BOL to sign upon pick-up. You can also upload the BOL and additional information on Amazon’s web form through Seller Central.

Please note that failure to provide and sign the BOL can lead to the refusal of packages and products by Amazon. For more information on shipping LTL or FTL, you can refer here: https://sellercentral.amazon.com/gp/help/external/200978400.

Selecting a Freight Class

The last thing we want to note about bulk buying and particularly bulk shipping is the cost of shipping LTL or through a freight shipping company. Freight classes are based on the amount of space you take up in a single freight container. Simply put, the more space your products take up, the more you will be charged. Some freight companies can charge as little as $50 for smaller packages while some can spike to around $500 if you take up an entire freight.

Make sure to work closely with your manufacturer or whoever is shipping your products to find the best solution for your business. For international manufacturers, it is also important to remember the shipping times can be greatly extended when crossing into international countries and their borders. We discuss this a bit in our article on 5 Mistakes to Avoid Before Product Sourcing, but sellers buying products from overseas manufacturers should beware of time-sensitive products such as seasonal products or perishable products. Some freight shipments can be stuck in customs and border security limbo, which .could turn time-sensitive products into negative profits. Be extra cautious when selecting a freight class!

How to Grow Your Amazon FBA Business

High risk comes high reward. This saying is not only true in life but is a core ideology for Amazon FBA businesses. Once you start plateauing, you need to start looking into more advanced Amazon strategies such as bulk buying and bulk shipping. By executing these advanced strategies, you can exponentially grow your Amazon FBA business and you’ll see your profit growth as a reward.

For more advanced strategies and tactics to grow your business, check out Sellgo.com and our other advanced strategies in our blogs!

Ultimate Guide to Amazon Packaging: Prepping Amazon Products for Shipment

21 - Amazon Packaging Requirements

Find the ultimate guide to master Amazon packaging and start shipping products with Amazon FBA! Start your own business and earn income with Amazon!

For some sellers, packaging and prepping your products before sending them to Amazon FBA centers can be one of the most tedious and stressful processes of Amazon selling. Each and every item has different packaging requirements, must be wrapped, and then will be individually labeled one at a time. Although this process can take up a ton of time and resources, there are ways to make this process a lot simpler and can reduce the stress of Amazon packaging,

With this ultimate guide, not only will you learn how to package and prep your products, but you’ll also learn some tricks to reduce the packaging time and save you money!

Inventory Management System

To maximize your packaging efficiency, it is important to understand how Amazon Fulfillment Centers work. We covered this in high detail in our 2021 Guide to Amazon Fulfillment Centers blog, but here is a quick rundown:

Amazon’s centers have optimized their inventory management systems by implementing strict packaging and labeling requirements. Every product that enters an Amazon FBA center is securely packaged and clearly labeled. When a product enters a center, the barcodes are quickly scanned and the products are neatly stored in their warehouses. When an order is put in, Amazon knows exactly where the item is because of their label/barcode-based system, handpicks the item from the warehouse, and then ships it out to the buyer.

Sellers need to understand this process to package, label, and prep their products to fit Amazon’s system. If sellers don’t follow these rules, it interferes with Amazon’s structured eco-system which could lead to missing inventory or possible fees charged to the seller.

What is SKU?

Now that you know how Amazon centers work, you have to learn about managing your products before you can package and ship your products. Each item in your inventory must be assigned a SKU or “stock keeping unit.” SKUs are important for both the sellers and for Amazon to keep track of inventory and package your products. Each type of product in your inventory needs a unique SKU. Even if it’s the same product, if that product has different variants (colors, sizes, condition), each variant requires its own SKU.

For example, if you sell a watch, but you sell 10 different colors of that watch, you will need 10 different SKUs for each product. These SKUs may need different packaging types and will need different labels when prepping and shipping to Amazon’s centers.

Prepping Your Amazon Packages

Before you start packaging your products, it’s important to note that each item should be packaged and labeled before you send it off. If a product gets shipped out before it is ready, Amazon sellers can receive penalities or seller fees because Amazon will need to package and prep the items for you. This is known as the Unplanned service fees, where Amazon will package or repackage your items if they do not meet their requirements. Sellers can then incur these penalty fees as a service charge for Amazon’s preparation service. Sellers need to take their time inspecting product packaging before anything is sent to ensure they do not incur any fees from Amazon.

Types of Products

The initial step in prepping products is determining the optimal packaging type for your products. Each product has different packaging instructions based on the type and form of the item. Amazon has explicit instructions for the following categories:

  1. liquids, gels, pastes
  2. pellets, powders, granular products
  3. glass, ceramic, plexiglass, breakable or fragile products
  4. batteries
  5. plushies
  6. sharp objects
  7. apparel, clothing, fabric
  8. jewelry or accessories
  9. small products
  10. baby or adult products
  11. mattresses

Depending on the products that you plan to ship to Amazon, ensure that you carefully ready Amazon’s specific guidelines regarding your product category. This may include additional packaging instructions such as added softening like bubble wrap or packaging peanuts as well as extra sturdy and thick packaging boxes. Following these steps is not only important to prevent unplanned service fees, but it also makes the products safer to handle for you, the delivery service, and the Amazon workers who will handle the products at the Fulfillment Center.

For individual instruction plans, please visit Amazon at https://sellercentral.amazon.com/gp/help/external/200141500.

Amazon Box Sizes and Bagging

Once you have packaged individual items based on their particular requirements and SKUs, you can then move onto the next step which is determining how to package these products together. For certain hazardous products, you may need to add another bag, also known as poly bagging. Poly bagging is usually required for potentially dangerous items such as sharp objects as well as potentially hazardous items such as certain liquids or batteries. These bags also need to be labeled with warnings like a suffocation warning. If you do use poly bagging, make sure you can still visibly see the product warning label with large font and transparent packaging if possible.

After you finish bagging your items, you can then move on to boxing your products. Boxing will be primarily determined by the variety of products you plan on shipping. Amazon refers to this process as individual items or case-packed products. If you are shipping multiple product types with different SKUs (different products, different colors, or different conditions), you will be selecting packaging individual items. Within a single box, you may have a variety of different items or possibly the same item but in different colors or conditions. Each item will need to package individually and be clearly labeled.

If you are shipping multiple of the same product with the same SKU, (same product, same color, same condition), this refers to the case-packed products. Case-packed products are limited to 150 units per box and each box (if you are sending multiple) must have the same amount of products for each box. This means if you have 150 products in one box, you will need to have 150 in all other boxes of this particular product. Each item will have to be labeled like with individual items, but the box holding the products must also be clearly labeled with the products information including their product identifier, product name, and product condition.

Amazon Product Weight

Amazon has additional guidelines for units weighing over 10 pounds. If you plan on shipping heavier products, Amazon recommended using extra sturdy, double-wall corrugated boxes to over box your products. Overboxing is also applicable to other hazardous or sensitive products such as sharp products, fragile items, liquids weighing more than 4.2 ounces, and finally vinyl records. Similar to poly bagging, these guidelines are in place to protect the seller, delivery service, and Amazon employees who handle the merchandise.

Amazon has a ton of other requirements for their products ranging from clothes hanger removal to perishable products. For information on individual packaging instructions, we recommend visiting Amazon’s website at https://sellercentral.amazon.com/gp/help/external/200141500.

Amazon Barcode Requirements

By this stage, you should have a good understanding of your packaging requirements. But before you can send off the boxes of merchandise, you need to make sure each of your items and boxes is clearly labeled. Looking back at Amazon’s inventory management system, barcodes and labels are essential to maximizing Amazon’s storing and fulfillment process. In this section, we’ll be covering what exactly these labels should include and how you can reduce your prepping time when applying barcodes.

There are two types of labels that sellers need to account for. These are the product labels (labels placed on every product) and shipping labels (labels placed on every box). Both of these labels are required by Amazon to scan, store and fulfill product orders.

Product Name or SKUs

The first we’ll be discussing is the product labels.

Product labels need to be included on every single unit of your products and clearly visible. Some products will already have labels provided by the manufacturer. But, if the item needs to be repackaged or required additional packaging that covers the label, you will need to apply another visible on the outside of the packaging. Our recommendation is to add product labels after the items have been packaged. You can save a ton of time by labeling your products after they are packaged instead of having to relabel them again. The label should be securely placed on the outside of the packaging where it is visible and easily accessible for scanning. If you forget even a single label on a single product or if the product label is not visible, you may incur unplanned service fees from Amazon that they charged per unit. The more products you miss, the more you’ll be charged by Amazon.

With each product and variant, the labels should include the product name and their SKU. The product name will be provided by the manufacturer or supplier and this name needs to be clearly visible on every label, Along with the product name, there should also be the SKU that was created by the seller. If you even forget a single label on a single product or if the product label is not visible, you may incur unplanned service fees from Amazon that they charge per unit. The more products you miss, the more you’ll be charged by Amazon.

UPC, EAN, ISBN, or ASIN

Aside from the product name and SKU, the label should also include a product identifier. We go into detail about product identifiers in our 6 Steps to Add Amazon Product Lists blog, but in general, these product identifiers come in four standard forms such as the UPC (Universal Product Code). EAN (European Article Number), ISBN (International Standard Book Number), or ASIN (Amazon Standard Identification Number). These numbers can be provided by the manufacturer or supplier and will need to be included with the labels. These product identifiers are usually 10 to 13 digit codes that are unique to every product. The product identifier needs to be visible and accessible for Amazon to quickly scan and store at their facilities.

Amazon Product Condition

The product’s condition is sometimes included on product labels to differentiate between multiple variants. Some sellers will ship both new and used condition products to an Amazon Fulfillment Center. If this is the case, then the seller will need to include a label with a description of the product’s condition. Products of the same condition will use the same SKU identifier, with new condition products using one SKU and used condition products using a different SKU. If multiple SKUs are shipped in the same box (individual item packaging), each item’s condition will also be included on the product label.

As with product labels. explicitly labeling the condition will enable Amazon to sort and store these products in separate boxes at their warehouse. When a buyer purchases a product on Amazon, they will be able to select either a new product or a used product. Since Amazon will know where both used and new products are, they can quickly pick out the item and process the shipment shortly after.

Shipping Information

The second kind of label sellers may use is the box label.

Like the product labels, these labels need to be easily visible and accessible for Amazon to scan. Unlike product labels, these labels only need to be placed once on every box a seller ships to Amazon. Similar to the product label, the box label must include the same information including the product name, product identifier (UPC, EAN, ISBN, or ASIN), and the product’s condition. If you are shipping multiple SKUs in the same box, the box label may note “MIXED SKUs” to state that it included multiple products or multiple variants.

The one thing that the box labels will have that the product labels will not is the shipping information. With shipping any package with a delivery service, box labels will include the shipping address and delivery address. The label may replace these terms with a “Ship From” and “Ship To” description which should include where the packages are coming from and where the packages will end up.

Whether you’re applying the product labels or box labels, make sure to take your time applying every label in a visible location and applying a label to every single packaged product and box.

Amazon’s ideal box label example from https://sellercentral.amazon.com/gp/help/external/G200178470?language=en_US

As you can see from this example, it includes all of the required data for box labels. It has the packages shipping information along with the product name/SKUs (in this case, “Mixed SKUs,” and the product identifier. Note that this particular example does not have the conditions on the box label since it has multiple SKUs within the box. So the product condition will not be on the box label, but each of the products in the box will have a product label that includes the product condition.

Shipping to Amazon FBA

With that, you are officially a pro at shipping to Amazon FBA! If you followed this article and our other articles on Amazon shipping, you should now know the entire process from Amazon’s Fulfillment Center to adding product lists to shipping your products to Amazon to sell. All you need to do now is finding more profitable products to help build your Amazon business and brand!

If you need any assistance with finding new items, tracking your product inventory, or connecting with Amazon suppliers or manufacturers, we got you covered! Head to our website and check out our tips, tricks, and tools to help make more profits and grow your business into an empire! See you at Sellgo!

Amazon Shipping 101: 6 Steps to Ship to Amazon Centers

20 - Amazon Shipping 101

Learn how to ship to Amazon’s Fulfillment Centers and earn income by selling products and earn profits with Amazon FBA!

You’ve picked your products and added them to your FBA seller account, the last step to selling through Amazon FBA is to ship your products to an Amazon Fulfillment Center! Our step-by-step guide to Amazon Shipping 101 is going to tell you all you need to know before packaging your products and shipping them off to start collecting sales!

Step 1: Amazon Inventory Management

The first step to shipping off your items to Amazon is inputting your shipment into your Amazon Seller Central account. At this point, you should have added your product lists to your account and have a list of items under your inventory page. Next to each item, there should be an ‘Edit’ button with a drop-down menu, with one option to “Send or replenish inventory.” If you’re a first-time seller, they will prompt you to create a new shipping plan. This is where you’ll confirm your shipping address, where your packages are going to be picked up, and how your inventory is being shipped.

If you are sending one product (or multiple of the same product), you will indicate that it is a ‘case-packed product’. If you are sending multiple different products (including different conditions or different quantities), you will select ‘individual products.’ Shortly after, you will input the exact quantity of each product(s).

Step 2: Prepping Your FBA Products

Every seller and every product will have to package and prepare their products differently depending on the quantity and type of product. Amazon has specific packaging and prepping instructions depending on the product including baby products, jewelry, adult products, and more. If you are shipping fragile materials such as liquids/gels, sharp objects, or potentially hazardous or harmful products, Amazon has special packaging instructions to prevent spillage or injury. For specific packaging instructions, you can visit here for more information.

Some products will require additional support packaging to ensure the items do not break during transit. This may require particular shipping materials such as extra strength boxes, additional bubble wrap or package softeners, and high-strength tape and poly bagging.

If you do not want to package your products or want to avoid the hassle, Amazon also provides packaging and prepping services that charge a small fee per unit. Depending on the product category and size, this fee may be as little as $0.50 to $2.00 or more to package and prep large or oversized products.

Step 3: Amazon Product Label Requirements

After you package every product, you will then need to individually label every product before you ship. You may be wondering why we did not mention this before, and it is because Amazon has very strict labeling instructions to ensure maximum efficiency when storing merchandise in their warehouse. Every product must be visually labeled outside of the packaging for products. If you label a product and package over the label, Amazon will charge you a fee to relabel products that they cannot visibly see the label for. If your labels are covered by packaging or not visible, we recommend relabeling over the packaging so the label is visible to anyone handling the merchandise.

You have three options to label your products. The first is using a label with a general product identifier such as a UPC, EAN, or ISBN depending on what your manufacturer or supplier provided you with. The second option is to use an ASIN number if you have that information at your disposal. And lastly, like prepping, Amazon also provides labeling services through the Amazon FBA Label service. This labeling fee is usually $0.30 per product unit but can vary for special product categories.

If you want to print and apply labels yourself, you can get printing access through the same drop-down menu from your Inventory page. Under “Who Labels,” select either “Merchant” if you wish to label the products yourself or “Amazon” if you would prefer to pay the fees and have Amazon label the products for you. We encourage all sellers to take their time labeling, ensuring they mark every product to avoid any service fees from Amazon. Ensure every label is printed clearly and is both scannable and readable.

Step 4: Reviewing Amazon Packaging

By this step, all of your products should be packaged and individually labeled. Now it’s time to put the products in batches or boxes and ship them to Amazon FBA Centers. Please note that in some cases, you’ll be asked to separate your products into multiple boxes to ship to various Amazon centers. Amazon will request that you break up your inventory and send it to multiple locations based on demand and supply. The locations chosen by Amazon will allow your stock to be sold quicker. This means your inventory can be dispersed around the country and may not be in a single location. You can request that all your inventory be kept together at one location through the Amazon Inventory Placement tool, but this may impact the number of sales and profitability of your inventory.

Once you finalize the shipping locations, you move forward to review and confirm the shipping details. This includes verifying the locations, types of products, amount of each product, and the shipping ID provided by Amazon. If you approve of all of these details, go ahead and confirm the shipment and get ready for shipment!

Step 5: Shipping to Amazon FBA

Before you celebrate anything, always make sure you review your shipment details and monitor the shipment until it is received by an Amazon Fulfillment Center the shipment has closed. If you’re only sending a couple of boxes, this process can take a few days or a couple of weeks depending on size and quantity. For larger and high-quantity shipments like truckloads or pallets, this process may take even longer. Regardless of duration, make sure to track your packages consistently.

Eventually, your shipment should be confirmed for delivery and you will be notified by Amazon verifying the package. This information will be reflected in your Amazon Seller Central account with updated stock and inventory levels for the products you sent in.

Step 6: Shipping From Supplier To Amazon FBA

Some sellers do not even want to bother handling any inventory, so they will work out a deal with the supplier or manufacturer to directly ship to Amazon FBA centers from the manufacturer. Essentially, these FBA sellers serve as a middle man, coordinating the order from suppliers to the FBA centers and collecting the profits in between.

Do not get too excited though, this process is not as easy as you think. First and foremost, if you are a new seller and do not have an established relationship with your supplier, this may be a bad call. Especially if you do not have full trust in your supplier yet, you want to be extra careful about paying for products you won’t ever see. Packages can go missing and new sellers will be stuck with no products and loss of capital. In addition to unestablished relationships, most suppliers do not ship directly to Amazon unless FBA sellers buy enough products. This is usually known as the “minimum order quantity” or MOQs. Some manufacturers will only ship to Amazon if sellers buy truckloads or pallets of the same product, which costs a ton of money. For new sellers, this territory may be too risky this early on.

If you are a bit more experienced with FBA and have a strong relationship with your supplier, you can request that they ship your products directly to Amazon. This includes the supplier following Amazon’s shipping guidelines, committing to packaging and labeling all of your inventory, and shipping it to the correct center locations. This will save sellers plenty of time, resources, and energy that they can reinvest into their businesses. But as we mentioned, this is only recommended to more experienced sellers with established and confident relationships with their manufacturers.

Growing Your Business with Amazon Profit Finder

You’ve finally sent in your inventory and now you can start collecting sales and profit from your Amazon business! Your next goal should be to find more and more potentially profitable products to maintain a strong and diverse inventory to grow your FBA store! We can help you find winning products with our Profit Finder tool! With the Profit Finder, find a ton of high-performing, replenishable products to capture your profit funnel!