2021 Guide to Selling Books on Amazon

In 1994, a young Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, started his multibillion-dollar company starting with a single product: books. When asked why he would start his company with books, his answer was simple: diversity. Books are the most diverse product in the world, every culture has its own set of scripts with endless genres, authors, and stories. Bezos explained that there are more types of books than there are product categories. By starting with books, he created a diverse collection of desired goods to start his empire. Now almost 30 years later, books continue to be one of Amazon’s top products, accounting for almost 10% of Amazon’s revenue.

Books are still one of the major products within Amazon’s marketplaces and bring a diverse inventory of profitable products for Amazon third-party sellers to take advantage of. In this blog, we’ll be discussing how you can start selling books on Amazon and build your Amazon business like Bezos.

Why Do People Sell Books on Amazon?

A common question we often see from sellers is, why should I even bother selling books on Amazon? Well, if you already sell other products on Amazon, selling books is not much different! In some ways, sourcing and selling books on Amazon can be even more profitable than other products.

Like other products and business models, selling books on Amazon requires similar steps. You have to have an Amazon Seller Central account, you have to source your books, list your products on Amazon, and find a way to ship your books once you make a sale. But as Bezos mentioned, books provide an endless field of profitable, high-demand products.

While the world moves towards digital screens rather than physical books (see Amazon’s Kindle series), books are still in demand. Books aren’t going anywhere any time soon, and they can provide sellers a new avenue of sales and profits if done correctly.

Is Selling Books on Amazon Profitable?

Another common question we get about selling books on Amazon is, how much does it cost, and is it profitable to sell books on Amazon?

Like any other product, our answer is: it depends. Books can be extremely profitable like other products, but it will be determined by the cost to source your products, the selling price, the demand, and fulfillment fees.

To calculate the estimated profits, you’ll need to determine a couple of things:

  1. What selling plan are you using? (Individual plan @ $0.99 per unit sold or Professional plan @ $39.99 per month)
  2. Referral fees (Amazon charges a 15% referral fee + $1.80 closing fee per book)
  3. FBA fulfillment fees (Depending on weight and size, can range from $2.16 to $5.68 per unit)
  4. Other costs (storage fees, PPC, etc.)

Remember, books aren’t much different than any other product. Before you source your books, calculate the potential profit margins for every potential product. To learn more about Amazon’s fees, click here.

How to Source Books for Amazon

The best part about selling books on Amazon is that books are much easier to source than traditional products. Unlike most other products, both new and used books are quite popular and sell very frequently on Amazon. Many booksellers on Amazon don’t even sell new books but make a fortune selling used books they find at a discount and sell for a huge profit. Because books can be sold used, this brings more opportunities to source products. Here are some of the most common and popular methods to sourcebooks to sell on Amazon:

1. Sell Your Collection:

Many sellers have their collection of books that haven’t been touched in ages. Rather than let those books continue to collect dust, many Amazon sellers sell their used books on Amazon. Because you’re selling from your inventory, the cost to the source is essential $0! This means whatever you have left after Amazon takes out fees, is entirely profit!

2. Book Lots:

You may run into uncommon situations where you can buy a high quantity of books for a cheaper price. Like sourcing wholesale products, the more you buy, the cheaper it is. Some booksellers use this tactic to buy a ton of books for a low price and then resell it for a profit online.

3. Book Sales:

Book sales are quite common, especially at brick-and-mortar book stores. In some cases, you might be able to buy an expensive book for a couple of cents on the dollar! This is often referred to as “arbitrage,” where you can buy books at a deeply discounted price and resell it for a huge profit on Amazon!

4. Online arbitrage:

Rather than brick-and-mortar stores, some sellers rely on online arbitrage to source their products. They find great deals on high-demand books online and buy them for cheap. They can then sell it back on Amazon for a profit.

5. Second-hand books:

Some sellers buy popular second-hand books as well. Because you can sell used books and still make a profit, sellers can easily purchase books from garage sales, thrift stores, or even used books from online sellers from Facebook Marketplace or eBay. These second-hand books come at a huge discount and can be resold for a profit on Amazon.

6. Free books:

Who doesn’t love free books? Books are plentiful nowadays and it seems like people and businesses are giving away free books left and right. Why not collect some of those free books and see if you can resell them on Amazon? Tons of booksellers are using this strategy and sell their free books for 100% profit.

These are some of the reasons why books are still one of the most sold products on Amazon today, even near 30 years after Amazon was founded. There will always be an endless demand for books, and because plenty of customers buy both used and new books, it provides sellers with an endless well of products and multiple ways to source books. Some of these methods are extremely profitable, costing $0 to source and resold for 100% profit.

Creating Your Book Listing with ISBNs

As we mentioned, selling books on Amazon isn’t that much different from selling any other product. Before you can start selling your books, you will need to determine your pricing plan, fulfillment method, and create your Amazon Seller Central account. If you haven’t created your seller account yet, that will be your first step. Don’t worry, we can help! Head to our blog on 7 Steps to Activate Your Amazon Seller Central Account and create your account today. This blog will guide you through the beginning steps of creating an account and determining the best model for your business.

Once you finish creating your account, the next step is to complete a product listing and set a selling price!

The first step to creating a product listing is to find your book on Amazon.

The best way to find your book is to identify your book’s ISBN or “International Standard Book Number.” Your book’s ISBN can be found on the back of your book above the barcode. The ISBN should be a 10 to 13 digit code. For example, we’ll be selling “Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future” by Ashlee Vance.

We flipped the book over and found the ISBN: 978-0062301253 right above the barcode.

From here, we were able to go on Amazon and find the book’s listing with the matching ISBN.

Now, we want to focus on the different offers for the book under the Buy Box, where it lists “Other Sellers on Amazon” We saw that this book in new condition, it is being sold for $10 to $18.

We go to Amazon Seller Central, and create a new product listing with the information we’ve collected. We have the ISBN and the price range, and now we can move forward to adding our information.

When creating the product listing, make sure to add all of your book’s information including the book’s quality. Amazon has 5 condition categories including “New,” “Like New,” “Very Good,” Good,” and “Acceptable.” Click whichever one best fits your inventory and choose a price based on the condition. You can see your competitor’s list and use that as a reference to determine your selling price.

Going back to our example, our book in “New” condition was selling for $10 to $18, but a used copy of the book barely sells for $2 to $8. Considering fees and the cost of the product, it may not be profitable or even worth considering selling this book used.

This is why we encourage all sellers to calculate the profit margins before sourcing any new or used book.

Book It Like Bezos

Looking back at Amazon’s growth over the past 30 years, much of the success was driven by Amazon’s humble beginning as an online book store. Now in 2021 as a multi-billion dollar company. Amazon is still much connected to its roots with books. Books aren’t leaving anytime soon, there are still countless stories to be written and loaded history of literature from the past. If you’re looking for a product to launch your Amazon business empire, you might want to look to build your future.

If you don’t want to just rely on books to build your business, you’re in luck! Sellgo’s Product Tracker is an amazing tool to find and source profitable, high-demand products that can drive your sales and increase your profits!

Everything You Need to Know About Merch by Amazon in 2021

Everything You Need to Know About Merch by Amazon in 2021

In 2015, Amazon launched its new Merch by Amazon program, allowing Amazon sellers to create their own branded merchandise and sell them in Amazon’s marketplaces all over the world.

When originally launched, Merch by Amazon was built for game development as a way to create custom game merchandise and sell to their fans and audience. Since then, Merch by Amazon has expanded to one of Amazon’s most prized and sought-after programs by all Amazon sellers. 

In this article, we’ll be breaking down Amazon’s Merch by Amazon program, why you should join, and how to create an account today!

What is Merch by Amazon?

Merch by Amazon is a self-service program centered around helping sellers and Amazon businesses generate more sales without any extra cost or work. Instead of working with a traditional inventory and selling your products through the Buy Box, Merch by Amazon allows sellers to design and create custom, branded merchandise that is entirely made, sold, and shipped by Amazon. At first, Merch by Amazon was limited to t-shirts but has since expanded to sweatshirts, hoodies, tank tops, and even pop sockets.

Simply create a t-shirt design, add it to your Merch by Amazon account, and in a couple of hours, Amazon starts printing your design and your merchandise. Because Amazon handles the entire production line, sellers never deal with any inventory or upfront costs.

How Much Money Can I Generate?

Amazon’s Merch by Amazon program allows sellers to generate revenue through royalty rates. Instead of earning profits through selling products, program partners can range between 13% to 37% royalty rates. Once a customer buys your merch, your royalty rate is determined by subtracting the selling price by taxes and the cost of your merchandise (materials, production, shipping, etc.). To find the exact royalty calculations, click here.

While the royalty rates are only a fraction of the selling price, the royalty rates are uncapped.

What does this mean for sellers? It means your revenue is only as high as your sales. With more sales, you earn unlimited royalty rates.

Is Merch by Amazon Worth It?

Simply put: YES

Merch by Amazon is one of Amazon’s most popular programs because of its high value, ease of use, and profit potential.

By design, sellers can generate tons of sales by selling popular and high-demand branded merchandise with extremely low risk. Merch by Amazon is built on Amazon’s huge distribution, sales, logistics, and shipping systems. Not to mention, you have access to all of Amazon’s customers. Your merchandise gets access to all of Amazon’s The best part is that while you have to upload your designs, you never have to store or ship your merchandise, making it a ton easier to get started.

Along with the sales potential and low cost of entry, Merch by Amazon helps sellers grow their brands. Business owners can start small, scale their businesses, and gain brand awareness with their branded merchandise. If you want to start generating sales on Amazon as quickly as possible, you might want to consider joining the Merch by Amazon program!

How to Open a Merch by Amazon Account?

As we noted, Merch by Amazon is one of Amazon’s most popular and sought-after programs by Amazon sellers. Merch by Amazon is not available to everyone and requires sellers to “Request an Invitation” to the program. Once you request an invitation, Amazon will approve your application. Note that this approval can take a couple of months due to the high volume of applicants, so be patient after you request an invitation. The Merch by Amazon Account is separate from your Amazon Seller Central account, so you will need to re-add your information such as bank accounts, business information, and tax number.

If you’re interested in joining the Merch by Amazon program, request an invitation here.

How Do I Make Merch Designs?

The design and print-on-demand process for Merch by Amazon can be done in a few simple steps:

  1. Get approval for your Merch by Amazon Account
  2. Head over to your Merch by Amazon Dashboard and click “Add Products” to add your design
  3. Set a selling price for your merchandise
  4. Amazon does the rest!

In a few short hours after submitting your selling price, Amazon’s print-on-demand process starts instantaneously. Right when a customer buys your merchandise, Amazon will go ahead and print, pack, and ship your branded merchandise to your customer.

Jump-Starting Your Merch

Before you get started selling your branded merchandise, here are some key tricks we want to share with you:

  • Promote your merchandise, everywhere! Whether it be social media, your website, or even just talking to your friends and family. After you submit a design, start promoting your merchandise and building your brand awareness! Remember, the royalty rates are uncapped, the more sales you generate, the more royalty you earn!
  • Look into Amazon’s design guidelines! We suggest you look into the rules and regulations for designs and start planning now. When you start, you are limited to 10 designs. As you sell more, your design cap grows to 25, 100, and even 500 designs at once!
  • Target popular items and niches! Not all designs will sell well, find a popular niche and product and test their sales performances!
  • Stay away from licensing costs! Some artwork used in designing your merchandise will require a licensing fee to use. If you want to maximize your profits, try to use public domain images that you won’t have to pay licensing for. For more information on licensing agreements, click here.

Starting Your Merch Today

Joining Merch by Amazon is a great opportunity for brands and businesses to generate sales without a lot of upfront cost or overhead. But remember, this is an extremely popular and competitive program!

If you want to start, we recommend you start NOW. Head over to Merch by Amazon and request an invitation. Afterward, check out the Merch by Amazon design guidelines and start brainstorming your first 10 designs today.

If you would like to learn more about the Merch by Amazon program, you can refer to the Amazon Appstore!

6 Hacks to Optimize Your Amazon Listing

It is no surprise that the best Amazon listings end up being Amazon’s best sellers. The listings with great titles, engaging descriptions, crisp photos, and optimal keywords get the most attention from both shoppers and Amazon’s algorithm. To increase your sales, you need to learn how to improve your product pages to get more shoppers looking at your product and more customers for your Amazon business.

If you read our previous blogs on 5 Ways to Improve Your Amazon Sales Rank, you’ll know some of these hacks! But, in this article, we’ll be going into deeper details on other ways to optimize your Amazon product lists to maximize your sales!

Optimize Your Pricing

The easiest hack and most convenient method of improving your product listing are to optimize the price of your products. This hack is extremely valuable for wholesalers who are competing for the Buy Box and private label sellers who are selling products with a lot of competition.

The reality is: shoppers are always shopping for value. And many times, value equals cost. Therefore the easiest way to improve your Amazon product listings is to simply have competitive pricing. We recommend that you price your products within 15-20% of the lowest price to be competitive.

For wholesalers competing in the Buy Box, this means pricing 15% from the lowest offer in the Buy Box. Why? Because in most cases, Amazon will give every seller within 15% of costs equal time in the Buy Box. As long as you fit within that 15% threshold, you should be able to rack up some sales. You may find that for some products, 15% may be too low that your products no longer become profitable. So make sure to calculate the entire costs (including FBA and shipping costs) before you lower the price of your products. 

We also want to note that some products cannot be sold for too low depending on the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) set by the manufacturer. In this case, you would also need to abide by your supplier’s instructions to ensure you don’t get in trouble.

For private label sellers competing with other white label products, you have a bit more flexibility. We recommend that you price your product within 20% of the competitive price For example if you were to sell a water bottle, identify the price of your competitors. If they sell their products for $20, I would price my water bottle between $16 to $24 to stay within the 20% threshold compared to your competition. Since private label sellers do not share the Buy Box, the pricing strategy for the Buy Box is irrelevant. But, you want to stay close to other sellers and their listings to remain competitive.

With competitive pricing, more customers will be attracted to your listing to get a great deal and buy your products.

Optimize for Search Terms

The next hack is to optimize for Search Terms. If you keep up with our articles, you might be familiar with “keywords,” but search terms are a bit different. Search terms are like keywords, except these words are not used on your product page, they are used in the backend of your products. Search terms cannot be seen by shoppers and are only visible to Amazon’s backend algorithm. Amazon defines search terms as

“generic words that enhance the discoverability of your product. For example, if you’re selling headphones, your search terms can contain synonyms such as “earphones” and “earbuds.”

In essence, Search terms are key phrases that Amazon used behind the scenes to showcase the most relevant products possible. Amazon limits the number of search terms to less than 250 bytes of words. Here are some of Amazon’s key tips when using search terms:

  • do not use product identifiers such as brands, product names, ASINs, UPCs, etc.
  • take out inaccurate or irrelevant search terms (trust us, it won’t leave to more conversions if you use random search terms)
  • do not use excessively long search terms, keep it simple
  • provide search terms from most relevant to least relevant
  • do not use filler words (best, top, new), these words will filter out anyways

These search terms provide Amazon another method of finding our products when shoppers search for similar search terms and bring more attention to our product listings. To learn more about Amazon’s search terms and how to use them effectively, check out Amazon’s article on best search term practices.

Optimize Titles

With search terms in mind, let’s move on to optimize our product titles and content with keywords. Keywords are the common search terms used by users when shopping on Amazon. For example, if I wanted to buy a gaming mouse on Amazon, I will search a general term such as “wireless gaming mouse.” These are the keywords that people most often use when shopping online and are essential to maximizing your product listing’s visibility for Amazon’s algorithm. Note that keywords will be most relevant to our private label sellers, who have different listings and compete with other sellers.

To find the best keywords, we recommend conducting a competitive analysis and scouting the competition. In this example, pretend I am selling a set of cooking utensils and I want to find the best keywords to optimize my listing. The first thing I do is go on Amazon, and search “cooking utensil set” and come across these products. If you look at each product’s title, you can see a lot of repetitive keywords like “kitchen utensil,” “nonstick,” and “heat resistant.”

These are the keywords that your competitors are using! So when we are optimizing our listings, we want to highlight the same competitive keywords and we end up with:

“Kitchen Utensil Set, Nonstick and Heat Resistant Cooking Tool Set.”

We have a strong product title that is optimized for Amazon’s algorithm. If someone searches for cooking utensils and uses one of these keywords, our product is more likely to be shown to customers, thus increasing our sales.

Optimize the Content

Did you know you can add keywords that aren’t just applicable to your product titles but should be used throughout your product page content?

Every product page for every product sold on Amazon has a product title, product description, and product photos. Keywords need to be used for all of these elements, not just your title! We’ve talked about keywords within titles and descriptions in the past. 

If you need help creating the right structure for your product description, I highly recommend you read our blog on Successful Writing Tips for Amazon Product Descriptions

In the article, we emphasize the importance of having short, concise, and engaging product descriptions that utilize bullet points and simple writing structures. But, keywords can be applied to your product photos as well!

You might not know this, but you can optimize your photos for keywords! Before you upload your product’s photos into your product listings, make sure to properly name your photos with optimized keywords. You can change the file names of all your photos. Since Amazon’s algorithm reads the photo’s file name, they are also looking for relevant keywords within the file names! Like we mentioned, you want to maximize all the content on your product listing, not just the title and description! Make sure to optimize your photo files as well, Amazon’s algorithm will appreciate it!

Optimize the Details

The fifth hack to optimize your Amazon product listing is by flushing out the details. This step is not required but is highly recommended by Amazon because the product details give the customer more information about your product. By having more information, customers are more likely to make informed purchases and have more ideal and clear expectations for your product.

Whether it be your product descriptions or your title, you want to include all the essential information within your product listing. This includes:

  • brand name
  • product line (if applicable)
  • material or make of the product
  • color
  • sizing and dimensions
  • packaging and materials

It’s always better for your products to be too specific than too broad. Without all the essential information and additional details, your customers won’t know if your product fits their needs. Or worse, customers will buy your products and realize the product is nothing like their expectations. This often leads to more return requests, lower product ratings, or potentially an increase in negative reviews. Remember, the devil’s in the details. Do yourself a favor, include the details!

Optimize Your Engagement

Our last hack to optimize your Amazon product listing is by increasing your engagement. This is not a new tip, we always talk about the importance of interacting with your customers! But in case you forgot or didn’t know before, customer engagement is key to keeping customers satisfied and loyal to your brand or product.

These are the most common interactions:

  1. Product Questions
  2. Product Reviews and Ratings
  3. Customer Messages

For product questions, this occurs on your product pages where customers with inquiries can submit a question and have another customer (or the seller in your case) answer anything about the product. The most important benefit is providing more details to the customer. If a customer has a question about your product, it means they are considering purchasing your products but need more information to form a decision. This is a great way to close deals and get more sales for your products! If a customer has a question, answer it as soon as possible. And more often than not, their question is shared by dozens if not hundreds of potential customers who are wondering the same thing!

Next are product reviews and ratings. Reviews and ratings can make or break your products. A couple of bad reviews can potentially destroy your sales. But, you aren’t helpless! If you spot a negative review or rating, reach out to the customer and try to mitigate the issue! If there was a defect, offer the customer a refund or offer a new product that is not defective. For unhappy customers, inquire about their experience with your product and provide them with a solution. The way you resolve these issues can change the course of your products. You might even be able to change a negative review to a positive one and save your products from turmoil. Be proactive, not reactive!

Our last method of customer engagement is through customer messaging. After a customer purchases a product, you can send them a message asking about their experiences, troubleshooting any issues, or simply thank them for their purchase. This is a great method to provide excellent customer service and establish relationships with your customers. And as we know, happy customers lead to more sales and brand loyalty!

In the end, engagement is simply about communication. Whether it be questions about your products, resolving negative reviews, or sending your customer a message, the better you communicate, the more engagement you have with your customers.

Key Takeaways Moving Forward

These 6 hacks to optimize your Amazon listings are just the first step. Remember, optimizing your lists is an ongoing, long-term investment. What works today might not work tomorrow, so it is important to closely monitor your listings and see how to improve them over time. We recommend collecting data on sales performances and trying new product descriptions and search terms every so often. Keep testing your listings, see what your competitors are doing, make small adjustments, and iterate your strategy over time.

For more tips and tricks to increase your sales and grow your Amazon businesses, head over to Sellgo.com !.

Successful Writing Tips for Amazon Product Descriptions

The best way to convert Amazon shoppers is to create product pages with detailed product descriptions that tell customers why your products rock. Along with perfect product titles and nice photos of your products, your descriptions convince potential customers that they can trust your brand and that your products will satisfy their needs and meet their expectations. The better your product descriptions, the more likely shoppers will convert into paying customers.

In this article, we will provide you with a few successful tips that can improve your product descriptions and earn you new customers.

Developing a Customer Persona

The first step in writing great product descriptions is to understand your target market. We figured the easiest way to do this is to put yourself in the shoes of your prospective customers.

For example, if you see fitness equipment, your customers will most likely be young people looking to exercise, eat healthily, and live an overall active lifestyle. When you write your product descriptions, you need to keep creating this customer persona. You cannot write a great Amazon description without determining who you are writing to.

Once you determine your target market and create the customer persona, ask yourself: If I was this persona, what would I want to see in a product? What are my needs and expectations? How can this product fulfill my needs?

With these questions in mind, let’s move onto the next tip!

K.I.S.S.

Now moving onto the structure of your descriptions, we recommend K.I.S.S. (keep it sh).

When you’re shopping online, how often do you read long, boring descriptions? NEVER. Just like you, most shoppers want simple, short, and easy-to-read descriptions that get straight to the point. To simplify your writing, we suggest:

1. Write using bullet points. Shoppers never read long descriptions. Instead of large bodies of text, use bullet points to break up long sentences and paragraphs into short, bite-size pieces of writing.

2. Keep your sentences short and to the point. You don’t need to write an entire story for your products. Hit the key points, and maintain short, concise, and straight-to-the-point messages.

3. Remove unnecessary filler words. Have you ever read product descriptions with the words “Best,” “Top,” Amazing?” Probably quite often. Studies have shown that most (if not all) customers naturally overlook and filter out these filler words because tons of products use these same words when describing their products. These words have lost all their meaning. Keep your product descriptions simple by removing all of these filler words.

Focus on the Impact Rather than Features

With the customer persona and description structure in mind, it’s time to start writing! When writing, you want to focus on your product’s benefits and impact, not just the features. Why? Because your customers want to know what VALUE your products provide. Instead of describing the features of your product, describe how those features will help the customer.

Looking back at our example of fitness equipment, your customer persona is young to middle-aged adults looking to maintain a healthy lifestyle. If we were selling dumbbells on Amazon, our product descriptions would talk about the impact of our dumbbells on our customers. Here are sample writing:

  • Durable and reliable dumbbells for at-home workouts and muscle building.
  • Isolate and workout direct body parts, improve arms, legs, core, and endurance.
  • Textured hand grips to ensure non-slip exercises.

Note that while we touch on the features, we also emphasize the impact and benefits of those features. By writing more descriptive, and impactful descriptions, they tell customers the direct benefits of purchasing your products.

Optimize with Keywords

The next tip is to improve your product descriptions is by using keywords. Keywords are less important for the customers but extremely important for Amazon’s algorithm to display your products on their search pages. If you aren’t familiar with keywords, they are the most often search terms customers use to find products on Amazon.

Going back to our example of the fitness dumbbells, a typical Amazon shopping looking for exercise equipment might search on Amazon, “exercise    dumbbells,”dumbbell set, “dumbbell 15lbs.” When a shopper searches these keywords on Amazon, the algorithm looks through the millions of products to find the ones that use the exact keywords within the title and product descriptions. The products that match these terms are more likely to be shown to the shopper to browse and purchase.

With the keywords in mind, let’s go back and add these keywords to our product descriptions:

  • Durable and reliable exercise dumbbells for at-home workouts and muscle building.
  • Dumbbell set to isolate and workout direct body parts, improve arms, legs, core, and endurance.
  • Dumbbell 15lbs with textured handgrips to ensure non-slip exercises.

You see how the keywords won’t impact the description or customer experience at all, but Amazon’s algorithm needs to showcase your products and provide you more visibility. With more visibility and shoppers viewing your products, you can expect more sales and profits coming your way.

Update Regularly

Our last successful writing tip is simple: update your product listings regularly. There is no such thing as the “perfect product description.” But, if you test, reiterate, and optimize your descriptions, you’ll find that you can increase your conversions and sales over time. You know the quote, “Rome was not built overnight”? Well, product descriptions are the same way. We encourage all sellers to try their best to write a great product description and try to improve it.

Test out Version #1, examine your conversion rates, and take data on how many sales you collect. Then, improve upon Version #2 by testing different bullet points, adding different keywords, and using different sentence lengths. Examine your conversion rates and see if there any improvements for conversions and sales. Keep repeating this process until you get the best results possible!

Along with updating your listings, also remember to stay professional. When selling on Amazon, your products represent your business, brand, and reputation. You want to make sure your products are of great quality and your product descriptions match those expectations. Use different spellcheck and grammar tools to weed out any typos or confusing sentences.

Get to Writing!

The 5 tips we mention in this blog are the first of many you’ll learn over your Amazon selling journey. While these tips are a great place to start, you may come across many more as you continue to sell on Amazon. For each of your products, Amazon descriptions will vary to cater to each customer persona. Remember, your customers aren’t just buying your products, but they are buying your product’s value and expectations. The quality of your product will play a huge role in developing a strong value proposition for your customer. If you don’t have great products, you won’t be able to sell them, even with the best descriptions.

If you are struggling to find high-quality products that are profitable and in high demand, we encourage you to come to Sellgo.com and check out all of our product research tools that can help you find great suppliers and products that are high quality, profitable, and in high demand. Until next time, happy writing and happy selling!

5 Proven Ways to Improve Your Amazon Sales Rank (Amazon Best Sellers Rank)

Amazon’s Sales Rank or “Best Sellers Ranking” (BSR) ranks all of Amazon’s products based on their historical sales performances within a specific category. The most sold product within a category is ranked #1, with all the other products in the category following suit based on their sales performance. Every seller wants their product’s ranked at #1 because the closer your product’s rank is to #1, the more visibility, trust, and sales your product gains! If you’re unfamiliar with Amazon’s ranking system, we highly suggest reading our last blog on “What is Amazon’s Sales Rank?” where we break down all the nuances of Amazon’s rank system.

If you’re reading this article, you’re probably already familiar with Amazon’s Best Seller Ranking. Now, you must be thinking, how do I improve my product’s ranking so I can hit #1? In this blog, we’ll be sharing 5 proven, legitimate methods you can apply today to start your quest to Rank #1.

Using Amazon FBA (Fulfillment By Amazon)

The first thing to remember is that the Sales Rank is just that, SALES. The more your product sells, the higher your product gets ranked. Our main goal behind these tactics is to get more eyes on your product (visibility), more shoppers on your product page (traffic), and more sales in your pocket (conversion).

The easiest way to improve sales and thus your product ranking is by using the FBA model and Amazon’s Fulfillment Centers. Most of you already use FBA, but if you happen to use Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM) or another fulfillment method and you want to improve your product’s sale rank, implementing FBA is the easiest and most convenient method.

By using the FBA model, your products get access to Prime Shipping, which drastically improves your product’s visibility and conversion rates. Shoppers are also more likely to buy products with faster shipping times, increasing their conversion rates and sales. FBA also increases your product’s visibility and traffic on Amazon’s pages. Since you use FBA, Amazon will prioritize your products over non-FBA sellers. The more traffic your product gets, the more sales you earn, and the higher your product rank improves.

Improve Product Titles with Keywords

The second method to improve your Amazon sales rank is through using keywords within your product titles. Simply put, keywords are the search terms used by customers when shopping on Amazon. The better your keywords, the more visible your products will be and the more traffic you’ll gain! Finding the right keywords is quite easy. Here are the steps:

1. Identify your product that you want to list on Amazon

2. Go to Amazon.com, and search for similar products

3. Look at the top 20 products and find repetitive keywords that apply to your product (do not include any “Sponsored” products)

4. Create a listing for your product, and utilize those keywords that your competitors use

Let’s run through a quick example. For our product, we’ll use a reusable water bottle. First, we’ll go to Amazon and search up the term, “reuseable water bottle” and examine the first 20 products. Here is a row of products we saw:

Note that all of these top products are FBA products, and are eligible for Prime Shipping. We also see a lot of repetitive keywords, “BPA free,” “leak-proof,” and “spill-resistant.” These keywords apply to the reusable bottle we also sell. Now we go to Amazon Seller Central and create a listing using these exact keywords. We end up with a “Reusable water bottle with Leak Proof, Spill-Resistant Lid, and BPA Free.”

By maximizing your keywords in your titles, Amazon will be more enticed to list your products. With more eyes on your product, the more traffic and sales you’ll gain as well, thus increasing your product ranking. Keywords are a great and easy tool to optimize your listings, and can take as little as a couple of minutes!

Strengthen Your Product Page

To better understand your customers, you have to put yourself in your customer’s shoes. If an interested customer is shopping on Amazon and comes across your listing, the next step for the customer is to click on your product and examine your product’s page. If you shop on Amazon, you’ve probably read hundreds, if not thousands of product pages. In order for a customer to feel confident enough to purchase your product, they’ll closely analyze your product page.

Good product pages also have 1. Professional, clear photos of the product, and 2. Detailed, concise, and easy-to-read product descriptions. The better your product page, the more likely customers are to buy your product.

You want to ensure all of your products have nice photos. If you don’t have a photo of your product, you have 2 options:

  • If you sourced your product from a manufacturer or supplier, ask them. They usually have professional stock photos of your product and can provide them to you.
  • If you sourced your product elsewhere (arbitrage, dropshipping, private label, etc.), you may have to take the photos yourself. Hire a professional photographer or take photos of your products using a good camera with a clean background. Take multiple photos of your product and from different angles. The more detailed the photos, the better.

Next is your product descriptions. Here are some tips to writing concise and clear messages:

1. Write about your product’s benefits, not just the features. What value does it bring to the customer?

2. Write in bullet points. Keep your sentences short, simple, and easy to read.

3. Write with KEYWORDS. Just like your title, keywords are everything! Add popular keywords you see from your competitors and apply them to your listing.

4. Write about additional benefits. (Do you provide warranties? Return policies? Defect policies?)

You might not get the perfect photos or descriptions on the first try. Continue to improve both the photos and descriptions when you can to optimize your listings. If you want to convert more customers and increase your Best Sellers Rank, start with improving your product’s page!

Engage with Your Customers

Customer engagement is the key to acquiring new customers and keeping existing customers.

First, customer engagement is a great way to answer any questions or concerns your customers have about your products. If one customer asks a question, you can expect that hundreds more are wondering about the same question. By engaging with your customers, you solve any problems or obstacles that were preventing customers from buying your products.

The second benefit is resolving any conflicts such as negative reviews and ratings. Negative reviews reflect poorly on your product and your brand. The last thing you want to lose is brand trust. If customers see tons of negative reviews on your products, they’re less likely to take a chance and buy a bad product. If you monitor your ratings and reviews, you can issue refunds, send new units for defects, and improve your relationship with your customer. Always remember, your reputation and trust are everything on Amazon.

The third is social proof. What’s better than negative reviews? Positive reviews. The more customer service you provide, the more likely they’ll be satisfied with your product and brand, they might even submit a positive review and rating. Better yet, they’ll recommend your brand and product to a friend! You’ll see that with good customer engagement, the investment will roll over 10x. It’s not just about keeping customers but building brand loyalty.

These are just 3 of our hundreds of benefits of customer engagement. While customer service may require more work and resources, it is definitely worth the investment if it leads to more sales and higher sales ranks!

Diversify Your Traffic

The more traffic your products get, the more sales you collect. The most common traffic comes from organic searches, with shoppers searching for something on Amazon and then they come across your product. While organic traffic is great, there are plenty of other methods you can implement to increase your traffic from multiple channels.

1. Creating a website

If you don’t have a website for your Amazon business, you need to create one NOW. Websites can rack up a lot of traffic. Use your website to share your products and listings on Amazon. Share memorable quotes from satisfied customers or showcase your catalog of products. Websites are extremely diverse and can suit any need or strategy.

2. Connect with Your Subscribers

Do you have a YouTube channel? Maybe a monthly newsletter or email list? Or do you have a Facebook group online? Whatever your audience is, connect with them! Use different tools and resources ranging from emails to social media posts to share your products and get more eyes on your listings. Include links back to Amazon and see who clicks!

3. Amazon PPC/Sponsored Posts

Sponsored products are also a great way to build brand awareness and visibility for your products. When shopping on Amazon, the first 5-10 products you see are “Sponsored” products, this is Amazon’s paid per click (PPC) ads. Amazon PPC campaigns are an extremely useful tool to spread your products all over Amazon and showcase your products front and center. You can pick which keywords to target, place a spending budget, and try to get more paid traffic towards your products and sales in your pocket. While this traffic channel is great, remember that it can cost a lot of money and reduce your profitability.

Whichever method you decide, be sure to diversify and increase your traffic as much as possible. The more eyes on your products, the better!

Rank With Better Products

With these strategies in mind, our last tip is to pace yourself. Improving your Amazon sales rank is not an overnight process. Products don’t jump to Rank #1, test and reiterate until you unlock the best strategy possible. Eventually, any of your products can hit #1!

Along with these strategies, an important part of Amazon’s Best Seller Rank is selling good products. Even if you implement all of these strategies, none of it will matter unless you sell high-quality products that fulfill the needs of your users. Finding great products starts with great product research. If you’ve struggled with product research in the past, you should try out Sellgo’s product research tools like the Product Tracker, which helps sellers find high-demand, high-quality, and high-sales products that can take you to #1.

What is Amazon’s Sales Rank? (Best Seller Rank)

If you shop on Amazon like the rest of us, you’ve probably come across Amazon’s product sales rank, otherwise known as “Best Sellers Rank” (BSR). The BSR is used by Amazon to rank all of its products based on how many people are buying them. Think of it as walking into a store, and seeing a giant “Most Popular Items” sign indicating which products are the most purchased by shoppers. Amazon’s sales rank is the same thing, except Amazon ranks millions of items and ranks all of them from most purchased to least purchased. While you may think it is only for shoppers, Amazon’s sales rank system is also a great tool for Amazon sellers.

In this article, we’ll be breaking down the logistics behind Amazon’s Best Seller Rank and how sellers can leverage product rankings to growing their own Amazon business.

What is Amazon’s Best Seller Rank?

Amazon’s BSR system is based on each product’s recent and historical sales performance within a specific category. Amazon has dozens of categories and thousands of subcategories. Amazon checks the historical sales performance of all the products within the same category and ranks them from most sales (Rank #1) to least sales. A product’s rank is updated hourly to reflect recent and historical sales of every item sold on Amazon. The higher amount of products sold, the higher the Sales Rank will be.

For example, under the category of “Cellphones & Accessories,” we saw that the #1 Best Sellers Rank product was this “Ailun Glass Screen Protector.” That means that this product has had the most recent sales of all the products under the “Cellphones & Accessories” category. Within the next hour, this product’s rank may drop based on its sales performance.

How to find Amazon’s Sales Rank?

There are two main methods to find Amazon’s Best Sellers. The first method is through Amazon’s Best Seller page. You can access the Best Sellers page through Amazon’s Homepage. Simply go to Amazon.com, find the taskbar on the top left of the page, and click “Best Sellers.” Then, simply choose which category you would like to browse and a new page of the top products will appear.

The second way to find a product’s sales rank is through its product page. Find any product you hope to research, click on the product’s page. Then, scroll down to the Product Information. There you will find a small table with a row with “Best Sellers Rank” along with the product’s ranking and which category it is ranked in.

What does Sales Rank Mean for Sellers?

By now, you might be wondering, what can I use Amazon’s Best Seller Rank for if I sell on Amazon? Well, there’s are 2 great ways to utilize sales ranks as a seller.

1. Expanding Your Inventory

The most direct benefit is finding new products to sell on Amazon. Amazon’s BSR shows you the most popular and purchased products on Amazon. This means the products have high sales potential and are sought out by online shoppers. Higher sales also mean higher reviews and ratings, which also play a part in Amazon’s sales rank. Sellers who need there their new, high-demand products can look to Amazon’s BSR as a good starting point.

2. Scouting Your Competitors

By looking at a BSR product page, sellers can see who is selling each product, which products are sold by Amazon, and how many competitors are already sourcing and selling a best seller. Even if you don’t want to sell the same products as other sellers, the sales rank shows you an insight into your competitor’s selling strategy. Maybe your competitors are selling products you should too! Use the BSR to scope out the competition, identify different strategies, and then improve your own Amazon strategy.

Important Facts about the BSR

Before you start sourcing the best-selling products and hope to make some sales, there are a couple of things to note.

BSR Overtime

The first note about Amazon’s Best Seller Ranking is that the system is extremely volatile. What we mean by volatile is that a product’s rank can change dramatically and frequently. What does this mean for sellers? Don’t rely on the current rank of a product to estimate its sales and profit. A product could be ranked a top 10 seller on one day and ranked #1000 on the next. 

When looking at a product’s ranking, look at its historical and long-term performance instead of its current ranking. See how the product has performed over multiple months or years if possible. That will give you a much better picture of the product’s success.

Seasonality

Another note is on seasonal products. Seasonal products are products that sell very well in some parts of the year, and very poorly in the next. We touch on seasonal products in our article on Evergreen Products, but the short story is: stay away from seasonal products. Look at a product’s rank over time to ensure it sells well throughout the year, That way, you can guarantee sales and profits all year long.

Should I rely on Amazon’s Best Seller Rank?

The simple answer is no. While Best Seller Rank is super important, it is not the only factor you should account for. Along with sales rank, you should also use these strategies to source your products:

BSR vs. Sales Estimation

Sales estimation works alongside the BSR and can give you an estimate of how many units you will sell per month and how much stock you should order. For example, you find the best-ranking product (ranked #1). You estimate that product sells 1,000 units a month and has 10 sellers, you can estimate that each seller (based on their model and price) will sell around 100 units a month. With the sales estimation, you can expect to sell 100 units in a month, so you should source 100 or more products per month. You can then take this amount to check how profitable the product will be. If you sell 100 units a month at $8 per unit, you will have $800 of revenue in one month.

By using sales estimation alongside the Best Sellers Rank, sellers can get a better idea of how many units they will sell, how many units to source, and how profitable the best-selling product will be.

If you don’t have a sales estimation tool, check out the Sellgo Chrome Extension. The Chrome Extension will provide sales estimation, sales rank, and competitor sellers for any product sold on Amazon. That way, you can use BSR and sales estimation all in one place!

BSR vs. Keywords

Another strategy sellers can use with the BSR is keyword research. One thing to note is that Best Sellers Rank does not impact visibility, keywords do. Keywords are the search terms used when shopping on Amazon. For example, if you wanted to purchase a reusable water bottle, you might search “Reusable water bottle BPA free” on Amazon. Amazon’s algorithm will find products that utilize all the keywords (reusable + water bottle + BPA free) to find the best matching product. Keywords play a bigger role in product visibility.

To use BSR with keywords, look at the products with the highest ranks and see what people are buying. In our previous example of the Ailun Glass Screen Protector, it was the #1 ranked product under “Cellphone & Accessories.” Since we know that this phone protector is selling well, we can infer that cell phone protectors are in high demand. As a seller, you can leverage this information to find other screen protectors and trends to source new products and increase visibility.

Expanding Your Toolkit

Amazon’s sales rank is a valuable tool that every seller should use to start product sourcing, but it is not the only tool and strategy they should use. Sellers should also take advantage of sales estimation, keywords, and other FBA tools to expand inventory, increase visibility, and improve profitability for their Amazon business.

One tool we recommend is the Sellgo Chrome Extension, which provides sellers with sales estimation, product ranking, and all the information we talked about in this article. If you want to accelerate your business or optimize your sales, head over to Sellgo and evolve your Amazon business today.

How to Get Amazon Reviews in 2021

Online reviews are the true lifeblood of Amazon. Not only do they help shoppers determine the best value products with the highest quality, but it empowers shoppers to work together and share common experiences for the products they buy. By using reviews, shoppers can ask each other questions, troubleshoot shared issues, and suggest recommendations on how to use a product. For Amazon sellers, Amazon reviews serve an ever greater purpose.

Sellers and products with more positive reviews have higher sales and conversion rates. 95% of shoppers read reviews before making a purchase, meaning the more positive reviews your products have, the higher the number of products you sell. Amazon reviews help sellers build brand awareness. 91% of shoppers read reviews regularly when shopping online and 84% of shoppers trust online reviews like they would a personal recommendation. Most importantly, online reviews provide product visibility, as Amazon’s algorithm ranks products with more reviews higher on their Best Sellers Rank.

What does this mean for sellers? The answer is simple: maximize the number of positive reviews as possible. In this guide, we’ll be breaking down 5 proven methods to obtain legal Amazon reviews without putting your account at risk!

Amazon’s Rules and Regulations for Reviews

Before we tell you the best method to obtain Amazon reviews, it is important to touch on Amazon’s guidelines for their review system. From Amazon’s website, here are their core rules:

1. Do not obtain reviews from parties who have a direct or indirect financial interest in the product

2. Do not obtain reviews from parties who have a direct or indirect relationship with the product’s seller

3. Do not review your products

4. Do not exchange reviews for compensation or monetary incentives

5. Do not put negative reviews on your competitor’s products

6. Do not obtain put multiple negative/positive reviews for the same product

Summary: Do not get reviews for your products in unsavory ways.

We discuss the topic in greater detail in our article, 4 Best Amazon Reviewer Checkers, but the main concept is: fake reviews suck. Fake reviews hurt shoppers trying to find great products and they also hurt sellers who are trying to promote their products. We encourage all sellers and shoppers to be as genuine as possible when collecting reviews. That’s why this article is going to highlight the best, legal, and proven methods that any seller can use to gain real, genuine product reviews.

How to Get 5-Star Reviews on Amazon

The first method of gaining 5-star reviews is to build an Amazon business that prioritizes the needs of the customer.

Amazon’s business should start by only selling high-quality products. When writing a review, the reviewer thinks of two questions:

1. Does this product fulfill my needs?

2. Does this product meet my expectations?

Remember: the products you sell are a reflection of your business. This means you never want to sell products with low quality, high defects, or do not fulfill the needs of the customer. Customers appreciate businesses with great products, if you want 5-star reviews, start with sourcing 5-star worthy products.

The next step is to provide excellent customer service at all times. This means promptly filing returns and refunds, responding to customer’s inquiries and concerns, and most importantly, troubleshooting any issue or conflict that may arise. Customer service goes a long way for a shopper. The less headache for them, the better they perceive your business and are more likely to give your product a 5-star review.

Our last suggestion is how to deal with negative reviews. Negative reviews happen, it is normal. When you receive a negative review, stay calm and resolve the issue as soon as possible. Identify a negative review, understand the buyer’s problem, and do your best to resolve the issue. This could be issuing a refund, sending a new unit, or simply sending the buyer an apology. More often than not, a shopper updates their negative review once you troubleshoot their problem.

Don’t Rely on Amazon’s Automated System

Amazon offers 4 different tools for sellers to use to obtain product reviews. The first being Amazon’s Automated System, which sends buyers a customer feedback email a couple of days after purchasing a product to provide reviews, feedback, or report any issues with the product. While this method is free and curated through Amazon, we highly suggest sellers not rely on this method for reviews.

The problem with Amazon’s Automated System is that the emails are too bland, generic, and impersonal. The Automated System has a very low click-through rate, meaning you won’t get a lot of traction through this method. We recommend sellers use this as a passive method of obtaining reviews. Do not rely entirely on the automated system.

“Request a Review” through Amazon

The second method offered by Amazon is through the “Request a Review” feature on your Amazon Seller Central account. After a purchase is made, sellers can Request a Review in which they send a personal email to the buyer within 4 to 30 days of the purchase. This is a great way for sellers to send a more personal email to their buyers and directly ask for a review. 

While this process may be time-consuming, it is definitely worth the effort to develop a relationship with your customer and ask about your products directly.

Amazon’s Early Reviewer Program

New products have the hardest time getting reviews. Because buyers want to buy proven products, they don’t buy products with no reviews. How do products with no reviews gain reviews if no one wants to buy them? That’s why Amazon created their Early Reviewer Program.

The Early Reviewer Program rewards customers who purchase new products and submit reviews with an Amazon gift card. Everyone wins! The sellers gain sales and reviews for their product, the reviewers get to test new products and receive a small incentive for submitting a review, and Amazon helps other shoppers who may be looking for the same product. The Early Reviewer Program is a great method for sellers to get reviews for new products with no reviews.

Amazon’s Vine Program

Similar to the Early Reviewer Program, the Amazon Vine Program allows sellers to gain reviews from Amazon’s top and most trusted reviewers. Amazon provides Vine reviewers with free products supplied by a seller. It is a great way to get a ton of reviews in a short time.

You might be thinking, why should I join the program? Is it worth giving away free products in exchange for reviews? Simply put: YES! While you may lose some money giving away products for free, sellers get a ton of product reviews and attention to their new products without doing any work! The reviewers are not random customers either. The Vine Program members are among Amazon’s most elite product reviewers who have been ranked and hand-selected by Amazon to review your product. Not only are you getting genuine reviews, but the reviewers can provide exceptional feedback you can use to improve your products. Sellers can even send pre-launch products and get reviews before the listing even goes live.

We know the Vine program might not be for every seller, but if your business has the means to participate or if you are in desperate need of product reviews, the Vine program is a great and easy method to do so.

Connect with Buyers Outside of Amazon

The last strategy we suggest to sellers is to connect with your customers outside of Amazon and request reviews. Here are some proven methods you can use to connect with your audience:

1. Social media: Many sellers and their businesses have a strong online presence and social following. Social media is a great method to communicate and ask for reviews on products they recently purchased from you.

2. Newsletters: Newsletter subscribers are typically your most loyal and engaged buyers who love your company and brand. Why not ask them for product reviews?

3. Product Inserts: Product inserts are a great method to get reviews if done correctly. When packaging your products, include a small graphic insert with a description of your company and request a review from the buyer. Don’t ask for a 5-star review or provide any incentive (that’s against Amazon’s rules we mentioned earlier), just ask for a review and stay unbiased.

The best part about these strategies is that they’re dependent on Amazon. There are no limits to reaching out to your fan base outside of Amazon!

Reviews Start Before You Sell

Like we mentioned above, product reviews start with your company and the products you sell. All of the methods of obtaining reviews are great, but the easiest and most organic way to get 5-star reviews is to source and sell products that fulfill the needs of the customer. Finding the right products means spending time conducting proper product research and product sourcing. 

Great tools like the Sellgo Profit Finder and Product Tracker empower your business to source the best quality and profitable products to maximize your 5-star reviews. If you want 5-star products, start your business off right with Sellgo.

4 Types of Amazon Suppliers to Build Your Online Business

Did you know there are 4 different types of Amazon suppliers you can use to source your online business?

Whether you’re selling through dropshipping, arbitrage, wholesale, or private label, product suppliers play a tremendous part in the success of your business. Without suppliers, you’ll quickly run out of inventory thus reducing your sales and profitability! How do you know which type of supplier is right for your e-commerce business? In this guide, we’ll break down the differences between wholesalers, distributors, manufacturers, and closeouts to determine the optimal supplier for your online business. Then, we’ll give you some extra tips on how to find the right supplier for you and your business needs!

Before we get into details about the four types of suppliers, note that some suppliers follow multiple categories. While uncommon, you may run into suppliers who may be both manufacturers and closeouts companies, or any other possible variation. With this in mind, let’s jump into it!

Distributors

The first and most common type of Amazon supplier is distributors. Simply put, distributors are third parties who work directly with a brand. Distributors do not produce or create any products, but they typically work directly with the brand manufacturer. A distributor working with Nike buys a large number of products from Nike at a low cost, then resells these units for a profit.

Working with the distributor is great for small Amazon sellers and e-commerce businesses since you do not have to buy a large quantity to get access to high-quality, brand-name goods. If you wanted to keep your inventory small, distributors will sell you any quantity of products you need. One disadvantage of this model is that you are not getting the best price for your inventory. Since distributors are hoping to make a profit, they purchase large quantities of products from a brand, then resell the same products at a higher price to Amazon sellers, wholesalers, and other retailers. Therefore you are going to pay more for the products than if you were working with the manufacturer directly.

When should you source from a distributor?

If your business is limited on capital or resources, distributors may be your best avenue to source products. Distributors will provide access to high-quality goods without breaking your bank. If you have the resources to work directly with a manufacturer, we highly suggest that route instead.

Manufacturers

The second supplier type is manufacturers. Manufacturers are companies that own their production line, create their products, and brand themselves. Some examples include large brand name companies such as Nike, Adidas, and Intel. Manufacturers are a great source for products if you are hoping to build an inventory. Many manufacturers produce multiple products, meaning you could get access to any product they produce and build inventory variation very easily.

A common obstacle in sourcing from a manufacturer is the difficulty to land a contract. Manufacturers typically make deals with parties who can purchase larger quantities of products for a lower price per unit. If you do not have enough capital or purchasing power, manufacturers may not want to sell you any products. If you do have enough capital to purchase a high quantity of products, manufacturers can sell you a ton of stock at a low cost per unit like they would a distributor. Before you start sourcing from a manufacturer, be sure to keep in mind the storage fees and costs. Whether you have a warehouse or store products in Amazon Fulfillment Centers, sourcing a lot of inventory from a manufacturer entails a lot of storage fees and costs which may impact your profitability.

When should you source from a manufacturer?

If your business has enough capital and space to store inventory, manufacturers are a great resource to source a ton of different high-quality products. If you do not have the purchasing power or resources to store large quantities, it may be best to work with a distributor.

Closeouts Companies

Closeouts are the clean-up crew of the supplier world. Closeout companies buy the last remaining stock from manufacturers and distributors who are trying to get rid of any products. Closeout companies get the lowest price and largest discounts because brands and distributors are always trying to get rid of products as soon as possible. Because closeout companies get their products for such a good price, Amazon sellers can get high-quality products for extremely low prices. The disadvantage of sourcing from closeouts is that the stock and the inventory variation are usually very limited.

When should you source from a closeout company?

If your capital is extremely low and you need quality goods at the lowest price possible. This is also a great avenue for arbitrage and dropshipping sellers who need quick inventory to sell fast.

Wholesalers

Wholesalers are the fourth and final type of Amazon supplier. They are a step below the other three in the pipeline, as most wholesalers purchase their products from manufacturers, distributors, and closeout companies and resell these products at a higher price for a profit. Many Amazon sellers and their companies fit within this category as well.

There aren’t a ton of benefits to sourcing products from a wholesaler, especially if you are an Amazon Wholesaler yourself. Wholesale suppliers will sell their products at a higher price than distributors and manufacturers. This means you will have to pay even more to source from a wholesaler than if you were to source elsewhere. In some cases, wholesalers may have products that are still profitable, so it may be beneficial to work with a wholesaler in some cases. Before you source any products from a wholesaler, be sure to calculate the profit margins to ensure any wholesale product is profitable for your business.

When should you source from a wholesaler?

If their products are profitable for you to sell. If you can purchase the same products from a manufacturer, distributor, or closeout company, these other sources may give you a lower selling price that can increase your profit margins. In these cases, it may be more beneficial to source from the other three sources rather than a wholesaler.

Which Type of Supplier is Best for Your eCommerce Business

Now that you have a good understanding of the four different types of suppliers. The next question is: Which supplier is best for my company?

The answer will come down to 3 factors:

1. Resources: how much capital and storage space do you have?

2. Quantity: how much quantity are you hoping to buy?

3. Variation: how many different products can you sell?

Resources will always be the number 1 factor to determine the best supplier. For businesses with lot of capital and can store a high quantity of products, manufacturers can provide you with a high quantity of various high-quality products. If you do not have as much resources, distributors and wholesalers may allow you to purchase good products in lower quantities. Companies with extremely limited resources may resort to closeout companies.

Quantity, like resources, is another important factor. Manufacturers can provide you with the most quantity, while distributors and wholesalers are typically limited in stock. Closeout companies are extremely limited, and will only sell you the remaining products they have in stock.

Variation plays a minor role in determining the best avenue for product sourcing, but it is important nonetheless. Inventory variation is much more viable with manufacturers since they produce multiple goods at once. Landing a contract with a manufacturer may provide you access to the manufacturer’s entire product catalog with a surplus of different high-quality products. As you go down the list to distributors and wholesalers, this variation reduces quickly. With closeout companies, there is very little inventory variation.

No one knows your company and Amazon business as much as you. The next step is reflecting on your business, resources, and bandwidth to see which of these suppliers make the most sense for your business size and needs.

Vetting Suppliers

The next step is to start contacting suppliers and begin vetting each of them. We discuss this in detail in our blog, “15 Questions You Need to Ask Your Suppliers” that you can use to learn more about each supplier on your list. While this list is a great start, you should develop more questions that can provide more insight into your supplier’s business.

Specifically, if you are buying brand-name products, one question you NEED to ask your supplier: are you authorized to sell your products to me? Before you purchase, ensure your prospective supplier can provide documentation that proves they are authorized to sell those brands. Why? Because if your supplier is not an authorized seller, those products could be counterfeit or illegally purchase. If you continue to source their products, you may be violating Amazon’s Terms of Service and risk losing your Amazon seller account.

Here are some more examples of important questions to ask:

1. Will I be able to source more products later on?

2. How much more stock of this item do you currently have?

3. Are you currently working with any other online sellers?

Source and Sell

You have all the knowledge and tools to help you find the perfect supplier for your business! What now? Go source and sell! Pick the best supplier(s) from your list, vetted each supplier, and request a catalog. Once you receive a catalog, conduct proper product analysis and calculate the profit margin for each potential item.

For our friends who need assistance with product research, you’re in luck! We have two blogs for conducting Product Analysis and Profit Margin Calculations that can walk you through the steps.

For our wholesale sellers, you may need some tools to help bulk analyze the hundreds or thousands of products from your supplier’s catalog. We can help there as well! Head over to sellgo.com and check out our Search Management tool! This FBA tool performs breaks down thousands of products within seconds and provides you with an easy-to-read analysis of all the profitable products from any supplier catalog!