Amazon Direct Shipping: Why Are Sellers Giving Away Free Products?

An annoying aspect about Amazon’s Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) is paying Amazon’s outrageous storage fees. Depending on the month, storing your products at Amazon’s warehouses can cost as low as $0.75 to $2.40 per cubic foot. While the cost may seem low, the cost can be higher depending on the products you sell and how much space your inventory requires.

But that’s not the end of it. What’s worse is Amazon’s long-term storage fees which charge a premium price of $6.90 per cubic foot or $0.15 per unit, whichever is greater. These horrendous rates apply to every single product that is in an Amazon warehouse for over 365 days. To avoid paying these premium rates, Amazon sellers are getting rid of their inventories using Amazon Direct Shipping.

What is Amazon Direct Shipping?

As their excess inventory gets closer to the 365-day mark, Amazon sellers begin to panic at the thought of paying Amazon’s long-term storage fees.

What can you do? Your products are stuck in a warehouse, they aren’t selling, and now you’re about to be charged Amazon’s long-term storage fee for every unit stuck in their warehouses.

Then Amazon sellers came up with a unique idea: why don’t we give our products away for free? This is where Amazon Direct Shipping comes in. Instead of letting their inventory collect dust in a warehouse and getting charged long-term storage fees, Amazon sellers take their extra products from these warehouses and directly shipping their products to random customers. These sellers are essentially giving away their own products for free, and in exchange, they clear their Amazon inventory and avoid the storage fees. These “free products” are commonly known as “freebies.” And there are tons of customers hungry for free products.

Cutting Down Storage Costs with Direct Shipping

You must be thinking, why would any seller ever give away their products for free? Aren’t they losing money? Well, technically yes. But you need to look at the long-term advantages of Amazon Direct Shipping and freebies.

For starters, getting rid of excess stock allows sellers to avoid Amazon’s long-term storage fees. Remember, these fees charge whichever fee is higher. So if a seller has 1,000 excess units sitting in a warehouse, they can be charged $150 ($0.15 per unit, 1,000 units) or more. And this fee is applied every single month your products continue to sit in long-term storage. While sellers are losing money on freebies, they can protect themselves from losing more money in the long run if they get rid of excess products sooner.

Another thing to note about Amazon storage is every seller has a max storage capacity. To better manage their warehouses, Amazon limits every seller to 10 cubic feet of storage. This means unless you sell your products quickly, the rest are just sitting in the warehouse. If a product has been sitting in a warehouse for the past 365 days, this either means your products have poor sales or that you ordered too much inventory. Regardless of the reason, this inventory is now occupying space that could be used for better-performing products. By giving away freebies, sellers can take that space and reinvest it into products that could make you money.

Although it might not make sense to give away free products in the short-term losses, it might save sellers money in the long run. Sellers can also take those savings and invest in better products that will make them more money.

How Customers Can Get Freebies

Amazon Direct Shipping happens entirely between the seller and the customer, Amazon is not involved in direct shipping. If you are a seller looking to get rid of excess stock, you can start giving away freebies to interested customers. Before you give away freebies, communicate with the customer to discuss shipping costs and procedures. Most sellers giving away freebies using Amazon Direct Shipping meet customers through 3rd party websites. There are dozens of Facebook groups, Reddit threads, and even websites dedicated to giving away freebies.

Both sellers and interested customers can connect and communicate through these 3rd party websites. Then both parties must negotiate any potential costs and shipping logistics. If you are interested, simply head to one of these sites or Google and search for “Amazon Freebies”. You’ll find tons of groups filled with both sellers and customers trying to get rid of their products.

Remember to negotiate the shipping costs and get the shipping address from the customer. Then the seller should notify Amazon to directly ship the freebies from the warehouse to the intended customer. We suggest Amazon sellers do this weeks in advance before their 365 days are up. That way, you can clear your inventory before you accrue any long-term storage fees.

How Sellers Can Reduce Freebies

For sellers worried about accruing long-term storage fees and want to avoid Amazon Direct Shipping, the best solution is to forecast your sales and order the proper amount of inventory. To forecast sales, monitor your product’s sales over a 30 day, 90 days, and 12 month period. By analyzing your product’s sales performances, you can estimate the sales of any product and purchase enough inventory to meet the demand. We recommend sellers stock at least 3 months’ worth of inventory if possible. This is enough inventory to meet demand while providing a safety net if you sell out quickly.

If you just started selling or cannot forecast your sales, we suggest you check out FBA seller tools. While there are many seller tools on the market, we highly recommend using Sellgo’s Product Tracker. The Product Tracker evaluates any product on Amazon and tracks its sales performances for you. You will be able to utilize the Product Tracker to track the Average Daily Sales of any product you sell. Then, you can use the sales estimation to restock the perfect amount of products.

With the Product Tracker, you will always know how much inventory to purchase and never have to worry about excess inventory or Amazon’s long-term storage fees again.

Be Proactive, Not Reactive

While Amazon Direct Shipping is a great solution for sellers dealing with overstocking and storage fees, it should never reach this point. Freebies may help get rid of excess inventory and protect sellers from fees. In the end, sellers are still losing money giving away products. By being proactive with seller tools like the Product Tracker, you can prevent giving away freebies. You will always purchase the perfect amount of stock to meet demand and prevent long-term storage fees. Your Amazon business will thank you.

Head over to Sellgo.com and check out the Product Tracker to be proactive and prevent any freebies in the future.

Amazon Attribution (Beta): A 2021 Beginner’s Guide

For Amazon sellers and brands, one of the best strategies to growing sales is broadcasting your products through multiple marketing channels. With more diverse avenues of traffic, merchants can broaden their visibility and expand their reach to new customer segments. Amazon is helping their sellers diversify their marketing channels by launching and testing the beta for their new tool, Amazon Attribution.

Amazon’s Attribution tool focuses on helping businesses expand their multichannel marketing through social media, search engines, and more. The best part about this new tool: sellers can start using it now, for free.

Keep reading this beginner’s guide to learn more about the new Attribution tool and how you can start using it now to grow your marketing strategy and accelerate your Amazon business.

What is Amazon Attribution Beta?

Amazon Attribution is Amazon’s new marketing and analytics tool that allows Amazon sellers to identify traffic channels and funnels. Marketers can connect their products and listings to external marketing channels including social media campaigns like Facebook or Twitter ads, along with search engine (Google Ads), email, video, and more.

This new tool takes advantage of “tags.” Tags are specialized URLs used to track your audience’s online activity and behavior. If a customer on another platform sees your ads and clicks your URL, the tag will track the traffic source they are coming from such as Facebook or Twitter. With the Attribution tool, you can measure how many customers are coming from your different marketing channels and optimize your marketing strategy.

Eligibility for Amazon Attribution

Amazon Attribution is still in its infancy, allowing users to test the beta. To use the beta, users need to be registered in Amazon’s Brand Registry to validate their ownership. Users also need to be currently active on Amazon, this includes sellers, vendors, agencies, and any party that sells on Amazon.

In addition to these requirements, the beta is only available in select countries including the United States, Canada, United King, France, and more. Please refer to the graphic below for eligibility.

https://advertising.amazon.com/solutions/products/amazon-attribution

Getting Started with Amazon Attribution

To start using Amazon’s Attribution tool, just follow these simple steps!

1. Sign up for the Attribution Tool through the links below. For current sellers, you can register through your Amazon Seller Central account.

For vendors: https://www.amazon.com/forms/3635f20b-f743-4f6a-99a1-4150eb5b4d00?ref_=a20m_us_p_attr_gs_sgnup

For Amazon sellers (NA): https://sellercentral.amazon.com/attribution?ref_=a20m_us_p_attr_gs_sc_rgstr

For Amazon sellers (EU): https://sellercentral-europe.amazon.com/attribution?ref_=a20m_us_p_attr_gs_sgnup_eu

2. Head to your Attribution dashboard, click on your Advertiser name and select “New Order”

3. Select your creation method. If you are using a pre-existing ad such as a Google paid search ad or a Facebook ad, you can upload a file that will automatically create the tags. If you would like to manually input the information, you can select “Manually Create Order and Tags”

4. Add the product you want to track. You can search by product name or ASIN.

5. Finalize Your Attribution Tags. Add a name and an optional external ID.

6. Name your item listing, choose your publisher platform (Facebook/Twitter/etc.), and add your listing URL. Then, click “Create.”

After step 6, your tag and URL are complete! Take the URLs and paste them into your ads on other platforms. Once you launch those ad campaigns, the URL will track any clicks you get and will display where the clicks are coming from. From here, you’ll be able to who is viewing your listing and which platforms are getting the most traction. By the end, you can test different platforms, remove ads that don’t have enough clicks, and scale up the ones that do!

Advertising with Attribution

Amazon sellers and vendors interested in Attribution can utilize this tool to understand their customers’ behavior. When a customer clicks on your tag on another platform, Attribution will capture the most important metrics for your products including:

Visibility Metrics

  • Clicks: the number of times customers click on your URL
  • Impressions: the number of digital views and engagements
  • Page Views: the number of customers viewing your listing and product page

Conversion Metrics:

  • Add-to-carts: the amount of times your product is added to a buyer’s cart on Amazon
  • Purchase rate: the number of sale conversions from page viewers
  • Total sales: the amount of times your product is sold

These metrics provide a ton of insight into your customer’s behavior and how they view your product. By tracking your audience, you can see exactly which channels are performing well and which are underperforming. These metrics will also reveal which platforms your market segment is located on.

For example, if you see that your Facebook ads are not getting enough clicks, you can either try a new Facebook ad (A/B test and reiterate) or reduce your Facebook budget and invest in better-performing channels. If you happen to get a lot of clicks and sales on a specific site, you can scale the ads and increase your budget to capture more clicks. 

You may also see that your customers are more likely to use one site over another. If your customers are clicking your links on Facebook more than on Twitter, you should focus more attention on Facebook ads than Twitter ads. The ability to track and analyze your customer funnels will allow you to optimize your strategy by cutting poor-performing channels and maximizing proven channels.

Benefits of Multichannel Traffic

If you currently don’t advertise on non-Amazon platforms, Amazon’s Attribution tool might not be helpful. But, it also provides a new opportunity to expand your marketing and traffic to multiple channels. While advertising and sponsored ads may have an upfront cost, they can be extremely useful to launching your products and increasing your sales. These are some of the best advantages of multichannel traffic:

  1. Product Visibility: With ads and sponsored posts on multiple platforms, you get more visibility and traffic on your product listing. This increases the eyes on your product and can lead to higher sales.
  2. Amazon Best Sellers Rank: Higher sales for your product means your product’s Seller Rank will also increase. Better rankings can also mean more customers viewing and buying your product on Amazon.
  3. Brand Building: Launching and selling a product can be extremely difficult because your brand is unknown. Ads can provide more sales, reviews, and trust for your brand.
  4. Shareability: Product listings and ads on social media are easy to share. If a customer likes your product, they can simply repost, share, and recommend your products to their friends.

What Are You Waiting For?

You can start advertising with Amazon’s Attribution tool now for free! This tool can be extremely powerful for Amazon sellers who advertise on other platforms as long as you are already brand registered. Start using Attribution today to learn more about your customers and optimize your Amazon sales!

To source products to start your Amazon business or improve your sales, check out Sellgo.com and our FBA tools!

Amazon Seller Search: 3 Ways to Find Any Seller

In 2020, Amazon was estimated to have over 9.7 million sellers across the globe with 1.9 million active sellers every month. With so many sellers in the marketplace, you would expect Amazon to have a really easy and thorough method to find or locate any seller on its platform. Well, you’d be wrong.

If you have shopped or sold anything on Amazon and have tried to find a specific seller, you probably had a really hard time finding the seller. For whatever reason, Amazon has made it incredibly difficult to find a seller, even if you know their exact store name. Well, don’t you worry. Here are three proven and easy-to-use ways to find any seller.

Searching by Storename

The easiest and fastest method to finding an Amazon seller is through their store name. If you know the store name of the merchant, simply use this URL (https://www.amazon.com/shops/) and add the store name to the end. You should end up with a URL similar to:

https://www.amazon.com/shops/storenamehere

You should be directed to the seller’s product list, which includes all of the products they are currently selling. If you want to find go to their seller page, simply click on one of their product listings. Then, click on their store name at the bottom of the Buy Box next to “Ships From” and “Sold by.”

You will be directed to the seller page that display their ratings, reviews, and business information. The only issue with this method is that Amazon businesses can freely change their business or store names. This means if the seller changes their name, you won’t be able to use this method! Amazon hasn’t resolved this issue yet, so if you’re in this situation, you should look to the next method!

Using Sellgo’s Seller Database

If you don’t happen to know the seller’s store name or if the seller has changed their store name, then the first method won’t work for you. Instead, we suggest checking out Sellgo’s new Seller Database tool we just released for beta. The Seller Database allows any user to find any Amazon using their Seller IDs, product brands, ASINs, marketplace, location, and even reviews and ratings. The Seller Database is one of the most powerful seller finder tools on the market. Simply head over to Sellgo.com and input some information about the seller you’re looking for. If you know the seller’s unique Amazon Merchant ID, you can easily copy and paste it into the Seller Database. The tool will populate the seller for you,

The biggest benefit of searching by Seller ID is that it never changes. Even if a seller changes their business or store name, the Seller ID stays the same.

In the case you don’t have the seller’s ID, you can also find the seller using the products they sell. The Seller Database can find all the sellers that sell a product. If you know one of the seller’s products, just input that information into the Seller Database and the tool will display all the sellers selling that product in your marketplace.

One of the coolest features of the Seller Database is locating sellers based on the location of their business. If you’re curious about the sellers in your state, click on the “Location” tab on the Seller Database. Choose a state or U.S. territory (including Guam, Marshall Islands, and more) and a list of sellers within that area will appear. The Seller Database will then show you the hundreds or even thousands of sellers in your state or selected region.

The Seller Database is also an amazing tool for businesses, agencies, and enterprises who work directly with Amazon businesses. If you or your business would like to connect with a network of Amazon sellers in your area, the Seller Database is a great tool! And the best part: you can try the Seller Database for only $1!

Using Sellgo’s Seller Map

The third and final method to find an Amazon seller is through another new tool by Sellgo, the Seller Map. The Seller Map is an awesome new tool that we recently released on Sellgo.com that pinpoints the exact location of every seller in the U.S. Instead of generating a list of sellers, the Seller Map is simply that, a map.

The map is covered in pins, each representing an Amazon seller or business. This is a revolutionary Amazon seller tool that allows anyone to connect with the sellers in their own neighborhoods. Unlike the Seller Database, the Seller Map allows you to zone in on any Country, State, and even U.S. zip code.

When looking at the Seller Map, you’ll see some pins and circles marked with a numerical figure. Each circle and numerical figures represent all the sellers with that specific region. Like any other map, you can zoom in and get specific details on each business’ information including their business name, state, country, brands, and even inventory.

Want to see what Amazon sellers are in your neighborhood? Well, the Seller Map gives you all that power and data a couple of clicks away.

Pinpointing Your Amazon Seller Search

Whether you’re a shopper looking for a seller, or a business trying to connect with Amazon businesses, these 3 proven methods are great tools to find what you’re looking for.

Right now, the Sellgo Seller Database and Seller Map are released for beta! You can use and try out our new powerful tools for $1.99! Head over to Sellgo.com and start locating any seller on Amazon now!

2021 Guide to Super Targeting: Source Profitable High-Demand Products

Product scouting is one of the most meticulous tasks every successful Amazon seller must complete. Product scouting is the process of exploring and discovering new products to sell on Amazon that are replenishable. profitable, and in high demand.

Most products nowadays are scouted through two methods: leaf sourcing and reverse sourcing. Leaf sourcing is the process of sourcing a single profitable product and sourcing related or similar products with identical profit margins. We covered this strategy and breakdown the steps in our How to Leaf Source article.

The other common method of scouting products is Reverse Sourcing. Like leaf sourcing, reverse sourcing starts with finding a single profitable product. Instead of finding similar products, you find the product’s supplier and then analyze the supplier’s catalog for any other profitable products. We also wrote about this strategy in more detail in our blog How to Reverse Source. If you haven’t read these articles, we highly suggest you go back and read them before you read this article. All three of these strategies are most effective when used together.

While leaf sourcing and reverse sourcing are effective scouting methods, they are driven by luck. Sellers can spend hours or even days trying to scout a single winning product. Without that single product, leaf sourcing and reverse sourcing are essentially useless. That is why we’ll be showing you the third type of product scouting called Super Targeting, which is more effective, efficient, and successful than both leaf sourcing and reverse sourcing.

What is Super Targeting?

While leaf sourcing and reverse sourcing start by finding a single product, super targeting starts by finding a single seller. Instead of struggling to find a profitable product, super targeting uses your competitor’s inventory for your benefit.

You might be wondering, why would I want to copy my competitor’s products?

Think about it. If another Amazon seller is selling a product, shouldn’t the product be profitable? No third-party seller would intentionally sell a product for negative profit. You can assume your competitor’s catalogs are filled with replenishable, profitable, and high-quality products you can start selling now.

We like to think of super targeting as a competitive resource. If your competitors have done all the research to find profitable products, why not sell the same products for your business? Your competitors have done all the hard work, now you can reap the benefits of their labor. By using super targeting to find your competitor’s products, you’ll find profitable products faster and more efficiently.

Picking a Competitor

Before you pick a competitor and start sourcing their products, you should perform due diligence and review the seller’s sales history and product lists. You don’t want to copy any seller’s catalog of products, you want to find reputable and proven sellers.

When looking for a seller to start super targeting, we recommend looking at the seller’s Seller Ratings (over the last 30 days minimum and Seller Reviews (over the last 30 days, 90 days, 12 months, and lifetime).

In particular, you want to note any negative reviews the seller has received. Sellers with tons of negative reviews may be selling fake or defective products or be practicing bad business tactics. Regardless, you want to make sure you don’t super target poor-performing sellers who may hurt your business and reputation. We recommend only super targeting sellers with a minimum of 100 reviews over the past 90 days with an 80% or more positive rating in the last 12 months. This due diligence will pay off when you begin sourcing the same products as a reputable and trusted seller.

Along with ratings and reviews, take a glance at the seller’s products. Ensure all the products have good reviews and ratings, and that the products are realistic for your inventory.

Even if a seller has great ratings and reviews, if their products have poor reviews or you do not have the resources to source and sell their products, they are not ideal super targeting candidates. The perfect super targeting candidates will have great reviews and ratings, reliable products, and realistic products you can source.

Looking at Current Competition

Where is the best place to start when super targeting? The best place to start super targeting is looking at similar sellers to you.

If you currently sell on Amazon, look at your product listings and see who else is selling your products. Your current competitors are most likely to sell other products and are similar in business size, product catalogs, and resources. Review their products and see if you can spot any profitable products that you can start selling now.

If you don’t have any competitors or just started selling, you’ll have to start super targeting from scratch. Start by identifying a seller with sufficient ratings and positive reviews. We target sellers with at least 100 reviews over the past 90 days and an 80% or higher seller rating. From there, you can scout a seller’s inventory quickly to see if there are any leads.

Choosing the Right Products

Once you find your first super targeting candidate, it’s time to analyze their products and find any leads. Product analysis begins with calculating the profit margins. You want to compare the selling price and subtract the cost of the product, fulfillment fees, and other associated costs. You can use Amazon’s Revenue Calculator to expedite the calculations and estimate the profitability.

Along with profit potential, you calculate the sales estimation of the product to see how many units you would source and sell within 30 days. If you have access to Sellgo’s Profit Finder, simply search the ASIN of the potential product and look under the “Average Daily Sales.” From there, you can estimate how many units you would need to source for 90 days.

The next step is to determine the number of competing sellers there are currently selling the product. For each product, count the number of sellers using Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) and who are within 2% of the lowest price point. Use these two filters to figure out the number of competitive sellers who are fighting for the Buy Box. Divide the sales estimation by the amount of competitors + 1 (accounting for yourself) to determine the number of sales you will collect off this single item in 30 days. We cover the Buy Box and how to develop a winning strategy in our blog on 6 Strategies to Win the Amazon Buy Box.

Repeat this process for every single item your candidate sells. We know this process might take a moment to complete. Take your time to analyze every product, and you’ll quickly find a collection of profitable, high-demand products.

Super Targeting with Sellgo

Although super targeting is already very effective, Sellgo developed the Seller Finder tool to bring super targeting to the next level.

Every seller on Amazon has a “Seller ID” or “Merchant ID,” found on the storefront page and URL. Similar to ASINs, seller IDs are used to identify every single third-party seller on Amazon. With the Seller Finder, you can find any seller’s inventory by simply having a seller’s ID number.

The Seller ID is the 14 digit code found at the end of the URL on a storefront’s Amazon page. For example, the Seller ID here is A2WLBKW9QQMEB1.

To optimize your super targeting, find your competitor’s seller ID and input the code into the Seller Finder. The Seller Finder will find your competitor and provide you with an entire breakdown of their account including ratings and reviews, all their brands, and all of the ASINs they currently sell.

You can then easily copy all of their products onto your clipboard and analyze each ASIN one by one to find any leads.

Not only can you review their ASINs in a few seconds, but you can also check their inventory levels to see how much stock they have left. Competitors with low stock are prime candidates you can source and take sales from!

The Seller Finder empowers your super targeting skills to a whole new level. Instead of struggling to find a single seller and their products, you can quickly find tons of sellers and take their most profitable products. The best part about Sellgo’s Seller Finder? You can try out the Seller Finder for only $1 right now at Sellgo.com.

Power Up Your Product Scouting

Super targeting gives your entire Amazon business a power-up. Along with leaf sourcing and reverse sourcing, super targeting is another method of product scouting that can you can implement today and accelerate your inventory and sales. If you want to even go further and maximize your productivity and efficiency, use Sellgo’s Seller Finder for only $1. The Seller Finder will give you even more tools to scout thousands of products and sellers faster than you can imagine.

What are you waiting for? Head over to Sellgo.com and start scouting and sourcing new products 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!

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!

Amazon FBA or Amazon FBM? Choosing Your Shipping Model in 2021

17 - FBA vs FBM

Choosing your Amazon shipping model is one of the first decisions you have to make that can determine the success, profitability, and foundation of your business.

Selling on Amazon provides two different shipping methods: Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) or Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM). While both of these models provide similar benefits, each has distinct logistics and procedures that play a major role in how many products you can have in your inventory and the number of sales you should expect. In some cases, you may want to do a hybrid approach where you use both FBA AND FBM if it matches the needs of your business.

This blog is going to provide an in-depth breakdown of both the FBA and FBM models and the pros and cons of each model depending on your Amazon business. After reading, you should be able to determine which shipping model would be best suited for your business needs and the next steps you should take to build your Amazon business!

FBA

The first shipping model you can use is the Fulfillment by Amazon method or simply “FBA”. Amazon’s Fulfillment by Amazon is a shipping model that allows sellers to purchase products (whether it be wholesale, private label, or arbitrage) and then send them directly to Amazon’s Fulfillment Centers located across the globe. These centers will accept the products and store them at their warehouses for the sellers. If a customer buys a product from a third-party seller, Amazon will locate the inventory, package it, and then send it directly to the buyer.

Amazon FBA is not only the easiest model for Amazon sellers, but it is also the most common. Out of the top 10,000 sellers on Amazon, roughly 2/3rds or 66% of them use the FBA model. The popularity of FBA isn’t surprising at all considering the amount of work and management Amazon has invested into building their Fulfillment Center network. The FBA model enables sellers to quickly ship their products to Amazon without having to directly handle any merchandise.

By using this model, third-party sellers can order products, sit back, and collect earnings from Amazon, all without having to worry about the logistics or management of purchases. In addition to having to do less work, sellers can take the time and resources they saved using the FBA model to invest in growing their businesses instead.

Pros of FBA Business

The benefits of using FBA seem endless for third-party sellers.

First, FBA sellers get the best benefit of saving time and energy. Fulfilling orders is often the most grueling part of selling on Amazon. Having to pay for shipping costs, shipping items to buyers, or even picking a shipping company can be a long and strenuous process, especially if you’re selling a lot of products at the same time. An advantage of the FBA model is that you don’t worry about fulfilling any order since the FBA covers all of those responsibilities.

The second is saving storing or inventory management costs. Holding a physical inventory in a room or warehouse takes up space and money to rent out storage. Some sellers might even need employees or a management system to handle all of the physical stock products. Using FBA means that you don’t need to store anything because all of your products are being sent to Fulfillment Centers instead.

The third benefit is productivity. With Amazon FBA, shipping and fulfillment productivity and efficiency are optimized to the highest degree. Amazon hires hundreds of employees at each Fulfillment Center and has implemented procedures and protocols to optimize shipping times. You can rest easy knowing Amazon is shipping your items on time and is a lot more productive than if you were shipping products yourself. Not only is it more productive, but if you’re selling a ton of products, it’ll also be cheaper using FBA than individually shipping one item at a time!

Fourth, is access to Amazon’s Prime shipping. Prime shipping provides customers and buyers with access to same-day, 1-day, or 2-day shipping. As a seller, these added benefits don’t mean much, but a buyer might enjoy these added benefits and may buy more products because of the quick shipping times. Since your products are at the fulfillment centers, your products will most likely be eligible for Prime shipping.

Last but not least, the fifth pro of using FBA is managing returns from buyers. If a buyer has a problem with a product, Amazon FBA will handle all returns for you and even ship the buyer a different unit.

Cons of FBA Business

With any advantages, there will have to be some disadvantages to using Amazon FBA too. Here are some of the problems that you may run into using FBA:

One disadvantage is that using the FBA model isn’t free, and Amazon will charge you fees to use their services. We cover this a bit in our blog about 7 Steps to Activate Your Amazon Seller Central Account, but in short, sellers can decide between an individual plan or a professional plan. For individual plans, sellers have to pay $0.99 per unit sold, or they can opt for the professional plan of $39.99 per month. For some sellers and some products, these fees can take up your profit margins, leaving you with little to no profits off of selling on Amazon.

Another disadvantage of the FBA model is that the products are out of your control. Because sellers do not have to handle any merchandise, they can’t identify any problems or issues with the quality of the products unless a buyer returns a defective product. This could lead to potentially bad reviews about your business or your stock could be entirely defective without your knowledge.

The third problem with Amazon FBA is that managing your inventory can be a bit more challenging. Since you do not have any direct interactions with stock, it’ll be harder to forecast the perfect number of inventory to buy for your business. Some seasons your products will fly off the shelves and other times they’ll collect dust. It can be tricky to find the perfect order volume, especially since the products aren’t physically there for you to check and count.

The fourth con of using the FBA model is that Amazon has very strict guidelines to ship to their Fulfillment Centers. They have instructions for all suppliers and sellers when shipping products to one of the warehouses such as packaging, labeling, and identification codes. While this doesn’t seem like a big deal, not following these instructions can lead to a logistical nightmare trying to hunt down your shipments.

FBM

The other commonly used model for shipping products for your Amazon business is through the FBM or “Fulfillment by Merchant” model. The FBM model also refers to self-shipping, in which sellers will have complete control over their inventory and fulfilling shipments. This may include ordering and storing inventory, utilizing a warehouse, packaging and shipping individual items to sellers, and handling returns for defective products.

Pros of Self Shipping

Although this method is less common than its FBA counterpart and may require more work for individual sellers, it also provides a lot of benefits that are lost with the FBA model.

For starters, self shipping enables sellers to have complete control over the buying and shipping process. Unlike FBA, sellers can perform quality assurance on their inventory, leading to fewer returns or the likelihood of shipping out defective products, This is also safer in terms of protecting your Amazon business because you can prevent bad products from reaching the customers thus protecting your brand and personal reputation. FBM sellers also can check inventory levels and order better quantities of their stock since they can forecast sales with complete awareness.

Secondly, FBM means sellers don’t have to pay the upfront costs that would hurt profitability like FBA. With FBM, sellers are not subjected to FBA fees, thus they might see higher profit margins for the items they do sell.

Third, is the customer service benefits that come along with FBM. We touched on this topic a bit already, but with more power comes more responsibility. Since FBM sellers handle all of the returns, they can directly communicate with the customer. This means the transparency between sellers and buyers becomes a lot stronger, allowing for more trust and communication between two parties.

Cons of Self Shipping

Of course, with any benefits of using FBM, there are also associated disadvantages as well.

For FBM, self shipping will often be more expensive since sellers will need to ship items individually. It also becomes a logistical challenge to find the right delivery service and pay for their fees as well. This also means taking on shipping challenges such as delayed shipments, missing packages, or even stolen merchandise,

Secondly, we come back to more agency and responsibility of FBM. Because you handle merchandise directly, it also means higher quantities of work and challenges of managing large amounts of inventory. For some FBM sellers, they have to invest in large warehouses that have rental costs as well as hiring staff or employees to help manage the load of work. Although you do not have to pay the FBA fees, there are a ton of other costs that may be involved in FBM.

Third, with self shipping, you also lose access to Prime shipping. Amazon is currently working to solve this issue with their new Prime program, but for now, FBM sellers do not have many options when it comes to the same-day, 1-day, or 2-day shipping. Missing this bonus may be a dealbreaker for buyers who want their purchases quickly, so FBM may be losing out on potential sales and profits.

Choosing the right Amazon Shipping Business Model

Now that you have a better understanding of the two shipping models for your Amazon business, it leads us to the ultimate questions:

What shipping model should I use for my Amazon business?

The best answer we can provide you is, it depends. To determine the best model for your business, you will need to understand the size, sales estimations, and overall needs of your business.

If you’re leaning towards the FBA model, here are some key criteria:

  1. Expecting high quantities of sales
  2. Limited storage space or access to warehouses
  3. Less stress or involvement
  4. Selling items with high return rates

If you’re leaning towards the FBM model, here are some criteria to look for:

  1. Expecting limited or low amounts of sales
  2. Selling big, heavy, or large items
  3. Have access to storage or warehouses to keep inventory
  4. Selling items with low return rates
  5. Access to employees or management software

Deciding on the shipping model is dependent on what your business needs. If you want less involvement or need more help managing your inventory then FBA may be the best solution. If you want to be more involved in the shipping process and want more control over your inventory then FBM might be a better fit.

Some sellers opt to use a hybrid model of both FBA and FBM. Don’t forget that you can always switch over to a different model if it’s not working for you.

The bottom line is: no one really knows your business except for you.

I picked my Amazon business model, what now?

If you have picked your Amazon business model and know which shipping method you prefer, it’s time to start building your business. Head over to Amazon’s Seller Central and create your account today!

The best time to start your business was yesterday. The second best time to start your business is today.

If you need help jumpstarting your Amazon FBA or Amazon FBM business, head to our blogs and read our 7 Steps to Activate Your Amazon Seller Account in 2021 blog. We’ll see you there!

5 Useful Seller Tools For Every Amazon FBA Seller

16 - 5 Free Seller Tools that Every Amazon FBA Seller Should Use

Want to optimize your Amazon business and maximize earnings? Check out these 5 useful, free, and easy-to-us tools that every seller should use to grow their Amazon FBA business!

Every person needs their tools. Like athletes needing their equipment or even Batman needing his utility belt, an Amazon seller’s tools are essential to maintaining their business. There are hundreds of different FBA tools, but today, we’ll be focusing on 5 FREE, downloadable, and easy-to-use tools that every Amazon FBA seller should be using.

Some of these tools you may already be very familiar with, but we’re going to be showing you some advanced tips and tricks that will set you above the competition and will help you develop your Amazon business and competitive strategy. By using these tools consistently, any seller can make their business more efficient while also being very cost-effective.

Amazon Shopping App

Everyone knows of Amazon and almost everyone has the Amazon app on their smartphones. If you online shop at all, you probably have the app already installed on your phone. While most people use the Amazon app for online shopping, did you know sellers can also use the shopping app to find potential products to sell? We want to show you two hacks that can help expand your Amazon FBA catalog!

Amazon Frequently Bought Together

When you’re looking at a product page on Amazon, you scroll down and see this section called “Frequently Bought Together”. Sometimes you might look at the other products you can buy together, or sometimes you don’t even bother and scroll right past it. But if you’re an Amazon seller, you should definitely be taking a look. The Frequently Bought Together section provides insight into what customers are already buying together.

If you sell one of those items, you should consider expanding your catalog to include those 2-3 additional products alongside the one you’re already selling. Not only does it lead to higher sales and potential profits, but it also allows sellers to get rid of more stock that has been sitting around or it can be replenished if you want to keep selling these product packages. In some cases, all of the products that are frequently bought together may also come from the same manufacturer. If you already have a relationship with a wholesale manufacturer, make sure to ask about their wholesale catalog and see what items you can order in bulk!

Amazon Keyword Tool and Amazon Search Bar Tricks

Lots of people are unfamiliar or unaware of the search bar tricks on Amazon’s shopping app. Whenever you type in a product on Amazon, you might see that Amazon suggests various phrases or terms similar to what you’re looking for. For example, if you’re shopping for a gaming mouse and search for it on Amazon, they might suggest other related products like “gaming mouse pads” or even specific brands like “gaming mouse SteelSeries.” This isn’t a coincidence! Amazon has tons of data on their customers and they know that people shopping for gaming mouses are frequently looking for gaming pads for their mouses or they want a specific name brand like Steelseries. You can do this for any product! Beauty, home and kitchen, electronics; any item you can think of, Amazon will provide you with additional keywords that are popular and related to that first item.

How can sellers use this trick? If you’re looking to expand your catalog, use Amazon’s search bar to see what people are actively shopping for! By using this trick, you can easily identify popular product categories and strong performing products that will help you expand your business and lead to higher sales and more profit in your pocket!

Amazon Seller App

The most obvious and essential tool that all Amazon sellers should be using is the Amazon Seller app. The Amazon Sellers app is the hub for your Amazon business. The app will allow you to manage and monitor your business such as viewing your sales performance, inventory tracking, and editing product photos. While all of these features are vital for your Amazon business, we want to discuss the underrated but just as important features you can use the Seller app for.

For starters, the Sellers app allows you to look up and identify any product’s ASIN or “Amazon Standard Identification Number”. This feature is essential to sellers at every level who need to find products and their ASIN numbers to manage inventory and expand their catalogs. If you aren’t using this feature yet, check it out as soon as possible and integrate it into your business procedures and strategy.

In addition to the ASIN identification feature, the next underrated feature is the customer support chat feature. The Seller app allows any seller to contact and chat with potential buyers who ask questions about the products you’re selling. While some may not care about this feature, we encourage all sellers to take this seriously. Your company’s brand and image are built by your customers. If you have top-of-the-line customer support, buyers will note that and reward you by becoming loyal customers and buying more of your products. This is how you build your business and brand image; by talking and building those strong relationships with your customers.

FBA Calculator

We’ve talked about the Amazon FBA calculator quite often, and focused on it in our past article on the Profit Calculator, but this tool is so important that we had to bring it up again! The FBA calculator is free to use as a tool that is located in Amazon’s Seller Central. Long story short, the FBA calculator enables sellers to calculate the profitability of any product they want to sell. They do so by allowing sellers to input the cost of an item and the selling price, then incorporate all the potential costs of selling that product such as the shipping price, FBA fees, and sellers fees. Sellers can use the FBA calculator to determine the potential profitability of a product before they even put in an order from the supplier.

This tool is one of the most important because sellers can reduce the risk of poor performing or negative profit products. While the FBA calculator is not perfect by any means, it is the first line of defense for sellers to weed out bad products. We always want to remind sellers that the calculator should only be used for estimation purposes since there might be additional costs that are not included in the calculator such as additional shipping fees, packaging fees, etc. that can impact the profitability of items. So if you’re not sure, make sure to double, triple, or even quadruple check!

Camelcamelcamel

Camelcamelcamel is one of our favorite free-to-use tools for both shoppers and FBA sellers. Camelcamelcamel specializes in two primary data analytics: high-selling popular products and Amazon history price tracking. If you want to find popular products to sell on Amazon or affordable products to stock up your inventory, Camelcamelcamel provides both of these on their website and through their Chrome Extension. For sellers. they should frequently and consistently check up on Camelcamelcamel to see what products are currently trending. If a product is performing very well, it may be worth trying to contact a manufacturer to help expand and build your Amazon business catalog. Camelcamelcamel will include each product’s link, best price, list price, and average price. That should provide you with enough information to decide if a product has the potential to be profitable.

Along with popular products, sellers and buyers can track price history and look for price drops. Price drops can be high-value products that sellers can buy for cheap and then resell for a profit. While this strategy is not the most profitable, it provides a lot of short-term and incremental benefits for smaller sellers who are looking to build experience with Amazon FBA.

Sellgo Chrome Extension

The last FBA tool we want to discuss is Sellgo’s Chrome Extension. The Sellgo Chrome extension is the ultimate tool for any FBA seller. To use the Chrome Extension, just head to the Chrome Web Store and search and install the Sellgo Chrome Extension into your browser. After it finishes installing, it’ll be ready to use right away. Simply search up any product on Amazon then click on the Sellgo logo on the top right of Google Chrome. Then, a window will pop-up on your screen with a list of all the products related to your search. The information is extremely valuable. Next to every product photo and title will include important key performance indicators such as the price, monthly sales, reviews, ratings, and the product’s best-seller ranking!

Why should you care about this tool? Well, it provides you with all of the information you need to find winning, high-selling, and high-profitable products! By using the Chrome Extension with Sellgo’s other tools (Search Management, Profit Finder, Product Tracker), any seller can find products that can help accelerate the growth of their business. You can use these tools instead of the ones we previously mentioned, and the best part: it helps sellers at every stage of the FBA process.

First, sellers can find profitable products and the Search Management tool will help you identify and contact manufacturers. Once you have a wholesale account and sign the contract, you can get a wholesale catalog from your supplier and upload it to Sellgo’s Profit Finder to organize all the potentially profitable products to stock up on. Then after you put in an order and start selling, the Product Tracker will keep track of your stock and inventory to let you know when to restock popular items! From start to finish, Sellgo’s FBA tools will help you run your business!

While the Chrome Extension is free to download, we want to note that Sellgo has a premium subscription service to utilize all of its tools. But don’t worry! If you want to try out Sellgo’s product and services, they have a free 7-day trial for any seller to test out their products! We promise you, once you use these tools, you won’t want to stop!

Building Your Resources with Amazon Seller Tools

The true reality of Amazon FBA is that a seller’s tools can determine how successful and how profitable their business will be. The best FBA sellers are the ones with the best resources and tools and can use their resources to optimize their Amazon business. A seller’s tools empower their business owners to become more efficient, and consistent all while being cost-effective. If you are looking to accelerate the growth of your business or are trying to find profitable products to increase your earnings, we cannot stress how vital tools can be to help you accomplish your goals. Whatever tools you decide to use, be sure to build up those resources and maximize your business with reliable FBA tools!

If you want a jumpstart to find the best tools, visit our website and consider our tools at sellgo.com!

3 Ways to Accelerate Your Amazon FBA Business

15 - 3 Ways to Accelerate Your Amazon FBA Business

Streamline and accelerate your Amazon Business and FBA Business with these three tips! Make your business more efficient, consistent, and cost-friendly!

You’ve started your Amazon FBA or Amazon Wholesale business and started selling items and making decent money. Now you’re wondering, how do I grow or expand my business from here?

If this sounds like your situation, you’re in the right place. Most Amazon sellers can earn anywhere between $12,000 to $50,000 in their first year of selling on Amazon. Experienced sellers that have developed and expanded their businesses and can make upwards of $200,000 per year. Regardless of the earnings, sellers at every level of experience want to be able to grow their business even further. Some may want to quit their regular job and move towards Amazon FBA full-time, others see the earning potential and want to become their boss and set their schedules.

Whatever your reason is, you can follow these 3 easy steps to grow and accelerate your Amazon business.

Hacks to Speed Up Research Products

It’s no surprise that product research takes up a ton of time for every Amazon reseller. Every seller is expected to find a wholesale supplier, look through endless catalogs and then find the needle in the haystack of profitable products to stock up and sell on Amazon. This process requires plenty of resources (time, energy, capital) that could be better used to expand your business. The first way to accelerate your Amazon FBA business is to cut down the product research time. There are different hacks that sellers can use, but we want to focus on two: hiring Amazon Product Researchers or hacking the process with Wholesale Catalogs and Manufacturing Newsletters.

Hiring Amazon Product Researchers

The first hack that can speed up the research products phase is by hiring an Amazon Product Researcher. You might be thinking, “where would I even look to find a researcher?” Honestly, the process is a lot easier and much more streamlined than you think. Researchers are plentiful. both domestic and international. If you want to hire someone quickly, there are plenty of websites that have researchers available for contract hire. This means that you would only need to pay a fee or hourly wage for however long they worked. Hiring a contractor is quick and easy, and more often than not, these contractors will bring tons of experience and insight on finding the best products. The most common places to hire contract workers would be websites like Upwork, Fiverr, and Guru to name a few.

Some Amazon sellers prefer to hire a friend or someone they know to become their Amazon Product Researcher. Whether you hire a friend or find a freelance contractor, before you pay them, make sure they understand the FBA process, important Key Performance Indicators (return on investment, profit margins, etc.), how to find winning products, and even how to examine a wholesale catalog.

These are some of the basic and advanced skills any product researcher must know to find winning products.

Wholesale Catalogs and Manufacturing Newsletters

Most experienced sellers know this hack, but every seller at every level of expertise should always refer to available resources like wholesale catalogs and newsletters from suppliers. If you already signed a wholesale contract, the supplier probably gave you access to their wholesale catalog. Most manufacturers produce more than one product, and more often than not, they have all the products they make in a wholesale catalog along with the cost of goods, selling price, and other statistics for sellers. We always recommend sellers carefully look through every possible catalog. Catalogs are rich in information and provide you with a plethora of valuable products that can greatly expand your business and earnings. Winning products are a needle in a haystack, even a single product can make or break your Amazon business.

Alongside catalogs, some wholesalers might even have a monthly or yearly newsletter that discusses new products and discounts they are going to start providing. These new products or discounts can be profitable if you take advantage of the newsletter. Like the catalogs, manufacturing newsletters have tons of information on important updates. With something this important, take your time to examine and analyze every potential product and discount to see if it would be profitable for your business to sell.

If you need more help to source products for your Amazon business, check out our blogs on Super Tracking or Product Analysis!

Amazon FBA Tools

The second way that you can expand and accelerate your Amazon business is through using FBA tools and other seller resources. While some tools are paid and some tools are free, some tools can help sellers at every stage of selling, whether it be finding wholesalers, identifying winning products, or even tracking and managing their inventory. If you want to grow your business, you might want to look into some of these useful tools.

Search Management

One tool that every seller should consider is a Search Management tool. The Search Management tool is the one that cuts down the product research step significantly. If you want to avoid hiring a product researcher or don’t have time to manually look through catalogs and newsletters. the Search Management tool will be your savior. Search Management tools do all the product research for you. Instead of having to hire someone, you can use these tools to upload a wholesale catalog, and the tools will analyze, sort, and organize all of the potential products into a simple and easy-to-read table. Without having to invest time to research products, you can easily identify strong performing products that can help grow your Amazon business.

If you’re in the market for a Search Management tool, Sellgo offers a Search Management tool that provides you with all these benefits. With the Sellgo subscription, you can break down a catalog yourself. The time and resources you would have paid a researcher could be used on this tool instead. It would not only be cheaper than hiring a freelance contractor, but it would also be a lot faster and more efficient.

Profit Finder

The second tool that can help accelerate the growth of your Amazon business is the Profit Finder. The Profit Finder tools will be the ones that identify winning, profitable products. Even if you have a wholesale catalog, you don’t necessarily know if that product will end up being profitable enough to grow or expand your business. Along with the cost of the product, you have to also consider other additional fees like the shipping or packaging costs, sellers fees, storing or holding fees. All of these factors are usually overlooked by sellers or product researchers. By using Profit Finder tools, they analyze the potential profitability of every item and can determine the select few that will be vital to expanding your business.

If you don’t have a Profit Finder tool in mind, we highly recommend the Seller Profit Finder tool. The Sellgo Profit Finder works hand-in-hand with the Search Management tool. After you upload a catalog from a supplier, the Profit Finder will organize the products based on important KPIs like the ones we mentioned above. You can sort all of the potential products based on factors such as the average profit margins, expected return on investments, cost of goods while also taking into account additional fees like shipping costs and sellers fees.

The best part is that both the Search Management tool and Profit Finder tool are included in your Sellgo subscription, so you would only have to pay one price for both of these tools that can help your business grow. Not to mention, it would be cheaper and more efficient than having to pay a freelance contractor or looking into the catalogs yourself. By utilizing both Search Management and Profit Finder tools, it does all of the product research work for you. After using both of these tools, all you need to do is put in an order to the manufacturer and start collecting sales on Amazon!

Before you order any products, make sure to read our article on Profit Calculators and how to calculate the profit margins on potential products that could earn you money!

Inventory Tracking System

Inventory tracking is often overlooked because many sellers tend to underestimate the severe impact of inventory and supply management. We talk about tips on optimizing Amazon Inventory in a past blog, but essentially, managing your inventory will create major blockages if not done properly. If you have too much inventory of a bad product, it takes up space, costs money to store, and prevents you from buying and storing better, higher profitable products. If all sellers can optimize their inventory tracking, it will lead to more efficiency, higher sales, and more money back to your business.

How to Keep Track of Inventory

When keeping track of your inventory, you want to make sure to consistently check inventory levels the number of sales for each item. Your stock should always be maintained to ensure you can fulfill sales and more. Your products should meet 3 main requirements.

  1. You want your products to be replenishable. If your inventory or stock is low, it should be very fast and easy to order more. The last thing you want is to not have enough inventory and lose out on potential earnings.
  2. You want your inventory to be mixed with various products. If you invest in only one product or too many products, you either won’t have enough space to store it or your money is going to be tied up to a product that may underperform, Ideally, you want a decent amount of products and a medium amount of stock to reduce risks.
  3. You want to make sure to forecast how many products you’re expecting to sell. If you don’t forecast properly, you might end up with excess inventory or overstocking, or on the other end, you might wind up selling more than expected and risk losing out on sales.

Product Tracker

An easier method of tracking your stock is by using an inventory tracking system or a similar Product Tracker tool. This is another type of FBA tool but primarily focuses on maintaining your inventory so you can maximize both sales potential and inventory organization to restock on high-performing products. With a Product Tracker tool, it will notify you when an item is low on stock so you can reorder. Some Product Trackers even have a sales estimation tool that will forecast the number of products you’ll sell in a certain time period. Depending on how much stock you have, it will inform and recommend a specific quantity of stock so you always have the perfect amount of products that are ready to ship to potential buyers.

Sellgo offers a Product Tracker that does both of these jobs and more. Like we mentioned in the previous sections, these tools will free up a lot of resources that sellers can then use to focus and grow their businesses even further. Better yet, this tool is also included in Sellgo’s subscription price. Essentially, you are gaining a whole Amazon business management tool filled with data and analytics that can help you make the best choices to grow your FBA business.

Streamlining Your Amazon Business and FBA Model

Depending on what you are looking for, these proven hacks and tips can provide you with specialized tools to help accelerate the growth of your Amazon business. Not only will these tips help your business operate more efficiently, consistently, and cost-effectively.

For more free FBA seller tools, check out our new blog on 5 free seller tools every seller should use!