Amazon Renewed: 2021 Guide to Selling Refurbished Products on Amazon

Selling used and refurbished products on Amazon just got a whole lot easier. Before, selling used products on Amazon (other than books) was a huge headache. Most customers only want to purchase new products and hardly bother looking at used ones. Even Amazon’s Buy Box algorithm gives priority to sellers selling used products. In 2021, Amazon is trying to revamp its resell market with the launch of Amazon Renewed. Amazon recently launched its new Renewed marketplace, where sellers can register to sell high-quality products that are still close to new conditions. The new marketplace provides sellers another avenue to increase their sales and grow their Amazon businesses, with some added benefits.

This blog will break down how Amazon Renewed operates and how you can start making sales on Amazon by selling like-new and refurbished products with Amazon Renewed.

What Does Amazon Renewed Mean?

In general, used and refurbished products are difficult to sell. Especially on Amazon where customers are accustomed to buying brand new products, selling anything different can be tricky. One of the issues with used products is that no one wants to buy a potentially broken or defective product. Even products that are “newly refurbished,” come with a ton of preconceived notions of potential product issues. Amazon Renewed is hoping to change the way Amazon customers perceive and buy used products.

When Amazon launched its Renewed marketplace, they played a heavy emphasis on their testing process of used products. Any used or refurbished product sold on Amazon Renewed must undergo serious trials and evaluations to be approved to sell. Every pre-owned product on Renewed is inspected and tested by one of Amazon’s qualified suppliers and third experts. Each product comes with Amazon Renewed Guaranteed, confirming that every product is completely working “like-new” along with a 90-day warranty. After undergoing and passing a refurbishment process, products are cleaned and repackaged and then are available for purchase on Amazon Renewed.

Why Should I Sell Like-New Products?

Used and refurbished products can be extremely beneficial to sellers by providing new avenues of growth. Here are some of the key benefits from selling like-new or refurbished products on Amazon Renewed:

Low Competition and High Potential

The amount of sellers on Amazon is increasing every day, and as the competition rises, the sales of each Amazon business can take a hit. With the Renewed program, used products have to go through a strict testing process to ensure they are working properly. The marketplace has more strict quality criteria and testing in place, which allows Amazon to prevent any bad actors from joining. This is great news for professional or eager sellers who are currently struggling with the competition on Amazon. Amazon sellers can join a more exclusive marketplace that has a lot less competition and more room for growth.

Access to Amazon

Along with growth opportunities, Renewed sellers will still have access to all of the benefits of selling on Amazon. This includes access to Amazon seller tools, Amazon FBA and Prime shipping, and the millions of Amazon customers around the world. While you won’t be selling new products, there will be tons of customers searching for your used products.

Certified and Trusted Products

Amazon Renewed testing process can validate your used products to increase brand trust and sales. Selling refurbished products on any other e-commerce platform can be tough. Since most other marketplaces don’t offer any refurbish guarantee for third-party sellers, there is a lot less trust between sellers and their potential customers. As we mentioned above, no customer wants to purchase a potentially broken or defective product. But with Amazon’s Renewed Guarantee, customers will be more confident in purchasing used products on Amazon.

Growing Your Catalog

Expanding your Amazon inventory can be tough when there are too many sellers selling the same products as you. But if you sell used products, it provides another opportunity for product sourcing and expanding your inventory. With new products, sourcing enough inventory can also be really expensive. Most used and refurbished products can be purchased at a discounted rate through online sellers, thrift stores, garage sales, and more. By selling used products on Amazon Renewed, you can potentially source more products with higher profit margins at a cheaper cost!

Do Customers Want Used Products?

Looking back, you would think customers are shying away from used products, but in reality, it’s the exact opposite.

In a study done by Global Data Retail, it was reported that resale marketing is growing 11x faster than traditional retail markets. In 2030, it is estimated that the resale market will be worth roughly $84 billion.

This change isn’t surprising when looking at the primary reasons behind reselling used products. The two biggest benefits of used and refurbished products are the potential economic savings and the impact on the environment.

It’s no secret that used and refurbished products are always cheaper than their new counterparts. With the current buyer market, more and more shoppers are looking for affordable alternatives rather than paying full price on goods. Used and refurbished products that are “like-new” provide that perfect middle ground where shoppers can confidently purchase high-quality goods without breaking their wallets.

Along with the monetary savings, lots of customers are thinking of the economic impact of buying new products. One of the biggest eco-issues is the production of electronic waste (e-waste). We even discussed this topic in our previous article on Amazon’s Trade-In program where e-waste contributes 20 to 50 million metric tons of pollutants is disposed of worldwide every year. To combat e-waste, many shoppers are becoming more environmentally conscious, purposely choosing to purchase used products instead of new ones.

The market for used and refurbished is there, and it is growing fast. As more and more customers are looking for cheaper, more sustainable, and eco-friendly resale products, Amazon Renewed provides a huge window of opportunity for Amazon sellers.

How Do I Sell on Amazon Renewed?

Here are the steps to apply and register for Amazon Renewed:

Step 1: Register an Account on Amazon

This process is quite simple. Head over to sell.amazon.com/programs/renewed and click on “Sign Up.” The registration process is quite simple and should only take a couple of minutes.

For our existing Amazon sellers, you’ll need to submit a form providing details about your current Amazon business. Click the link below for the application details and get started:

https://sellercentral.amazon.com/renewed/apply?ref_=sdus_soa_prog_renew_apply_i&initialSessionID=apay%3D139-5083702-9538159&ld=NSGoogle

Step 2: Meeting the Criteria

As we mentioned before, this program is a lot more exclusive to sell on, which is why there is a lot less competition. To qualify and sell on Amazon Renewed, every seller must fulfill the following criteria:

– Supply invoices showing a minimum a total value of $50,000 in qualifying refurbished purchases in the previous 90 days from the date of the application or 180 days for sellers selling Home, Tool, Lawn & Garden, and Kitchen products.

– Less than a 0.8% Order Defect Rate in the past 90 days

– Minimum of 8 professional images for your products and their packaging (for factory refurbished products)

– Agreement to Amazon Renewed Guarantee and their policies

– For Apple products, sellers will need to provide invoices from the past 90 days that total $2.5 million in Apple refurbished products

Step 3: Approvals and Listings

For sellers who meet these requirements, your application will be approved in a couple of days and you can begin to list and sell your refurbished products through Amazon Renewed. If a customer decides to purchase your product, you can either fulfill the order yourself (FBM) or use Amazon’s Fulfillment Centers (FBA).

Which Products Can I Sell?

Amazon Renewed currently accepts select products and product categories. The most commonly found products on Amazon Renewed include:

  • Phones
  • Cameras
  • Kitchen Appliances
  • Computers
  • Video Game consoles
  • Televisions
  • and more

To find a complete list of permitted products you can sell on Amazon Renewed, you can refer to Amazon’s program details and guidelines here.

In addition to the product categories, all products sold on Amazon Renewed must pass their quality check and evaluations. This means your products have to meet the “Amazon Renewed Guarantee” which have follows Amazon’s Global Quality Policy. Some of these requirements:

  • No signs of cosmetic damage (scratches, dents, etc.) should be visible when the product is held 12 inches away.
  • Any potential refurbishing operation should only use the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) part.
  • All markings on the product must be intact (e.g. product logo). No additional markings (e.g. supplier logo, engravings, etc.) are allowed.
  • When present, batteries must have a capacity that exceeds 80% of the new equivalent
  • Products must include all accessories that come with a new equivalent.

This is just a short list, but Amazon has a ton more requirements to abide by. You can find the entire list of restrictions in more detail here.

Growing Your Business with Amazon Renewed

We understand that the seller and product criteria may be a lot for some sellers. But, it is well worth it. Amazon Renewed is at the forefront of the rise of resale, used, and refurbished products. While Amazon’s marketplace becomes busier and more competitive, Amazon Renewed may be the lifeboat that can protect and sustain your business among the competition.

If you don’t qualify for Amazon Renewed now, don’t panic! There’s still a lot of time to build your sales and qualify for Amazon Renewed in the coming months. But to get there, you need to start selling high-quality products now. Go to Sellgo.com and look into our seller tools like our Search Management tool to bulk analyze supplier catalogs. Then, use the Profit Finder to hunt down the best and most profitable products to source and sell. Once you build your inventory and sales history, you’ll be eligible for Amazon Renewed in no time!

Until next time, take care and good luck on your Amazon seller journey!

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!

2021 Guide to Selling Books on Amazon

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

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

Why Do People Sell Books on Amazon?

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

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

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

Is Selling Books on Amazon Profitable?

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

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

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

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

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

How to Source Books for Amazon

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

1. Sell Your Collection:

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

2. Book Lots:

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

3. Book Sales:

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

4. Online arbitrage:

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

5. Second-hand books:

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

6. Free books:

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

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

Creating Your Book Listing with ISBNs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Book It Like Bezos

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

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

6 Hacks to Optimize Your Amazon Listing

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

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

Optimize Your Pricing

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

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

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

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

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

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

Optimize for Search Terms

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

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

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

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

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

Optimize Titles

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

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

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

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

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

Optimize the Content

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

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

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

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

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

Optimize the Details

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

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

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

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

Optimize Your Engagement

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

These are the most common interactions:

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

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

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

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

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

Key Takeaways Moving Forward

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

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

4 Types of Amazon Suppliers to Build Your Online Business

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

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

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

Distributors

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

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

When should you source from a distributor?

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

Manufacturers

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

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

When should you source from a manufacturer?

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

Closeouts Companies

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

When should you source from a closeout company?

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

Wholesalers

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

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

When should you source from a wholesaler?

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

Which Type of Supplier is Best for Your eCommerce Business

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

The answer will come down to 3 factors:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Vetting Suppliers

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

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

Here are some more examples of important questions to ask:

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

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

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

Source and Sell

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

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

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

Amazon Account Suspended: How to Get Your Account Unsuspended

32 - Amazon Suspension What to do if Your Amazon Account is Suspended

Has your Amazon seller account been suspended? Write a strong appeal and detailed plan of action to get your Amazon account reinstated!

With so many new sellers joining Amazon third-party selling, one of the most common and frequent issues appearing is the suspension of Amazon seller accounts. Many of these suspended sellers rely on the sales and income from Amazon selling to support their livelihood, leading to very stressful scenarios trying to reinstate their accounts. If you are reading this article, it is very possible that your Amazon seller account is currently suspended and you are looking for a solution to get your account back. If this is the case, we’re here to help!

In this blog, we’ll be describing what you can do if your account is currently suspended by Amazon. To get your account reinstated, we will need to determine why your account was suspended in the first place and the best actions you can take to try to appeal your suspension.

Types of Actions Taken by Amazon

Before we identify a solution, we need to break down the different phases of Amazon suspensions. If your account is currently suspended, it is most likely at one of these stages:

Phase 1: Suspension. You are in phase 1 of suspensions if you were just notified of your account being locked by Amazon. At this stage, it is still very early on and you should be eligible to submit an appeal. Phase 2: Denied. If you have already submitted an appeal but your account was not reinstated, you are most likely here is phase 2 where your appeal was denied. Don’t panic, this just means you can submit a revised appeal and try again. Phase 3: Banned. This is the last and worst stage of suspensions. This phase means you have submitted multiple appeals unsuccessfully and Amazon has decided to terminate your account.

By this point, we hope you are either in phase 1 or phase 2 and still have the opportunity to save your Amazon account. If this applies to you, keep reading to see what the next move is!

Why Was My Amazon Account Suspended?

Now that we know your account is still salvageable, the next step is to identify why your account was suspended in the first place so we can come up with a solution to reinstate your account. Amazon usually suspends accounts for 3 particular reasons:

Violating Amazon Selling Policies

The first reason is simply that you violated Amazon’s selling policies. This includes their Terms of Service, Privacy Policies, Community Rules, or Seller Guidelines. In your suspension notification, Amazon will explicitly state why your account is being suspended and include which of their policies you triggered.

If this is the case, make sure to identify which policy was broken and what actions led to that suspension. Remember, you’re selling on their platform. They have every right to protect their company and their customers and will take action if it protects their stakeholders.

Violating Amazon Restricted Product Rules

The second reason for your suspension could be due to product violations, or particularly Amazon’s restricted or “gated” products and brands. We discussed this issue and Amazon’s policies around gated products in our blog: Amazon Restricted Products and How to Get Ungated on Amazon in 2021. Essentially, Amazon has a list of product categories, brands, and specific products that require prior authorization to sell. This involves providing invoices, finding authorized manufacturers, and supply genuine, authentic goods.

If your account was suspended for violating one of Amazon’s product rules, it means there was something wrong with your products or how you handled, packaged, or shipped your products. This includes if your products are counterfeit or fake, or if your supplier is unauthorized to produce a brand or product, Like before, Amazon should provide you with an in-depth description of your violation. Make sure to write it down and identify which product(s) led to this violation so we can include it in your appeal.

Poor Performance Metrics

The last reason your account could be suspended is due to poor performance metrics. In this situation, we referring to your order defect, pre-fulfillment cancellation, and late shipment rates on your Amazon seller account. Amazon is very serious about their suppliers having good performance metrics because it reflects poorly on them if their third-party sellers are unreliable. Amazon has clear minimum standards that they suggest to every seller including:

Order defect rates: <1%

Pre-fulfillment cancel rates: <2.5%

Late shipment rates: <4%

Amazon won’t suspend your account automatically if your performance numbers fall beneath these recommended rates. But, accounts with poor performance metrics will be more likely to get suspended if they happen to violate the selling or product rules we mentioned above. To be safe, you should always try to keep these rates within the acceptable standards listed by Amazon.

Appeal Suspended Account

By this step, you should be in phase 1 or phase 2 of your suspension and you should know why your account was suspended. The next step is to submit an appeal and a plan of action to Amazon to reinstate your account.

Before we begin writing your appeal, here are some key “Do’s” and “Do Not’s” that will help make or break your appeal. Be sure to read each of these carefully and keep them in mind during your writing process.

What Not To Do

  1. Do not rush to submit an appeal. Take your time. Amazon usually provides 17 days for you to submit an appeal. Therefore, it is vital to take your time, read through your violations, and come up with a strong appeal to reinstate your account.
  2. Do not, I repeat, do not create a new account. Not only is making a new account a violation of Amazon’s policies, but it also makes it harder for you to get your first account back. Be safe and do not make a new account.
  3. Do not try to modify or fabricate invoices or proof of authorization. This mainly is for suspended accounts that violated Amazon’s products policies. Do not try to make a fake invoice or authorization if you are accused of selling counterfeit or unauthorized goods.
  4. Do not be rude to Amazon customer service or Seller Support: Amazon Seller Support or customer service cannot help you at this point. All you can do is submit an appeal. Being rude or contacting Amazon through other means is not a solution to anything.
  5. Do not threaten legal action. This is pretty straightforward, but remember that Amazon has every right to suspend or ban any seller who threatens their company, brand, business, or customers.
  6. Do not blame the buyers. Think back to the saying, “The Customer’s Always Right.” We’re not saying this is always the case, but to Amazon, that’s all that matters. Buyers have the power to freely report sellers without any hesitation. If they accuse your products of being counterfeit, Amazon will more likely believe the buyer than you, the seller.
  7. Do not panic. This is the most important rule. We understand this may be a stressful situation, but it is vital to approach the next steps with a level head. Stay calm, and continue with the process.

What To Do

  1. Be professional and respectful. When submitting your appeal, be kind. Show that you are a true professional seller and you proactively want to solve this issue. Don’t throw blame at the buyer or Amazon.
  2. Be responsible. Even if you are were unaware of your violations, be willing to take responsibility if something is wrong. At the end of the day, it is your products, your account, and your business. If there is an issue, you need to be responsible and hold yourself accountable for any potential mistakes.
  3. Be direct. When submitting your appeal, directly address the violations. Explain what may have occurred to trigger the suspension.
  4. Be a problem solver. We will get into more detail about this, but it is important to solve the area of concern. We will break this down in the next second on Plans of Action (POAs), but if there is a violation, what actions are you going to take to solve it.
  5. Be proactive. Use this suspension as a learning experience to be a better seller in the future. If your account is reinstated, keep these lessons in mind as you continue to sell and grow your business.

Creating a Plan of Action

Now that you know how to approach your appeal, the next step is to develop a plan of action (POA) with clear and concise procedures you are going to take to fix any issues or violations. We want to remind you about the Do’s and Do Not’s we mentioned previously and to keep them on hand when writing your plan of action. Here is a simple template you can use when writing your POA:

1. Address the Seller Performance Team

“Dear Amazon Seller Performance Team,

Thank you for allowing me to appeal the suspension of my Amazon seller account. Below, you can find my appeal alongside my Plan of Action to resolve any existing or future violations/issues.”

2. Explicitly identify and address the issue

“From my violations report, I was notified about my violations regarding Issue A, Issue B, …”

3. Explicitly state what actions you have taken or will take to resolve the issues

“To solve each of these issues, I have (or am planning to) done Action A, Action B, …:”

4. Conclude your appeal with graciousness and gratitude

“Thank you again for your time to review my appeal. Please let me know if there is any other information or details I can provide you. I look forward to hearing from you

Sincerely, [Name]”

This template is only a baseline for your plan of action. You should use it as a reference to build your own that specifically and directly addresses the issues and the steps taken to fix any violations. All sellers will need to develop their unique POA based on their suspension.

Amazon Suspended Account Reinstated

Within 48 business hours, you can expect a response from the Seller Performance team on their decision. Looking back at the types of actions they can take, the Seller Performance team will either reinstate your account, deny your appeal so you can submit a new and improved POA, or if you have submitted multiple POAs beforehand, your account may be banned permanently.

We hope that it is the first result which reinstates your account so you can get back to selling. If your appeal is denied, take this as an opportunity to submit a new and improved appeal with a more clear and more detailed POA to directly address your prior violations. Unfortunately, if your appeals have been denied repeatedly and your account is permanently banned, there is not much more you can do.

How To Prevent Amazon Suspensions in the Future

Whether you’re currently suspended, had your account reinstated, or just being precautious, here are some tips to prevent and avoid any future suspensions.

Frequently Checking Amazon Seller Central Accounts

We highly encourage all sellers of any size to regularly and consistently check their Amazon Seller accounts. Many times, you’ll have messages from Amazon and from buyers who need to get in contact with you. The more frequently you check, the more organized your account will be, and the faster you can resolve any potential issues. Remember, communication is key!

Be Proactive with Your Amazon Product Listings

Sellers should try to be proactive with all their products and their listings. Make sure to check if any of your products have restrictions to their brands or categories and ensure you are following any of Amazon’s guidelines for sourcing and shipping. If you have old listings, make sure to take them down promptly to prevent any mistaken orders from being shipped out. Your listing descriptions should go through a strict editing process to fix misinformation or prevent mistakes that can trigger a policy violation.

Buyer Knows Best

As the saying goes, “the customer is always right.” If a customer claims there is a defect in your products, it would be best to take these matters seriously. Inspect all of your products when possible to ensure only the best products are being sent to customers. Buyers may also want a refund from you for a defective product, which you should take into consideration and refund the customer if possible. Some customers will be extremely thankful for your cooperation and will leave positive reviews and ratings on your seller account. Its also important to stay on top of the seller’s performance metrics to ensure low defect rates, low cancellation rates, and low late shipment rates. Prioritize the customer’s needs first and your metrics will follow.

Product Sourcing Done Right

Lastly and most importantly, make sure you are sourcing ethically from proven, reliable suppliers who are authorized to produce your products. We discuss this in great detail in our blogs on 15 Questions You Need to Ask Your Amazon Wholesale Supplier. Make sure to read through those questions and come up with others to make sure you can validate that your manufacturer is trustworthy. You never want to source products if you cannot guarantee their authenticity because the last thing you want is to be accused of selling counterfeit products.

If you need help sourcing profitable products or finding reliable suppliers, we recommend checking out Sellgo’s FBA tools including our Search Management, Profit Finder, and Product Tracker tools.

These tools can help you break down supplier catalogs instantly and locate profitable products with proven sales performances that you can source and sell on your Amazon account. Not only will you increase your earnings, but you can be more confident in your products being from trustworthy, authorized manufacturers.

Protect Your Amazon Seller Account Before Its Too Late

It is always better to be proactive than reactive. You never want to put your Amazon seller account in jeopardy by violating Amazon’s selling and product policies or having poor performance metrics. If you need help to source reliable and trustworthy products or improve your seller metrics, you should consider utilizing proven FBA tools to help grow your business.

Head over to Sellgo.com where we have a ton of resources and tools to help you grow a successful Amazon business while avoiding all possible violations that can ruin your Amazon seller account.

Amazon Wholesale vs. Amazon Private Label: 5 Reasons to Sell Wholesale on Amazon in 2021

30 - Amazon Wholesale vs. Amazon Private Label

What Amazon business model should you pick in 2021? Amazon Wholesale and Amazon Private Label are great options, but which is better?

If you’re seriously thinking of getting into Amazon selling, you are most likely considering 2 potential business models: Amazon wholesale or Amazon private label. While both models can be profitable, they have vastly different strategies and logistics to scout, source, and sell their respective products. In this article, we’ll be breaking down the two to see which one would be best suited for your needs and why you should ultimately pick Amazon wholesale over Amazon private label. Before we can compare these two types of Amazon businesses, let’s do a quick rundown of each business model.

Amazon private label is the high-risk, high-reward model for Amazon selling. It starts with a seller finding a white label product, which is usually a generic product without any branding or labeling that can be bought in bulk from a manufacturer. Private label sellers take these unbranded products at low cost, slap their own brand name on them, and then resell the product on Amazon for a higher price. Amazon private label relies heavily on finding high-quality, generic products that can be rebranded and then market their products to be sold. Most private label sellers choose this model because it provides sellers with the most power and control of their products. They get to choose which products to sell, how much to sell products for and control their brand marketing.

Amazon wholesale is a medium-risk, high-reward model for Amazon selling. It starts with a seller finding an established product, which is usually a brand name product and buying these products in bulk from a manufacturer or brand owner. Wholesalers take these branded products and then resell them on Amazon for a higher price. Amazon wholesale relies heavily on finding well-established, branded products with a high return on investment and profit margins. Amazon wholesalers pick this model because it provides safe, consistent, and strong brand-name products that are guaranteed to have strong brand identities and established customers. While sellers have less control, working with brand-name products often leads to more consistent sales and revenue over time.

Now that you have a general understanding of both of these models, let’s start comparing to see why you should use Amazon wholesale.

Wholesale vs. Private Label: Brand Recognition

One of the biggest benefits of Amazon wholesale over Amazon’s private label is the established brand awareness, recognition, and reputation of their products.

Private label sellers gain more agency for their products, but an issue with starting a branded product is that it is simply too new. New products have no existing customer base and therefore have no brand recognition whatsoever. Marketing your brand can be extremely difficult and may require a ton of pay-per-click ads to gain traction for your generic products. In addition to the brand being new, another issue is the overall trust for the brand and product. New brands are essentially unknown, and therefore customers are less likely to purchase your products because they are unfamiliar with their quality and simply do not trust them enough to buy them immediately. If you decide to use private label selling, be sure to have a concrete marketing strategy upon branding your products.

Compared to private label, wholesale has a ton more brand recognition and awareness. Wholesalers can basically resell any existing product or brand on the market. Many brands already have dedicated consumer bases that trust a particular brand or product, meaning there are already customers willing to buy from wholesalers. Brand name products have set expectations in terms of product quality and value. This means wholesale sellers and their products have an inherent advantage over private label products without having to further market their products. With brand-name products, they market themselves.

If you do not plan on marketing your products or do not have any experience in growing a brand from the ground up, we highly suggest the Amazon wholesale model. This will allow new and inexperienced sellers to make a ton of sales and revenue without the need to grow a new brand or market products themselves.

Wholesale vs. Private Label: Buy Box and Pricing

The unfortunate truth about private label selling is that you can choose the selling price for your products, but Amazon will heavily regulate your prices to meet their requirements.

If you shop often on Amazon, you should be very familiar with the Amazon Buy Box. When you shop, your Buy Boxes most likely look like this photo below. The box will include the price and allow you to easily add the item to your cart or even buy the product now.

But once in a while, you may run into a suppressed Buy Box, which will look like this. Suppressed boxes are not a coincidence, these boxes are intentionally suppressed by Amazon.

When a product gets listed to sell on Amazon, Amazon will compare the listed selling price across the entire web, to see if that product is priced accurately. But, if the price is too high compared to prices on the internet, Amazon will suppress the Buy Box to make it harder for customers to check out your products. For private label sellers, this is a huge issue because you have no control over your selling prices. You may want to sell an item at a premium price, but if you decide to do that, Amazon will intentionally suppress your listing so customers will be deterred from buying your product. What does this mean for private label sellers? Well, it simply means that your products have a maximum selling price, at least on Amazon. If you decide to sell your products for too high, you’ll be penalized with a suppressed Buy Box, and if you sell too low, you’ll lose out on potential profits. While you want to have complete control over your private label products, Amazon makes it essentially impossible to have full control over the price.

Amazon wholesale is a lot simpler. For branded products, most manufacturers will have a minimum advertised price (MAP) that indicates the minimum selling price that all sellers must meet. If a seller goes under the MAP, they may be penalized by the manufacturer and lose access to the products. Amazon also regulates the maximum selling price for branded products but in a different way.

While wholesalers can set a premium price, they won’t suppress your Buy Box unless you are the only seller selling for an extremely high price. If other sellers are selling the same products, Amazon will prioritize sellers with the lowest price in the Buy Box so the customer gets the best deal. What does this mean? It means that wholesale sellers should try to match the lowest price possible if they want to maximize their sales and time in the Buy Box, but, will not penalize the entire listing if you decide to sell your products for a higher price. While private label selling gives more control over pricing, it also increases the risk of being suppressed by Amazon.

Wholesale vs. Private Label: Copycat Products

A problem that you may come across as a private label seller is competing with duplicate or “copycat” goods.

Looking back at the private label model, private label sellers purchase bulk unbranded products from a manufacturer and then add their brand names to those products using logos, labels, and other brand identifiers. But, what is stopping anyone from going to the same manufacturer and buying the same products then adding their brands to compete with your products? The answer is virtually nothing. It is quite impossible to purchase a generic product and expect no other competitors to enter your market, especially if they see your product is selling well.

Essentially, Amazon private label leads to a plethora of similar or identical products with different brand names. This is extremely problematic for any private label seller since there will always be other sellers entering your market segment and there are little to no barriers to entry. What’s worse is that these other sellers do not have to have the same manufacturer as you. They could find a different manufacturer that produces similar products but with poor materials and worse quality. Copycat goods can also reflect poorly on your products, even it is a different brand. If a customer buys a copycat’s product but the product is extremely worse, they may leave bad reviews for your products because they look similar! Bad reviews weigh heavily on Amazon sales, since most potential buyers may be deterred from buying your product due to another copycat good ruining your reputation.

Look at this photo from Amazon. By simply typing in “water bottles” to Amazon’s search bar, the first 4 products that appear are all private label products selling similar or identical products. Each of these products could come from different manufacturers, with some having better quality than others. This is just one example of how competitive the private label market is with copycat products.

In comparison to private label, Amazon wholesale virtually negates this entire issue because all sellers are selling the same product and brand. With wholesale, all the sellers selling the product have to source their products from authorized brand manufacturers. Every time you source a product, the supplier must be approved by the brand owners (or is the brand owner) and they undergo strict quality assurance processes to ensure all their products are of similar, high quality. In addition to quality, all of the same branded products are sold under the same listing and Buy Box on Amazon, which means that the competition is much lower. We cover this topic in detail in our blog on 6 Strategies to Win the Amazon Buy Box, but, if you are selling a brand-name product on Amazon, you just need to match the lowest prices within the Buy Box and Amazon will automatically give your listing sales. In doing so, wholesale sellers never have to worry about copycat goods or other sellers selling the same products.

When deciding your Amazon business model, keep this problem in mind before you start sourcing your products. If you do not want to have to compete with copycats or the risk of low-quality duplicates, we highly recommend using the wholesale model.

Wholesale vs. Private Label: Defect Rates and Product Quality

Like we mentioned in the previous section, a benefit from using Amazon wholesale and selling branded products is that their quality assurance process is usually a lot higher than the standards of private label manufacturers. As a result, branded products have better quality and build, and tend to have lower defect rates for their products.

With private labels, defect rates can be substantially higher. Defect rates can be extremely detrimental to your brand and product. Not only does Amazon penalize sellers with high defect rates, but unsatisfied customers may leave negative seller reviews on your profile or leave poor ratings and reviews on your private label products. Customers with defective products may also request refunds which may incur service fees on your Amazon account and lower inventory levels substantially. All these aspects considered, defective private label products can easily destroy your brand and ruin your sales.

Something that also happens within the private label space is competitors intentionally buying your products to leave bad reviews or claim your products are defective. Other private label sellers who are selling similar items as you may want to take your product down. So, these competitors will buy your products, then claim the product was defective and leave a negative review on the product and your seller account. While this practice may not be common, the potential threat from other private label sellers reveals a weakness within Amazon private label.

To be extra safe, sellers worried about defective products or competing sellers can mitigate this risk with Amazon wholesale. As mentioned, the branded products have a lot less competition and lower defective rates, making this issue is practically non-existent.

Private Label Sabotage Tactics

Fake reviews and ratings are not the only tactics that competitive private label sellers will use to take down your product or hurt your business. There is a multitude of other sabotage tactics they can take that every private label seller or potential seller should know. Here are some of the other harmful methods sellers will use to hurt your Amazon private label business:

  1. Steal your product information: competitors selling duplicate products will try to take your sales by stealing your product information. They would essentially take anything from your listing and copy it for theirs including titles. descriptions, visuals, keywords, and more.
  2. Steal your product photos: this is a common tactic from copycat goods, where they will find your private label listing, and take the product photos and use them for their own listings. This is quite common within Amazon and other e-commerce platforms where your product photos are stolen and used for a competing product.
  3. Report your seller account: competitors may report your account to Amazon to get your account suspended. This happens after they submit a ton of fake defect reports or bad reviews, which leads to Amazon suspending or banning your seller account for selling fake, defective, or counterfeit products.

Amazon Wholesale or Amazon Private Label?

If you decide to pursue Amazon selling, keep these advantages in mind. We want to note that we have nothing against Amazon private label. It provides a ton of agency for sellers to control their products and the direction of their brand that is unmatched. But, it is very important that account for the potential risks that come with private label selling. If you are a new seller or inexperienced at building a brand, we highly recommend the Amazon wholesale model because it mitigates all the risk that comes with private label selling. Amazon wholesale provides high profitability without any of the issues that come with private label selling. At this point, we think the choice is pretty obvious.

The next step is to pick your model and start selling, and we can help! For starters, check out our Beginner’s Guide to Selling Wholesale Products on Amazon and our blog on 7 Steps to Activate Your Amazon Seller Account. After you get set up, we can help your business off the ground with our FBA tools to help you scout, source, and sell wholesale products that will grow your inventory and increase your sales. What are you waiting for? We’ll see you on Sellgo.com!

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

29 - How to Reverse Source

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

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

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

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

What is Reverse Sourcing Wholesale?

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

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

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

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

Why You Should Use Reverse Sourcing for Amazon FBA

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

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

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

Step 1: Picking Your Initial Product

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

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

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

For our example, we found this product:

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

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

Step 2: Contacting the Wholesale Supplier or Brand Owner

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

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

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

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

Step 3: Requesting a Product Catalog

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

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

Step 4: Conducting Product Analysis

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Combining with Leaf Sourcing

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

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

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

Revamp Your Amazon FBA Inventory with Product Sourcing Strategies

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

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

How to Source Your Amazon Business with Leaf Sourcing

28 - How to Leaf Source

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

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

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

What is Leaf Source Good For?

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

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

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

Leaf Source Benefits

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

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

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

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

Step 1: Picking Your Initial Product

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

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

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

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

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

Step 2: Checking for Similar Products

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

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

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

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

Product #2

Product #3

Step 3: Creating a Product Tree

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

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

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

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

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

Source Now, Sell Later

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

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

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

15 Questions You Need to Ask Your Amazon Wholesale Suppliers

27 - Vetting Suppliers

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

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

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

Understanding the Amazon Supply Chain

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

Question 1: What Can I Sell On Amazon?

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

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

Question 2: What is Your Minimum Order Quantity?

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

Question 3: How Do You Source Your Products?

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

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

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

Question 4: What Condition Are Your Products?

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

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

Question 5: What Is Your Lead Time?

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

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

What is the expected shipping and waiting time?

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

Question 6: How Often Do You Add New Products?

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

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

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

Getting to Know Your Amazon Supplier

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ask About Amazon Purchase Orders

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Start Amazon Sourcing!

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

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