Wider Access In Selling Your Brand
So wed mentioned the types of sellers who are eligible for Amazon Brand Registry, but were going to widen the definitional scope a little bit. There are essentially five different kinds of sellers who qualify:
As you can see, this allows you some pretty good leeway in being able to qualify for Amazon Brand Registry.
And even if you dont think you might be eligible, try being creative and looking for a loophole. However, if you sell in one of the following two categories, then the previous five points wont qualify you, unfortunately.
- Books, Media, Video, DVD, BMVD
- Entertainment Collectibles/Sports Collectibles
Few Americans Think Amazon Puts Its Products First
When you search for a product on Amazon, do you expect that the first result you see that is not a sponsored product is … ?
In a national survey we commissioned from YouGov, only 17 percent of respondents said they assumed Amazon put its own products first. Half said they expected the first nonsponsored product on Amazons search results page to be the cheapest, highest rated, or bestselling.
By giving its brands top billing, Amazon is giving itself a significant leg up in sales. The first three items on the search results page get 64 percent of clicks, according to one ex-Amazon-employee-turned-consultant.
In a short, written statement, Amazon spokesperson Nell Rona said that the company does not favor its brands in search results and declined to answer any of the dozens of specific questions posed by The Markup.
She said the company identified its brands to shoppers by adding Amazon brand to the list of product features on the product page and sometimes to the listing title as well. We only found this to be the case in 23 percent of products in our sample that were Amazon-owned brands. She said brands that are exclusive to Amazon would not carry the disclosure because they are not owned by the company.
Evil Strategy #: Amazon Sellers Can Tie Up All Of Your Inventory
Its quite possible that I was a victim of this first strategy during the holiday season last year. In November, a customer purchased a large quantity of product which put us out of stock of this one particular SKU.
While my wife and I were thrilled at receiving such a large order, we knew that we would not be able to replenish the stock in time to meet the rest of the holiday demand.
No big deal, we thought to ourselves. It was only 1 product. But guess what happened? A seller who was piggybacking our product got the buy box because we were out of stock.
And then about 4 weeks later, a substantial portion of that large order was returned.
So not only did we miss out on a lot of holiday sales for that particular product because we were out of stock, but we didnt make much money either because the large order was returned!
Looking back, we cant really prove whether the buyer was in cahoots with the piggybacker to purposely put us out of stock, but I learned from my friend that there are groups out there who do this on purpose!!!
Heres the strategy that the evil Amazon sellers are employing.
First off, they buy all of your inventory to steal the buy box. Then they sell your exact same goods on the same Amazon listing and on EBay.
Finally at the end of the season, they return the excess inventory!
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Who Is Andrew Minalto And Why Should You Trust This Article
I was in the eCommerce game BEFORE there was YouTube, Facebook and Instagram. Currently doing mostly Amazon FBA and eCommerce.
I’ve sold thousands and thousands of different products online, testing each and every aspect of my business to perfectly refine my processes. I’ve made £320,000 on Amazun UK with just one product in less than 2 yeaes .
I love sharing my processes, my lessons, and my philosophy with the world through this blog.
Read more about me here.
Create A Branded Amazon Store In Simple Steps
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Being one of the most renowned eCommerce retailers with a massive seller and customer base at its , Amazon is indeed the best place to highlight your unique value proposition. Yes, of course, you can become a seller anytime there, but learning how to create an Amazon Store and set up your products there helps you to take your business to the next level.
Besides Enhanced Brand Content & being the norm , your business can reach greater positions with Amazon Stores.
Through , customers can unveil and learn aboutmore brands as well as their product selections. A Store enables a brand tocreate a dedicated & rich shopping experience and increases engagement.
A brand canenhance its customer experience by enhancing its business-related metrics liketraffic, sales, and engagement over time.
So, what exactly is Amazon Store, and how can it help you increase sales?
Letsunderstand them in detail.
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Controlling Your Brand On Amazon
When I refer to a brand selling on Amazon, Im talking about a company that has a U.S.-registered trademark.
When dealing with unauthorized third-party sellers, many brands think:
Maybe if I yell loud enough at these sellers, I can scare them off.
Brands send them nasty letters to cease and desist, but rarely find that strategy to convince them to stop selling the product.
Channel Control Is A Business
While you probably cant keep your channel 100% clean all of the time, you can put enough roadblocks in the way that most of these sophisticated gray-market sellers will decide that its too much of a hassle to sell your brand.
Theyll move on to some other brand that isnt managing trademark very well.
Your goal should be to keep your channel clean enough that you can either take back the Buy Box on Amazon yourself or at least ensure that your designated reseller owns the Buy Box most of the time.
Your pricing gets stabilized on Amazon and its much more consistent with your pricing on every other non-Amazon channel. And if you have consistent pricing online and offline, its a lot easier to recruit more brick-and-mortar retailers to sell your product.
Ive worked with companies who have lost their distributors because the distributors said:
Theres no point in my trying to get retailers to carry your product because you have no control over what happens on Amazon.
Once the brand got control of what was happening on Amazon, they were able to bring back distributors who could then get their products into brick-and-mortar channels.
How to Fight Fraud on Amazon
A brand needs to control its pricing.
To control pricing, you need to control distribution.
And if you are ignoring Amazon or the unauthorized sellers ripping off your product, then you have lost control of distribution.
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Registering For A Seller Central Account
When you register to sell in the U.S. on Amazon.com, you will need to provide a valid credit card, phone number, and tax information. For taxes, you are required to go through an online step-by-step interview that will determine whether you will need to complete a W-9 form or a W-8BEN . You will need to provide a valid credit card, phone number, and tax information. More details below
As a Pro Seller, you will only pay subscription fees corresponding to the marketplace where you first registered to sell. For example, if you registered to sell on Amazon.com, you will pay that marketplaces subscription fees . If you decide to sell on Amazon.ca, you will not pay additional subscription fees. However, for all per-item sales, you will pay the fees applicable to the marketplace in which the item was sold.
We recommend that you register for a pro account and take advantage of the additional features. Below are the differences between the two programs:
Stores To Source Products To Resell On Amazon:
Step 1: Go into a retail store and start scanning products
It may be intimidating and awkward to just walk into a retail store and begin scanning items with your phone, but remember that everyone starts somewhere!
Using the Amazon seller app, hit the camera button in the top right corner.
This will look just like you are using your camera on your phone. You can use the camera in the app to scan the product packaging and search by image or to scan a barcode.
Step 2: Go through the search results and choose the correct listing
It is not uncommon when scanning products using the Amazon seller app to see multiple results. Youll notice that many products have either duplicate listings or some listings will be a 2-pack, 3-pack, etc.
In this example, I scanned Crayola Washable Sidewalk Chalk 48-Count, and it brought up three results.
On the first result, you can see right away that it is restricted. If you click on that first option, the next screen will read You cannot sell this product in new condition. So now I know to stay away from that listing.
In the second option, I can see the current price is $22.45, so I am going to click on that listing.
Step 3: Analyze the data
Things you should be looking at on this screen:
- Features & Details: Click on this first so you know exactly what this listing is for one box, two boxes, etc. After looking at the details, we know this listing is for one box of 48 pieces of chalk.
5,000/22 = 227
What is ROI?
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The Worst Solution: Feigning Ignorance
The worst way to go about selling on Amazon is to pretend that the problem of unauthorized sellers is going away anytime soon.
The problem is only going to get bigger, and its going to start to pollute every other channel where your brand is trying to sell.
If youve taken the approach of, I have my own website and Ive got two or three retailers so Im good to go, the longer you ignore the fact that Amazon is here to stay, that people are actively looking at your products to figure out how to build cheaper versions, and that they know how to market it better than you do.
Unless you have extraordinary brand loyalty for a product thats clearly unique in some meaningful way and the only place people can buy the product is on your website or some channel you tightly control , somebody on Amazon is going to make a cheaper, better version of the same product and get a lot of sales long before you make Amazon a meaningful channel for your business.
How To Decide What To Sell On Amazon
Once you know the ways to find products to sell on Amazon you have to decide what youre going to sell via the Amazon marketplace.
Maybe you already have an idea of what you want to sell and you have the data to support selling this type of product. Or, maybe youre still considering your options and need some additional help in this department. If the latter category sounds like you, there are specific ways to decide what to sell.
- Using data: Amazon search volume, Google search volume, competition, SEO difficulty, market trend data.
- Profitability analysis: How do your wholesale prices compare to retail? Do you have at least 40% margin?
- Presence of big brands: Are there established brands already selling products in this niche?
Lets dive into each one in more detail.
Compare Product Ideas Using Data
Before picking a product or products to sell online, you want to compare your product ideas by using concrete data.
Reviewing available data will help you find out information such as search volume, keywords, and more to prepare you prior to selling on Amazon.
Product Search Volume
If youre wondering what site, Amazon or Google, is more popular for product searching, theres conflicting data out there. So, with this in mind, you want to understand the search volume of both.
Comparing the search volume of both Amazon and Google will ensure that you have a clear and true picture of what products people are searching for online and what you should
Google Search Volume
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Rise Of Amazon Brands
Amazon has continually set its sights on dizzying growth.
It launched in 1995, with the goal of becoming Earths Biggest Bookstore. Four years later, it declared its intention to become Earths Biggest Selection.
Its nearly there: People now spend , making it the worlds largest retail seller outside of China.
To reach this point, it took a page from rival eBays playbook, inviting individuals and business owners to list rare, used, and collectible itemswhich quickly transitioned to third parties selling mainstream, new wares on Amazon.
In 2003, Jason Boyce got a call from Amazon asking him to list his companys basketball products on the nascent marketplace.
Were like, what are you talking about? You guys sell books, he said. What do you mean youre selling sporting goods?
Boyce took the plunge and his companys basketball sales took off on Amazon.
Amazon Can Force You To Sell Your Goods On Vendor Central
There are 2 ways to sell on Amazon. One, you can sell as a 3rd party vendor where you control your products, inventory and listing.
3rd party selling is by far the most desirable way to sell on Amazon today because you have full authority over your listing and your marketing.
The other way to sell on Amazon is as a 1st party seller on Vendor Central. As an Amazon vendor, you sell your goods directly to Amazon at a wholesale price that they set and you have zero control over anything.
Colleagues of mine who have converted products over to Vendor Central in the past have all had terrible experiences where Amazon totally destroyed their product listings and their sales.
Well guess what?
There have been reports of Amazon forcing popular vendors to convert from being 3rd party sellers to 1st party sellers. Why? Its because Amazon can make more money this way.
You can read more about this atrocity by
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What Price Is Right
Amazon shoppers are extremely price sensitive and are searching for the lowest price for the product they want. As a seller, changing your pricing on a whim and below what you can afford to sell at to get the lowest price listed will impact your bottom line as well as cause a chain reaction with 3rd party sellers. You also need to be aware of the prices 3rd party sellers are listing for your products. If their prices are lower than what you, as the brand, can afford to sell your own product at your established minimum retail price, somethings up.
As a brand, its imperative to gain control of your pricing by going after 3rd party sellers, to ensure they are not selling below the minimum advertised price per your brands pricing guidelines. Sell inventory only to companies that sign contracts with you to adhere to pricing guidelines. You also need to prohibit resale besides your pre-approved retail outlets. For 3rd-party sellers that are not complying with your established retail pricing, figure out where they are getting inventory from, and tell them to stop. This requires time and effort to play detective, and you may need to get help from your brands legal team to help you pursue these vendors. Amazon will not remove 3rd-party sellers or reinforce a price for all sellers. Its up to sellers to do this.
Amazon Employees May Sell Your Data
Earlier in the year, Amazon employees in China and India were caught selling confidential information regarding 3rd party sellers on Amazon.
And this information was used to give independent merchants an advantage over others on the site.
Dirty sellers are also buying Amazon Vendor Central accounts on the black market to gain access to other peoples product listings.
Heres a picture of a black market Amazon rate sheet
Because Vendor Central accounts allow wholesalers to edit other peoples product listings, these accounts have been misused to change product pages and sabotage other sellers.
If you want to read more about this, check out this article in the Wall Street Journal
Bottom line, Amazon is growing so quickly that its the wild wild west out there. There is mass corruption everywhere and its tough for Amazon to control.
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How To Sell On Amazon For Beginners In 2021
Amazon is a popular platform for both sellers and shoppers. To cope with the rising demands of the sellers, it has rolled out its FBA service. This service allows sellers to leverage the platforms powerful distribution network and customer base to make their business dream come true. For retailers, its the most popular choice of platform.
FBA stands for Fulfillment by Amazon which means Amazon will store your products in the Amazon inventory, fulfill your orders, and offer customer service. If you want to use the Amazon FBA service, you have to create an Amazon seller account and add FBA to your account. Its important that you set your business up in compliance with the guidelines on the website.
Create your product listings and inventory or integrate your inventory data into the Amazon platform. Prepare the products to be delivered, and send your products into Amazon warehouse. When the customer places orders, Amazon FBA will fulfill the orders and send all necessary shipping and tracking info to the customers. 24/7 customer service is available for both sellers and customers.
As a seller, you will be free from the processes attached to inventory, packing and shipping orders. This system means its quite easy for you to get started. Amazons robust FBA model supports and allows you to scale your business globally too. Besides, if you are an Amazon FBA seller, you are qualified for free shipping on orders over $25 and $49.