As a new Amazon seller, you should be aware that Amazon immediately begins tracking your performance and measuring you against their monthly metrics. This means the countdown is on to show off what you can do.
How can you prepare in advance to make this time count? Let’s take an Amazon checklist you can work through in preparation.
Line up your Paperwork
Before you begin selling, ensure you have completed all the appropriate admin. This will keep you from running into trouble later on and create a strong foundation for your business.
Start with the following:
- Choose a business name: This is fairly straightforward if you are selling under a single name, but those selling under multiple names will have some additional complexity to navigate.
- Set up an email for your business: Though you probably have a personal email already, it’s worth thinking about creating an email that is exclusively for your business.
- Have a credit card ready to use: This will allow you to cover the necessary fees.
- Obtain the necessary tax ID: For those planning to sell as individuals, this means having your Social Security number at hand. If you plan to sell as a company, you’ll need to submit the company’s Federal Tax number. During the Amazon sign-up procedure, you will be required to complete a 1099-K Tax form. If you are looking for assistance with Amazon tax-related issues, there are several companies that specialize in this including Taxjar.com, FBAsalestax.com, and Zip-tax.com.
Prepare your Logistics Strategy Ahead of Time
Though you might be keen to start selling, it is well worth taking the time to create a comprehensive logistics plan before you launch. After the wheels of your business are rolling, it can be far trickier to work out problems.
So what do you need to have on your Amazon checklist?
- A returns strategy: Of course, Amazon has a return policy of its own and this should be reviewed before you begin selling. However, you should also take the time to record how you plan to handle returns so that you are not put on the spot when you complete your first return.
- Decide if you will be an FBA seller: This decision depends on the needs of your business. If you opt to be an FBA seller this means your products can be commingled with the same product sold by other sellers. This can create a risk that your carefully reviewed products could be mixed up with those of a seller who is less diligent than you.
- Consider whether you will use a DBA name: A DBA, or ‘doing business as’ name, which allows you to brand your Amazon business separately from your primary business. Some sellers do this to differentiate the specialized portion of their business that occurs on Amazon, but there are also those who use this strategy to hide their identity and facilitate dubious business practices.
- Factor in Amazon product gating: Some product categories are restricted on Amazon through product gating. If an item you wish to offer falls into this category, an application for ungating is necessary to proceed.
Have your Business Plan Polished
Even if you are new to the world of business, you probably know that a well-honed business plan is critical to your success.
If solidifying your business plan seems daunting, consider the following Amazon checklist:
- What will be your approach to stale inventory? Consider what you can learn when items are lingering in the warehouse, and remember that there are fees for products that exceed the 180 days limit.
- Who will be your suppliers? Sourcing products reliably is essential for the health of your business so make sure you are working with suppliers you can trust.
- Are many sellers already selling products you wish to sell? Keep in mind that even if a product is popular it can be difficult to compete if too many sellers are already offering it.
Have your Financials Ready
Whether you are a large or small business, cash is still required to launch yourself as an Amazon seller. This makes it necessary to have your money in order before launching.
To make your money count, reflect on what products are capable of generating the most profit. If you are just starting out, keep things simple and focus on products you know can succeed.
Hit the Ground Marketing
Amazon is teeming with potential customers, and in some ways, that’s good news for you. The less good news is that it’s also teeming with other sellers.
This makes your marketing strategy especially important to the health of your business. If you plan to stand out from the crowd then you’ll need a multifaceted approach. Let’s take a look at the next Amazon checklist:
- Never underestimate product descriptions: A weak spot for many Amazon sellers is their product descriptions and this can cost sales. Stand out from the crowd by taking the time to craft strong descriptions that give a comprehensive understanding of your product.
- Research keywords: Using the right keywords means bringing the right customers to your products. Finding relevant keywords pays off since it attracts customers who want what you have to offer.
- Learn about backend keywords: If you aren’t already aware, you should know that Amazon Seller Central gives you the opportunity to include additional keywords that do not appear in your descriptions and make your listings appear cluttered.
- Ensure product photos are eye-catching: Images make or break a listing. To ensure your products stand out, never settle for low-quality photos.
- Produce original copy for each product: It might be tempting to rely on the copy manufacturers provide, but creating your own can help customers understand your product much better.
- Review Amazon advertising options: Depending on the scale of your business, one of Amazon’s advertising options may be right for you. There are three paid ad options to choose from: Sponsored Products, Headline Search Ads, and Product Display Ads.
- Pursue positive reviews from customers: Though customers may forget to leave a review, roughly 70% will do so if prompted with a reminder. Take the time to solicit these reviews so other customers can see how great your products are.
Take Note of What’s Selling
Ensure you record your sales data and use this to improve your business practice. When it comes down to it, no amount of research will be as effective as taking note of your own sales data and using it to your advantage.
Consider starting out by selling a small selection of products and taking note of how they perform. Little by little you can hone your business model to be informed by your record of sales.
Consider split testing, trying different approaches to selling a product, and seeing which approach works best. Online tools can help you do this effectively.
Making the most of your first month as an Amazon seller can make all the difference. Though there is much to the jungle, each process can be broken down into an Amazon checklist with achievable steps. As you go forward on your entrepreneurship journey, keep your cool and enjoy discovering how much you are capable of.
GETIDA FBA Reimbursement
GETIDA (GET Intelligent Data Analytics) is a powerful software tool that examines the previous 18 months of inventory management transactions to flag errors eligible for FBA reimbursement. It is free to run the report.
It’s also free for a GETIDA team composed of former experienced Amazon employees to file and follow up on reimbursement claims on your behalf. The only charge is a percentage of claims that are approved. And the first $400 of FBA reimbursement is free without charge.
Given the time and effort, GETIDA saves you so you can focus on running your business, it’s a small price to pay to recover potentially substantial reimbursement of FBA errors likely to occur while handling your inventory management.