How to sell more on Amazon

  1. Use FBA to simplify fulfilment and grow your operations.

  2. Try out Amazon Vendor Express

  3. Optimize your sales listings and consider expanding your product offerings.

  4. Expand to global marketplaces and sell internationally with Amazon Global Selling.

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If you need something today, odds are fairly good that you don't go about getting it like your parents did. Forget trudging to the local high street market, carrying heavy shopping bags back and forth, haggling with surly vendors while shouldering rude passers-by out of the way, all the while worrying that someone's going to snatch your pocketbook from your hands without you even noticing. Forget that – you've got a better way, and that better way is Amazon. The same goes for selling products, too.

After all: with all those people buying online, somebody must be selling online! And you could be, too.

Amazon isn't just some corner store; the online giant is the eighth-largest retailer in the world, made famous by offering seemingly anything under the sun at an affordable price, delivered right to your doorstep in a little brown package of delight.

But what if you could use the awesome power, reach, and cache of Amazon's name and network of distributors to achieve global economic domination! Er, we mean...sell more products than you ever thought imaginable, in more markets, to more customers?

Well, the good news is you can. Let's take a look at how to sell more on Amazon.

How to sell more on Amazon: Your options

To sell more on Amazon, you can:

  1. Scale your operations through FBA and Vendor Express
  2. Optimize product listings and diversify your product offerings
  3. Expand internationally.
  4. We look at each of these options in more detail below.

Scaling your operations on Amazon

Amazon offers would-be sellers several different selling programs from which to choose, each with its own unique benefits, drawbacks, and special considerations that make it best-suited for specific types of sellers.

Choosing the right selling program for you really depends on what you need it to do to make your business financially viable, and how much product you hope to sell per month. (If you're reading this article, we assume the answer to that last questions is “More!”)

Here's how the two most popular options work:
 

Fulfillment by Amazon

Fulfillment By Amazon is one heck of a great service for sellers who want to “boost [their] sales with Amazon's world-class fulfillment.” According to Amazon, Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) allows sellers to “store your products in Amazon's fulfillment centers, and we will pick, pack, ship, and provide customer service for them.”


Here's exactly how it works:

  1. Register with Amazon. Provide your basic personal information, as well as a credit or debit card, a bank account for receiving payments, and a valid tax ID.
  2. Choose what products you wish to sell. More on how to choose the right products, below.
  3. Ship your products to Amazon. Amazon's low, standard shipping rate is all it takes to get your products to an Amazon fulfillment center.
  4. Amazon stores your products. Amazon catalogs, inventories, and stores your products at a fulfillment center, so they are ready to ship immediately when ordered.
  5. Customers buy your products. Customers shop, purchase, and order your products on Amazon.com (or other e-commerce channels like your own storefront) just like they would any item.
  6. Amazon picks, packs, and ships your products. Amazon selects your products from inventory, packages them, and ships them out to your customers. Amazon also provides customer support for any items ordered from Amazon.com.
Fulfillment By Amazon is a fabulous choice for sellers who want to sell more products for several reasons. First and foremost, you get the operational know-how and workflow optimization that has made Amazon a giant in the valley of mortals. Who can receive an order, process it, pick the item, pack it up, and ship it out the door with accurate tracking information faster than Amazon? No one. And now you too can get your products out the door with that speed and efficiency. The less time it takes to process each sale, the more sales you can handle, and the more products you can sell. Suddenly, the logistical limiting factors that previously held you back are gone.
 
Secondly, it allows you to store your inventory at Amazon's fulfillment centers, freeing up your...well, where were you keeping inventory before? Your warehouse? Your bedroom? Maybe that unused guest room? Wherever it was, now you can stock up on all the products you want – all the products you can possibly sell – without worrying about where in the world to store it all. You no longer need your own warehouse to sell like a big-time retailer. So shoot for the moon! You can store the spaceship at Amazon.
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Amazon Vendor Express

The other most-popular Amazon selling program is Amazon Vendor Express. According to Amazon, it allows you to “sell your products directly to Amazon and reach millions of customers.” Amazon Vendor Express works much more like a traditional vendor-retailer relationship, with you selling your products directly to Amazon for resale, and not just fulfillment services.
 
This is perfect for folks who want to become high-volume sellers. After all, why sell more on Amazon when you can sell more to Amazon?

Here's how it works

  1. Register with Amazon. Provide Amazon your personal information, including banking information, UPC or EAN codes for your products, and images to display with your products. Remember: always choose a professional, clear image for your products.
  2. Send your products to Amazon. Choose the products you want to sell to Amazon. Amazon provides a prepaid shipping label that you will use to send “a few free units” to sell on Amazon.com as a trial.
  3. Customers buy your products. Customers can then find and buy your products on Amazon.com, and you get the added demand generation boost of classic Amazon perks like free 2-day shipping for Amazon Prime members.
  4. You sell more to Amazon. Once your trial products begin to sell, Amazon will purchase additional units directly from you. All orders from Amazon will be paid within 60 days from the time Amazon receives the products at their warehouses.
Amazon Vendor Express is a great way to sell more product on Amazon for a couple reasons. First, the value of your products being available for Amazon Prime Free 2-Day Shipping is enormous. Given the choice between an item that won't arrive until Christmas, or one that will get there by the day after tomorrow, which one would you, and millions of other shoppers like you, choose?
 
Secondly, it streamlines the logistical process for the individual seller even further than Fulfillment By Amazon does. With Amazon Vendor Express, once Amazon buys each order of your products, guess what? You've already made your sale! That's money in the bank; no processing endless orders, juggling conflicting shipping addresses, or any of the other trappings that keep business from scaling quickly.

How to optimize Amazon product listings

Of course, one of the best things you can do to sell more on Amazon is to optimize your Amazon product listings.

How can you do that? Well, we’ve got some helpful hints!

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Take a better product image

Amazon has strict product image requirements, but beyond those, there are a few things you should always remember when choosing the right image.

  • Include a clear, professional photo. If you can, use an image directly from the manufacturer. Coming off as professional is always better than the alternative.
  • Show the product from different angles. Sometimes the distinguishing factors of different product models or versions are only visible from a certain angle. Similarly, this will show shoppers that you’ve got nothing to hide, and it will instill confidence.
  • Show the product in use. Sure, we may all know how to use a garden hose, but these photos will demonstrate that you are a customer-centric business, and will suggest that your store offers quality customer service.

Include a more specific product title

The best Amazon titles are the most accurate and the most specific. There are literally millions of items and sellers on Amazon, and it can be extremely difficult to stand out. A search for “dog” will yield uncountable results. But, if you add the magical specificity of “floral print chihuahua dog collars,” you’ve instantly increased your likelihood of being found by a shopper, and therefor making a sale, by ten-fold.
 

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Use bullet points to boost SEO rankings

Do you know how most of the products you buy on Amazon usually have a bullet-pointed list of features and descriptions beneath the initial item? Did you know that those weren’t necessary, but optional?
 
Those bullet points are a fabulous way to not only cleanly, clearly, and promptly lay out all of the products features to curious shoppers, but they are also a great opportunity to boost your SEO rankings by including additional keywords. Didn’t want to title your product, “Blue Indigo Violet Floral Polyester Synthetic Hypoallergenic Big Medium Midsize Large Dog Cat Pet Collar Harness Leash,” but want to come up as a hit for all those terms? Add them in the bullet points, and reap the rewards.

What products sell best on Amazon?


Now that you're ready to conquer the online selling world, what products are most likely to help you sell more on Amazon?
 
Well, there are several key factors to look out for when choosing the items that give you the best chance to sell big numbers. Some of them are buyer-focused, and some of them address the common limiting factors endemic to small online sellers.

Here's a handy-dandy checklist:

  1. Choose small, light products

    Products that are smaller in both weight and size are cheaper to ship, both in to Amazon's warehouses and out to your buyers, plus any shipping for returns. Not only that, but Fulfillment By Amazon charges inventory storage fees based on the dimensions of your products. If you intend to do business internationally, and at an expanding scale, these shipping and storage expenses can accumulate very quickly and become very costly. Slash your operating budget by staying small whenever possible.
  2. More specific products sell better

    Forget drowning in a sea of competing listings for “jewelry,” “watches,” or even “men's fashion watches.” You're already late to that party. But by adding layers of specificity to your product, you improve the odds that it will appear new the top of a listing, and subsequently, that it will sell. Instead, list “men's 1957 Mickey Mouse Royal Air Force uniform fashion watch” and see how much more product you sell. This may seem counter-intuitive, to not cast the widest net possible, but the name of the game here is rising above the noise. The less noise you need to battle, the more you'll sell.
  3. Choose products with limitless demand

    That is to say, avoid products that have a planned obsolescence cycle, or have high seasonality if you're targeting just one market. You may be able to get wholesale phone cases very cheap for the iPhone 4, but that's a path with dramatically diminishing returns as each subsequent generation is released. Similarly, winter parkas may be available for cheap during the summer, but that's because no one wants to buy parkas for about 9 months each year. You can risk backing yourself into a corner with the wrong products.
Of course, you can eliminate many of these shortcomings if you expand internationally. What's that? You plan to do exactly that? Then keep reading!

Why sell internationally on Amazon?

If you're really serious about selling more on Amazon, the most sure-fire way to do so is to expand internationally. After all, it's basic math: your country has a certain number of potential buyers, but the world has many, many, many more. In fact, it has literally billions.

What is Amazon global selling?

Amazon Global Selling makes it simple for sellers to expand the reach of their offerings by making them available in international Amazon marketplace worldwide.

The most driven entrepreneurs among us are always looking for ways to expand. That's why the ability to smoothly and effectively expand into new international markets is so important. Fortunately, Amazon has made it easy for its online sellers to do so, and capitalize on its global reach and infrastructure, with Amazon Global Selling.

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Amazon Global Selling

The biggest appeal of selling on Amazon is, well, how big it is. With 11 unique global marketplaces available in 180 different countries, its reach and economic footprint are unmatched among online retailers.

Amazon Global Selling allows sellers to quickly and easily expand the reach of their offerings by making it exceedingly simple to make their products available in additional Amazon marketplaces worldwide. Are you having wild success selling your customer beach chairs in the United States, for example? You could have even more success selling them in Canada and Mexico, or even Europe and Asia.

Amazon has recently unified the process of selling in North America and Europe by combining several of its key marketplaces. Thanks to this realignment, sellers can now use a single Amazon seller account in multiple global marketplaces.

The unified Amazon Global Selling marketplaces are:

  • North America – United States, Canada, Mexico
  • Europe – United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain, Italy

This allows sellers with a single North American selling account to list their products in three different national marketplaces, helping to undercut the scourges of seasonality and cyclical demand. Similarly, sellers with a single European selling account can easily list their products in five different markets without creating all new accounts.

Amazon also has marketplaces in Japan, China, India and Australia where sellers can also grow their demand, but they are not part of a unified marketplace for now.


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Why use Amazon Global Selling?

Well, to make more money, of course! That's the fundamental crux of Amazon Global Selling: you now have the power to sell more.

How? First of all, more marketplaces simply means more potential buyers – billions of them, in fact. China and India are two of the fastest growing ecommerce markets in the world, and Amazon Global Selling allows you to tap into them.

Secondly, Amazon Global Selling, when paired with Fulfillment By Amazon, lets you slash your shipping costs to pieces by taking advantage of Amazon's gargantuan global infrastructure. FBA allows you to “store your products in Amazon's fulfillment centers, and we will pick, pack, ship, and provide customer service for them.” Amazon Global Selling puts the power and scale of the world's largest online retailer in the palm of your hand.

Amazon also offers currency conversion services for sellers, so you can accept payment in the local currency and convert it to your home bank's accounts currency. This is helpful, but there is a much, much better option.

OFX offers Online Seller Accounts, which provide online sellers like yourself virtual local currency accounts in USD, GBP, HKD, EUR, CAD, NZD, or AUD. These allow you to accept payment directly in the local currency of your marketplace as if you had a local bank account in your foreign market. Using OFX, sellers can save up to 75% when bringing their money home.* 
 
So how can you be most effective selling internationally on Amazon? Here are a few key tips.

Sell in proven, growing markets

Is your domestic market supersaturated with competitors? Is the market tiny compared to those abroad? That’s all the more reason to target growing, booming international markets.

A quick internet search quickly yields results outlining the largest, and fastest growing, online shopping markets. The largest online shopping markets in the world today are:

  • China
  • United States
  • United Kingdom
  • Japan
  • Germany
  • France
  • South Korea
  • Canada
  • Russia
  • Brazil

Add to that the rapidly growing markets of Southeast Asia – most notably Singapore and Malaysia – plus the obvious elephant in the room, India, and you have a literal world of selling possibilities available to you.
 
So, how do you capitalize on these international markets? First, choose products that are underserved or in demand in that specific market. Certain high-end photography equipment is much more expensive in Canada, for example, and many Canadian buyers prefer to buy it online, internationally. Similarly, countries in South America, as well as Israel, demand neon-colored athletic and sportswear at a higher rate, and those items sell very well there.
 
Do your research and find out which markets are rapidly growing, and which have a voracious demand for products that you can acquire locally, cheaply. Then, sell those products online for a profit! Sell more, make more.
 
Conveniently, of the countries mentioned above, Fulfillment By Amazon has fulfillment centers in all of them except Russia, South Korea, Singapore, and Malaysia, so the robust FBA architecture is already in place for you to quickly scale and succeed in those markets.
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Sell seasonal products

Forget five o'clock; it's summer somewhere! Seasonality is a very real phenomenon that dogs sellers everywhere. After all, it's hard to sell ice skates in July. But by planning for seasonality and using it to your advantage, you can actually capture more sales internationally even as the seasons change.
 
Let's take our ice skate seller. Sure, July is summertime in the northern hemisphere, but what about in Argentina, where July is the coldest, snowiest month of the year? All that inventory you have just gathering dust is in high demand right now down in Patagonia!
 
The same goes for all sorts of products: decorations that can be used for multiple worldwide holidays are as simple to capitalize on as buying a calendar, sporting equipment rises and falls in demand with the local competitive seasons, and seasonal apparel is always in demand somewhere on this big blue marble.
 
Selling online internationally all but eliminates the specter of “seasonality” from your lexicon. Instead, all that's left is opportunity. Of course, success or failure in international selling ultimate comes down to profit. Take more of it home by signing up for an Online Seller account with OFX.

Amazon is one of the most powerful tools available to online sellers today. By knowing the ins-and-outs of its various selling programs, along with understanding global markets and how to take advantage of them, motivated people just like you can sell more online than they ever imagined. What are you waiting for.
 
*Average savings based on a sample of published transaction fees for cross border payments provided by Amazon and PayPal dated 8.24.16.  Quoted savings are not indicative of future savings. Occasionally, third-party banks may deduct a fee from your transfer before paying your recipient. This fee may vary and OFX receives no portion of it.

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