How to Start Selling On Amazon

Really, I am no expert at this but my friend Gigi asked me a very simple question the other day… “How do I start?” and I figured instead of just telling her one time, I’d make a post here so she can refer to it MANY TIMES.

  1. Go and buy some UPC Codes because that’s the only way she can list new items on Amazon.  There are quite a bit of companies that will offer you UPC codes to buy, however, I’ll just show you what I use.  You can get them here at this company called bluesnap.
    1. What is a UPC code? “UPC (technically refers to UPC-A) consists of 12 numeric digits, that are uniquely assigned to each trade item. Along with the related EAN barcode, the UPC is the barcode mainly used for scanning of trade items at the point of sale, per GS1specifications.” – Wikipedia
  2. Sign up to Jungle Scout.  Here they give you ALL the data you need to figure out what type of items you should source.  They give you amazon’s seller data, as in, how many units sold per month of a particular item so you know if the market is good to enter it or not.  Yes, I shamelessly created a commission affiliate link.  I use the program myself so I am 100% fine with promoting it.  High quality online software.  Haha, sign up here to Jungle Scout.
  3. Choose the category you might sell in and GET PERMISSION FROM AMAZON to sell in that category.  How do you do this?  Buy 3 separate items from a company and take a picture of the receipts and then go to Amazon.com, sign up for a seller account, and when you apply for permission, send them a picture of the actual shipment/invoice paper you receive.  You will need your UPC codes you purchased as well as a picture of your delivered item’s invoice paper.
    1. I use this company to buy some items from https://www.pricemaster.com/.
    2. Make sure you get approved BEFORE you order your items from alibaba.
  4. Go and make an account on Alibaba.com.  Start looking for items that look similar or almost exactly like the ones you found on Jungle Scout.
  5. Talk to the supplier, ask them if how much it costs if you
    1. Put your own Logo on the item
    2. Have your own box plus logo created
    3. Can they do logo + box in house? If Yes, that is best.
    4. Get several quotes from several different suppliers.
  6. Order your item and have it shipped to you
    1. Get a professional camera and take REALLY nice pictures of the item, use Photoshop to edit it.
    2. Go to your amazon seller account, list the item with your UPC code.
    3. Make sure within the first few days, keep prices low/at cost to increase selling momentum.  Make sure you get people to REVIEW your item.  Amazon prioritizes items that sell and have good reviews.  Do whatever you can to make sure the momentum of your launch is high.
      1. Amazon discourages direct link purchases so make sure people purchase with a keyword for your item as if they are searching for that item.
    4. If you are doing FBA, you need to send it into an Amazon warehouse (make sure you do all the research because Amazon charges a higher fee if you fulfill with their warehouses), if you are doing FBM, make sure you are on top of fulfilling and shipping out your own orders.
    5. Answer all your customer’s question within 24 hours.

That’s the gist of it for now.  Some of my friends are massive amazon behemoth sellers (they sell millions/year) and there are literally a billion “How to Sell on Amazon” courses out there. HAHA.  This is the way I know and I hope this helps you get started.  I might have missed something as I’m just typing this from memory, so let me know if there are steps I’ve excluded.

If you are on a budget, I’d recommend going through ANY amazon selling courses on Udemy.com or just Google It.  I suck at following courses so I will not recommend to a my friend things I don’t follow through with myself.  I am OKAY at googling.  So I’d recommend Google or… ask a friend. =)


 How To Outsource Using Odesk or Elance

First of all.. everyone and their outsourced MOMS communicate through Skype.

So download Skype and set up an account.

THEN….

1) Create a job on Odesk or Elance… you don’t need to fuss so much over who to choose.  They’ve since merged… so you are just dealing with the same company anyway.

2) Make sure you’ve set up some training videos for your workers.  You can download Camstudio or Jing for free.  Jing lets you upload 5 minute videos for free.

3) Connect these videos directly to Youtube or go a step further and make training tests/exercises on talentlms.com.

4) Test them out with a few scenarios first and then .. hire!

5) Create a separate email account for them through your hosting company, maybe bluehost.com.  Remotely go into their computer using teamviewer.com in order to set up whatever software you feel they might need.  Create their own mailing signature.  Create separate permissions restricted accounts for them across the board that links to their company email account you create.

5) Manage them with Redbooth.com while they manage your clients with insightly.com & mailchimp.com.

Virtual assistants or any type of assistant online is a great way to alleviate your workload.  They are incredibly valuable people and it’s amazing companies such as Odesk, Elance, Fivrr, Freelancer.com, and Mechanical Turks from Amazon are able to bring it all together for us.

There are probably better softwares to use online and a better way to go about this but this is what I use and how I go about it on a bootstrapping level.  I hope it helps!

Simple, eh?

 

Yep.

 

Anywho – what have I been doing?  I have been rock climbing.. a whole bunch.  I am doing more leading and bouldering as well.  I launched a separate company called http://superfastlistings.com with my co-founder Ron.  A franchise is in the works and…. life so far is busy/exhausting/good.

Hanger18

Hanger18


I was watching a google talk video regarding mobile as the new social media.  How we are trying to fit our old paradigms onto a different structure and most of us get fixated on cramming what we know works with what is new.  And surprisingly it has to do with space confinement and elementary concepts such as dimension.  When things started going mobile we don’t inherently jump to what will work with the new model but in our haste to go the easy route we make things more difficult.  For example instead of making forms shorter and checkout more simple instead we focus on how to fit everything in a smaller screen so we increase the scroll length. Amazon got it right with the one click checkout process didn’t they? And password protection is made easy with the reroute to email way vs. Figuring out a captcha that doesn’t even fit onto a mobile screen.  I want to implement this effort for looking at mobile a different way and I want to see if it will work.  I am going to try and bypass the standard checkout line by enabling instant one click checkout scrolling over pictures and tapping or scanning a barcode for my physical retail location. When will this get accomplished?  I hope sooner rather than later.

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