Hello fellow entrepreneurs! So you’re wondering how to sell products on Amazon. Today, we’re going over everything you need to get started.
We’re going to assume you already know what you want to sell. Product research is a whole guide in and of itself. We are just going to focus on getting your products listed on Amazon.
How to Sell on Amazon – Creating an Account and Getting Verified
This is where a lot of new sellers fail.
Back in the day, it was easy to get approved to sell on Amazon. Today, there is a lot more diligence getting done to ensure that Amazon sellers are legitimate and trustworthy. Here are the steps you’ll have to go through in order to get approved.
1. Sign-up for Amazon Seller Central. Just google “Amazon Seller Central”, and click on the link. You’ll be directed to the Seller Central site for your country.
2. Go through the guided sign-up procedure. You’ll have to choose your selling plan, business location, and business type. We recommend signing up using the individual plan to start as there’s no monthly fee, and you can upgrade once you’ve got all the details set up. For your business location make sure you choose the country where you will be paying income tax. For the business type, you can sell as a company or an individual, but we have found it easier to get approved as an individual.
3. Identity Verification. This is where many people get denied. The most important thing to keep in mind is that all of your documents must match exactly. During the ID verification process, Amazon will send a code to your physical mailing address. You will then have to enter this code, upload your ID, and upload a statement of some sort (bank, credit card, utility bill etc.). Make sure that your name, address, zip/postal code all match up.
When we say it needs to match “exactly”, we mean literally down to the atom. If one document has a space between your names, and another has a hyphen then you will be rejected. If you have a space in your postal or zip code on one document but not another then you will be rejected. If one document has “Unit 2000” for your apartment and another document has “Unit #2000”, then you will be rejected. Make sure EVERYTHING matches, otherwise you’ll be denied and won’t be able to re-apply with the same e-mail address.
Once you have successfully gone through these steps, Amazon will give you access to Seller Central where you can list your products for sale. This whole process can take a couple of weeks.
How to Sell on Amazon – Selling an Existing Product
This scenario applies when someone else is already selling the product on Amazon. One of the big benefits to this is that they have already done the work to get the listing approved.
All you need to do is go to Inventory –> Add a Product and search the existing item you want to sell. The best way to do this is to find the existing Amazon listing for the product and grab the ASIN number from the listing page. Just put this into the search field, find the right item, and click “Sell this Product”.
In the example below, we just searched “orchid pot” to show what the search screen would look like.
You will then be guided by Amazon to fill out some information like pricing and condition of your product. The whole process only takes a few minutes, and you’re done!
However, if the product you want to sell is not already on Amazon then you have some additional work to do.
How to Sell on Amazon – Adding a New Product
This scenario applies when your product is not currently sold on Amazon, and you actually need to create a new listing. Now, here is something that first-time sellers get confused about. When we say “new product” it literally means there is no exact 100% match for what you want to sell.
For example, if someone else is selling a 4-pack of red cups on Amazon, and you want to sell a 5-pack of red cups then you’ll need a new listing. Even if you want to sell the same 4-pack of red cups but with adhesive labels then you will still need a new listing.
Here are the steps to add a brand new product to the Amazon catalog.
1. Buy a new barcode. Every product that is sold in the world needs a unique barcode, also known as a Global Trade Item Number (GTIN). You’ll also hear some other names like UPC barcode or EAN number. These are all the same thing as far as you’re concerned, and you should only buy them from GS1, which is the worldwide organization for managing barcodes.
Don’t cheap out and buy second-hand barcodes that might work – only buy from GS1. However, since GS1 GTIN numbers are global, you can buy them from any country. One thing we’ve noticed is that UK GS1 barcodes are cheaper than US GS1 barcodes for some reason. Make sure you shop around the GS1 sites for various countries and find the best deal at the time.
When you generate the GTIN number for your new product you will have to enter a lot of details. There is a very good guided process on the GS1 site when you’re making the barcode, but please take it slow and make sure that all of the details you entered are correct. Amazon will cross-reference the details with GS1 when you try to add a product to the Amazon catalog.
2. Add your new product in Amazon Seller Central. Go to Inventory –> Add a Product, then choose to add a product that’s not currently sold on Amazon. Go through the guided steps to enter the required details. Amazon has some great help articles in Seller Central if you’re stuck on any of this.
Remember that the details will be cross-referenced with your GS1 barcode so any data that you entered as part of GS1 must match exactly on Amazon. The Amazon product detail page has a lot more information than GS1 allows you to enter, so don’t worry about this extra information matching up with GS1.
You’ll notice that as part of adding a new product on Amazon you will have the option of entering a brand name. If you leave this blank, then it will just show the brand as “Generic” when people are looking at your listing.
If you have your own brand and try to enter it, then Amazon will ask that you go through the brand approval process if it is a brand that they have never seen before. We will go over how to get approval to sell your brand on Amazon in the next section.
How to Sell on Amazon – Getting your Brand Approved
The key to getting approval to sell a new brand on Amazon is to be crystal clear with your brand name on your packaging or product.
If you tried to add a new brand name as part of your product creation, then Amazon will prompt you to fill out a “Brand Qualification Application”. It’s a pretty short application, but it will require photographic proof of your brand name shown on your packaging or product. Here are some tips to help you get your brand approved on Amazon:
– Your first attempt to add a new brand name will most likely be rejected. Just re-open the case and keep trying and follow the instructions.
– If your product packaging is a poly bag, then you can print out a small brochure of your product, with the logo and your barcode at your local photo finishing center. Put this beside your poly bag and take a photo to submit to Amazon. We recommend using a finger to point out your brand name so there’s no confusion.
– If your product packaging is a box, then you can get a stamp custom made with your logo and brand name. Just stamp your box, and take a photo of it to submit to Amazon.
– It is also helpful if you own the website related to your brand name. You can include the website address as part of your Brand Qualification Application to Amazon.
– If you have a registered trademark for your brand already, then you can submit that. This can be quite an expensive process so we don’t recommend doing this when you’re just starting out.
Once your brand name is approved, you can add it to your product listing and have it go active.
Congratulations! You have added your first product on Amazon.
The next thing you want to think about is whether you would like to ship the items yourself, or use Amazon FBA to handle that. We will go over the differences in an upcoming article.
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