Amazon is probably the biggest and most famous global store on the internet. Famously they starting selling books, from Jeff Bezos' garage, they have now jostled, like a clambering octopus, into almost every retail sector imaginable. They offer services too such as "in the cloud" and even streaming TV shows and movies - a benefit of Amazon Prime - and many people enjoy the other advantages of an Amazon Prime membership such as free shipping and use it to buy stuff on a daily basis.
As well as selling their own products, nowadays Amazon relies upon an army of independent stores to sell their goods and products through the platform to Amazon's customers. This network of sellers is known as Amazon.com Marketplace or sell on Amazon and is where sellers upload their inventory to be sold to the general public. Amazon claim that over 50% off all products sold through their platform comes from these independent sellers.
How to sell on Amazon.
So how do you become an Amazon Seller and sell on Amazon? The first thing you need to do is apply for a seller account. This is a straightforward application process, although when you are successful you will have to pay $39.99 a month plus selling fees to be a professional seller, so be sure you have your products ready to go. Otherwise there is an individual plan which costs $0.99 per item and selling fees which is a good starter package for individuals.
Once you have applied for your account you can use Amazon.com Seller Central to upload and manage all your products and stuff for sale. Amazon use a catalogue method and it will match your products, unless they are unique, with other seller's products so that customers can find and compare stuff for sale easily.
Amazon provide all the tools necessary to grow your business, they provide a platform for reviews and methods for handling customer service queries before and after the sale with your buyers.
How to ship on Amazon.
When you are deciding how to establish your Amazon.com business you will need to decide how to ship your products, there are two choices:
1. Ship your products yourself
This is where, after an order has been received, you pick, pack and send the product to the customer your self from your own premises.
2. Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA)
FBA is where you send your products in advance to an Amazon warehouse and when an order is received they will arrange for the stuff to be packed and sent to the customer. It is free to send your products to the Amazon fulfillment centre, depennding upon their terms and conditions, where they will be stored safely until they need to be delivered by the Amazon team on your behalf.
Many sellers use a combination of both in order to reach as many customers as possible. FBA means that Amazon Prime orders for free 2 day delivery, and free shipping on eligible orders, can be made and it is possible to sell internationally using FBA too. Amazon will also take care of the product returns with FBA returns.
How does Amazon FBA work?
FBA and FBA export is where Amazon pick, pack and send your products to your customer from their warehouse. You send your products to one of the 175 Amazon fulfillment centers around the world of your choice and from there Amazon will fulfill all the orders for you. If you choose FBA Export then Amazon will take care of the international orders and shipping too. They take care of the storage, packing and even the returns.
You are able to send your products to their warehouse for free, up to a $100 cost, and you can store 50 units, this is the FBA New Selection program which is free to take advantage of and means you get free storage and free returns as well.
How to sell internationally on Amazon
Once you have set up your store and wish to grow your business you may decide that you want to sell your products and goods globally. This will increase your marketplace to people in other countries as well as those in your own location. You have the options to ship the products yourself or use the Amazon fulfillment centres around the world. Amazon have 16 dedicated international websites from which your products can be sold for global shipping. Here's what you need to do:
1. Decide which countries you wish to sell to and which products you are going to list.
2. Set up your accounts in each country. This may require some additional paperwork and identification. For example N America registration requires that you submit a valid phone number, credit card and tax information.
3. Build your international product lists. The Build International Listings tool (BIL) will help you to achieve this, by synchronising listings and prices across global marketplaces.
4. Decide upon fulfillment. You will need to decide whether you are going to ship the products yourself you are going to send your stuff to Amazon's global fulfillment centers for international FBA. FBA Export means you can offer export-eligible stock to international customers at no extra cost to you from a Global Amazon. They have 28 sites in Europe, Australia and Japan and you can even expand to regions like The Middle East and S America, Brazil.
You can apply to sell worldwide on Amazon here.
How much does it cost?
Shipping your products internationally will be priced according to the packages weight and dimensions, so will vary considerably for different products sold. Couriers use a volumetric weight system for pricing. Delivery time, standard shipping is more cost effective that expedited, but some customers may be willing to pay extra for express shipping.
FBAExport means that Amzon will handle the shipping of any international orders, they will arrange the payment of any import duties and taxes levied from the customer, and will arrange shipping at no extra cost to the seller.
How to apply
In order to sell your products worldwide on Amazon using FBA Export, you will need to apply for an Amazon professional account, inorder to set up your account you will need:
- A business email address or Amazon customer account
- Chargeable credit card
- Government ID (identity verification protects sellers and customers)
- Tax information
- Phone number
- A bank account where Amazon can send you the proceeds from your sales
Applications and sign-ups are made at Sell Amazon
Do you have any comments or advice for sellers who wish to expand their Amazon store and set up international shipping? Why not leavea comment in the section below. We would love to hear about your experiences of FBA and Amazon Prime Shipping.