How to Start Selling on Amazon
How to start selling online? Amazon is a good place to start and here are the essential steps I used to begin my Amazon FBA selling journey. It's my virtual toolbox of tools and services. I only recommend things that I have actually tested myself and find worth recommending (can't stand spammy marketers who push rubbish just for commissions!). You might want to bookmark this page for your reference and convenience.
Step 1: Join these 2 Facebook groups. They are extremely helpful and free:
I would attribute much of my success over the past 4 years to 2 things:
More recently, I started the second group with a focus on helping people from outside the USA, UK, etc. who sell or want to sell internationally in those countries.
Step 2: Training & Education. There's lots of free and paid info available with regards to selling on Amazon. The problem is not all of it is reliable. If you are serious about selling on Amazon, and want to shorten your learning curve with proven strategies, here are 2 options to consider.
1) If you want to focus on private label with a down-to-earth, high probability of success, with low -risk approach, I conduct small group training every 1 or 2 months. I started this in response to numerous requests from the local selling community who asked me to start something because they realised many "courses" are run by scammers or high-risk "gurus" who pitch get-rich-quick nonsense with crazy strategies that will blow a big hole in your pocket. You can find out more on my Amazon Seller Live Training page.
2) The Proven Amazon Course (PAC) was the MOST important and BEST investment I made when starting out. I tell everyone the couple hundred bucks it costs has been a much better investment than the thousands I paid for my Master's degree fees! The course content is huge and ever growing. From the basics of signing up and sending your first shipment to advanced courses like private labeling (creating your own power brand), PAC has it all covered. But incredibly, that is not all. The BEST part of PAC is the amazing culture and community cultivated by Jim Cockrum. The community here will truly help you get to the next level. I'm already working with several groups in PAC to produce our own brand of products as well as sell big wholesale lots with very high returns which are only possible because we work together! You have nothing to lose with the unlimited time 100% money back guarantee (unlike other programs that charge way more with a short 30 day money back policy).
If you are thinking about selling on Amazon, and especially if you live in the US and want to start simple with arbitrage (sourcing products from local shops and selling them online) I highly recommend you start with the Proven Amazon Course.
Update (30 Aug 2015): Just wrote my Proven Amazon Course Review including a screenshot of its contents. Have a look at the review to see the contents in PAC.
Update (26 Mar 2015): Proven Private Label has been added to PAC which makes this incredible course an unbelievable value. Proven Wholesale Sourcing will also be added in May 2015.
Step 3: (Only applicable if you are selling on Amazon from another country): Are you in Singapore or Australia and sell in the US, UK, etc.? Or in the US and sell in Europe or vice versa?
In order to efficiently receive and remit your sales proceeds from Amazon, eBay and other international sales channels, do not use your bank's, Amazon's or PayPal's exchange services with high fees. Instead use a specialised payment service provider to move your money with fees that are many times lower. For example, I transfer my Amazon USD payouts back to my homw currency at an FX rate that costs 10X less than Amazon Currency Converter rate.
Go to this page to read up on and select one of the payment service providers in my Payoneer vs WorldFirst vs TransferWise vs OFX review.
Step 4: Open an account with 3rd party logistics (3PL) service also known as Amazon Prep Services. This is a vital tool in my kit. Many of my private label, wholesale and retail arbitrage items ordered from both US and overseas suppliers are sent to prep services in the US. They do everything needed - receive, check, pack, multi-pack, bundle, poly-bag, label, box, store and ship out all my products to Amazon's fulfillment centers.
Here are some usage scenarios:
If you do not live in the US then you absolutely need this service. Even if you live in the US, you should free yourself to source, grow your business and go to a ball game! You should be focusing on growing your business rather than working as a labourer in the business.
Update: I have just written about using FBA prep companies. To find out more about why I think these are so important and how you can get a free list of prep companies go to the FBA Prep Companies review page.
To get your FREE lists of US and UK prep companies, fill in your name and email address in the box at the top right of this page and you'll receive a list in your email.
Step 5: Register for a Seller Account. Use this link: http://amzn.to/mstsg. It's a special registration link created by Amazon's Global Selling Team. If you register a Professional Seller account using this link, your account will be specially tagged by Amazon to receive help from their team with your FBA launch*. Having a contact person to work with in Amazon is exceedingly rare and something you should make the most of!
*Please note that the special support from Amazon is at the discretion of Amazon account managers and only available to sellers from the following countries who want to start selling on the Amazon.com US marketplace:
Choosing between a professional or individual seller account. I personally just started with a professional account straightaway. The decision depends on 2 things: