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:
Step 2: If you are serious about selling on Amazon, this course is a must. I cannot emphasize this enough. The Proven Amazon Course (PAC) is absolutely the MOST important and BEST investment I have ever made. 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, 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): Need a US bank account to receive Amazon payouts? There are 2 options. When I signed up for my Amazon.com Seller account, a US bank account was required. But I live in Singapore and do not have a US or UK bank account. Thankfully Payoneer provides a service to register for a US bank account with a debit MasterCard. Registration is free and Payoneer charges a 1% service fee on all payments made into your account. By signing up through the link here, you will receive a $25 bonus credit! Sign up for Payoneer.
Update: I have been using World First since Oct 2014 to receive my Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk payouts and this is then transferred into my local bank account. Even if you are in a country which is eligible for direct Amazon payouts, one advantage of World First is a better foreign currency exchange rate than what you would get if Amazon pays you from USD/GBP to your local currency such as AUD, or from sales on Amazon.com in USD to a UK bank account. You would save at least 1% or more per payout which can add up to quite a lot! Check out and sign up with World First here.
My current strategy is to alternate Amazon payouts between Payoneer and WorldFirst. Payoneer to reinvest capital without Forex costs and WorldFirst to withdraw into my local bank account.
Update (2 Apr 2015): Read my in-depth review and comparison of Payoneer vs WorldFirst.
Update (1 Jun 2017): For the past year I have been using WorldFirst over 90% of the time. Due to my transaction volume, WorldFirst now charges me a spread of just 1% for all my USD to SGD transfers! This is down from the initial 2.5% I started with in 2014.
Step 4: Open an account with Prep Services. This is a vital tool in my kit. ALL my wholesale and retail arbitrage items ordered in the US are sent to several prep services. They do everything needed - receive, check, pack, multi-pack, bundle, poly-bag, label, box and ship out all my products to Amazon's fulfillment centers. If any of your retail orders arrive damaged, they even help send send them back so you can claim refunds where applicable! 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! Your time and effort is worth far more than the few cents per item you invest to have a warehouse and staff!
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 a FREE list of US and UK prep companies, sign up with your name and email address in the Join the Journey box at the top right of this page.
Step 5: Register for a Seller Account on sellercentral.amazon.com. You have to choose between a professional or individual seller account. The decision will depend on 2 things
Proven Private Label (PPL) is the most comprehensive and best value for money resource if you want to learn how to private label (PL). Private labeling is having your own brand or products where you get a manufacturer to manufacture their products but with your own brand. In Asia, the term more often used is Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM). Many big brands are nothing more than private labels who use OEM manufacturing. Many readers find out about selling on Amazon through the promo_ of a program called ASM, which originally stood for Amazon Selling Machine until Amazon told them that using their name was not allowed. Some differences between PPL and ASM are that PPL teaches to sell on multiple channels not just restrict yourself to Amazon. Secondly PPL is done in a very practical down to earth style rather than a hyped up manner. Thirdly, the single purchase gives lifetime access to PPL updates. Finally, the big difference is cost. ASM is almost 8x more expensive with a 30 day money-back policy. PPL like the Proven Amazon Course has a risk-free 100% lifetime money-back guarantee. Or if you can wait till May-July 2015, it will be added to the Proven Amazon Course.
Update (26 March 2015): Please do NOT purchase Proven Private Label! It has been added to the Proven Amazon Course as of today! This mean if you buy PAC, you get PPL included in the package!
Update (February 2017): Proven Private Label version 2.0 has just been released. It's also know as "Private Label The Easy Way". It makes the process of private labeling easy to understand and more importantly, easy to implement. Check out Proven Private Label 2.0 now.