With your products listed, all that’s left to do is wait for them to be ordered and then fulfill your orders. If you have utilized Amazon FBA all along, you do not have to worry about this step, but those holding personal inventory will have to make their deliveries themselves.
You do not need to master the technicalities of e-commerce to set up an Amazon business. All you need to get started is an Amazon seller account, your products, and barcodes for your products. Setting up a seller account is as simple as making a purchase on Amazon, so it’s no big deal. But there is one important decision to be made.
Do you sell on Amazon as a unique brand or do you sell as a retailer of an already existing product? This is an important decision in your Amazon business set up.
Private labelling involves you importing white-label goods and selling them under your brand. This is important if you wish to eventually branch out as a brand with a spine of loyal customers. But you must be certain that there is indeed a demand for your chosen product before going this route.
On the other hand, retail arbitrage allows you to take advantage of already in-demand products that are quick to sell. But this might trim down you profit margins. Before going this route, you need to be sure there is enough demand to carter to the added supply. Regardless of your preference, ensure you carry out a careful and thorough market research before you begin.
The importance of market research to any business – online or offline – cannot be overemphasized. You need to make sure that your idea is one with an interested customer base before you expend all of your life savings into it. How do you carry out market research for the Amazon market?
Amazon’s own best sellers’ page is an important tool for market research provide free of charge by Amazon. Here, Amazon releases a list of their best sellers. Do not underestimate its importance due to its lack of cost. This page can give you an insight into what the market is in need of before you dive in.
Jungle Scout Sales Estimator is yet another free tool that can be used for market research. It lets you see how much sales a product has on Amazon, helping you identify whether there is interest in a product and whether it would be worthwhile to join the market.
With your product decided, it is time you find a supplier. Although most people prefer to find their suppliers online – taking advantage of sites like Alibaba – there are multiple ways you can go about finding a supplier when you import from China. This could be:
The best possible way to make a decision on your preferred supplier is heading over to China and meeting them one-on-one. Such face-to-face meeting will allow you to personally assess their working conditions, factory standards, and product quality. It would also allow you to begin building a personal relationship with your supplier, engaging in conversations that could smoothen your business dealings. Unfortunately, travelling half way around the world to China can be particularly stressful and expensive.
The internet has simplified the way we do things, and this is also very much the case as you source for a supplier. You may be able to use google to find highly recommended and trust worthy suppliers from China. Much easier, though, is the use of Alibaba. This online marketplace – Alibaba – is the largest online marketplace in China and boasts a massive selection of products. It has an easy to navigate interface, with safeguards to ensure you find the right supplier.
A sourcing agent is a great way to blend in your online search with physical presence in China. This is a great option for those not quite comfortable with making a purchase online. Sourcing agents can be found online. A sourcing agent will be able to interact with potential suppliers face-to-face on your behalf, and are well aware of the business trajectory in China. They can be an invaluable tool in achieving the right balance between cost-time efficiency.
Getting your goods from your chosen supplier down to the USA/UK is the nest step towards establishing your business. As earlier discussed, you have three possible importation options when looking to import goods into the UK – courier, sea freight and air freight.
Courier is best used for importation when importing few and lightweight goods. Goods that weigh less than 100kg and have a volume of less than 0.5 cbm are, thus, a great fit for courier transportation. If, however, you are importing goods with larger metrics than these, you will significantly reduce your cost by using freight. However, courier service makes importation simple; import, pay whatever costs involved (including UK Duty and VAT), sit back, and have your order delivered to your doorstep.
Freight importation is much more involving. You will need a freight forwarder to act on your behalf, taking care of your shipment and navigating all of the delicate shipping details such as customs and important logistics in China. A shipping company (freight forwarder) will also help you with obtaining important documents like an EORI number, while guiding you through the process.With freight shipping, you have two basic options: shipping through air freight or through sea freight. Sea freight is much cheaper but could take between six and eight weeks to arrive. Air freight, while more expensive, arrives within a week. For start-ups, sea freight is likely your go-to option.
Amazon’s FBA service is an optional service designed to save you plenty of time. FBA – meaning “Fulfilled By Amazon” is Amazon’s storage and order fulfillment facility. It allows businesses to send their stock to Amazon’s storage, tasking Amazon with fulfilling any orders. Of course, this comes at a cost and may not be the best pathway for your business for the sake of profitability.
With Amazon FBA you no longer have to worry about overheads like storage space and packaging. This is especially convenient if you have other things keeping you busy. However, you pay for these in extra fees that lower your profit margin. Interestingly, this service opens up your business to the elusive Amazon Prime customers, a customer base that is otherwise unattainable. Be sure to measure up the cost against the benefits before deciding on what’s best for you.
Amazon warehouses come with strict packaging requirements and regulations that must be met. Amazon simply won’t accept your goods except you have adhered to these requirements, will charge you for the misstep, and can choose to return or destroy them. so what are these make-or-break requirements?
With all the necessary packaging requirements duly adhered to, it is time to get your goods to an Amazon FBA warehouse. To do this, simply book a delivery slot by emailing Amazon. One quick way to avoid this step is to use one of the recommended parcel carriers on Amazon’s website to take your goods to the warehouse.
Note that with a recommended parcel carrier, your work is much easier. These experienced freight forwarders just need be informed that you wish to ship straight to Amazon FBA. They will then package your goods according to FBA standards, and deliver your goods straight to Amazon – you wouldn’t even need any contact with your goods!
Setting up your own Amazon shop can be pretty easy. The above guide should give you a clear idea of what is involved in getting the ball rolling. The age of the internet rumbles on, and e-commerce is a major beneficiary. Setting up your very own Amazon store allows you tap into these benefits without being especially tech savvy.
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