Selling on Amazon is one of the easiest ways to start making money on the side. You can just add the item you want to sell and most of the information is already in the system. All you have to do when you list your product is add the condition, the price, and any notes you have on the product.
Then just wait for the item to sell. Sometimes it’s immediate. Other times, it could take a while.
No matter how you get started, make sure you don’t do these mistakes when starting to sell on Amazon.
Not Shipping Fast Enough
As soon as you get a product sold, you need to get the item out the door and on it’s way to the customer. Shipping times is factored into your seller rating and can hurt your account if you aren’t fast enough with the shipping. If you fall below a certain amount, Amazon will even drop you completely from the program.
Their biggest focus is always on the customer so you need to make sure you get it out as soon as possible.
Don’t worry, if you are going on vacation or can’t handle shipping items, you can just set your account to “Inactive” and nothing will show up while you are away. When you get back, just make sure to set your account back to active so you can start selling your items again.
If you have specific issue with just one item, you can set individual listings to inactive if you need to.
Shipping Cost Issues
When you first start selling on Amazon, especially selling items that are already on there, you’ll see a huge discrepancy with shipping. One of the first times I sold something, I assumed the shipping was right and I priced my item according to market values.
The problem was, after someone bought the item, I went to ship it, but the shipping cost was far more than the amount I was getting for the product. So when you ship things, make sure you’re putting the product at a price that will cover the extra amount that Amazon estimated shipping doesn’t account for.
When you go to sell on Amazon, you usually scan the barcode or put in the product name and get back a few to choose from. Make completely sure that what you are selling is the exact same thing as what is being shown.
If not, you’ll send the wrong thing to the customer, they’ll get upset and leave a poor seller review. This hurts your chances for being seen when selling other items.
Amazon Seller Guidelines
Follow the guidelines that Amazon has for all sellers. Not doing so will get your account banned and you’ll have no recourse to fix the issue. I can’t tell you how many groups I’ve been a part of where new sellers do something silly and their account gets banned. Then they have huge amounts of inventory and products that they can’t sell on Amazon.
There are really several other places you can sell that aren’t Amazon, but if you’re looking to start out quickly and easily, sometimes it’s the best to get started.
Selling the Right Products
I have two books listed with Amazon right now. I got them free and don’t need them so I put them up. They are weight loss cookbooks and it’s the middle of the spring and summer season. Those two books will probably sit there until maybe the end of the year when losing weight becomes a hot topic again.
The thing is that’s ok for me with those two products. I’m not looking to make rent by selling them. But, you have to think about what products you do want to sell on Amazon that have a good chance of selling now, when you need it.
To avoid this problem, you can use sites like camel camel camel that will tell you the latest product trends and the latest pricing trends on those products. This will help you sell the right products at the right price. It will also help you avoid buying products for resale that won’t make you any money.
Selling Products with Low Margins
Would you rather worry about selling 10 items for $10 profit each or 1 item for $100? If you focus on low margins, then you have to worry about keeping a lot of products selling rather than finding a few good products that have much higher margins for you.
Lower margins also mean higher volumes and you’d have to worry more about shipping each item as well. So try to only work on higher margin products that will help you reach your goal.
It is easy to start selling on Amazon, but you have to make sure you’re making a profit while you’re selling. You have several expenses that you have to deal with:
- Cost of goods
- Holding Inventory
- Shipping materials
- Labor (if you’re not doing it all yourself)
Make sure you are tracking how much everything costs you from when you get the product to when you ship it and make the money from Amazon. This will tell you which products are making you money and which ones might be duds that you no longer need to worry about buying.
Only Selling Items that Are Listed on Amazon
Do you have an old item in your closet that you want to get rid of, but don’t see anyone else selling one? Don’t let that stop you from listing it. You never know who else might want that same item.
For instance, a friend of ours was cleaning out her kid’s room. He’d gone off to college and was living on his own, so she was cleaning out his room. There were several old kids toys and board games from when he was a kid that she thought she’d just give away. I told her to scan the barcodes and list a few just to see what happened. She had two that didn’t have an active listing, so she listed them and was able to sell them that summer. It didn’t break the bank, but she was able to get some money back from those listings.
Not Listing the Condition Properly
The above item feeds into this one very well. If you are listing something that is used, make sure you take a lot of pictures and list it properly in the condition section. The worst thing you can do is upset someone who doesn’t know the true condition of the listing and they are surprised after they make the purchase.
Most times, when people know the condition up front, they will still want the product and are fully aware of what they are getting. This will go a long way in your seller reviews as well.
Keeping up with your reviews
Sometimes you’ll get a less than stellar review. Try really hard to fix the situation if you can to improve the review. But don’t be shy with standing your ground if the review has nothing to do with you.
For instance, a lot of customers will leave a bad review on a product if it was delivered poorly. Aside from you sending it promptly and packaging it correctly, if something happens from the UPS person, that can’t be on you.
Look to fix the situation if you can, but also try to defend yourself if you need to. And don’t be afraid to get Amazon involved. If they see that it’s a bad review that isn’t your fault, they can remove it for you.