Anybody here have experience selling through amazon?
How do you like Amazon's service? And do you manage to make a profit despite all their fees? How do you deal with the consumer tax/ income tax of it, are you a registered business?
>How do you like Amazon's service?
Somewhat, they'll phone you about some stuff when necessary and try to help keep you in the boundaries, but if you are locked out from selling a product and don't have full invoices you're fucked (even if bought 2nd hand)
> And do you manage to make a profit despite all their fees?
Yeah, but you've gotta factor that in before even buying items. If you go to the final stage of listing a product you see how much money you receive from the sale after fees, so I use that figure before buying stock.
> How do you deal with the consumer tax/ income tax of it, are you a registered business?
I'm not, but itd also not be worth me registering. A lot of sellers either are individuals or small companies, so it can't be that hard.
thanks for the response
>if you are locked out from selling a product and don't have full invoices
could you elaborate on this? I'm not quite sure what you mean by being locked out from selling a product
As to the taxes, does amazon simply give you the cash and have you deal with taxes, or do they subtract taxes and give you the tax free money?
Make sure you have at least a 30% margin because that's how much they take in fees and shipping shortfalls. Add another 20% if you're in a category with a higher percentage of thieves and serial returners. If you can still make a profit after that, hats off to you.
Hey sorry, I was busy.
>could you elaborate on this?
Basically it goes like this:
1. You sell old product/game/dvd/whatever
2. It goes well
3. Some idiot sells crappy counterfeits
4. Amazon restrict listing rights to prevent bad orders
5. Tell you you need invoices for your product, despite it being discontinued for years.
Annoying, but you're pretty unlikely to actually suffer from it.
> Tax free money?
Here (EU) they subtract taxes themselves, tax free money.
I private label with FBA - meaning I source a product in China, created a brand name and listing on Amazon so no one can sell under my listing, and market it.
My product costs are around $3, it costs about a buck to ship over here in bulk (ocean freight), and about another 50 cents to ship to their warehouse. So let's call it $5 inventory costs. Amazon's referral fee and FBA fees add up to about another $5. I sell my item for $15, so my margin is about 30-40% (per-order fees mean I make more when people buy multiples of my product).
All in all, it's a great thing to do on the side that takes me about 2-5 hours a month in shipping my inventory to their warehouse.
If you don't have the resources to start off with private labeling (referred to as PL), a lot of guys get their FBA feet wet with retail arbitrage (RA), where they'll buy closeout and liquidated inventory (or cheap inventory - BOGO deals, coupons, etc) from retail stores, then hawk them on Amazon for more money. That's a lot of work and didn't interest me that much.
If you are interested in this, a good place to get more info is reddit's r/FulfillmentByAmazon sub.
Pic related, my 2015 sales.
>As to the taxes, does amazon simply give you the cash and have you deal with taxes, or do they subtract taxes and give you the tax free money?
For your personal taxes, your money is pre-tax, you've got to do the work for that.
For the sales taxes on the items you sell, it's up to you to set up tax locales in Seller Central (their sales portal). Some people think you only have to pay taxes in the state you're located in. Others say you have to pay taxes where your inventory is "nexused," meaning any state Amazon places your inventory in their warehouse.
When you do either, it's up to you to register with your state to let them know you're selling a product and collecting tax, then remit it on a regular basis, just as you would if you operated a small brick-and-mortar store somewhere.
I, on the other hand, am just taking my chances and never bothered to set it up, figuring my state will never find out.
Alibaba is a good directory to find suppliers, but then I would google them and go right to their website and browse their catalog. That's how I found the product that makes me most of my money.
Suppliers are like gold - once you find a good one, you'll want to stick with them forever. I only use one supplier that specializes in a material. I even had them make a custom product for me by sending them specs and going back and forth on samples. That product wasn't as successful as the off-the-shelf product they sell me though.
Alibaba shit with low minimum order quantities are all over Amazon now since the barrier to entry is so low. I bought a $65 ebook before I started that laid out how to do everything (including the freight forwarding and customs), which mentioned some better sourcing sites. I'll tell you it for free: I use hktdc.com to find my supplier.
As for serial numbers, I assume you mean UPC codes? (also, are you in the US?) Yes I did, but that's a small hurdle: I used speedybarcodes.com and bought 5 for $10. You don't need a new, unassigned code from GS1 that costs hundreds. Any from speedybarcodes works.
I really don't want to jinx myself saying this but as a buyer, I haven't had any issue ever from them, as far as returns and delivery goes. Can't say too much about the parcel companies though. I usually sell shit on E-bay and I have to say it's been fairly easy to move items on there for what i listed. I might consider (AMZN) eventually, but I'm satisfied with the way things are now.
Thanks bud. When I first started, I brought them over from China and labeled them myself - Amazon walks you through this during the FBA Shipment steps (and basically prints to an Avery label paper).
Now, though, I have my Chinese manufacturer apply the labels at the factory before shipping to me. There's a risk there in that they could see what you sell them as and knock you off, but that's why I said a good supplier is gold - I have a very good relationship with mine.
So what it amounts to is that I have hundreds of boxes of my product in a storage unit that I occasionally drive to, maybe twice a month, slap a UPS label on, and drop them off at the UPS store. I don't even open the boxes of stuff before I ship them on.
I just started doing FBA. Doing nothing but eBay before. Just bought a cheap printer, barcode scanner, some labels, and had some items I was saving that would sell better on AZ and that was it. Pretty fast on making listings and I had a handful of sales from my first 30 items already. Might shift over all my books from eBay, see if they'll sell better on AZ.
A few problems with this, you don't know which warehouse Amazon will want you to send it to, you have to organize an LTL shipment from an approved Amazon vendor, and your long term inventory storage fees are through the roof. Amazon doesn't really want to be in the long term inventory storage business. I recommend against it.
hmm alright. I saw their prices and they charge something like 25 dollars per cubic meter per month for storage, not sure if this is a lot I'm going to check for storage close to me because I don't have a lot of room at home.
Monthly storage is cheap, but check out the twice-yearly Long Term Inventory Storage fees that they charge for any inventory that's been in their warehouse longer than 6 months. It's a killer.
Amazon is pretty shitty desu senpai, eBay is cheaper and more flexible, you should really put your focus into eBay to start up and make your own website using shopify or something similar, then include a 10% coupon for your website on your eBay orders.
yeah, a very effective way to get people to your own website is to give them coupons that work on your site only... just get a system that keeps track of who you've given coupons to because some people will try to game the system by buying a cheap auction from ebay then buying expensive shit on your site, and then repeat the process.
if you're into coding your own back-end of a store, check out opencart... if I had any idea what to do I'd love to run an opencart store.
1. Can you give a literal example of how your private labeled your products?
For example if you decided to sell a generic razor you found a manufacture selling would you just stick a sticker with your company/made up product name onto it? or onto the packaging?
Is this even necessary? Could you buy a generic razor and call it "x razor" but not actually label it with your "x" brand and throw it up on amazon.
2. How do you market your product you private labeled?
Do you think you would get any sales if you don't market your product?
3. If you find a product you think you can make money on would competition from another seller that is private labeling the same product throw you off? If not why? is it because you believe you can market your listing better?
Thanks for the great info
I bought some stuff to test the waters for Amazon.
5 things, 3 are electrical accessories and the other 2 are some bike thing.
I haven't had any sales. Any tips? I think it has something to do with them not giving me a merchant account so when people look at my product they have to click some other sbit.
yeah, spend hours per day building out a custom site with opencart and shopify, then spend hundreds of dollars per month buying ads, doing SEO, etc trying to get to 5 sales per day. then run to the post office for an hour each day fulfilling these $15 orders.
or put your product on the world's biggest marketplace for a 15% fee (much less than you would have spent trying to get traffic to your own site). use amazon fba and have them literally handle all the fulfillment and customer service (including returns) for your product.
one of these scales infinitely. the other is a hobby.
>1. Can you give a literal example of how your private labeled your products?
Sure, I'll tell you what my friend did since he already gave up, but he wanted to follow in my footsteps. His idea was good but his heart wasn't into it.
He randomly browsed alibaba until he came across a product, dog whistles (he doesn't even own a dog). Here's a sample:
He ordered the MOQ (minimum order quantity) and got them a couple weeks later since they are light and ship airmail. He packaged them in a 5-pack (literally like a ziplock bag) and created a new listing for "5-Pack Dog Whistles by AnonPets Corp," so to speak. The only "label" is the label that Amazon prints off, but no one else can sell his product under his listing because he owns the AnonPets brand (and search for Amazon Brand Registry to register it down the road, I didn't do that for the first 6 months).
That's private labeling. Taking a generic product and slapping a new brand that you create on. It's up to you how you develop that brand, if you create a separate website, etc.
> 2. How do you market your product you private labeled?
When you start off, the easiest way is Amazon Sponsored Listings. There is a whole advertising and campaign section in Seller Central that allows you to advertise on keywords. It's super simple to set up, you can even do an automatic ad that lets Amazon pick your keywords, great for beginners.
Once you have some sales, your next step is to mine for reviews to get some organic traffic. I use Feedback Genius to automatically email my customers 3 times after the order process completes, giving them a "free gift," a coupon for a later order, then by the third item I ask for their review.
i'm not saying it's not a way to go, but i'm pretty fucking happy with my results with my own webstore, and ebay is mod-friendly so anytime i list a ebay product, it goes straight to my webstore
pretty fucking neat hobby, wait until i finish 2015's report
>3. If you find a product you think you can make money on would competition from another seller that is private labeling the same product throw you off? If not why? is it because you believe you can market your listing better?
Yes and no, it depends on how good they are at building their listing. I've got a couple guys selling the same product as me with fewer reviews. I'm sure it's taking some of my sales but Amazon keeps growing so I don't notice it. That being said, you do want to be on top of changes and other things going on in the marketplace. You can't find a successful private label product and ride it for the next decade (though mine has been going strong for 1.5 years without much tweaking).
> I haven't had any sales. Any tips? I think it has something to do with them not giving me a merchant account
I'm not sure what you mean by merchant account. Are you selling via Seller Central? Are you merchant fulfilled (you do the shipping) or FBA (you ship to Amazon and they handle fulfillment)?
It's no secret that FBA sales are millions of times higher than MF. Free 2 day shipping for prime members, qualifies for free super saver, etc. If you are, you may want to run an ad campaign through seller central. If after all that, maybe you just have a dud product (too much competition, too small market, no product trust/reviews, bad description, bad pictures).
Oh and I didn't mention the services out there where you can have customers buy products in exchange for a review. I did that with a few of my newer products.
good job bro. i'm not knocking it at all, just saying it's quite a bit tougher to get off the ground with.
That being said, you own the funnel with your own storefront. Amazon can fuck me over in an afternoon and put me out of business. But for me, private label FBA is something I do in addition to my full time job.