Amazon seller tips
Listing an item on Amazon is easy, but becoming a great seller isn’t as straightforward. There are many things both new and existing users can do to become better sellers, and our selling tips will cover everything you need to know as an Amazon seller, from how to provide fast customer service to advice on owning the Buy Box.
Selecting the right products to sell on Amazon is so important – let’s face it nobody wants to be left with 100 unsellable kettles in their basement. When it comes to choosing which products you should invest in as a seller, there are a few things to consider before you dive straight in.
A little research
Conducting some research on existing products is so important. It’s essential to see how an item is performing, how much competition it already has from other sellers and to determine if there’s space for your product to potentially become a top seller in a particular category.
Looking at the Best Sellers Rank of a product is a great way to determine its popularity. If it ranks too highly and has hundreds of positive reviews it will be difficult to compete with, but if the rank is too low this reveals that there isn’t enough demand for the product for it to become profitable to you as a seller.
It can be tricky – ideally sellers want to invest in products that have a good best sellers rank but not too many reviews. Products that tend to have less than 50 reviews per page, but are ranking highly show potential. It’s also useful to check the Movers and Shakers list, the Hot New Releases list and the Most Wished For list.
Planning your costs
After you’ve carried out your research, you also want to think about cost, size, shipping and availability. Successful sellers should make at least a 25% profit margin on items after all costs have been calculated, and starting out by selling cheaper items can prevent huge losses and expensive, unwanted inventory.
Don’t forget that large, heavy items will cost more in shipping costs, and items that are only relevant for particular holidays or seasons will have a reduced time frame in which to sell. Take a look at our Shipping guide for more information.
Top of page
Own the Buy Box
If you’re not familiar with the ‘Buy Box’, it’s pretty much the Holy Grail for Amazon sellers. The box lies to the right of the screen and automatically selects a seller to provide the product. By clicking the ‘Add to Basket’ button, the customer will buy the item from that seller’s store over any others available on the website.
Owning the Buy Box is definitely advantageous for all sellers, but there are requirements that sellers must meet to be able to even compete for this top spot. Amazon never reveals the specifics, as they’re subject to change, but we know a few things that definitely help.
Sellers should always have stock available, and keep their inventory up to date. Customers buying out of stock items and having to wait for an extended period of time are more likely to leave negative feedback. Customer feedback affects eligibility for the Buy Box, alongside overall seller rating. Customer response times, shipping time and refund rates are all contributing factors, too. Your price should definitely be competitive, but the cheapest doesn’t always guarantee you’ll own the buy box.
Overall, if you’re an active, responsive and reliable seller with high-quality products that your current customers love, you should stand a good chance of owning the Buy Box. You can lose the privilege of owning the Buy Box at any time, so sellers can’t become complacent once they’ve secured ownership.
For more handy hints on being a top seller, check out our Customer Service guide below.
Top of page
Provide Fast Customer Service
Nobody likes sending multiple messages to sellers in search of an answer. Bad customer service and slow response times can negatively affect your seller profile, and potentially deter future customers from purchasing items from you.
Keeping in touch
It’s always important to check your messages frequently to prevent customers and buyers from becoming frustrated. At least once a day is recommended, but the quicker you can answer the better. Always add as much information as possible to your product page to prevent your inbox from being inundated with the same questions over and over again.
It’s also wise to have all the packaging materials at hand before you sell your products. Thinking ahead and making sure you have the correct envelopes, boxes and other materials ensures that you can box your items up and send them out for delivery straight after a purchase has been made. Nobody wants their delivery delayed because a seller can’t find a roll of sellotape.
Using a courier service like CollectPlus enables you to be able to send packages early ‘til late seven days a week as the service operates until your selected store closes. Once it’s on the way, sending customers updates of their parcel along with tracking codes, can gives your customers peace of mind and keep them happy.
Top of page
Adding New Products
If you can’t find a product listed on Amazon, it doesn’t mean you can’t sell it. Instead of just clicking the ‘Sell on Amazon’ button on an existing product, sellers can add new products, which then become a permanent part of the Amazon catalogue. You can view Amazon’s guidelines on how to add a new product here.
Once you’ve added a new product, other sellers can use the page and list their copies for sale too. Until this happens, you will be the sole provider for that product and demand 100% of the sales. Customers will be able to find the product as they search the Amazon site, and even add it to wish lists.
There are some restrictions on adding new product pages. Only products under the categories of books, music, video, DVD, home & garden, toys and electronics & photo can be added at the present time. Make sure you don’t add a prohibited product, as Amazon will remove it and steps may be taken to close down the account of the seller, so be careful.
Top of page
Amazon has an enormous catalogue of products so it is easy for items to get buried. If your listings need an extra boost to get noticed, using Amazon product ads can help you reach a wider audience and attract new buyers.
Sponsored products are designed to improve visibility, and this increased exposure uses targeted keywords to drive shoppers towards relevant product pages. If one of your items is sponsored, it will often feature on the right hand side or bottom of any relevant search results, or in a designated sponsored section underneath detail pages.
Sellers only pay for ads when they are clicked on, and many sellers use them to promote new products, clearance items and seasonal offers. It’s a great way to increase your overall sales or sell one particular item.