Interested in becoming an Amazon seller? Congratulations, and welcome to a brand-new world. While becoming an Amazon seller is easy, mastering the ins and outs of the platform can be a bit tricky. You’ll need to acquire a unique vocabulary and learn new best practices.
Becoming an Amazon seller may seem a bit overwhelming, but the return is worth the investment. It’s not uncommon for answers to one of your questions to lead to more questions—and that’s why we documented answers to the most common Amazon seller FAQs below.
If you’re new to the platform, it’s a good idea to give these questions a read-through from start to finish. You may discover unprecedented opportunities and obscure obstacles. Don’t wait for them to creep up on you later—get ahead of the game with a short 5-minute investment of your time now.
20 Amazon Seller FAQs
1. Is selling on Amazon worth it?
Jumping straight to the million-dollar question, are you? We don’t blame you. If you’re considering making a business on Amazon, this is likely the most important factor. Rest assured, selling on Amazon isn’t a pyramid scheme or seasonal trend—it’s an authentic, lucrative way to get in on the ecommerce scene.
Like with any new platform, there’s a lot to learn, but Amazon is worth it. When you launch your own website or ecommerce store, you’re responsible for finding traffic, creating an audience, and building trust. When you sell on Amazon, they’ve already done all of that work —you just have to compete with the other products.
Selling on Amazon is worth it. You get access to more than 300 million active customers and 150 million Amazon Prime members. Plus, 89% of online shoppers admit they’re most likely to buy from Amazon. Why hunt down the other 11% when you can meet the bulk of online shoppers where they’re comfortable?
2. How much does it cost to sell on Amazon?
Let’s talk numbers. Amazon offers flexible options to help you sell on just about any plan or budget. Here are the costs you’ll need to look at.
Selling Plan: When you sign up for an Amazon seller account, you’ll have to choose either an Individual or Professional selling plan. This gives you the flexibility to pay per sale or on a fixed monthly basis:
- Individual: $0.99 per item sold (plus additional selling fees). If you’re just getting your feet wet, we recommend this option. It’ll give you time to figure out what to sell (and how to sell) before you make bigger investments. This plan will eat into your profits at scale, but it’s the more affordable option if you sell less than 40 units a month.
- Professional: $39.99 per month (plus additional selling fees). The Professional plan unlocks advertising, priority placement on product pages, advanced selling tools, and access to restricted categories. If you’re selling more than 40 units a month, it’s the better choice.
After you’ve chosen your selling plan, it’s time to look at your fulfillment options. You can either package and ship on your own (Fulfillment by Merchant or FBM), or you can use Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA):
- Fulfillment by Merchant: Store, package, label, ship, and handle returns and customer service all on your own. If you find the perfect price point for all these aspects, FBM can be the cheaper option—but it requires an insane amount of work (which has a price, too). However, you’ll get full control over the fulfillment process and the ability to create unique packaging designs.
- Fulfillment by Amazon: FBA offers game-changing services, but you have to pay for them. There are no flat fees—you’ll be paying for volume-based storage fees, per-unit fulfillment costs, returns processing fees, and more.
3. How can I start selling on Amazon?
Ready to join the ecommerce battlefield? Let’s get you started on the right foot. Here’s the 5-step process (abridged version) for how to start selling on Amazon:
- Register as an Amazon Seller: Create your account, choose your selling plan, and get to know your fees. Amazon provides plenty of handy-dandy calculators to help you estimate your per-unit sales margins depending on your products, prices, and fulfillment method.
- List Your Product: Create a listing (or find an existing one) for the item you want to sell on Amazon. Provide the product title, description, bullet points, images, and SKU.
- Optimize Your Product Detail Page: The selling magic happens on product detail pages—this is essentially the landing page for your item. It’ll need a great title, professional images, bullet point highlights, and a keyword-rich description.
- Choose Your Fulfillment Strategy: Decide whether you’re going to go DIY with the FBM method or opt for Amazon FBA.
Scale, Scale, Scale: Steps 1-4 are all you need to start selling on Amazon. Now, it’s time to sell more and sell better.
4. Do I need a business license to sell on Amazon?
Not usually. When you begin making money as an entrepreneur (whether online or in-person), the government labels you a sole proprietorship—you don’t have to do any paperwork to earn that designation. If you want additional seller protection, you may choose to form an LLC or another business structure, but these structures and licenses are not required to sell on Amazon.
Just to be safe, always check with a tax professional before starting a business or selling online. They know all the official details.
5. Can I start selling on Amazon with no money?
Technically, you could start selling on an Amazon Individual plan with a self-fulfillment option without any money. However, you’ll still need capital to purchase products and to pay for packaging and shipping.
6. What are the best products to sell on Amazon?
Ah, now we’re getting to the fun stuff. Finding the perfect product to sell on Amazon is the quest of every Amazon seller. If we (or anyone on the internet, for that matter) knew the exact best products to sell on Amazon, we’d start selling it ourselves rather than sharing it with the world.
However, we do have a few tips to help you find what to sell on Amazon:
- Find Demand with Keyword Research: If people are looking for it, it’s likely not a bad product to sell. Find keyword volume by using Amazon’s search bar or Google Keyword Planner.
- Avoid Anything That Amazon Sells: If Amazon sells a product, just leave it alone. You won’t be able to outprice the ecommerce monolith, so move on to more niche items.
- Pay Attention to Customer Reviews: The best-selling products on Amazon always have loads of positive reviews. Remember, there are 2 essential elements to reviews on Amazon: volume and feedback. Best-selling items have thousands of reviews that are almost always above a 4-star average.
- Weigh One-Off Purchases vs. Recurring Purchases: Consider if you’re satisfying one-time buyers or fueling repeat purchases. It’s hard to build a loyal following from buyers who shop with you once and never again.
7. How do I win the Amazon Buy Box?
The Amazon Buy Box (also known as the featured offer) is the coveted spot for all Amazon sellers. When a customer clicks the “Add to Cart” button, this automatically attributes the purchase to one of the many sellers listing that item. Whichever seller has the featured offer placement will be credited with the sale—your goal is to earn that placement.
Amazon uses performance-based factors to determine who gets this placement status on different listings. Criteria like price, location, condition, Order Defect Rate (ODR), speed of delivery, and seller status all impact your Buy Box eligibility. For better or worse, there’s no way to hack yourself to the featured offer—you’ll have to earn the spot by consistently meeting customer expectations and competitively pricing your products.
8. What’s the A-to-Z Guarantee program?
Amazon offers the A-to-Z Guarantee program to ensure customers get the products they purchase. If they never receive an item or the product is different from what they ordered (or expected), Amazon will help fix the problem.
First, Amazon encourages customers to settle their issues directly with the seller. If the customer is unable to contact you or is unsatisfied with your response, they can file an A-to-Z claim. This claim gets Amazon directly involved, and they’ll usually contact you to learn more details about the order and fulfillment process before determining how the claim should be settled. Amazon may require you to provide a replacement product or reimbursement of the order—and this is all at your expense.
Ultimately, you want to avoid your customers ever filing an A-to-Z claim. Create transparent product listings, ensure on-time delivery, and provide top-notch support to disgruntled buyers to keep customers from contacting Amazon.
9. What is Automate Pricing, and should I use it?
Competition is always changing. To win the Buy Box (and customer purchases), you’ll want to adjust your prices. However, if you list hundreds of products, it can be nearly impossible to stay on top of everything. That’s where Automate Pricing comes in handy.
Automate Pricing will automatically adjust prices on items you’ve chosen to keep your listings competitive. You can set pricing rules and parameters to ensure you’re never priced off the map.
If you have wider profit margins on some products, consider experimenting with Automate Pricing. You can set pricing minimums and maximums to avoid unprofitable sales while also capitalizing on customer interest.
10. What is my Account Health Rating, and does it matter?
Your Account Health Rating (AHR) is an overview of how well you adhere to Amazon’s performance targets and policies—and, yes, it’s important. Fail to meet your targets, and Amazon may deactivate your account. Not good.
Here are a few of the factors Amazon looks at when monitoring your account’s health:
- The number of unresolved policy violations
- The severity of those violations
- Your impact on the customer experience
Maintain your account health by addressing all policy violations promptly.
11. What is Seller Fulfilled Prime?
When you use Amazon FBA, Amazon sells your products under the prime label. Every customer wants to purchase using Amazon Prime to get 2-day shipping and free standard shipping. However, not every business wants to use FBA to sell its products.
Amazon rolled out Seller Fulfilled Prime to let DIY sellers earn the Prime badge on their product listings. There’s no fee to enroll in Seller Fulfilled Prime, but you’ll need to satisfy performance requirements during a trial period to show Amazon you can live up to the Prime brand.
If you can guarantee 2-day shipping and agree to all of Prime’s returns and customer service requirements, Seller Fulfilled Prime could be worth a look.
12. How do I contact a customer about their order?
If there’s a conflict that needs resolving, buyers can initiate a conversation with you through Amazon. Amazon will anonymize the email address and let you continue the conversation in your inbox.
13. How do I create coupons?
In Seller Central, go to the Advertising page. Select Coupons. You can then create coupons one by one or in bulk using a spreadsheet. Use these coupons in your email marketing campaigns or social media posts to promote your products. Customers love discounts, and that applies to shoppers on Amazon, too.
14. How do I know when I make a sale on Amazon?
You can change your notifications in your account settings. If you’re a small business that’s self-fulfilling orders, you’ll want to know as soon as possible when you make a sale. However, if you’ve scaled your business, you might not want your phone blowing up with sale notifications throughout the day. You can adjust your settings to have Amazon notify you via email, text, or both.
15. How long does it take to verify your Amazon Seller account?
After you’ve registered for an Amazon Seller account, you should be approved within 24 hours. Submitting incorrect information can delay this process.
16. Is it legal to resell on Amazon?
Completely. If you want to hunt around at local thrift stores and then sell those goods on Amazon, that’s your right. You can also buy products off of Amazon and sell them at a higher price—there’s nothing wrong with that.
17. Can I wait for payment before I ship an item?
No. The settlement period for payment begins after you confirm the shipment of the order—that’s when the buyer is charged. You can’t wait until the money is in your checking account to ship the product.
This also means that you need an inventory before you sell it. While this might seem like a no-brainer, some brands may want to wait for income to fund the purchases—that’s not an option on Amazon.
18. How long does it take for Amazon reviews to display?
If you’ve just launched a product on Amazon, you likely asked all your purchasing friends and family to leave a review—nothing wrong with that. However, you may worry when you don’t see their reviews popping up, even after your uncle assures you he’s submitted it.
Don’t panic. Reviews often take around 72 hours to post. Sometimes, they can take longer. Give it time. If a week has gone by and you still don’t see customer reviews, reach out to Amazon directly.
19. Should I only sell on Amazon?
No way. Feel free to sell your items on Etsy, eBay, Walmart, and your own website. Amazon exposes your brand to millions of potential buyers, and it’s a marketplace you should never ignore. However, you’ll often have higher profit margins on other less competitive platforms.
20. Can I ask Amazon FBA to return my items?
Of course. If you’re not seeing the sales numbers you’d like, you can request your items. You’ll have to pay a fee for Amazon to ship them back, but this might be worth it if you’re finding more success somewhere else.
Explore Every Essential Nook and Cranny of Selling on Amazon
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