Amazon Seller Checklist: Top 10 Steps to Success

Melissa PrestiAmazon Business4 Comments

business-brainstorming

So you want to become a successful Amazon seller?

Once you’ve thoroughly researched potential products and selected the item(s) you’re going to sell, the next steps you take are going to be crucial to laying a solid foundation for your business to thrive.

And there are a variety of Jungle Scout tools and resources that work together to support you along the way!

  1. Business details.

    First, you’ll need to register an account in Amazon Seller Central. When you do, be sure to pull together the details first. What will your business name be? Do you have a business email account set up for all Amazon correspondence?

    If you haven’t already opened a business credit card for related expenses, jump on that now. You’ll need a payment method and credit info set up in order to create your seller account. Even if you’re just testing the waters, think long-term for your business! Read more on Amazon seller registration here.  

  2. Individual or Professional Seller?

    You’ll also need to distinguish your account type during set-up. The main difference here is cost per item. An Individual Seller account will charge you $1 per item sold, and a Professional Seller account is $39.99 per month.

    If you plan to sell at least 40 items a month (not individual SKUs, just 40 items combined) then it will be cost effective to go the professional route. However, if you’re just getting started and waiting for products to arrive, you might want to select an individual account to start. Then switch when you start making sales.

  3. FBA (Fulfilled by  Amazon) or FBM (Fulfilled by Merchant)?

    Do you intend to ship your products yourself or have Amazon handle everything? FBA (Fulfilled by Amazon) comes with additional storage fees but you’ll be completely hands-free on the shipping process. We highly recommend going this route!

    FBM (Fulfilled by Merchant) is viable option if you have the storage space for your stock and a reliable fulfillment method in place. While it might seem like you’re avoiding fees, unless you have a professional operation already in place, doing your own fulfillment can be costly.

  4. Does your product require any certifications?

    When you’re researching products, be mindful of the category each product falls under on Amazon. There are a number of product categories that require extra certifications and approvals. If your product falls into Amazon Restricted Categories there are additional fees and challenges in order to gain access to those categories.

    Aside from restrictions, some products may simply require specific labels and packaging to comply with particular requirements. Amazon will tell you exactly what they need, so make sure you stay on top of any requests. As long as you have your ducks in a row, your shipment will land at their warehouses without issue!

    upc-code

  5. Buy a UPC code.

    It’s time to assign an individual barcode to your product. There is just one legitimate and global UPC source to use – GS1 (Global Standard 1). To get UPCs through GS1, apply for a company prefix (unique 6-9 digits of the barcode) and pay their fee. You must purchase a minimum of 10 UPC codes for $250 with a $50 fee per year to maintain ownership.

    It’s an investment up front, but look at it as an opportunity to add products to your arsenal in the future! While some sellers take their chances on cheaper UPC codes bought from a third party, its a bit risky. Amazon has been cracking down on illegitimate codes recently and we don’t want to steer you toward any potential consequences.

  6. Brand registry?

    Every seller has an opportunity to apply for the Amazon Brand Registry. This will protect your brand and trademarks. Furthermore, it is your best defense against hijackers. Just make sure to consider the following:

    1. You will need a registered trademark. This can take a minimum of six months to process and will require additional costs.
    2. You will need an official website. Nothing too fancy, Squarespace or Wix will suffice!
    3. Your logo will need to be present on all products and packaging. The cost per unit will likely increase with these added details.That said, it’s perfectly acceptable to start selling and test the waters with your product without brand registry. You can always apply for brand registry at a later time if you don’t have the time to file for a trademark right away.
  7. Create the ultimate product listing.

    The details in your product listing is what will set you apart from the competition. Don’t rush through this step!

    1. Product titles. You want to create a title that includes multiple keywords related to your product and mentions the product features and benefits. Prioritize your main keywords at the front of your listing.
    2. Product images. Amazon allows up to 9 images on a listing – take advantage of this! Your item should be front and center and in focus. Provide photos from a few different angles, and focus on specific features and the material. You can also use lifestyle shots and even an infographic to better explain the product.You can run split tests to determine an optimal title and images if you’re unsure. Check out our Splitly app to optimize your listing and let the data guide your decisions.If you think your photography and copywriting skills are a bit sub-par, you might benefit from hiring a freelancer to take care of those tasks. At Jungle Market, we have verified, experienced freelancers at the ready to crush your Amazon listing. Check them out!

      jungle-market

  8. Create a marketing strategy and budget.

    Once your product listing is live, you will need a launch strategy. This helps you get your product in front of as many customers as possible. Amazon sponsored ads is a quick way to get started by running PPC (pay-per-click) campaigns. It can be a bit daunting, but we’ve got a free ebook to walk you through it.

    Make targeted email campaigns that follow up with your customers is another big piece of your marketing strategy.  Jump Send taps into a massive marketplace of shoppers who are ready to buy. Additionally it helps you manage promotional giveaways. This helps kickstart your sales and boost your rank at product launch.

  9. Manage your financial stats.

    You’re here on Fetcher, so you must already know we are the #1 accounting software for Amazon sellers! It’s true, you can view your financial data in your Seller Central account but it’s hard to use, in  my opinion. Fetcher is easy to use and gives you daily updates on your true Amazon profits. Plus, it integrates directly with your Amazon Seller Central account. It takes less than 2 minutes to sync!

    Most sellers have no idea what their true profits are. However, Fetcher takes further steps to analyze what is working for you on Amazon and what is not. Fetcher factors in your PPC and promotion costs, Amazon fees, and product costs to give you an accurate view of your profits and losses. You can track your spending and make adjustments along the way at every step of this process!

    fetcher-reports

  10. Inventory Management

    The final step isn’t final at all, but it’s an ongoing step you need to take throughout the lifetime of your product. Managing your inventory.

    Knowing when you need to reorder your product, how much you need, and how long it will take can be difficult. The most important thing is to never run out of stock, otherwise your Amazon Bestseller Ranking (BSR) will take a hit and it will kill your sales momentum. Keep track of the time it takes from ordering your product to it’s arrival at the Amazon warehouse.

    To make things easier, the Forecastly tool does all of your inventory management for you. It’s your very own FBA crystal ball that will forecast demand for your product and alert you to reorder at the right time. No more guessing and no more spreadsheets!

    inventory-management

There isn’t an exact science to becoming a successful seller on Amazon, but these are proven steps you can’t afford to skip. Take the time to familiarize yourself with each part of this Amazon Seller Checklist before making your biggest business decisions.

Author: Melissa Presti

4 Comments on “Amazon Seller Checklist: Top 10 Steps to Success”

  1. Dear Melissa! THANKS for the excellent article on teaching work for Amazon.

    I am registered on Amazon as an individual seller, I have not yet developed a list of goods that would have been approved on Amazon,

    I am going to use the services of Shopify for this purpose and hire freelancers. I do not quite understand the requirements for UPC codes.

    When should I buy them, even if I’m working on a dropshipping scheme?
    I will probably use the services of Forecastly, if it is possible for me to afford it.
    Oleksandr Stoyka

    1. Hi Oleksandr, glad you found this useful!

      For UPC codes, whenever you purchase them they only take about 48 hours to activate and begin using so the timing is up to you. You can have them set up even if you’re still working on your business plan and don’t have them assigned to a specific product yet.

      Hope this helps!
      Melissa

    1. Hi Cheryl,

      If you’ll be selling with Amazon FBA, you will need the FNSKU on the product rather than the UPC code. If you have set up your listing in Seller Central already, then you can go in to your account to manage inventory, then to “print item labels” to grab that FNSKU barcode. Depending which stage your products are at, you can send the FNSKU label over to your manufacturer to either print on the packaging or place labels on your products (over the UPC code is best!). Amazon can also do it for you (for a fee) once they are received in their warehouse. If products are shipped to you before they go to the Amazon warehouse you could sticker them yourself. So you have a few options!

      I hope this helps 🙂
      Melissa

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