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How to Sell on Amazon FBA in 2020 (Ultimate Beginner’s Guide)

August 16, 2020

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This article is a complete guide to selling on Amazon in 2020, I share everything I learned from listing my products on Amazon.com from when I started in 2016 to when I sold my brands in late 2019.

Let's cut the crap

You're here because you want to learn to sell products profitability on Amazon.

You want to know how to work through all the steps and have a successful online business

What exactly will you learn?

A lil bit about me... My name is Ippei...

A little about me:

  • In 2014: I started my first online business (lead gen)
  • In 2016: I jumped onto the Amazon FBA platform 
  • By Sept 2019: I'd built 3 solid brands but wore myself out in the process

Here's a screenshot of one of the best months:

Screenshot of a month of selling on Amazon

That's why at the end of 2019 I cashed out of the Amazon Seller world to focus on the lean and mean lead generation model that freed me from my 9-5 within 7 months of starting my online business journey. 

but you get more on that at the end

Here's how selling on Amazon works in 2020:


How Amazon FBA Works in 7 Steps

1.

Find a potentially profitable product using data and logic

2.

Discover a supplier for that product and Place your order

3.

List and Launch your product into the Amazon Marketplace

4.

Shoppers buy your product as you optimize your listing and run Amazon Sponsored Ads

5.

Amazon pays you every two weeks (cha-ching)

6.

As you make more profits, you might add additional products to create additional revenue. (I did)

7.

Eventually, you'll build a profitable brand and exit Amazon FBA by selling it to a large corporation (big payout)


In this FBA Ultimate Guide to Selling on the largest ecommerce platform in the world,

you'll get both an overview of the process as well as

the nitty-gritty details that make all the difference in whether or

not you know how to become a profitable Amazon seller. 

Here's an overview of Amazon's FBA

It's no secret that hundreds of thousands of people sell products using Amazon's fulfillment service.

In fact, Marketplace Pulse reports that there's nearly 8,000,000 sellers registered on the worldwide eCommerce platform of Amazon.

Here's an infographic showing how many people actually make money on Amazon.

But only 2.5 million of those have active product listings (aka only 31% of registered sellers are actually selling)

This is an infographic displaying the rule of thirds when that becomes apparent as merchants do business on Amazon.com: one third of the money they earn gets spent on the product costs, another third gets spent paying Amazon fees and the last third is profit.

And even fewer (less than 10%) turn over 100,000 dollars in annual revenue (30% of which is profit)

Why are so many on Amazon,

yet so few are profitable?

What's the secret?

Goes back to the old saying:

"Knowledge is Power."

You have to know what you are doing as a seller on Amazon. 

But you know that already,

because that's why you are here. 

The next section is about the big picture of selling on Amazon,

but if you want to dive straight to the Step-by-Step Guide, 

hit the button to jump to

Step 1: Acquiring the Seller Mindset.

The Big Picture of Selling On Amazon

Before we dive into the Steps to Successful FBA Selling (each with its own detailed page), I want to provide a larger picture of the trajectory of Amazon as a company in order to show where Amazon is heading in the future. 

Amazon has seen tremendous growth since its inception 25 years ago (in 1994). 

It's great to see that Amazon's growing,

but what does a that mean for sellers (like you and me)? 

Is the market getting more competitors or

is Amazon simply adding services?

The critical question here is how much of that growth is because of 3rd-party sellers (a portion of which are FBA) and how much is because of Jeff's other endeavors?

If you look at the bar graph below,

it's super easy to see that the percentage of products that are sold on Amazon

are increasingly sold by FBA sellers and FBM (Fulfilled-By-Merchant) Sellers. 

See stats below by © Statistica 2019

So as the market becomes more and more saturated with sellers,

what does that mean for people who are considering getting started on Amazon?

You see,

in 2017,

many "Private Label" courses came out and taught their students how to get started on Amazon by

sneaking sales from popular products that got a lot of traffic and

were very easy to source from the super-popular Chinese supplier platform Alibaba. 

2 converging issues have been slowly impinging on the success of this strategy:


1. The suppliers themselves are learning to sell on Amazon,
which results in them being able to undercut the private label sellers in the marketplace. 


2. As more and more sellers engage in this "bottom-of-the-barrel" strategy,
the space has become very crowded with copy-catters. 


Now this strategy is no longer very effective in generating long-term sales,

and in turn,

getting a high income from selling on Amazon FBA. 

To have a successful business on Amazon in 2020,

you must take a different approach. 

"What approach is that?"

You might ask.

Well, if you are coming from the Amazing Selling Machine (ASMX) or a similar course,

the basics are the same,

from seller mindset to licensing (getting an LLC),

but the difference comes in how the product selection/branding process is accomplished

In this Ultimate Guide to Amazon FBA,

I will lay out every step necessary to building a successful physical product business in 2020 and beyond.    


What to Expect in this Ultimate Guide to FBA

Here's a summarized list of the topics covered in this step-by-step guide:

  • Acquiring the Seller's Mindset
  • Developing the Financial Consciousness
  • Getting the Proper Legal Licensing
  • Branding: Positioning Your Product in the Marketplace
  • Selecting Your First Product (and then Scaling with Additional Items)
  • Identifying Excellent Suppliers in the 22nd Century
  • Constructing Your Product's Listing
  • Attracting Positive Product Reviews
  • Designing Your Product Packaging the Smart Way
  • Launching Your Item into the Amazon Marketplace
  • Navigating Your Way through Amazon Pay-Per-Click Advertising
  • Scaling Your Business (Adding Additional Products + Selling in Multiple Marketplaces)
  • Amazon Seller Glossary (Brief explanations of FBA & Online Biz terminology)


FBA Step-by-Step Guide to Selling on Amazon.com in 2020


Chapter 1: Developing the Amazon Seller Mindset

In this first chapter, I'll help you succeed in your business by showing you the mindset necessary to have success in an online business. 

You'll learn:

  •  The One Piece of Knowledge that Makes Determines those who succeeded from those who who fail.
  • The 3 Step Process for Discovering that Foundational Information
  • 2 Strategies that Billionaires use Daily to Keep that Knowledge in the Forefront of Their Minds so They keep Building Wealth 

What do you do when your life seems to be going to shit? 

Do you shake your head and keep going or do you collapse and surrender?

Do you have what it takes to build a successful business when the world seems like it's falling?

How do you know?

How will you keep moving forward when, as Sly Stallone says, "life beats you to your knees and will keep you permanently if you let it?"

Grit.

Perseverance.

The two most essential characteristics of successful entrepreneurs. 

A mindset that says,

"I will keep going

despite my feelings (emotional control), 

despite internal and external voices telling me I'll never make it happen,"

is the difference that separates those who make 40k per year from those who make 400k per year. 

When I graduated college, I worked at a dead-end, 9-5 job, making 24k a year pushing car parts around. 

It was only when I got my mind right that I was able to see more of what life had for me and get to where I am today

Don't take mindset lightly. 

It's more powerful than you might think.

When your world seems to be falling apart,

it's your mindset that will pull you through. 


Chapter 2: Becoming Financially Conscious

Why are many people just like you and me looking around for businesses they can start outside of their work days? 

Well, some like to BS about passion, liking what they are doing, etc. 

But, I don't know about you,

but I think they are lying, 'cause they are always bitchin' about how much it costs to live in the world, like:

  • The rent that comes due on the 1st
  • The electric and water bill that shows up in the mail on the 15th
  • The car lease that arrives in their inbox on the 30th

It seems to me that their main concern is money.

Money. 

Dough.

Bread. 

Greenbacks. 

Call it what you will. 

So what this chapter is all about is developing your money mindset, your financial awareness

Yeah,  it may come off a little like Dave Ramsey at first, but if you don't have the basics, you can't be successful when life gets more complex. 

This chapter covers:

  • Budgeting: Both Business-wise and Personal
  • Income VS. Expenses: The Balance sheet
  • Personal Credit VS. Business Credit: Vital Funding through the Latter
  • Key Business Terminology: Revenue, Profits, ACoS etc. 
  • Debt: the Pros, the Cons & When and How to Use
  • Business Exit: Windfall or Cash-flow
  • TAXES: Paying The Government

The best part?

There's free pdf downloads of budget templates specifically geared for the FBA business. 

When I grew up, I didn't learn much about money, rather focused on getting through school and hanging out with my friends. 

To catch up on my financial education, I read a ton of books, and a couple of mentors took me under their wing. 

In this chapter, I drop a lot of knowledge bombs that my mentors shared with me and changed my life (just spread'n the wealth, y'know)

You get a lot of books and 70+ years of experience (combined lives) in a summarized location. 


Chapter 3: Getting the Proper Legal Licensing

In this chapter,  you'll learn about the different licenses you can get for your online business, 

including the pros and cons of each one. 

You'll also get a step-by-step guide to getting your business EIN number from the IRS. 

There's also a bonus section on trademarks and brand registration. 

Getting a business license is crucial to protect yourself from potential lawsuits and qualifying your max tax deduction from the feds. 

But if you just have a license like an LLC or S Corp and have not established business compliance practices, you could be liable to have your personal assets taken if your business is sued. 

In this chapter, you'll 

  • Get a 10,000 foot view of the different kinds of business licenses you can open (as well as my recommendation)
  • Learn to File for a business license in your state or governing authority (I include resources to acquire a license in every state of the US as well as the UK, the AU, Germany, and more. 
  • See how to get an employer identification number from the Internal Revenue Service
  • Learn how to Register for a Trademark or Brand with Amazon

Basically this chapter will give you a how-to guide to setting up your business with the government and with the applicable tax service in 2020.


Chapter 4: Branding: Positioning Your Product in the Marketplace 

In this chapter, you will realize the importance of knowing the market forces, and learn multi-phase evaluations to filter your product ideas through to have the best chance of long-term profitability. 

I've put this chapter before product selection on purpose, because most courses teach you to focus on what you are selling, rather than the context in which you are selling, or, if you are just beginning on Amazon, the context in which you will be selling. 

This chapter and the next chapter go hand in hand. 

Key to Getting the most out of Chapter 4
To get the most out of this chapter, have an idea of a product you would like to sell (Chapter 5), but don't worry about verifying it much or looking for a supplier at this point, as those skills will be taught to you in this chapter and in chapter 6. 

This chapter (Chapter 4) is what sets this guide to selling on Amazon apart from every other course out there. 

I have yet to find an FBA course that covers the process of placing your item in the marketplace in such a way that regular sales requires little to no paid advertising, because the demand for your product is already present. 

Now, most courses teach how to gauge the amount of demand on Amazon for your product by looking at the similar competitors' sales rates, which is a fairly sound strategy. 

But it has a major problem, if you can easily access the sales rate of current sellers on Amazon, your competition can do the same thing using the same tools that you use. 

And this strategy worked in 2016, but doesn't work well anymore, because new sellers who are taught those same methods of selecting their products are flooding onto Amazon's platform faster than Disney fans into theaters showing Frozen 2.

A Different Way of Selling on Bezo's Creation: 

So,

if you,

as a new seller,

could learn a way to sell on Amazon 

that didn't involve bottom-feeding,

that would give your products less likelihood of being copied

(because you've found a unique, exclusive supplier)

and your product will likely sell longer

(because your product is creating its own demand, not relying on current Amazon demand). 

That would be best,

right?

That's how I positioned my products on Amazon. 

And it's the strategies I lay out in a step-by-step structure in this chapter. 

In this in-depth section, you'll learn to:

  • Understand the Nature of a "Productocracy"
  • Know the Currents that Control eCommerce
  • Gauge Market Forces (Push and Pull)
  • Utilize The 5 Phase Product Idea Filter (C.E.N.T.S.)

I also provide several "handouts" (brings you back to the good old days of highschool, doesn't it lol), checklists that you can use for your own branding research. 

They outline the process that I go deep on in the chapter so you can easily see if your product ideas line up. 

Warning:
If you are work averse, aren't willing to put forward some long hours figuring out what your product is, selling on Amazon is not for you! (you might consider affiliate marketing or lead generation as less research is necessary)

You must do your due diligence on whether or not your product has potential in the marketplace or not. 

Remember: If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.

So if you are ready to learn the process and do the steps for yourself, hit the button below. 

But if your goal is to merely get an overview of the private label process, you can scroll down to see the methods for unearthing awesome manufacturers or get more info on the branding process. 


Intermission: A Confession

Amazon FBA was not my first online business, and here's why

 To be honest, 

 selling physical products is a very people-intensive business model,

 whether you are selling on your own website or selling on Amazon. 

 Since you have an item that takes up space,

 it requires a lot of people to be involved in the pre-purchasing process:

  • people to make it (production/manufacturing), 
  • people to move it from A to B (transportation/shipping),
  • people to label it (UPC's/FNSKU's)
  • people to inspect it once it's at its final destination (quality inspection)

 and those are just the "off-line" tasks.

 While you are coordinating the above tasks,

 you'll need to:

 My point? 

 There's a ton of upfront work before you see money coming back into your pocket. (12 to 18 months (took me   13 months to be profitable)

 That's why I started my digital entrepreneurial journey with lead generation

 It's a much leaner business model (not near the amount of work or money up front)

 And I was making 9k a month after 6 months of focused effort.


Chapter 5: Selecting Your First Product (and then Scaling with Additional Items)

As with any business, getting started is the most difficult part, because you are trying to accelerate your grounded plane into the sky, which only comes when you commit to putting forward 100% of your effort, for days on end. 

The way to get your first product moving on the biggest isn't through following what you are passionate about and simply looking up that item on Alibaba, a popular resource where lots of Amazon sellers find Chinese suppliers.

That was an option back in 2016,

but 4 years internet time is like 25 years in pre-internet times.

Now the Alibaba is crowded with wanna-be FBA-ers,

finding your supplier has become more of an art than a science. 

Because those "product selection" tools are now known by everyone.

So when you are going through the product selection process, make sure to keep 4 main things in mind.

Your Product needs to have:

  • Solid Connections with Solving a Customer's Problem: Essentially, you are making sure that there's demand for the product you are bringing to market.
  • Clear Connection with Searched Keywords: In 2016, I could ket to page 1 for key phrases made up of 2-3 keywords, but in today's marketplace, I've found that long tail keywords are more successful (4-6 words making up key phrases). 
  • Good Margins: I explain more in the detailed section, but basically you should expect to make 33% profit margin, after paying 33% fees to Amazon (fulfilment, storage, etc.) and the other 33% toward acquiring the end product (manufacturing costs, product launch costs, and more).
  • Subscription Potential: While you can make some money off 1-off sales, there's exponentially more money to be made from recurring sales from consumable products. My organic honey sales compounded when I added a subscription component, where customers could have a 16 ounce easy squeeze bottle of organic clover honey automatically delievered every month.

Places to get Look for Product Ideas

Once you have a clear understanding of the criteria to be mindful of when searching for your product, it's time to get more clear on what kinds of items you'd like to sell. 

If you are like me, when I became fluent in the marks of an excellent product, I began to see them everywhere I looked, from my hometown to every place I traveled (one of my favorite hobbies). 

Here's 7 places that I searched when I was looking for ideas:

  • Amazon: Pull up the category search to pull up unique products, look for sections that entry level sellers have access to (ungated categories), but don't have many items. 
  • Airports: Often these ports have shops offering so of the local items. 
  • Pharmacies: The mom-and-pop pharmacies are the best as they will have locally sourced products available for purchase and often they will have direct access to their supplier. Conversely, large chain pharmacies (Walgreens, Lewis Drug, etc.) are pretty much stocked with the same brands of products. 
  • Catalogues: Oriental Trading, The Company Store, Uline, Quill, etc. (Kill 2 birds with one stone and build your business credit profile and do some of your product research by signing up to get mailed these 2 companies catalogues every quarter)
  • Magazines: Pay special attention to what is being advertised there as it costs a bundle of cash to have ads put in print mags, so there's often some serious profit margins behind them.
  • Research Tools: These reports are often the first places that 90% of wanna-be amazon sellers go (because the major courses teach them to look there). Therefore, I urge you use the metrics of these tools sparingly, as an indicator of demand, but be cautious, as most of the numbers are estimated projections of searches, not data pulled from Amazon.

In the detailed section, I dive deep into:

  • Product Selection Mistakes
  • Key Tools to use to Validate Market Demand
  • The 3 Pillars of Product Selection that when combined gave me success
  • The several phases I went through when I looked for my next products

Chapter 6: Finding Excellent Suppliers

The vast majority of new FBA sellers are coming from one of two main places: 

Either they are:

(1) Sellers from around the world signing up to sell in the United States after going through one of the super popular courses (ASMX, FBA Ninja, etc.), or they are

(2) Chinese manufacturers learning how to sell their own products on Amazon, developing their own brands, and being able to undersell the majority of Private Label Sellers.

And these two groups have one main thing in common, they both are located in the same place:

Alibaba.

Private Label Sellers for years now have found suppliers through Alibaba, but now the Chinese suppliers are working their way on to Amazon.com, sourcing from themselves, effectively being able to undercut the current FBA-ers. 

You might have read in the news that Amazon is leaving China, but that's not entirely true, Amazon is changing the way they do business with Chinese consumers. 

Amazon has realized that it's not very profitable for them to try to compete with the chinese online marketplaces (Taobao, Pinduoduo, JD.com, etc.) for local products, but it it still pretty profitable to offer products that are made outside of China to members of the country with a 1/6th of the world's population. 

To clearly see why Amazon moved out of the chinese local market, let's look at the most used ecommerce site in China, TaoBao. 

TaoBao was launched in 2003, nearly 10 years after Amazon's origin.

This is an app undergirded by Alibaba's local suppliers, and owned by Alibaba itself. 

Think of TaoBao like the Chinese version of Ebay, 

where local sellers can list their products,

but unlike Ebay,

it remains the top seller platform in the country. (Amazon dominates Ebay in the US)

Taobao actually forced Ebay out of China completely in 2006 through offering incentives that favored sellers, such as instant messaging and listings at no cost. 

Then 2008,

it did as Amazon began with AmazonBasics in 2009,

and started listing its own products under it own brands (Taobao, Tmall, and Youku being a few),

followed up closely with its own app and video streaming services in 2010. 


Chapter 7: Listing Construction & Optimization

The majority of this chapter is pretty much the dry necessities,

but if you're a detail-loving,

tech nerd like me,

you'll probably eat it up. 

In this chapter,

I go in deep on the 7 steps to optimizing your product listing:

  • STEP 1: Naming Your Brand (Including 32 Helpful Brand Name Generators)
  • STEP 2: Formatting Your Title Informatively (For Both Shoppers and Search Engines)
  • STEP 3: Composing Compelling Bullet Points that Convert Cruisers into Customers
  • STEP 4: Acquiring Impressive Images (All 3 Types: Product, Lifestyle & Infographic)
  • STEP 5: Developing a Description that Delights even the Bargain Hunters
  • STEP 6: Compiling Killer Keywords derived from the most Current Tools 
  • STEP 7: Keeping the Quality of Your Listings (Maintenance) 

9 Frequently Asked Questions about Brand Names

As you begin your journey on selling your products on Amazon.com, you'll encounter a myriad of obstacles and you'll need a strategy to find those answers. 

What's the answer? 

GIN.

not it's not an alcoholic beverage in this case, 

but an acronym standing for:

Google It Now. 

Either you are already in or are looking at getting in an internet-based business,

so you won't be able to ask questions in person,

but you'll be able to ask as many questions as you want to Google. 

Be willing to ask questions to the search engines and you'll find your answers. 

Here's 9 questions that you might be asking yourself as you go through the brand creation process:

1. How do you choose an Amazon Brand Name?

When you are looking to select a brand name, you'll want to consider two things:

Niche and Breadth

Consideration 1: Niche

Does the name bring your niche to the customer's mind and stick? 

Does the name in some way relate to what you are selling or who you are selling to?

Consideration 2: Breadth

Is the name broad enough for you to expand your product line?

The main thing here is that you don't want to exact match your product name and your brand name. 

You don't want them being the same thing or too close together. 

When in doubt, go broader than you think necessary. 

You really will only run into problems with your brand name if it's too narrow. 



2. What is a brand name on Amazon?
this is a picture of an amazon listing with the brand name highlighted both on the product pictured as well as under the title and above the price.

Your brand name on Amazon is the small print under the title, starting with "by (brand name)". 


3. What is "Amazon Brand Registry?"

Brand Registry on Amazon is a relatively new program (it's 2.0 version came out in 2017) that shows Amazon that a company actually owns the brands they own. 

How does brand registry benefit sellers?

Amazon Brand Registry assists sellers who own their brands by protecting their intellectual property and product content (images, logos, etc.). Additionally, Brand Registry offers sellers who go through the process of having their brand registers advertising advantages such as exclusive marketing programs like Enhanced Brand Content and Amazon Storefronts. 

10 Amazon Brand Registry Benefits:
  1. Increases a brand's control over their product listings
  2. Certifies product information is correct
  3. Elevates brand protection (Amazon scans other listings to make sure your trademarks stay yours)
  4. Raises brand awareness via Enhanced Brand Content (EBC)
  5. Makes listing products easier
  6. Offers expedited potential infringement reporting process
  7. Extends enhanced image search to eliminate hijacked logos or product images
  8. Enables registered sellers to create listing variations easily
  9. Offers bulk ASIN search and verification (faster removal of "hijackers")
  10. Increases product sales via exponentially better imagery (EBC)
Who is eligible for Amazon's brand registry program?

The main prerequisite to have acquired a trademark from the government in the country in which their business is licensed. 

(Below is a sample of the Guidelines that Amazon provides for every nation that it operates in.)

If you are looking to sell in a different nation outside the United States, feel free to capitalize on the guide below:


4. How do I create an Amazon FBA Listing?

Here's a 10 minute step by step guide to creating a listing using Amazon Seller Central:


5. How do I optimize an Amazon FBA Listing?

Optimizing an Amazon listing is a process that involves some research. 

I show how to optimize your title, bullets, product description, pictures, etc. on the detailed listing optimization page.

Here's a sneak peak to the 7 Step process that I go through in-depth: 

This is a preview of the 7 steps to making your listing the best it can be so that it comes to the top of the search results and so that you get tons of sales to make a  boatload of cash via Amazon FBA in 2020

Wondering what the difference is between a company name and a brand name

7. Do you need a trademark to sell on Amazon?

The short answer is no you don't need one,

but if you do have one, it's helpful. 

Actionable Advice: If this is your first online business, and you're pretty strained on cash-flow, registering a trademark within the nation that you are doing business isn't a priority. 

If you have the cash flow to register a trademark, it will afford you some legal protection as well as brand protection on Amazon, if you take the 2nd step of going through the process of brand registration as an Amazon seller. 

Bottom Line: If you can now, it's helpful. If you can't right now, start selling anyway. 

 A 3rd Option (for those short on cash)

What I did was establish an income stream using a leaner, simpler business model, 

and then use some of that first income stream to create my Amazon FBA product lines. 

To learn about that type of internet business,

visit my lead generation page. 


8. How much does it cost to register a trademark?

Having a fully functional trademark for your Amazon product lines is a 2 step process:

Step 1: Register within the nation that you are selling products. (costs anywhere between $225 USD and 2000 dollars USD, depending on the product, lawyer fees, etc.)

Step 2: Go through the Amazon Brand Registry Process. 

When I put my brands through this process, it took 6 months of processing time and cost an average of 3,000 dollars per brand to get enrolled in Amazon's brand registration program. 


9. Must you register your brand?

A seller asked this question on Amazon Services seller forums. 

Here's 3 of the responses they received:

Is Brand Registry a Must? Amazon Seller Posts Question on Seller Central Forum

Now that you've got a taste of how deep I go in just the instructional to listing optimization, you can only imagine the depth I go in the full guide to optimizing your Amazon FBA product listings for 2020. 

Check out the entire ultimate guide below (and no, there's no opt-in)


Chapter 8: Collecting Amazon Reviews on Auto Pilot

Everyone knows that reviews are essential for having a successful amazon product listing. 

But the question is often how to get them and keep getting them throughout the life of your product on Amazon. 

In this chapter, I show you how to make a review machine that will keep Amazon product reviews pouring on to your listings like the rain in the Pacific Nortwest

In late 2016, Amazon really started cracking down on "black hat" reviews that come from friends and acquaintances as well as fake reviews put up via a review service.

(Want proof? See this article from Business Insider)

Amazon's TOS currently prohibits the incentivizing of any reviews through through a monetary exchange. 

Taken February 15, 2020, this isAmazon's answers to quesitons about product reviews and how they may or may not be incentivized..

this image has the words: keep calm and see the big picture. I chose to put this image here as sometimes we can get lost in all the details when we are learning a new business model. I want to bring clarity to Amazon FBA in 2020.

One of the struggles when starting a new business is keeping your focus on the bigger picture while completing each individual step of the process. 

Here's a glimpse at the big picture of selling products via Amazon FBA in 2020:

3 Main Pillars to Becoming a Successful Seller on Amazon in 2020

1. Maintaining a high volume of sales (get lots of sales daily)

2. Collecting significant numbers of positive reviews (above 4 stars)

3. Bringing lots of extra traffic to Amazon.com via your listing (Amazon adores external traffic)

This chapter will teach you how to accomplish the second component.


Chapter 9: Designing Your Product Packaging the Smart Way

When it comes to designing your packaging you can go a lot of different ways,

fast and easy to environmentally friendly. 

and everywhere in between. 

While I'm more of the keep-it-simple-and functional type, 

Amazon's requirements are pretty wide open. 

FBA packaging requirements checklist

  1. Use a rigid, six-sided box with flaps intact.
  2. Use a single address label that has clear, complete delivery and return information.
  3. Every box you include in the shipment must have its own FBA shipment label printed from your Shipping Queue.
  4. Each pallet requires four labels, one on the top center of each side. Each box on the pallet also requires its own label. This helps you meet the Amazon FBA label requirements.
    When shipping multiple case-packs in a master carton, apply the unique shipping label on the master carton you are using for shipping inventory to Amazon fulfilment centers.
  5. If you are reusing boxes, remove all old shipping labels or markings.
  6. Wrap all items separately.
  7. Use adequate packaging material and strong tape designed for shipping.
  8. Use two inches of cushioning between each of your items and the inside of the box.
  9. After you pack your box, shake it gently. The contents should not move when shaken.
  10. Using boxes with dimensions measuring at least 6″ x 4″ x 1″ and weighing at least 1 lb. (but no more than 25″ on any one side and under 50 lb. total) can reduce delays in receiving.

Acceptable packing materials

  • Polyethene foam sheeting
  • Inflatable air pillows
  • Bubble wrap
  • Full sheets of paper

Unacceptable Packing Materials

  • Any kind of packing peanuts
  • Foam strips
  • Styrofoam
  • Shredded Paper

Amazon's Box Standards

  • Regular slotted carton (RSC)
  • B flute
  • ECT-32 (edge crush test)
  • 200 lb./sq. inch (burst strength)

I've put together a simple, printable version that shows you Amazon's Product Packaging Requirements in numbered steps as well as the materials that Amazon does and doesn't allow. 

Hit the button, 

and save a copy of the pdf for your records. (no opt-in here)

Then if you need some design resources and strategies, 

feel free to check out the full guide to getting your FBA product packaging ready and profitable. 

Here's a preview of what I cover:


Chapter 10: Propelling Your Product into the Amazon Marketplace (Product Launch)

Getting your product started on Amazon is one of the most difficult parts of the Amazon FBA process. 

It's literally when you begin competing with other sellers for the top spots in the ranking. 

Now, if you've done your product selection due diligence well,

you won't have a ton of trouble. 

But in order to get off to a powerful start, 

it's important to employ both paid and organic means of launching your product to generate the maximum amount of traffic possible. 

That's why I cover both methods and more in this guide to moving your product into the largest internet marketplace to date. 

Check out this sneak peek below: 

You'll learn how to set up highly targeted Facebook ads to generate additional traffic to your new listings as well as

learn how to set up email opt-in landing pages

so you can collect customers email addresses for follow-up as well as future product launches. 

(Remember 2nd money is easier to get than 1st money)

My best advice here is to choose 2-3 of the tactics

(a mix of paid and organic) 

and focus on creating high quality content for your organic efforts and extremely optimized ads for your paid efforts. 

Once you've gotten this far in the Amazon FBA process, 

the bulk of the work is behind you, 

but there's a ton of optimization ahead. 

Once you get your ads and listings reasonably optimized, 

you'll be generating some sales.

It will feel good to put some money back into your pocket. 


Chapter 11: Navigating the Mysteries of Amazon PPC

Have you ever set up Facebook Ads?

If you have, 

Amazon PPC is pretty much the same,

possibly even simpler

since you don't have to deal with targeting people, 

only keyword research. 

Here's a infographic showing the different PPC campaign structures (comparing FB to Amazon):

If you haven't taken the Facebook Ads journey yet, 

don't worry,

I've written a comprehensive guide to advertising on Facebook for 2020

But you don't need to do Facebook ads to be successful in FBA,

although you might consider learning FB PPC

as you can drive additional traffic to your product listing

resulting in additional sales and

more attention from Amazon

(they give you better placement in the search results)

With all that said,

Here's an overview to the listing optimization step-by-step guide to setting up profitable Amazon Pay-Per-Click Ads.

This is an infographic that reveals the 5 main steps to optimizing your  Amazon FBA listing: 1. Structure your campaigns the same way, 2: Advertise 1 product per campaign, 3: Begin with an automatic campgin (so that Amazon does the initial product research for you), 4: Categorize each term as it relates to the product, 5: collect exact match terms and remove negative keywrds (terms that simply drain your ad budget)

Here's the role that Amazon Sponsored Ads play in your Amazon FBA Success:

What happens is that once you get your PPC promotions scoped-in on high-converting keywords,

you'll have more product sales

and because you've brought them more business

Amazon will reward you by giving you better placement in the organic search results

(yep, just like when you do Facebook ads)

and as you continue to optimize your advertising campaigns, 

your organic ranking will continue to grow closer

and closer

until your product has reached the top of the results

it's a very rewarding system once you've put the time and money into

putting the pieces into their proper places.


In this ultimate guide made specifically with this new decade in mind,

I've put in every detail that is necessary to build a solid PPC campaign that will power your FBA biz forward like Musk's diet coke as he was building his companies. 

Overview of Amazon PPC Optimization Chapter:

Part 1: I'll start by showing you the 4 main places that Amazon Sponsored Ads appear,

then, 

to make sure that we are all on the same page with the terms that are used in the rest of the chapter,

I'll share a glossary, 

which defines the different terms that are being used.

(clear communication is key)

Then (Part 2) I walk through how to set up your first Automatic Campaign,

how to get the search term report (STR) out of Amazon's Seller Central (Part 3)

(so you'll have the data from the Automatic Campaign)

you'll use the STR to begin your 3 different manual campaigns (Part 4),

which I'll show you how to set up under the "Promotions" tab. 

In that section, you'll learn the difference between 3 kinds of ad groups:

  • Broad Match
  • Phase Match
  • Exact Match

Then we will dive into a discussion of the most important term you'll learn when selling on the internet: ACOS (Average Cost of Sale).

Finally, at the end, I'll leave you with 6 Tips to get the most out of Your PPC Campaigns. 


Chapter 12: Scaling Your Business (Listing Multiplication Strategies)

Did you decide your goals when you initially started on Amazon?

Are you on the platform because you want to build a large company or simply because you want to spend more time with your family by making enough income to eliminate your 9-5. freeing up your schedule? 

Once you've actually started on Amazon you'll realize that you can very easily create another full-time job for yourself.

The solution for this is to create a team,

either by bringing on employees or,

taking the more popular route of hiring independent contractors,

commonly called "virtual assistants."

This section will answer the following questions:

  • But how do you do that?
  • Where do you find them?
  • How do you sift through the many different helping hands available to make the best choice for your business?
  • What underlying processes do you need formulate into manuals and guides so that you can train your team to work as good as or better than you do?
  • What paperwork do you need to file to protect your business and your VA?


In this chapter, you'll learn:

  • The 3 Phases you must go through to Make Your Business into a Lean, Mean Selling Machine
  • How to Establish Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) on which to train your VA's
  • The Top 20 Hiring Websites (where you can find the best help available)
  • The 5 Steps to Hiring Your First Virtual Assistant (VA)

Then, after going over the ins and outs of getting started well with virtual assistants,

I'll show you the basics of the processes I used to keep my business moving forward.

Specifically, I address maintaining the following:

  • Your Listings
  • Your Rankings
  • Your Stock Levels
  • Your PPC Campaigns
  • Your Accounting

Lastly, we'll talk about your business exit.

Namely, how you can best structure your business so that you can sell it very easily when the time comes. 

I'll cover a variety of topics, including the following:

  • Keeping Your Documents Organized
  • Determining the Worth of Your Business
  • Increasing the Value of Your Buseinss
  • Selling Your Business in 7 Steps
  • Getting the Best Price for your Business



Chapter 13: 300 Amazon Tools

In this chapter, I am assembling a giant list of over 300 tools that are helpful to increase the speed of the regular processes that you must go through as you build an Amazon business. 

This list will continue to grow with time, 

If you see tools that I don't yet have listed, 

feel free to throw a comment at the bottom of that page. 


Chapter 14: Amazon Seller Terms Glossary (111+ Terms)

When I first started as an FBA seller, I found that I had to learn a whole new vocabulary. 

So, when I made this guide, I knew that I had to include a section that provided a brief explanation to a lot of the words that you'll come across should you pursue setting up a business on Amazon.  

This glossary is by no means exhaustive, but it does provide a solid introduction to a lot of the terminology that must be understood when starting an online business.

Words Overlap Business Models

You'll find that a lot of the terms used in Amazon PPC for instance, overlap with Facebook PPC, so if you've had experience with FB pay-per-click ads, that can be helpful when you reach the stage of setting up your Amazon Sponsored Ads.   

To maximize the "findability" of each word, I've categorized them by subject. 

Here's a list of the subjects: 

I'll continually add keywords to this page, so if you don't see a word there, feel free to add a comment. 

To see the entire list, hit the button below. 


Are You Ready to Start Amazon FBA in 2020?

In conclusion, 

I want to emphasize 2 things:

1. The Reason Why I Wrote This Guide

2. What You Need to Get Started on Amazon in 2020

So here we go

1. The Reason I Put Together This Guide

A couple of years ago, I was browsing Reddit's info about FBA and this post came up:

Now you've got to understand that ever since I had my first thought of selling on the internet,

the Amazon marketplace has fascinated me.

I wanted learn how what made it all work

how their fulfillment system operated

why certain listings came up and others didn't (SEO)

For a period of about 6 months, 

I looked up everything I could about Amazon,

what it took to be a successful merchant

specifically though, 

what it would take for me to be successful on the platform:

Necessary Resources for FBA Success

Amazon Information Inventory

  • Who would I need to have relationships with?
  • What would it cost to ship products in from China?
  • Are there other suppliers that I could get to know that would offer attractive alternatives?
  • What's the relationship between the terms that shoppers put into the search bar and the product listings that come up?

In short, 

I became obsessed with Amazon. 

By the end of those 6 months, 

I had learned a ton,

but did very little. 

Because one of the biggest obstacles I faced was the issue of product selection. 

I was perplexed with the question:

"How can I virtually guarantee that the product I select will sell a lot?"

You see, 

I'm an analytical personality.

I was running the numbers. #spreadsheets

I added up

the number of products I'd need to order,

their production prices,

packaging costs, 

the estimated shipping & inspection costs,

estimated advertising/product promotion costs

(in order to get first sales & reviews),

and all the other costs that get added in along the way. 

Counting the Costs of FBA

Factors Worth Considering

  • Introductory Product Orders
  • Packaging Costs
  • Estimated Shipping and Inspection Costs
  • Promotional & Advertising Costs (in order to get 1st sale)

I knew that I'd only be able to financially weather 1 attempt to get started on Amazon.

And that if I wasn't successful, 

I'd be 6 feet under broke. 

After seeing all the complexity that goes into selling physical products online, 

I said to myself, 

"When I get this beast figured out,

I'm going to help others find their way by means of my favorite skill: writing. 

That's the reason I wrote this guide. 

But that's also a good segway into the second point: 

2. What You Need to Get Started on Amazon in 2020

Simply put, 

you need 3 things:

  • Knowledge
  • Capital (Money)
  • Character (Namely, Courage & Persistence)
1. Knowledge

Information on how to sell on Amazon this year is super plentiful

(which is why Googling your questions is a super-fast and easy way to get the answers to your specific questions)

Searching: "How to do xyz on Amazon" will more than likely get you the information that you need when you need it. 

You can find all the information you could ever need on the internet to get the know-how to get your Amazon FBA business off the ground. 

And while Amazon knowledge is easy to come by, 

it's the other two parts that are harder to acquire, 

as they involve accumulation and development,

aka 2 processes that take time and disciplined-daily-action-taking to obtain. 

2. Capital (Money)

How much money do you need to get started on Amazon FBA?

Well, what's your goal on Amazon?

Do you just want to make a few bucks here and there that pays for your Starbucks?

Then you could probably flip a few items each month and make that happen 

(but honestly Facebook Marketplace is much better suited for that)

Or, if you're like I was, I wanted freedom money. 

I wanted to build a flow of income that would enable me to have the freedom

to go where I wanted

with whom I wanted

whenever I wanted

without having to worry about getting the time off from my boss

or having to scrimp and save to take the bare minimum vacation

(we've all done the economy seat, Holiday Inn, budget trip)

getting this kind of income from Amazon isn't easy. 

It took me 2 years (24 months) selling products via FBA to bring home 10,000 dollars a month in profit

(money left over after all expenses have been paid)

By comparison,

I hit the 10k mark after about 8 months of working actively on my lead generation business. 

So when you are starting on Amazon, 

you need to be prepared that the business that you are building will take time. 

After I did over 6 figures in sales on Amazon, 

I invested in going to a conference put on by a few Amazon Sellers who do some really big numbers

(millions in annual revenue)

And one gal revealed a unique product selection strategy that enabled her to add products profitably. 

She'd do her homework on what kinds of products were in demand 

(she picked consumable products that she could set up subscriptions for)

and then launch 4-5 closely related products into the marketplace all at the same time.

Most of time, 

she said,

1,

sometimes 2 of those products turned out to be, 

as many Amazon gurus say,

"Home Run Products."

Remember, 

I'm an analytical math guy

so as she's speaking,

I'm running numbers in my head from research I'd done during my late-night Amazon deep-dives,

and to put it simply,

and if the product was regular sized and pretty light weight,

if you found the right supplier,

you could launch a single product well for 3,000-4,000 dollars. 

Multiply that by 4 or 5 (number of products launched at one time),

that's 12,000 to 20,000 dollars she'd spend to get 1-2 products that

would bring in maybe 50 to 100k in sales after a year, 

33% of that 100,000 is profit. 

So she'd make back her investment in about a years time. 

But do you have 15k laying around that you could spend getting your Amazon Business started?

Anyhow, 

that's the number I'd start my Amazon business today with 

If I did it all over again. 

3. Character (Courage & Persistence)

To start any business successfully, 

you need to have 2 character traits: 

courage and persistence. 

The first enables you to take the leap of faith and venture into the unknown. 

The second enables you to keep going long enough to see some return. 

Although I'm naturally an introvert,

I built up my lead generation business by calling business owners for 2 hours a day for nearly a year. 

I'd do an hour in the morning and an hour in the early evening,

as I found that business owners were easiest to get a hold of 1st thing or when they were wrapping things up.

This method of prospecting built my courage and my persistence,

so that when I was building my Amazon business,

I already had the "muscles" built,

which made FBA easier.

Conclusion:

So if you have

  • the knowledge
  • the capital
  • and the character (mindset)

you are ready to build your business. 

If you already have the mindset,

and you have the ability to learn skills, 

you might consider to start the way that I did in 2014. 

I first built a profitable lead generation business, 

which then provided me the capital, 

a couple years later,

to get a solid start selling on Amazon FBA. 

But what I've discovered is that I've been able to make significantly more via local lead generation

than I have been via selling physical products on Bezo's Amazon. 

Do your due diligence and check out the infographic below to learn more about lead generation. 

Do your own comparison between the 2 business models 

and see what would be best in your situation. 

Then, 

once you've decided,

go all the way in and be obsessed with your choice.

Don't waver.

Stay focused and never give up,

and you'll be successful. 

Follow Me
Ippei Kanehara
Founder/CEO Ippei Leads

$52K per month providing lead generation services to small businesses

Ippei.com is for digital hustlers, industry leaders and online business owners.

His #1 online business recommendation in 2020, is to build your own 6-figure lead gen biz. You can learn more here.

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