If you want to start selling on Amazon, it’s all straightforward enough. You can sell as an individual or as a business. If you are selling as a Business then you’ll want to register with the Professional Seller option.
The professional option costs a few tens of pounds a month and lets you list as much as you want to all intents and purposes, though in the first instance they’ll limit your listings until it can be seen that you can fulfil them and behave in a manner consistent with Amazon’s expectations. A professional account comes with a number of benefits not least the ability to connect to Amazon using their APIs.
As you would expect there are a few things you’ll need to hand in order to register and depending on how Amazon feel about your application they might ask for additional items, beyond the ones they list on the beginners guide, which you can find here.
The essential items are Bank Account details. Credit card, some ID (passport), VAT number, and Companies House incorporation documentation.
The other item(s) we recommend you have are any trademarks you have. Selling well on Amazon increasingly means registering with their Brand Registry. Brand Registry ensures that your branded products listings are protected from other sellers editing the listings.
If you are selling gated items you’ll also have to seek permission. Amazon need to see necessary permissions for certain categories such as food stuffs.
Getting permission from Amazon can be time consuming, but it’s worth persevering, they are only trying to be as diligent as possible.
Listing products is easy enough. If you are selling an item already on Amazon, and have permission to act as a reseller, then you can simply “piggy back” on the existing listing. It’s just a matter of providing stock levels and price.
If the product is new then you’ll need to have some information to hand such as the Barcode and the product information to help you create titles, barcodes and description. You can find out about barcodes here.
Obviously you’ll need to fully understand the costs when listing on Amazon and the main cost is that associated with the Amazon commission. This varies depending on the category where you are listing and can vary a lot from category to category. There is good information on the beginners guide page.
When you are creating your first listing you’ll need to think carefully about how best to describe the item and how to trigger the customer to actually buy. We offer some thoughts on this here.
Once your listing is up and running at some point you’ll get an order. Make sure you despatch quicky and notify Amazon that you have done so. If you are poor at fulfilment you will not last long on Amazon. And if you get a complaint make sure you deal with it well, again poor performance will cause Amazon to suspend your account.
Finally, you’ll want to be able to cash flow your business and Amazon settles with you every 14 days after they have deducted costs.