Amazon has taken over the world, and at this point, you have probably heard how Amazon is the biggest online retailer. Many small business owners would love to start selling on Amazon, but most lack the capital and experience. Amazon, like any other business, focuses on making more money off the services they offer third-party sellers.
Amazon offers several ways of making money, and to make it even better, there are ways to make money on Amazon without investing a single coin. So, this is the read for you if you have ever wanted to be an Amazon seller and you lack the money or experience. Dive in!
How Much Does It Cost to Sell on Amazon?
Selling online may cost some money, but starting a business with little money or while on a budget is possible. However, learning how to be an Amazon seller without money is not enough, and you will need to know the costs to avoid risking your little upfront capital.
If you intend to start your online business with little to no money, you will need to find the best ways to reduce your expenses where possible. Nevertheless, there are two major fees you will have to deal with, including:
a). Referral Fees
These are the fees that Amazon takes for every sale you make. They are a percentage of the selling price where the referral fees will normally range from 8% to 15%, depending on the product category.
b). Individual Per-Item Fees
You need to pay these flat-rate fees as an Individual seller for every item you sell. It is different from the $39.99 monthly subscription fee paid by Amazon sellers with a Professional seller account. The individual per-item fees are $0.99 per item.
Notably, these two fees are deducted after you make a sale meaning you don't have to worry about raising the capital to pay these fees. Once you have learned how to be an Amazon seller without money, calculating these costs should be your top priority.
How to Get Free Products
Since the goal is to start your Amazon business with no money or minimum costs, one of the first things we will look at is selling on Amazon for free. To sell on Amazon for free, you must choose a product with little to no immediate costs.
Below are some ways you can find free products to sell:
a). Amazon Dropshipping
If you want to start selling on Amazon without investment, then Amazon dropshipping is one of the best options for you out there. Unfortunately, many people often confuse dropshipping with Amazon's FBA business model, which is not the same. With drop shipping, you don't need to buy anything in bulk, while with Amazon FBA, you need to deliver your products to Amazon fulfillment centers in bulk.
For the dropshipping model, the seller will display the supplier's products on the Amazon store. Then, whenever there is an order, the supplier will deliver the product, and the seller will get the difference as their profit. To do dropshipping, you will need to choose the option of fulfillment by the merchant, meaning you, as the seller, is responsible for fulfillment.
b). Free Products in your Possession
The simplest way to find free products to sell on Amazon is to find the free products around you. Every household has clutter, from barely used items to unopened gifts. Instead of storing the clutter or leaving it lying around, you can put them up for sale to gather dust so that they can instead make money for you.
Some perfect examples of your products include used books, kitchen equipment or electronics. Luckily, if you have popular products, you can sell your products earlier than you thought. Also, if you can figure out how to be an Amazon seller without money, these products will be easy to source.
c). Check out Merch by Amazon
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If you are an artist or a designer, you can also sell your products free using Merch by Amazon. This allows designers to upload original branded merchandise designs from their own brand to the platform. If you are building your own brand, you should file for trademarks on your brand name and then notify the Amazon Brand Registry.
When a customer orders, Amazon will handle the production, customer service and shipping costs. You don't have to pay anything to join; there are no upfront costs since it will be producing branded merchandise. All you will need to thrive as a seller is creativity and time.
d). Consider Handmade
As an artisan or a crafter, you may wonder if you can sell your handmade products such as clothes, jewelry and accessories on Amazon. Yes! With Amazon Handmade, the cost of your goods will be entirely based on the materials you use to create them, and Amazon will charge 15% referral fees.
This platform allows the seller to deliver the product on their own, or they can ship the product to an Amazon fulfillment center. Amazon will then deliver the product under the FBA (fulfillment by Amazon) program.
Amazon Handmade is a great platform to be an Amazon seller, although it's only meant for genuine artists who enjoy DIY stuff. Amazon has a lengthy process to ensure the seller's credibility using this platform.
How to Know if Your Product is Profitable
Now that you know how to be an Amazon seller without money or experience, it's time to check if the product is profitable.
1. Check the Product's Best Sellers Rank (BSR)
Amazon rewards almost every product in their large database and a section called the Best Sellers Rank (BSR). All products have a BSR for each product category they have been listed in, and the lower the product's BSR, the better it will sell.
For example, a product with a BSR of #1 will most likely sell thousands of units every month, unlike a product with a #3825 BSR which will only sell a few units in the same period. Therefore, when sourcing and listing your products, ensure you check the product's BSR, which you can find on the product's listing page in the Description section.
2. Estimate the Sales
Once you select the quality products with high-performing BSRs, you will need to know the average monthly sales the products make within a month. Some third-party sales tools will help you view accurate sales data of a quality product, like how many units the item will sell in a month. Using this tool, you won't need to only focus on how to sell on Amazon without money. Still, you will also focus on being a successful Amazon seller by studying historical sales data.
3. Estimate how Fast your Product Will Sell
Once you know the average monthly sales your product will make, you need to break down the number of times the product will sell in a day. This step gives you an idea of how fast-selling a product is, and you will also need to calculate the product's potential profitability. To do this, divide the average monthly sales by 30 days.
Steps of Becoming an Amazon Seller
Selling on Amazon, whether you have money and experience or not, will involve a few steps, including:
1. Create an Amazon Individual Seller Account
Once you have decided on the product you want to sell, you will need to open a Seller Central account which will be the center of your online business. The portal is where you add your product listings, manage inventory, view your reports and many more.
Amazon will need some of your details, such as:
- Your legal name and address
- Your business name
- Your contact information
- Bank account information
- Credit card
- Where your products will be shipped from
- Shipping options
There are two types of Amazon seller accounts:
a). Individual Seller account
- This Amazon seller account allows sellers to sell up to 40 items per month
- It doesn't have a monthly flat fee
- You will need to pay a $0.99 fee per item you sell
b). Professional Seller Account
- The professional selling plan allows you to sell as many products as you want
- A $39.99 monthly flat fee
- You won't have to pay a fee for every item you sell with a professional plan
2. Create an Amazon Listing
Once you create an Amazon seller account, you must create product listings that allow you to add your products to the Amazon platform. There are many parts to creating your product listing where you will need to include clear and high-resolution images.
Ensure all your Prime products are eligible to enjoy the free shipping options for prime members. If you have a few items, you can list them manually, but if you have many items, you can upload a spreadsheet containing each of your products. Provide enough information about your products to make your product listing more appealing.
3. Choose a Fulfillment Method
After creating your Amazon Seller Account, you will need to choose a fulfillment method for your products. Fulfillment is responsible for picking, storing, packing and shipping the products to customers. There are two options to fulfill your order:
a). FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon)
Using this model, you will have to send your products to be stored in an Amazon fulfillment center, where Amazon will then pick, pack and ship your products when you get an order. Amazon FBA will also handle customer service issues such as inquiries and returns.
The Amazon FBA business is a hands-off model that is easy to use but comes with additional fees. You will have to pay additional fees such as storage fees and Amazon FBA fees, including shipping and packaging fees.
b). FBM (Fulfillment by Merchant)
Using the FBM method, you should only list your products on Amazon, and then you will handle all the storage and order fulfillment aspects. If you choose FBM, you will have plenty of opportunity costs. This means you are fully responsible for late, missing or damaged orders.
4. Add a Product Listing
So, what happens when you manufacture or design a new product that isn't yet sold on the Amazon marketplace? Of course, it is better for you as you face less competition, but on the downside, listing the products will involve several additional steps.
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To list a new product on Amazon, you will need:
- A UPC(Universal Product Code)/EAN Number- A unique 12-13-digit bar code for tracking products
- Product title- Describe the product as detailed as possible
- SKU- This is a unique number that you create to track each listing
- Professional quality product photos- High-quality images of at least 500 x 500 pixels on a white background with no watermarks or text.
- Product description and bullet points- Use bullet points in the descriptive text to attract the buyer's interest.
- Search Results/Terms- Each new product you list has space for five fields of 50 characters in which you can list relevant keywords.
5. Optimize Your Listings
Optimization should be a continuous process for Amazon sellers, and it involves dealing with the product listing where Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is needed. This step aims to ensure your product listing reaches the maximum number of customers looking for your product.
Using the most relevant keywords is necessary for creating a product listing that will earn a high search ranking to draw traffic. Ensure your title incorporates the top keywords and copy it into Seller Central when you have achieved a well-optimized listing.
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Regarding product features, display the most important information the customers would be interested in. Put yourself into your shoppers' shoes to show the value of your products and ensure you include your product's warranty and guarantees.
The title, bullets and description are optimized for search, but they are also written in a way that focuses on your target audience. This helps drive shoppers to your product detail page to make them love your product enough to make a purchase.
6. Start Driving Sales
As an Amazon seller, your Amazon business officially starts now, and once your product listing is done, your products will be ready to ship, so it will be the right time to go live. However, competing with the best Amazon sellers is more than optimizing a product listing; you will expect your online store to sell products.
To succeed in your ecommerce business, you will need to increase your visibility. There are several ways to drive sales, including:
a). Run a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign
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PPC campaigns are sponsored content or the advertisements you have seen when looking for products from your Amazon account. These campaigns allow new sellers to bid for their advertisement to appear in the sponsored ads section for a particular keyword related to your product.
When a shopper searches for the keyword, your ad will appear, and you will pay some amount to Amazon for every click your ad gets. This campaign will help generate initial visibility to get your product in front of more potential customers than you normally would.
b). Offer a product giveaway or a product launch
Product launches are another way your products get more visibility, and they help kickstart your product listing through huge discounted sales. This helps the algorithm understand your product to increase your product's rank in the search results.
The higher your product will rank on Amazon, the greater your opportunity to increase sales. The final result of a product launch will be your ranking in the Amazon search results on page one. This will give you exposure to potential customers and also the opportunity to drive significant sales.
As your sales increase, your organic ranking will increase, which helps in the visibility to generate sales, and your Amazon ranking will continue to rise.
7. Customer Feedback
Potential customers will most likely refer to the feedback from other shoppers who have purchased the product. The Amazon customer feedback and reviews are crucial for your online business since it's the credibility you have built over time from your target customers. The Amazon testimonials are evidence and social proof for your products and business. Therefore you will need to follow up on your buyer's shopping experience to prompt them to leave feedback.
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There are other ways you can get customer feedback, and another way is to write emails to the customers and ask them to give you feedback about your services and product ideas. Also, you can build your social media account to try to get customer feedback on the social media platforms. Finally, get more positive customer feedback to increase your sales and conversions.
So, can you sell on Amazon without money or experience? Absolutely! Anyone can take advantage of the limitless potential of Amazon and start making money on the platform. Luckily, you won't have to break your bank to do it.
All you need is to find the best products to sell on Amazon, and when you apply the steps and tips above, you will be ready to promote your product for free. When the product sells successfully, you can always reinvest your profits to help expand your business after some time.
However, selling on Amazon isn't a quick tactic to get rich, and you must sell products with high demand and low competition. Selling a better product than your competitors will make your life easier, but also you will need to have a budget for promoting your Amazon product.