How to Start an Amazon Store From Your Home
So, you’ve decided to open an Amazon store from your home, either individually or for your small business. This can be an excellent way to either make money for yourself or grow your business to reach a whole new audience.
How do you actually do that, though? We’ve broken down the process into four steps you will need to take in order to start an Amazon store from your home, the information you will need to provide for each step, and what decisions you will need to make along the way.
1. Create an Amazon Seller Account
The first thing you’ll need to do in order to start your Amazon store is create an Amazon Seller account. This is a three step process that we will walk you through now.
When you sign up, here are a few steps you will need to follow:
- Select an Individual or Professional account.
- Set up your account information.
- Create your public seller profile.
Select an Individual or Professional Account
The first decision you’ll need to make is whether to set up your store as an individual or professional.
You should set up as an Individual if you expect to sell fewer than 40 items per month. As an individual, you are not charged a monthly fee. Instead, you pay Amazon $0.99 per item you sell.
If you expect to sell more than 40 items per month, then you should set up your store as a Professional. As a Professional, you pay Amazon a $39.99 monthly subscription.
Set Up Your Account Information
After selecting your account type, you will need to fill out your account information. Here is the information Amazon requires:
- Business address.
- Business display name.
- Business website URL.
- Phone number.
- Contact information.
- Billing credit card information.
- Bank account information and deposit method.
- Shipping options.
Create Your Public Seller Profile
After filling out your account information, you will need to set up public seller profile. In order to set up your profile you will need to provide:
- Your About Seller information.
- Your Seller Logo.
- Your Return & Refund Policies.
We will now walk you through more information on what you will need to complete each of these sections and set up your Amazon public seller profile.
This section introduces customers to your business. In here you will want to include any information about your business you wish to convey to buyers, especially those which help create an emotional connection.
You seller logo must be sized 120x30 pixels and cannot refer to your website in any way or contain a URL.
Return & Refund Policies
You need to provide your policies for returns and refunds. While deciding on these policies, make sure to keep in mind Amazon’s return policies for the type of item you are selling, including their 30-day minimum that returns be offered, and ensure that your policies are compliant with those.
You will need to provide information on how to return items, such as the address to send returned items, how to contact you about returns, and how refunds will be given.
2. Listing Your Items For Sale
Once you have your Amazon Seller Profile set up, it’s time to start listing your items for sale. While creating these listings, there are two questions you need to answer in order to know what you will need to do in order to list your items for sale on Amazon:
- Are you selling items already listed on Amazon?
- Are you selling items not already listed on Amazon?
After answering these questions, here are the steps you will follow in order to list your items for sale on Amazon.
Are you selling items already listed on Amazon?
If you are selling items that are already listed on Amazon, then most of the work is already done for you. In order to list such an item, you indicate the quantity you have available for sale, the item’s condition, and choose available shipping options available.
Amazon will display the stock images and descriptions already in existence for those items, so you do not need to supply those for these listings.
Are you selling items not already listed on Amazon?
If you are selling an item that is not already listed on Amazon, then you will need to complete a few more steps in order to list it on your store. In order to create a new item listing, Amazon is going to require some information from you about the item for sale.
Here is what you will need to provide in order to list items not already on Amazon:
- UPC/EAN Number.
- Product Title.
- Product description and bullet points.
- Product images.
- Search terms.
3. Choosing a Shipping and Fulfillment Option
Before you sell any items from your Amazon store, you need to know how you will get it into the hands of your customers. When it comes to shipping, you have a few options to choose from.
Your first option for shipping is to handle everything yourself. If you go with this option, then you are responsible for storing and managing your inventory, packaging sold products in order to ship them, labeling shipments, and actually shipping orders.
This option can be convenient if you do not maintain a large inventory and if you wish to maintain a level of personal management over your orders. However, it can quickly become complicated and burdensome with a large inventory and number of sales. If your actual shipping costs differ from those set by Amazon, you also face the potential to lose money since you are responsible for paying that difference.
Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA)
An attractive offer to many hoping to take the responsibilities of self-shipping off their hands is enrolling in Amazon’s Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) program. With this program, Amazon stores and manages your inventory in one of their fulfillment centers and ships orders to your customers.
However, there are many disadvantages to using FBA that you should be aware of. These downfalls of using FBA include issues like:
- Multiple shipments due to your items being stored at more than one fulfillment center.
- Complicated sales tax issues stemming from differing state sales tax regulations.
- Costly storage fees associated with your inventory sitting in Amazon fulfillment centers.
Some may not realize that there is a third option available to them outside of self-shipping or FBA. An FBA alternative is an Amazon fulfillment solution for businesses that offers the services necessary for selling through Amazon that are generally associated with the Fulfillment by Amazon program, but outside of Amazon itself.
These services include:
- Inventory storage, preparation, and management.
- Shipping of items sold to your customers.
- Multi Sales Channel Integration.
- Custom plans personalized just for you and your business’ needs.
- Attention to detail and care from a service provider that works as an extension of your team.
With an FBA Alternative, you can avoid many of the downfalls of FBA discussed above while still shedding the burden that self-shipping places upon you. This puts you in the best possible situation for your business to succeed. By utilizing an FBA Alternative, not only can you avoid these downsides of the FBA program, but you can actually increase your profits in a variety of ways.
The ways you can increase your profits by utilizing an FBA alternative include:
- Cost reduction through utilization of bulk delivery options.
- Increased customer satisfaction, resulting in customer loyalty and retention.
- A wider global influence, opening wholly new markets for businesses.
- Increased inventory management efficiency, decreasing costs through better programs and strategies.
- Larger profit margins by streamlining of strategies through complete order fulfillment solutions.
Here at Specialty Fulfillment Center, we are here to help you make the most of using Amazon for your small business! Check out more information about our FBA Alternative program, or get in touch with us today!
4. Sell Your Items
Now that your store is all set up and ready to go, it’s time to sell your items! How you present your business in order to attract and retain customers will largely depend on your level of competition and your own brand identity, but there are a few things to remember.
If you are selling unique items, then you mostly have to worry about the strength of your own brand and products and how you reach those you hope to convert into loyal customers. However, if you are facing competition selling the same items you do, then you need to work a bit more to stand out.
Take some time to ensure every item in your store has the strongest possible listing and keep informed of current market trends. If you are not competitively priced then buyers are likely to give their money to a competitor who is. Make sure to offer the best customer service possible, and address any complaints or reviews. Do not attack or respond defensively to negative feedback, even if you feel it is unfair. Research your competitors and find what trends are working or not and be flexible and willing to make necessary changes.