At one point, if you wanted to sell your goods and services online you had only one viable choice: eBay. Today there are plenty of e-commerce sites where small businesses can sell their wares. One of the biggest is the Amazon.com Marketplace. Even if your business is small, with relatively few items for sale, you can set up a low-volume account that will have you selling online in no time.
First, take a shopping expedition through the Marketplace. You’ll discover you can search for products throughout the site, see how many other vendors are selling products like yours, and uncover just how the process works. Buy an item if you’ve never purchased a Marketplace item so you can track the entire procedure.
Next, you will need to set up a seller’s account on the site, after which you will find a step-by-step process that walks you through setup and listing your products for sale. If you are selling items that Amazon already carries, such as used books, CDs, or DVDs, you can simply add your item under the Sell Yours Here button. If you want to sell your own unique items, you’ll have to sign up for a pro-merchant account, which has its own extra benefits.
Listing fees are lower for pro-merchants than for low-volume accounts, and adding listings is easier for pro-merchants, too. You pay a commission only on what you actually sell, rather than a listing fee on top of the commission. The inventory loader helps you load large amounts of sale items at once, it comes with the pro-merchant subscription, and your listings are unlimited, too.
Don’t forget, you’ll need photos of your items. If you purchase your items in bulk, ask permission to use the manufacturer’s photos to illustrate your products. If not you’ll have to take your own photos, and you’ll need to make sure they’re professional and crystal clear. Items without photos usually don’t sell because customers really want to see what they are buying before they put down their hard-earned cash. So don’t scrimp on the photos.
Amazon doesn’t charge you until you make a sale, so you don’t have to constantly monitor your store. You will be notified about each sale, and Amazon handles the customer payment. All you have to do is ship the item as soon as you make the sale. Amazon also takes care of the feedback process and manages your feedback numbers and percentages.
Amazon sends you a payment once a month for all your sales, minus the commission fees. If your sales aren’t as high as your monthly pro-merchant costs, the remainder will be charged to your credit card on file in your merchant account. Make sure you follow the site’s community rules and the participation agreement, or Amazon could shut down your online store.
Once your online store is active, don’t take it for granted that customers will shop for your items. To attract business, monitor your account even if you don’t make sales in the first few days or months. You can find automated software that will alert you to customer questions, orders, and shipping information.
Providing Customer Service
Your best advertising is your customers themselves, so make sure your customer service is impeccable. Answer questions as soon as possible, ship merchandise right away, and read your feedback to address any problems or issues that may arise. Word of mouth means your customers will tell their friends about your store and will return for more items when they shop online again.
You also should become knowledgeable about the Amazon Marketplace through online boards and forums. They’ll keep you updated on what’s new and different with the Marketplace, and you can learn successful selling techniques from other merchants who use the site.
The Amazon Marketplace brings the world to your door. Shoppers know that Amazon is a safe, secure, and legitimate e-commerce site, so they’ll be more inclined to purchase items from your store when it’s affiliated with Amazon.