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How to Sell on Amazon for Beginners: The Ultimate Guide

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If you’re looking for ways to boost your income, selling on Amazon is a great avenue to explore.

But how to sell on Amazon for beginners?

In this comprehensive guide, we’ve compiled all the steps and guidelines you should follow in your journey to becoming one of the top sellers on the world’s largest e-commerce platform.

Why You Should Consider Selling on Amazon as a Beginner

Here are some of the main advantages of selling on Amazon:

  • You don’t need a physical store: One perk of selling on Amazon, and selling online in general, is that you don’t need a physical storefront. You can operate without incurring the costs associated with conventional stores, such as electricity, rent, and water bills.
  • Your listings will get a lot of exposure: Amazon is the largest e-commerce platform in the world and has amassed a high level of credibility over the years.
  • Excellent side hustle to start from home: Since you’ll operate your Amazon business purely online, you can do everything without having to leave the house. This saves you transit time and allows you to focus all your time on growing your business.
  • Flexible working hours: Since you won’t be reporting to anyone, you get to decide when you’re going to work. This is another reason why an Amazon business is a great side hustle to earn money in parallel with other obligations.

Problems With Selling on Amazon as a Beginner

While it does have many advantages, selling on Amazon isn’t without its issues.

Some of these cons have fueled the Kickstarter vs. Amazon debate.

Here are some of the problems you might face when running an Amazon store:

  • No control over customer satisfaction: As an Amazon seller, you have virtually no control over the customer service experience when people buy your products. On the flip side, the customer is likely to blame you for any mishaps that happen during the process, and this can hurt your sales.
  • Listing fees and sales commissions add up: While it’s possible to incur no fees, selling on Amazon usually isn’t free. You can expect to pay listing fees and a commission on each sale you make, which can add up substantially.
  • Intense competition: Regardless of the product you’re offering, there’s a good chance that there are thousands of other Amazon sellers doing the same. As a result, setting yourself apart from the competition is an uphill battle.
  • It can lead to liquidity issues: When operating your Amazon store, you’ll need a consistent supply to ensure fulfillment of the orders coming in. As a result, you’re likely to have a large chunk of cash tied up in inventory.

What You’ll Need to Sell on Amazon [For Beginners]

Before your Amazon store starts running like a well-oiled machine, there are a few essential requirements to keep in mind.

Here are some of them:

  • Access to the Internet: When running your Amazon business, you’ll need to be online at all times. As a result, having a smartphone, tablet, or laptop with a reliable internet connection is a must.
  • A steady inventory flow: Some Amazon sellers fall into the trap of not having enough inventory to cover the orders coming in. To avoid missing out on such opportunities, you should have a reliable supplier that you can count on.
  • A valid debit/credit card: There won’t be any cash transactions when running your Amazon store. You’ll need an active debit or credit card to pay for your inventory and to access the proceeds deposited by Amazon into your bank account.

What to Sell on Amazon [For Beginners]

You may also be wondering what to sell on Amazon to maximize your income.

As a seller, you can list almost anything on the platform, whether physical or digital products.

Here are some of the best product categories to consider selling: 

Cat Food

Cat food is one of the most high-performing products on Amazon. The top brands to sell are Purina One, Blue Wilderness, Friskies, and Fancy Feast.

Why This Product Sells Well

The reason behind this product’s excellent performance on Amazon is that the number of listings for it falls short of the demand. As a result, there’s a gap in the cat food market, and you can be the one to fill it.

Car Phone Holders

Another product to strongly consider selling is car phone holders. This product’s average price is relatively low, making it suitable for sellers that are starting and don’t have a lot of capital to invest.

Why This Product Sells Well

Like cat food, there’s an imbalance between the search volume and the number of listings for car phone holders. In turn, there’s a need gap in the market to be filled.

Another reason why this product sells well is that there’s a range of variants to offer, giving you a possible point of differentiation from the competition.  

New and Used Books

Books have historically been a perennial best-seller on Amazon.

In a similar fashion to car phone holders, the upfront cost of stocking up on books to sell is low. This makes it a highly accessible market to novices.

Why This Product Sells Well

Whether you’re selling new or used books, there’s a plethora of genres to choose from. In turn, there’s a lot of money to be made. We recommend focusing on non-fiction books since they tend to sell better.

How to Sell on Amazon for Beginners: Step-By-Step Instructions

Starting a new business can be overwhelming if you don’t have a clear vision of the steps you need to take to get your enterprise up and running.

Luckily, there’s a tried and tested framework to follow when starting your Amazon business.

Here’s what you’ll need to do:

1. Choose a Product to Sell

Your first task will be to decide on the type of product you want to offer your customers.

This phase will involve conducting thorough product research and picking the right product to sell.

Choosing the right product is key. An essential factor to consider is offering a profitable product category. You can measure the profitability of a product by its profit margin.

No matter how profitable a product is, it won’t sell well unless it has a high demand. In turn, you should choose a product that is in direct fulfillment of a need gap in the market.

Some sellers choose to adopt a retail arbitrage strategy. It involves sourcing products from Amazon or another e-commerce platform at a low price and selling them at a higher price.

2. Find a Supplier

The next step is to figure out where you’re going to source your products.

You’ll need to find a reputable supplier that you can always rely on to provide sufficient inventory. After all, you never want to be in a situation where orders are coming in but you don’t have enough stock to process them.

Your choice of supplier will also depend on how you intend to position yourself in the market. If your intended positioning is to be viewed as a premium seller, finding a supplier that offers high-quality products should be your priority.

In contrast, those looking to serve customers with tighter budgets should look for suppliers that offer moderate quality at a low cost. Don’t compromise on quality too much, though. If your products’ quality is subpar, it won’t take long for that to show in customer reviews.

The best-case scenario is dealing with a supplier that provides great quality and substantial discounts when you buy in bulk.

3. Set Up Your Amazon Account

Once you have everything in order, it’s time to set up your Amazon account.

If you already have a regular Amazon account, you’ll need to change it into an Amazon seller account.

Alternatively, you can create a new account altogether.

Here’s the information you’ll need to have on hand when signing up:

  • Business email address
  • Internationally chargeable credit card
  • Government ID (identity verification protects sellers and customers)
  • Tax information
  • Phone number
  • A bank account where Amazon can send you proceeds from your sales

You’ll also need to decide on a selling plan to subscribe to.

You can go with the Individual plan which involves paying $0.99 for each sale. The other option is the Professional plan, which involves a $39.99 monthly subscription fee regardless of how many units you sell.

Once you’ve created your account, you can use Amazon Seller Central to manage all aspects of it.

You can also use the Amazon Seller app to access your account on the go.

4. List Your Products on Amazon

Next, you’ll need to list your products on your Amazon store.

Your product listing should give a potential customer as much information as possible about the product you’re offering.

A product listing should also include a detailed description of the product, the main features, and the product’s price. You should also make the shipping cost and return policy clear.

Amazon FBA sellers benefit from the platform’s credibility a lot in this regard. The platform’s credibility helps put the customer’s mind at ease.

Another essential aspect of your product listing is the photos of the product. When customers search for a product, the pictures are what they see first. Make sure to provide high-quality images of your products.

5. Promote Your Listings

The final step in your Amazon business journey is to promote your listings. No matter how great the product you’re offering is, you won’t achieve the sales volume you’re looking for unless potential customers see it.

As a result, we highly recommend investing in sponsored ads on popular social media platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram.

You can also boost your listings’ exposure by having sponsored ads on websites related to the product category you’re selling.

Another useful tool to utilize when promoting your listings is Amazon SEO. This search engine optimization tool will help raise your listings to the top of customers’ search results. Selling Amazon-sponsored products is also a great way to go.

What to Consider When Selling on Amazon As a Beginner

When building your Amazon store, there are a few factors to keep in mind.

Here are a couple of them:

1. How Are You Going to Stand Out From the Competition?

An issue with the Amazon marketplace is that it’s quite saturated. Tens of sellers join the platform daily, which means that you’ll have your work cut out for you if you want to stand out.

This is why you’ll need to have a plan for differentiating yourself from the competition.

For example, you can leverage your supplier’s low prices to undercut your competitors. You can also do so through retail arbitrage.

2. How Much Are You Willing to Spend?

As the saying goes, you have to spend money to make money. In turn, you need to think about how large you want your scale of operation to be.

If you want to grow your Amazon store into a fully-fledged business, you may also want to consider hiring a couple of employees to help you do so.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the answer to a couple of questions commonly asked about selling on Amazon:

How Much Money Is Required to Start Selling on Amazon?

There’s a common misconception that you need a lot of money to start your Amazon business. In reality, this isn’t the case.

Most new sellers tend to put in an initial investment of $2,500 to $5,000 into their venture. This amount is enough to cover the cost of purchasing products, Amazon fees, and other related expenses.

Is it Profitable to Sell on Amazon?

Becoming an Amazon seller can be a lucrative venture for sure, but success isn’t guaranteed.

The amount of money you stand to make from an Amazon business depends on many factors.

They include the profitability of the product you’re selling, how well you promote your listings, and the sales volume you can achieve.

Similar Tutorials to Check Out

Wrapping Up

If you’re a beginner and wondering how to sell on Amazon, following the guidelines and tips explained in this article will put you on a path to great success.

After all, if others can do it, why can’t you?!

Don’t hesitate to drop any questions or queries you have about the information in this guide in the comments below.

If you found this information useful, make sure to share it with your loved ones.

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