Topic Wiki

    Selling On Amazon
    When signing up for an account there are two options. If you're just starting out, get the Individual Plan, you can upgrade the account whenever you want.

    Individual Selling PlanProfessional Selling Plan
    $0.99 fee for each item sold. If you sell 40+ items/month, you will need the Professional plan.  Flat fee of $39.99/month and more powerful and flexible tools to manage inventory, reports, feeds and access to web services.

    Amazon is an amazing platform that offers great opportunities for starting a business and making money. However when starting out, take it slow.
    There is much to learn and get used to. Before investing all your savings on a product you hope will quickly turn a profit take the time to familiarize yourself with the system.
    Perhaps start out with a smaller investment just to get your feet wet. Go through the basic guidelines offered by Amazon here.

    Below are tips, clarifications and insights from members of this forum. Feel free to pitch in or ask you questions.

    Some factors to consider before investing in a product to sell:

    1) Price: How much did the item cost you? Have you taken into account shipping costs (both to you and to the customer)? Will you have to pay taxes? Amazon keeps a percentage of every sale (including shipping fees). It’s 15% for most product categories besides a few like electronics that are 8%. You can see the full schedule of fees here. There are several online tools to help you price your products including an FBA Revenue Calculator here and an Amazon built iOS app. A quick way to figure out how much you’d need to charge just to break even after amazon fees is to take the total product cost and then multiply it by 1.1766 (for 15% fees) or 1.087 (for 8% fees).

    2) Velocity:  How fast will the item sell? It's nice to find a product for $10 that you can flip for $100.  But if you’ll only sell 1 a year, it won’t be a very good investment. The best way to determine the velocity of an item is to check the sales rank. Sales rank indicates the popularity of a product compared to other products in its category. The lower the ranking the more popular it is. The iOS app has sales rank baked in too. To get a proper feel for the turnaround time of an item, you'll need to dip your toes in slowly. Note: An item may have a great sales rank due to a recent sale, make sure to check price history on camelcamelcamel.com or keepa.com to get a better picture of the real price and rank of an item.

    3) Return Rate: Even after you sold a few laptops and tablets profitably, you'll have to take into account that a buyer may want to return the item. Certain items have higher rates of return, so make sure to take that into account when deciding whether it's profitable/worth your effort to sell the item.


    Fulfilled By Amazon (FBA):
    The seller sends the items to Amazon warehouse. Amazon takes care of fulfilling the order, and customer service related to the order.

    Pro's Of FBA
    Con's Of FBA
    • Easier to get in the Buy Box
    • You're able to offer Prime shipping
    • For anything above $300, Amazon only charges the standard referral fee. This actually makes FBA cheaper when you take the discounted shipping to Amazon into account.
    • If you have a large or heavy item, shipping the item to the customer can be expensive especially if it is going to a residential address. If you send that item to amazon FBA charges will be much lower than your shipping would have cost. (Including shipping it to FBA)

    • Returns (See this post for a more detailed explanation)
      • Returns are accepted without any restocking fee.
      • Items that are Damaged/missing parts are taken back.
      • Since Amazons is super lax on returns, your return rate will be significantly higher.
      • Refunds may harm your cash flow. When a buyer selects "Return" on his order history, often Amazon will immediately issue him a refund, and debit your account.
    • If the item is not a fast selling item, it will sit in their warehouse. Amazon charges a fee for every 30 Days an item remains their warehouse, it is usually a tiny fee, but it adds up.


    Q: How can I move inventory from one ASIN to another ASIN without having them returned on FBA listings?
    A:
    Before I Teach you guys the method you must keep 2 things in mind:
    1) This Method isn't guaranteed! As we all know how seller support is operating, Since this processes involves them its only about %95 accurate but its still a YMMV!
    2) This is kind of grey whether its in violation of Amazon's policy so i do not take responsibility if you get hit!
    Its a 4 step process make sure to follow them properly! Follow this link

    Q: If I have 3 items to send into FBA and they are splitting me to 3 different locations. Can I ship all 3 items to one location?
    A:
    Yes, you can choose "Inventory Placement Service" in FBA settings to send all your inventory to one nearby warehouse. Amazon charges an additional fee ($.30, CMIIW) per item.
    Note: That even once your inventory reaches Amazon, if Amazon is moving it to a different warehouse, the item will be "back-ordered"

    Q: I'm having a hard time finding a box for a large product, can I just ship with the box the way it came from the store?
    A:
    There might not be a clear cut answer for every scenario. But, some have sold many large printers through FBA, by just putting the shipping label directly on the box and not having an issue.

    Q: What is considered case pack when sending in items to Amazon FBA?
    A:
    Case pack is when all the items in the box are from the same ASIN.

    Q: I'm doing FBA shipping for the first time. and it says "prep required". What does that mean?
    A:
    Prep Required means there is some preparation for the products that will need to be done before it could be added the the Amazon inventory. Typically, it is either labeling the items, taping the boxes shut, or poly bagging. If you do not prepare the items yourself, Amazon can/will do it for a charge.
    Q: What is the buy box? How do I win the buy box?
    A:
    The Buy Box is the box on a product detail page where customers can begin the purchasing process by adding items to their shopping carts.
    To give customers the best possible shopping experience, Sellers must meet performance-based requirements to be eligible to compete for Buy Box placement. All Buy Box eligible offers are then further evaluated to determine the Buy Box winning offer. One "New" and one "Used" condition offer, as applicable, will receive Buy Box placement.

    Q: What is an A-Z claim?
    A:
    When you buy from third-party sellers on Amazon.com, the condition of the item and its timely delivery are guaranteed under the A-to-z Guarantee.
    Therefore, a buyer may open a claim if the above is not met to his expectations.

    Q: I have an item that is handmade how do I go about selling it on?
    A:
    Create your own listing and buy a UPC code.

    Q: Any advice on packaging and shipping?
    Check the Shipping Master Thread

    Q: Why are some items on Amazon missing the Amazon sales rank number?
    A:
    Go to add a product > sell yours  it should be in the top right corner. If it's not there usually it means no one bought yet.

    Q: How do you compare Ebay/paypal fees to Amazon fees?
    A:
    Depends on the category. For a lot of categories,Please Update Categories it may be cheaper, as with Amazon there is just one fee, but for eBay sales there also is a Paypal fee.

    Does the Amazon sales rank mean a lot when researching a product to sell?
    A:
    Yes





    Q: How do I get customers to leave feedback (I tried emails)? I sold multiple items
    recently and no feedback yet
    Please Update

    Q: I Got an email from a buyer where's my stuff? I have a Fedex/UPS delivery confirmation signature. How should I go about this?
    A:
    Firstly, tell the buyer that UPS/Fedex shows that it was signed for, and they should check if the item was delivered to a neighbor, from desk of building ect... Next open an investigation from your end with UPS/Fedex to have them do research and contact their driver of what may have happened to this item. It all depends on how co-operative the buyer is, on exactly how to precede. If they are trying to scam you, then there is not much as a seller you could do. They may open an A-Z claim (you would have to weigh your options if it is worth having a claim) Amazon may or may not grant it in your favor. I have never had this with Amazon. Such a claim is not typical.
    What is more common is if there was no signature, and tracking shows it was delivered, and the buyer is claiming they have not received it.
    For myself - Fedex has reimbursed me multiple times with such instances

    Scams
    Q: I posted an expensive item on Amazon. Somebody sent me a message, asking to clarify the condition of the item is (it was clearly stated in the description), along with a request to reply to his own email, and he'll pay through PayPal. Is there anything this buyer can so to screw me over, after I send him the item? Anything else I should know?

    A: SCAM SCAM SCAM. There is NO reason you should EVER do this. There is a reason why Amazon has this policy. This is how the scams works.
    The guy sends a FAKE email from an email account such as paypal1@realpaypal.com. In reality no money was sent to your account and its bogus. The scammers are hoping that you will think that you got the money and will send the item.
    You should report it to paypal each time. beware! always check your paypal account if the money came.
    Another reason not do this-you will get kicked off amazon for good,sometimes competitors set this up.[/list]



    Commonly used resources

    A List of lots of links to resources commonly used in Amazon selling
    http://www.asgtg.com/amazon-services/


    « Last edited by mgarfin on January 02, 2018, 09:07:51 PM »

    Author Topic: Selling on Amazon Master Thread  (Read 515904 times)

    Offline yuneeq

    • Dansdeals Lifetime Presidential Platinum Elite
    • *********
    • Join Date: Jan 2013
    • Posts: 5576
    • Total likes: 253
    • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 10
    • Gender: Male
      • View Profile
    • Location: NJ
    Re: Selling on Amazon Master Thread
    « Reply #1335 on: October 05, 2014, 11:31:50 AM »
    Hey guys,

    Any advice for me? I have kept zero books since I started selling last December. I need to do them and I am almost completely ignorant of accounting. Assets and expenses, bottom line. Thats all I know. How do I get a list of everything Ive sold and at what price? (most items have multiple sold at different prices)

    And what do I need to know for taxes.

    I have records of everything Ive spent because I bought on my credit card so Im planning on just going through the statements and identifying business purchases (because of course I have one card for business and personal) So if anyone has a better method for that let me know.

    I also dont have excel or quickbooks, so if needed I would be willing to buy.

    Thanks 

    I would go to either Reports>Fulfillment>All Orders or
    Reports>Payments>Date Range Reports>Generate>Transactions and download and copy paste to excel.
    « Last Edit: October 05, 2014, 11:38:48 AM by yuneeq »
    Live forever or die trying.

    Offline DealRaider

    • Dansdeals Silver Elite
    • **
    • Join Date: Mar 2014
    • Posts: 93
    • Total likes: 0
    • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
      • View Profile
    • Location: New York
    Selling on Amazon Master Thread
    « Reply #1336 on: October 05, 2014, 11:38:48 AM »
    Thank you, and in regards to taxes what do I do? I've just been doing everything as a sole proprietor no official business although I do have a llc...

    Another thing in regards to taxes, I've bought plenty if not most of my products with tax or no tax because I bought them from different states. How does that affect the tax situation?

    Thanks for the help

    To clarify I mean that I've bought items and already paid tax on them as a final consumer, and other items have been tax exempt because I bought them from different states

    Offline yuneeq

    • Dansdeals Lifetime Presidential Platinum Elite
    • *********
    • Join Date: Jan 2013
    • Posts: 5576
    • Total likes: 253
    • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 10
    • Gender: Male
      • View Profile
    • Location: NJ
    Re: Selling on Amazon Master Thread
    « Reply #1337 on: October 05, 2014, 11:47:59 AM »
    Thank you, and in regards to taxes what do I do? I've just been doing everything as a sole proprietor no official business although I do have a llc...

    Another thing in regards to taxes, I've bought plenty if not most of my products with tax or no tax because I bought them from different states. How does that affect the tax situation?

    Thanks for the help

    To clarify I mean that I've bought items and already paid tax on them as a final consumer, and other items have been tax exempt because I bought them from different states

    IANAA but I understand that if you didn't pay sales tax for an item, you would have to collect sales tax if you sell to the same state as your business.
    If you have locations in more than one state, you'd need to collect in those too.

    If you paid sales tax for the item, you are exempt from collecting tax from the customer even if in the same state.

    I don't understand what you mean when you say you have an LLC but you're a sole proprietor with no official business.
    IINM it's one or the other. Regarding income tax, you will need to ask an accountant.
    « Last Edit: October 05, 2014, 11:52:42 AM by yuneeq »
    Live forever or die trying.

    Offline AnonymousUser

    • Dansdeals Presidential Platinum Elite
    • ********
    • Join Date: Feb 2013
    • Posts: 3008
    • Total likes: 4
    • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
      • View Profile
    Re: Selling on Amazon Master Thread
    « Reply #1338 on: October 05, 2014, 12:27:06 PM »
    I want to share my experience with a case I had with Amazon; maybe it will help someone.

    I bought 6 White/Silver and 2 Space Grey iPad Minis from Best Buy when they were on sale, and I created a bunch of FBA shipments to send them in. One of the shipments was for 1 Space Grey and 2 White/Silver. When it reached the FC, I saw that it had been checked in as 3 White/Silver and 0 Space Grey. At the time I though it was my mistake and I had really received 7 and 1, since I didn't check them when I received them.

    Several days later, I got a notification that Amazon had sold and shipped 1 White/Silver. One day later, I got a notification that it was being returned, and they deducted more than I had received originally for the sale, because not all of the fees were returned. Originally they didn't tell me why it was returned, but I later found out the reason was "Item not as expected". This confused me, since it was a sealed iPad Mini. Did they expect it to make them breakfast? :P

    The item was returned to the FC, and was listed as unfulfillable, so I put in a removal order. When I finally got it, I opened it up, and lo and behold, it was Space Grey. That's when I realized what happened. I had created the shipment and sent it correctly. Amazon messed up when they labeled it, and entered it into the inventory as White/Silver. The customer ordered White/Silver, so they shipped him this one, but it was really Space Grey, so they justifiably returned it.

    I opened a missing inventory case with Amazon, requesting that they make sure that this is what happened. The CSR that responded didn't understand what I meant, so he wrote this:

    Quote
    After reviewing the shipment and inventory, I see 3 items were shipped but may have not been stickered correctly. If all items are shipped, then this is not a "missing inventory" case for the Lost and Found department that I represent.

    Fortunately, I am also FBA trained and wanted to share something in my experience with you - granted, the inventory in question has been sold so there's really nothing for me to research.

    I believe half of the time Amazon may make the mistake of mis-labeling... and at least half of the time, I've seen manufacturers/shippers make the mistakes. I've seen case after case with photos provided from the fulfillment centers of items in the wrong packaging. When you pay for Amazon labeling, most of the items are closed/sealed and are not opened or they're not considered "New" anymore so all we have to go on for sure is a bar code outside or what you have created in your shipment. I know that manufacturers ship items other than what they have in their inventory more often than expected - one so they don't lose your business and two, possibly just an honest mistake done by one of their own warehouse workers that placed something in the wrong box/package. Sometimes when it comes to electronics, it happens even more frequently because the only difference may be the amount of 'gigabyte' or something that is unseen on the outside. But whether it's them or us, we're all 'human' so mistakes will be made.

    So going forward, I've given you a credit of the $.50 for the removal order of that item and $.20 for the labeling/mis-labeling charge, regardless of who's fault it was.
    If you receive negative feedback from this buyer, send me the order ID number and I'll handle it as well.

    I apologize for whomever's fault it was and let's both hope it doesn't happen again... or at least anytime soon!

    Since he totally missed my point, I opened a new case under Returns, and explained myself more clearly, requesting reimbursement for the fees I had been charged. I also asked for compensation for the fact that that since the customer had opened it, it lost value, since I would not be able to sell it as new anymore.

    The CSR that responded to this case understood what I meant. She requested some pics of the item and the packing slip of the removal order showing that they don't match, and then she refunded all the fees, plus 15% of the value of the original sale as compensation.

    Bottom line, if Amazon messes up, it is possible to get them to pay for it. Just be clear, and be prepared to HUCA.

    Offline ilherman

    • Dansdeals Lifetime Presidential Platinum Elite
    • *********
    • Join Date: Jun 2013
    • Posts: 8390
    • Total likes: 58
    • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 34
      • View Profile
    • Location: Brooklyn
    Re: Selling on Amazon Master Thread
    « Reply #1339 on: October 05, 2014, 02:26:05 PM »
    I would just open up a missing inventory claim for my space gray.....
    You can say what you think when you think what you say.

    Offline AnonymousUser

    • Dansdeals Presidential Platinum Elite
    • ********
    • Join Date: Feb 2013
    • Posts: 3008
    • Total likes: 4
    • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
      • View Profile
    Re: Selling on Amazon Master Thread
    « Reply #1340 on: October 05, 2014, 06:56:23 PM »
    I would just open up a missing inventory claim for my space gray.....
    That's what my original case was. To which the CSR responded that it was probably my mistake and had been White/Silver all along.

    Offline DealRaider

    • Dansdeals Silver Elite
    • **
    • Join Date: Mar 2014
    • Posts: 93
    • Total likes: 0
    • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
      • View Profile
    • Location: New York
    Re: Selling on Amazon Master Thread
    « Reply #1341 on: October 05, 2014, 07:12:22 PM »
    IANAA but I understand that if you didn't pay sales tax for an item, you would have to collect sales tax if you sell to the same state as your business.
    If you have locations in more than one state, you'd need to collect in those too.

    If you paid sales tax for the item, you are exempt from collecting tax from the customer even if in the same state.

    I don't understand what you mean when you say you have an LLC but you're a sole proprietor with no official business.
    IINM it's one or the other. Regarding income tax, you will need to ask an accountant.

    Thank you,

    To clarify, I had been buying and selling with no legal business for the majority of the time. Recently opened an llc but have not paid for advertisements in the paper or make a business bank account. So I dont know what it does for me, and besides I would pay taxes on an llc like a Sole Proprietor regardless AFAIK so theres no difference

    Offline yuneeq

    • Dansdeals Lifetime Presidential Platinum Elite
    • *********
    • Join Date: Jan 2013
    • Posts: 5576
    • Total likes: 253
    • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 10
    • Gender: Male
      • View Profile
    • Location: NJ
    Re: Selling on Amazon Master Thread
    « Reply #1342 on: October 05, 2014, 07:29:55 PM »
    Thank you,

    To clarify, I had been buying and selling with no legal business for the majority of the time. Recently opened an llc but have not paid for advertisements in the paper or make a business bank account. So I dont know what it does for me, and besides I would pay taxes on an llc like a Sole Proprietor regardless AFAIK so theres no difference

    Okay, I understand.
    It's true not much of a difference between llc and sole proprietorship when your the only employee.
    In regards to reporting requirements, it depends in which state you live in, for example NJ doesn't require reporting.
    Live forever or die trying.

    Offline ilherman

    • Dansdeals Lifetime Presidential Platinum Elite
    • *********
    • Join Date: Jun 2013
    • Posts: 8390
    • Total likes: 58
    • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 34
      • View Profile
    • Location: Brooklyn
    Re: Selling on Amazon Master Thread
    « Reply #1343 on: October 05, 2014, 07:37:34 PM »
    That's what my original case was. To which the CSR responded that it was probably my mistake and had been White/Silver all along.
    Your case should be that you sent in a space gray and they didn't get it. if they wanna say that YOU sent in 3 White/Silver once they need to have proof/pictures.
    You can say what you think when you think what you say.

    Offline yuneeq

    • Dansdeals Lifetime Presidential Platinum Elite
    • *********
    • Join Date: Jan 2013
    • Posts: 5576
    • Total likes: 253
    • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 10
    • Gender: Male
      • View Profile
    • Location: NJ
    Re: Selling on Amazon Master Thread
    « Reply #1344 on: October 05, 2014, 08:23:46 PM »
    That's what my original case was. To which the CSR responded that it was probably my mistake and had been White/Silver all along.

    His response was that it could be anyones fault, but he'll give you back the return fee anyways.
    Live forever or die trying.

    Offline Name Changed

    • Dansdeals Presidential Platinum Elite
    • ********
    • Join Date: Sep 2011
    • Posts: 4846
    • Total likes: 5
    • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 13
      • View Profile
    • Location: Lakewood
    • Programs: Avis Presidents Club, National Executive Elite, Hertz Presidents Circle, Sixt Platinum, SPG Gold, eBay Platinum
    Re: Selling on Amazon Master Thread
    « Reply #1345 on: October 05, 2014, 08:47:33 PM »
    Regarding Selling on Amazon, and paying taxes.

    For State Sales tax, you only are required to collect if you are registered by the state as a reseller. Even if you purchase and pay sales tax you still are required to charge your customer sales tax.

    Regarding Income tax.

    If you sell on Amazon over 200 items, or over $20,000 then you will get a 1099k of all payments received.

    If you are filing your taxes then that 1099k will be filed on on your Schedule C. (There is higher audit risks on Schedule C tax returns)

    If you have a standard LLC, it also will be filed on a Schedule C.

    If you have a Partnership LLC then that is filed on a Separate tax return (1065) and the profits carry over onto your personal tax return on Schedule K

    The cost of filling a Partnership LLC return will cost ~$500 but you are to gain by only paying 50% of self employment tax, since you are a Partnership. (You technically could set up the partnership as 90% 10% ect...)

    Regarding keeping your books. There are a handful ways to do it.

    You could use Quickbooks or a similar program, and calculate money coming in, expenses, and cost of goods purchased, and sold... But you will have to be careful to catch all the fees, shipping costs, and a lot of other expenses that eat up your profits.

    You could keep a spreadsheet from your manually downloaded transactions, and from that add a column for cost of goods sold, and shipping cost, and manually update each sale on the sheet, and then at the end of your reconcile the sheet into a P and L.

    The latter option likely will be easier if you are not selling high volume.


    Offline churnbabychurn

    • Dansdeals Lifetime Presidential Platinum Elite
    • *********
    • Join Date: Jul 2012
    • Posts: 7181
    • Total likes: 271
    • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
      • View Profile
    • Location: Lakewood
    Re: Selling on Amazon Master Thread
    « Reply #1346 on: October 05, 2014, 09:53:21 PM »
    If you want a better strategy to avoid SE tax go for an S Corp. An LLC is not as reliable. Especially for a very active member...

    Offline The Guy

    • Dansdeals Gold Elite
    • ***
    • Join Date: Apr 2014
    • Posts: 237
    • Total likes: 0
    • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
      • View Profile
    • Location: Yerushalayim
    Re: Selling on Amazon Master Thread
    « Reply #1347 on: October 06, 2014, 07:36:27 AM »
    Your case should be that you sent in a space gray and they didn't get it. if they wanna say that YOU sent in 3 White/Silver once they need to have proof/pictures.

    If they see that they got extra units of a different item that wasn't on the plan,for example-White/Silver,they wouldn't give you back money.
    I think the mistake happened because they don't scan each item,they only scan 1 and if they all look the same they multiply them,I had this issue lots of times.

    Offline yuneeq

    • Dansdeals Lifetime Presidential Platinum Elite
    • *********
    • Join Date: Jan 2013
    • Posts: 5576
    • Total likes: 253
    • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 10
    • Gender: Male
      • View Profile
    • Location: NJ
    Re: Selling on Amazon Master Thread
    « Reply #1348 on: October 06, 2014, 10:00:10 AM »
    A few thoughts that I want to share.

    A) I continued testing Amazon advertising.
    I tested out the new auto-targeting ads and I continued with the regular ads.
    After about $70 spend ($50 free from Amazon), I had not one sale to show for it.
    It is quite terrible to say the least. I wonder what the average ad cost per sale is for the average seller.
    Probably a brutal number.

    B) My feedback ratings aren't accurate. My number was missing about 1-2 ratings for the past few weeks.
    I figure that it can start showing a greater disparity as time goes on, so I contacted Amazon and awaiting response.

    I think it's a good idea to make sure you "lifetime ratings" match the rating number associated with your account.
    Live forever or die trying.

    Offline ilherman

    • Dansdeals Lifetime Presidential Platinum Elite
    • *********
    • Join Date: Jun 2013
    • Posts: 8390
    • Total likes: 58
    • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 34
      • View Profile
    • Location: Brooklyn
    Re: Selling on Amazon Master Thread
    « Reply #1349 on: October 06, 2014, 10:41:19 AM »
    If they see that they got extra units of a different item that wasn't on the plan,for example-White/Silver,they wouldn't give you back money.
    I think the mistake happened because they don't scan each item,they only scan 1 and if they all look the same they multiply them,I had this issue lots of times.
    If they got extra units of a DIFFERENT item then it has nothing to do. Why should it have to do???? I've had multiple times that they received more units from what I actually sent in.
    You can say what you think when you think what you say.