As someone who has bought on Amazon but never sold on the site the webinar hosted by Amazon’s William Cook and ChannelAdvisor threw up some interesting tips for getting started.
Which sellers do Amazon want?
Amazon have fewer categories than eBay so look for sellers who can supply specific product lines. For the Clothing, Shoes, Jewellery and Watches sellers need to be authorised with Amazon (which takes about two weeks). The Consumer Electronics, Home, Toy, Baby, Tools, Sporting Goods and Video Games categories are open to all sellers without prior authorisation.
What do Amazon look for in a seller?
Amazon are looking for for sellers who can provide a range of products to expand their own selection and provide availability when Amazon are out of stock. 31% of products sold on Amazon are now sold by third party merchants. They also hold sellers to high standards both for the product information and for customer service. Amazon also stipulate that prices must be the same as on a seller’s own website – they don’t want buyers to find the same product cheaper elsewhere.
There are some technical requirements – products listed on the site must have EAN/UPC codes (bar codes) along with high quality data (descriptions) and product shots (white background with no text or water marks).
The detail page and the “Buy Box”
It’s important to realise that on Amazon no one “owns” a description. The item detail page is created either by Amazon or by the first seller to list a particular product. From then on all other sellers offering that item for sale will use the same product details and pictures. Whilst it may be frustrating to take quality product shots and create an item description simply to see another seller listing against it, that’s simply the way Amazon works.
The buy box is the area of the detail page where Amazon highlight the seller (or Amazon themselves) who is deemed to have the best offer for a particular product. All other sellers will have their offers listed from links just below the buy box. Generally to win the buy box a seller needs the best price and availability, which is markedly different to eBay where items at the top of Best Match often aren’t the cheapest available on the site.
What fees do Amazon charge?
Amazon operate on a revenue share which includes all of the costs for payment processing, fraud and driving traffic to the site. There is a flat cost of £25/month and then a percentage which varies according to product category:
Consumer Electronics 7%
Everything Else 15%
There are no other fees to pay including no insertion or listing fees.
How much traffic does Amazon have?
Last Christmas Amazon saw a spike in traffic to over 14 million unique visitors in the month of December. During the busiest selling month of the year they virtually drew level with eBay for traffic, and there’s no reason to suggest they won’t do the same this year. If you’re not already selling on Amazon with the exception of the toys category it’s not too late to start selling on the site.
Amazon is a remarkable success story, as one of the few original .com sites to survive their sales are still growing. It’s a site that all eBay sellers should consider as their second online presence, especially if they don’t already have their own website. The big question is will they have more traffic than eBay this Christmas and which site will produce the most sales for sellers?