First of all, I’m not saying this is the greatest idea that I have had, but I have been an Amazon affiliate for a couple of years and wanted to take the next large step to being an Amazon FBA (fulfillment by Amazon) Seller.
The price is 39.95 per month so you can’t just dabble around to see if it works as in making money. You actually have to put some effort into picking your products and selling. There is an entire science behind it, and a lot of information for me to take in at first. I went to the Amazon Seller Central and filled out the application. It does take a week to be approved. I picked my seller name as TR Supplies. Sounded like a good name that would cover a wide variety of products.
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In the meanwhile, I gathered up all my books in the house, and my hubby read me the UPC codes that I typed in under the “ADD A NEW PRODUCT” section. One by one they were listed until I had about 50 books in my inventory. There are lots of Youtube videos showing you how to list products, and I watched a couple before I started. Amazon also has videos in SELLER CENTRAL where they have about 20 instructional videos.
The day I received my email that my application had been accepted and my products were LIVE, I sold 7 books. At this time, I was FULFILLMENT BY MERCHANT, so I was the person who had to print the packing sheet and ship the books out. Now I found out why I had sold 7 books so quickly. I hadn’t created my own shipping template so I was offering FREE shipping.
You can purchase the labels and pay for the postage directly from Amazon Seller Central and that is what I did to save time. I believe each book cost me $5.95 to ship, plus the cost of Amazon referral fee, so I was starting off in the hole. In fact I am still in the red.
While I was preparing my 7 books to ship out and printing the labels, I saw a message pop up on my Amazon Seller’s dashboard. It was from one of the buyers cancelling their order for one of the books. I replied that “YES” she could cancel. I had already paid for the shipping but customer service helped me out and told me how to receive a refund for the postage. Customer service number is 866-216-1072.
Next, I knew that I didn’t want to ship books and products all the time, and I changed all the books to FULFILLMENT BY AMAZON and printed off the ASIN numbers (I had mailing label sheets already) and applied each book with a ASIN sticker over the UPC code. Then I packed them in a box, created a shipment, checked and rechecked that I had the X number of books in the shipment that matched the shipping queue, and then printed the shipping label (again, already had the shipping label paper) and dropped the box off at a UPS store. Off it went to a Texas center.
You can order labels here for the ASIN numbers. ORDER HERE
You can order the shipping labels here. ORDER HERE
Problems I ran into:
- Some books had a PRICING ERROR on them and I couldn’t send. I watched a couple of videos on how to correct that error but I still couldn’t figure it out so I took the books out of the shipment and off my inventory list.
- I had so many books (you can’t go over 50 pounds in one box) that I split the shipment into 2 boxes. When you do this, you have to print an inventory list for each box by downloading a report to an Excel file. Then you have to add some changes, and put box dimensions and weight into the sheet, and then you upload to Amazon. I tried to do this for an hour and kept getting an 404 Page Error. I called customer service and they tried to figure it out, called me back, called me back again…that’s another 30 minutes of my life I’ll never get back, and they couldn’t tell me what was going on sooooo, I took some books out, changed the shipping inventory to one box, and just shipped one box out.
As soon as you change the inventory on your SELLER’S DASHBOARD to Amazon FBA, your products become inactive until they reach their Amazon warehouse. But not just the Texas warehouse where I had sent the box, Amazon sends it off to other warehouses. It took a few days for my books to become active and I have sold only one in a week. Boo!
So, in this experiment, I see that not everyone is a PRIME MEMBER ($99.00 per year). PRIME MEMBERS have free shipment which is why the first 7 sold (well 6 after one cancelled). The people who bought my books must have been on the lookout for FREE SHIPMENT while not Prime members.
- Watch many Youtube videos on opening an Amazon Seller account.
If it looks like something you want to do, then fill out the application on the Amazon Seller Central site.
- Experiment by gathering up books that are gathering dust in your house, and ADD them to your INVENTORY. Print labels. Send to Amazon. See what happens. You are now ready for the next step, Grasshopper.
If you need my personal assistance in selling online, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I charge $45.00 per hour. Payable through Paypal.
I use Ebay, Google Adsense, Poshmark, Amazon FBA.