If you are looking at Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, or one of the other large Amazon marketplaces and thinking “if only I lived in that territory”, then this guide is for you!
It is a common misconception that you need to reside in a particular Amazon territory in order to run an Amazon business, in fact, there are many sellers who sell into multiple territories, without ever physically being there. This guide will help you get started on your journey to generating reliable income, from anywhere in the world.
Trading from the beach may be a cliche, but it is a reality if you want it.
Most people start an Amazon business because they are tired of the 9-5 and fed up with working in the same place, week in, week out, for the same employer, with no opportunity for financial freedom. The internet has revolutionised ‘work’ in recent years, with millions of people worldwide now able to make a living without ever leaving their homes.
For people fortunate enough to live in a developed nation such as the USA, UK, or Germany, the process is simple – you register an Amazon Professional Seller Account, source some products, and start listing on Amazon in your territory. But for people who live in the developing world, or people who want to live in a country with a lower cost of living, then the process is more complicated.
Overseas traders often have a myriad of questions: How do you buy and sell goods when you are so far away? How do you make any money at all with import and export taxes? Surely shipping costs will make your costs too high and erode any profit? How can I guarantee that my items are repackaged properly?
Well, thankfully, these are no longer issues you need to worry about.
The solution is to use a ‘prep center’.
What is a prep center?
A prep center (or ‘prep centre’ for our fellow Brits), is a service that will receive and inspect your inventory, prepare and repackage your inventory, and then send it into Amazon ready for sale. This means that sellers never have to receive the goods themselves, and can buy and sell products entirely within a territory, therefore avoiding customs duties, export costs, and many other inconveniences.
There is a huge choice of prep center in the USA, UK, and Europe, and they are all familiar with dealing remotely with sellers – it is their day-to-day business and it is irrelevant where you live.
So now that you know the solution, let’s take a look at the process.
Step by Step Guide To Remote Selling On Amazon
If you’re looking to sell on Amazon from anywhere in the world (including the beach), then this step-by-step guide will get you started.
Register for an Amazon Professional Seller Account
The first thing you will need to do is create an Amazon Professional Seller Account. It is a fairly straightforward process and Amazon will require the following information:
- Your business email address
- Credit card information
- A form of ID verification (e.g. ID card, driving license)
- Tax information
- Contact details
- Bank account information
Amazon will then verify your information, which usually takes a day or so. It is essential that you have a Professional Seller Account, as you will need this for Amazon, and also foe using sourcing software such as SourceMogul.
Find A Prep Center
Next, you will need to research suitable prep centers in the territory (or territories) you are looking to sell into. Finding them is fairly straightforward, but you may need to compare the list of services, turnaround times, costs, and volumes (MOQs) that may be required for each. There really is a lot of choice so you won’t struggle to find a good match for your strategy.
Some prep centers offer a monthly fixed cost set at a maximum volume of parcels, some offer a ‘per item’ fee, and others offer a hybrid. There may be additional charges for applying labels, handling returns, bubble wrapping, oversize parcels, and costs are often cheaper as volume increases.
Other factors (other than price) that may help you to decide:
Location: Some sellers opt to use multiple prep centers, particularly if shipping fees are determined by the location e.g. West coast USA vs East coast USA.
Tax: You may be able to make further savings by using a prep center in a low sales tax state.
Facilities: Do you need temperature controlled storage? Do you want a warehouse that will not add a smell or scent to your items (e.g. clothing)?
Reviews: What are others saying about the prep center? Do they take care to handle fragile goods? Do they ensure that goods are not rejected by Amazon’s strict FBA guidelines?
Processing time: What is the typical time for them to process and send an item into Amazon? Do they offer an express service if needed?
Start Sourcing Products
It sounds simple, but this is actually the most difficult part of the process. Amazon selling is a highly competitive market, and it is important not to buy just anything, you need to find products that you can sell at a profit. This is where software such as SourceMogul can help – we scan tens of millions of products from major retailers every month, to identify profitable products before anyone else. Our software allows you to filter and sort results to suit your own strategy, and we also provide valuable insight into historic pricing and sales volumes.
If you’d like to get a better idea about what kind of products are best to sell, then our handy guide to sourcing products is a good place to start. We also offer a 7 day trial so that you can get familiar with the process for free.
Create Your Amazon Listing
Amazon makes listing products as easy as possible by allowing you to ‘piggyback’ other listings. In most cases, if you want to list a product for sale, all you have to do is find the product on Amazon and click “Sell Yours”. Once you’ve filled in a few details, you’ll be listed alongside all the other sellers for that product, and ready to get some customers. This is a significant time-saver over other platforms (i.e. eBay) where you need to write a new listing for every item.
Start Selling & Get Paid!
Once you have identified profitable products, simply order them for delivery to your chosen prep center, and they will process the items and send them into Amazon FBA for resale. You will be notified once the items have been received, and you can start selling!
Once your listing is live, Amazon will provide you with useful reporting metrics – these are extremely important to monitor as they can make a huge difference to your seller ranking and the likelihood that you will win the buy box!
Using SourceMogul To Get Started As An Amazon Seller
SourceMogul is a leading online arbitrage software solution for Amazon sellers. Our software constantly scans tens of millions of products 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, looking for products that can be purchased and sold on Amazon for more money.
Have a look at the video below for a brief overview of our software, or head over to our User Guides for more information.
If you like what you see, then why not get started with our fully functional 7 day free trial?
6 steps to becoming an Amazon seller. No experience needed.
Becoming a successful Amazon seller is easy - the Amazon brand and logo represents…
Top tips for success from a new Amazon seller
We've compiled a list of the top tips for new sellers, gathered from a…
How to get ungated on Amazon – your guide to Amazon restricted categories
If you’re looking to expand your online arbitrage business, you might find yourself tempted…
How to prepare for Amazon Q4 trading
Every year the holiday season seems to come around a little earlier. As an…