Are you starting a business selling products on Amazon? If so, keep reading as you will find this article very helpful. If you haven’t started and are still thinking about it, the information that follows may help you decide. Bottom line, it’s not difficult, and with the right seller tools you will give yourself the best chance of success.
With the uncertainty of today’s job market, it’s no wonder more and more people every day are investigating opportunities to make money online. Great timing too, as it’s never been easier than right now to start an online business. Though there are many ways to make money online, from affiliate marketing to e-commerce, one of the most profitable and most sustainable is to leverage the power of the world’s largest and most trusted online retailer, Amazon.com.
I’d like to establish one thing before going any further. By becoming an Amazon seller, whether you launch your own brand or resell products through retail arbitrage, will be running a real business. This is not a fly by night or get rich quick scheme. However, by utilizing the power of Amazon, you will see that most of the heavy lifting is done for you.
There are two models for selling on Amazon.com. As stated before you will either launch your own brand or resell branded products that you purchase elsewhere. Orders on Amazon fall into two categories:
- Seller fulfilled – you ship the products yourself from orders received through Amazon.com. You are then responsible for warehousing and shipping the products as well as processing customer payments, customer service, customer refunds, and product returns.
- Fulfillment by Amazon – Commonly referred to as Amazon FBA, in this model you ship your products to an Amazon fulfillment center, and when a customer orders your product Amazon processes the payment, packs and ships the customer order, and takes care of any customer service issues that mat arise.
Of these two options, most individuals choose Amazon FBA due to the simplicity and very small investment needed to get started. You don’t need to rent warehouse space or hire staff to handle orders. Even if you are starting small and don’t initially need to do either of those two, there will still be the demand on your time.
When I started my Amazon business, I was still working full time, and since I could not be in two places at once, having the option of allowing Amazon to handle storage, shipping, and customer service is hugely responsible for me being able to successfully launch my business.
Before I launched my business, however, I was in the same place as some of you who are reading this right now. I had no idea what to sell and no idea exactly how to go about it. Though my entire professional background was in sales, those were face to face sales. Selling through an online retailer was an entirely different world with entirely different rules. In short, I needed help.
I thought back to 2010 when I had built my first e-commerce site from scratch (learn more about that here). I had two advantages then. First, I had access to a well-known branded product that no one else was selling online, and second, I was able to pick the products up at the manufacturer’s warehouse, on an “as needed” basis, and they would even ship the items for me if I wasn’t able to get there in a timely manner. Therefore I didn’t have to think about what to sell, I didn’t have to work to set myself apart from the competition, and never had a problem with customer fulfillment.
Even though I had been selling online as an Amazon affiliate for a number of years, launching my own brand as an Amazon seller presented an entirely new learning curve. I knew that as popular as this business model had become, there had to be plenty of software tools built specifically to help sellers like myself manage their Amazon FBA businesses. After a quick Google search for “tools for Amazon sellers” and about an hour or so of research, I narrowed the list down to two potential candidates, and these were also the most popular and highly regarded of the bunch.
I was able to start a 14 day free trial with one of these, and the other actually offered a free for life yet limited account. I decided to sign up for both of them in order to do my own side by side comparison.
The first tool was from Jungle Scout, and though it is very popular, I found the data it returned it to be difficult to understand. Now I’m not trying to give them a negative review at all, Jungle Scout is a very powerful tool and some Amazon sellers I’ve spoken with swear by it. For me however, I felt I spent way too much time trying to understand how to use the data it was returning, and seriously, what good is data you can’t understand?
The second tool was from Helium 10, and though as I said they offered a free account, the upgrade to a full account was just a bit more expensive that Jungle Scout. Even though the difference for the full functionality for these two tools was only about $12 monthly, as I was just starting out and not quite sure how much of an investment I was going to need, I was considering every dime.
In my sales career, I always emphasized value over price. I never had the luxury of selling the least costly product in a particular industry, so I applied those same principles to this decision. I wanted to know, side by side, which of these tools offered the most value as in the long run that was going to be more beneficial to me as a business owner. After using both of them for free for a few days Helium 10 was the clear winner, and keep in mind that I was still only using the free account.
Not only does Helium 10 offer 22 separate tools to manage every part of your Amazon business, they’re paid membership also includes a very in depth training course with 66 video modules covering every aspect of the Amazon seller opportunity from start to finish. This training course alone is valued at $997 as a stand alone purchase. As far as the tools go, I found that each one builds upon the last, so there is a very easy to understand progression from choosing a product through keyword research, optimizing your product listing, inventory management and even customer follow-up. Also, there is a link from inside each of the 22 tools that explains exactly how to use the tool without you ever having to leave the screen you’re looking at, so you’ll never feel lost. If you ever have a question about the tool you’re using, you can click the link, watch the video walk-thru, and then return to exactly where you left off without missing a beat.
If you are considering starting an Amazon business, or if perhaps you have already started one and want to grow it, I strongly encourage you to take a look at the Helium 10 suite of tools for Amazon sellers. As I said earlier, they offer a free for life account so the test drive never ends. You may even find it to be a great companion to whatever you’re already using. One thing I can assure you of is this, if you ever upgrade to unleash the full power of Helium 10 for your Amazon business, you’ll never look back, unless it’s to wonder how you ever got along as an Amazon seller without it.