A Beginner’s Guide to Selling on Amazon

Interested in selling your products on Amazon? From its humble beginnings as an online bookstore, Amazon has grown into the world’s leading online retailer. Since launching their ‘Fulfillment by Amazon’ (FBA) program, more and more small businesses are selling their products on the site, enjoying its huge audience and logistical advantages. Find out more about the FBA program and how to get started.

What is the Fulfillment by Amazon Program?

Logistics are a problem for businesses of all sizes. Amazon took notice and decided to leverage its logistical network to solve that issue. For a relatively small fee, businesses that partner with Amazon on the FBA program can have the company handle all their logistical needs. They simply ship their products in bulk to their closest Amazon warehouse, where the company will pick, pack, and ship them out as they’re sold. It’s cost-effective and allows small businesses to leverage a world-class logistical network without the headache.

Setting up Your Account

When you start selling, you can either use your customer account, or create an Amazon seller account using your business email. Before signing up, have this information handy:

  • A chargeable credit card
  • Government ID, to protect sellers and customers
  • Tax information
  • A phone number to reach you at
  • A bank account where Amazon can send money from your sales

You’ll also have to create a product listing in Seller Central, which includes:

  • A product identifier to specify the exact item you’re selling. You can get a UPC code from GS1, or request an exemption.
  • A Stock Keeping Unit (SKU), which is a product ID you create to track inventory.
  • Offer details, like price, product condition, quantity available, and shipping options.
  • Product details such as name, brand, category, description, and images.
  • Keywords and search terms to help customers find your product.

Once you’ve completed these steps, you’ll be instructed on how and where to ship your inventory to Amazon.

For more detailed instructions, read the Guide to Selling on Amazon.

Breakdown of the Fees

With FBA, you’ll pay for pick and pack, weight handling, and inventory storage. These fees also cover shipping, customer service, and returns of your products.  For a full breakdown of the current fee system, please see How pricing works on Amazon.ca.

Benefits of Using Fulfilled by Amazon

Tap into a Huge Audience

E-Commerce is a huge market in Canada, and all over the world. With FBA, your products reach millions of potential customers. They’ll also be eligible for Amazon Prime, which means consumers can receive your products with free shipping and within two days, for most of the country.

Competitive Pricing

Businesses handling their own logistics often have to charge expensive shipping rates to ensure it’s revenue-neutral and protect their profit margins. FBA listings are sorted by product price without shipping costs. Amazon Prime customers won’t have to worry about paying additional shipping, as it’s included in their subscription.

Industry Leading Customer Service and Returns

It’s remarkable how bogged down entrepreneurs can become with customer service and the returns process. FBA means packing, delivery, customer service, and returns are all handled by Amazon, leaving entrepreneurs free to tackle bigger issues.

Fulfill Orders from Other Channels

A secondary benefit of using FBA is how it can fulfill orders from other channels using inventory stored in an Amazon warehouse. You manage the inventory through an online user interface which directs Amazon to return the inventory to their fulfillment center at any time.

Selling on Amazon Globally

Interested in tapping into Amazon’s global network? Your products can be listed globally on other Amazon marketplaces. However, you’ll need to account for tax and regulation requirements in those marketplaces. Discover Amazon’s Global Selling page for more information.

United States

If you’re hoping to expand to the United States, the amount of effort required will depend on how you plan on selling your products. Check out this guide, How to Sell on Amazon USA from Canada, to get a basic understanding of the process.

Small Business BC is Here to Help

SBBC is a non-profit resource centre for BC-based small businesses. Whatever your idea of success is, we’re here to provide holistic support and resources at every step of the journey. Check out our range of business webinars, on-demand E-Learning Education, our Talk to an Expert Advisories, or browse our business articles.