How to List An Item On Amazon In 10 Simple Steps

Listing and Selling

Let’s first differentiate between Listing and Selling. Listing a product on Amazon is fairly easy, especially if you are already ungated in the category you wish to sell. There are only a few steps which we will go over, but the act of selling an item is a completely different animal, of which everyone has their own instincts it seems. We’ll go over the act of selling in through the posts on this site as it involves pricing, sourcing, examining competitors, making assumptions and decisions. Plus when an item sells is when you get paid, how much though determines how well you priced the item to sell. Again though. Selling strategies for other posts…

Listing An Item On Amazon

Step 1: LoginStep 2: Add a ProductStep 3: Sell YoursStep 4: SKU YOUStep 5: ConditionStep 6: Condition BoxStep 7: PhotosStep 8: PriceStep 9: QuantityStep 10: Shipping Method

Login! If you’re not here you can’t get anywhere! First things first, let’s login with the login / pass we set up in the post How do I setup an Amazon Seller Account?.  Please make sure to log into Seller Central and not into Amazon.com as this will load you directly into your seller account.

Add a Product:

First you’ll have to Check to see if your item is listed in the Amazon Catalog.
(If your item isn’t listed in the catalog please see our post on How To Add A New Product To The Amazon Catalog.)

Now that you have verified your product is listed in the Amazon Catalog you’ll have to check that you are eligible to sell it. We go over eligibility in our posting How To Determine If You Are Eligible To List Your Item In Amazon. This is easy to do from this location though as you’ll get a message under the item if you are ineligible to sell the item, but the positive caveat to that is you get a link to find out how to become eligible. We generally refer to this process as Getting UnGated For a Certain Category in Amazon.

Little tidbit that helped me wrap my head around things is when you add a product, you are essentially Adding that Product to your specialized catalog with Amazon that is attached solely to you as well as increasing Amazon’s numbers of that product.

If you are eligible you will see a “Sell Yours” button next to the item listed (Be sure the item you are selling matches the listing on both actual item and quantity)There may be multiple items listed under the same identifying number (UPC, ISBN, EAN) and we’ll go over that in our What To Do When There Are Multiple Postings For My Item On Amazon post.

After pressing the “Sell Yours” button Amazon will bring you to your product listing page. We’ll be here for a the rest of our time on this post.

The very first text box you see is for the SKU(not mandatory, but recommended), this had me confused for the longest time. You have two options here. Do something or don’t. If you don’t Amazon will give you’re item and arbitrary SKU number that means nothing.

Or you could take control of the situation and design you’re own SKU based on the needs of your business. If this is something you’d like to look into check out our Designing Your MSKU To Matching Your Business Needs post.

Below the SKU box is a drop down box where you can set your condition. Conditions range from New => Acceptable. You determine how you want to rate your item, but beware that what you put is what buyers expect and there isn’t the “eBay leniency” here so if you were to ask me Condition low and over perform, however do not sell your item short at the same time. I’m just saying when in doubt go down a condition. We go over conditioning a little bit more on our How We Choose The Condition Of Our Items For Amazon post.

If you want to see Amazon’s conditioning guidelines check this out:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=1161242

Under the Condition box you will see an area for you to better describe the condition your item is in. Again Amazon is more of an “All there or we don’t care” platform and what I mean by this is if your item is not NEW then it is on you to make sure all the pieces of that item are accounted for. I know in some other platforms you can get away with selling things in any condition. That motto doesn’t hold true here. However this little Condition Note box can be used for a lot more than just telling people what your item looks like.

We go over How You Can Use Your Condition Box On Amazon To Your Advantage in another post that will be following this one to go a little more in-depth.

Photos. A great way to give a person viewing of your item to your potential customers. The only time you don’t have access to this tool is when your item is in the NEW condition.

This is not mandatory and only available on non-NEW items, but should not be overlooked. One of the first Podcasts I ever listened to on FBA talked about this same thing saying that if Amazon is going to give you the option to better your ad so that you can stand out why not take a couple mins and get a picture of your item up?

Trust me, not a lot of people take the time, so you will stand out, and it does make a difference in your sales.

We go over How We Get Pictures To Place On Amazon’s Listing Page on this post here.

My Favorite: Price: It’s the whole reason we’re here right?! I was going to go into a diatribe about synonyms to cash, but you get it. We want to make money. Amazon is our vehicle. Another key point to remember, but that’s for a more advanced posting…

Price is a difficult question to guide you on because it’s all part of your business plan. I was listening to a guy the other day who made millions selling penny books, but to hear what he had to go through in order to do it…. I just didn’t know if it was worth it. It wasn’t for him.

So again it’s all based on your business and how you want to move forward with it as well as how you want people to view your business as.

Check out our Strategies For Pricing Your Item On Amazon post to see some strategies that we have come with.

Quantity. Simple little box to place the How Many answer in. Would you believe it too that their is even a strategy for this too? There isn’t a lot of strategy to this one, but check out How Many Should I Send Into Amazon This Time post anyways, it might actually fit your business plan perfectly.

I really like this one because with the selection of on radio button over another I can either have my inventory sit in my house, I deal with shipping, customer service, packing, sourcing and business needs as well as family needs.

Went with Merchant Fulfill? Relax, your job is done for now. All you have to do is wait for your item to sell, but you had better be ready to spring into action when it does. Amazon want’s a quick turn around and if you can’t provide that your Account Health

or

I can send it in to FBA. The whole point and direction of this site. Taking back control of your lives with FBA’s help. Then all I have to do is source, list, send, reap.

From here we are at the send part. If you are satisfied with simply having your item listed you’re done for the most part. Follow us on over to How We Prepare Our FBA Shipments For Amazon and find out what is going to happen next!

So, there you have it. 10 Quick and easy steps to listing our first item on Amazon.  Hope this helps out!

  • Shawn

How We Choose The Condition Of Our Items For Amazon

Conditioning:

This area of selling on FBA does have some guidelines, but at the same time it relies heavily subjective opinion of the seller.  Of which incorrect conditioning can come back and bite you in the butt. We have always found that if we simply under condition and over deliver the customer is generally agreeable to your conditioning label.

There are 6 main conditioning levels with Amazon that you will use almost every time you list an item with a few more condition levels still reserved for certain situations.

Those general conditioning levels are as follows:

  • New
  • Like New
  • Refurbished
  • Very Good
  • Good
  • Acceptable

In the beginning you might find it hard to start to condition your items. Nobody gets it right the first time. It takes practice and after a while it comes second nature. Ironically when this happens it affects all sourcing prospects as well when you’re out and about. (i.e. – you become more selective.)

In the beginning people have a tendency to go two directions. Either they over-condition their items to try and get them to sell faster or they are under-conditioning them, which only leaves their pockets lighter. While over-conditioning may move some items quicker for you in the beginning you’ll also gain the reputation of trying to take advantage of your customers as well which will be reflected in your metrics through returns and overall customer satisfaction if your items’ conditioning is not agreeable to the customer.

Below I’ve listed Amazon’s Conditioning guidelines, we’ll be going over these one at a time. Are ya ready?

General Condition GuidelinesCategory Specific New & Used GuidelinesCategory Specific Collectible Guidelines

The General Condition Guidelines are a great help in determining what Amazon expects from you in your conditioning on a general basis. These are for items that do not fall into the Category-Specific Condition Guidelines, which if you’re going the Thrifting route, you’ll be experiencing more than anything else, depending of course on your business plan and strategy.

Let’s look at these Condition Levels:

New The NEW condition is reserved for items that are pristine new straight from the manufacturer. Fresh off the shelf or out of the case box they were shipped in. No damage, sealed boxes, never opened, All warranties intact. New means NEW.
Used – Refurbished REFURBISHED Or sometimes referred to as “remanufactured” are items that have taken in by authorized professionals who have brought the item back to working order from a previous broken state. These items still have manufacturer or Refurbisher warranties applied to them if applicable.
Used – Like New LIKE NEW is reserved for items that are APPARENTLY new. In other words you may know they are, but because you are not the original purchaser from the company and they are not presented from within a shipping box they are LIKE NEW. These items can still be presented as a gift, however can be missing original protective wrapping.
Used – Very Good VERY GOOD items are items where the owner took great care of them. Presented next to a new item it would be difficult to tell the difference. These items have seen a little use, but bit enough to cause excessive wear. Oh yeah, and the item works exactly as it’s intended.
Used – Good GOOD items are category specific, meaning that this guideline is not allowed in all categories. These items show wear from consistent use, however they are still in working condition. They may have some identifying marks on them, but are by no way damaged.
Used – Acceptable ACCEPTABLE items are category specific as well in that there are few categories this classification will work for. Not only do these items show signs of wear, but there are dents and worn corners as well as possible identifying marks.

Click on images to bring them into view.

Books Camera & Photo Cell Phones & Accessories Computers
 Amazon's Books Condition Guidelines  Amazon's Camera & Photo Condition Guidelines  Amazon's Cell Phones & Accessories Condition Guidelines  Amazon Computer Condition Guidelines
Home & Garden Industrial & Scientific Ink & Toner Electronics
Amazon Electronics Conditioning Guidelines Amazon's Home & Garden Condition Guidelines Amazon's Industrial & Scientific Condition Guidelines Amazon's Ink & Toner Condition Guidelines
Music Musical Instruments Office Products Outdoor Living
 Amazon's Music Condition Guidelines  Amazon's Musical Instruments Condition Guidelines  Amazon's Office Products Condition Guidelines  Amazon's Outdoor Living Condition Guidelines
Software & Computer Games Tools & Hardware Toys & Baby Videos, DVDs & Blu-ray Discs
 Amazon's Software & Computer Games Condition Guidelines  Amazon's Tools & Hardware Condition Guidelines  Amazon's Toys & Baby Condition Guidelines  Amazon's Video, DVD & Blu-ray Discs Condition Guidelines
Video Games Watches
 Amazon's Video Games Condition Guidelines  Amazon's Watches Condition Guidelines
Books Music Toys & Games Videos, DVDs & Blu-ray Discs
Amazon's Books (Collectible) Condition Guidelines Amazon's Music (Collectible) Condition Guidelines Amazon's Toys & Games Collectible Condition Guidelines Amazon's Video, DVD & Blu-ray Discs (Collectible) Condition Guidelines

So Above we have looked at what Amazon wants  or guides us towards…

Now, let’s get down to a simple way to manage your conditioning. This can be a  sensitive subject sometimes, but really just be honest with yourself here. If you were to recieve this item in the mail, how would you classify it’s condition.You can never know the mood of the person you are sending the package to when they recieve it. Nor can you tell the personality. Are they analytical, good with flow, critical, understanding?

These come into play as to how your buyer is going to view your package, unless it is unmistakably new.I say this because our business model is based around exercising our arbitrage skills in second hand, better known as, thrift stores. Being that this stuff is donated  and the workers are there either there through volunteer efforts of their own or that set by courts, so the handling isn’t always the best. But this is why CONDITIONING is going to play a huge role in your business.

We first started out buying everything with a barcode. We sent some stuff in, but then we had a yard sale to get rid of the rest because it wasn’t worth sending it into Amazon.

So right of the bat, when you’re sourcing try to make sure your items are in the highest condition they can be. With all their parts.When you get home and really have time to scour over your newly acquired treasures you may find that the item you thought was Like New shifts quickly to Good because of a scuff you might have overlook. These, what seem to be minor, blemishes can turn the perceptual price of that good down tremendously.

So you have the jist now. Although these guidelines are there remember that ultimately it’s your business. I recommend under conditioning and over delivering, but that’s me. I plan to stay in business for a while.

 

 

 

If you want to see Amazon’s conditioning guidelines check this out:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=1161242

Designing Your MSKU To Matching Your Business Needs

The SKU, or more apporpriately, the MSKU. What the heck is it, why do I need it and how the heck can I design it to match my business needs? So the untrained eye SKU’s can be just and arbitrary set of numbers and letters, but if you know what to look for and you’ll be better apt to decifer them and what better way to learn how to decode them than to make your own for your Amazon business.

Trust me, the sooner you get this done the easier you’re life will be in the future.

How to check to see if your item is in the Amazon catalog before listing it.

Look to list your item? Of course you are! That’s the whole point of this selling thing anyways isn’t it? Got to get it on the marketplace if you’re going to sell it right!

Well this is pretty much where you start. With three easy steps I’ll take through checking to see if your item is in the Amazon catalog.

Step One: Select “Inventory” at the top of your Seller Central portal that appears after you login.

Step Two: Select “Add Product” from the drop down list and that will bring you to the catalog search page

Step Three: This is the most in depth step as there are options or variables involved here. So let’s look at it.

There are five ways to do your search:

ASIN Amazon Standard Item Number
ISBN International Standard Book Number
EAN European Article Number
UPC Universal Product Code
String Type in the name of the product and search

All you do is type in the appropiate identifier from above into the search bar on the Add Product page on Amazon.com and then hit search.

The first 4 identifier (ISBN, UPC, ASIN, EAN) will get you the most direct and appropirate match, but sometimes that just isn’t available. I always do a serach from lowest possible match to largerest, but every situation is different.

From what I’ve expereinced to go from the lowest possible matches to highest possible matches try the identifiers in the order listed above if you have the information available to you. Most likely it’s going to be an ISBN, UPC or String search that you will be preforming.

 

If you’d like more information on these identifiers be sure to check out Amazon’s explaination.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/seller/asin-upc-isbn-info.html

 

Where are the Amazon Fulfillment Warehouses Located in North America?

Amazon has thier fulfillment warehouses strategically placed throughout the world to cover every aspect of thier market aspect’s platform. Below we have listed the locations, but also the abbreviations for each one too. This will make more sense in some of the shipping posts that are on this site.

North America
USACanadaMexico
Arizona (PHX)
California (ONT, OAK, XUSD)
Connecticut (BDL)
Delaware (PHL)
Florida (MCO, MIA, TPA)
Georgia (ATL)
Indiana (SDF, IND, XUSE)
Illinois
Kansas (TUL, MCI)
Kentucky (CVG, LEX, SDF)
Maryland (BWI)
Massachusetts (BOS)
Nevada (LAS, RN)
New Hampshire (BOS)
New Jersey (EWR)
North Carolina (CLT)
Pennsylvania (ABE,MDT, PHL PIT, XUSC)
 
South Carolina (CAE, GSP)
 
Tennessee (BNA, CHA)
 
Texas (DFW, HOU, SAT)
Virgina (RIC)
Washington (BFI, SEA)
 
Wisconsin (MKE)
Ontario (YYZ)
British Columbia (YVR)
State of Mexico (YYZ)

You know…. I was going to add the fulfillment centers overseas as well just cause, but I feel I should stop here. Let’s just focus on North America, as that’s where my experience is.

 

Hello and Welcome to Our FBA LIFE!

Our FBA Life

Welcome to our humble little site here. This is our first post of many on how we have started and grown and are growing our FBA business. At the moment we are starting small, but we are excited as each month we are seeing continually growth within our small little company of my wife and myself.

Do we know what we’re doing? Ha, half the time we feel like we don’t, but when get down to it we do our research, put in the time and strive to improve every day to become better and more knowledgeable on the direction we have decided to guide our lives.

Retail Arbitrage
SO… Do we know what we’re doing? To a degree, we know what is working for us and that is what we are planning to present to you. Are there other ways  in which people make money on and with Amazon? ABSOLUTELY! Our way is built around a manner of Retail Arbitrage at the moment. Buy low, sell higher, split, reinvest and enjoy the profits, repeat. Basic principles to the model.

Affiliate Marketing
Some people create on websites that sell other people’s products and then take a cut of the referral price for sending people to that individual product. This is called Affiliate Marketing and is allowed through Amazon Associates, however it is not available to everyone.

Private Labeling
Another way is people create their own products and have them manufactured shipped directly to Amazon and all they really handle after a time is the design and the transfer of product after manufacturing. This is mainly referred to as Private Labeling.

Author your thoughts
Then there the eBooks. A very lucrative manner in which many people make a lot of money simply by creating valuable content, formatting it to Amazon’s specified format and then upload it. Of course there are some more complications behind that but in the simple explanation that’s what you’re looking at. Write, Upload, Collect…. For digital 1’s and 0’s that you created through the power of your own knowledge and creativity. Anyone can be an author.

Now I’m sure there are plenty of other manners in which you can leverage the power of Amazon’s market share of attention from shoppers throughout the world, but these are the ones I’m familiar with at the present time. This blog at the moment will be focused around the Retail Arbitrage aspect as we have found this to be the most cost advantageous approach to start slowly and without a lot of money at all.

Due diligence will get you through we are finding and sometimes you just have to stick it out through the hard times to make to the promised land. Embark on this journey to helping yourself, just as we have helped ourselves, take back control of your life.

This blog and this lifestyle, for us, is about more that just being about make money finding great deals and having great ROI’s (Return of Investment). It’s about growth not just in our business, but also as human beings. In order to gain control and respect of the your life and business you have to grow into a position of leadership that deserves such entitlement of the riches that hard work as proved possible.

What ever your choice in path for your life. Know your determination and hard work determines how far you go down that path. Always be open to new opportunities though. I never saw us ending up here, but here we are and have found that not only do we get to be treasure hunters by day, we get to be stay at home PARENTS (Take notice of that ‘S’). Yes we have both been able to stay home and take care of our children. Well… Child at the moment, we meet the next in a few months!

How great is it though to be able to though. We made that choice, and took a pretty substantial pay cut and location change to do it. Worth every penny though. Hopefully our little FBA blog here can help you to gain more control over your financial life and give you back more of the control over your life that you’re looking for.

So again WELCOME! We look forward to sharing our continually unfolding story as we grow in this community, maybe along side of you.

– Shawn