Is Selling on Amazon worth it? The Pros and Cons

Tourist
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Tiffany,

 

I am an experienced Amazon seller that does huge volumes on that site along with my Shopify website, etsy and ebay (amongst others).

As someone earler mentioned, your best bet is to go the Amazon Brand Registry route.  My products are registered and I never have to supply UPCs (even though my products have them).  that is definitely the way to go.

However, your BIGGER issue is that health and beauyty is a 'gated' category to sell on Amazon so you will need specific permission from them before listing any products,  You should note that this category is extremely difficult to get approved for so look into this before spending a bunch of time on any of the other stuff.

Feel free to reach out to us for more specifics.  

Best,

The Marquis @ Sade Fantasy

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Tourist
14 0 1

Unless you have a store with Amazon you pay so much for shipping. I have a shoe store and cant sell Branded shoes on Amazon. So i sell little things like stickers from my sports Department But after its all said and done on a $8 sale we make 27 cents Amazon makes about $4 and we have to what about a month to get paid. We been on Amazon about 4 years and get about 3 sales per year. eBay we get 30 to 50 sales per month but the same thing to compete with all the fake items on a $40 sale on Kid name brand boots. eBay and paypal makes $6 while we make $3 - $5 after shipping. We wehere hoping to pull the ebay sale to our Shopify site but it hasnt really worked. For us 90% of our website sales come from pinterest and that cost nothing to post

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New Member
3 0 0

Tiffany,

Not sure where you got your UPC code info, but way wrong. I have purched 1000's of UPC codes from eBay and never had a problem. Once you have the codes it is very easy to have them printed on whatever size labels you need. I usually only print around 100 at a time. I use there guys the most, They couldn't have over 40,000 5 star reviews and be screwing with people. http://www.ebay.com/itm/1000-UPC-Numbers-GS1-Barcodes-Bar-Codes-Amazon-eBay-Plus-Images-for-Labels-/...

Also, on AMZ there are no 'per item' fee that are all the same, unless the selling prices are all the same. AMZ charges a flat 15% fee based on the selling price. You would have to fufill the orders yourself. If your volumn is good, and your margins are good, you might consider selling your products FBA. AMZ fufills your orders. I currently sell 1000 items, of which about a 1/3 I sell using FBA.

If your product is good, sells for a fair price (competitive), and you start to build up some positive reviews, selling on AMZ will outsell your other online stores 10 to 1.

Dutch~

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Tourist
5 0 2

be carefull with the 3rd party upc codes. Amazon has changed or is enforcing their TOS more on this subject. Do not use any replies here, including mine, to make your decision. Amazon is pushing sellers to use GS1 original upc codes (not from 3rd party). That said, a lot of sellers use 3rd pary upc codes (I myself bought a block in 2015 and am still using them today on amazon for my  PL products, I am a  registered brand on amazon too).  The risk is Amazon may close your account/listing.  It sounds like you may be able to list without UPC (from what the OP wrote)

BTW- one big hurdle, IMO, for you to selling on amazon, is getting ungated in health and beauty category (it is restricted category) , and notorious for being hard to get in, even if you are the manufacturer. It can be done, you will need to persist.

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New Member
2 0 1

Hi Tiffany,

We currently sell on our Shopify site, Etsy, and Amazon (in the Handmade category). We've stuck with seller fulfilled rather than FBA so far, and I don't believe that you have to have UPCs if you go this route. We use StitchLabs and ShipStation to integrate our channels and inventory. 

Our experience has been that our overall sales have increased with the addition of Amazon and the additional traffic they generate, but that our Shopify sales have decreased due to search traffic that goes to Amazon rather than our site. If we were to switch to Prime, I think this would be even more true. People love to buy things on Amazon, and they prefer it because all of their information is already available in their Amazon account. It's easier than shopping on a separate site. 

It's important to be aware of this as you make the decision about what's right for your brand. The customers that you sell to on Amazon will not be your customers anymore. They won't be on your mailing list. We have mixed feelings about the long term affect of Amazon on our overall brand, but believe that as long as we're the only ones selling our products on Amazon, there are more pros than cons. If you're not the only ones selling your product, then you start to have to compete with other sellers and that can create major challenges. 

Another thing to consider is the effect of reviews on Amazon. You have very little control over them, and if you receive a bad review, it's there forever. Amazon customers can be quite fickle and hard to please, and their expectation is to get products fast and for the lowest price. 

I hope that's helpful as you make your decision, and good luck!

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Tourist
5 0 2

amazon selling commission is generally 15% on most categories, but not all. 

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New Member
1 0 0

I used to sell on Amazon with a different business I had and I had to get my UPC's from GS1 if you have them fullfill the orders. It's a nice advantage to having them take care of that, but it can be costly setting it up. I don't believe the fees are the same, or that you even need to have UPC's if you fullfill the orders yourself. I believe that Amazon is a great way to expand your line. Good Luck!

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Tourist
6 0 2

Hi TIffany,

I sell my handmade stuff on Amazon without UPC codes - they have a little checkbox for it.

Problem solved!

Saphir
FestivalFireFashion.com

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New Member
3 0 0

If you want to sell on AMZ, this 8 video course takes you through the entire process, nothing left out. The most detailed training available. And it's free! Here's the first video: https://youtu.be/QAWgZfL5BiA

Dutch~

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New Member
2 0 1

Amazon is an extremely difficult marketplace.   They do charge 15% which is,one thing, and the worst is of,course FBA -  even though they make it easy to ship product, they take anything back for any reason which ended up at least costing us a lot of money.   We've pulled most of our product because of their absurd fees and policies.

We do use a few tools and suggest you use the same to at least do research before you make that decision to see if it's even worth it.  Our main stay is a website called keepa which allows us to see all the products with running data and trending.   So we know as a reseller, and not a manufacturer whatbpeople sellmfor.   A more intuitive tool we also use is a website that has an extension called Amzpecty.   This one has helped us the most because it not only tells us how any sellers, but it also breaks down the estimated quantities that are available for any listing on any Amazon site.  It made our purchasing decisions nicer so we could see if we even could make money on something.   When you're selling 10 and 20 dollar items to even have one customer open it and not like it, return it to Amazon they automatically refund or if you ship directly and the customer has to good reason to return andnits used, think of how many items you need to sell on Amazon tomake up,for it.   Younhave no more control.  eBay where we are a top rated account gives us more flexibility, and side with sellers a lot more than Amazon ever will.    Another thing we hate about Amazon is if even when you ship,something and tracking shows delivered, if a customer says they didn't get it which most scam, you automatically lose that case.  eBay however will make sure that it shows delivered to the city and zip code, they and PayPal will always protect you.

To add insult to injury, Amazon also charges 5% for them to refund the money to a customer -,regardless if its new or used.

Suggest you do your research before hand and really check out the websites keepa (https://keepa.com/#!) and Amzpecty https://www.amzpecty.com

They will help you avoid costly inventory mistakes - but ultimately up to you.

Hope our experiences helps.

Our main sites are Shopify, Ebay, Amazon.ca and finally Amazon US - we are currently on hold for shipping as we move to new facilities and really rethink our strategies for 2017 - but I'd really say to do your research and figure out what works best for you.  Shopify with a good direct campaign is by far the best return we've seen.

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