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8 Best Amazon FBA Alternatives for Sellers in 2020

If you want to build a business online, Amazon FBA could be a great idea. With Amazon’s Fulfillment Service (Fulfillment by Amazon), you can focus on your entire marketing activities and let Amazon do the hard work for you.

FBA

However, you’ve to pay Amazon FBA fees if you go for Fulfillment by Amazon. And these fees may be too high for a new online seller who is just starting out. So what you may want to consider Amazon FBA alternatives.

If you want to know which fulfillment services are the best, you’ve come to the right place. Here is a list of eight fulfillment services that you can use instead of Amazon’s fulfillment service.

1. ShipBob

ShipBob is a new fulfillment service provider so perhaps you haven’t heard about it yet. In fact, ShipBob was founded 2014 and now has over 500 employees.

All in all, over 3,600 businesses use their fulfillment service.

One of ShipBob’s main benefits is that they fulfill various products such as:

  • beauty products
  • health products
  • clothing, shoes
  • accessories
  • consumer electronics
  • lots more…

What’s also great is that they have a minor annual order volume of only 1,800 orders.

So if you’re planning to start your own ecommerce business from home, it could be a great alternative to Fulfillment by Amazon.

2. ShipMonk

ShipMonk is also a newcomer in the industry. Yet, they have fulfillment centres all over the world. You can find them in the US, Europe, Russia, Asia and Australia.

And ShipMonk is suitable if you’re just beginning because there’s no minimum number of orders. If you get between 0 and 500 orders per month, you have to pay $2.5 per the first item per order. Extra items will cost you $0.5. If you have more orders, it’s much cheaper – that’s fair.

ShipMonk is planning a massive expansion over the next years so if you’re planning the same with your business, they could be the right partner for you.

Related:- How to Use Amazon Advertising Bulk Operations

3. FedEx Fulfillment

Everybody knows FedEx, it’s one of the world’s largest shipping service providers. But FedEx is not only a shipping service provider they also offer a fulfillment service for eCommerce companies.

The benefit is that FedEx is a reliable service — of course, they have 400,000 employees and they ship millions of packages every month.

Yet, the con is that FedEx requires a minimum order volume of 1,130,000 per year.

So if you want to go for FedEx, you’re ecommerce company needs a sustainable order volume each month

4. eFulfillment Service

eFulfillment Service is especially for people who claim that Fulfillment by Amazon is too expensive.

That’s because eFulfillment Service doesn’t have any setup fees, minimum order volumes or long-term storage fees.

Founded in 2001, they only have one mission until today: “To make order fulfillment affordable for every internet seller out there.”

So, if you’re looking for a fulfillment service provider at minimal cost, eFulfillment Service could be your best bet.

5. Shipwire

Shipwire is a fulfillment partner for global businesses. They have warehouses in the US, Europe, Asia, China and Australia.

They have over 2,800 customers and ship over 800 million products annually.

What’s interesting is that from all 800 million products shipped, 200 million are mobile devices.

What’s cool is that you can lower your shipping costs by choosing between different packaging options, routes and couriers. You can also choose your storage locations, calculate your fees or make use of insurance policies.

Related:- What’s Your Q4 Amazon Ad Strategy?

6. Fulfillment.com

Fulfillment.com is another popular alternative for Amazon sellers. They ship each year millions of B2C and B2B orders to more than 150 countries.

They are specialized in ecommerce fulfillment and you’ll need a minimum of 21,659 orders per year to use the service.

What’s great is that they have lots of integrations for all major ecommerce software.

Fulfillment.com is a good choice for a small ecommerce business with a decent amount of orders but not too much.

7. Rakuten Super Logistics

Rakuten Super Logistics guarantees 100% accuracy. They say that if an error occurs, they’ll do the fulfillment service free of charge.

They can also make a fulfillment within one day to 98% of the United States. All in all, they have 13 fulfillment centers in the US so they must be super flexible.

They also claim that they have awesome customer support. Rakuten Super Logistics guarantees a maximum response time of 3 hours.

Rakuten Super Logistics has established relationships with major shipping service providers such as DHL or UPS, so you’re in good company.

8. Ships-a-lot

Ships-a-lot has an awesome inventory accuracy of 99,8%. What’s also great is that they guarantee a 24-hour turnaround. If they can’t hold their promise, they compensate you with $20.

With a $35 fee per month, you’ll have unlimited storage space and services. You only have to place your order through their interface, and they will take care of the rest for you.

They also have integrations with all major ecommerce solutions such as Shopify, Amazon or Bigcommerce.

Final Thoughts

Fulfillment by Amazon is a great service. However, if it’s too expensive for your business or you fancy an alternative, you can opt for one of the fulfillment providers mentioned in this post to help you grow your Amazon business.

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What’s Your Q4 Amazon Ad Strategy?

There’s no traditional definition of a fiscal year because every business will create its own, Ad so we’ll keep things in a more abstract sense so you can use tips for any quarter of the year.

ad

And whether you already have a plan for it or are gathering data to launch a business for the future, Amazon has some good techniques you can use for your Amazon ad strategy when looking to maximize your ROI.

Why Have an Amazon Ad Strategy?

Put bluntly, it’s almost impossible to succeed in selling — especially selling online — if you don’t have any sort of ad campaign. With brick-and-mortar stores or service-based companies, you might be able to get by on word-of-mouth. But that just won’t cut it online and with retail shops. Shoppers will not go out of their way to find you and your products, so you’ll have to bring it to them.

Related:- The Top Amazon News Stories in August 2020

And Why Have a Q4 Strategy, Too?

There are some ad campaigns you can tinker with, like using A/B testing to figure out what works best in email deals. But when it comes to a Q4-specific strategy, there’s no time for testing. Because it’s a fixed period of time, you’ve got to have a plan that allows you to hit the ground running with maximum success.

And here are some things you should be looking at.

1. Use Data From Previous Q4s

This doesn’t have to necessarily apply to veteran sellers, as newbies can mine data that’s product-specific to get a general sense of what works and what doesn’t. But for veteran sellers, here are some things you should be analysing:

  • Product performance
  • How various campaigns performed
  • Which keywords generated the most buzz
  • Which ad groups saw the most action

As much as it might pain you, look as closely at the weak performances as the strong ones. This will tell you what you might want to avoid next Q4 and what you might be able to use instead.

2. Get Your Inventory Into Shape

Dealing with overstock is for another post altogether, but usually, it’s something you want to avoid. That being said, look at which items didn’t sell as well and which ones did. Are they bigger items taking up more physical space and therefore costing you more in storage fees? Or were they items you could easily pair with other products to move them in different ways?

Running out of inventory is a worse situation to be facing. It means you didn’t order appropriately or maybe underpriced your products. Either way, it can impact your organic rank in quite a poor way and lead to reduced visibility during key selling times. And if your Q4 includes a huge selling day like Amazon Prime Day or Black Friday, then you’re going to need to take a hard look at why you ran out — and how to avoid that in the future.

Related:- How to Use Amazon Advertising Bulk Operations

3. Test Drive Your Ad Strategy for Q4

In the beginning, we said that you have to be able to hit the ground running with your ad strategy in Q4 because there’s no time for mistakes. But that doesn’t mean that you have no time for testing, as Q3 is the perfect time to do so.

Use the previous quarter as a chance to see what ads, bids and keywords work particularly well for you. And if your Q3 includes big selling days, even better! You’ll have a golden opportunity to roll out ad strategies that you can mimic for the next quarter.

4. Exploit Content for as Much as You Can

You don’t have the luxury of kinaesthetics the way brick-and-mortar retailers do, so you’re going to have to lean on content heavily. And to that extent, you’ve got things like video, Enhanced Brand Content pages, and Storefront features to help you along. But when you use these tools, make sure you’ve got the following in place:

  • Maximum optimisation for maximum exposure
  • Visually appealing images
  • Good spelling and grammar
  • Consistently written headlines and descriptions

Bonus: Lightning Deals

This can be a very powerful tool in your toolbox. If you’re good at creating buzz and feel confident in your Q4 ad strategy, then put out a lightning deal to move inventory that would otherwise be a bit harder to sell. Just use them sparingly and strategically and don’t overdo them, otherwise, they may cut into your profit margin.

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How to Use Amazon Advertising Bulk Operations

Amazon Advertising launched its bulk operations feature in 2016. It was designed to help sellers save on the time and labor needed for managing multiple campaigns across several different product SKUs. If this is a feature you have not yet taken advantage of, and your Amazon business is scaling, you will want to consider it for the ease and convenience it offers.

Advertising

Bulk operations is a smart solution for large vendors who manage Amazon Advertising efforts for various brands. It allows the user to create new Sponsored Products or Sponsored Brands campaigns, add products, keywords, and negative keywords to existing campaigns, and update bids and budgets. It also offers the capability to pause or archive products and keywords and analyze campaign performance. 

The best part is that all these operations can be handled within one spreadsheet, instead of making changes individually within the Amazon Advertising dashboard. You can get started with bulk operations by following these simple steps below.

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Step 1. Create New Campaigns

Before creating your first bulk operations campaign, you will need to have at least one campaign already set up in your Campaign Manager, and that campaign can either be running, paused, ended, or terminated. If you do not have one, create a campaign there first.

You can then download the bulk operations template through Amazon Advertising and start creating multiple new campaigns simultaneously.

Follow the instructions listed on the bulk template, and from there you can reference definitions, template examples for Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands creation, and examples on how to make edits to your campaigns.

Step 2. Prepare the Template for Upload

Start filling in the bulk template fields with the correct information to create or edit your campaigns. You can refer to the Attribution Definitions tab in the spreadsheet to review the requirements and examples based on the types of campaigns you would like to run.

Here are some of Amazon Advertising’s tips for successfully filling out the bulk template:

  • When creating a new campaign, you can leave the record ID, campaign ID, and campaign status columns blank, as they will populate automatically after you submit the form.
  • The only field that is case sensitive is the campaign field.
  • When adding a new row, copy the campaign’s exact name to avoid duplicating campaigns with different names.
  • Ad groups are a placeholder that is required for both Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands campaigns. They will not show in the campaign manager, but all new campaigns need a new ad group.
  • When editing a campaign, do not update or make changes to the following fields: titles in the first row; record ID; and ad group; otherwise you may encounter issues with uploading.

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Step 3. Edit Your Campaigns

When creating a single campaign or making modifications to a small number of campaigns, it is easier and quicker to use the Campaign Manager. The bulk operations tool is best for making changes across several campaigns, ad groups, ads, and keywords, and can save you a significant amount of time in the process.

For campaign optimization, we recommend that you choose the 60-day timeframe for pulling data. This is the maximum data range, and it will give you a birds-eye view for analyzing campaign performance. Also, be sure to exclude terminated campaigns and those campaigns with zero impressions.

You can also use the filter options in the bulk spreadsheet to organize and sort campaigns based on their attributes. For example, it can be helpful to use filters to sort keywords by their impression numbers.

You can also increase or decrease your budgets, turn on and off bidding controls, and change campaign end dates for those that are running.

Step 4. Submit Your Bulk Spreadsheet for Upload

When your bulk edits are completed, it is time to upload your spreadsheet so your changes can go live. Upload times vary and can take anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours, so it is best to be patient for your campaign changes to appear.

If you receive an error or warning, you can download the report and apply the necessary corrections. For faster processing, submit a bulk spreadsheet with only the rows you would like to update, delete the rows that do not need modifications, and save your changes before submitting.

Another advantage of using the bulk operations feature is that you can even edit your ad campaigns when you are working offline. It is a user-friendly feature that is convenient and designed for scalability.

Final Thoughts

Managing multiple Amazon Advertising campaigns becomes increasingly complex and time-consuming as your business scales. Leveraging the bulk operations feature is one way to increase efficiency while implementing campaign changes across several different product SKUs.

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The Top Amazon News Stories in August 2020

Chris Dawson at Tamebay reports that Amazon is warning sellers that having promotional or company details in product descriptions will lead to a suppressed ASIN in search. The idea of a product description on Amazon is that it should be about the product.

Amazon

It’s not the place for shipping information, marketing your business with seller details or any other superfluous information. If you are not describing the product then the information shouldn’t be there.

Amazon starts preparations to launch in Sweden: Reuters reports that Amazon has started preparations to launch in Sweden, marking its first step to establish a local presence in a Nordic country. Swedish customers can already shop on Amazon through its websites in other European countries such as Germany, and get their purchases shipped to the country, but this often meant paying high delivery charges.  Alex Ootes, vice president for EU Expansion at Amazon said, “We are optimistic that by focusing on the things we believe customers will place the greatest emphasis on – low prices, a wide range and fast deliveries, we will eventually be able to win the trust of Swedish customers.”

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Amazon racing to remove the fulfillment bottleneck: Marketplace Pulse reports that Amazon is struggling to accept some inventory shipments in time, which is causing products to sell out, leading to a drop in search rankings and quantity restrictions. The previously predictable inventory cycle with known restrictions and fees has become unpredictable. “We’ve run out of space,” said Brian Olsavsky, Chief Financial Officer at Amazon. He added that the company increased the fulfillment network square footage by 15% in 2019, and expects a 50% increase in 2020. The majority of that new capacity will come online in late Q3 and into Q4.

MacKenzie Scott donates $1.7bn since Amazon boss divorce: BBC News reports that MacKenzie Scott, Amazon boss Jeff Bezos’s ex-wife, says that she has given $1.7bn (£1.3bn) to charity to date. She has made donations to historically black US colleges, climate change groups and health organisations. Ms Scott posted about the gifts on social media, also saying that she has changed her surname from Bezos. She is the second-richest woman in the world, with a fortune of more than $62bn, according to Forbes. She and Mr Bezos divorced last year.

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Amazon ‘to open checkoutless stores in London as they take over mini-marts near capital’s commuter hubs’: Mark Blunden at The Evening Standard reports Amazon is said to be eyeing the capital for moving its cashless and checkoutless Go convenience stores near to commuter hubs as their bricks-and-mortar expansion continues in the US after launching in 2018. The digital shopping giant today refused to confirm or deny reports in the Sunday Times it had struck a deal to open 10 high-tech shops, and was “holding talks” for a further 20 sites.

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7 Best FBA Prep Services for Amazon Sellers in 2020

Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) can simplify your life a great deal with Amazon taking the reins on many steps in the fulfillment process. But just because you’re handing off most of the work to them, you’re not totally free of tasks.

FBA

The next time you’re prepping your inventory for FBA, think about using one of the best FBA prep services for Amazon sellers hand-picked to make life easier for yourself.

1. Shapiro

Shapiro’s slogan is simple and straight to the point: “We Deliver. Problem Solved.” And they do so by asking as little of you as possible, with detailed information on their site and a customer service team ready to walk you through any questions you might have.

Amazon can get quite technical in their requirements sometimes, so Shapiro has Amazon links on their page that tell you what you need to know before getting started — even before getting a quote for their services. And if you need help with currency exchange or VAT issues, they can advise you on that, too.

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2. McKenzie Services

Locally and family-owned, McKenzie Services was started by Jim McKenzie Smith in 2004 and has since grown to include 16 employees and 21,265 square feet of storage space. But with all the growth, they’ve kept things really simple for users. All you have to do is create an account, ship your items to them with unique address identifiers, wait for the UPS/FBA labels to be sent to your Seller Central account, and let them handle the rest.

Prices are reasonable and include a list of services to help you out with just about everything you can think of.

3. eFulfillment Service

Another family-owned company, eFulfillment Service was by John Lindberg in 2001 and has been kept in the family since then. They pride themselves on flexibility, friendliness and top-notch quality, as well as keeping abreast on technological advancements by retaining an in-house IT team.

If you need further proof that this company has its act together, it’s recognized by organizations like the Better Business Bureau (A+ rating), Inc. 5000 list (last two out of three years) and Multichannel Merchant (Top 3PL Provider).

4. FBA Inspection

If you’re googling FBA prep services on your own, some of them might only take care with the exterior of the product. But FBA Inspection offers services for both. Their General Processing & Handling service takes care of the packaging exterior, while their Detailed Product Inspection goes in deeper by opening the package to actually inspect the contents and/or verifying the contents inside.

They’re also really upfront about what’s included in their prep service, with things like import tax management, 24-hour video surveillance, theft/fire/flood insurance, volume discounts, professional photography and more part of what they do.

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5. FBA Express

When speed is one of your top priorities, check out FBA Express for one of the fastest operating times. Their services are set so that you get only what you need, nothing extra or superfluous, so you can save both time and money.

You can sign up for the monthly FBA plan at $375/month (with individual fees for various services, like bubble wrap, package inspection, sticker removal, etc.) or opt for the Pay As You Go plan at $99/biannually (with individual fees for prep service, additional boxes and kitting). Or, if you’re a high-volume seller, check out their FBA Express plan.

6. Minatus

For UK-based sellers, Minatus is the FBA prep service you’ll want to be bookmarking. They’ll take care you of every step of the way, starting with inspecting your packages when they arrive (to protect you from potential Amazon penalties) to bagging, wrapping, labelling, kitting and sending your items off to the FBA centre.

Their prices are listed right on their website so you can get a decent idea of what to budget for. But they’ll also give you a quote based on your complete profile so there are no surprises, and have customer support available by phone and email if you have more questions.

7. FBA Ops

China is rapidly becoming the world leader in all things commerce, and FBA Ops is a shining example of that. They have an array of services to help you get your products from your place to Amazon, including sourcing, procuring and inspection.

Plus, as a neat gesture of faith during the pandemic, they’re waiving their fees on all COVID-19 products like surgical masks, medical gloves, PPE and more.

Final Thoughts

Although they cost money, using a top-quality FBA prep service can help you save money in the long run by ensuring your products get sent to an Amazon fulfillment centre in requirement-ready condition (instead of facing Amazon penalties and having to start the process over again). And you know what else can help you earn more money?

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Retail Arbitrage – What Is It and How Does it Work?

Many a budding ecommerce entrepreneur has dreamed about running a super successful online business, and Amazon is one of the top ecommerce platforms chosen to fulfil those dreams. The trouble is, running a successful online business can appear straightforward on paper, but most who take this route end up throwing in the towel because they simply underestimate the amount of effort and commitment required.

Retail

There’s product research to be done, there’s sourcing, then negotiating, listings to be created, customers to take care of and of course the fulfilment process. There’s always marketing to be done too, along with the day to day running of the business.

Commonly, it’s the sourcing part of the process that sorts the wheat from the chaff! Because finding and dealing with suppliers, often internationally, can be challenging and frustrating.

This is not intended to deter you from starting an ecommerce business of any type. Not at all! Sourcing stock from wholesale suppliers at low prices and then reselling for a profit is a fantastic opportunity for you to build a really profitable online business. But, you don’t necessarily have to build that business in the traditional way.

Wouldn’t it be great if there were an easier way to buy products to resell for a profit, without the need to deal with international suppliers or negotiate rock-bottom unit prices?

Well, there is! It’s called retail arbitrage.

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What is Retail Arbitrage?

Retail arbitrage is simply the method of buying low and selling high, but with a twist! Instead of buying your stock from specific wholesalers or trade suppliers, stock is purchased from actual bricks and mortar retail stores. Stores such as, for example, Argos, Tesco or B&M, where products are on offer or at clearance prices. You then sell those goods online, typically on eBay or Amazon, at a higher price and pocket the profit!

Sounds a bit cheeky, doesn’t it?

Well, it is pretty brazen, but it’s all perfectly legal. In fact, it has been known for those in the retail arbitrage game to purchase products from retail stores at full price and then sell them for over the odds on Amazon!

But why would buyers purchase a product for more than its retail price? The main reason is that online shoppers are often impatient. They want their goods right now, and so it’s easy for them to order online and get products delivered the next day rather than having to traipse to the shops. What’s more, impatient buyers will pay extra for this convenience.

So, it’s an opportunity to make some money by reselling products that are already retailing well in stores.

Interested in this concept? If you are new to retail arbitrage, it’s best to start with Amazon as your selling platform. Later on, when you become well-practised at spotting opportunities, and your inventory grows, you can also incorporate your retail arbitrage strategy with Amazon’s fulfilment service, FBA.

How Does Retail Arbitrage Work on Amazon?

The best way to explain is with an example. Imagine you visit your local Argos store, and you see they have watches on clearance for £25. You would research that exact product to see if it’s listed on Amazon and how much it’s listed for.

So, let’s imagine the very same watch is selling for £65 on Amazon. You would purchase from Argos at £25 and then immediately list it on Amazon for £65.

Once sold, the difference (minus your selling fees) is yours. That’s your profit. So, you could quite easily make a £20 profit on your initial investment. And that’s with just one item. You could have a whole line of products in your inventory.

Discover Stephen Smotherman’s nine-step process when it comes to sourcing products for retail arbitrage on Amazon.

In a nutshell: You research and purchase discounted products from a retail store such as Argos and list them on Amazon at a higher price, pocketing the profit after your selling fees.

How Do I Know if a Retail Arbitrage Product is Profitable?

You’ll need to carefully compare prices before you purchase any product that you intend to resell using the retail arbitrage strategy. You can do this by logging in to Amazon while you are in store and comparing prices.

Alternatively, to see exactly how much profit you’ll make after shipping and selling fees, Amazon has a brilliant free app which will give you all this information. It’s called Amazon Seller and is available to download from the app store. The app lets you scan products to see prices, fees, profits and other useful information including the number of sellers selling the product, it’s best seller rank and which category it’s placed in. All of these bits of information are vital for you so that you’re not relying on guesswork and you become well-practised at retail arbitrage!

In a nutshell: Research is key. Scan the barcodes of potential products in bricks and mortar stores using the Amazon Seller App before purchasing to check sales rank and profitability.

Can I Make Money with Amazon Retail Arbitrage?

You might be thinking that this all sounds a little bit too easy and so surely everyone is at it? Actually, they are not because, like anything, it all sounds fabulous in theory, but in practice, the majority of people who want to try, don’t!

The main reason for this is that just like any online business, you will need to put in some effort travelling around to uncover the right products. You’ll need to visit stores and check prices, but don’t forget, this totally cuts out the need to deal with suppliers, something that you might be nervous or worried about.

Of course, you will also be able to start your Amazon Retail Arbitrage business with a smaller investment rather than needing hundreds of pounds to purchase wholesale quantities of products. It’s easy to test one or two products initially to get into the swing of it and expand later. The products are all out there, but the right strategy and to some extent, the right mindset is required.

In a nutshell: Retail arbitrage is a perfectly viable strategy that can make you a profit when you understand the process. Effort is required and a positive mindset, then simply research and choose your products wisely.

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Why Don’t Retail Stores Sell the Clearance Products Online Themselves?

You may be wondering why retail stores don’t sell their clearance products online rather than running the risk of retail arbitragers making money off the back of their products. Surely this is profit that the retail store could be reaping?

Yes, that’s exactly right. But the reason retail stores sell off their stock is to make room for more stock which is to be sold at full price! So, with limited space, retail stores place higher importance on getting new stock in that has the potential to make more profit than the sale of their clearance stock.

Remember, retailers would still need to store the clearance stock as well as the new stock if they decided to sell it online. Most just don’t have the room for extra inventory, nor want it hanging around. So, while it might seem to be a strange strategy for retailers as they are knowingly missing out on revenue, the fact is they will actually be making more money from their new stock.

Here’s how to get started with retail arbitrage on Amazon.

1. Register for a seller account on Amazon

This is super simple and will take you about 10 minutes to complete the basics.

2. Download the Amazon Seller App from the app store

You must have an Amazon account set up to be able to access the app, so make sure you have completed step one before moving on.

3. Make a list of potential retail stores to visit

If you spot a clearance section while you’re out and about, always head on over for a nose around as you never know what you might find. Here are five stores with the best potential products:

  • Argos: For electricals, toys and homeware
  • B&M Bargains: For beauty/hair products and accessories
  • Home Bargains: For homeware, garden products and seasonal products
  • TK Maxx: For homeware and sports accessories and additional clearances
  • Boots: For its 3 for 2 offers
  • Supermarkets: Particularly Aldi and Lidl ‘middle aisles.’ Tesco, Asda and Sainsburys for their clothing, homeware and toys departments, not forgetting the BOGOF’s!

Pro Retail Arbitrage Tip: Look for yellow stickered deals in supermarkets. These are products that might have damaged packaging or broken seals and are perfect retail arbitrage items!

4. Head over to the clearance section

This is where you should start your retail arbitrage product search. Don’t forget that some stores won’t have specific clearance sections and you may have to look a little harder for the best deals throughout the store.

Pro Retail Arbitrage Tip: Get to know the clearance routine in each store. Most stores will discount once and then cut further. Other stores will always mark their clearance products up at a particular time or on a specific day. If you learn the schedule, you will have an immediate advantage and can swoop on deals immediately.

5. Use the Amazon Seller App to scan products on offer or clearance

Use your Amazon Seller App (or equivalent) to scan any potential products. Doing this will ensure you make an informed decision, and you’ll be able to work out, in advance, what your profit will be.

All you need to do is scan the product barcode and then check two crucial details on the app.

The first is to check you are eligible to sell the product on Amazon. Very important! The second is to check the sales rank of the product as this will tell you the popularity of the item.

If the number is low, it’s a fast seller.

You must pay attention to the sales rank as this is your most significant indication as to whether a product is suitable for retail arbitrage on Amazon or not. Bear in mind that a sales rank depends on the number of products in the category overall, so if you have a category with a high number of products listed, while the sales rank may appear low, the product may still be viable.

6. Purchase products that will bring a profit of £5 or more

Check the profitability of the potential product using the Seller App. All you need to do is enter the price of the product, and a rough shipping cost and then the app will calculate the profit. Make sure the net profit shown is higher than your minimum profit threshold of £5. If you are a newbie to Amazon retail arbitrage, don’t purchase more than five of any product to start with to keep your risk low. You can buy more as you become well practised with the strategy.

7. List your products for sale on Amazon

This is the exciting part of the process! When you list your products, you’ll want to make sure they sell, so you must make sure your title contains all the relevant keywords. Bullet points within your product description are also critical so think carefully about the information you will add to your Amazon listing.

You will also need to ship the products to your customers. You can do this yourself (Merchant Fulfilled) although once you have increased your inventory, you should consider utilizing Amazon’s fulfilment service, FBA.

Final Thoughts

There is no perfect product that will work for retail arbitrage over another product. It’s critical though that you don’t limit yourself to one specific type of item or category as you never know what kinds of products may be available or become viable.

 

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Amazon Keyword Research –Guide for FBA Sellers

How do your potential customers find your products for sale on Amazon? They search for them. How do they search for them? By typing what they are searching for into the Amazon search bar of course. This is why Amazon keyword research is one of the most important aspects of selling on Amazon.

It’s easy to forget that Amazon is in fact, a search engine and so it behaves like a search engine. It indexes information and uses numerous factors to determine which products on the site rank over others in the search results.

 

Amazon will always make sure that all products shown to potential customers are those most relevant to their search. And they do this because, of course, Amazon wants as many sales as possible through its ecommerce platform. This is why the most relevant, and in fact, the highest converting products are the ones that rank the best in the search results.

When someone searches with a specific keyword on Amazon and then purchases your product, the Amazon A9 algorithm understands that the customer has found what they are looking for using the original keyword or keyphrase they used in their search. This means that your product is seen as highly relevant and will then appear more frequently and rank higher in the search results.

Showcase Your Product As Relevant

The one thing that Amazon is not going to do is return search results full of irrelevant products because then searchers won’t become customers!

So, you must showcase your product as being ‘relevant’ and to do this, your product title has to be on-point. This is one of the most critical factors in your success as an Amazon seller.

However, ‘relevant’ doesn’t mean anything unless it is ‘relevant’ to the search query typed by a potential customer. So, your product title should contain keywords relevant not only to your product but also to the search terms your target buyer will use on Amazon.

If this sounds complicated, don’t be alarmed, because it’s really not once you get your head around keywords, the proper research of those keywords and how they can have a significant impact on your Amazon sales when used correctly. Amazon keyword research is the single most crucial task you should undertake when you sell on Amazon.

But, do you have a strategy for maximising your relevance on Amazon?

If you don’t, you should, because keyword optimization is how people will find your products and purchase from you. If they can’t find you, you won’t make sales. It’s as simple as that.

What if you target the wrong keywords?

There’s no point in adding a random jumble of keywords to your product listing. In doing so, your products will rank lower in the search results because they will be deemed irrelevant to buyers based on their search queries and so you are unlikely to make sales. If you don’t make sales, your ranking will drop even lower until you may as well be completely invisible.

How Do You Find the Most Relevant Amazon Keywords?

First up, here’s a crucial tip. Your most important and relevant keywords should always appear first in your product titles. The reason for this is that consumers like to ‘scan’. They will always take shortcuts and will rarely read a product title in full. So, to make sure you hammer home the relevance of your product at first glance, add your important keywords first.

Product type. Features. Size. Colour. Quantity.

You’ll notice ‘brand name’ is not mentioned here but that doesn’t mean it’s not important. Just that you should only add your brand name first if your brand is well established and recognisable to buyers.

The key is to make the search process easy for consumers so that it’s simple for them to purchase.

So, the importance of using researched keywords is evident. But how do you find the best keywords to use in your product listing?

How to Conduct Amazon Keyword Research 

There are plenty of Amazon Keyword Research tools out there – more on those later – but there are also some hugely successful keyword research strategies you can adopt which are absolutely free.

1. Free Amazon Keyword Research…on Amazon!

This is by far the easiest and cheapest way to start your Amazon keyword research.

Put yourself in the position of an Amazon buyer for a moment. When you start typing a search term into the search bar, you’ll notice that suggestions pop up which are auto-completed by Amazon and are in fact a goldmine of keyword information.

For example, a search for ‘toothbrush holder’ returns nine suggestions ranging from toothpaste holder to toothpaste holder ceramic.

If you are the seller of toothbrush holders, you can now see those relevant and important keywords required within your title if applicable include ‘bathroom’, ‘wall mounted’, ‘kids’, ‘suction’ and so on.

How simple is that!

But, let’s take it one step further.

Here’s a tip which will super-charge this Amazon keyword research strategy.

Now, this part isn’t free. However, it will only cost you £10 on a pay as you go basis for 100,000 credits (1 credit = 1 keyword) so it won’t break the bank and is definitely worth using for a better insight into your Amazon Keyword Research.

Keywords Everywhere is an extension which you can add to your Chrome or Firefox browser and will show you search volumes and statistics for keywords. That includes keywords searched for via Amazon, Google, in fact, anywhere that you search online.

So, the same search on Amazon with Keywords Everywhere enabled shows the actual volume of searches for each of those keywords previously returned. 

Now you can see the top-performing keywords and even their cost per click (CPC) at a glance.

This data is based on Google searches so you should use these metrics only as an indicator of the popularity of a keyword and combine this method with other Amazon keyword research techniques.

Speaking of which, here’s another one.

2. Free Amazon Keyword Research Using Keywordtool.io

The Keywordtool.io tool allows you to research Amazon keywords using Google autocomplete. Much like Amazon autocomplete, you can generate popular and relevant keywords simply by typing the product that you are selling into the search bar.

The free version doesn’t allow you to see search volumes and won’t work with Keywords Everywhere, but it does give you further keyword ideas to potentially use in your product titles.

You’ll notice that there is also an ‘Amazon’ search option. This is useful for comparing the keywords returned with your earlier Amazon autocomplete search.

So, now you have two tools that can provide you with Amazon keyword research for free or at a very low cost.

What’s next?

3. Free Amazon Keyword Research by Targeting Complementary Products

Have you ever noticed the information at the bottom of an Amazon listing that states: “Frequently Bought Together”?

Although the keywords for complementary products won’t target people who are directly searching for your product, they will offer an insight into the search behaviour of potential customers who could be interested in your product.

The keywords you can glean from this type of research are suitable for use, not in your title, but in your Amazon bullet points, product description and also in your backend keywords (the hidden keywords you can add within the settings of your product listing).

Not all Amazon listings have this section, but it’s always worth scrolling down the page to check.

Now for a couple of ‘paid for’ alternatives for your Amazon keyword research.

As much as we all love a freebie, it would be silly not to also use a paid for keyword research tool. The data you mine from the paid for software will be more in-depth and accurate and so should be included in your Amazon keyword research strategy.

Best Amazon Keyword Research Tools

Option 1: Sonar by Sellics

Sonar helps you uncover the most profitable keywords in your niche, shows which of your competitors are ranking for those keywords and also how they have achieved that ranking. That’s pretty comprehensive data, and that’s why a paid service like this is a requirement alongside the free options available to you.

You’ll be able to view a specific keyword’s search volume by month on Amazon and all the related keywords making it dead easy for you to level with any established competition.

Option 2: Helium 10

A second option is Helium 10, a keyword research tool which allows you to search any keyword and get thousands of related keywords returned in your results. All of these also include highly accurate search volume information.

The software allows you to browse relevant keywords and compile a bespoke list – your ‘seed’ list (more on that shortly) – which you can then analyse to work out which keywords to include in your Amazon product listing title and which keywords to use elsewhere in your listing.

So, now you have five ways to start your Amazon keyword research. But what exactly should you do with this research, and how do you use those keywords to your advantage?

How to Choose the Best Keywords to Use on Amazon

First, you should choose Your ‘seed keywords’ using the free and paid for Amazon keyword research tools suggested.

Your ‘seed keywords’ are a small selection of keywords which are most relevant to your product. They are usually short but highly descriptive. For example, using the toothbrush holder product, if you are selling a Wall Mounted Chrome Toothbrush Holder your seed keywords might be: Toothbrush Holder Wall Mounted

This is your starting point and allows you to keep in mind what your potential buyers will actually be searching for. From there, you can generate further relevant keywords using your Amazon keyword research tools and add these to your title, bullet points, main description and backend sections.

You’ll then need to dig deep to find other relevant keywords that Amazon buyers will type into the search box when they are looking for your product.

This is where the more accurate data from the paid for tools comes in because you need to know precisely what your customers are searching for and require more accurate data.

As you go through the list of keywords returned, you should always be thinking like a buyer. Ask yourself:

“Would I type this keyword into the search if I was looking for my product?”

Any keywords which are not relevant to your product must be dismissed immediately, even if it’s a popular keyword. It’s no use to you unless it is totally relevant to your product. For example, if you discover that ‘toothpaste dispenser’ is a popular keyword, although it loosely relates to your toothbrush holder product, it is not entirely relevant because it’s not what you sell, so unsuitable for use in your title.

Even if by using this keyword you end up with a high ranking, searchers are unlikely to purchase your product. They will be looking for a wall mounted toothbrush holder, not a toothpaste dispenser, so you will have enticed them to your product under false pretences, and your ranking will actually drop.

This keyword could, however, be used in your backend hidden keywords or bullet points as it is a complementary product.

Remember: Your title keywords are super important and must be highly relevant to the product you are selling.

Once you have your final list of highly relevant keywords, add as many into your product listing as you can.

You must make full use of all the places where you can include keywords.

  • Your title
  • Bullet points
  • Product description
  • Backend search terms

While your title does not have to read like a sentence and should only include your keywords, your bullet points and product description should read as proper persuasive sentences to avoid making it difficult for your customers to read. You want to make it as easy as possible for them to purchase from you.

By paying proper attention to your Amazon keyword research and adding only highly relevant keywords to your title and description you will now start to rank for those keywords. You will, however, still need to make initial sales to rise through the rankings even further.

Final Thoughts

With so many online buyers heading straight to Amazon, you can’t afford not to complete proper Amazon keyword research. Understanding how your customers search for products is key to ranking higher and selling more.

Of course, there are other factors you must take into account when it comes to producing a successful Amazon product listing. Your keywords are a massive part of this but don’t forget to also take into account your images, reviews and product pricing. These all need to be just as or more attractive than your competitors to assist you in keeping your product ranking after all your hard work on your keywords.

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Amazon FBM – What Is It and How Does it Work?

Many Amazon sellers use FBA, you may even be one of them, but there is an alternative method of selling and fulfilment on Amazon, which may also be right for you. It’s called Amazon FBM (Fulfilment by Merchant) and simply involves you, the seller, managing all aspects of your Amazon business yourself including storage, shipping and customer service.

Part of ensuring your success on Amazon is understanding how to get your Amazon business set up and working correctly for you, making it as efficient and streamlined as possible.

Amazon

This is why so many Amazon sellers use Amazon FBA (Fulfilment by Amazon) to store and ship their orders. It frees up their time and resources so that they can concentrate on researching, sourcing and marketing their products.

FBM is often overlooked by Amazon sellers who think, why would you deal with all of these things yourself when you could have Amazon doing it for you with their FBA service?

That’s a good question, but there’s more to Amazon FBM than you might realise. Let’s start from the beginning.

What is Amazon FBM?

Amazon FBM requires you to list your products on Amazon, store your own stock, pack and ship orders and deal with all customer service enquiries yourself or through another third party. So, Amazon is simply your listing venue, and everything else is done by you.

You create your FBM listing in exactly the same way as you would create a regular Amazon product listing, and in the Fulfilment Channel section, select ‘I will ship the item myself’ (Merchant Fulfilment).

It is sometimes referred to as Amazon MFN (Merchant Fulfilled Network).

Round-Up: Amazon FBM is a self-fulfilment option typically used by Amazon newbies rather than more established sellers. Mostly this is because it’s the only initial option available at start-up with FBA requiring more time to set up.

When Should You Use Amazon FBM?

Anyone can decide to take the Amazon FBM route, but running an Amazon business is never going to be a ‘one size fits all’ scenario. FBM will only be suitable for some Amazon sellers, not all.

Generally, Amazon FBM should be considered if you sell:

  • Exclusive products with low sales frequency
  • Small volume products
  • Low-profit products
  • Hard to ship products (e.g. oversized or fragile)

Also, consider Amazon FBM if you have:

  • A third-party fulfilment service (other than Amazon) already in place that is cheaper than Amazon FBA.
  • Handmade products in your inventory. Many handmade sellers like to use FBM to ensure the order arrives as intended.

Round-Up: Choose Amazon FBM if you are a newbie, have small volume or exclusive products, hard to ship products or handmade items.

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What Are the Advantages of Using Amazon FBM?

Surprisingly, bearing in mind you will need to do all of the work, there are plenty of advantages to using Amazon FBM. This is true, mainly if you are new to selling on Amazon or only have a minimal inventory.

1. Understand How Your Amazon Business Works

Sometimes it’s good to control your business yourself rather than putting everything in the hands of a third party. This is important if you are a start-up as it helps you understand how your business works, lets you put better strategies and practices in place and ensures you have a sense of control.

By managing your inventory, profits, customer service and admin, you’ll have a clear overall view of how your business runs, making it easy to make better decisions.

2. Freedom to Easily Expand Your Amazon Business

By fulfilling all orders yourself, you’ll have full control over your stock levels at all times. You can quickly increase your stock when required without the worry of extra shipping fees and increased storage costs from Amazon FBA.

3. Avoid Strict FBA Requirements

While Amazon FBA can take away many of the tasks and processes involved in the running of your Amazon business, you will have to adhere to its strict rules and regulations. You’ll have no such issues with Amazon FBM as your standards are your own. All you need to do is concentrate on shipping orders promptly to keep your reputation intact.

4. Yield Greater Profits

Of course, this is not a given, however, with no FBA fees payable, if you have calculated your other costs correctly and have negotiated the best prices for your stock and shipping requirements, your profit margins should be better. You’ll save on fulfilment and storage fees compared with using FBA, mainly if you are selling large products with low-profit margins.

5. Direct Interaction with Your Customers to Build Your Brand

As an Amazon FBM seller, you will be required to provide customer service rather than have Amazon do it for you. This may sound like it will require tremendous effort (and some headaches) for you, but actually, it’s advantageous.

You’ll get a better understanding of your customer requirements and deal firsthand with all feedback, good and bad! This interaction, even when negative, allows you to gain valuable insights into the performance of your business as a whole and ensure your brand becomes known for the right reasons.

6. No Long Term Storage Fees

If you have a slow-selling product and you are using FBA, Amazon may charge extra storage fees to hold your products that sit for long periods in its warehouses. As you will hold your own stock as an FBM seller, this will not be an issue.

7. Consistent Sales and Shipping

During the recent COVID-19 pandemic, some Amazon FBA sellers were disadvantaged for several months because Amazon stopped all shipping via FBA for goods that were deemed non-essential.

FBM sellers, however, were able to continue with sales and ship without issue because the fulfilment of orders was entirely under their control. Should a similar situation occur, Amazon FBM sellers’ businesses will be largely unaffected.

What Are the Disadvantages of Amazon FBM?

Look, it would be great if there were no disadvantages to becoming a Fulfilled by Merchant Amazon seller, but as with every concept, there will always be some disadvantages too.

1. Picking, Packing and Shipping is Time-Consuming

Dealing with your own fulfilment is without a doubt going to eat into your time. You’ll need to be super hands-on and be prepared to dedicate many hours every week to your Amazon business.

2. Prepare to Commit More Time to the Day to Day Running of Your Amazon Business

This could be seen as a disadvantage or an advantage. On the one hand, spending time in your business is good because you get to really understand its workings which ultimately can be the key to your success.

On the other hand, you could find yourself getting bogged down with general admin, customer service issues and other tasks that can take you away from growing your Amazon business.

3. Shipping Fees May Be Higher

In theory, Amazon sellers who choose FBM and pick, pack and ship their own orders should have lower costs than those who use Amazon FBA.

However, while your storage costs may be more economical when you choose Amazon FBM, your shipping fees could spiral if you don’t negotiate a good deal with your preferred carrier.

4. Customer Service is Your Responsibility

As an FBA seller, you have the advantage of using Amazon’s customer service department, and they will deal with any queries, returns and refunds. There’s no such help with FBM. It will all be down to you.

5. Ineligibility for Amazon Prime

Unfortunately, FBM sellers are not eligible for the Amazon Prime badge. Prime is directly linked to helping you achieve higher organic rankings and so could potentially be a significant disadvantage for you unless you qualify for the alternative, Seller Fulfilled Prime.

This is a program you must apply to join, and current applications are closed although you can add your name to a waiting list.

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How Much Does Amazon FBM cost?

Here’s the nitty-gritty and you might be pleasantly surprised.

As a Pro FBM Amazon seller, the subscription fee is $39.99 per month.

If you are not a pro seller, but an individual seller, there is no subscription fee, but you will incur a $0.99 fee for every unit you sell. So, if you’re selling more than 40 units per month, you should switch to the Pro package to remain cost-effective.

Amazon also takes a referral fee. This is because you are a seller on their marketplace, so they consider that they have referred customers to you.

The referral fee is a percentage of your total sales price. In most product categories, this is 15%, but it does vary from 6% to 45%, so you must check ahead depending on the product you are selling. Full seller fees can be viewed on the Amazon website.

You’ll also need to consider your shipping fees. Remember, it’s your responsibility to pack orders and ship them to your customers, and on-time. You should factor in not only the actual packaging and shipping fees but also your time spent picking, packing and shipping the order.

Round-Up: Take your average monthly sales and compare final costs as an individual seller and as a pro seller. Choose the most cost-effective option based on your monthly transactions, referral fees and shipping costs.

Can Amazon FBM Be Used With Amazon FBA?

Yes! What many Amazon sellers don’t realise is that FBM and FBA can be used simultaneously. The main advantage of this is that you’ll get the benefit of twice the exposure.

Doubling up is particularly beneficial if you have a large inventory containing a range of products with lots of different price points and profit margins.

Round-Up: Split your inventory between FBA and FBM. So, your fast-selling products with high margins can be fulfilled by FBA, and your lower margin, slower selling products can be fulfilled by FBM. Everyone’s a winner.

Which is Better – Amazon FBM or Amazon FBA?

That’s a tricky one! This will always depend on many factors based around your individual Amazon business, but here are a few pointers:

Choose FBA When:

  • You have a fast turnover
  • Your items are small and lightweight
  • You have a decent profit margin
  • You have a large inventory but no storage facility
  • You can’t fulfil orders
  • You don’t have time for efficient customer service

Choose FBM When:

  • You have a slow turnover
  • Your items are large or heavy
  • You have a decent storage facility or small inventory
  • You have some staff or can deal with fulfilment efficiently yourself
  • You can deal with customer enquiries effectively

Final Thoughts

Amazon FBM does have a lot of benefits even though it might seem like hard work! The control factor especially is an aspect of your Amazon business that shouldn’t be overlooked, and FBM gives you precisely that.

As an FBM seller, your reputation is ultimately your responsibility and critical to your success. With this in mind, you must ship all orders on time. To help you do so, Amazon offers a ‘Buy Shipping’ feature which includes tracking and will help ensure your fulfilment process is smooth and reliable.

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How to Write Effective Amazon Bullet Points

When you’re writing up your product listings, how much attention do you pay to crafting effective Amazon bullet points? If the answer is, “Not much,” has the easy tips you need to optimize your Amazon product listings.

bullet points

And if it turns out the biggest problem you have is too many great points to fit, we’ll help you with that, too.

What Are Amazon Bullet Points?

Next to the image on a product page on Amazon, you’ll find five bullet points that outline the product’s main features or benefits. They help make reading easier by minimizing walls of text, giving users bite-sized pieces of information they can use to make a shopping decision.

For example, if you’re selling laptops, you could use the bullet points to highlight the computer’s processor specs, display size and type, weight and anything else that distinguishes it from other laptops. Ask yourself what the most important criteria are when shoppers are browsing and what can help them make a decision.

Each bullet point can be up to 15 words each (maximum of 500 characters in each bullet) and should describe a notable highlight of the product. A good example of this would be writing about your laptop’s processor type and speed; a not-so-good example would be to write about the accessories that are included (e.g. extra charging cable, carrying case, etc.).

In essence, your bullet points should be a five-point summary of your product’s best or most important features or advantages. There are a few other rules to follow, too:

  • You cannot write anything about the product’s price, how it’s shipped or your company.
  • Nothing should be marketing or advertising-y in nature.
  • You can only use letters and numbers, so no HTML or fancy codes or anything.
  • Order your bullets for importance, with the most crucial ones being at the top and descending downwards.
  • Make sure you don’t exceed the maximum of 15 words/500 characters for each bullet point.
  • Each bullet point needs to start with a capital letter.
  • Try to avoid getting too fancy with punctuation. Your bullets shouldn’t be run-on sentences, but nor should they be various examples of grammar and punctuation.

Now that you know how they should be structured, it’s time to dive deeper and learn how to optimize them to best suit Amazon’s internal search algorithm, A9.

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Amazon Bullet Points: Do’s and Don’ts

When you’re writing your bullet points, there are several things you can do to help your listing clarity and SEO fulfillments.

Do: Research Keywords to Use in the Bullet Points

The Amazon search algorithm (A9) tracks many areas of your page to determine where in the search results it should appear. One of the fundamental areas is keywords, so use available tools when researching which search terms have the most activity.

Don’t: Stuff Your Bullets with Keywords

Keyword stuffing is when you repeat keywords over and over with the intent of trying to score higher SEO. However, this was put out of practice several years ago and you’ll only get punished for it now. Plus, it reads awkwardly for users and you risk turning them off with the mass repetition.

Do: Limit Your Keywords in Each Bullet Point

Less is definitely more when it comes to how many keywords you should be using in each bullet point. For maximum benefit, limit yourself to 1-2 keywords in each sentence.

Don’t: Completely Ignore Keyword Optimization

When you’re trying to figure out which final keywords to settle on for your bullet points, don’t ignore optimization completely in favour of brevity. Come up with a list of about 10 hard-hitting keywords, then see how they can fit. If they can’t, leave them out.

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Do: List the Most Important Feature First

This part of the process might take you a bit of time, but it’ll pay off in the end. Go on Amazon and Google your competitors and make a note of what their bullet points are. You can sort them into a spreadsheet and count how many times each one appears, and where in the list of five.

From there, start filtering by keeping the features or comments that appeared most often and cutting the rest. If you see a few bullet points right on the border, keep them for now (with the understanding that some will be cut later).

Finally, cross-reference your potential list of bullet points with what you find on the manufacturer’s site, or major retailing websites. This should give you more guidance in terms of how to order your bullet points. Once you’ve got that down, arrange your five and delete the rest. Just make sure to proof them carefully for spelling and grammar typos so they appear as professional as possible.

Final Thoughts

Amazon bullet points are there to make reading easier for the user and to help you convince buyers to purchase by drawing attention to your product’s most important features. While you’re not allowed to talk about pricing in your bullet points, you still need to draw attention to that to show consumers how competitive your prices are.

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Top 10 Amazon Online Arbitrage

In this short guide, I’m going to cover my top ten tips for Amazon online arbitrage to get ahead of your competition. Why should you listen to me? Back in August 2018, I jumped into online arbitrage using FBA. At the time of writing, my sales have been over £21,000 in the past seven days… that’s purely from online arbitrage.

top

The tips below are designed to benefit people at different stages of their online arbitrage journey so utilise what is relevant to you.

1. Reprice Correctly in Europe

Based in the United Kingdom? If you don’t already know, your products will be available for purchase in other countries using Amazon’s European Fulfilment Network.

What is the European Fulfilment Network? The European Fulfilment Network (EFN) allows sellers with an Amazon Europe Marketplaces account who are also registered for Fulfilment by Amazon to store their inventory in their local fulfilment centre and fulfil orders coming from other European marketplaces from the same local inventory pool.

This is great, more sales. You do need to note though… Amazon fees are higher for these sales, due to the extra cost for Amazon to get your products to these countries.

That being said, you’ll want to price your products correctly in these marketplaces. Too low, and you’ll make a loss. Too high, you’ll be missing out on sales. In summary, you want to price each item individually where possible, but if you want to use a fixed rule, go for at least £7 higher in Europe than in the UK.

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2. Honey

Honey is a free Amazon chrome extension that will help you get the products you source at the cheapest price possible. You can also get cashback using Honey.

The process is simple:

  • Join Honey.
  • Add items to basket that you wish to purchase and run the Honey extension to check for discounts.
  • Close this tab, click through your cashback site of choice (see tip below).
  • Complete purchase. It’s as easy as that.

3. Cashback Sites

There are three cashback sites that I use regularly.

  1. Complete Savings
  2. Topcashback
  3. Quidco

Complete Savings is a cashback site that costs £15 per month, but allows you to earn up to £2,500 in cashback per year! Topcashback and Quidco are both free, offer more sites, but they generally have lower cashback rates.

The process for getting cashback is simple:

  • Add your items to the basket (try Honey for a discount)
  • Close the retailer site
  • Search for the site in Complete Savings and launch it
  • Complete purchase

Want more information? I created a YouTube video on Complete Savings.

4. Monitoring Account Health

You won’t be getting any sales if your account gets suspended. This isn’t here to scare you, I have never been suspended, but if you don’t stay on top of this, you are running a big risk.

The most important thing to do is check your account health, in each marketplace, once a day and act on any issues as soon as possible. Do not put these off.

If you are unsure what to do about a performance notification, ask in Facebook Groups and other sellers will help you out.

5. Discounted Gift Cards

Did you know you can purchase gift cards for less than their face value? You can then get stock/other expenses at cheaper rates.

For example, purchase a £100 gift card for £80, and then buy £100 worth of stock.

6. Reconcile Your Purchases

You’ve had a look at your sales and see that your sold stock has made you a profit — that’s awesome, but what about your unsold stock? One aspect of unsold stock is stock purchased but not yet delivered, and this really adds up.

What you need to be doing is reconciling your purchases on a regular basis to ensure that everything you’ve ordered shows up. Sure, at first you may be able to keep track of this mentally, but trust me as you scale you will not be able to do this. Furthermore, you want to ensure they have sent the correct quantity of items.

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7. Get Good At Sourcing

Whether you like to source or not (I don’t and I haven’t sourced a product in over a year) you still need to have those foundations to make purchasing decisions or train somebody else to do so. This means getting good at it and to me, the most profitable way to source is manually.

8. Thinking About Registering for VAT?

If you haven’t hit £10k in sales yet, I would not worry about this point for now. Make a note to come back to it. The idea behind this guide is to give something of benefit to everyone.

For everyone else – I highly recommend you put a lot of time thinking about if registering for VAT is right for you.

  • Speak to VAT-registered sellers about what they have been through.
  • Speak to an accountant about the implications.
  • Check out this case study (note, you will need to be part of the FastTrack FBA group to view).

9. Replenishables

Recently, as a business, we spent £13,000 in stock in one week. 75%, almost £10,000, of that spending, was on items we had previously purchased (a replenishable). What is a replenishable item for sellers on Amazon?

A replenishable is an item that is easy to find, in-demand and makes you profits all-year-round. It differs from a clearance item that you may never be able to find again or a hot toy of the season that sells at a high price in the run-up to Christmas.

The best part? We don’t actively source replenishable items… We just make sure that we are managing items we have previously bought.

Create a system to check through the items you’ve bought. If you are out of stock on a profitable line – you’re leaving money on the table. Don’t forget about an item if the price changes/promotion ends/stock runs out. Integrate these items into your system for follow up!

10. Enjoy the Journey

Yeah, mindset tip… I know. But to me, mindset is the most important thing on this list. Lots of people may disagree, that’s fine, but if you don’t have the correct mindset to overcome hurdles, you won’t make it as an entrepreneur.

Find people on a similar journey to you, and talk to each other. Most importantly, enjoy the journey. It’s not about the endpoint, but how you get there.

And please… Don’t compare yourself to others. Firstly, social media is a personal highlight reel. Secondly, you don’t know that person’s story. Thirdly, it doesn’t matter, benefit from engagement from other people, but don’t put yourself down because, for example, someone has higher sales figures than you.