By Lauren Carter
Top tools for Amazon Sellers
If you’re thinking of selling on Amazon using their FBA (fulfilment by Amazon) program, there are a few essential tools you will need. Put these on your holiday wishlist to make sure you’re ready to get selling!
1. Laser Printer
If you are selling though FBA you will need a good quality laser printer to print your barcode stickers and shipping labels. Amazon lists this as one of their requirements for shipping products to their warehouse. This is because printing from a laser printer takes a lot longer to fade and will be clearer for the warehouse staff to scan. Laser printers are not as expensive as they used to be and you can get a decent one fairly cheaply. If you are happy with a second hand one they are extremely cheap!
2. Scales and a Tape Measure
All the boxes you ship to the Amazon warehouse need to be weighed and it’s advisable to measure the dimensions of each one as well. This means you will need scales suitable for weighing boxes accurately. You can buy postal scales on Amazon for a reasonable price, you need to make sure the scale you choose measures up to a fairly high weight but also measures reasonably accurately. This one, for example, measures to 10g which is accurate enough and can take a weight of 34kg which is more than the weight limit for boxes shipping to the Amazon warehouse.
3. Label stickers
Before you ship products to the Amazon warehouse you will need to apply your own barcode stickers to each one to identify them as yours. Amazon provides you with these barcode stickers as downloadable PDFs in Seller Central. These stickers are 27 to a sheet and you will need to print them on your laser printer. You can print them on an A4 sticker sheet and cut out the individual barcodes to apply, or you can buy ready cut purpose made label sheets, you guessed it, from Amazon. These will save you time cutting out labels and are worth buying in bulk if you plan to sell seriously.
4. Sealable Polybags
Certain products need to be sealed in plastic polybags before they can be sent to the Amazon warehouse. You can ask the warehouse staff to bag these products on arrival for a small fee but if you plan on selling a lot of products it will work out cheaper to do this yourself and it’s easy if you’ve already got the bags ready. Liquid products will need to be in bags to prevent leaks in the warehouse, products such as stuffed toys, clothing etc. which can be damaged by damp or dust will also need to be bagged. If you are selling products for children these need to have suffocation warnings on them. You can buy these in bulk from packaging suppliers, you should be able to find lots online.
5. Packing Materials
When you send your products on to the Amazon warehouse you will often be able to use the packaging they were delivered to you in but sometimes the packaging will arrive damaged or the packaging will not meet Amazon’s guidelines. You need to ensure your products are well packed within the boxes you send them in. Amazon does not allow you to use Styrofoam peanuts or shredded paper. You will need to use bubble wrap, sheets of paper or foam/polystyrene to secure your products. When products arrive with you, you will undoubtedly be eager to get them off to the warehouse as quickly as possible so you can start making sales. If you make sure you have a good supply of packing materials ready you can avoid any unexpected delays.
It may sound like a cliché but when you are running a business time really is money! You want to be able to turn around products as quickly as possible. If you are selling through FBA then you cannot make any sales and therefore cannot make any profits until your products arrive at the Amazon warehouse. When your order arrives at your house or business you want to be able to prep your products and get them back out, on their way to the fulfilment centre as quickly as possible. This means you need to be prepared! If you have everything you need in your home then you will be able to turn around products a lot faster.
Once you’ve got all the tools to get selling you just need the products! If you’re struggling to find the right products to sell, we can help! Get in touch on Facebook or Twitter to find out how ProfitSourcery can help you.