As an online retailer, it’s nice to have as many markets as possible to list your products in. Doing so will give you the opportunity to extend your brand and target different types of customers. With that strategy in mind, we’re going to publish a series of new blog entries aimed at helping online retailers who focus on drop-shipped products understand the different places they can sell Doba products online. To kick things off, today I will concentrate on Amazon.com:
Launched in 1995 as one of the first major companies to sell goods over the Internet, Amazon.com started as an online bookstore. Over the years, Amazon diversified its product selection and even started an online auction to rival eBay.
For a time, Amazon.com Auctions was the only legitimate competition eBay had in the U.S. They had only limited success, and chose to focus on their core strength — the fixed-price platform on which they were built.
Today, retailers are able to list on Amazon.com’s retail marketplace, which enjoys much higher visitation than Amazon.com Auctions ever did. Because of this, we’ll focus this particular dossier on Amazon’s retail marketplace.
- Two types of sellers account to choose from: the Individual Plan (sell a little) or Pro Merchant Plan (sell a lot).
- Sellers typically report higher average selling prices than on auction sites.
- Amazon.com handles payment and refund requests… the result: no deadbeat buyers.
- Sellers are offered an “even playing field” through standardized product pages. Buyers use Amazon’s standard checkout process, increasing consumer trust based on Amazon’s reputation. Tutorials and webinars to help you get started as an Amazon seller.
- Amazon’s policies seem strict when compared to some other marketplaces. Standardized listings make it more difficult for individual sellers to stand out.
- Shipped items must be packaged according to Amazon.com’s specifications.
- Amazon competes as a seller alongside third-party sellers like online retailers who use Doba.
Currently, no method is available to push Doba products directly to Amazon.com. While Amazon.com has no restrictions on listing drop-ship items, orders must be shipped within two (2) business days.
Before listing an item, you must obtain the ASIN (Amazon.com’s unique identifier for a product) for items that have previously been listed on the Amazon.com marketplace. New items require a UPC code or ISBN (for books).
Items can be listed for free (through the Individual Plan), but a 6 to 15 percent commission, a variable closing fee, and a $0.99 per-transaction fee is applied when a sale occurs. A subscription based Pro Merchant account, in which the $0.99 transaction fee is waved on all orders, is available for all sellers at a cost of $39.99 per month. For more about Amazon.com selling fees, visit the Sell on Amazon.com Page.
- Free unlimited listings—pay only if you sell
- Payments are through direct deposit
- Discounts for volume sellers with a Pro Merchant subscription
- Put listings on “vacation” (temporarily suspend) at any time for any period of time
- Amazon CPC (cost per click) Product Ads — get more traffic to your website
Check back next week when I’ll post a “Where to Sell” blog entry focused on Craigslist.
Email Marketing & Education Specialist