First off, Happy New Year to all you MagicPreneurs out there! Also, to be clear, the following information is not to be considered business advice. We are not experts in the area of starting a business on Amazon and are merely sharing things we have learned. To be clear, We are NOT currently selling on Amazon, nor (as of this writing) have we ever done so, but it is a topic that we have been thinking about for quite a while, as you may have also. We are long time customers of Amazon and have always been interested to know what the behind-the-scenes of being a seller is like. Again, the following is for informational purposes only and is to be used at your own risk.
A Magic and Entrepreneurial Approach for the New Year?!
If by chance you are reading this blog post on this, the day of New Year’s Eve (or later!), you might find today’s topic interesting: selling your product, regardless of what it is, on Amazon. If you are not already promoting your magic career on Amazon, chances are you have thought about it. I know I have.
The Following is More than Just Magic
Although the upcoming tutorial can easily be geared toward magic, it is written in a way that is inclusive of doing a new business or promotion of another of your expertise’s if you have any. It’s a technique that can be applied to pretty much ANY business!
How to Position Yourself as a Magician on Amazon
Let’s face it, even if magic is your biggest pursuit of your passions, it’s not a bad idea to learn more about what is possible on Amazon. As a magician/mentalist myself it seems to me that two of the most likely conjuring applications of the following knowledge about to be disclosed (1st step of 15). You can position yourself by writing a magic book and selling it on Amazon. You can even consider selling magic tricks on Amazon. Plus other concepts, the sky’s the limit and only limited by your imagination.
You Had to Have Started Somewhere with Magic
Some magicians are going to be unhappy at the mention of revealing secrets, and I agree wholeheartedly with this sentiment. But think back to when you first started in magic. You had to start somewhere, right? I know my start in magic when I was a kid was filled with reading every book of magic I could get my hands on, plus using the money I made as a kid magician to buy more magic tricks and books.
We Recently Took the Plunge
So a short while ago we jumped right into doing research and learning more about the topic of selling on Amazon. In some ways putting together this first of several steps is an opportunity for us to learn together. We hope you find the following information useful even if you are a non-magician. Let us know what you think. And if you are a seasoned seller we’d love to pick your brain! Again, the following is just the first of 15 steps! So let us know if you want more!
POSSIBLY MAKE A DIFFERENCE for other Americans. By creating YOUR own Amazon Make Money ADVENTURE that could possibly make a difference by leading to more jobs. This has the potential to be an extremely easy undertaking if you know what the steps are and how to work them.
Are You Interested in Learning all 15 Steps?
This week we are bringing you the FIRST STEP OF 15 ONLY. If we receive interest from you on this topic. we will then continue to reveal the procedure one step at a time weekly possibly on other blogs like this one. We will base our moving forward on this 15 Steps in 15 weeks journey based on how many of YOU contact us with interest while signing up for your Make a Difference Newsletter.
You are Reading Step #1 of “Make a Difference as You Make Money: Amazon Edition”
If we get enough people responding with a desire for more information on how to engage in the process: Amazon Make Money, we will then continue to bring it to you. Remember, this is only the FIRST STEP of 15, meaning there are 14 of them left to achieve success.
Make a Difference?
But you may be asking yourself, how is “Amazon Make Money” a way to MAKE A DIFFERENCE? In most cases in which someone does something entrepreneurship oriented, it in turn creates jobs and opportunities for others.
Delegation is Key
If you do look at the 15 steps of how you can start a profitable Amazon business, you will soon see how some of steps can be delegated. This means YOU are MAKING A DIFFERENCE by providing opportunities to others!
Here is the first step and the only one we are covering in this article:
1. DO RESEARCH ON AMAZON to uncover a more comprehensive look at the process.
We now bring you the details of the research that is suggested you do fulfill this step.
Just so you know, the setting up an Amazon seller’s account is quick and easy to do. You just need to visit their services page.
Then you to scroll to the bottom of this page on Amazon and under the solutions section select “Sell on Amazon.” As of this writing (it could change) you can sell with the status of “Individual” with Amazon automatically taking a percentage of each sale. Or you can register as a “Professional” and pay a monthly fee.
These are just some of the fees involved though. To get a better idea of how all this works and what the fees currently are, be sure to look under Amazon seller fees on Amazon.com.
BUT BEFORE YOU DO ANY OF THIS –
Please read the information below. It will help you to decide whether you want to pursue selling on Amazon as a professional or an individual.
Doing your research on Amazon is especially important in terms of finding a product to sell or to figure out how (and how much) to market yourself made product. You should also look at FBA which stands for “Fulfillment by Amazon” which means you get your product to Amazon and they in turn handle the mailing of your products to your customers. This in many ways is more convenient for you because you do not have to worry about sending your product out to purchasers, but the problem is that Amazon takes a hefty cut or the profits for this business model. The exact percentage of the cut they take could change at any time, so it is best to check it out at Amazon to get the latest numbers.
Your Brand or Name on the Product
Another thing you will need to deal with (if you go the FBA route) is getting your product from your supplier’s warehouse to Amazon. This is of course if you want to white label (your brand name goes on the product) the merchandise you sell. A big choice that you will need to make is whether to take someone else’s product, at a price low enough to make a profit, and put your company name on it.
A Price Driven Market
Here are the challenges: Amazon is a PRICE driven marketplace. Think about how when YOU yourself buy products at Amazon. Don’t you check around a bit for who has the lowest price on an item that you are purchasing? A lot of other people do this as well. In fact, most folks do. So, you must ask yourself if you have a product online that you can sell at a low enough price so that you beat out the competition. Also, after you put up the cash to get the product from a wholesaler, Amazon will, upon the making a sale to one of your customers, takes their cut for their FBA services. Remember, FBA stands for Fulfilled by Amazon, meaning you get Amazon to take the orders and ship out your products to your customers. This means no messier as well as times consuming, packaging efforts on your part that would include things like figuring out postage and dropping the product to your shipper. Amazon makes the process a lot easier for you by using their FBA services. You must compare the ease of using the FBA method (for which Amazon takes a cut) versus you doing the shipping yourself.
Pricing Under Cutting by Your Competitors
Now before you get deflated let us talk about some good scenarios. If you can possibly find a need to someone’s problem that is currently not being fulfilled, this can be a thing to target because you manufacture the products yourself. But realize if you do not manufacture the product yourself, it is going to be a low-priced seller’s market. In fact, even if you do figure out something to make yourself, other sellers are going to catch on and try to undercut you.
Are You and EXPERT in any Particular Industry?
Yes, it is a dog-eat-dog world, but if you are lucky enough to be manufacturing a product for an industry that you are an expert in, you might be able to always be one step ahead of what provides VALUE your niche (your industry’s customers) at a PRICE you can deal with after handing out percentages.
What to Do if You are NOT an Expert in Something
But wonder if you are not an expert at anything. What industry niche do you focus on? Ask yourself in what category are a lot of your own personal purchases? This could be any kind of product and any industry if you have a love of it. A passion for it. Having these components will mean you will be more MOTIVATED to do the RESEARCH necessary so that you find the right product at the right price to then RESELL. In short, you find a wholesaler, they supply the product directly to you or ship to Amazon directly, and as sales happen Amazon takes its cut.
Do You have a Passion?
Have we lost you at this point? Hopefully not. It is going to take some focused work on your part that is hopefully fun due to it being an industry that you have a passion for.
It is All About Price
Be careful with all this though, if you are NOT manufacturing your own product, because if you supply brand names, the customer will again go where the best price is and either go directly to the brand’s store itself or that of the lowest priced seller.
Three Possible Approaches
To try to make this a little bit easier to decide which direction you take, here are three possible approaches:
- MAKE YOUR OWN PRODUCT. You make your own product, put your own brand name on it, and then send it to Amazon to do FBA (Fulfilled by Amazon) and have them get it to your customers. You will make the most money this way if you have an original product that solves a problem that now is being underserved.
- BUY FROM A WHOLESALER. The Second business model is that after doing your research you find a wholesaler you buy from who then either sends the products to you, or does so directly to Amazon, followed by Amazon fulfilling it to your customers.
- SHIPPING IT YOURSELF. You could also either buy a wholesale product or make it yourself and send your products yourself. If you have a good method of packing and sending your product, chances are you can save money by doing this yourself. But how will your possible future customers, especially Amazon Prime members, think if they know you are sending it yourself and not under the Amazon Prime heading? Will this cause you to lose potential purchasers? As always, put yourself in the place of the consumer.
Amazon Prime Anybody?
You also want to consider if you desire to have your product to be sold under an Amazon Prime heading. This again will require researching to get the current numbers involved.
You will want to be selling as products those which are in profitable categories. Here are some of the favorites of customers as of this writing:
- Apparel & Accessories
- Hair Care
- Home Décor
- Home & Garden
- Kids & Toys
- Skin Care
More on Expertise Benefits
Do any of these categories strike a chord with you? Are any of them in line with your expertise or passion? Of course, if you are an expert yourself, or have one as a partner, things can move more smoothly for you. This is because you can leverage the fact that you represent expertise in the category heading.
The Passion Approach
But even if you yourself or your partner (if you have one) is not an expert, you must then rely on the “motivation factor.” This means that the more enthusiastic you are about a category the better off you will be in doing research and other explorations because you enjoy being a part of that industry.
Is It Worth Doing for You?
Looking at the Best Sellers section of Amazon can be a useful window into what people are purchasing. Check out the area you are interested in and ask yourself if there are opportunities for you to do something less expensively with quality to back it up?
The Tools that Can Help You with Your Research
Ahrefs can help you with this profit of getting selling data but it does cost money. Other paid tools include Amaze Owl, AMZ Base, AMZScout Pro, Helium 10, Jungle Scout, SellerApp and Unicorn Smasher. It might be worth your effort to look at these tools and figure out if they will be enough of a time saver for you to validate purchasing them? We have no monetary link to the products but just include them as options that you have in your research process. Some of these tools may or may not be available by the time you read this.
Do you know about Google Trends? It is a FREE search tool that lets you test out trends and get a sense of how popular they are. Be sure to not only search for a trend but figure out interest between different industries in comparison to each other. It is also useful to look at Google searches regarding a possible product, to see if it is included in the pulldown window indicating searches for it, plus YouTube pull downs are also a good popularity test to put your product through.
Another FREE tool (now) is SEMScoop. It professes to discover thousands of profitable keywords that have low competition. Why is this important? Because if you do a sales campaign for your products, in which you drive customers through SEO (Search Engine Optimizing) to your Amazon pages, the lower the current competition, the lower you will have to pay for those keywords. Again, the secret to any of these techniques is finding gaps in the market that need to be filled. You must be able to pivot in this business because change is ever present.
Ad Purchasing is Available in Tandem with Your Written Blog Content
Optimization is key for you to do, followed by possible paid advertising. And if you are purchasing Google AdWords, Bing Advertising, Facebook ads and so on, you want to make sure that the ads you want to purchase contain the same keywords that that your actual written content on your blog matches. In addition to written content that coincides with ads you will also need visual representation such as eye-catching images you are able to use without having to pay a fee.
More on Keyword Purchasing and Your Blog’s Content
Ultimately the paid search solutions like Facebook ads, Google AdWords, Bing Advertising and so on will get you the most specific targeting because that is the business that they are in: selling you advertising. How? Because they all get more and more information on you because you yourself are a demographic that other advertisers want to reach. Have you noticed having ads when you are engaged in your online viewing, that are a match for you and your interests? This is sometimes no coincidence.
How They Track You
The information you gave Facebook and your search engine choices (as well as products like Gmail and many more) are all geared to learning more about you and what they can sell to you. In turn, you can use these strategies yourself. The big media companies want you to pay them to get the keywords that once were available for free, because as you might have noticed, these and other companies provide you less and less opportunities to create organic content (non-paid) via keywords that you do not have to purchase.
Keep On Learning
Hopefully, you are still with us here. We realize this may seem like a lot to take in, but we want you to know that if you immerse yourself in it, motivated by your industry of choice, that you will get better and better with these techniques and soon they will be second nature to you. Please do not give up! Keep on learning! And let us know if you want more!
Happy New Year everybody!