Being a full time business owner I know the importance of not having all of your eggs in one basket. So when my sales started to really slow down on Etsy last year I knew it was time to sell my products on another platform.
In May of 2017 I signed up to sell my handmade products on Amazon. Amazon recently started a new platform on their website which offers handmade products (if you’re interested you can check out How to Sell with Amazon Handmade). Well, long story short – selling on Handmade at Amazon did not work for my business because there’s a lot of communication needed from the buyer, which was basically not happening for some reason.
Then I quickly realized that I could sell my products with FBA. FBA stands for Fulfillment by Amazon. All of the products that you see listed on Amazon that includes the free 2 day shipping (aka Prime benefits) are products that are fulfilled by Amazon.
How does Fulfillment by Amazon work?
The way Amazon FBA works is you set up an Amazon seller account, list your products for sale, package them all up and ship them off to the Amazon warehouse. From there once an order for one of your products is received Amazon’s employees will pick the product from their inventory, package it up for shipping and then ship it out to the customer with free 2 day shipping. You don’t handle a thing besides just sending your inventory to Amazon. They even handle all of the customer service for you. It’s amazing if you ask me. Ground breaking. I highly favor selling my products on Amazon compared to selling on Etsy.
What’s the difference between Amazon FBA and Amazon Handmade?
Amazon Handmade works just like Etsy does. You list a product for sale and once it sells you ship it to the customer. With Handmade at Amazon there is no “Prime” shipping. You are also responsible for customer service and communication between yourself and the buyer.
With Amazon FBA you just package a bunch of your products, ship them off to Amazons warehouse and they handle the rest.
Can I sell handmade products with FBA?
You can definitely sell handmade products with Amazon FBA. But, it has to be a handmade product that can be made over and over and it looks exactly like the original.
So you really can’t sell custom paintings with FBA because they are one of a kind and can’t be reproduced. You can however, sell printed copies of paintings because that’s something that you can constantly reproduce and they will look exactly the same.
What does it cost to sell on Amazon FBA?
If you’re selling over 40 products a month with Amazon then the Professional Sellers Account Fee is $39.99 (you can start off with a free account but you will be charged $1.00 for every product that you sell on top of other fees). There are also other fees associated with FBA that are charged to you after an item sells. Fulfillment fees are the fees charged to you for Amazon to pick your items from inventory, package it up, the cost of shipping and customer service. There is also a monthly storage fee for actually storing your products in their warehouse. These fees depend on the size and weight of your items. Check out Amazon’s calculator to determine fees for your products.
What things do I need to sell on Amazon FBA?
There is one important thing that you will need to sell your products through FBA. What I’m talking about are UPC codes. When you purchase a product from a retail store it will have its own barcode on the back, this is a UPC code.
The problem is that you can only purchase authentic barcodes from GS1 and they’re expensive. It’s $250 for up to 10 barcodes and $750 for up to 100 barcodes (you will need 1 different barcode for each product that you sell).
But here’s a secret .. you can purchase non authentic barcodes from eBay for cheap. These codes will not be registered to your brand. Amazon has recently been cracking down on non registered barcodes and they will disable your products if they realize your barcodes are not registered to your business.
Anyways the choice is yours. If you’re just starting out you can use barcodes purchased off eBay to get you by to see if FBA is right for you. But I really do recommend getting authentic barcodes from the beginning.
You will also need packaging for your products. I package my invitation packs in plastic boxes. If you sell clothing then you may need plastic poly bags. You just need something to protect your product from dirt and potential damage.
30 Up Labels
When you send your products into Amazon it’s required that you label your product with their specific barcode that they provide for you. You print these barcodes on 30 up stickers that can be found here. You can also pick them up from a local office store such as Staples.
You’ll also need boxes to pack your products in bulk to send to Amazon’s warehouse.
You will also need a shipping scale to weigh your boxes of inventory that you’re sending out to Amazon. I purchased my shipping scale from Amazon.