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There are many reasons to begin selling your brand’s products on Amazon, from the millions of active customers on the Amazon worldwide marketplace to the extremely high conversion rates many businesses experience. If you have a new brand, you can start selling on Amazon quickly without the need for a stand-alone website.
Amazon offers two Selling Plans to get you started. The Individual Selling Plan carries a fee of 99 cents per item sold (plus other fees, which vary by category), and the Professional Selling Plan has a subscription fee of $39.99 per month plus other selling fees.
Those other fees include referral fees (usually taken as a percentage of revenue from products sold, which varies based on the product category and may carry a minimum fee of $1), and for sellers who let Amazon handle product warehousing and shipping for them, Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) fees. These include such fees as order picking and packing, shipping cost, packing boxes or envelopes, inner “cushion” packaging, and monthly storage fees.
Not all selling categories are open to Individual Sellers (e.g., fine jewelry, personal computers, and professional services). In addition, the use of feeds, spreadsheets, and other tools to load inventory are only available to Professional Sellers.
If you plan on selling more than 40 items a month, want to sell your products in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico (rather than simply one of the three), or offer special promotions and a gift wrap option for your products, then go with the Professional Selling Plan.
Once you’ve decided on a Selling Plan, it’s time to open your Amazon selling account. To open an Amazon selling account (of either type), simply register for the account of your choice by clicking on the “Sell as a Professional” or “Sell as an Individual” button on the Amazon Services site (https://services.amazon.com/selling/benefits.htm).
After you sign up, you’ll be asked to complete a two-step login verification process. Once that concludes, you’ll officially have an Amazon Seller Central account. Now let’s walk through the basics of what you can expect with that account.
Amazon Seller Central
Amazon Seller Central is where you’ll spend much of your time as a seller; it’s also where you’ll find the tools you need to manage your inventory on the Amazon marketplace. This is where you’ll create listings, manage orders, correspond with buyers, get feedback from Amazon about your performance, run reports, set up Sponsored Products campaigns, and more.
Once you’re in Seller Central, you might want to use the Settings menu/User Permissions to add more users from your company if you have other employees who will be working on your Amazon account. By adding users, you can give them access to Seller Central and customize their permissions so they’ll have the appropriate system rights for their role at your company.
If you’d like to learn more about Seller Central and selling on Amazon in general, and you prefer a more formal learning process, open an additional tab in your browser and go to the Amazon Seller University: https://sellercentral.amazon.com/learn. Seller University (a curriculum of instructional videos designed to help you master the Amazon marketplace), available to users within Seller Central, will help teach you the details of selling on Amazon, tools and policies for sellers, and the products and services that can help you grow. These instructional videos and PDF learning documents are very thorough. I highly recommend you and the other members of your team dive in and explore!
Amazon Brand Registry
There’s one final step that’s key to controlling your brand’s content on Amazon, and I strongly recommend any brand owner with a registered trademark enable it in the “getting started” section of Seller Central: signing up for the Amazon Brand Registry program.
According to Amazon, Brand Registry helps protect your brand’s intellectual property and create an accurate and trusted experience for customers on Amazon. With Amazon Brand Registry, you can have your trademarked brand’s Amazon product detail page content locked down so only one marketplace seller (i.e., you or someone who works for you) can alter it.
If you don’t register your brand, you can still submit updated or enhanced product content (including images); you’ll just have to contact Seller Support for each individual product and have Amazon make the changes for you.
In addition, Amazon says your enrollment in the program gives you access to text and image search tools, predictive automation from your reports of possible intellectual property rights violations, and increased authority (and therefore control) over product listings with your brand name. Finally, Amazon Brand Registry can give you access to Enhanced Brand Content, Amazon Stores, and Sponsored Brands, which all allow you to share your brand’s unique story and educate consumers about your products.
If you don’t take control, resellers (authorized, unauthorized, or both) will set up product listings for your products, and they, not you, will determine how your brand promises are communicated to Amazon customers. A reseller will never represent your brand exactly as you would. And because Amazon product page listings often get highly ranked on Google, it’s common for many of those listings to show up higher on the Google search results page than a brand’s own organic listings.
Once you’ve locked down your trademarked brands through the Brand Registry program, you can remain responsible for content maintenance or align with a reseller to create and maintain thorough and accurate product listings for your brand.