December 13, 2019 by Andrew Minalto - 0 Comments

Should you use VARIATIONS on Amazon?

Amazon variations

When you sell a product on Amazon that comes in multiple versions (for example, varying quantities, sizes, colours, designs or flavours), the question arises of whether or not you should use variations or list each item separately.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of using variations on Amazon? In this post, I’ll try to answer these questions in detail and help you make the right decision for your Amazon FBA business.

Now, Amazon doesn’t work like eBay where you create a product listing and then add variations to it. On Amazon, each variation is an individual listing anyways, which sort of complicates the situation even more. As a starting point, I recommend you check out Amazon’s quick guide on how variations work before you decide which way to go for your products.

But the main idea is that, on Amazon, you simply “link” products to create a listing with variations. The main listing is called the PARENT listing and the variations are called CHILD listings. You create the parent listing and then link your child listings to it. To better understand how it all works, here’s explanation right from the Amazon’s help page:

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December 12, 2019 by Andrew Minalto - 29 Comments

My 2019 Blog Reader’s CONTEST:
£250 Amazon gift cards for grabs!

Christmas giveaway Andrew Minalto contest

Welcome back!

It’s that time of the year when everyone is busy shopping for Christmas presents, and Amazon sales are great proof of that! Over the last few weeks, I have witnessed phenomenal results in my own Amazon FBA business. In fact, I have consistently been making 400+ sales a day!

Amazon UK FBA sales

That just shows how real the Q4 effect is for Amazon FBA businesses. And if you sell an item that can be given as a gift, I’m sure your business is hitting new records, too!

But this post is not really about me—it’s about you! That’s right. It’s time for my yearly blog reader’s contest. The time of the year when I say Thank You to my loyal blog readers with gifts! In total, I’m giving away £250 worth of Amazon gift cards to readers who take part in my contest. And the rules are dead simple.

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December 11, 2019 by Andrew Minalto - 0 Comments

Amazon PPC Auto campaigns PROFIT GOLDMINE! (7.08% ACOS!)

Amazon Auto PPC campaigns

When you launch a new product on Amazon FBA, you will start advertising it using Sponsored Products ads.

The standard approach to doing this is to launch two campaigns in the beginning:

  1. Manual campaign for most obvious keywords in all three match types (Broad, Phrase and Exact);
  2. Auto campaign.

The Manual campaign will obviously target your most important keywords (search terms), but the Auto campaign is mostly used to discover new keywords that you may not have thought of on your own. Over time, you can move profitable keywords from your Auto campaign to your Manual campaign, so you can dial down bids on a keyword level. This is all super simple and it works exactly as it should.

A trend I have personally witnessed over the last few months on Amazon is that Auto campaigns are increasingly geared towards PLACEMENTS rather than keyword searches.

Placements mean that your product ad is shown on other/competitor product pages rather than in the main search results. 

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December 10, 2019 by Andrew Minalto - 2 Comments

Can you TEST a PRODUCT on Amazon UK FBA without a BULK purchase?

Product testing on Amazon

For many people, gathering the initial capital for making a stock purchase is the biggest obstacle when trying to start an Amazon FBA business as, let’s be honest, an Amazon business is a CASH-FLOW business, and the more money you can invest in your stock/product portfolio, the quicker you will see results.

Some people have money they could invest, but they don’t want to take the risk. What if the product doesn’t sell? What if the competition is too great? So, with that in mind, is there a way to test a product on Amazon WITHOUT placing bulk orders with suppliers in China? Let’s find out!

The standard approach to starting an Amazon FBA business is:

  1. You do market research using Jungle Scout (or a similar tool) and identify a product with good potential that is suitable for your buying power (budget).
  2. You source that product in bulk from manufacturers in China using Alibaba.com, usually in starting quantities of 500 to 1000 units.
  3. You create an amazing listing, then start to advertise your product using PPC ads to build up sales velocity, rankings and organic sales.
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December 9, 2019 by Andrew Minalto - 2 Comments

My Amazon ITALY FBA Business Update! (€10,846.26)

Amazon Italy FBA results

Welcome back! 🙂

In today’s post, I will give you a quick update on my Pan-EU expansion. This time, I’m covering Amazon Italy (Amazon.it). 

When I first started to think about expanding into the European Amazon marketplaces at the end of last year, I did some research using Jungle Scout to see how well products similar to mine were performing abroad. I was particularly interested in how many sales these products were generating per month.

While I saw great sales volume in France and Germany, Italy and Spain showed very little potential. So, although I didn’t have great expectations for Italy, my plan remained the same: to make at least enough sales to cover the monthly VAT filing costs that I need to pay to VATGlobal.com

In Italy, that meant I had to make more than 40 sales per month because the FBA fees in Italy are much higher than in the UK, France or Germany, for example. I’m selling my product at €9.99 and the FBA + referral fee is €4.64!!!

This means that after VAT and the product cost, I’m left with a small profit of just about €2.50. If my VAT accounting costs for Italy are about €100 per month, it means that I have to make at least 40 sales to cover those costs before I make any profit.

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December 6, 2019 by Andrew Minalto - 0 Comments

Amazon listing SUPPRESSED? Don’t DO THIS!

Amazon listing supressed

Many people who are new to selling on Amazon often get a shock when this happens. You create a new listing in your account because you need to get a FNSKU barcode/label for your product packaging. You then enter the product title, price and save the listing. Amazon doesn’t give you any warnings and your listing is created. You get your FNSKU label and forget about it for now, as you have other things to work on.

Then, after some time, when you log back into your account, you learn that your listing is SUPPRESSED!

And that’s when the panic starts! What happened? Has Amazon suspended your listing? Do you need to create a new listing? Do you need to contact Amazon support?

None of that. And for God’s sake, please don’t delete that listing or create a new one! If you do this, your FNSKU code will change. If you’ve already done your product packaging, you’ll have to use labels to change it to the new code for the new listing.  

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December 5, 2019 by Andrew Minalto - 2 Comments

Pre-Shipment Inspection in China: Full VS Partial

Pre-shipment Inspection in China

Welcome back!

I have previously discussed factory inspections in China on my blog, but today I want to specifically delve into the pre-shipment inspection, which is the inspection you do when your goods are finished and ready for dispatch. Do you really have to spend all that money on a FULL inspection, or you can get away with a PARTIAL inspection? Let’s find out!

Just to remind you, if your order is placed through Alibaba’s Trade Assurance program, you will have to pick one of the inspection companies provided by Alibaba to qualify for their order protection.

At the moment, there are three options available:

1) Alibaba’s service team, which costs $48. This is not really a pre-shipment inspection service as all they check is carton quantity (whether or not it is correct), one item for visual defects and one carton for packaging and shipping marks. I don’t recommend you use this at all, as it won’t tell you anything about the quality of the goods in your order.

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December 4, 2019 by Andrew Minalto - 2 Comments

Amazon Sharks 2020 EDITION is NOW LIVE!

Amazon Sharks

I have been very lazy with blog posts for the last three months, but there has been a good reason for that! In August, September, October and November, I invested hundreds of hours into updating my Amazon Sharks video course for 2020! And I’m happy to announce that I have finally finished work on the course update!

This means just two things:

  1. Amazon Sharks now is fully updated for 2020 to include the latest changes and rules on Amazon selling, advertising, sourcing, etc.
  2. I will have more time to put out content on this blog.

The Amazon Sharks course was created early in 2018, and it’s not that the content has become outdated, but recently there have been a few major changes on the platform that have required me to update dozens of videos in the course, such as:

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December 3, 2019 by Andrew Minalto - 0 Comments

Amazon PPC Search Terms Report 
NOW Available ONLINE!

Amazon PPC Search Terms

Welcome back!

This is a quick post about a feature recently introduced by Amazon that many sellers may not have even noticed yet. The Search Term report is now available within the seller dashboard on the Ad Group settings page, and all of the relevant data is available within the web interface, so there’s no need to download anything anymore:

Search terms report

Previously, in order to access the Search Term report, sellers had to go to Advertising reports to generate and download the .csv file. You then had to open the spreadsheet to access your data on clicks, search terms, ACoS and other aspects of your business. It’s no longer necessary to do this as the Search Term report is now available directly in the web interface.

Now, Amazon still allows you to download the report, too, and there are various other report types you can download. However, for your day-to-day PPC optimisation work, the web option is all you need. 

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December 2, 2019 by Andrew Minalto - 0 Comments

Company name VS Brand name 
for Amazon FBA Sellers!

Company Name VS Brand Name

When you start selling on Amazon, one of the first tasks you will face is the formation of your company OR registering as a Sole Trader, depending on which business type you choose. With this task comes the dilemma of choosing your business name.

In the case of registering as a Sole Trader, you don’t have to worry about the business name. Even though, in the UK, you can register a business name (trading name) as a Sole Trader, Amazon does not accept or use it. So, if you’re starting out as a Sole Trader, Amazon will simply use your full name as the business name. That means you don’t have to spend any time trying to figure out a separate business name.

With limited companies (Ltd.), it’s different. You will have to come up with a name for your business, and this is where many people get stuck and confused.

What name should I use? Do I have to match my company name with the brand name of my products? What happens if I expand into other niches and brands in the future? These are all good questions, and I will try to help you out and give advice on the best ways to handle this.

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