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How to Save up to 50% on Sponsored Products AD Cost
November 16, 2017 by Andrew Minalto - 20 Comments
When you launch a new product on Amazon, you have to have a plan in place for how you’re going to promote it. It’s usually not enough to just create a listing, unless the competition is very small, so you need to drive traffic to your listing on your own, to get those first sales & reviews in.
The fastest and easiest way to do this is via Amazon’s own Pay Per Click advertising system – called Sponsored Product Ads, where you can quickly create paid advertising campaigns and start driving highly targeted traffic to your listing.
Some people recommend that you don’t do sponsored ads from day one and that you should first get at least 3-5 product reviews in. I can only partially agree to that as from my experience, you can successfully run ads, make sales and even make ad campaigns PROFITABLE with a brand new listing, with no reviews in place.
It will depend on the product’s price though as if you sell something more expensive, you can expect to have very low conversion rates if you run ads to a listing with no reviews. But if your item sells for less than £20-£30, you should definitely start running sponsored product ads from day one! As with such cheap items, basically impulse purchases, people are obviously more open to making that purchase compared to products that cost say £100+.
Here’s the thing – you have to accept that your ads most likely won’t be profitable for at least the first few weeks as it takes time for Amazon’s system to optimise your auto ad campaigns and it will take time for you to optimise manual campaigns too.
If your listing/product is really good and the conversion rate is high, you can aim to break even! If you can break even on ad spend in the first week or two (meaning you don’t make any profit nor loses), CONGRATS! This means that when you optimise your ads, you will be in for a healthy profit.
But you can do even more! Here’s one little trick that I used to save almost 50% in sponsored product ad costs when I recently launched a new product…
So I launched a product and created both Auto and Manual campaigns (for the most obvious keywords), just like I usually do. Then of course, as with any new product, I constantly checked sales throughout the day as well as the ad spend to see how it was performing. Read More…
One SIMPLE Trick That Increased My
Amazon Sales by 30% OVERNIGHT!
November 9, 2017 by Andrew Minalto - 12 Comments
This week I want to show you one simple but really effective trick that increased my Amazon sales by 30% – yes, 30%! And it didn’t cost me a penny!
I know that I haven’t covered any of the basics of selling on Amazon on my blog yet but I really needed to get this out so people who already sell on Amazon can implement it asap.
It’s all about your main product image – the one that shows up in search results. Usually I will use square images for my Amazon products as that is really the format most places go for now – like eBay, Instagram or even Facebook. Square format for images (and even videos on Facebook) is the new default standard.
But the problem was that my product is not actually square, but more “tall”, so with this format it looked very small in the search results on mobile devices and even on the desktop version. I sort of saw it from day one but didn’t think of it as a big problem.
However, I knew that I had to at least try it out to see whether it would make any difference or not. So, what I did is create a new MAIN image for my product with a size of 1500 pixels in height and 1000 pixels in width and zoomed in to the product so it takes as much of the space as possible:
Now, if you ask me – from a photographer’s perspective it did not look very good BUT that doesn’t matter! What matters is that my product is now shown MUCH bigger in search results on both mobile and desktop devices.
And this essentially increased the click through rate from search results to my listing by 30%+ as more people noticed my product and clicked on the listing. As a result, I now get all those extra sales.
And this doesn’t only apply to search results of course as products are also featured in many other places on Amazon – on competitor’s listings, cross-selling blocks and other places. Read More…
How Much Money Do You Need To Start An Amazon FBA Business?
November 2, 2017 by Andrew Minalto - 28 Comments
You’re looking for a new stream of income and are wondering if you can make money selling on Amazon.
You’ve got some questions, the first of which is, “How much does it cost to start an Amazon FBA business?”
The short answer is £1000.
The longer answer – it depends.
In this guide I’ll be covering Amazon FBA budget issues in detail, so you know for sure whether your situation is suitable for the Amazon FBA business model. I’ll also be giving you the secret to product sourcing for the highest possible profit.
Table of Contents
What Is The Amazon FBA Business Model?
First of all – when I talk about starting an Amazon FBA business, I’m referring to private label products, in most cases, imported from China.
This means you’ll need to:
- Create your own brand
- Source products from China (or other countries)
- Brand your product
- Import them into the UK (or whatever country you’re in)
- Send your stock to Amazon’s warehouse
- Start selling
This is what I have always been doing and in my opinion, it is the BEST way to build a profitable business on Amazon.
FREE Traffic & Sales Method for your Amazon Business!
May 9, 2017 by Andrew Minalto - 2 Comments
Let’s talk about product images – yes, again! I’m sorry but if you still haven’t realised that product images are super important when selling physical items online, then you probably shouldn’t even be in this business.
I have talked about product photography EXTENSIVELY on my blog, covering topics like how to properly size gallery images, how to watermark your product pictures and much more, BUT I haven’t touched on one important topic yet – an incredibly powerful way of making product images work for you 24/7 – bringing in more customers and sales WITHOUT you lifting a finger! Or if you don’t mind putting in a bit of effort, you’ll see even bigger results!
What am I talking about? Google of course. And Pinterest/YouTube too (more on that later).
If you use Google as your chosen search engine (who doesn’t!?) then you’ll have probably noticed a pattern in the first page results when you search for a physical product… there are usually listings from Amazon or eBay (or both), some independent websites, one or two YouTube videos and a selection from Google Images:
It will not be the same on all searches but in most situations when you search for a product on Google you’ll get one or a few of these blocks:
- Google Images
I have already covered how to do SEO for eBay & Amazon listings on my blog but for today I want to cover images specifically – ones that show up in Google Image searches. Read More…
VAT For Amazon Sellers WARNING – Pan-European Fulfilment TRAP!
March 22, 2017 by Andrew Minalto - 130 Comments
I’ve written about VAT a number of times on this blog, and with good reason – it’s a topic that causes a lot of confusion for online sellers and if you get it wrong it can really destroy your business. In my opinion, registering for VAT when you don’t need to is the biggest tax mistake an eBay or Amazon seller can make!
But all that has been covered before on my blog, numerous times in fact, so what’s the point of today’s article?
Well today’s post is really a warning about Amazon’s Pan-European fulfilment service – which is a HUGE tax trap under new EU law.
As you all know, when you sell on Amazon you get access to all 5 European marketplaces:
- Amazon UK
- Amazon Germany
- Amazon France
- Amazon Italy
- Amazon Spain
And you can sell to all of these marketplaces with your one seller subscription, which is great! In fact you don’t even need to create multiple listings – you simply create your listings on your home marketplace (Amazon.co.uk for example) and if they’re eligible, they’ll “automatically be re-created in the remaining four marketplaces via Amazon’s ‘build international listings tool’.”
But Amazon have gone one step further and recently a very exciting addition to the Fulfiled by Amazon fulfilment service was introduced, called Pan-European FBA.
The idea behind it is very simple – it allows you to offer your products to all 5 European marketplaces but rather than your stock being stored and shipped from one fulfilment center (as is normally the case) – Amazon will distribute them across ALL 5 countries.
This of course provides a number of important advantages to us as sellers:
Amazon don’t charge you to distribute your stock and you don’t even have to do it yourself. You simple send your FBA items to your local Amazon fulfilment center and Amazon then spreads it around all 5 countries (plus two more) based on expected demand. Read More…
HOW to Send Stock Directly from China to Amazon Fulfilment Centres (FBA)!
March 1, 2017 by Andrew Minalto - 7 Comments
Amazon’s FBA program is becoming more and more popular with marketplace sellers, and that’s really no surprise – it’s a big sales boost and also removes a lot of the work of selling online! It allows you to concentrate on what really matters – branding, promoting, sales, sourcing etc. while outsourcing all the tedious fulfilment tasks such as packing products, printing labels, posting items, processing returns etc.
Now the “normal” way to get set up with FBA is to package and label all your stock and send it to Amazon yourself, who will receive and sort it, but I get a lot of emails from people looking to get started with FBA who want to have their stock sent DIRECTLY from China to Amazon, without them ever having to see or handle their stock.
Now you may be wondering why, because surely that’s risky… and while that is true – if you can manage to arrange it like this, you save money on shipping and also save a lot of time and hassle for yourself.
And that’s exactly what today’s post is all about – sending stock directly from China to Amazon’s fulfilment centers in the UK!
Judging from a lot of the emails I get, many people seem to think this is as easy as simply putting the Amazon fulfilment center address instead of your own home/business address but unfortunately this is NOT the case… there are a lot of things you need to be aware of when sending stock directly to Amazon and you’ll need to use a freight forwarder to help you take care of all of the details (Woodland Global is the company I recommend for this).
So to start off, can you ship stock directly to Amazon from your overseas suppliers? Amazon’s answer to this question is no:
“Sellers with shipments that originate from overseas will need to arrange the import and customs clearance of the shipment, and then arrange for the delivery to our facility. Amazon may not be used as the consignee, importer of record or final address when shipping from overseas.”
What this basically means is that you need to arrange a freight forwarder for your shipment, so that they can clear your delivery through customs and then arrange the domestic shipping to Amazon. This is all fairly obvious, as if you simply posted items directly to Amazon from overseas, they’d be responsible for customers clearance and any import charges, which is of course not something they’re willing to do. Read More…
Handmade at Amazon – Etsy Killer?
February 27, 2017 by Andrew Minalto - 6 Comments
Today I want to talk to you about an exciting new addition to Amazon’s selling marketplace, geared towards custom made, one of a kind products – called Handmade at Amazon.
Handmade at Amazon is a new store that’s available on all 5 of Amazon’s European marketplaces (and the US store as well of course):
Now this may sound very familiar to you and yes, this is basically Amazon’s answer to Etsy! Now if you don’t know what Etsy is, to put it simply it’s the eBay for custom and handmade products.
And Etsy has actually turned out to be a huge success with consumers who are looking for something a bit different – something unique, something quality, something with a story behind it…
The opposite of the mass produced, cheap, generic products that are so common on eBay and Amazon basically. Now there’s nothing wrong with such products, of course not, but this is just a different niche and market and after the success of Etsy, it’s not a surprise that Amazon want to tap into it as well. Read More…
Quick and Easy Money on Amazon! Why Are You NOT Doing This?
January 23, 2017 by Andrew Minalto - 2 Comments
I really hope the title of this post grabbed your attention, as it should have! Seriously – this is one of the quickest and easiest ways to add extra profit to the items you’re already selling on Amazon, but still for some reason very few people do this.
Today I want to talk about how you can make extra profit without needing to sell any new items, just by offering gift wrapping services to your customers. Let’s get to it!
Now first things first – if you use Amazon’s FBA service to fulfil your orders, then you’re already offering gift wrapping to your customers as Amazon offer this service as an optional extra on most items they sell (there are a few exceptions – if the size or shape of the item makes it very difficult to gift wrap, then Amazon don’t offer it).
But what a lot of sellers don’t seem to know is, even if you store and ship your items yourself, you can still offer gift wrapping.
You will however need an Amazon PRO account to set up gift wrapping options and it’s NOT available at all for basic accounts. I’ll show you how to set this up a bit later on, but for now I want to cover the wrapping process itself.
It’s honestly incredibly easy to do and with just a little time and practice, you’ll quickly become a gift wrapping pro!
I like to use Amazon’s service as a general basis/guideline of what to provide:
As you can see from the picture, Amazon’s gift wrapping service includes three different things:
- The gift wrap, box or bag (this will depend on the item)
- A decorative ribbon
- A printed card with a gift message on the top of the package
Now the main question when you’re deciding on the gift wrapping service to offer is whether to go for wrapping paper or gift boxes? Read More…
How to EXCLUDE Remote/Offshore UK Locations when Selling on Amazon!
January 20, 2017 by Andrew Minalto - 5 Comments
It’s time for our weekly Reader’s Question post! Today we’ll be taking a look at a common problem many Amazon sellers face – dealing with excessive courier shipping charges when sending orders to remote UK locations, like Scottish Highlands and Islands, Northern Ireland, Channel Islands and British Islands.
Here’s the email Mike sent in:
Here’s a question that may make a good blog post for you.
How do you handle delivery costs to offshore areas (e.g. Isle of Man) for orders on Amazon?
Amazon treats any address with a UK postcode the same, which is fine if you’re posting items using Royal Mail. But if your items have to go by courier, you usually get hit with a hefty surcharge for delivery to these areas.
Is there any way to automatically add a delivery surcharge on Amazon for non-mainland addresses (I couldn’t find one)?
If not, what’s the best thing to do? Cancel orders and take the corresponding hit to your seller metrics? Also, if you’re dealing with hundreds of orders a week, how can you spot which ones are going to undesirable addresses without reading through every individual order?
Or do you just have to dispatch these orders anyway, and take what can be a significant financial hit for every order going to an offshore address?
Thanks for your question Mike!
This is a big issue and an on-going problem for many Amazon Marketplace sellers, especially ones that sell bulkier items that need to be sent via courier.
Unfortunately there’s no easy fix/solution – at least not yet. Amazon requires all sellers to INCLUDE these offshore regions in your standard shipping settings. You can’t exclude them and you can’t charge higher shipping costs for these regions.
If you go to your Amazon account then to Shipping Settings, where you create your shipping rate cards, you’ll see that Amazon does not allow you to exclude these regions. If you do, you get an instant warning message:
Some regions do not have assigned transit times and shipping rates.
So there’s no way to exclude these regions from your shipping rate card.
By Amazon’s rules it is mandatory to include these 4 regions:
- UK Mainland (England, Scotland, Wales)
- Northern Ireland
- Channel Islands, British Islands
- Scottish Highlands and Islands
But you CAN exclude UK BFPO addresses if you want – Amazon allows that. Read More…
Wholesale Clearance UK – REVIEWED!
November 30, 2016 by Andrew Minalto - 4 Comments
It’s no secret that my preferred method of sourcing is to buy direct from China, and that’s the method I’ve used to build up a number of successful eBay and Amazon businesses…
When you buy direct from China you get the lowest cost per piece and therefore the highest profit margin when it’s time to resell your items!
BUT, and this is a big but, importing from China is not for everyone, at least not when you first start selling, as there are a number of hurdles and aspects that you need to take care of. This includes:
- Supplier verification – just like with any country (and yes, I do mean EVERY country!) there are a lot of scammers mixed in with the genuine sellers in China and they prey on newbie sellers who don’t know exactly what they’re doing and don’t know how to verify a potential supplier.
- Shipping – depending on your order size, you may need to arrange shipping yourself when ordering from China…
- Import – it goes without saying that it’s more complicated and there’s more paperwork when you order from China, rather than the UK.
- Tax – you’ll need to pay import duty and VAT on your orders.
Now while most of these points may seem very daunting to new sellers, they are actually fairly easy to deal with – as I’ve written in-depth guides on every step of the importing process, which you can find here.
But what if you just don’t want to deal with all of that at the moment? Or what if your budget makes an order from China unviable? Are you out of options?
Well no, of course not!
There are a number of other sourcing techniques you can use, many of which allow you to buy items directly from UK companies, allowing you to take advantage of all the benefits that offers.
And today I want to look at one company specifically – Wholesale Clearance UK.
Wholesale Clearance UK is a wholesale company that offers bankrupt, surplus, and end of line clearance stock for sale to individuals and companies of all sizes.
I want to just really quickly go over the history of the company, as the owner and creator, Karl Baxter, was a frequent contributor on The Wholesale Forums, which is somewhere I used to spend a lot of time offering advice and helping others as much as I can!
Karl himself was an eBay seller who built a business around selling Poundland stock on eBay and as his business grew he became frustrated by the lack of wholesalers in the UK willing to sell to a sole trader, with most quoting minimum order quantities way above what he was able to afford. Read More…