As I covered in my previous Amazon UK FBA business update post for May, I have finally started selling my products on Amazon.com too, which is by far the world’s biggest Amazon marketplace! Many of you asked me afterwards for more details about how exactly to start selling in the United States because, while there are many online guides covering this topic, none of them truly give a complete and thorough overview of every step of the process from a seller’s perspective.
And that’s where I come in, right?! Today I want to give you a step-by-step walkthrough of how to start selling on Amazon.com using FBA! The principles will be applicable to sellers who already sell on Amazon UK (or any other Amazon European marketplace), but the same rules and steps will also apply to sellers who are just starting out. In this post, I will assume that you already have a product to sell and understand the basics of how Amazon FBA works.
Also, as you saw in my previous post, my US launch was actually much smaller than the UK launch I did in Autumn 2017. By that I mean, in my first month on Amazon UK, I broke £12k in sales. In my first month on the US platform, I made just $3k or so in sales.
This is quite important to understand: while Amazon.com is a much bigger marketplace with much greater demand in most product groups, it also has much more competition. You’re competing against much bigger players with a lot more resources!
So, unlike the UK platform where you compete with, say, 20 other sellers in your category, on the US site, you suddenly have to contend with 200 competing sellers! And it’s not easy, even for seasonal sellers like me.(more…)
Another month has ended and, as usual, I will share my latest results from my Amazon FBA journey. Hopefully, seeing these real numbers will inspire some of you to take action and learn something new along the way.
In terms of sales, May has been a very steady month—very predictable and slightly boring at the same time. It is in months like these that I start to get a little bored by the business to some extent. By that, I mean I have pretty much done all I can with these products on the Amazon UK platform and have reached a sales level that will be very hard to break, because:
1) Demand for this product is “fixed.” I can’t magically increase the demand just because I want it to happen. There is simply a certain number of people each month who will search for these products on Amazon. Some will buy from me; others will buy from my competitors. This overall demand is steady, and that threshold is not something we, as sellers, can do much to change once we reach a certain level.
2) I have optimised my PPC campaigns to a good standard. There are always ways to improve ad campaigns. I will continue adding new keywords as I find them, manage bids, etc., but all in all, I’m already covering all the major keywords related to my products. It’s not like I can just discover some “magic” keywords that unlock lots of additional traffic (or at least not at a good cost).
3) My organic rankings are very solid too. I’m not number one for my main keywords but I’m in the Top 3, Top 5, etc., which is good enough for me. The thing is, I will probably NEVER be number one in the search because the prices I charge for my products are higher than the market average—and that’s fine by me! (more…)
Today, I want to share my story of how I wasted 7 months and hundreds of pounds on registering a trademark for Amazon’s Brand Registry, which, at the end of the day, turned out to be totally useless! This story just shows how fast everything changes and that you can never rely on old information when it comes to things like this. Without further ado, let’s get started!
Brand Registry Overview
For people who are new to Amazon selling or even for active sellers who are still not using Amazon’s Brand Registry, I highly recommend you sign up! It’s the quickest and easiest way to protect your brand, enhance your listings and unlock additional features in your Seller Central account.
Brand Registry is a place/service where Amazon allows genuine brand owners to register their brands.
After the registration process is complete, you get benefits like:
Protect your brand from being used in other listings, act on copied products, help with finding potential infringement, copied images, logo and other elements.
Gives you the option to use Amazon Stores. (Awesome!)
Gives you the option to use Enhanced Listing descriptions. (Awesome!)
Gives you the option to use Headline Search ads. (Awesome!)
So far, I have not personally had any experience with the brand protection side of things (hopefully, I will never have to do that), so I can’t comment on that. BUT for me, as a seller who creates amazing brands and wants to showcase my products in the best possible way, the most important and immediate benefit of being part of the Brand Registry is the ability to use Enhanced Listing descriptions (or Enhanced Brand Content Detail Pages, as Amazon calls them).
What are they and why are they so important?
By default, when you’re NOT registered with the Brand Registry, you can only use a very basic version of the listing description editor—it’s just plain text! However, with the help of an online HTML editor, you can add some simple HTML tags to it (bold, bullet points, etc.) but that’s about it. Your product descriptions will still be just plain text, which very few people will actually read. Here’s how it looks on Amazon:
Now, when you get into the Brand Registry, Amazon gives you the ability to use their Enhanced Brand Content tool to create VISUALLY RICH descriptions!
This includes creating your very own layout from predefined blocks, like this: (more…)
It’s time to do my monthly Amazon FBA business update for April 2018! As usual, I will show you my exact sales numbers, ad costs and net profit. PLUS, I’ll share my insights, lessons learned and my plans for the next month.
Before we get into actual sales numbers, I wanted to quickly talk about the business itself. Many blog readers have commented and asked me what products I sell?! For obvious reasons, I won’t be sharing that information with everyone—at least not for now. My blog gets more than 1 million unique visitors each year, so I don’t want to share my Amazon products as I know for sure that some will try to copy me and sell exactly the same product.
Not that I’m afraid of competition that much—this niche is already VERY crowded. However, because my product is THE BEST on the marketplace, I can still get very good sales, even when selling at the highest price. Sometimes even at double the price my competitors charge.
So, the competition is not what I’m worried about. I’m more worried about people trying to “cheaply” copy what I do. As they don’t have the knowledge or skills required, they will fail and say to me, “I tried what you do, and it doesn’t work.”
It does work, as proven by these monthly posts, BUT you need to have a certain skill set and know-how to do it all properly. How are you going to be able to compete, stand out from others, charge premium prices and be profitable, even after reinvesting a good amount of your profits on ad spend if you’re already taking shortcuts by copying someone else? If you put in the time and effort to build your knowledge and skills, it does work.
For this reason, I’m not disclosing this business on my blog, BUT I do show it in detail in my Amazon Sharks course. I actually use it throughout the course for all the step-by-step examples. So, if you’re interested in learning more about what I do, check out my Amazon Sharks course.
Also, regarding this particular Amazon business that I’m covering in these monthly posts series, there are some other things I want to clear up—especially for people who may be new to the blog and don’t know the history. This is NOT my whole business! I created this new Amazon account and new brand in Fall 2017 so I can document my journey from day one with a brand-new account and brand-new company to help show the entire process on my blog as well as for the Amazon Sharks course purposes. (more…)
Today’s post is taken from my Amazon Sharks course as I really wanted to share this information with as many people as possible.
These are 15 rules/lessons/mistakes EVERY newbie Amazon seller should be aware of! It’s not only about Amazon of course but rather eCommerce business in general and can be applied to eBay too for example.
I truly believe that IF you stick with these 15 rules, you WILL save time & money while achieving results much faster! So, without further ado, let’s get started!
Mistake #1 – Running before learning how to WALK!
If you’re totally new to the whole business model of selling physical products online, be REALISTIC about what you can and can’t do! Don’t try to create a massive empire in your head when you haven’t even sold one product on Amazon.
Dreaming BIG is all good, but you have to be realistic and start small, especially if your budget is very limited.
I regularly receive emails from people who actually want to compete with and BEAT Amazon or eBay by starting a competing website. They throw around the idea of no fees to sellers and what not.
These are REGULAR emails that I get, which means that a lot of people actually believe that they can beat these huge companies with their own website. While I won’t defend eBay and Amazon here, C’MON!!! You really think you can build a competing website when you haven’t done anything online and have a £1000 budget? Are you for real?
Another example that is specific to selling actual products online is people who spend months and even years planning out their massive empire of businesses they will have. They have purchased all kinds of domain names, like their brand name + sports at the end, brand name + home at the end, and so on. (more…)
Let’s talk about Value Added Tax (VAT) as it relates to selling on Amazon.
Recently, there has been a storm forming around this subject, especially after the infamous Amazon invalid VAT number email that I covered in last week’s post. I have received tons of emails from my blog readers asking one simple question: DO I HAVE TO REGISTER FOR VAT?
Since I am often responding to each individual with the same answers and information over and over again, I’ve decided to create a blog post that answers this question in as much detail as possible. I will cover as many scenarios as I can think of, so that after reading this post, it is 100% clear whether you, in your specific case, have to register for VAT to sell on Amazon or not. With that, let’s get started!
The Basics of VAT
VAT is something we all hear about and experience on a daily basis, whether it’s through business transactions, Amazon forums, retail shops, or invoices and receipts. VAT (Value Added Tax), as the name suggests, is a consumption tax based on the value of goods and services. This tax is used in all European Union countries, as well as many other countries. In Canada, for example, it is called GST (Goods and Services Tax), but the principle remains the same.
The VAT rate varies from country to country, but in Europe, it is usually around 20%. Here are a few examples of current EU VAT rates for 2018:
Belgium – 21%
Austria – 20%
Denmark – 25%
France – 20%
Germany – 19%
Ireland – 23%
Italy – 22%
Poland – 23%
Sweden – 25%
In the UK, the rate is set at 20%, which actually puts us amongst the countries with lowest VAT rate. In the past, it has been even lower; prior to 4th of January of 2011, the VAT rate in the UK was just 17.5%, and there was once a temporary period where VAT was only 15%.
The VAT rate we are talking about here is the STANDARD VAT rate, which is the rate used on most everyday goods like:
DIY & tools
Clothing & shoes
Basically, most everyday products that you see on Amazon or in your local Tesco will have the standard VAT rate of 20% applied to them. It is the rate you are most likely to encounter on a daily basis. (more…)
Yes, I have managed to sort out my businesses, the Amazon Sharks program, so that I now have a few extra hours each week. This means I can spend more time on the blog again and that weekly blog posts will resume starting from NOW! When it comes to selling on Amazon, there are so many topics I want to cover, and more importantly, I want to share my own day-to-day operations, ideas I’m testing and mistakes with you too!
So, I will try to publish a new post every Thursday from now on. If you have opted in for my FREE Amazon video, you will receive an email reminder each week when a new post goes live. If you haven’t signed up, you can easily do it from any page of this blog. If you’re on a mobile device, simply sign up from the homepage:
Besides weekly blog posts, starting from next week, I will also post more regularly on my Facebook page. These will be small but important Amazon updates, as well as new tips and tricks I discover on a daily basis. So, if you’re interested in all of that and more, head over to Facebook and Like my page to receive updates on those posts.
Things move fast in the world of Amazon selling. I have noticed that many of the articles regarding product sourcing, importing from China, branding and other topics covered on this blog already need an update, so I will also try to re-write/update the most important archive posts to make sure you’ve got the most relevant and updated information for 2018! (more…)
I hope everyone has survived the weather change and has gotten back on track!
In today’s post, I want to share my latest update on how my Amazon FBA business has done in February 2018! If you haven’t seen my January 2018 Profit Update post, make sure to start with that. In that post, you’ll find an introduction and some background information about this business operation.
In February, my sales slowed down. I made £15,316.28, selling a total of 1535 units:
My profit from that was: 1535 x £4 = £6,140
This is my profit after paying Amazon seller fees, FBA fees and VAT. (more…)
It’s been almost two months since my last blog post. I wish I could be more active on the blog right now, but the reality is that I kicked off 2018 with a really hard push in all my businesses. Right now, I simply don’t have enough hours and energy in a day to give much time to the blog.
The Amazon Sharks program started with a boom and sold out within few hours of opening. I’m still adding and tweaking final material for the course, so that is obviously occupying a lot of my time, not to mention answering questions that my new program members send me every day.
As a side note: if you missed the launch and did not get into the first group, Amazon Sharks will reopen on 22nd March and there are currently 30+ places available! To avoid any disappointment, you can now book your place in advance by signing up and paying a £99 deposit. This GUARANTEES you a place in the program when doors reopen in March.
Due to many requests, I will also be introducing a new payment option on March 22nd that allows joining members the option to pay in full and gain access to ALL program videos from day one, meaning you don’t have to wait for each new module on a weekly basis. The weekly payment plan will still be available, so you have the choice of the payment and pace that suits you.
My plan is to publish a monthly update on how this business is doing. This will help keep me accountable to my goal of reaching £30k+ per month with this business by the end of 2018. I also think it would be interesting and valuable for others to be able to follow my progress and see how I am doing.
Seeing the January sales numbers, I may need to re-evaluate my plan!
I might actually need to increase that target to keep this race competitive enough:
In January 2018, I did £24,119.08 in sales—which is AMAZING!
I was actually very surprised that this business did so well in January! The beginning of the year (January/February) is usually the slowest time for eCommerce businesses, and my other businesses are proof of that—sales there are quite slow in January. (more…)
We’re just days away from Christmas and I’m sure many of you are already in a festive mood and don’t want to think much about business right now. But it’s also the end of the year very soon and from my experience, I know that lots of people will have set themselves a goal of starting an online business in 2018 so I think it’s the perfect time to give you more information on my up-coming Amazon Sharks course which will be released in January, so you know exactly what to expect from it.
But I want to start off with an update on my latest Amazon venture which I started earlier this year, in September to be precise. I already covered the first month’s results in a separate video where I also shared some very valuable information on how to start a profitable Amazon private label business.
If you haven’t seen that video yet, please go to my blog – AndrewMinalto.com and sign-up for free & you’ll be given instant access. This will also subscribe you to my blog’s newsletter so you don’t miss out on any future posts and videos.
OK, going back to my new business – in short – it’s been an impressive start! I’m very happy with the results I have achieved so far and very excited to see what 2018 will bring as I’ve really only scratched the surface with this so far.
Let’s log in to my Amazon account and check some sales numbers – as you can see – I started selling on 8th September, there are no sales prior to that as this is a brand new account and business.
There’s a steady growth in sales month over month but last month has been exceptionally impressive! Mainly due to Christmas shopping of course, as I do sell a product which is in high demand during the holiday season. There will be a drop in sales for sure once Christmas shopping ends OR when I run out of stock – whichever comes first! 🙂 (more…)