The first thing that jumps to most people's minds when they think about successful eCommerce businesses is Amazon. It's considered the most popular shopping application with over 150 million visitors in the US alone. The huge masses of people that shop from Amazon shows how much consumers trust it as a reputable online business. The reliability that Amazon provides to its shoppers is one of the main foundations that make it very popular. Amazon is composed of a network of over 2.5 million sellers currently active in the marketplace. With about 1 million new sellers that join the network every year, the competition is quite fierce. The tools that Amazon provides are quite useful in establishing yourself as a seller. To help you start selling on Amazon, we've created a brief guide to make it easier for you.
What Makes Individual Selling Plans Alluring
If you're selling on Amazon as an individual, you won't need the big plethora of tools provided by Amazon or web services API. This makes an individual selling plan much cheaper for those who are still starting out their business on Amazon, especially because they don't have to pay monthly fees. Instead, individual sellers are subjected to a different type of fee structure known as per-item fees. Each item that individual sellers sell costs $0.99 as Amazon fees, not to mention any referral fees.
Where to Start
Before dipping your toes in the waters of all the different details that go into kickstarting your career as an individual seller on Amazon, you need to specify the products you would want to sell. After that, you can proceed with registering as an Amazon before you fill in the account information. However, there is an important part of being an individual seller that you must think through before signing up which is the shipping region you will limit yourself to when fulfilling clients' orders.
Make sure to assess the situation and whether you can ship locally, regionally, or internationally. If you have decided to expand your delivery area, then you should find more info about easier and cost-effective methods that will save you from having to make the hard choice between going through the trouble of long-distance shipping or losing customers. Shipping networks that were originally started by sellers accommodate sellers from all over the world to help each other save money and gain more profit instead of traditional shipping means that might cost twice, if not triple, these revolutionary methods.
Fill in the Details
One of the first main details that you need to have at hand in order for your account to be active and ready for use is your business name, which is the name that will be displayed for your clients in the market. Secondly, you will need to have a legal name and address as they are required from Amazon's part for reference.
After that, make sure to fill in your valid contact information because they will be your only communication channel between you and your clients for receiving inquiries and payments. If your business address isn't the same location you will ship from, then you need to include your "ship from" address along with the previous details because it helps customers through their buying decisions.
Last but not least, you will need to fill in your bank account details to receive payments. This is done every 14 days after customer transactions. Most of the time, individual sellers must provide their tax information and fill in a W-8 or a W-9 form.
Create Engaging and Genuine Product Details
Since Amazon is full of products from millions of sellers, standing out is crucial for your individual business. You'll be highly dependent on creating a good impression because you may not have the necessary product range and reputation to attract people based on name alone. When you use clear, authentic, and informative descriptions, your products have a higher chance of appearing in the buyer's search results. You should assign keywords customized to each product based on the customer's search queries.
When you're still starting, you should try to understand the product dynamics by listing products that are known to sell quickly to get as much traction as possible to get your business on its legs. Use a portfolio dashboard to keep close track of product movement, restocking needs, and customer analytics. If you have a shipping plan, Amazon automatically provides you with the address of the warehouse your products will be shipped to.
Selling on Amazon can take some time to pay off big, but that doesn't mean that you shouldn't expect to make a sizable profit in a relatively short time. The tools offered by Amazon can make your job much easier if you know how to use them properly, so take the time to research them.
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Help! My Friend Is a No Show
Dear Armchair Psychologist,
I have a friend who doesn't reply to my messages about meeting for dinner, etc. Although, last week I ran into her at a local restaurant of mine, it has always been awkward to be friends with her. Should I continue our friendship or discontinue it? We've been friends for a total four years and nothing has changed. I don't feel as comfortable with her as my other close friends, and I don't think I'll ever be able to reach that comfort zone in pure friendship.
Dear Sadsies,I am sorry to hear you've been neglected by your friend. You may already have the answer to your question, since you're evaluating the non-existing bond between yourself and your friend. However, I'll gladly affirm to you that a friendship that isn't reciprocated is not a good friendship.
I have had a similar situation with a friend whom I'd grown up with but who was also consistently a very negative person, a true Debby Downer. One day, I just had enough of her criticism and vitriol. I stopped making excuses for her and dumped her. It was a great decision and I haven't looked back. With that in mind, it could be possible that something has changed in your friend's life, but it's insignificant if she isn't responding to you. It's time to dump her and spend your energy where it's appreciated. Don't dwell on this friend. History is not enough to create a lasting bond, it only means just that—you and your friend have history—so let her be history!
- The Armchair Psychologist