Startups

How to Make Money Selling on Amazon

I don’t need to tell you to shop on Amazon. You do. We all do. Especially now.

But what I do want to tell you is that you should also sell on Amazon.

Maybe surprisingly, the corporate behemoth that is Amazon.com has also become one of the most lucrative marketplaces for the small business. Indeed, small businesses selling on Amazon last year set records:

  • More than 15,000 American small and medium businesses surpassed $1 million in sales in 2019, and just about 25,000 sold more than $500,000
  • These small business sellers accounted for sales of more than 700 million items

According to Nicholas Denissen, VP of Small Business at Amazon, “More than half of the items sold in Amazon’s stores are from small and medium sized businesses, so our success is deeply tied to their success.”

As such, Amazon has invested heavily in helping theses small business sellers. In fact, last year Amazon invested $15 billion in new tools, launching more than 200.

Recently, I spoke with one of these sellers to get an idea of how any of us could get started selling and making money on Amazon.

Theo Prodromitis is the CEO of a great business, Spa Destinations, (https://spadestinations.com) a company with an affordable, luxury product line of natural sponges, loofas, and other products that help create an “at home spa experience every day.” Spa Destinations started small as a third-party seller on Amazon in 2014, but quickly grew big.

How big? Last year, their Amazon sales topped $3 million.

So how did they do it? Let’s ask Theo:

Strauss: Especially these days, Amazon isn’t just for bargain hunters anymore, right?

Prodromitis: Absolutely. Amazon shoppers are quite sophisticated, so really, high-quality products like the ones we sell do great.

Strauss: Isn’t it tough to get found on Amazon?

Prodromitis: No, not really. The system is designed to be customer-centric, so if you sell quality items and get good reviews, you get found.

Strauss: Let’s say someone needs to pivot their business, or just wants to get started selling on Amazon, what advice would you give them?

Prodromitis: First, start small, test, and see what works. Try selling five to 10 items to start. Second, make sure, as I said, that you sell quality goods.

Also, and this is really important – You have to become an expert at selling on Amazon. Learn how to list, learn Amazon’s logistics and Fulfillment by Amazon (you sell it, Amazon ships it.) Also, learn how to tell the story of your products and business in your listings. The good news is that Amazon makes this really easy.

Strauss: How’s that?

Prodromitis: Amazon’s seller’s tools are amazing. They give you access to the world’s best analytics, marketers, marketplaces, experts, and so on. Incredible insight is available, but you have to access it and use it.

One key to success then is to take the time and make the effort to learn and use these tools. Do your homework, read the articles Amazon has on the site, watch the videos.

Amazon and its experts want to help you succeed. They will train you and teach you how to be customer-centric too.

Strauss: Are there any tools that you like best?

Prodromitis: One we really like is called “Brand Dashboard.” It helps you create, market, and manage your brand and business. The analytics there are amazing and it also helps you identify and protect your brand from copycats. Another one we like is “Launchpad.”

Also, it is of course very important to get reviews on the site and these tools help with that too.

Strauss: Anything else you would like to add?

Prodromitis: It doesn’t cost a lot to get started. We don’t even do a lot of advertising on the site. Look at your Dashboard and see what is selling. The system then suggests ads. We use them, sales go up, and then we go back to organic.

“It’s a marketers dream.”

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Steve Strauss

Steve Strauss is the senior small business columnist at USA TODAY, the Editor-in-Chief here at Small Business Connection, a speaker and spokesperson. He can be reached at MrAllBiz.com.

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