Amazon.com may be the first place you turn when you want to spend some money, but it’s also a great place to turn when you want to make some money. In recent years the popularity of Amazon’s Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) program has made it one of the most popular business opportunities.
Whether you want to make a part-time income by selling a few items here and there, or build a multi-million dollar empire, selling through Amazon FBA offers plenty of possibilities.
My wife and I sold products on Amazon from 2015 – 2017 through a private label brand. That business was sold in 2017 and we’re no longer selling on Amazon, but it was a great experience for two years (read more about our experience here). The money that we made far exceeded our expectations heading into the venture, and there are many others doing far more in sales and profit than we ever did.
Over the past few years I’ve constantly come across new websites and resources that provide some sort of assistance for people who are selling on Amazon. On this page I want to share links to many resources that can help you to run your own Amazon business, or learn more about the opportunity.
The resources are broken down into different categories, and I will likely add to this article as I come across other websites and resources. Some of these resources are applicable whether you take a private label, wholesale, or retail arbitrage approach. Other resources are more relevant to a specific type of seller.
→ Are you looking to make more money? See our list of more than 125 ways to make money.
Courses and Training
If you’re interested in building a real business selling on Amazon I would highly suggest investing in some quality training and education. There are a lot of free articles and podcasts that you can find online, but a good training course will layout all of the steps in a clear plan and fill in the gaps that will be left if you are just relying on free information from around the internet. I am 100% sure that I never would have had any success selling on Amazon without the help of good training.
Tutorials and Training from Amazon
Amazon provides some helpful articles, as well as some videos, about all different aspects of selling on Amazon. To access the Seller University articles you will need to be logged in to a seller account. While I would definitely recommend reading articles or going through a course from a third party, the resources provided by Amazon are helpful as well, especially for learning the details, regulations, and terms of selling on Amazon.
Complete Guide to Selling Private Label Products on Amazon
This is an in-depth article that I wrote about the process of getting started with a private label brand on to sell on Amazon. This article is free, and if you want to take it further you can look into the paid courses also listed in this section.
Amazing Selling Machine
When my wife and I started our Amazon business we went through the popular course Amazing Selling Machine. That course is only open for enrollment for short periods at specific times. It’s probably the most popular course related to selling on Amazon and has a solid track record of success.
Amazon Boot Camp
This course teaches how to make a full time income through retail arbitrage (buying products for cheap prices and re-selling them on Amazon for more). If the private label approach taught by courses like Amazing Selling Machine is not for you, this is an excellent option. The couple behind this course made six figures in profit in less than 20 working hours per week the first year they worked on the business together.
Amasuite is a collection of software for Amazon sellers and affiliates. If you purchase Amasuite you’ll also get access to their course for new Amazon sellers. I went through this course a few years ago when I bought the software. The course may have been updated since then, but I found it to be pretty straightforward and helpful. It’s not as in-depth as some of the other more expensive courses, but it does cover all of the basics.
Apps and Software Suites
There are all kinds of web apps and software products available for Amazon sellers, and we’ll cover many different types on this page. In this section you’ll find suites that include multiple products and have a lot to offer. Some of the specific apps and software from these suites will also be mentioned in the other sections of the article.
AmaSuite is a great collection of software, but it’s a little bit different than some of the other suites mentioned here. Most of the others are web apps, which means you’ll access them by logging in to a website. Those types of tools come with a monthly subscription fee. AmaSuite, on the other hand, is a collection of software that you will download and install on your computer. You’ll pay one-time up front and then you will own the software without the monthly payments.
AmaSuite includes several different programs. Top Product Analyzer and Search Analyzer help you to find great products to sell. Keyword Generator is great for identifying keywords that you can target to get more visibility for your listings. Review Analyzer makes it possible to quickly find opportunities to out do your competition by finding the common problems with their products.
I purchased AmaSuite a few years ago and used it heavily. I would definitely recommend it. The Review Analyzer was extremely useful for my wife and I when we were researching our first private label product. We found all of the common problems and issues from competing products so we knew what to focus on when we were sourcing our own product. That product did extremely well, partly because we knew the problems that we needed to avoid.
Sellics includes a profit dashboard that integrates with your Amazon seller account to provide plenty of useful data. It also includes a PPC manager, ranking optimization, product research, inventory control, competition monitor, and review manager. The product research functionality can be especially useful if you are just getting started and looking for products to sell. They offer a 14-day free trial, with no credit card required.
With this bundle you’ll get 4 different tools. Feedback Genius allows you to automate follow up messages with your buyers to improve customer service and get more seller feedback and product reviews. Ignite helps you to manage your pay-per-click ads through Amazon Sponsored Products. Scope helps you to find keywords that will get more exposure for your listings and products. Quantify is for managing inventory and reporting. You can get any of these tools individually, or save some money (if you’re going to use them all) with the bundle.
AMZ Tracker can do a lot of things for you. It will track your ranking in Amazon searches for your target keywords. It will help you to optimize your listing, and find problems with your competitor’s listings. You can also get alerts for negative reviews (so you can address them quickly) and hijacking attempts. You’ll also have access to Vipon, the deal site run by AMZ Tracker that will help to boost your sales and search rank. We used AMZ Tracker for a long time and I would recommend it.
AMZ.One is a suite that includes tools for tracking your keyword search ranking, tracking sales on any product, analyzing listings, notifications for negative reviews, and more. They also have a deal club that helps you to boost your sales and search rankings. We used AMZ.One for a few months before we sold our Amazon business, and I found it to be a really good value. I mostly used it for keep an eye on our search ranking for different keywords.
Helium 10 is a big collection of tools. Refund Genie helps you to find money owed to you by Amazon. Magnet is a keyword research tool. Frankenstein is a keyword processor. Scribbles is a listing optimization tool. 5K Checker helps to maintain your back end keywords. Brand Gate Checker shows how much protection you have against hijackers. Keyword Tracker keeps track of changes to your listing so you can know what impacts your search rankings. Trendster helps in product research by showing trends and seasonality.
Teikametrics includes tools for a variety of purposes. You’ll be able to take advantage of their repricer, sponsored ads management, review management, automated restocking, inventory reports, purchase order and shipping management, and profitability analysis.
ManageByStats provides you with graphs and data related to your sales and products. You can view reports broken down daily, weekly, or monthly. You can also break them down by brand, product line, or ASIN.
BQool includes several different tools. There is an automated repricer, an app for managing followup emails to get seller feedback, and a review manager.
One of the biggest keys to having success as an Amazon seller is finding the right products to sell. Regardless of whether you are focusing on retail arbitrage, wholesale, or private labeling, you’ll need to have products that customers want to buy. And you’ll also want to find products that have few direct competitors, or competitors that you can easily beat. The tools in this section will help you to find the right products.
Google Trends is a great free tool that helps you to gauge the general interest in a type of product or an industry. It shows a graph to represent the trends in search volume for a word or phrase. You can use this information to identify products that are gaining popularity, as well as to avoid those that are on the decline. For example, if you enter the phrase “fidget spinner” you’ll see that it had a big spike in early 2017, and then the search volume quickly dropped off. You can avoid these types of fad products thanks to the information provided by Google Trends.
Camel Camel Camel
Camel Camel Camel is an awesome free resource for researching products on Amazon. Enter any product and you can see the price history and sales rank history. You can use this to evaluate products that you are considering selling, or for checking up on competitors.
FBA Revenue Calculator
This free tool from Amazon is really helpful for estimating how much profit you can make from a product. You can see the breakdown of fees that Amazon will charge if you sell this product via FBA. If you are researching for a new private label product, enter the ASIN of a competing product that is as close as possible in packaged size and weight to your product. And make sure the product is in the same category, because fees can vary by category. You’ll enter a selling price, Amazon will calculate the fees, and will show you how much you will be paid for each sale. With this information you can determine how much you are willing to pay to have the product manufactured, and you can estimate your potential profit margin.
Unicorn Smasher is a free tool from the creators of AMZ Tracker that can help you to estimate how many sales different products are making on Amazon. It is a Chrome extension and then you can run it on an Amazon search result. For example, if you are considering selling a dog toy you could search for “dog toy” and then run Unicorn Smasher. It will look at the best seller rank (BSR) of each product and provide an estimate as to how many units are being sold per month. It will multiply the estimated number of sales by the current selling price, and provide an estimated amount of monthly revenue. This is a great way to get an idea of the potential for a particular product.
Jungle Scout is a very popular resource for product research. It comes as a web app or a Chrome extension. Both will help you to research products, analyze competition, and find pockets of opportunity where you can sell your own product.
Price Checker 2
If you wholesale on Amazon this is an excellent tool. You can import a list of products from a wholesaler and it will calculate the FBA fees and analyze the list to find the most-profitable products for you. This can obviously be a huge time saver while helping you to find the right products to buy.
Tactical Arbitrage is a web app that helps you to find products for online arbitrage. There are several different tools, as well as a suite that includes all of the tools. The Wholesale tool allows you to import a wholesaler manifest and it will find profitable selling opportunities. The Amazon Flips tool will help you to find products that you can buy on Amazon and re-sell on Amazon for a profit.
Once you’ve identified the type of products that you want to sell, you then have to find a supplier or manufacturer. In most cases this means you’ll be working with a company in another country, often China. If you are selling anything like skin care products, supplements, or grocery products, I would highly suggest finding a manufacturer in the United States.
Alibaba is one of the easiest places to find a manufacturer or supplier. You can search for any type of product and you’ll see many different suppliers who offer the product, and you can then contact them to get an estimate on price or other details. Most, but not all, of the suppliers you’ll find on Alibaba are based in China. If you’re looking for a quick, easy way to find a supplier, Alibaba is a great option. However, most private label sellers source their products on Alibaba. If you want something more unique you’ll need to work with the supplier to create a custom product, or to make some customizations to one of their existing products.
AliExpress is owned by Alibaba, and it is better than Alibaba if you are looking to purchase small quantities or get faster turnaround. Each supplier that you contact on Alibaba will have their own policies for minimum order quantity (MOQ), but it’s not rare for a supplier on Alibaba to require a purchase of at least 1000 units. The MOQ is often flexible if you ask for an exception, but not in all cases. At AliExpress you can find products with very low MOQs, and products where you can buy a single item. This is great for testing the demand of a product before investing a lot of money into inventory. It also gives you a way to get started if you simply don’t have the money to invest in a lot of inventory right away.
Kole Imports is a US-based company that imports products and sells them at wholesale. In most cases you can buy in smaller quantities than if you were ordering from a manufacturer through Alibaba. This is another good option for testing the demand of a product without a big investment, or for simply getting started if you don’t have much money to invest in inventory. They can even put your logo on the product. Kole Imports will even send the products straight to Amazon warehouses for you. See this page for info on the FBA program.
If you are looking for someone to help you with the sourcing process, you can use a service like Guided Imports. They handle everything from finding the suppliers, to overseeing and inspecting the products, and shipping it to Amazon.
This mobile app will help with retail arbitrage. You can scan an item in a store and get all kinds of data that will help you to know if you could make a profit by reselling it on Amazon.
Dealing with the details of shipping products from China to the US (or another country) can be complicated, confusing, and frustrating. A good freight forwarder will handle all the details for you and make sure that it is a smooth process. There are a lot of freight forwarders out there, here are just two of them. [As a side note, if you are just getting started and your product is small and lightweight, you’ll find it much easier to have it shipped by air express (UPS, FedEx, DHL). Just ask your supplier for a quote on air express shipping. Be sure that you specify “air express” and not “air freight”. With air express customs will be handled by UPS, FedEx, DHL, or whatever company you are using.]
Flexport can handle your shipments by sea or air. They also offer cargo insurance, inspections, warehousing and fulfillment.
FBA Forward specializes in working with Amazon sellers, so they know all the challenges and issues that you may face. They can help with customs clearance, inspections, product prep, and even product photography.
One of the biggest benefits of selling through Amazon FBA is that Amazon handles all the order fulfillment, so you don’t have to deal with it. However, you still need to get your products to Amazon’s warehouse. You could have shipments sent directly from a supplier to Amazon, but I wouldn’t recommend it, especially if you are dealing with international shipments. The shipments that we received often involved extremely banged up boxes (usually the items inside were fine). There were also other issues, like the quantity of items not matching up perfectly. Issues like this can cause problems if the shipment goes straight to Amazon. And more significantly, you should have some sort of inspection done before the items reach Amazon’s warehouse. If you don’t want to deal with this yourself, if you don’t want inventory being shipped to your home or office, or if you live outside of the country, FBA prep services are well worth the cost.
ShipMonk provides services like inspection and quality control, repackaging, labeling, bagging units, bundling units into a set, photo documentation, and more.
River Source Logistics
River Source Logistics offers receiving, outbound shipping (to FBA warehouses), inspection, storage, labeling, bundling, photography, and more.
I mentioned FBA Forward in the Frieght Forwarding section, but they also provide services like inspection and product prep. They also fulfill orders, which could be useful is you are selling on your own e-commerce site or another platform.
Barcodes and UPCs
If you are selling your own products (including private label), you will need a UPC. In most cases the supplier will be willing to print barcode stickers and put them on your packaging (or you may be able to have the barcode printed on your packing). But sometimes you may need to print barcode stickers yourself. We usually kept some stickers on hand because sometimes suppliers would miss products, and without a barcode you can’t send it in to Amazon. Also, if you get returned items shipped back to you, you may need to re-package the item before you can send it back in to Amazon.
We Print Barcodes
Whenever we ordered barcode stickers we would get them from We Print Barcodes.
The safest place to buy UPCs is GS1. You can buy UPCs for a fraction of the price at other websites, but there could be potential issues about who owns the UPC. If you buy it from GS1 you will be safe. Buy it somewhere else and you may be safe, but it could cause problems later.
In order to sell your products on Amazon you will need to have a listing that gets exposure. That means you’ll need to know what keywords potential customers will be searching, and integrate those keywords into your product title, bullet points, description, and search keywords. There are a lot of great tools that help you to research keywords and estimate their search volume.
KeywordInspector is a suite of tools that you can use for different purposes. The Reverse ASIN tool is extremely useful for keyword research. You enter the ASIN of a competing product and it will generate an exhaustive list of keywords and phrases that the product is ranking for. You can then go through the list, find the ones that are also relevant to your product, and incorporate them into your own listing so you can also rank for them. The report even includes search volume estimates for each keyword, so you know which ones have the potential to provide the most exposure.
MerchantWords is the leading keyword research tool for Amazon sellers. You simply enter a keyword and it will show you the estimated Amazon search volume of that keyword. It will also provide many related keywords and their estimated search volume. You can use this data to determine what keywords you should use in your product titles and throughout your listings. MerchantWords does require a subscription, but it is well worth the price. This was my go-to tool for keyword research when my wife and I were selling on Amazon, and I would rate it as one of the most essential tools for our business.
Sonar is a very useful free keyword research tool from Sellics. It will provide plenty of keyword suggestions that you can incorporate into your listing. While the tool is free, Sellics is a premium suite of tools for Amazon sellers, so of course they use the free tool as a way to get more exposure for their main products.
Keyword Tool from Scientific Seller
This is a nice free tool that is worth checking out. Just enter your main keyword, or a few keywords, and it will generate a large list of keyword suggestions.
Google Keyword Planner
This free tool is intended to be used for planning your AdWords campaigns, but it’s helpful for just about any type of keyword research. Enter your main keywords and get Google’s suggestions for related keywords. Keyword Planner is free to use, but you will need to be logged in to an AdWords account to access it. If you don’t already have an AdWords account you can create on for free.
Scope is an advanced keyword research tool from SellerLabs. It will give you plenty of keyword suggestions, data on the keywords that are driving business for your competitors, and more. You can purchase a subscription to Scope, or get it as part of a SellerLabs Pro subscription, which includes 3 other tools as well. Scope also has a free Chrome extension that offers keyword research capabilities with some limitations.
Enter your main keyword into this tool and it will provide suggestions. The tool is free, but the data that you’ll get with the free version is limited. You can get more data if you pay for the upgraded account.
Photos, Logos, and Graphics
Product photos are extremely important for selling on Amazon, so you’ll want to take them seriously. Hiring a professional isn’t necessary, especially if you are just starting out. You can take photos yourself and then hire a designer to put them on a white background. Or, you probably have a friend who is pretty good at photography that would be willing to help you. Logos and other graphics can be important as well. This includes for use in your product listing, as well as your packaging or label design.
Fiverr is a great place to find cheap services. I’ve used it to get logos designed and to have other types of graphics created. Where else can you get a logo designed for as little as $5? Photos, logos, and graphics are important for making your brand look professional, but when you’re just getting started I recommend that you avoid going out and spending a lot of money on these things. If you have some success selling on Amazon you can consider re-investing some of your income to improve these items later, if needed.
I’ve ordered several logos from this designer and always been satisfied. He can also do other types of graphics as well.
I took all of my own photos for our Amazon listings, but I would hire someone on Fiverr to remove the background and put it on an all white background. This is the designer that I used many times, and I recommend him if you need background removal.
Upwork is another site for finding freelancers. You can post a job, get quotes from several different freelancers, and choose the one that best fits your needs. You can find freelance designers, developers, writers, photographers, and just about anything else you need. I didn’t use Upwork for our Amazon business, but I have used it many times over the years for hiring writers, designers, and developers for other projects.
99designs is another site where you can go to get design work done, but it’s different than Fiverr or Upwork. At Fiverr you are finding a specific provider and ordering work from them. At Upwork you post your job ad and freelancers will apply and submit their bid, and you’ll select the one that you want to hire. At 99designs you’ll create the design brief that describes what you want, then many designers will create their design and submit it, and you’ll choose the one that you like best. You’ll get more options with 99designs, but if you’re on a tight budget you can get cheaper work done at Fiverr and Upwork.
Canva is a free online tool that let’s you create your own graphic designs. Think of it as a free, scaled down version of Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator. If you want to create the graphics yourself and do it on a budget, Canva is a nice resource.
Pixlr is another free web-based photo editor that you can use for working with photos and graphics for your Amazon listing.
Creating and Optimizing Your Listings
Creating an optimized listing is a big part of having success on Amazon. With bad listing it doesn’t matter how great your product is, because no one will see it and no one will buy it.
Amazon Advantage: Product Listing Strategies to Boost Your Amazon Sales
This e-book from Karon Thackston is one of the best resources that will teach you how to create an optimized listing that will help to maximize your sales on Amazon.
Splitly is a great tool that allows you to split test almost any element of your listing, like price, title, images, features, descriptions, and keywords. With the data provided by Splitly you can completely optimize your listing and maximize conversions and profit.
Listing Eagle will notify you if any of your products are hijacked or suppressed. They have pre-made letters that you can send to hijackers to get them off your listing.
Listee is useful if you are doing retail arbitrage or selling used items. It helps you to list your items and print labels very quickly.
Amazon Sponsored Ads
One of the best ways to get more sales on Amazon is to take advantage of Amazon Sponsored Ads, Amazon’s pay-per-click advertising platform. You can get even a brand new product in front of the right customers with the help of these ads.
Ignite, from SellerLabs, will help you to optimize and manage your Amazon pay-per-click campaigns. You can lower your ACoS (which will increase profitability) by using better keywords and using smarter bids. You’ll get better stats as compared to what you get in Seller Central, so you can make decisions about which campaigns to run and how much to spend.
Amazing Seller Video
The Amazing Seller has a video replay of a workshop with Ignite talking about Amazon PPC.
Podcasts for Amazon Sellers
There are a number of podcasts that cover topics of interest to Amazon sellers. Many of them focus exclusively on Amazon, and others cover e-commerce topics including Amazon. I’ve never been big on listening to podcasts, but when I started selling on Amazon I found myself listening to podcasts all the time. Things change so quickly with Amazon that it’s really helpful to stay up-to-date, and podcasts help with that. Plus, it’s helpful to hear what other people are doing that is working.
The Amazing Seller
Possibly the most popular, and definitely one of the most active and up-to-date, podcast for Amazon sellers. Scott Voelker has been selling on Amazon for a few years, and episodes often include guests that you can learn from as well.
Private Label Movement
This podcast from Kevin Rise is another one that is very active with frequent new episodes. Kevin’s first private label brand did over $1 million in sales in its first year. Now he is behind one of the leading podcasts in the industry. Many episodes features guests that share from their own experiences and expertise.
FBA All Stars Podcast
This podcast is a project of Matt Ward, who runs his own private label business. This is another active podcast with frequent updates. Some of the episodes feature a guest, but all cover useful topis that will be relevant to you.
Manny Coats, host of the program, has quite an impressive background. In addition to many other successful ventures, he also sold over $1 million in his first 9 months on Amazon. This is another active podcast that you’ll want to follow if you want to master the private label business.
One of my favorite podcasts is from Chris Guthrie of Salesbacker. Unfortunately, this one isn’t updated very often anymore, but the archives are full of great episodes. Chris speaks with a different guest in each episode, so you get a lot of diversity of information and you can learn something from everyone. Chris also keeps the podcast to-the-point and moving quickly so the episodes don’t get too long.
Amazon Insider Podcast
All of the guests on this podcast are current or former Amazon employees. You’ll get a different perspective and insight from these episodes.
This podcast is aimed at experienced sellers looking to grow, rather than beginners.
This podcast is hosted by UK-based million dollar seller Michael Veazey. New episodes are released pretty regularly, and there are more than 200 episodes in the archives.
My Wife Quit Her Job
This podcast by Steve Chou is more about e-commerce in general than it is specifically about selling on Amazon. The episodes feature guest that share their stories about specific aspects of their e-commerce business and selling online.
This is another podcast generally focused on e-commerce, with some content that is specific to Amazon. Most of the episodes will be relevant to you if you are selling online and looking to build your business.
Blogs for Amazon Sellers
In addition to podcasts, blogs are another great way to get learn and stay up-to-date with this industry that moves very quickly. Many of the sites listed above in the podcasts section also publish blog posts, so I won’t mention them again. But here are some other blogs that are worth following.
The Selling Family
This blog covers topics relevant to FBA sellers, as well as retail arbitrage.
This blog from Stephen Smotherman covers the lessons learned through his process of making a full-time income from part-time hours running an FBA business.
Online Selling Experiment
This blog by Ryan Grant includes a lot of content related to selling on Amazon.
Skip McGrath’s Blog
Skip has been selling on Amazon since 2006, nearly a decade before many current sellers. He’s written several books and is recognized as an expert in the industry.
Facebook Groups for Amazon Sellers
Facebook Groups are great for connecting with other Amazon sellers. You can ask questions, answer other people’s questions, get motivation and inspiration, find out about Amazon-related news, and just generally connect with other like-minded people. Some groups are open and some are private, but most of them are easy to join. I’m not going to list details about these groups because they all pretty much exist for the same purpose.
- The Amazing Seller
- Amazon FBA Ninjas
- Amazon FBA Rockstars
- Amazon FBA Competitive Edge
- Amazon FBA High Rollers
Amazon Product Reviews and Seller Feedback
AMZFinder will help you to match up negative reviews with order numbers. As you probably know, most Amazon users don’t use their real names as their display names. And as a seller Amazon does not show you which order is linked to a verified review. When you get a bad review it’s often hard to find the identity of the customer so you can reach out to them and try to rectify the situation. AMZFinder than lets you contact the customer with one click.
Email Follow Up
One of the best ways to get in touch with your customers is to use an app for sending automated follow up emails after a purchase. Unfortunately, your emails will not be delivered to every customer since Amazon allows customers to opt out of messages from third-party sellers, but you can still reach a lot of your customers this way.
These email follow up tools are often praised for being a great way to encourage customers to leave a review or seller feedback, and that is true. But I found the automated emails to be most useful for identifying potential problems and getting them fixed quickly so the customer is happy (which means fewer negative products reviews and seller feedback). Many Amazon customers don’t know how to contact third-party sellers. If they aren’t happy with your product their reaction is to leave a negative review or bad seller feedback. But if they have an email from you they can simply reply to that email and you can address the issue right away. From my experience, most customers won’t leave a negative review or feedback if you take care of the problem quickly.
We used Salesbacker for managing our follow up emails. It’s priced affordably (with a free plan for small sellers) and is very easy to use.
Feedback Genius is probably the most popular automated follow up option. We chose Salesback because it is a bit cheaper, but Feedback Genius is another excellent option.
FeedbackExpress allows you to send automated follow ups. It also has a nice feature that will automatically send an email to anyone who leaves positive seller feedback. You can thank the customer for the feedback and politely ask them to leave a product review.
JumpSend will allow you to send automated follow up emails, but it also includes a “deals” section. You can increase sales velocity by offering discounts on your products. Discounts lead to more sales, and more sales means more customers that might leave a review or feedback when they get your automated emails.
FeedbackFive will send your follow up emails, and it will also help you to monitor and manage seller feedback and product reviews.
The tools in the above section are great for communicating with your customers through Amazon’s email system. But they don’t help you to build your own email list that you can use to help launch new products or generate sales for your existing products. Building your own email list is one of the best strategies to take your sales to the next level, and to be less dependent on Amazon. You can use your own website, social media profiles, or paid ads to build your email list. Here is a look at some of the leading tools for managing your email list.
ConvertKit is mostly intended for bloggers, but there are a lot of great features that can be useful for Amazon sellers as well. The automation and sequences can be put to good use with a little creativity to send the right messages to your subscribers.
AWeber is one of the leading options for email marketing. I’ve used AWeber for years and have always been pleased.
GetResponse is another option that I’ve used personally. I find it to be pretty easy to use.
MailChimp is also a popular option. Personally, I don’t like MailChimp as much as the others listed here, but it does have one nice feature that many people will like: a free plan. You can have up to 2,000 subscribers on your list for free. The downside is that they limit how many emails you can send (12,000 per month), and the features are a bit stripped down from the paid plans. If you are able to spend a little bit each month I would recommend one of the others, but if the budget doesn’t allow you to pay for this service, MailChimp’s free plan is always an option.
Email List Building
In order for your email list to be effective at growing your sales, you’ll need to have a plan to continually add new subscribers to your list. You can use ads, your own website/blog, or landing pages. If you are using paid ads, in most cases you will need a landing page where you send visitors when they click on your ads. Here are some tools that can help you to grow your own email list.
OptinMonster is a great tool for growing your email list. It works with WordPress and any other type of website. You can create popups, optin forms, slide in boxes, floating bars, and just about any other type of lead generation method you can think of. You have a great deal of control over when and where your forms show up. I have been using OptinMonster for years, since it first launched, and I love it. The possibilities really are endless.
Thrive Leads is another awesome plugin that I use as well. Just like OptinMonster, Thrive Leads makes it easy to create just about any type of optin form you want, and display it whenever and wherever you want.
LeadPages is the leading option for easily creating your own landing pages. You can quickly create a landing page and integrate it so that visitors can subscribe to your email list. You can then use ads or your blog to send traffic to your landing page and grow your email list.
GiveawayBoost is a WordPress plugin that allows you to host a giveaway to build your email list. People can leave their email to join the giveaway, and they can share the giveaway on social media to get more entries (helping the giveaway to get more exposure).
Your Own E-Commerce Website
By selling on Amazon you have the possibility to reach Amazon’s millions of buyers, but if you want to take your business to the next level you should consider also selling on your own website. By selling on your own site you can build a customer email list that you own, and you can become less dependent on Amazon. There are a lot of different e-commerce platforms that you can use. Here is a look at a few of the leading choices.
Shopify would be my number one recommendation if you are thinking of creating your own e-commerce website. It is a hosted platform, which means Shopify hosts your site on their own servers. There are a few benefits of this. First, one company provides support for your hosting and e-commerce. If you have an issue you won’t have to deal with a web host that blames the e-commerce platform or an e-commerce platform that blames your web host. You’ll have one point of contact. Another major benefit of a hosted system is that they will handle all of the security. With so much hacking and identity theft going on today, security is not something that I want to worry about. I’d rather leave it to the experts and let them be responsible for it.
With Shopify you can sell any type of product that you want. You can choose from one of their many templates, or have a designer create a custom look for your site. There are countless integrations that allow you to do just about anything you can think of.
BigCommerce is pretty similar to Shopify, but not quite as popular of well known. It is also a hosted platform and has all kinds of features, making it easy for you to create a great e-commerce website. BigCommerce would be my second choice for an e-commerce platform. I like it a lot, but Shopify seems to have more integrations and themes available.
Highwire is another hosted e-commerce platform. It’s not as popular as Shopify or BigCommerce, but does offer some nice features and good pricing. One of the main features of Highwire is multi-channel selling, integrating your website with Ebay and Facebook.
WooCommerce is unlike the others that I have mentioned above. It is not a hosted platform. WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin, so you would host the website with the web host of your choice. This could be a pro or a con, depending on how you look at it. The reason I would not choose WooCommerce is because I don’t want to process credit card payments on my own server. Of course, you would have an SSL certificate to protect the sensitive data, but security and hacking is not something I want to think about. The nice thing about WooCommerce is it is free (although you would need to pay for web hosting). I should also point out that the core WooCommerce plugin is free, but many of the advanced features require the purchase of an additional plugin.
As your business grows, managing inventory can become an important task. This is especially true if you are selling through multiple platforms or channels.
InventoryLab integrates with your Amazon seller account and helps you to manage inventory, track expenses, and analyze profitability.
Stitch Labs provides inventory management for multi-channel sellers.
In this section we’ll look at some tools that can help you with managing the accounting aspect of your growing business.
Fetcher is accounting software made specifically for Amazon sellers. It integrates with your Amazon Seller Central account and automatically calculates all the essential metrics. I wish I knew about Fetcher when my wife and I were selling on Amazon. Because it integrates with Amazon and is created specifically for the needs of Amazon sellers it would be my #1 choice.
FreshBooks is leading online accounting software for small businesses. FreshBooks can also be integrated with your Amazon account, but you’ll need to use Zapier (a third-party app) to connect the two.
Like FreshBooks, Xero is leading accounting software for small businesses that can (optionally) be integrated with your Amazon account.
Liability insurance isn’t a fun topic, but if you’re selling on Amazon (especially private label or manufacturing your own products) it is something that you need to consider. Unfortunately, finding an insurance policy for any type of e-commerce business can be a challenge.
AMZ Liability Insurance
If you’ve had trouble finding liability insurance, check with AMZ Liability Insurance. They specialize in working with Amazon sellers and other online retailers.
What topic is even less exciting than liability insurance? Sales tax! Although it may not be an exciting topic, sales tax is something you need to be aware of if you are selling on Amazon, especially FBA. I’m not an account or tax professional so I won’t give any advice other than to speak with a professional or at least educate yourself on the topic. But here are some resources that can help with sales tax.
TaxJar will integrate with your Amazon seller account and provide you will all the data and reports that you need to files sales tax in any state. Unfortunately, the sales tax reporting provided by Amazon is not sufficient, so you’ll probably need a third-party service like TaxJar if you are collecting and filing sales tax. We used TaxJar the entire time we sold on Amazon, and it was an essential tool that we could not have done without. Not only does TaxJar provide reports, but you can also use the auto file service so you don’t need to do anything with sales tax (auto file is an additional fee). It will also integrate with Shopify and other platforms if you are a multi-channel seller.
Avalara is another service similar to TaxJar. Since we used TaxJar I’m not very familiar with Avalara. Like TaxJar, it will also integrate with your Amazon seller account and provide all of the necessary reports.
Taxify is another option, like TaxJar and Avalara. I’m also not very familiar with Taxify, but it integrates with Amazon, provides reports, and can also automatically file sales tax returns for you.
People from all over the world are selling on Amazon in the U.S., as well as a growing number of countries around the world. There may be times when you are having trouble getting paid or paying others around the world. In these situations you may need a service like the ones listed below. I have not personally had a need for these services so I won’t say too much about them, but depending on where you live they may be extremely useful to you.
With Payoneer you can collect payment from Amazon, and many other marketplaces. Then you can withdraw the money from Payoneer to your local bank.
World First is another option for international sellers to collect payment from Amazon.
I’ve covered a lot of tools and resources here, but feel free to leave a comment and mention any others that you use.