Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Amazon WebStore Q&A

In my previous post I dealt with questions regarding Amazon's FBA program. With this post, I will do the same with Amazon's Webstore offering. I'll begin with the most frequently asked question and then you can use the comments section to ask me additional questions.

Q. Do I need a merchant account for the Amazon WebStore to handle payments?

A. Nope, Amazon handles all payments and fees are included in their 7% FVF (they call it a commission). So, when comparing prices with other services, make sure and account for the payments aspect of each transaction. With ProStores, Yahoo Stores, Volusion etc. you need to handle your transactions via PayPal, Google Chackout or a Merchant Account and incur additional fees. These are all additional fees over and above the platform fees.

With Amazon's WebStore, the 7% FVF includes all transaction payments. Customers can use their Amazon account to pay for items on your WebStore and they get Amazon's Worldclass A2Z guarantee and you get another little bonus; Amazon's nearly 80 million active users can buy on your WebStore without doing a thing different than they do on Amazon.

Q. What kind of items can I sell in my WebStore?

A. Basically anything that can be sold on Amazon can be sold in your WebStore. Amazon, may not have the exact category for your items but you can use the Everything Else category until they do.

If you have additional questions please go ahead and use the comments section, of this post, to ask them and I'll do my best to post an answer right away.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, but I'm pretty dense. I know when you ship a $10 media item yourself, Amazon takes $2.30 in commissions and fees (assuming you're a pro merchant). I'm having trouble figuring out how much more Amazon takes with FBA. Would you be willing to go through an example? Thanks!

Randy Smythe said...

Sure, for an extensive description see my latest post but to answer your question simply. FBA charge are basically your warehouse, and pick, pack and ship costs.

It costs me roughly .57 cents to have Amazon pick, Pack and Ship one of my Amazon items under $25 in price. Please refer to my latest post for the total fees.

Squidster said...

Hi Randy, just came across your blog in search of WebStore buzz, and instantly recognized "my" SquidAngel. Finally intrigued by Amazon's relentless WebStore promotions I was wondering if it could work purely as an affiliate site. Considering Amazon's cut of 7% do you think it's worth a try? Or would one have to have own products as the main focus? I highly value your insight. Thanks!

Randy Smythe said...

Squidster,

WebStore really wouldn't be the right way to go for an affiliate site. What you want is the aStore Here is mine

Its free!

Hope that helps.

Thanks
R

Squidster said...

Thanks for the quick reply. I was actually thinking about the integration of other affiliate (not Amazon) products, but I guess that doesn't make sense either. I was also interested in your post about buy back sites. What then, in your opinion, would be the benefit of marketing such acquired product through a WebStore rather than FBA? Thanks!

Randy Smythe said...

FBA is just the fulfillment service. Webstore is the marketing vehicle.

You can us FBA to fulfill orders place through a WebStore.

Shepherd said...

Webstores sound good as a way to get more "identity" or brand for your offerings in Marketplace (and as you mentioned in one post, having the pro-fee included in the Webstore free would a real incentive....

BUT

When I emailed to ask about whether I would be able to add my Marketplace listings to my Webstore automatically I was told that I could not sell "media type items" in my Webstore.

That sounding euphemistic, I then asked if that included books, and was told that I could not sell books in a Webstore.

I saw no mention of this aspect in your comparison to Ebay or Yahoo, both of which have bookstores.

Randy Smythe said...

Shepherd,

Email me and I'll explain.

rksmythe at yahoo dotcom

Chris said...

Great post!
Offshore and High Risk Merchant Accounts

Anonymous said...

I just contacted Amazon to terminate my webstore account. I hope they will be able to do that at least. I had a bad experience with my webstore. I registered a month ago and until today I couldn't get an approval to sell in the apparel section. Sent them many emails, called them, their customer service is terrible.

Bill said...

Randy, I am a little confused, maybe you know the answer. Some people say you can not sell media products via the Amazon Webstore platform. But that is not listed anywhere on Amazon. Can you sell DVDs via the webstore?

Randy Smythe said...

Bill, yes you can sell media through the webstore now. There are some issues regarding content though because of licensing of data so it may require more work.

You can checkout my webstore as an example inetmediasource.amazonwebstore.com

Mine is not live yet.

Michelle said...

We started on Amazon WebStore in August. We had some issues, but dealt with it because of the security and the ability to have multiple webstores. However, we are very unhappy now and are definitely going to go somewhere else. The problem is that is seems Amazon has not differentiated between its webstore and selling on Amazon Market place. We thought we were getting a shopping cart for our webstore and that we would have control of what would be on our webstore, but because we also have been selling our products on Amazon Market Place, Amazon has TAKEN PRODUCTS OFF OF OUR WEBSITE because they have restrictions on who can sell what during the holidays on Amazon Market Place. We thought fine if they won’t let us sell on market place, but they took almost all of our products off of our webstore! We sell toys and HELLO? the holidays are the busiest time of the year! We basically have a webstore with no products at the end of November after spending several months and thousands of dollars getting inventory ready for the holiday season. And we still have to pay our monthly fees for the webstore and marketplace. Now we are scrambling to find a new shopping cart so that we can try to get a store up in time. I do not recommend WebStore by Amazon. I guess it can work for some people, but in the end you are giving Amazon more money and control of the market place and supporting a company who is not supporting you.

Randy Smythe said...

Michelle,

Yep, they sure do need to fix that. There is no reason in the world to remove items on your webstore.

I sell media so I don't have many of those issues.

I will pass on your story to Amazon.

Michelle said...

Thanks Randy.

Michelle said...

Hi,

I just wanted to let everyone know that Amazon fixed the problem with our WebStore. It was basically down for two days and is now up again.

Thanks, Michelle

Michael said...

I am in the process of researching webstore by amazon, we already sell through amazon and that is going pretty well. We have an existing ecommerce site that is not selling a whole bunch. one question i have about webstores is the marketing tools that they keep talking about. I can't seem to find any specifics.

any insight would be great!

Gayla said...

The new (March 2010) (beta) Amazon WebStore is the best option I can find for an online store, actually a good deal, but the documentation is extremely confusing. When I realized I was going to have to figure out everything about the Amazon WebStore by myself, I just went ahead and wrote up what I learned in a helpful organized way, so that others wouldn’t have to suffer (I'm a writer). The "Tutorial Guide to the (beta) Amazon WebStore" is totally free. Download a 57-page pdf, or read the the Guide, at www.webstoreguide.info

Darrel said...

I have written an ebook and worked hard through article writing to drive traffic to my site. Would it be much wiser to promote my ebook at an amazon webstore? Will people be able to download it from my webstore? thank you.

buck24

Cygan Saber said...

Nếu bạn đang định mua hàng ở amazon và có thắc mắc mua hàng trên amazon có tính thuế không hay cần tư vấn hướng dẫn cách mua thì hãy liên hệ chúng tôi. Chúng tôi nhận ship hàng từ amazon, nếu bạn sử dụng dịch vụ của chúng tôi bạn sẽ không cần lo lắng hay tìm hiểu nhiều nữa.
Ngoài ra chúng tôi còn nhận vận chuyển hàng đi campuchia, chuyển hàng từ Pháp về Việt Nam, ship hàng từ đức về việt nam, chuyển hàng sang lào hay chuyển hàng từ anh về việt nam. Hãy để chúng tôi lo cho bạn nỗi lo về vận chuyển ship hàng.