Sunday, June 15, 2008

My First Shot at an Amazon Webstore!

I signed up for an Amazon Webstore earlier this month and didn't really play around with it until this weekend. In just a few hours I had the site up and running at the test url http://inetmediasource.amazonwebstore.com.

While I haven't spent any time on the look of the site or done any SEO prep, I could take orders on the site, right now. It is not the most user friendly application, but once I got past my concern that it was possibly too technical or confusing I was able to get things up and running.

Here are a few early observations:
  • A Webstore seems to make a lot of sense for existing Amazon sellers to develop an external presence for their Amazon listings.
  • You still need to drive traffic to your site, but it is setup for easy SEO as well as eMail Marketing and an affiliate program.
  • If you are an Amazon Associate, you can sell other Amazon product on your Webstore. Unfortunately there is a 25,000 sku limitation so I used that up immediately by adding Books. I'll have to play with that a little bit.
  • Since I only have about 1,000 sku's in stock at any one time but over 7,000 total sku's, I've chosen to sell Amazon items when one of my Sku's is out of stock. So I will always have something in stock and customers will be able to add product from Amazon along with my own product to the cart.
  • Since my product is fulfilled through Amazon FBA, I only pay the Amazon FBA rates not Basic Fulfillment rates.
  • I can make up to 8% on sales of Amazon product through my Associate account and I only pay 7% on sales of my own inventory.

It is still early, but I like what I see and it seems like a perfect solution for existing Amazon sellers. I'll continue to write about the process as I move through it and let you know when the site officially launches.

6 comments:

ms.pat said...

Say, Randy - do you think something like this would work out for artwork? Many ebay artists are looking for viable alternatives to the mess ebay's arts categories have become.

www.ACEOart.net

Randy Smythe said...

Pat,

I'm not sure I'm willing to say it is right for every product. I haven't been working with it long enough.

It is not an out of the box solution. I have enough technical background to stumble around and make something basic, which works to start with but I will probably have the professionals work on it once it starts paying for itself.

Keep reading and as I get more experience I'll share it with you.

ms.pat said...

Thanks Randy :-)

Cliff said...

Hey Randy,

Thanks for the post as usual. Just commenting because as I read the comments I thought right away that ms.pat should try Amazon out for her artwork.

Randy and his blog got me going selling Media Products through FBA. I typically sell collectibles through eBay and have been trying to decide what to try on Amazon next. I don't like Amazon's community-style postings for my regular collectible items, so I'm trying to go in a different direction.

What I'm leaning towards are these photographic/art prints that were very well done and taken from a magazine title from about 100 years ago. They're an odd size, but some time ago I'd ordered some mats for them that I've yet to use.

I typically get $8-$10 for the plain prints on eBay, so my thinking is if I pretty them up with some matting, perhaps even test a few fully framed I can jack the price up some for Amazon.

Since it's kind of a "Home" type item it seems like the best bet for my next Amazon trial. It's the type of item I can see drawing greater interest at Amazon than on eBay.

Anyway, in my usual roundabout, long-winded way, my gut instinct on this is that artwork would do well on Amazon. I wouldn't jump into FBA with it, but I'm sure Randy has posts here from the past showing sellers how cheap it is to start out on Amazon (no listing fees!).

Well worth a shot I think.

Thanks, Cliff

Jim S. said...

Randy,

I'm an eBay seller and have I signed up for a MerchantPro account with Amazon. I have run into a number of problems - the main one being a UPC code is required to list new items into their catalog and 80% of my items don't have one (thought they are new from the manufacturers). I was told to apply for an exemption, which I have done, and am waiting over 2 weeks for a reply.

I'm thinking my own website might be best.

Randy Smythe said...

Jim, right now Amazon is not ideal for that type of product and your own website might be the best option.

Amazon certainly has some limitations. My suggestion is always to have an independent website.

I don't do that because I sell media items and Amazon is the top media marketplace.