If you follow along you will learn to sell on Amazon, make your first sale and start a business.  More importantly, by making sales you will prove to yourself that the the sky’s the limit. It’s rinse and repeat after that.

Let’s begin:

The amount of money you need to start an Amazon business depends on where you’re sourcing your products from. You can purchase inventory to sell on Amazon from a few different sources:

  • Retail Stores: You buy items at local/online retail stores, and resell them on Amazon (this is known as retail/online arbitrage)
  • Wholesale Suppliers: You buy items from a company like ours, and you’re able to resell these products wherever you’d like (including Amazon)
  • Private Label Manufacturers: You modify and customize your own branded products to sell wherever you’d like (including Amazon)

If you’re extremely tight on cash (less than $250), I would recommend checking out retail arbitrage first

Retail Arbitrage on Amazon: Profitable Clearance Items at Walmart and Target?

How Much Money Do You Need To Sell On Amazon

There are currently 5 costs directly associated with starting an Amazon business. These figures can range depending on how much you’re willing to invest and how much you’re willing to bootstrap some costs in the beginning to keep startup costs low:

  • Buying Initial Inventory ($150)
  • Opening an Amazon Account ($39.99)
  • Buying UPC Codes ($10)
  • Investing in Product Photography (Free – $295)
  • Creating a Logo and Product Branding ($24)

Total Amazon Business Lean Startup Cost: $224 – $518

See how we calculated the startup cost below…

How to Open an Amazon Account

How to Open an Amazon Account

To sell on Amazon, you can go through the following steps:

Step 1: Go to Services.amazon.com

Step 1 Sign up for Amazon Seller Account at this link http://services.amazon.com/
Step 2: Scroll down and click the "Selling on Amazon" link

Step 2: Scroll down and click the “Selling on Amazon” link .

Step 3: Select between “Sell as a Professional” or “Sell as an Individual”. As a beginner we recommend selling as an individual. Amazon charges $0.99 per sale. For a professional seller account Amazon charges $39.99 per month.

Step 3 Choose to sell on amazon as either professional or individual

Step 4: Fill out the required information and once you’re done then you’ve officially become an Amazon seller.

You can also use this video below detailing how to open your Amazon seller account.

How to Open an Amazon FBA Account

Use your personal information, you don’t need a “legal” business right away to start an Amazon business.

Your personal tax information (social security number) is perfectly fine because you can claim any earnings as personal income to start.  If you’re selling on Amazon from outside the US it’s covered that in this article.

If you want to sell on Amazon from outside the US this is what you currently need:

  • Credit Card that can be charged internationally. Visa or Mastercard are the most common ones.
  • A local bank in your country that supports what’s known as ACH (automated clearing house) which only means that your local bank can receive electronic transfer payments from Amazon.
  • Your home address where you receive personal mail.
  • local phone number with your countries prefix.
  • A US EIN number. You don’t have to be a corporation and have any type of legal status in the US to get this number. An EIN may be obtained by filing IRS Form SS-4, Application for Employer Identification Number

There you go, it’s that simple.

Guideline to selling on amazon as a non US citizen
Share this image! #AmzChallenge
How to find a product to sell

How to Find Product to Sell on Amazon

We’ve covered finding profitable products to sell in the past but we have never put it together in a comprehensive post like this.

Here’s the deal:

Without a profitable product to sell you have no Amazon business.

When starting to sell on Amazon this is the part most people tend to overlook and rush.  One of the biggest questions that we get over email is “How do you find a profitable product to sell”

What people actually mean is “Can you tell me which product to sell” and it’s not that simple. A profitable product falls at the intersection of your interests and profit margin.

Step 1: Narrow Your Product Research Criteria

You want your first product to be what’s called your “beach head” product. It’s one that generates sales for you right away and then you can branch out from.

Trying to pick a niche when first starting out can become difficult and overwhelm you.

Our goal is to make this process as roadblock free as possible. That way you can get motivated and continue to make progress.

Startupbros doesn’t believe in profitable niches but instead profitable products.

So, we need to establish the bare minimum requirements that determine a good product to sell.


This is the Startupbros Guidelines to Finding A Profitable Product to Sell.

The StartupBros Guidelines to Finding A product to Sell on Amazon

Also, look at products under sponsored ads selling on Amazon. If someone is spending money advertising them then there’s a good chance the product is selling well.


Just like there is a good criteria for product selection, there are characteristics we need to avoid.

This is the Startupbros Guidlines for Bad Products to Sell On Amazon:

The StartupBros Guidlines for Bad Products to Avoid Selling on Amazon


Take these tips with you and start thinking about what items you want to start researching.

Avoid Restricted Amazon Categories

Amazon requires that you apply and gain approval to sell in certain categories. Check out the restricted categories here: Amazon restricted categories

I would recommend that the name of the game is to start making sales quickly.

The more time you spend trying to get yourself ungated the less time you have to test products. Save selling in restricted categories for when you have more time and money to spend on ungating services.

Best Product Selection Tools

Step 2: Select the Right Online Tools for Amazon Product Research

These tools don’t select products to sell on Amazon for you. And there’s no tool out there that can select the best product for you to sell.  So, you need to learn how to make the best decision with the best data available to you.

These tools allow you to sort your ideas and filter out bad ones from good ones based on the criteria we mentioned above.

Therefore, we recommend 3 tools for Amazon Product Research:

#1: The StartupBros Product Research Workbook

Figuring out what product to buy and sell on Amazon doesn’t have to be enormously complicated.

This is our proprietary Product Research Workbook. And we use it to keep track of everything when searching for your first product to make a sale on Amazon.

Follow the gif instructions!

I’ll explain with an example:

If you have our workbook then it can be as simple as putting the numbers into the spreadsheet.

Check out the video below to see how we teach product research and do it yourself!

#2: Jungle Scout Product Research Tool

One thing we don’t recommend is to start selling any of the items we research in the videos. We’re teaching you how to do your own research and depending on when you’re reading this the numbers are potentially different.

Get $20 Off JungleScout!

#3: Unicorn Smasher Product Research Tool (FREE)

Unicorn Smasher is a free online Chrome extension that gives you sales data on particular categories on Amazon. The data is not as accurate as it is on Jungle Scout but if you want to save on money then try this free option.

Get Unicorn Smasher for Free

Now that you’ve selected a product to sell on Amazon and start your business then it’s time to move on finding a supplier for your product.

If you’ve followed our guidelines then you should have at least 3 to 5 products you want to start selling on Amazon.

There’s a single point that we want to get across and it’s that there is no perfect product. The perfect product is the one you choose to execute on and fully optimize better than your competitors which is what we’re going to teach you later in the article.

The Exact Steps to Finding Overseas Private Label Suppliers

How to open an Alibaba account

Follow these steps to open an Alibaba account and buy from Alibaba:

First: Go to Alibaba and click on “Join Free”

Open an Alibaba Account

Second: Enter your Email address and verify that you own it. Try to not use your main/personal email if you don’t want your inbox clogged up with supplier emails.

3 Steps to Open Alibaba Account - Email Verification

Third: Fill out your basic information. Password, location, first name, last name, and telephone number.  Alibaba asks you for “Company name”..Do not panic. The name can be whatever you want.

3 Steps to Open Alibaba Account - Enter Basic Information

Fourth: Confirm your personal information and complete the opening of your new Alibaba account. Now you can start buying products on Alibaba.

How to open an Alibaba account (Video)

Minimum Requirements to Select the Perfect Supplier

At a minimum you want to make sure that your private label supplier meets the following requirements:

  • Accepts Trade Assurance, Paypal, or AliPay (Most secure payment methods)
  • They’re a Gold Supplier
  • Has been assessed and certified checked onsite by Alibaba

You want to keep your money as secure as possible. So checking all these boxes is a way to make sure you protect yourself when looking for a good supplier.


StartupBros must have requirements in a supplier:

The Startupbros Guidelines to Alibaba Supplier Selection

Now, let’s dive deeper into Alibaba payment methods and which ones would be better over others.

Overview of Alibaba Payment Methods

Suppliers like to compete on price but some might be willing to offer you a better one.

Finding a supplier making the exact product you found on Amazon is crucial. You’ll see that sometimes the pictures are even the same ones that are selling on Amazon.

Side Note: We’re not doing that when we list our product!

Finding a supplier that communicates well is going to be extremely important moving forward. Especially when you decide to place a logo on your products.

Startupbros Halfway Point Checklist to Start Selling on Amazon
  • You’ve done your Amazon product research and met the criteria
  • Calculated Amazon revenue
  • Opened your Alibaba accoun
  • Found 3 suppliers that make your product and accept proper payment channels

Tweet: Found product to sell on amazon, calculated revenue, found supplier & opened my Alibaba account! http://strtpb.ro/Amzhacks #AmzChallenge Tweet all the action steps you’ve taken so far!

Guide to negotiating with Alibaba suppliers

Steps to Negotiate With Alibaba Suppliers

Next, let’s negotiate with our suppliers and see if we can get a lower cost for our small orders.  You can’t start an Amazon business with good negotiations!

Best case scenario we can even get a credit back on the sample products.


If you see on the bottom right hand side of the photo you can click on “contact supplier”.

You don’t order right away on Alibaba. You need to contact the supplier and explain to them what you want and to give you an estimate.

Step 1: Contact the supplier and start the conversation


We’re not going to leave this to chance. We’ve tested so many emails to suppliers and we’re going to share one of the best emails you can send.

The idea is to create an open line of communication between you and your supplier.

People become very nervous at this step but suppliers are people too and just need to know how they can help you.

Introduce yourself first and then you can let them know that “your boss” is unhappy with your current supplier and would like to move to another supplier.

Copy and Personalize This:

Alibaba Supplier Negotiation Template

Step 2: Use This Alibaba Supplier Negotiation Template

Dear NAME,

We cannot divulge secretive information like monthly sales volume. Based on what you have told me / what I have seen , your volume is enough for us to be interested in your factory, especially given your broad range of products and your focus on quality control.

However, my boss is not willing to switch accounts / my boss is not willing pay for samples to any new supplier until we prove things out by moving slowly. The steps he would like to follow are:

We test a normal and high capacity cartridge internally in the field with our 20 sales reps = 40
Then we test on a broader scale with 100 units, preferably with a different printer line =100
After, we move to 1,000 units to test happiness with customers in our many channels of distribution =1,000

Assuming all goes well, we go to 5,000-10,000 units and really begin to migrate to your factory fully for that line = $

Your factory seems like a great potential partner for our company, and we’re excited to do business with you. But this is our company’s standard procedure for new products and suppliers.

Please let me know if you’d like to do business together, and I’ll let my boss know immediately.

Look forward to working together,

Step 3:  Set the Proper Expectations

If you do this and maintain your position as an assistant or purchasing manager, it will give you the necessary negotiating strength to get started.

Just be sure to set reasonable expectations of growth and have them understand that there are validation and inspection processes to go through in order for them to earn your company’s business.


Once you send the initial inquiry you’ll come to this screen and you’ve made contact with your first supplier! They will email you back and ask for specifics. It becomes a conversation at this point and you tell them what you want.

Step 4: Agree on the price and place your first small order on Alibaba

Alibaba Shipping Hack

Remember a small order can be anywhere from 5 to 20 units. It depends on your level of risk tolerance. Expect to pay around $150 to the supplier for door to door small test orders. And remember that the de minimis value for e-commerce parcles to the USA was raised to $800 USD in March 2016.

Therefore international courier shipments and/or international parcel deliveries can be cleared without duty and taxes!

It’s your responsibility to make sure that when the products arrive at your house that you inspect them and prep them for FBA.

The video shows you how to get your supplier to ship your products to your house.

Dealing With Shipping Costs

Startupbros rules to live by:

  • Product research is more beneficial to the profit margin than trying to lower your shipping costs.
  • Anywhere from $50 to $150 is reasonable for shipping costs
  • If we’re asking them to express ship it via air then we should expect a higher shipping cost

Keep this in mind when receiving a quote from a supplier and consider a new product before thinking $50 to $150 in shipping costs is unreasonable.

How to create an Amazon Listing

How to Create an Amazon Listing and Ship to Amazon FBA

Follow these steps when you want to create an Amazon listing:

Step 1: Go to seller central on Amazon and select the inventory drop down and select ‘Add a Product’.

How to list a product on Amazon - adding a product

Step 2: Next you want to select ‘create a new product listing’ and start from scratch.

how to list a product on Amazon- Create listing from scratch

Step 3: Choose the category of the products you’re going to be selling. Make sure that your product category is not restricted. If you sell in a restricted category you won’t be able to create your product listing until you’re approved.

There are plenty of categories that don’t require approval so keep it simple and keep moving forward! Find the closest thing that relates to your product.

Creating Amazon Product Listing - Selecting Product Category

Step 4: Fill in the required info. You just want to get the product listing up (but not live) so that you can send your products into Amazon FBA.

You can focus on optimizing Amazon keywords after the inventory arrives in Amazon.

Next you want to fill out these spaces to complete your product listing and get your Amazon FBA listing completed.


You want your product name here, you can change it later.


Since you’re a private label seller you can list your company name as the manufacturer. If you don’t have a company name just make it the company name you will have in the future. Again don’t let this stop you.


Your brand can also be your company name.

Your Price:

You can change this later so put any price for now. This is so the listing can get published but you can’t sell anything until Amazon receives your inventory. Select a price that’s comparable to the lowest Prime price to a similar product.

Creating Amazon Product Listing - Enter Product ID, UPC code, Title, Manufacturer and Brand for FBA shipping

If you saw our last post about buying UPC codes you know that you need them to list your products on Amazon.

How to Buy a UPC Code

Step 5: Buy a UPC Code if you don’t have a UPC code yet. Go to SnapUPC

Snap UPC Homepage

Click through all the steps until you can download the package.

Snap UPC Shopping Cart

Snap UPC Order Confirmation
Step 6: Open the folder with the UPC JPEG in it and write down the number so you can enter it in the ‘Product ID” area of your product listing.

Creating Amazon Product Listing - Purchase and Enter UPC code
Step 7: Click on “Save and Finish” and you’ve created your very first Amazon listing.

🧠 PROTIP: You can list an item to sell on Amazon by merchant and then convert it to be Fulfilled by Amazon once it’s listed. That way, it won’t sell until received at a FBA warehouse. The item will go into your Inactive Inventory until it is received into the FBA warehouse.

Now we need to create what’s called a shipping plan. However, you can start selling on Amazon right away with the listing we created.

But if you want to offer 2 day free shipping, have the prime logo on your listing, and win the buy box then Amazon needs to have your inventory.

Create an FBA shipping plan

How to Create an FBA Shipping Plan

Step 1: In your Seller Central dashboard, click on edit inventory and click “Change to Fulfilled by Amazon”.

Creating Amazon Product Listing - Switch listing to Fulfilled by Amazon
Create Amazon Product Listing Print Amazon Barcode for FBA

Step 2:  Click on “Convert Only” wait a few minutes, refresh the page, and now that it’s fulfilled by Amazon click on “Print Item Labels”.

Step 3: Click edit and then “Send/replenish inventory”

Creating Amazon FBA Shipping Plan - Adding Initial Inventory

You want to select case-packed products. What this means is that you are going to send all of your products together in one big box. If you are sending multiple products in one box into Amazon FBA then you will select individual products.

Next, fill in the Ship from field. In the beginning, it’s your house but it can also be your FBA inspection service that will be prepping your products after receiving them from your Chinese supplier.

Creating Amazon FBA Shipping Plan - Declaring Type of Packaging
Don’t Forget the Hazmat Review Form

Step 4: Fill out the Hazmat Review Form

Creating Amazon FBA Shipping Plan - Hazmat Forms

Depending on your category just to be safe Amazon will ask you to fill out a hazmat review form.

You want to tell Amazon how many units per case you’re sending to their warehouse and then how many cases you’re sending them.

Creating Amazon FBA Shipping Plan - How to download Hazmat Forms

Since your product is most likely not hazardous you want to download the exemption sheet that you need to fill out.

Click no on the entire sheet and save it on your desktop. You can then upload the document and hit continue.

Creating Amazon FBA Shipping Plan - Filling Out Hazmat Forms

Step 5: Fill out the dimensions of your actual individual product, and prep information. It’s okay to be approximate, just don’t be completely wrong.  If you don’t know then ask your supplier and they would be more than willing to help you!

Then fill out the units per case and the number of cases you’re sending.

Creating Amazon FBA Shipping Plan - Providing Unit Dimensions

After you set the quantity, click on continue.

Next, it’s going to ask you if prep is required. What they’re asking is if there is any prep required by Amazon in their warehouses. The answer should be no. Either you are preparing your products or your prep/inspection company would be preparing your products for you.

Creating Amazon FBA Shipping Plan - Prep Required Home Screen

Hit continue. The page asks you “Who Labels?” you want to select merchant. Put the label on the packaging earlier or the 3rd party company you paid to do it.

You don’t need to print labels here because that would be if you wanted to create stickers for every single one of your products.

Creating Amazon FBA Shipping Plan - Deciding merchant labeling
FAQ: How do you know what Amazon FBA warehouse to send your products to?

By creating your shipping plan, Amazon automatically decides which warehouse your products are going to.

They provide you the address and you can either send it yourself or give that address to your freight forwarder so they can send it to the FBA warehouses.

Creating Amazon FBA Shipping Plan - Where do you send your FBA shipment

Make sure that all of the information is correct.

Creating Amazon FBA Shipping Plan - Working on Shipment

Step 6: Click work on shipment to select how you’re going to ship your product to Amazon.

Quickly Prep & Ship Products to Amazon FBA

Now you need to select how your products are going to be sent to Amazon.

Small parcel delivery and if you’re sending the products from your house you would be using your own shipping services. It can be FedEx, DHL, UPS or even the US post office, whatever you like.

If a third party is sending your shipments ask them who they’re using to send your products in and they will give you all of that information.

Amazon FBA Shipping Plan - Review and Select Shipping

Make sure all of shipping information is correct and ask your third party freight forwarder how much 1 box weights and what the dimensions are.

Otherwise, you can weigh the box in your house by stepping on a scale.

Creating FBA Shipping Plan - Confirm Shipment

Print your box shipping labels.

Creating FBA Shipping Plan - Printing Box Labels
Amazon FBA Shipping Plan Send FBA Shipping Label to Supplier

In my example, the supplier factory address is my ship from address which is why the return address is Chinese. If you’re shipping from your house then it would be your home address.

Here are the FBA Prep Requirements to get your products accepted into FBA warehouses.

You need to send the file of these labels to whoever is going to be doing the shipping for you if it’s not yourself.

Amazon FBA Shipping Plan Tracking Number Supplier Account

Once you send your products into Amazon you will get a tracking number from your shipping company. If you sent 10 boxes then you should get 10 tracking numbers. Place the tracking numbers in your Amazon seller dashboard.

Amazon product photography

Amazon Product Photography

Make sure you take your product photos before sending your items in!

Product photography doesn’t have to be expensive. We swear by it.

DIY Product Photography Video

🧠 PROTIP: Save money and take incredible product photography using your cell phone and a bathtub.

When you’re selling Amazon you’re competing against other sellers that are selling similar products to you and it’s critical to be able to stand out.

We created a DIY Amazon Product Photography guide for you because product photos quickly make a decision for your customer to keep looking at your listing or not.

Want to know the best part?

You can pay a professional to take photos but if you use the guide we provide above you can compete against the best sellers on your own.

But, we love companies like Kenji ROI for professional Amazon product photography.


You can certainly save money on product photography. If you can spare it, getting a professional to take your Amazon product photos might be worth it.

For beginners selling on Amazon save the money but be aware that this option exists. Prove the concept first then I would look for awesome professional photos for your Amazon listing.

Get $100 Off Your First Kenji ROI Order w/ Promo Code: Startup100

How to optimize an Amazon product listing

Amazon Product Listing Optimization

Product listings are literally everything in an Amazon FBA business and sadly becomes one of the most neglected things. There are some ranking tricks that you can use but nothing helps your entire SEO strategy like an optimized listing.

People want more eyes on their listings and people want more sales but never stop to think that maybe their product listings might need a little bit of work.

Fully optimize your product listing with keywords and create meaningful relationships with your customers.

We had Greg Mercer from JungleScout give us the 6 Most Important Factors for Amazon Product Listing Optimization and he did not disappoint!

These 6 Factors are:

  • Product Titles
  • Product Images (Minumum Amazon image requirements)
  • Key Product Features
  • Amazon Listing Descriptions
  • Amazon Product Reviews
  • Product Rating

Head over to that article and find out exactly how to make sure your Amazon products are perfectly showcased to make sure you start off on the right foot!

Checklist: Steps to selling on Amazon

Everything you need to start selling on Amazon and make your first sale has been covered.

Creating a brand and packaging

Create a Unique Brand & Grow Your Amazon FBA Business

After researching your product and you’re confident you want to continue selling your product in your Amazon business then it’s time to think about logo and branding design.

I want to include this in the beginning because you want to have this done with your next large order.


This is crazy:

You can hire a kick ass freelancer from freeeup for $12 dollars an hour or even more if you want and they can design a logo for you within a day.

Then you can use them anytime you need design work done.

They can help you with:

  • Packaging Design
  • Product Inserts
  • Logos
  • Infographics

It’s such a simple process to hire one of these workers and their customer service is outstanding. Freeeup will recruit, interview, and hire online workers then place them into your business effectively saving you time to grow your company.

Let’s say it takes the designer 2 hours to design your logo. That’s $24 USD

Get $0.50 Off Hourly Rate for Freeeup Assistants!

You might be wondering:

Can images like this make all the difference?


Yes, they can…

You can also use tools like Canva to make incredible images for free!

Requesting a Logo on Alibaba


At the very least if you don’t want to register your brand, you can test the validity of a product with a logo on it.

Branded products usually get priced higher than unbranded products so it’s something worth testing.

🧠 PROTIP: If you aren’t making consistent sales you shouldn’t worry about registering your brand on Amazon.  Create a name to sell your products under and it can be a generic name to start.

Check out the video below to see an example using Photoshop!

Requesting Logo for Amazon Products on Alibaba
Do you need an LLC, Business License or Importing License to Sell on Amazon?
Automate your Amazon FBA business
Automating Shipping and Prep for Your Amazon FBA Business

Benefits of third party companies:

  • Schedule freight services for you
  • Inspect your products before leaving China
  • Return any defective products before leaving China
  • Prep your products per FBA standards
  • Send directly into the Amazon warehouses

To automate your operations this is the missing link that people don’t realize exists.

Suppliers can’t prep your products per FBA guidelines. So instead, you’ll want to use a prep and inspect service to be the middleman who keeps your supply chain moving along smoothly.

One that I recommend is:

FBA Inspection Automate Selling on Amazon

Check out the FBA Inspection pricing sheet here.

Yes, these costs will eat into your profits but, this is a necessary step if you decide to automate your Amazon FBA business.

You are eliminating the headache of inspecting your own products and the cost of sending back products from the US to China.

Wrapping this up:

Everything in this article is meant to motivate you to take action.

If you take everything in this article and apply it we can guarantee that you can learn to sell on Amazon and make your first sale.

And we define a successful Amazon FBA business as making your first sale on Amazon.

Look, your going to run into obstacles so keep coming back and checking on the updates we’re going to make.

Ask questions and keep this conversation going in the comment section below.

Additional resources you might be interested in:


Avatar for Will Mitchell
Will Mitchell

Will Mitchell is a serial entrepreneur and Founder of StartupBros. You can learn more about him at the Startupbros about page. If you have any questions or comments for him, just send an email or leave a comment!

197 comments add your comment

  1. Thank you will for this great article and platform. I have two questions:
    1) Is it more expensive to do Amazon FBA vs self shipping, a rough ballpark -% difference if possible.
    2) Do I need to worry about any licensing/ disclaimers on the product to protect myself from any lawsuits?

  2. Hi,
    Will Mitchell
    Your step-by-step guide to setting up an Amazon FBA account was incredibly helpful. I followed your instructions and was able to get up and running in no time!

  3. This just motivate me to start my own business on Amazon. I was researching how to and your article just answered all my questions. Thank you so much.

  4. Hello, what kind of webstie do you recommend to have together with your FBA wholesale business? I’m looking to greate a company oriented website just to back up my business with or is it better to creat a e-commerce oriented website that showcase & “sell” products from your wholesale suppliers?

  5. Hi Will, I would like to sell electrical items such as immersion heaters, tubular heater as I have many other products and want to sell on amazon.com. I am located in India. I would like to register as Professional. Have following questions –
    1. Is there any quantity limiatation to send good to Amazon storage?
    2. I know there is $39.00 monthly fee for keeping goods at amazon storage. In this fee can we sell only one item or multiple items? Are there any hidden cost or additional cost do we need to pay?
    3. Suppose in any month items does not get sold do we still need to pay full monthly fee to amazon?
    4. If the sell increases on amazon.com, does Amazon inform us ti send additional goods?
    Thanks again for your help.

  6. This was great! I have a few questions specifically can I put my own brand on a product China produces, can I customize it like a lipstick pallet or a health shake? What are risks/ rewards. How about EBay? I would be a new Amazon seller how do I get then boost my ratings?

  7. Hi,

    it is my first time to watch and know all the above information to be Amazon FBA , my question is I live in Canada can I still be Amazon FBA and should I follow the same steps as USA or it is different? and if I started how long do I need to start officially be Amazon FBA, and what is the average cost from A to Z ?

  8. Great article.
    Also Increase Conversions of your Amazon listing with Enhanced Brand Content!
    Why Amazon EBC?
    Not only it looks neat & more attractive, it can increase conversions to up 10%. From August 2017 now Amazon A+/EBC pages are visible on mobile too. It’s obvious that the biggest online retailer is shifting its strategy towards enhanced brand content!

  9. Would I be better off searching for companies that are verified to buy from? On Alibaba site there are companies that have been there for over a year that is verified. I’m not comfortable buy through Western Union or MoneyGram or PayPal. So do you think it is ok for me to order a product from a verified company with my debit card?

  10. When do you create the Amazon listing? After you receive your test order of 100? Or when you have your 100 piece test order at your house? Or when you place the test order? Need your guidance.

    • Hey Laura, thank you so much for reading the post. So you generally want to finish the listing once you have your products ready to be shipped out. But as you place the order, you can start the listing, write the descriptions and start thinking of images you want to use. Since you are going to be selling the products from your house make sure to select fulfilled by merchant. You don’t want the listing published until you have the packages ready to go.

  11. Thank you Will! This is by far the most comprehensive info about Amazon! I just made an Amazon seller’s account. Now I’m on the first phase of product research! Definitely will use FBA inspection for prepping and shipping and will inform that it is through you I know about them. Keep up the great work Will! You are one of the best!

    • Hey Mae, thank you so much for reaching out and reading the article. I wrote the article with you in mind, a hard working person that takes an incredible amount of action. Please let me know if you need any help at all or if you have any questions.

  12. Hello read your article its really very helpful my question is this if i have some products in hand i have purchased from some company. Then what should be my next step i only have to ship that to amazon or i need to buy bar code

    • Hey Manahil, thanks for reaching out and reading the article! Those two steps work together. With a product in hand you need a bar code to create the Amazon listing. When you create the listing make sure to choose fulfilled by merchant and then create a shipping plan. After you create the shipping plan and send the products into Amazon switch your product listing to fulfilled by Amazon and it will go live one your package arrives at the Amazon warehouse.

    • Hey Dawn, thank you for reading the article and reaching out! There’s a section in the article that talks about creating a shipping plan. The only way to send products into Amazon warehouses is to create a shipping plan from Amazon seller central and enter the information of the exact number of products you’re sending into the warehouse. Once you complete the shipping plan you will get “FNSKU” barcodes that you can print out and tape them on the box or boxes that have your products. Please let me know if that makes sense or if you have any more questions.

    • Hey Dawn, it depends. But these are the general numbers to keep in mind ($6.90 per cubic foot or a $0.15 per-unit) depending which one is greater.

  13. Hi, if fabric sourced with all required certificates and product I make in US , can I see it on Amazon?

    • Hey Jami, thanks for reaching out and for reading the article! I need some more clarification on the questions. In Amazon you generally don’t see manufacturer information on the products. But there is a technical information section where you can put quality and product information for the customer to see. If you need more help please let me know and keep asking more questions if I didn’t answer your questions correctly.

  14. Any limitation of individual Account? i, mean monthly selling quantity or can change the Individual Account to Professional Account ?

    • There’s no selling limitation on an individual selling account but it can get expensive because Amazon charges $1 per unit sold. So if you sell more than 40 units it will cost more than the $39.99 per month a professional account costs. You need to keep that in mind but you can always upgrade any time.

  15. Thank you so much for your time and for the information! This was the best article I found so far. Thank you so much!

    • Hey Cathy, thank you so much for reaching out and reading the article! I hope it helps you out and you find all the answers you need. I would love to help you out more if you need it, feel free to email me will@startupbros(dot)com.

  16. When you purchase your UPC code do you apply it to all of your stock or just to the box when shipping to amazon

    • Hey Martin, so when you buy a barcode (UPC code) it’s because you want to create a new product listing from scratch. After you create the product listing and select “Fulfillment by Amazon” you create something called a shipping plan. That means you tell the Amazon warehouses what you’re going to send to them. Afterwards you print out a new set of barcodes that are called FNSKU’s. You take those and place them on your Amazon box when shipping to Amazon. I hope this makes sense. Please let me know if you have any questions at all.

  17. Hey Will, I saw one comment where you advised not to send your product from the manufacturer (in China) to Amazon’s warehouse directly for fear that they will steal your system for themselves. Is this still a concern? What would you recommend to avoid this? Sending to inspection? Sending to yourself first?

    • Hey Tyler, yea I would stay away from teaching your Chinese supplier to sell on Amazon. There are two options. 1. Send the products from your house and learn the process. 2. Use a company like FBA Inspection to pick up the products from your Chinese supplier and they can prep it to send to Amazon warehouses.

  18. I have a question, do I need to assume double shipping cost when I send my order from China to FBA inspection, and from FBA inspection to Amazon?

    • Hey, yes purchasing with a credit card is one of the safest options when you’re buying products on Alibaba. If there is something fraudulent the credit card company will protect you and file a dispute with Alibaba on your behalf. Alibaba will also be able to file a dispute with the manufacturer on your behalf. And you have the added benefit of not losing any of your own money while the issue is getting resolved, if something should happen.

  19. This incredibly useful, thank you for this.
    I have a question, I’m from Dominican Republic I have my products on small warehouse in New Jersey, If I want to ship the product myself when somebody purchased from Amazon, What is the process to get this done? I know I can use USPS services, any advice on how to do this ?


  20. how can i deliver my products from pakistan if i have started selling on amazon

    • You can use FBA (Fulfilment by Amazon) and then use a company like FBA inspection where they can help you send your products from Pakistan to Amazon warehouses.

  21. This article is amazing!
    please don’t stop doing what you’ve done up until now.
    keep it up this article you wrote is a great help!

  22. Kindly guide,
    How can i open amazon account as amazon don’t work in pakistan..

    • Hey Fahad, Pakistan is not on the list eligible to sell on Amazon. But if you wanted to sell on Amazon you can open a bank account in a country where you can sell on Amazon, have a mailing address in that country and then a credit card to have connected to your account.

  23. When I clicked on the workbook link, a workbook popped up that was different from the one in your video. How do I get the one from your video?

    • Hey Tom, we’ve updated the workbook and made massive improvements since that video was shot. We’re updating the video with the new workbook in the next 24 hours 🙂

    • You can start your business the same way you would in the US. Follow the guide and take everything one step at a time. Is there something specific you want to know? I would love to help.

  24. Hi Will,

    Thanks for the fantastic article. I am grateful for running into it! I had a question in regards to packaging…

    The biggest obstacle to me seems to be the packaging. Please correct me if I am wrong…but whether I get my products from the clearance bin at Target or from a supplier on Alibaba, it seems I need to package them in very specific packaging in order for Amazon to accept them. Is this correct?

    For example, if I ordered 500 key chains from Alibaba, I could NOT just put them in a box and send them to Amazon, correct? I would need to get them into some kind of individual packaging? The same would go for a clearance item I may have found at a retail store?

    Please let me know if I am not understanding this correctly. Creating or finding my own packaging seems like it would be an obstacle. And having a supplier on Alibaba do it seems risky…since I could get them and they could not be accepted by Amazon. Also, what if something I buy from retailer only has a tag and no box or plastic wrap?

    Thanks for any insight. It’s been my main hold up on jumping in.

    • Hey Mark,

      Thanks for checking out the article and asking questions 🙂

      1. Packaging for products from target. This is known retail arbitrage and if you’re finding products from retail stores then whatever packaging they’re in at the store is the packaging you send them into Amazon with. You can take all of the products you find. Put them in one big box and send them in. There’s no problem with that at all. The end customer would expect it to be in the original retail packaging. I would recommend removing the clearance sticker and any pricing sticker before sending it in. Let’s say it’s something like a candle that doesn’t have packaging. You need to package it safely with paper and bubble wrap and send it into Amazon. Things get denied mostly because they’re mislabeled. For example a 4 book set that isn’t labeled “sold as a unit”.

      2. If you buy 500 keychains on alibaba for example, you can pay like 0.10 cents for Amazon to package them in small plastic bags or however they would like. Amazon removes a lot of the friction when it comes to packaging because they know people don’t like doing it. So as long as you pay them, they will pretty much do everything. So if you wanted to you can order the keychains, get them to your house, create the Amazon listing (fulfilled by merchant), create a shipping plan on Amazon, and send all of them in one big box.

      Your shipping plan will tell Amazon you’re selling the keychains individually and there will be options when you’re creating your shipping plans to tell Amazon you would like them to package the keychains for an added cost. Once you prove the product will sell and decide to import more I would recommend finding your own packaging solution and send them into Amazon packaged. For the time being Amazon will package your products for you if you want them to.

  25. Will – simply thank you! As someone who’s been selling on Amazon FBA for 2+ years now, this is easily the best guide I’ve found. Also very rare for me to read a blog post from start to finish, but you kept my attention. Bookmarking Virtuous Graphics and thanks for the coupon code.

    • Hey Joshua, thank you so much for the kind words! I appreciate you checking out the post. Virtuous Graphics is awesome, I personally love those guys. If you ever need anything don’t be afraid to reach out 🙂

  26. Great post, I really appreciate all the step by step details. I do have a question about Unicorn Smasher. When I tried to download there is only a Pro version charging $49. Do you know of an alternate FREE option?

    • Hey Shawna, thanks for checking out the article! We can absolutely help you out with this. So if you search on google “unicorn smasher free chrome extension” you should see a link in the first position for the Chrome Web Store. You can install the Chrome extension and use it without buying it.

  27. Thank You will for your time/information and tips. I’m look forward to initiate the SELLING and see where it goes. I’ll try to contact you personally if i succeed 🙂

  28. Hello! I’m from Canada, and with that comes taxes for basically everything. I’m evaluating the feasibility of something like this. Have you had experience with a Canadian seller? Are they swamped on import duties and taxes?

    • Hey Luka, we actually have a ton of Canadian sellers 🙂

      You will need a Canadian Business Number (Import/Export number), as well as a GST (Goods and Services Tax Number) in order to import into Canada and sell goods. If you are selling less than 30K per year in Canada, you may not need a GST number, but I am not sure of that… Your best bet is to phone the Revenue Canada Business Information Line – they can set you up with the proper numbers over the phone.
      If you do need to pay GST in Canada, then you will need to change your settings in Amazon so that Amazon will collect the GST and send it to you. Then you will need to file with the federal government and pay GST – if it isn’t much, you will probably only have to file once/year.

      It’s about a 5% import tax on the products that you import. If you import 20 products (for example) that 5% is spread across all of your products. So in Canada you do have to deal with extra import duties that the US doesn’t have to but across an entire order the cost in small. If you were importing small quantities like 10 or so then it would be a problem in the long run. In the short term it would be an expense to test products but on larger orders your profit margin will increase.

  29. This is an extremely useful guides for beginners like me, but I did run into certain issues with Bar Codes Talk.

    I bought 5 UPC codes from them only to find out that they are all currently being used for someone else’s product. Following the suggestion on barcodestalk.com, I reported the listings to Amazon and sent along my proof of purchase, but Amazon has been silent on the issue for several days.

    A quick Google search shows me that others have run into the same problem when purchasing UPC codes from this website (https://sellercentral.amazon.com/forums/t/upc-codes-were-used-by-other-seller/319083/5).

    I’m currently unable to create listings because of this, and when I did an estimate of what I would be shelling out to purchase codes from GS1, I’m extremely reluctant to proceed because of the price. How should this issue be resolved? Is GS1 the only good 100% guaranteed place to purchase barcodes?

    • Hey Thuy, thanks for reaching out to us! You’re absolutely right that GS1 barcodes are extremely expensive and almost not worth it. We’re working with Barcodes Talk and other vendors to see which ones can fix the issue for people. We update this post almost monthly and moving forward we’re switching to https://www.snapupc.com/

      This is an issue we’re all trying to resolve and as we get more information we’re going to keep updating everyone! Check out snapUPC.com We’ve been testing their UPC’s and they work on our end. Please let me know if you have any more questions at all.

  30. As a seller, it is really a must to understand everything from the beginning. Most especially now that the market is already congested and there are millions of competitors out there. For a consumer, it is very easy to use amazon, but for a seller there are really a lot of things to learn and to remember.Thank you very much for the helpful and detailed information.

    • Hey Arlinda,

      If you are in the United States then the only thing you need to do is report your Amazon sales as income. Amazon creates a 1099-k form at the end of the year that you can use to report your earnings. As an American citizen, you are a sole proprietor and can file your taxes as a sole proprietor.

      When you generate enough income you can create an LLC if you want to and enjoy extra tax benefits. But to start just report your income with your 1099-k form from Amazon. You can also contact a tax professional and they would be able to walk you through all of it. There is no license or registration of a business necessary to sell on Amazon.

  31. Hi. Great info thanks. Had a question about having supplier shipping items directly to Amazon warehouse. Do you send supplier shipping label that you created on Amazon FBA? So Amazon knows it your items. And also do you have supplier label appropriate labels on items eg. bar codes, suffication , warning etc?

    • Thanks for reaching out 🙂 I’d love to answer your questions. The first thing I would say is to be careful when having your supplier ship something directly into Amazon. It can work out fine but sometimes suppliers learn the process to sell on Amazon from you and then see the demand and end up doing the process themselves with your product. It’s happened to sellers we work with.

      With that said though yes, you can send your supplier an email with the shipping labels Amazon gives you and they can place them on the boxes at the factories. Yes, you can also have your supplier to the barcodes and required warnings. Barcodes, in particular, you would need to buy yourself (they’re cheap) and send it to them. Everything else they should have in their factories.

  32. This is the most comprehensive guide I’ve ever read on Amazon. Thanks and great work Will!

  33. Helo. Thank you for the article.
    selling as an individual, can I use “fullfilment by Amazon (Amazon FBA) “?

    • Yes, you absolutely can. You just have to create an FBA shipping plan and send the products into an FBA warehouse

  34. Well build presentation on “how to sell on amazon”. Thank you for that, I’ve learned a ton of information. My question to you is if I am just starting and never sold anything on amazon before and decided to go with let’s say plastic water bottles. As my initial purchase from supplier(s), do I order one specific size, one color, shape or get minimum quantity for each category?

  35. This question is general which most of use ask us related amazon sales..
    Amazon seems to be a little dead for me. I do only books and I’ve had slow days and slow months but this is ridiculous. I have days where sales appear to be dead !! I have a 2,000 inventory with FBA and another 100 books with Merchant. Only 3 books have been sold today. I have a reprice and my prices are either the lowest or the second lowest and good rankings. Pretty sure that isn’t the problem. What’s going on with Amazon ? I’m seeing this all over and I am experiencing it too. Any idea if things will go back to normal or is it just a slow month for me and other? But I wouldn’t even consider this slow.. This is insane.. haha. Sorry for my complaining. I’m just a little worried as I’ve been doing this since March and it had never been this bad.

    What should they take action related this problem..
    Thanks in advance

  36. hank you will for your awesome information and tips. I am very new in this business, my question is, how can I take a picture of my product when it is supposed to be sent to amazon directly from manufacture in china ? how can I get my hand in the product before sending it in?

    • Hi Sara, maybe you’ve gotten your question answered by now but from watching other videos I’ve learned most manufacturers will send you a free sample when you make your order.

      • Hey Liz and Sara 🙂 Most manufactures will send you a free sample if you ask for it. Something else cool that they can do is credit you back your sample purchase. So if your samples cost you $100 USD then on your next order they will discount you $100 USD. I hope that helps!

  37. Hi,

    for shipments like small amounts, can we send directly to amazon warehouse from alibaba ? without using flexport or other ?

    coz small amounts woukd not require tax and all.

  38. Hi Will,

    This is really amazing and i plan to start amazon fba.

    got some questions;

    1) Let’s say i am selling 100 units of 1 product, so i buy 100 barcodes and then ask my supplier to put it on the packaging ?

    2) I talked to few albaba supplier and they say that they have send to amazon, but I don’t think they are aware about fba requirments, if i am using flexport, who should do the inspection ?

    3) Also how about packaging ? will i ask my supplier to do the packaging and printing for me ? or you do it buy someone else.

    thank you

    • 1) You’d want to buy 1 UPC code for the 1 product you’re selling. The only time you need the UPC code is when you’re listing the product on Amazon (creating the product listing).

      After that, you need the FNSKU barcode (which Amazon will give you after you create your product listing). The FNSKU barcode can either be applied to the product/package via a sticker/label, or actually printed on the packaging itself (eliminating sticker/label costs).

      2) I’d recommend using FBAInspection.com as a prep center. Your supplier will ship your inventory to their warehouse, and they will forward it into FBA (after making sure it’s good to go). Use the Referral Code BROS at FBA Inspection (or tell them Will from StartupBros sent you) for a nice big discount on all services for LIFE 😉

      3) Start out with simple, cheap packaging. Ask your supplier what different packaging options they offer, and choose from that (within FBA requirements, of course). After you’re up and selling, you can come back and optimize packaging if you want. But packaging is not very important on Amazon – people are not buying because of packaging most of the time, and the packaging is often being torn apart and thrown away instantly. There’s usually a better place to focus your time and dollars.

      • Thank you so much will.

        if i got you correctly, then all i have to do is buy 1 UPC, then list my product on amazon then after gettting the FNSKU barcode, i will ask my supplier to put it in my package. RIght ?

        also, i talked to flexport and they dont accept sole proprietorship, i mailed others too but no reply, could you suggest any alternatives ?

        and for alibaba, the samples getting bit costly, do you suggest sending product directly to amazon without checking sample ? there are many suppier with different price.

  39. Hi, thank you so much for such a great and informative article. I was searching for this info and found it on your website. Keep up the good work.

  40. Question, if you are suppended from amazon,how do you get back on ? we are new and made a mistake with tracking codes..the problem is now fixed..however amazon wont talk to us..what can we do?

  41. I checked out the 90 launch plan to start a business and it looks interesting
    My question is I am based in Sydney Australia, does this apply to the Australian market. Using Amazon Australia as the base?
    thanks in advance

  42. Hi thanks for this info. It should be really helpful however the videos are not working as it shows 500 internal server error. Would be great if those can be fixed.

  43. This is actually a good topic to help those who are interested in E-commerce understand the actual process of selling in Amazon.

  44. do you need to enter your drivers licence or scan in a bank statement?

  45. I am assuming the $340 start up cost only accounts for one batch of samples. Should we be getting samples from multiple suppliers to determine which is best? Or can we assume most products will be similar and it is more important to find the supplier we can develop the best relationship with and get the best prices from?

    • Hey Jordan, Yes $340 accounts for a small order but it doesn’t account for negotiation with suppliers over products. We recommend getting samples from 3 different suppliers. Generally most products will be similar but there is always a chance that one supplier will be better than another in a competitive market. So at the very least try 2 different suppliers. The relationship you develop with the supplier is very important and sometimes suppliers are terrible communicators so you have to find one that will have you feeling comfortable. There is no wrong answer when placing your first small order, the important thing is to take action and get rid of the products as fast as possible.

  46. You have touched on the little details about starting amazon selling that most leave out. Kudos! 👍🏻

    • Hey Lou, thank you so much! We are trying to give people as much information as possible!

  47. Hey there!
    Great introduction into amazon FBA selling! I’m really thankful!
    I live abroad the USA. You talked about such a case in a couple of places. I still would like to know more about the shipping part. Is it worth it to send products from the supplier to my house and than from there to Amazon in the USA? It is clear to me, that after having prep and inspect service this wouldn’t be a problem anymore. But as a beginner and with the samples this isn’t yet possible. What would you recommend?
    Would love to hear your opinion.

    • Berthold, thanks for reaching out. Glad you liked the post. So as a beginner Amazon seller, you want to send your products to your home. It might cost more and you might potentially lose money just to prove the concept. It doesn’t always result in losing money but it’s possible. The other thing you might want to do is pay the inspection company to pick up and do a quality inspection on your products for you. They would be willing to return anything that doesn’t pass basic quality standards. I think it’s worth it to send products to your place so you can learn the process first hand and see the products yourself before sending them to Amazon FBA.

  48. Hey guys, great stuff! I have recently written about it as well, dropping the link here in case you find it valuable for updates:
    You were a major inspiration for it so I made sure to mention your article as a valuable resource 🙂

    • That’s awesome thanks for reaching out to us! Good luck with everything in the future 🙂 And if you ever need anything from us reach out and we’ll see what we can do!

  49. Hello, thank you very much for such good help you provide on this website. The information that you share helped me a lot, but I need some help with posting my item!, When I add “color-white,black”on variation section this message would appear–(Your variation child ASINs have been created. To complete your listings, find the variation child listings in your inventory and select ‘Edit’ to add an image for each variation child. Please note that each variation child listing requires an image to be active on the Amazon website.)
    The problem is i don’t know, don’t understand what that means! Please help if you can.

    Thanks Alexey,

    • Alexey, we talked via email! 🙂

      But just in case anyone else has a problem similar to yours I would love to answer it. When you’re listing a product on Amazon your main product is called your “Parent ASIN” and if you have variations to your parent product like color or size those are known as “child ASINS”. They want to make sure that you know every single one of your product variations have a photo associated with the listing. Otherwise you won’t be able to offer the variations in your product listing.

  50. Hi, thanks for your article its seems great. I am still very new but really motivated to sell on amazon and defiantly will be using your guide!
    Quick question on “Alibaba Supplier Negotiation Template” – How can I introduce myself as a company to supplier if I even don’t have a website. Won’t it be the first thing they will ask for?
    Will appreciate your response.

    • Kristina, when you negotiate with an Alibaba supplier they’re not interested in a website or anything. They’re interested in your business and they don’t only sell to “Businesses”. They will sell to anyone who can meet the minimum order quantity. Sometimes even if you don’t meet the minimum order they will sell you a smaller order and credit you when you place the larger order with them. It’s irrelevant if you have a website or not. 🙂

  51. I have been asked to pay for shipping of the samples, and they have mentioned that I can pay them directly through PayPal.

    Isn’t there a way to pay for samples through Alibaba.com, or is it ok to send a payment through PayPal for the shipping?

    • Hey Phillip, what you’re thinking about is Trade Assurance which is a way that people can pay for things on Alibaba. However we always recommend PayPal to pay for samples 🙂 PayPal is secure and your money is always protected if for some reason your samples never get to your house.

  52. Awesome Amazon article! Thank you for sharing. selling on Amazon is hard but I’m glad you guys wrote this!

    • Glad you enjoyed it! Let us know if you need anything at all!

  53. The above guide how to sell on amazon for any beginner is very well explained and the step is also easy .I work as a consultant in Evantage store which provide Amazon Account setup , SEO Managment Visit

  54. Do you know if anyone has written an in-depth article like this about using Amazon and doing the merchant fulfillment instead of FBA? My product isn’t compatible with the FBA model because it’s gourmet chocolates. I need to know the pros and cons related to the UPC / Bar code route versus trade marking. I’ve read so much contradictory information on the internet regarding the UPC / Amazon issue that I’m seriously confused.

  55. I’ve been studying startupbros.com material obsessively the last couple of weeks. I have a solid understanding of most of what you have taught. Can I get an honest answer though, is it still a good time to get into the amazon FBA game? I’m looking to quit the corporate job and build a LONG TERM online business.

    Is Amazon FBA long term or do you think this will become even more heavily saturated in the coming near future to the point that making a great living will no longer be feasible for most people aside from the absolutel top performers?



  56. Thank you so much for this article. I live in Florida but I have a student visa, I’m not resident yet. Do I have to be resident to get that taxpayer? Ultimately I could borrow my brother’s SSN but I need to know if I can do this by myself. Please help!!!

    • Go to IRS.gov and attempt to get an EIN – then set up an LLC with the EIN on SunBiz.org. I am not 100% sure if you’ll be able to, but that’s how I would personally try!

  57. Hey Joel,
    I don’t live in the U.S.A. So, I have to manage sending the products from the Chinese supplier to Amazon warehouses. Questions:
    1) How do the products reach Amazon FBA? You said: ***Suppliers from China do not ship products to Amazon FBA for you!***
    2) The supplier says that the units are in poly bags one by one and 100 of them in carton. Do I have to consider anything else except the NFSKU number in order the carton to be accepted by Amazon?
    Thank you in advance.

  58. I spend one week to read this article and enjoyed alot.. it’s one of the high quality comprehensive guideline for biggener.. you covered beautifully every steps in this guide.. GOD blessed you!!!

  59. Hi! Kadar from India. It seems too much hidden costs to ship a good product from china. you speaks about lots of third parties. If we pay everyone like inspection,shipping than there is pretty sure we will not comes up with any good margin. Thank you for your effort to bring everything in to this single article.

  60. Hi I have a question regarding selling on amazon, i have a print marketing business (we don business cards tshirts flyers anything as far as printing) how do i get started to sell? and what are the requirements for that?

  61. I have a print marketing company we do Business cards, flyers, tshirts, pens, mugs, folders, anything as far as printing how can i get set up to sell these services on Amazon?

  62. Hi. My country (Jamaica) is not listed as one of the countries accepted for seller registration so how would this work for people like me?

  63. hi
    how we can get a complete copy of Product Research Workbook
    I tried to get one but not all function ( Colum) working will)

  64. I just paid $500 for a course and you gave it all out here free! The only part I don’t agree with is the shipping things to your house part. I like the idea of being able to do this completely hands off (except for the beginning with samples and photos). Do you recommend that just so you can make sure the supplier is providing good products in the beginning?

    • Hey Lauren, that’s exactly what we like to hear! We want people to take action and we want our free stuff to be 10000 times better than paid programs. Exactly we don’t recommend doing everything manually either but you have to in the beginning for product photos and quality assurance. The last thing you want is to send people products that are awful and makes them leave bad reviews. 🙂

  65. Hi Joel,

    I have a question concerning the packaging for order samples.

    For the test order sample of 10-20 units. What about the packaging?
    I have seen supplier sending samples in a simple small brown box without anything on it.

    My main question is what do I do about the packaging for my test order? If the supplier has their own branded packaging. I know that I could put a FNSKU label over their barcode.

    But what about packaging that is a simple brown box without any labels (product name, product picture and so on) on it. How would I prep this packaging for FBA warehouse?

    Thank you in advance for your reply.

    • Great question! Amazon has their packaging requirements listed on their website. Check it out here. When you receive the packages at your home you can place them in plain boxes according to Amazons guidelines that I linked to and then you can print out your FNSKU codes and place them on the boxes so they can be accepted into Amazon warehouses. When you create a shipping plan on seller central you tell amazon that, for example, you’re sending a single box with 6 units of your product in that box to be sold separately. You will get 1 FNSKU to place on the box and you send it in, that’s it. Depending on the product you have Amazon has specific guidelines for preparing those products which I linked to.

  66. Can I include a label on a product that carries my brand name and the URL to my company website. We plan to use the website to build brand communities, but link all sales back to our product listings on Amazon.com.

    • Hey Mark, even better you can include a product insert in your packaging where you can tell your customers to find you on your website. I think a product insert would be better than than a label but of course you can include a product label. Either method would work just fine!

  67. i have a question… can i have my logo on products without having a registered brand? Meaning if i just sell as private label without registering brand in amazon. Is there any problem with that?

    • Hey Jaime yes you can have a logo on your products without having a registered brand. The purpose of a registered brand is to protect against brand hijackers but in the beginning before you develop brand awareness that’s not a problem. You need to start the brand first so you can protect it later. There is no problem with selling under a brand name and with a logo, in fact we recommend it!

  68. I have spent nearly 2,000 hours on YouTube and reading books to piece together what I need step by step, this is by FAR the very best information! It is highly organized and very detailed. This post will probably change my life I can’t thank you enough!

  69. Great information. Amazon sellers should be very wary about getting UPC barcodes from anyone but GS1. Although some UPC resellers do have clients selling products on Amazon , Amazon is now validating company prefixes against the GS1 GEPIR database. Some of the resellers have tried to confuse prospective companies by creating their own bogus database. You need to stick with the standards. References aside from GS1 are http://www.gtin.info and http://www.gs1-us.info

  70. Hi Guys,

    Thank you for this information. It is really helpful.

    I live in Australia, my question when you order ur first 15 units of samples from a supplier from China. I will need to get them send to Australia first then I personally send them to the US fulfillment centers?

    Thank you.


  71. Hey Joel! I’ve just started selling on Amazon, well it’s been 3 months and it’s going great! I’m from the UK and I’ve hit £1400 gross in 30 days so not bad… I want to now smash it in 2018 and hopefully earn a full time income! Would love to get your opinion on something – There’s this outsource team where they look for Online Arbritage deals for you and send you 10 – 12 deals per day and each deal is thoroughly checked to ensure profit is made! i find this quite bizarre! Here’s the review for the product – http://nobsinternetmarketer.blogspot.co.uk/2018/01/how-you-can-get-10-12-online-deals.html. Would love to hear your opinion on this! Thanks

  72. This is extremely motivating and helpful! I am an American citizen living in China. If I order and inspect my products from Alibaba in China, will they be able to ship them to the fulfillment center in the US? I don’t know where to begin with shipping freights from China. I am also unsure how to register for a seller’s account when my address and phone number are Chinese but I am only temporarily living here.

    • Suppliers have their own accounts with freight forwarders that you can use. You can order freight services from Alibaba, or you can use third party companies like fbainspection.com to pick up your products, prep them and send them into Amazon FBA. Suppliers won’t normally prep your products to be sent into Amazon fulfillment centers while fbainspection would.

      The only things you need to open an Amazon account:
      You will need to provide a credit card that can be charged internationally, Visa or Mastercard.
      You will need a phone number—if you get a Skype US phone number, that will work in your favor.
      You will need to provide US bank account information.

      If you’re a US citizen you can open a US bank account from anywhere. Banks will have you fill out forms if you tell them that you just want a checking account.

  73. Hi I am new to this and I want to start learning about Retail Arbitrage. I live in the UK does all the information corresponds the same way in the UK? Also if you have any tips for anything else please do give me some.

    • Retail Abrbitrage is an awesome place to start! All the information is the exact same in the UK. We have plenty of tips in this Amazon article, our retail arbitrage article and we’re putting together a huge retail arbitrage post set to be published in the new year! 🙂 If you have any questions at all please ask away.

    • Hey Lash, I’m so glad you’re finding this Amazon guide useful! Please let us know if you have any questions at all 🙂

  74. If found an ideal product small with quite profit margin, product research tool finds it good, BUT when it does not have a certification what you should do? Proceed ?
    Thank you

    • When the supplier does not have a quality certification or management certification then you should try and avoid using them. It’s easier to find another supplier than it is to deal with defective products being sent to Amazon FBA and dealing with a customer complaint. I would be cautious.

  75. hi joel
    i just want to know. is this amazon business possible to do from muscat, oman.
    and please let me know. how can i get this answer.
    thank you

    • You can sell on Amazon from anywhere in the world 🙂

      The only things you need to open an Amazon account:
      You will need to provide a credit card that can be charged internationally, Visa or Mastercard.
      You will need a phone number—if you get a Skype US phone number, that will work in your favor.
      You will need to provide US bank account information.

  76. How to calculate the FBA Inspection cost in a normal scenario because it is a bit vague. If I got it correctly, for 100 pieces in their individual small box ,which all are in a larger carton box, I calculate 100+35$+(100×0,45$) ? ? Thank you again

  77. Hi Joel,
    I am hung up on the details about shipping larger orders from China to FBA, specifically Ultimate Consignee, EIN Numbers, and Duty Fees.

    I ordered a sample size of 10 straight to my home, and did not encounter any issues. My next order will be 140 units. I do not want cartons sent to my home and would prefer to send them directly to Amazon FBA centers. Is this possible? I am not able to create a shipping plan using my manufacturers address in China as the “from” address. What’s the work-around?

    If I have my manufacturer send the items straight to a forwarding service like FBA Inspect, do I need to prepare anything relating to customs? I spoke to a shipping broker who takes care of ISF forms, customs clearance, and destination and warehouse fees. Is this necessary? What can I do for the least amount of money that doesnt violate any import laws or risk hefty fines/ being turned away by FBA?

  78. What should be the quantity of a samples ordered to test in the market so as to get a safe result?

    • Nikos, I would recommend anywhere between 10 to 20 sample units but more importantly it’s how fast they get sold. If all 20 sell in 6 months then that’s not good but if they sell in a month then you’re looking at a good product!

      • Thank you for your answer Joel , I am asking because on the chase of a good supplier from alibaba all they want quantities 50-100+

        • No problem Nikos I’m happy to answer your questions 🙂 Some suppliers only want larger orders but honestly suppliers are a dime a dozen. If you talk to suppliers and ask them for a “test” order then they would be more willing to make their MOQ smaller.

          • Yes this was the magic word when you say test market suddenly all they want to give you 20-40 items

          • I’m so glad the suppliers lowered their minimum order quantity! Keep hustling Nikos, let me know if you need anything at all.

    • Hey Edwin 🙂 Awesome to hear! Please feel free to ask any Amazon questions you have anytime!

  79. Hello,
    Thanks a lot for all the information is very useful.
    I have a question about packaging. Me, beign a small seller I had some problems when tried to packaging by myself, some people complained about that it doesn’t look so good, even the product reviews are very good.
    I have not problem with designing a nice box, we are graphic designers, problem is the cost of it when I tried to buy this kind of customized box.
    Like I said Im a small seller and need for example around 200 boxes, and quote they made for me (after looking for lot of different webpages, shops etc) is very very expensive.
    For example Im selling a product:
    cost: 2€
    sell price: 15€
    amazon comission: around 5€
    + taxes..
    and the custom box quote is around: 2/3€ each one.

    So my question is how can I improve my packaging with this costs?

    Thank you!

  80. You guys are great! You give so much information without hesitation and I love that.
    Ok here we go. I developed a product way before I even knew selling on Amazon was a lucrative business. I stated my own brand, posted it Amazon using the free sellers account and only got literally 4 sales but sold many more vending wise. That made me so scared to sell on Amazon but reading and learning more about selling on Amazon made me realize a few things. Ok now here am I am wanting to sell the right way and deciding to stay in my original brand category with the same brand name….is the wise? I had the name trademarked and all but lost motivation in selling. Should I keep the brand name or should I start out fresh. I see so many products I can carry the name over too and I already have experience with Alibaba because that’s where I got my product made in China and used Western Union without a hitct( not advised to do this I hear) my mind is racing and I can see it so clear but this happens to me early on when I need to calm down and get direction. Where should I go from here?

  81. Wouldn’t be better idea if someone choose a supplier located in US and saving the trouble with Chinese? In such case FBAinspection you suggest could be faster and better or not?

    • FBAinspection has a fantastic infrastructure in place that for them it makes no difference if they work with suppliers from China or the US. They have ships coming from China every month either way so if your products are on there or not 🙂 You should buy products from suppliers that you’re comfortable with and the reason why most people get their products from China is because the prices for large orders can be lower. A plus side to ordering from suppliers in China is that they’re very flexible in creating unique variations that can make a product specifically yours.

  82. Hi. I am from India. and being a non american national what are the ways i can start on amazon. I dont have a product right now but i do have an idea what product i want to sell as beginner. but i still dont have a supplier. but i do have some money to start. so please be a friend and guide me.

    • Hey Gaurav, we can absolutely help. Have you started looking for a supplier yet? Make sure you check out Alibaba first, it’s the best marketplace to find quality suppliers. Being from India won’t change your ability to sell on Amazon 🙂

  83. Hi, Amazon Brand Registry now requires an official US Trademark number from USPTO whereas your article doesn’t specify that. Is the article outdated? Could you cover this piece by any chance? Thanks.

    • Hey Herman! We are updating this post every single month because of how fast things change and all the information is as up to date as possible. You’re right about the brand registry, they now require a registered trademark and we just updated that piece. We’re working on a new section that will cover the exact steps after you’ve been approved for your trademark. In the meantime being approved for the registered trademark can take a couple of months so you can sell under a brand in the meantime that isn’t registered with Amazon but you won’t be protected. It’s not something that needs to happen before you start selling. We’re going to finish the full update in a couple of days 🙂

  84. Hi Joel,
    Thank you so much for all the information!

    Quick question- I purchased a product to sell on Amazon through Alibaba. The transaction was very easy. I just finished setting up a selling account with Amazon, but ran into a problem. I tried adding my product to inventory and Amazon is asking for an invoice from my supplier and a letter from the manufacturer giving permission to sell their product. The invoice is no problem but I had no idea I need a letter from the manufacturer! Is there a way around this or do I have product I can’t sell on Amazon? Thank you in advance for any advice.

    • Hey Kristen!

      No problem I would love to answer your questions. We can troubleshoot your problem right here. That can happen for a few reasons. If you’re listing your product under a different listings ASIN and didn’t create your own listing then Amazon might see you as trying to sell someone else’s product under their nose. If you didn’t do that and created your own listing then there is a chance that your manufacturer also sells on Amazon and has their brand registered. If you’re trying to sell under your suppliers brand then Amazon would require the letter from the manufacturer that you’re able to sell the product. The other time that this happens is when you are trying to register a brand. If you are a reseller applying for brand ownership, Amazon will ask you to upload an authorization letter from the manufacturer. I’m not sure of your specific situation so let me know what you think and let’s keep talking!

  85. Hi Joel,

    Awesome post, thanks a lot!

    Quick question – could you share any more details on the logic behind the “Launch difficulty” column in the product research workbook works? Does the algorithm work when you also do product research in other markets than the US, i.e., amazon.co.uk or amazon.de?


  86. Hi Joel,

    I’m a bit confused w/ the UPC code issue. Let’s say i’ve ordered 100 dog collars from China, all with the same design but 6 different colors, must I obtain & submit 100 UPC codes to FBA?

    Please advise,

    • Hey Michael sorry for taking so long to get back to you! We’re actually about to publish an entire article about UPC codes that explains this in huge detail!

      But keeping it simple: If it’s the same dog collar, same design, color, and style. Then you can use 1 UPC code to list all 100 of them. Only when there are variations of products do you need different UPC codes for them. 1 UPC code for an unlimited number of the same product. In your situation each color requires a different code, so buy 6 UPC codes.

  87. I’m confused on using UPC or Printing Amazon Labels. Do you recommend one over the other? I didn’t see anything about printing Amazon labels in the guide.

    I just received my products. Should I buy UPCs and put them on, or print Amazon labels and send to FBA? Or am I missing something completely?
    Thanks for all the info!

    • Hey Ryan, printing labels can get confusing so I wrote another post just focusing on printing the labels. So you need both UPC and Amazon labels but for different things. UPC codes are ONLY used to list your product on the Amazon platform. You don’t need to place them on your products at all. Then when you create an Amazon FBA shipping plan in order to send your products to Amazon FBA you will need to print out the FNSKU which is the Amazon labels and place them on each of your products or product packaging. Amazon only cares about their labels when the product is being sent to their warehouses. You only use the UPC codes in order to list your products initially.

  88. Hi there, I’m a little bit confused with what happens after you order the products. So they ship it to my house and I put the UPC codes on each product? Then send it to the inspection and the inspection will send it to FBA? While this is happening, I can list my product on the seller central?

    • Hey Angelie, so the questions depends on what you want to do. You have it right, there are just some differences depending on the route you want to take.

      China—>Your House–>You Place UPC codes—>You send to Amazon FBA—>at the same time list your product on seller central. When you create your shipping plan and tell Amazon fba what you’re going to be sending in they will give you the address of the warehouse to ship your products to.

      The other option..

      China—>Inspection company—>You send the inspection company your UPC codes—>They prep your products to go into Amazon fba–> You create the shipping plan and send the inspection company the fba address to send your products for you—>Then the inspection prints out your FBA labels and places them on the boxes.

      So in one option you do most of the supply chain prepping and in the second option the inspection company does most of the physical preparation. There is no need to use the inspection company if you are willing to receive the products yourself. Please let me know if you need anything else answered!

  89. Hi Joel
    It’s really a great and informative article.. I have couple of question regarding this.. I am UK resident and i want Amazon.com USA business professional account so what i need put in the tax interview to sell in amazon.com ? secondly I picked 2-3 products from Alibaba and i want to ship in the amazon FBA so how can i ship those product from Alibaba to Amazon FBA store ?

    • Hey Ashan, thank you for reading the article 🙂 I hope you ask as many questions as you have!

      Check out this Amazon Tax Information Interview Guide:

      In the article above we cover the exact things you would need to open an amazon seller account in the US and for the tax interview if you are not a US resident. And if you are signing up as an “Individual” seller for tax purposes.

      You need:
      Credit card
      Local bank in your country
      Home Address where you receive personal mail
      Local Phone number

      When you fill out the tax interview and select individual as your tax payer status. The form that generates for you is a W9-Ben which means you’re exempt from paying income tax in the United States because you’re living overseas.

      We cover this in the article as well but if you want to ship directly from China to the US then you need to use a third party inspection company. We recommend fbainspection.com . They can help you ship directly.

  90. Hi Joel,
    Great info! much thanks.
    I am new and setting up my Amazon sellers account and under tax settings I’m not certain what to choose as my default product tax code? I live in the U.S. Virgin Islands. I will be selling outdoor camping and sporting equipment through FBA. Should I choose
    A_GEN_TAX Always Taxable or A_GEN_NOTAX Always Nontaxable ?
    any advise?

  91. So If I make one sale on amazon as an individual seller then I just need to pay taxes on that sale at end of the year or do i need to then actually establish my own business to pay the taxes under. I am ready to go get products right now and try to sell but the whole tax section and business name while signing up are a little worrisome. Thanks

    • So because you have a social security number, you’re a sole proprietor Tom. Any money you make on Amazon counts as income to your yearly total from all of your jobs. You can print out a tax form from your Amazon seller account when you have to pay taxes and file that along with the rest of your paperwork. You don’t need to have an LLC right away in order to pay taxes. It’s income in general created by the sales that you need to pay taxes on and Amazon allows your to run reports for that. When signing up for a seller account you can put a generic name under business name, it doesn’t have to be a legal entity.

      • Hello! So I would be interested in selling not as a sole proprietor, but as a “corporation” for tax purposes….How would I go about doing that? Is that a long legal process? Does amazon have an option to do that?

  92. Great article! What would you consider light weight? I was looking at a product that was about 9lbs and 18-24 inches wide. The supplier made it sound like that wasn’t small.

    • 9lbs is going to be heavy to ship, one of my products weights 2lbs and the cost to ship from China can be more than the product costs itself. It’s doable, but you will likely have to go with sea shipping to make it cost effective.

  93. Hi,
    We have our own business and product currently in our store front but want to expand to Amazon. We have a seller account up and running but are trying to get more reviews and ratings and make us viewable on Amazon, currently you cannot find us easily. What can we do to up this? You mention brand registry but you need a trademark registration number in order to start a brand registry, and we don’t yet have that. (in the process now)

    • Hey Jen, in the mean time you can run PPC ads to your products and you can optimize your product listings for certain keywords. There are services you can use for that which we trust or you can do it yourself. If you email us bros@startupbros(dot)com we can point you in the right direction 🙂

    • Hey Rosie, so we are not tax professionals. But in general you need to always pay sales tax on anything you sell online. It depends on how much you sell and in how many places you sell. I’m not sure what a tax certificate is but in order to pay sales tax you need a sales tax permit. We have an article explaining everything about sales tax.
      Check it out here: https://startupbros.com/stop-stressing-sales-tax-get-business/

  94. Hi,

    thanks for the great post. Really informative. I’m sure I will re-read it several times to take it all in.

    I’ve got a couple of question.

    Regarding patent and copyright issues, I’ve I’m re-branding white-label products as my own, am I breaching the patent and/or copyrights of the original producer?

    While I am considering Private Labelling, I’m also considering developing my own product from scratch. I’m concerned that if I reveal my product to the Chinese OEM manufacturer they can simply copy it and sell it themselves/to competitors. I’ve read I should get a Chinese written NNN Agreement (a bit like a Non-Disclosure here in the US) but I’m not sure how to go about it. Frankly, I’m inclined to get the manufacturers to sign a US style NDA instead as at least I will understand that one! Do you have any thoughts or guidance on this?

    Many thanks,


    • Hey Owen,

      Ask as many questions as you want!! You’re not the only one with these questions on your mind. So, if you’re selling a white label product then inherently you’re not breaking any patent or copyright issues. White labeling or private labeling means that you would be selling a product or service created by someone else but sold by you under your own brand. There is nothing wrong with that all, the original producer wants their product out there and they choose to allow private label so they can expand their market.

      You would be breaching copyright issues if you sold chargers, for instance, and said “Real Apple charger” because your using the brand credibility of apple to sell your chargers. Even if a product comes from the same supplier as Apple, it’s the brand of Apple that pushes units and you can’t use that to sell your unbranded product. You need to develop brand confidence with your new brand. Patents usually involve specific mechanisms not the whole product so most white label products from suppliers are completely fine to sell. I’ve never ran into something with patent issues.

      There are cheap prototyping companies here in the US that are more than happy to sign non disclosures. Before using overseas suppliers to develop products from scratch I would test the validity of a similar, already produced, product from an overseas supplier with your label on it. And if it does well produce it here in the US in small quantities and introduce it in your product catalogue as an upgrade and see how it sells. If you get sales from your initial offering, then I would look into getting it produced overseas and you can certainly get them to sign an NDA. Starting with your own product from scratch is expensive and time consuming. I would avoid it until you have enough sales to justify the validity of improving a product from scratch yourself.

  95. I live in India please send me the all details how to sell on Amazon in a easy manner .

    • Hey Nishant, if you read the entire article and follow along you will know exactly how to sell on Amazon. Everything is listed step by step

      • Awesome information I am already a member with the start up bros. but I am always looking to brush up on my knowledge. Thanks Will & Joel.

        • Hey John, thanks for commenting! 🙂 If you need help brushing up some more be sure to leave us a question here!

  96. Hey Joel,
    I’m having trouble with the product tracker…when I enter my info, it doesn’t total anything for me? Any tips on what I may be doing wrong?

    • Hey KJ, you mean the product research workbook? If that’s what you mean then you have to make sure that you don’t download it as an excel sheet but rather make a copy of it right on google sheets. Let me know if that works for you 🙂

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