How to start an Amazon Marketplace business
Wondering how to sell on Amazon Marketplace? Check out our step-by-step guide to learn how to start an Amazon business...
- What is Amazon Marketplace and how to sell on Amazon Marketplace
- Selling on Amazon: Business planning and preparation
- Rules and regulations for selling on Amazon
- Tips and useful contacts for selling on Amazon
What is Amazon marketplace and who is selling on Amazon suited to?
Essentially, Amazon Marketplace allows retailers and distributors to tap into Amazon’s infrastructure, in exchange for a fee. Amazon Marketplace enables you to sell your products under the Amazon banner.
Amazon Marketplace divides its sellers into two principal categories: casual and professional. Casual sellers are defined as those selling 35 items per month or less, and are asked to pay only a completion and referral fee for each item sold.
Professional sellers, those selling at least 35 items per month, are able to sell a greater range of products than casual sellers and are given bulk listing tools to make it easier to sell high volumes, but there’s a monthly subscription fee in addition to the individual completion and referral fees.
Amazon recommends that if you’re looking to sell more than 35 items through Marketplace, you should become a ‘pro-merchant seller’ which enables you to sell in one, or all all five EU marketplaces, for £25 a month (£28.50 including VAT).
With around 300 million active users on Amazon and over 50 million Amazon prime members, the market is ripe for budding e-commerce entrepreneurs looking to sell on Amazon marketplace.
Selling on Amazon also benefits e-commerce start-ups looking to grow internationally as Amazon has unified its European marketplaces which means you can create and manage offers for Amazon.de (Germany), Amazon.fr (France), Amazon.es (Spain), Amazon.it (Italy) and, of course, Amazon.co.uk.
Amazon UK reports that the number of UK-based marketplace sellers exporting to European customers increased by more than 40% in 2016.
Selling on Amazon: A low-cost business opportunity that’s quick to set up
If you’re just starting a business and finding it hard to drive traffic to your own site, Amazon’s global reach and brand identity can ramp up your online business.
Around two million people sell on Amazon Marketplace; although this means there’s lots of competition, it also enables you to find out how your rivals are pricing and marketing their products, boosting your own business strategy.
Furthermore, the simplicity and affordability of Marketplace provide genuine benefit for entrepreneurs who don’t know much about web development, and don’t have much money to spend on their own website.
While selling on Amazon boasts low-start-up costs, it’s also a great home-based business idea and enables you to work from the comfort of your home – provided you have access to the internet and can organise shipping etc.
Selling on Amazon: Business success stories
Successful UK start-ups using Amazon to increase their product sales and boost exposure include baking products and subscription service BakedIn, smart devices creator Smarter, organic baby food business Piccolo, Nespresso-compatible coffee pod start-up CafePod, and many more.
Currently, there are over 70,000 UK small businesses using Amazon Marketplace.
Products you can sell on Amazon marketplace
For selling on Amazon, you can sell items in the following categories:
- Industry and science
- Home improvement
- Lawn and garden
- Amazon device accessories (excluding Kindle batteries)
- Musical instruments
- Office products
- Toys and games (there are exceptions for selling over the Christmas period)
- DVD and video games
Products you can’t sell on Amazon Marketplace
If you’re considering selling on Amazon, there are a number of products that are prohibited including:
- Illegal products i.e. those that are illegally marketed such illegal drugs, guns and ammunition
- Prescription medicine
- High-strength alcohol (70% ABV+)
- Real fur clothing
- Used clothing and shoes (new clothing and shoes are permitted)
- Lottery tickets
For a full list of prohibited products for selling on Amazon click here.
Ready to get started? Find out everything you need to know about how to start a business here.