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There are literally hundreds of seller tools out there to help you with the running of your business on Amazon. Some tools are more worthwhile than others. When first starting out, I would advise sticking with the basics to keep your expenses low. We have compiled below a list of the most useful tools/sites that we use on a daily basis to help us run our FBA business and allow us to be more productive.
Finding the right product to sell is crucial. There are millions of products listed on Amazon but how do you figure out what product you should sell?
You can manually go through each category on Amazon to find the best sellers, but this is a time intensive and frustrating task which could take you weeks or even months to complete. A bestselling product in one category may only sell less than a hundred while a bestseller in another category may sell thousands every month. So as you can see, it is not a straightforward process.
Thankfully there’s a fantastic tool called Jungle Scout which I can’t recommend highly enough (it has 5 out of 5 stars on TrustPilot). This powerful product research tool allows you to make sense of all the data on Amazon.
With Jungle Scout, you can do any of the following and much more:
- Find out what the bestselling products are.
- Find out the estimated FBA fees.
- Calculate the net profit (excludes the cost of goods as naturally only the seller knows that).
- Find the number of sellers for a product.
- Number of reviews per product.
- Average rating for a product.
- Product dimensions and weight.
- Seller name.
- Provides a graphical display of the sales, inventory, pricing over a selectable time period for a particular product. Really useful feature if you want to track how a product is trending or whether your competitor is running out of inventory.
- Monitor a series of products.
- Allows you to find untapped niches.
Jungle Scout comes in two formats, a web based app and a Google Chrome extension.
The Chrome extension installs onto your Google Chrome browser and works directly from the Amazon site as you browse the product listings. The more feature rich web based app comes with three tools: a product database, a product tracker and a niche hunter.
Both tools are compatible on 9 Amazon marketplaces including the US, UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Canada, Mexico and India.
For product sourcing strategies using JungleScout check out our post.
If you’re thinking of private labelling you’ll probably be looking at finding manufactures in China in order to take advantage of lower production costs. Alibaba.com is one of the best and biggest business directories out there and one which we use to find quality manufactures. Whatever you’re looking to get manufactured you’ll sure to find it on Alibaba.
Filter by companies that provide Trade Assurance, which means Alibaba will guarantee your money back in the event that your supplier fails to comply with the terms in your order contract.
If you pay your international suppliers by bank transfer or even by PayPal, you will probably find that you will get hit by exorbitant costs such as poor exchange rates, transfer and possibly intermediary bank fees. These costs can really add up and hit your profit margins.
We would definitely recommend using the online money transfer service TransferWise (it has 5 out of 5 stars on TrustPilot). Using TransferWise you can pay using USD to non US bank accounts, ideal if you’re paying your Chinese supplier in US dollars. It’s safe, as it’s fully regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
It’s quick and easy to set-up an account with Transferwise and within less than 10 minutes you can make a transfer. You can keep track of your transfer and it will inform you of the expected date of receipt. Transfers can take anything from 1-5 business days although in our experience it usually arrives within 1-2 business days.
The exchange rate quoted are guaranteed for 24 hours and they will use the real mid-exchange rate (the going rate) so you won’t get ripped off. When you make the transfer, you will only pay a simple fee which is laid out plainly, and you won’t pay any hidden charges.
Calculating Pontential Profits
If you’re thinking of selling your products on Amazon, how do you work out what your potential net profit will be?
To help with this, Amazon has created a Fulfilment by Amazon Revenue Calculator which is free and easy to use. Whether you’re a FBM or FBA seller, the tool allows you to enter your product costs and it will calculate your selling fees and potential profit. The tool allows you to work out if the product you’re thinking of selling has enough profit margins and what the best fulfilment option would be.
If you’re getting your products manufactured abroad, you’ll probably need the help of a freight forwarder in order to get your goods shipped to you. They’ll be able to provide you with guidance and advice throughout the whole process. They’ll prepare all the required shipping paperwork, act as a customs brokerage service, sort out any issues, and keep you fully informed about the shipment status.
Whether you’re running a retail arbitrage, wholesale or private label type business on Amazon, you will need to generate FNSKU labels. These FNSKU labels allow Amazon to track the product and identify a specific seller. Thermal printers are perfect for this job. Not only do they not use ink unlike laser/inkjet printers, they are also renowned for their high printing speed. They have less moving parts which means they are less likely to go wrong and also the labels generated will not fade over time as they don’t use ink.
The Dymo LabelWriter 4XL is one we use and recommend. Printing FNSKU labels are a doddle. You can also print extra-large shipping labels.
Whether you private label, resell bundles or manufacture, each variation of your product that you list on Amazon will require a product code which is called a unique product code (UPC). The only exemption to this is using Amazon Brand Registry. Amazon advises that all sellers purchase these directly from GS1.org which is the official UPC distributor.
You could buy UPC’s more cheaply elsewhere, Amazon however are now running checks against the GS1 database to determine whether they’re authentic. If they find they are not, you could find that Amazon takes your product listing down.
Let’s be honest, unless you’re an accountant, bookkeeping is not the most riveting subject. Running an Amazon FBA business means you will need to keep track of everything from cost of goods sold (COGS), Amazon fees (FBA, inbound shipping, fulfilment centre, long term storage fees etc). As your Amazon business starts to grow, you will find it becomes increasingly more difficult to keep on top of everything.
One of the best accounting tools out there for Amazon sellers is Xero which is cloud based. It has a simple user interface which is easy to use and understand.
The cost of Xero depends on whether you require it to handle multiple currencies. If you do require this, the price will be £27.50 + VAT per month otherwise it will be £22.00 + VAT per month.
One of the advantages of Xero is the vast selection of third-party apps which you can use. For example, the A2X plugin allows you to automatically import your Amazon transactions into Xero thus saving you lots of time and effort. The A2X plugin costs either $49 per month which allows users to import up to 1000 orders and can be used on one marketplace or otherwise $69 which allows up to 5000 orders and can be used on up to 5 marketplaces.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could find out the search terms potential buyers are using on Amazon? That way you could gain an insight into what buyers are looking for and this would give you an advantage over your competitors. Well, there is a tool for this called MerchantWords. The tool provides estimates for the number of searches for a given term.
If you want to optimise or create great listings which mirror the relevant keywords buyers are using then this is the tool to use to help boost your sales. The tool is also very effective if you want to run any PPC ad campaigns on Amazon.
MerchantWords costs $30 per month, although if you use the following link you can get it for only $9 per month.
Getting reviews on your products and your seller account are vital for the success of your Amazon business. Most buyers will not think of leaving a review, so the only option is to send your customers an email asking for feedback. Obviously if you sent an email manually for each of your orders you wouldn’t get any time to do anything else. Thankfully there’s a way to automate this customer service process using Feedback Genius. Using the tool it allows you to automatically solicit for feedback on your products and your seller account.
Feedback Genius provides an easy to use wizard to set up your emails. You can use placeholders in your email to customise them to the relevant customers’ orders. You can also get automatically notified when you receive a negative review so you can respond to the customer as quickly as possible.
The entry version starts at only $20 a month and allows you to send up to 1000 emails a month.
Checking your Sales & Replying to Customers on the Go
Amazon Seller App
The Amazon Seller App (iOS) (Android) is a great tool to manage your business on the go from your smartphone. Check your daily sales, reply back to customer queries, create listings and update your pricing and track your inventory. The free app works on either iOs or Android phones. It also has a nifty feature that allows you to scan a product’s barcode using your camera’s phone which then provides you with the current product’s selling price on Amazon, its best seller rank, FBA fees, total number of sellers and category. A useful feature if you’re thinking of starting out with retail arbitrage.