Amazon Australia may be popular with local consumers, but the great majority of people in the eCommerce industry still see international markets such as Amazon US, UK and Europe as the best opportunities to make money. Selling through Amazon’s international network is what forward thinking ecommerce businesses have been doing for years. In this article, we’ll cover the following topics:
- Benefits of selling on Amazon US
- The basics to opening an Amazon seller account
- How to start selling on Amazon US
- Different ways to sell on Amazon US from Australia
- Benefits of Amazon FBA
- Amazon USA seller fees
- Things to consider when selling on Amazon US from Australia
Benefits of selling on Amazon US
Globally, Amazon is the world’s largest eCommerce marketplace, boasting over five billion web visits per month globally. Of these, around half of the visits come from the United States site alone. Jungle Scout claims that more consumer searches start on Amazon.com than on Google.
As the birthplace of the Amazon empire, it makes sense that consumers from North America make up the largest pool of Amazon Prime members. This means that selling in the USA can grow your sales exponentially, compared to younger markets.
The basics to start selling on Amazon US
Not all non-US residents can sell on Amazon US but as the resident of an eligible country, you’re in luck – Australians are able to open an Amazon business account and start selling on Amazon US.
To start your seller journey on Amazon USA, you’ll need to provide the following information:
- On registration:
- Basic registration details such as email address, phone number
- Credit card to debit the monthly fees
- Local currency account details where Amazon can deposit your proceeds
- Tax details including completed W-8BEN form
- Formal identification document such as passport or drivers licence
- A bank account or credit card statement issued within the last 90 days
- A business licence if applicable
- Proof of address such as a water, electricity or internet bill, issued within the last 90 days
How to start selling on Amazon US
When you register as a seller on Amazon, you’ll be given access to stores across North America, Europe, Japan and Australia. It’s up to you as to which countries you want to list your products in.
The first step to opening a store is to decide what you want to sell. For this, you’ll need to conduct your own product research. There are several tools that sellers use to find winning products, two of which are Helium10 and JungleScout. What sellers typically look at are:
- Search volume: Is demand high?
- Competition: How many other stores are selling this product?
- Cost: Will you make a reasonable profit margin on the product?
- History: What is the pricing history of this product?
- Delivery: How much will it cost to deliver this product?
Once you decide on the products to sell, you can start setting up and optimising your Amazon listings. This stage is one of the most critical parts of your Amazon launch journey. Without optimised product listings, you’ll fail to achieve the traffic that will see your store take off. Some important aspects of your listing are:
- Product titles with target keywords
- Product descriptions
- Product photos that adhere to Amazon image guidelines
- Universal Product Codes (UPC) to identify your products
Different ways to sell on Amazon US from Australia
A general consumer may not be aware that the Amazon marketplace consists of millions of third-party sellers, not just Amazon selling products itself. There are four main ways to sell products on Amazon:
Amazon private label involves selling products under your own brand. You’ll need to source a supplier and look after your own branding and marketing.
Selling wholesale on Amazon involves finding distributors with large catalogues. You sell their products under their own brand in your Amazon store.
Arbitrage is the process of purchasing discounted goods and selling them at a higher price for profit.
In simple terms, dropshipping allows the seller to act as a middleman. The seller promotes a product on their storefront and when an order comes through, the customer’s details are sent to the supplier to fulfil directly. It means that the seller doesn’t have to manage warehousing, or shipping costs, potentially lowering overhead costs.
Benefits of Amazon FBA
One of the key benefits of selling on Amazon is its network of fulfilment centres around the world, making cross-border selling much simpler. Goods are shipped from your factory to Amazon’s warehouses where your goods are stored and orders are fulfilled by Amazon. This is called Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA).
FBA sellers can leverage Amazon’s fast and free shipping and special sales days offered to Amazon Prime members to increase their visibility and sales. While Fulfilment by Merchant (FBM) is also an option, Amazon tends to prioritise merchants using FBA. Prime members, too, may sort their searches by Prime membership.
Amazon USA seller fees
There are several fees that Amazon may charge for selling on its platform. The main ones are: monthly subscription fees, Amazon FBA fees, closing fees and referral fees.
Monthly subscription fees
On a professional selling plan, sellers currently pay AU $49.95 + GST per month. Individual selling plans are for sellers who aren’t moving more than 40 products a month or are just trialling the platform. There’s no subscription fee for individual sellers, but they must pay a fixed closing fee of AU $0.99 per item sold.
Amazon FBA fees
For sellers using FBA, the fee is split into two categories: inventory storage costs and fulfilment costs. Storage costs will depend on the size and volume of your products and can increase during high sales periods such as the holiday season. For inventory that isn’t cleared within 365 days, Amazon will also charge a long term storage fee.
Fulfilment costs cover packing, delivery of orders and customer service for products sold. It’s a flat fee per unit and is dependent on the size and weight of the product, from AU $2.04 for a small envelope all the way to over AU $20 for heavy items.
Closing fees are an additional flat fee that is charged for items listed under the media category such as books, music, DVDs, software and video games.
All items sold will be charged a referral fee and the cost is dependent on the product category and item price. It ranges between six to 45 percent, with most sellers paying 15 percent of the item price.
For a full list of fees, visit Amazon’s Seller Central hub.
Things to consider when selling on Amazon US from Australia
First and foremost, to ensure you get paid by Amazon, you’ll need to have a local USD currency account. Worldfirst is a participant of the Amazon Payment Service Provider Program, which means you can use your WorldFirst account to collect your overseas revenue.
Another key consideration is customer service. If you opt for FBM, you’ll need to define your reverse logistics process if items arrive faulty or damaged.
Finally, if you’re selling electronic goods, the USA has different plugs and voltages to Australia so make sure they’re compatible with overseas markets.