Amazon.com is one of the world’s largest online retailers, dominating the US e-commerce market! According to this CNBC article, 44% of all online retail sales in the US went through Amazon! And yes, I gladly contributed to that percentage. I love the convenience of having Amazon Prime, giving me the ability to shop from my phone and order items with free shipping (for just $10/mo.)
When I first started shopping on Amazon, there was a lot of information that I was not aware of. However, I decided that I wanted to start selling on Amazon – giving me access to the millions of customers that they attract on a daily basis. Throughout this process, I learned so much information that I wish I had known before!
1.) Amazon Sellers can be anyone
I initially thought that all Amazon Sellers were business owners or online retailers. This is not true! People from all over the world can sell on Amazon.com, making it easy for them to scam you with cheaply made, knock-off items. Before purchasing an item, always click on the sellers name located above, beside, or below the product name. Check out what they are selling and what their ratings are. Also be aware of knock-off brand names. For instance, if the sellers name is “apple products”, those products are not being sold by the real “Apple”.
2.) Amazon Sellers are categorized as FBA, FBM, or AMZ
FBA stands for “fulfilled by Amazon”. This means that a private seller, just like you and me, is selling on Amazon, but having Amazon warehouses fulfill their orders. Amazon charges them a fee for storing their products in their warehouses and their products are eligible to customers with Amazon Prime (fast and free shipping).
FBM stands for “fulfilled by merchant”. This means that a private seller, just like you and me, is selling on Amazon, but fulfilling the orders themselves. Many people use their garage or a storage unit to store their merchandise. As the orders come in, they package and mail them one-by-one. This way, they will not have to pay the Amazon fees that FBA sellers have to. However, they are not eligible for Amazon Prime and typically their shipping times are much longer – several weeks to a month.
AMZ means that the product is owned by Amazon and fulfilled by Amazon. Amazon does not only sell other people’s products; they also design and sell their own. This is another major source of revenue for Amazon, helping them dominate their own marketplace.
3.) Good quality pictures do not always mean good quality products
Good quality pictures may make products look superior in value, but this is not always the case. Quality pictures mean that the seller has photography skills or hired a professional photographer to take the pictures and design the graphics. This is a simple way to fool customers into buying your cheaply-made product.
One of the major reasons this tip is important is that the products designed and sold by Amazon often have minimal photos that are not always high-quality. Although their products are typically good quality, you may be convinced to buy another product based on the listing quality.
4.) Don’t fall for the Sponsored Posts
Although a product may be listed at the top of the page, this does not mean that it is the best product. If the product says “Sponsored” above or beside it, it means that the seller is paying to have their merchandise advertised at the top of the page.
For the highest rated products, scroll down until you see the products that do not have “Sponsored” listed above them. These products are on the first page because of their high ratings and sales.
5.) Sellers highly discount items – especially for new listings
When a seller lists a new product, they often discount the product – often over 50%. With all the competition on Amazon, sellers have to find ways to be highly competitive. Just like any business, they have to lose some money in the beginning to gain sales momentum. To be listed on the first few pages of products, they must have the highest amount of sales and reviews. One way many sellers do this is by giving a high discount for the first few months. Don’t always buy the most expensive item with the highest reviews – the exact same item might be selling for half the price on page 12.
6.) You can find out the price history of a product before you buy it
I loved this tip when I found out about it! Just go to camelcamelcamel and paste the Amazon product URL into the search bar. It will show you a graph, listing out the price history and dates the price changed on the product. This tip helped me know if the product had been inflated in price, so I could go look for a better priced option.
7.) You can find HUGE AMAZON DISCOUNTS on deal websites
To launch a new product or increase their sales, many Amazon sellers will put coupons on deal websites to attract potential customers. These coupons are sometimes up to 90% off! My favorites are JumpSend, Vipon, and Snagshout.
However, remember this new Amazon rule. No sellers are allowed to trade a product for a review. They are allowed to ask for an honest opinion, but you are never REQUIRED to leave a review for receiving a discount on their product. (But be nice and leave a review anyway – especially if you liked the product!)
8.) When checking a product review, always sort by “most recent”
Even if a product does not have amazing reviews, this does not mean that it is bad in quality. Many Amazon sellers will improve the quality of their products, in an attempt to increase their sales and review ratings. By sorting the reviews by “most recent”, you will be able to tell if the quality has been improved or not.
9.) Get Amazon Prime and you get free movies, tv series, and music
Maybe I was just stupid, but for several years I never knew that I had all these amazing perks as an Amazon Prime member! I LOVED having the free shipping, but I was not aware that Amazon Prime had so many other bonuses. Check out this article by The Krazy Coupon Lady to learn about 31 amazing perks of having Amazon Prime.
10.) You can buy discounted refurbished products through “Amazon Renewed”
Amazon Renewed is a department/category in Amazon where refurbished products are sold. These products are inspected and tested to ensure they look and work like new. Only select sellers that have maintained high quality products and superior performance are able to sell pre-opened or open-box products on Amazon Renewed. This is one of my favorite places to purchase electronic devices.
Amazon has taken over the online retail world! Learning how to take advantage of the opportunities that Amazon sellers present is an easy way to save money and time. What are your favorite Amazon tips?
If you have any questions about this article, just let us know in the comment section below! We’d be happy to help you out!