In episode two of Amazon Seller School Amazon Wholesale Podcast, show host Todd Welch answers your questions about establishing yourself as a successful Amazon wholesaler. Subscribers Josh and Harry ask Todd about getting the Amazon buy box, opening accounts with suppliers, and building a solid website. Scroll below for an overview of this insightful episode where Todd shares the information you need to get serious about selling products on Amazon!
Make your way into the Amazon buy box rotation
So, what is the Amazon buy box? On an Amazon product page, the ‘Buy Now’ button serves as the buy box and the profit goes to the seller of the product. As an Amazon wholesaler, you want to receive profit from as many purchases as possible. Todd details several ways that you can earn a rotation as a seller in the buy box, including looking for whether or not Amazon is selling the product at a competitive price and operating as a Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) seller with an Amazon Prime designation. Tune into this episode to learn more!
Find the right suppliers
What do you do if brands are not sure whether they want to work with you as an Amazon wholesaler? Many factors can contribute to why brands may or may not accept your offer to sell. Todd encourages you to find a distributor and avoid the risk of an outside wholesaler! This option should be exercised regardless of whether you manage to open an account with the brand. Distributors already have close relationships with the brands and can provide you with even more products and connections. To find out more about how to work with distributors, give this episode a listen!
Create a value proposition website
Although building a value proposition website should not be an immediate concern as a new Amazon wholesaler, it should be a goal to accomplish when you are more established and prepared for brands and distributors to come knocking. One of the platforms used most frequently to build value proposition websites is WordPress, which includes a variety of useful plugins and simple themes. Todd discusses the advantages of a WordPress value proposition website, which can strengthen the legitimacy of your business. Look out for an upcoming video on building a value proposition website by subscribing to Todd’s Amazon Seller School YouTube channel and play this episode!
Outline of Episode Two
- [00:00]: Episode introduction/Todd gives instructions on how to ask him a question
- [01:09]: First question (Josh) – How to win the Amazon buy box and what to do if a brand doesn’t want to sell to you
- [01:56]: Todd shares how to get the Amazon buy box
- [08:57]: Todd talks about the importance of distributors
- [13:26]: Second question (Harry) – What is a value proposition website and how to build it using WordPress
- [13:51]: Todd explains the advantages of value proposition websites
- [16:35]: Todd gives advice on how to create a value proposition website using WordPress
- [18:52]: Episode conclusion/Todd gives instructions on how to join the Amazon Seller School community
Resources From This Episode
- Ask Todd – Get Your Questions Answered
- Using Keepa To Check For Amazon On A Listing
- How To Quickly Find Amazon Wholesale Distributors Using Google
- Building a Company Website
- Amazon Seller School YouTube channel
Todd: 00:00 What’s up fellow entrepreneurs. Welcome to episode number two of the Amazon Seller School podcast where we talk about Amazon wholesale and how you can use it to build an eCommerce empire, a side hustle or anything in between. I’m your host, Todd Welch and in this episode we are going to do a little Q and A. So if you want to get your question answered on the podcast, make sure you head over to amazonseller.school/ask and you can leave a voicemail message there and I will answer it as soon as possible on the podcast for you. You can also shoot me an email over there, but priority is given to voicemail messages and make sure you leave your name and where you’re from in that message as well. So I can call you out by name as well as have a better idea on where everyone is coming from. So without further ado, let’s go ahead and get into the episode and listen to question number one.
Josh: 01:09 Hey, my name is Josh. My, my first question is how do I win the buy box? And my second question is if I, if I find a product and I want to sell and, and the brand doesn’t want to sell to me, eh, so how, do I find the supplier, if the brand doesn’t want to sell to me, how can I find the supplier.
Todd: 01:33 All right. First off, thank you so much for the question Josh. And I love the rooster. In the beginning of the clip there, there’s just something about hearing a rooster in the background that’s just awesome. Not sure what it is, but in any case, thank you so much for the question. It’s a really good question and I look forward to diving into it here. So the first part of it, there’s two parts. The first part was how do I win the buy box? So for those of you that don’t know what the buy box is, the buy box is whoever is going to get the sale on Amazon. So if you’re, if you’re used to buying stuff on Amazon, when you click buy it, now, whoever’s in the buy box is going to get that sale. So it could be Amazon themselves, it could be one of many FBA sellers and FBA stands for fulfilled by Amazon.
Todd: 02:28 Or it could be a merchant fulfilled FBM fulfilled by merchant, someone who’s shipping it out of their own warehouse, their own house or whatever the case may be. They’re not having Amazon ship it directly fulfilled by Amazon is where you’re sending your inventory into Amazon and they are shipping it for you from their warehouse. So that’s what a buy box is. Now, how do you win the buy box? So there’s several different criteria that you’re going to have meet to get what we call a rotation in the buy box. So if there’s multiple people within similar prices range in other criteria, you’re getting a rotation into that buy box. So the big one, the gorilla in the room is Amazon themselves. So if Amazon themselves sells the product, then it’s very likely that you will get zero rotation into the buy box if you were to start selling on that listing.
Todd: 03:31 Now there’s always exceptions to every rule. There are some listings where Amazon will share the buy box and there are times where you can beat Amazon on price, but you’re taking that risk with Amazon because Amazon can change the rules, change the game anytime when you’re competing against them. So myself, I prefer not to compete against Amazon and not sell on a listing that Amazon has been selling on more than 50% of the time. And you can tell how long they’ve been selling by looking at what we call a keep a graph, which is a tool that you can use a, it is a paid tool that you can use, but you can look it up. You can check out my video about it on YouTube as well if you want to know more about that. So that’s criteria number one, make sure Amazon’s not selling it.
Todd: 04:23 Ideally, criteria number two is going to be the price. So obviously Amazon cares a lot about providing their customers the lowest price, so you’re going to have to be very close to whatever the buy box prices, the current sale price of that item. We usually look at anyone who is within one to 2% of the price of that buy box is going to get a rotation into the buy box. Now let’s take $20 1% of $20 would be 20 cents so that means anyone who’s within 20 cents of the $20 current buy box price could potentially get rotated into the buy box and get some of those sales. It can go up to even 2% so maybe up to 40% and the $20 case, but you’re going to have to be within that range. If you want to be conservative, you can look at the 2% and look at those sellers as your competition.
Todd: 05:32 If you want to be a little more liberal, you can look at the 1% and look at those people as your competition who are going to get rotated into the buy box. So price is going to be the second option there for what it takes to get rotated into the buy box. And the third criteria that’s very important is your seller feedback. So Amazon wants to make sure that you are a reputable company. You’re going to provide good products, good customer service if necessary, and an overall good experience for their customers. So your seller feedback, keep in mind that’s different than a review on a product. Product reviews are on products, seller feedback are on your seller profile, and it’s feedback that customers can leave you based on their experience of buying a product with you. Now when you’re just starting out, obviously you’re going to have zero feedback, so you’re going to want to build that up as you go along, but the big criteria here is to stay above 90% positive on that feedback.
Todd: 06:41 If you drop a low that 90% then it’s very likely you’re going to get less or no rotations into the buy box. Even if you are matching the current buy box on price. Side. Note on that, make sure you’re not the penny cutter who is going a penny below the buy box. Always match the buy box unless maybe you’re competing with Amazon, then you can go a little bit below them, but don’t be the seller who’s always driving down the price, driving down profits and ruining a good product for everybody. Just keep that in mind. But that is the third criteria is your seller feedback. Those are probably the top three things that it’s going to take to get rotated into that buy box. Oh and one other that I just thought of a fourth thing, probably even higher priority than any of them and that is to be FBA, have that are not FBA but be prime.
Todd: 07:44 You know that prime check Mark that they put in there for people to get free shipping free two day free, one day shipping. That’s extremely important that you have that. If you don’t have that, you’re not going to get any rotation. Absolutely zero against someone who does have that. So that’s extremely important and you can get that check Mark in a couple of ways. Number one, sending your product into Amazon and utilizing the FBA program, which most of you out there are probably going to do. Or once you’re a very big and decide you want to go down this path, then you can do what’s called seller fulfilled prime and that you’d be shipping out of your own warehouse, your own business, but you have to meet specific requirements from Amazon such as always getting your shipments to the customer within that two day period that they have for prime members.
Todd: 08:44 I can see that even going down to one day here in the near future since Amazon is shooting for that. So something to keep in mind, but that’s a super big one as well. Having that prime check Mark to get rotated into the buy box at all. Now the second part of your question is really good as well. So you said if I find a product to sell and the brand does not want to sell to me, how do I find a supplier? So first off, let me just specify the difference between a few ways you can get products. So the first way is directly from the supplier slash the brand, right? So if you’re going to be buying Nike shoes, you go to Nike and you ask to open up an account and you buy the shoes directly from them. But what if Nike says, no, we’re not opening direct accounts.
Todd: 09:34 We’re not going to sell to anyone directly or we’re not going to sell to you directly. Your second option is to go to distributors, and this is a really good option as actually, and you’re gonna want to do this regardless of if you can open up a account directly with the supplier or not, because what a distributor is, they’re going to have a direct relationship with Nike, Adidas, And 1 and a whole bunch of other shoe manufacturers, maybe other products as well. They could literally have hundreds or thousands of brands that they work with. So if you find them and open up an account to get those Nike shoes that you’re looking for, you’re going to have hundreds and thousands or tens of thousands of products even that you can choose from that they also sell and find additional products that are going to be profitable for you to sell.
Todd: 10:30 So distributors is the way you’re going to want to go. Whether you get the account with the brand directly or not. Look for distributors, and if you haven’t checked out my video on how to find distributors on YouTube, make sure you check that out. You can get that link. If you go to amazonseller.school click on YouTube there or just search for Amazon Seller School on YouTube and you’ll find that as well. The third way you can get products, and the least recommended way would be from wholesalers. So not to be confused with us as a wholesaler selling Amazon wholesale, what we’re doing is buying from a brand, a distributor or a wholesaler and selling to retail, a wholesaler who sells to us is going to be someone who’s buying clothes out, products that are no longer going to be sold or maybe a store goes out of business.
Todd: 11:26 They’re going to buy that from an em or returns to a store. Maybe there’s a little damage to the packagings and stuff like that. They’re going to buy that and then sell it to you in lots or in bulk and things like that. Now that route is a little bit more risky. You’re not going to find the exact products they’re looking for necessarily. You can find some gold there sometimes, but I wouldn’t look at that until down the road because it’s a little more risky. So your option is going to be distributors, so check out that video and that’s how you’re going to get those accounts or get those products with the brand. And one more side note on that. If a brand specifically tells you that they do not allow people to sell their product on Amazon, you’re going to want to think twice about even finding a distributor to sell their products.
Todd: 12:18 Because if you’re looking on Amazon and there’s only one or two people selling that product, or maybe only the brand themselves is selling that product, if you were to buy those products, send them in. They’re probably going to get you shut down in one way or another. They are either going to talk with the distributor that you’re getting them from and tell them to stop selling to you or they’re going to talk with Amazon, tell them that you’re selling fake products and get your product pulled and potentially your account shutdown. So you’re going to want to keep that in mind. Play that a little bit on the safe side and if the brand specifically says, no, Amazon sellers, don’t go the black hat way, stay the white hat and just find another product. There’s so many good products out there. You don’t need to mess with brands that don’t see the potential of either selling on Amazon or having you as a seller of their products on Amazon.
Todd: 13:14 All right Josh, so that I hope answers your questions. I dove in that as much as possible. Thank you again for that question. I really appreciate it. I love the voice questions. And the next question though here that we’re going to dive into is an email question from one of our members on our email list. His name is Harry and his question is what is a value prop website and how do I build it? If it’s a WordPress, which the theme and plugins should I use for? All right. So what Harry is talking about is when you’re a wholesaler, you can potentially create a website for your business and either have value propositions on there, which value propositions means things that you’re going to do to get the business of whoever you’re looking to get business from. So in our case, our customers are going to be the brands or distributors themselves.
Todd: 14:21 And so the main goal of the value prop is going to be number one look more legitimate. Number two, tell them what you can offer them in addition to just selling their product on Amazon and some things that that could be. Number one is maybe help improve their listing. So maybe you look at their listing on Amazon, the title is really short. They’re only using one bullet point. They only have one picture, they’ve got no description. You could help them build up their listing, optimize it, make it a lot better and most likely then they will get more traffic to their listings because it’ll show up more in search and once people are on their listings, they’re going to get more conversions, more sales of that product because you’re going to be providing more information to the customer. Another value prop that you could do is help them enforce map pricing on Amazon.
Todd: 15:20 So this is a big one that brands struggle with. They might have map pricing, which is minimum advertised price, which is the minimum price that they want people to advertise or sell their product for. And there’s lots of sellers out there that violate this all the time. It’s a really big pain. Please don’t do it. And if you are doing it, please stop. It’s a pain. But you can help potentially the brand stop those violators by doing a few things. Number one, they could register their brand with Amazon. They could go into the transparency program, which are special stickers. You could have them or help them draft a legal letter with the help of an attorney that they can then send to these companies that are breaking map. You could tell them how to file a reports with Amazon of violations of maybe selling products that are not authentic to help get those MAP breakers off listing.
Todd: 16:28 So those are a couple things that you can potentially do. That would be value props on the website. Now, how you build a website. I use WordPress myself and I do have a value prop website for my business. And for me, I love WordPress. I’ve used it for a long time. It’s got so many bells and whistles and plugins that you can add in there. It’s really easy. There’s other options like like Squarespace and things like that that might be easier for the beginner just to get an informational site up, but if down the road you want to expand on it, it’s not going to be quite as easy as WordPress in my opinion, and I’ll put out a video here sometime soon, so watch for that on my YouTube channel on how to create a basic value prop website, but the themes that you can use, you can use just about any theme that’s out there.
Todd: 17:20 Just find a free one that catches your eye loads quickly and works great for plugins. You’re not going to really need much of anything, maybe like a contact form plugin, but it might even come with that already, but it’s going to be a pretty basic, you don’t need much on there on a value prop website, so don’t worry about making it all fancy and everything. You’re more just looking for a presence on the web to give your business a little more legitimacy. Now. With that said, if you’re just starting out in wholesale and you’re not selling like 10 20 30 40,000 a month, don’t even worry about a website that should be the furthest thing from your mind. It’s not necessarily going to be a make or break, especially with a distributors. Distributor is probably not going to care much. A brand might care a little bit more, but they’re going to care more about that relationship that you’re building with them than your website.
Todd: 18:20 So don’t worry about that upfront. Just build your website down the line once you’re making a bunch of money and maybe you can pay someone else to even do it for you if you don’t want to do it yourself. So Harry, I hope that answers your questions. Again, anybody out there who has a question, make sure you head over to amazonseller.school/Ask and I will make sure to answer your question in an up coming Q and A session here on the podcast. So that’s gonna wrap up episode two of the Amazon Seller School podcast. I really appreciate everyone listening out there, and if you would, do me a favor, if you’re on Stitcher or Spotify or iTunes, click there and leave me a review. Let me know what you think of the podcast. I’ll read them on upcoming episodes as well, and I would really appreciate it. It would really help me get this podcast going, get it out to more people and share it with your friends as well. Throw it on social media, Facebook, whatever, any help that you can give would be awesome and greatly appreciate it. So other than that, this is Todd Welch with Amazon Seller School signing off. Happy selling everybody.