Private label sellers represent the breaking down of walls on Amazon. Before private labels, it was difficult to sell unique, branded products. These days, especially with Amazon, you can start your private label business from nothing within a month.
Below, you’ll find out everything you need to know to sell private-label products on Amazon.
What are the Benefits of Amazon Private Label Selling?
Still not sure? Here are some benefits of selling private label:
- Low competition - other selling strategies require you to share the listing with fellow sellers.
- Good profits - because the product is unique, it is easier for you to control the profit margins you get.
- FBA program - starting an Amazon FBA business, or Fulfillment By Amazon, allows you to hand off logistical and customer service duties to Amazon.
- Brand recognition - By having a unique brand, customers are more likely to recognize you.
- Product customization - When you own the brand, you can customize the product to meet your customer’s needs without consulting anyone.
Ultimately, what makes private label products so appealing is the total control you have over everything. Unlike selling generic products, you can really stand out and make a consistent profit. With an excellent strategy and enough time, you might become the next Nike, Under Armour, or Carhartt.
How to Start a Private Label Business on Amazon
Before you can become the next big thing, you need to start somewhere. Below, you’ll find the steps you need to take to sell:Deciding on what to sell
- Opening your Amazon seller account
- Sourcing your products
- Handling the packaging and labeling
- Listing your products on Amazon
- Shipping your products to FBA
- Promoting your products using Amazon PPC
How To Find Out What To Sell
The first step to any selling strategy is finding the right product. Private labeling is no different, so this is where you will start.
Ideally, you’ll be selling a product you have some knowledge of. This way, you know what to look for in quality.
However, you can also start selling products you know nothing about. Ideally, you’ll want products that hit these criteria:
Lightweight (ideally under three pounds)
- Small (under 18 x 14 x 8 inches)
- Hard to break (made of durable material)
- Not mechanical (with moving parts)
- Doesn’t use electronics
- Not seasonal (so you can avoid storage fees)
Small and lightweight products meeting the criteria above can qualify for special pricing under Amazon’s Small and Light category. All the other aspects mentioned above reduce your chance of returned items.
To find products meeting those criteria, use these tools:
Social media (Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter)
- Online trend reports (Amazon Trend Report, Google Trends)
- Based on current best sellers (Amazon Best Sellers, Movers, and Shakers)
- Using third-party analysis tools (like AMZScout)
- Once you find the right product, you’ll need to take extra steps for this to stand out. Below, you’ll find some extra tips for product uniqueness:
Take a typically basic product and apply a unique design on it
- Combine the functionality of two products into one (to increase value)
- Offer customizable products (through the Amazon Custom program)
- Consider how the product could look more interesting with unique shapes
- Look at Amazon’s reviews to see what people’s biggest complaints are about existing products.
Open seller account
Once you have a good product in mind, you can start registering as an Amazon seller. Thankfully, you don’t need to have a business name and be registered. Any individual can start.
Here are some steps to follow:
- Go to the Amazon Seller page.
- Click “sign up”
- Fill out all the important information (name, address, phone number, etc.)
- Provide them a front-and-back photo of a photo ID (e.g., driver’s license)
- Provide them a copy of your bank statement and a payment card
- Schedule a video interview where you can confirm your identity
After going through the steps above, you’ll receive a physical postcard containing a code. You’ll need to enter this code to confirm your physical address, the last step necessary to start your seller’s account.
Source the product
Once you have a product idea and an Amazon account, you can start with the next step: sourcing your product. Product sourcing involves reaching out to manufacturers who can make your product, finding the best option.
This is where things can get tricky, as you don’t want someone who can’t make products. So you’ll want to do your homework to be sure the manufacturer can make your products.
To start, you can go to google and search “private label manufacturers.” Google will give you a list. Here are a few good ones you are likely to find:
- PLIMA (Private Label Manufacturers Association) - connects you with trade shows where you can look at products.
- Thomasnet - gives you a list of different manufacturers.
- Alibaba - is an excellent choice when looking for overseas manufacturers.
The sites above will provide you with manufacturers to contact through a variety of means. You’ll want to look at those manufacturers and search for reviews on them.
Alibaba is typically the easiest site, as it collects manufacturers and provides reviews from fellow site users. It’s also the cheapest of the three.
What you’ll want to do before committing to any manufacturer is order a sample product. A product sample will give you a good idea of their quality process.
Make sure the product sample is of something that you request and follows your specifications. This way, you can be sure that the manufacturer is adept at adhering to your requirements.
Package and labeling
Packaging involves you selecting an exterior for the product container while labeling refers to the design on that package and product. Customization on both fronts can help your product stand out further.
Good packaging also protects your product from damage. Labeling is something both on the product and the package, providing important information and unique design.
Here are some tips on packaging and labeling to keep in mind:
Provide information on how the product works and how to store it
- Place your logo on the product
- Provide product usage directions
- Ensure your packaging is durable and uses multiple layers
- Consider using eco-friendly packaging
By using Amazon FBA, Amazon will handle secure packaging for you. However, labeling and branding is entirely up to you.
List the product on Amazon
Before you can send your products, you need to create a listing. Through private label strategies, you’ll need to create a completely new listing.
Click “inventory” and “add a product” from the drop-down menu. From there, you can add important details like the title of the product, its description and some high-quality photos.
Here is a quick rundown of Amazon’s photo requirements:
- Background should be entirely white
- The main photo should have the product filling up 85% of the image
- Images should not include items not coming with the product
- Upload high-quality photos with no pixelation
Before uploading photos, look at what your competitors do. Typically, the best photos have one primary and a handful of secondary photos showing the product in use.
The product description and title must make use of keywords. To find keywords, you can make use of third-party analysis tools (such as the AMZScout Keyword tools).
When using the tool, keywords should be strategically placed throughout the title and description. They should also work to describe the product to the best of your ability.
Here are the different types of keywords and where you should place them:
Primary keyword - This one keyword typically goes once in the title and a few times in the description. It is the most effective keyword you can use to describe your product.
- Secondary keywords - Multiple keywords that also describe your product, but not as well. These can also describe various features and benefits that come with your product and should be peppered throughout the product description.
- Backend keywords - These keywords cannot comfortably be placed inside of your description, but still have a chance of ranking. There is a specific section for backend keywords on your listing.
Focus mainly on keywords that use three or more words, otherwise known as long-tail keywords. These keywords will contain their shorter variants and have a higher chance of being competitive against other products.
Ship products to FBA
After creating your product listing, you’ll need to fill your inventory. To do this, you’ll need to create a shipping plan on Amazon Seller Central. A shipping plan informs the local Fulfillment Center (distribution center) about what they are receiving.
For private label products under Amazon FBA, you’ll want to change the fulfillment method to FBA. To do this, you’ll want to go to the “fulfilled by” section of your Amazon Inventory page and select “change to fulfilled by Amazon.”
From there, you’ll want to go to the Send To Amazon workflow screen. The streamlined process allows you to select the amount of inventory, provides you instructions on packing and printing box labels as needed.
You’ll likely be shipping these products using your local UPS, which is Amazon’s preferred dealer. However, other shipping companies like DHL and FedEx are another option.
Familiarize yourself with Amazon’s packing and prep requirements before sending it out. Thankfully, individual items are pretty simple, but you don’t want to get a returned stock.
Promote Your Amazon Products (PPC)
Amazon PPC, or Pay Per Click, is the best initial method to get your product out there. Because of the high amount of competition, PPC is necessary to get your product working.
To start, PPC has you target specific keywords. Either way, you will have different ad campaigns to choose from:
- Sponsored products - advertises your products above all else. The best option for new sellers trying to boost their numbers.
- Sponsored display - can advertise anything you want. Typically are placed in less premium slots but have more freedom (which might be ideal depending on how you want to advertise).
- Sponsored brands - great for sellers who are registered for the Amazon Brand Registry. As private label sellers grow their product lineup, these advertisements can be incredibly helpful.
You can improve your keyword research process using the analytical tools mentioned above. You’ll want to set your daily bids to be higher (up to twice the amount) than what Amazon recommends to remain competitive. As long as the advertisement is working, continue paying for it.
Give any ad campaigns two weeks to determine how effective they are before replacing them. You’ll want to run multiple ads targeting different keywords to see which is most effective. This is known as A/B testing, and it tells you quickly which ads are the most effective.
Selling private label products on Amazon results in some amazing potential earnings. Of course, it takes a bit more research than other forms of selling, but the returns are worth it. For long-term success on Amazon, private label selling has much more potential.