Beginner’s guide to Fulfillment by Amazon: Analyzing and Adding a New Product

Fulfillment by Amazon

I refer to Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) a lot, because it is my number one outlet for reselling in the pursuit of points. Chatting with a friend, I realized that I’ve never actually put together anything basic about how to get started with FBA. This is a continuation of my attempt at that.

Read Also:

  • Beginner’s Guide to Fulfillment by Amazon: Setting up an account
  • Beginner’s Guide to Fulfillment by Amazon: Analyzing and adding a product
  • Beginner’s Guide to Fulfillment by Amazon: Shipping 101
  • Beginner’s Guide to Fulfillment by Amazon: Shipping 201
  • Beginner’s Guide to Fulfillment by Amazon: Ungating Product Categories
  • Beginner’s Guide to Fulfillment by Amazon: Amazon Seller App
  • Beginner’s Guide to Fulfillment by Amazon: Amazon Seller App Part 2
  • Expert Guide to Fulfillment by Amazon: Dealing with Returns
  • Once you have created your Fulfillment by Amazon account, you need to start adding products. Now, I’m not going to give you the key to the kingdom (although it’d be nice if I could), but rather, I’ll give you better, I’ll offer a framework for analyzing potential opportunities, and then talk about how to add them to FBA inventory.

    Analyzing Products

    There are a ton of ways that a product might come to mind. For the purposes of this example, I’m going to refer to a BigHabitat post, because he finds the great deals, at least at Staples and Sears. So, BigHabitat identifies the iPad Mini 3 as a great option, obviously he’s done some level of research, but, let’s play that process out here.

    You’re first step is to identify what your cost will be:

    iPad Mini 3 Gold on Staples

    But that’s the price online (because, you know, I wanted to get a nice graphic for this post). If you noticed BigHabitat’s post, he identified a $100 off coupon that expired 25 April, so, yeah, its gone, but, that in store coupon was: 68428. That said, it looks like there may be another coupon continuing on until 2 May. I haven’t tested it out, but I’m hopeful. All that said, let’s just assume we have the $100 off coupon, instead of the $20 off coupon as online shows. So now you’re looking at an Apple iPad Mini 3 in Gold, with an out of pocket cost of $299 + tax (which varies by location, so I’m going to ignore that for the moment).

    You’re first consideration should be how much you can leverage from that. If you’re a “stapler” (and if you don’t know that phrase, I highly recommend that you check out the Saverocity Forum because we have veritable geniuses on the Level 2>Reselling area. Don’t take my word for it, check it out for yourself. Ok, back to brass tacks. If you’re buying at Staples, you know that via the Staples Rewards Program (again courtesy of BigHabitat), you get 5% back in Staples Rewards. Add on to that, another 5 Ultimate Rewards (UR) points per dollar, because you have to be using a Chase Ink or Chase Plus (If you’re not familiar with the Chase Ink products and how great they are, check out this post by View from the Wing). So, now you’re looking at roughly 10% of “value” in Staples Rewards and Ultimate Rewards, on top of a price that’s still pretty good. You should also consider shopping portals, it is just that this example is an in-store only deal.

    Your second step is to identify what you can sell the product for:

    Amazon iPad Mini 3-1

    Generally, the first thing I do, is make sure I get the “right” listing on Amazon. I’m not one to add new products, generally, if I’m going to jump in on a product, I want to see it have a track record. With Apple products, the easiest thing to do is to put in the product code; note in the above graphic “MGYE2LL/A” is clearly in the product description. Then, I further check by scrolling down on the Amazon page to see its seller’s rank:

    Amazon iPad Mini 3-3

    You can see the “Best Sellers Rank” at #200 in Computers & Accessories, and #95 in Electronics > Computers & Accessories > Tablets, so you know this will be a pretty good seller.

    You can also do a quick check via the FBA Calculator to see roughly how much you’d pay in fees and how much revenue you’d ultimately see, to assess if the product is profitable.

    Amazon FBA Calculator - iPad Mini 3

    I’ve talked about other tools for analyzing potential products before – to dive deeper, I’d recommend you check that post.

    Adding the product to your FBA inventory

    In the previous section, I shared how to identify the product is viable. On that same page, in the “Additional Information” just above the “Best Sellers Rank” there is an “ASIN” number. Whenever I add a new product to my inventory, I’ll copy that ASIN number into the search criteria, to be sure that I’m adding the right product listing. For some products, you’ll notice a number of listings, and you want to be certain that you’re adding the most popular one, because that’s going to be the one that comes up first (most likely) in an customer’s Amazon search.

    Amazon iPad Mini 3-4

    Once you add the product, you’ll get this screen:

    Amazon iPad Mini 3-5

    Your key areas of concern on the adding form are selecting “New” in the condition of the product (of course, this is assuming you’re buying the product new), and then selecting the price. Amazon tries to help you out by telling you what the lowest price is, however, that can sometimes be misleading, because they won’t necessarily identify what the lowest Fulfilled by Amazon price is. To identify that, you can check the buy box or the “other sellers on Amazon” section of the product page. Most often, I find myself just pricing close to what the seller has with the “Buy Box,” that’s the one that has the highest probability of the sale, because it’s easy – customers don’t have to go out of their way to go to the “other sellers on Amazon” screen to buy. You want the “Buy Box,” so identify an aggressive pricing strategy to get it, and keep it until the sale happens.

    The last thing on that page is to make sure you check the bottom where it says “I want to ship this product to Amazon and have Amazon provide Customer Service” — it says something pretty close to that, essentially, you’re saying that you want the product to be Fulfilled by Amazon.

    After you add the product, you’ll get a variety of screens to go through for shipping the product(s) to Amazon, which I’ll cover in a future post.