Amazon is a market full of potential for aspiring sellers, no matter where you are in the world. With the Amazon US, however, sellers are given access to wider range of customers – and majority of that is done through Amazon FBA.
Amazon US netted $356 billion in 2022 alone, and it has over 148 million Amazon Prime members. In fact, the US accounts for about 74% of all paying Amazon Prime accounts globally. So, it makes a lot of sense that many sellers would want to set up Amazon FBA in the US.
It’s an attractive opportunity, but can you set up an Amazon FBA account outside the US? You can!
As for finding what to sell on Amazon and how to find the best supplier for Amazon FBA, we’ve got just the guides. If you’re in the process of setting up an Amazon FBA account in the US, follow the guide below.
What is Amazon FBA?
First things first: what is Amazon FBA?
Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) lets businesses have Amazon handle the storage, ordering, packing, delivery and customer service of their products. It’s an incredible service for both beginner and veteran sellers on Amazon, as it takes the legwork out of managing your inventory.
Sellers don’t have to use Amazon FBA. They can choose whether they prefer in-house fulfillment, where you store, pack and ship inventory yourself, or third-party fulfillment, where an ecommerce service does all the heavy lifting instead. For most, however, FBA is a no-brainer. Nothing is stopping you from using multiple fulfillment options, mind you.
The main benefits FBA offers are the storage of products (in its 150 million square feet fulfillment centres), fast and free shipping, access to millions of Prime customers, FBA customer support and even product returns and refunds.
This doesn’t come for free, of course. FBA comes in types of fees:
- Fulfillment fees: Charged per unit sold and include picking and packing your orders, shipping and handling, customer service and product returns.
- Inventory fees: Charged monthly based on the volume of inventory being held.
When you make a sale, a fulfillment fee will be taken out. This can vary depending on the category your product falls under on Amazon, along with its size and weight. For example, a product may sell for $19.99, but the FBA fees are $11.15. This means you’ll only get $8.84 for that product purchase, and this doesn’t take into account the monthly inventory fee and other packaging payments.
How to start selling on Amazon FBA US
Setting up an Amazon FBA account in the US can be as simple as creating on in other major Amazon markets around the globe. You can use our guide on how to create an Amazon Seller account for more information, or follow the steps below.
Before you get started, here’s what you’ll need.
- Valid government issued ID or passport
- Recent bank account or credit card statement
- Chargeable credit card
- Mobile phone
Even if you have a European account, you’ll need a North American account in order to sell on Amazon US. For example, if you have a French account, you can sell products in European countries. If you create a US account, only then can you sell in the US, Canada and Mexico.
However, if you already have an Amazon FBA UK account, you can use the same account information for your US account. But you’ll still need to provide the right verification documents.
Once you’ve put in the right information and your identity has been verified, you’ll be able to put up product listings and start selling your product! Just head over to Amazon Seller Central.
1. On your device, go to https://sell.amazon.com
2. Click on Pricing in the top menu bar
3. Scroll down to Selling plans and choose between Individual or Professional. Then select the Sign up option.
The difference between these two options is simple. If you’re planning to sell more than 40 products a month, choose the Professional plan. If it’s less than 40 and you don’t plan on advertising, choose the Individual option.
4. Sign in or create a new account
5. Follow the steps to complete creating an Amazon Seller account
Do I need a US bank account for Amazon US?
If you already have a bank account in your home country, you don’t need a US bank account to set up Amazon FBA in the US. However, having a US bank account means you can keep what you earn in dollars rather than dealing with the exchange rate. Of course, this is completely optional.
If you have a Transferwise Borderless account or similar service, this will help in reducing exchange rate fees when selling products through Amazon FBA US.
Can I send stock straight to Amazon FBA US?
In most cases, Amazon FBA sellers find a manufacturer or supplier through Alibaba (here’s how to get the best prices on Alibaba, by the way) or other suppliers in China.
Depending on the amount of stock you’re looking to sell, you may need to find a third-party importer to handle the shipping over to the Amazon fulfillment centre. Yes, you can have the stock sent to you in order to see the product and send it yourself, but if that’s an impossibility (you’ll need a lot of space depending on your stock), you’ll need a shipping company to handle the delivery.
A freight forwarder helps get your product from an international manufacturer to an Amazon US fulfillment centre. They handle the entire shipment process and help clear customs as part of the shipment process whether by air or sea.
However, you may only need a courier service such as DHL, FedEx or UPS to deliver your stock if shipments are under 200kg. If this is the case, you can contact your supplier to organize the shipment.
It’s a good idea to check with your supplier to see if its possible to arrange delivery to an Amazon FBA centre. If you’re starting out and don’t have a lot of stock to sell, you (probably) won’t need to worry about dealing with shipment yourself.
How should I sell on Amazon?
First and foremost, you’ll want to know how you’re going to sell on Amazon. Depending one which type of seller your brand falls under, it will change what items or products you should sell.
Quick tip: regardless of what type of seller you are, it’s always a good idea to think about have a strong name for your brand. Here’s how to choose the best Amazon seller name.
Here’s a breakdown of the types of Amazon sellers.
These are third-party sellers that buy wholesale products in bulk and sell them under their own business on Amazon, usually under “other sellers on Amazon.” These could be new or refurbished products from well-known brands that are resold under their own business.
Since they are selling a reputable product from a business customers know about, potential buyers are more interested in the reviews and number of reviews the brand gets. The buyer is looking at the product itself, not the third-party seller it’s being sold through. With this in mind, sellers should look for a high quality product that in high demand.
Similar to the wholesale seller, retail arbitrage is when when sellers buy products that are often discounted at local or online stores and take advantage of the product’s availability and price difference.
Again, the spotlight shines on reviews and price. Sellers check out online or physical stores for clearance sales or marked down offers to get a product for cheap and then make a profit by selling it at their own price.
Dropshipping is similar to sourcing wholesale products, but the sellers don’t purchase any product until they make a sale. Once a customer purchases a product from the seller, only then will they order the product. This saves on storage and delivery fees, as the seller sends the product straight from the manufacturer or wholesaler to the customer.
The seller doesn’t handle the product being sold at all, which could lead to a poor-quality product. What’s more, the supplier or manufacturer could go out of business once a sale has been made, meaning the seller is immediately out of supply. Choosing the right product that is easily supplied is vital.
Private label sellers reach out to a manufacturer or supplier of wholesale products, often from Alibaba (here’s how to find the best prices on Alibaba), and brands the products under their own name. The products can also have minor customisations to make them have a more special factor.
Selling private label products means selling the same item, so you’ll need a product that continues to sell well. If it does become a hit, that seller will be associated with that category of products, and sales will start to take care of themselves.
Sellers who create their own unique products, or alterations to a product, that are different from the competition. This product may be the first of its kind on the market, as it’s the seller’s own creation.