Get Started Selling on Amazon: The Complete Step-by-Step Guide (Part 8 of 12)
Part 8: Shipping Your First Amazon Order, YAY!!!
In Part 7, we talked about Purchasing Stock to Sell on Amazon.
Assuming you followed everything and you successfully (and safely) ordered your first inventory batch, waited to receive it (or shipped it to a sorting center) then you should be read to start receiving orders!
That first order is THE BEST!!!
Nothing beats that feeling, it’s like all your hard work is suddenly starting to pay off- and everything becomes real. You get that validation like selling on Amazon is for real! Nothing can beat this feeling.
But if you haven’t experienced it yet, fear not. Soon enough, you’ll get your turn.
In this part, we will take a look at how to successfully go about fulfilling your first order!
Note: If you are selling from out of the country and all your products are fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) then you can skip this post and go to Part 9 of this series (coming soon). For the rest of us who plan on doing the fulfillment ourselves (or Merchant Fulfillment as Amazon calls it) then, read on.
Let’s back track a little bit to all the things that need to happen before you get that first order.
Once you receive your shipment, here’s what you need to do;
- Inspect Your Shipment & Take Inventory
- Make Your Listing Active (Live)
- Experience Magic
1. Inspect Your Shipment & Take Inventory
Anyone that’s worked in a warehouse knows that this is a crucial step. All the excitement of finally receiving your shipment can make you forget to inspect your shipment. I personally can never contain myself (and you shouldn’t have to either) when I receive my package.
All the hard work of researching, sourcing, testing, ordering, & waiting has led to this- so go ahead do your little happy dance!
Ok, now that you’re done, grab a box cutter and carefully open your box. Make sure you don’t cut too deep that you damage your merchandise. Most suppliers will include a packaging list, locate it and double check your email receipt to refresh your memory on how many items you were expecting.
One by one, take them out of the box they came in and inspect each time. While you do you this, count the number of items and make sure that you received everything you ordered.
After confirming this, it’s a good time to send a quick thank you message to your supplier confirming receipt of your goods. This is just one of the many ways you can build good relationships with your suppliers, especially if they ship fast or packaged your goods nicely.
It’s also a good time to address any issues with your shipment e.g. broken items, missing accessories/pieces, damaged box etc linked here. You should know what their return policy is so that you can request a refund or return if any of the above has happened to your shipment.
Once you’re done, and you’re happy with everything, it’s time to move on to the next step…
2. Make Your Listing Active (Live)
I have to admit, I normally track my shipment and when I know it has cleared customs (normally takes 2-3 days) then I rush to my Amazon Seller Central and make my listing(s) go live! This ensures that I don’t lose any potential orders. I do this because I know my order will be in in a day or two and I have about 2 days to ship the item after it’s bought- so it’s a somewhat safe move.
However, use your judgement. If you are the type that likes to assume zero risk, then just wait until after you receive your goods to make your listing live.
If you read Part 6, we tested the market by listing our item without any inventory in hand then changing the quantity to “0” to make the listing inactive. So now, to make the listing active again, just go the “Available” column and enter the number of items you have for sale and click “save”!
Piece of cake!
You will receive a message saying that your listing will appear in 15 minutes or so, in my experience it normally takes a few minutes to show.
After a few minutes, go to the Amazon’s storefront and search for your listing, click on where it shows how many sellers to display all the sellers offering that item.
This is what will display…
Locate your store’s name and make sure that everything (price, shipping, store name etc) are all displaying correctly.
Tip: If you want to be at the top of the list, make sure you list your item is the lowest priced. You can keep it that way to get a few sales going and then put it back up to a more comfortable price. This is notorious with “newbies” and normally results to what they call “race to the bottom”- where sellers keep trying to beat each other to be at the top of the list by lowering their price. Play around with this and have some fun!
Once you have confirmed that everything is looking good, it’s time to wait…
3. Experience Magic
By now, you are familiar with how your listing appears on the storefront, and have been patiently waiting. If you followed all the steps I’ve outlined so far, this wait shouldn’t be too long. My first order came in less than 24 hrs. However, if yours takes longer than this, don’t despair- patience is a virtue ?
As you go about your business, the magic will happen.
One of those boring email notifications will show up on your phone and you swipe to dismiss them, you’ll notice one specific email from “Seller Notification” with a subject that reads something like “Sold, ship now: Your Cool Product Name”…
And that’s when the excitement will set in! Congratulations, you’re finally a legit Amazon seller.
All that hard work…take it all in ?
After you are done doing your happy dance. Head over to Amazon Seller Central and go to your orders.
Orders > Manage Orders > Click on Order Number
Here you will get to review the details of the person that just made your day/night!
The order details page should look like the screenshot below;
Prepare your item by packing it well to make sure it arrives to the buyer in the same condition it left you. What I like to do at this time is put myself in the buyer’s shoes and think of the times when I have ordered items reflecting on things that I found to be cool as well as turn offs.
Follow the best practices when packaging your item for shipment. Don’t include any promotional materials (Amazon policy violation). From the order details page, you can print a packaging slip and what I like to do is just hand write “Thank you” at the bottom of the slip before folding it and including it in the box I’ll ship the item with.
After your package is ready, head over to your local post office and mail the item. Be sure to request a tracking number, you will need it shortly.
When you get back to your computer (or if you’re using your cell phone) log into your account and go back to the order page and click on “”Fulfill Order” this will indicate that you have shipped the item.
When prompted, enter the tracking number and select the respective carrier that you used.
That’s it! You’re done!
As soon as you complete this process, you will notice that your account balance will increase from “$0” to whatever the dollar amount is of the item you just sold, less Amazon referral fees.
This entire process is pretty straight forward but it’s important to remember the few key points as outline above.
Important: As soon as you ship the item, remember to mark the order as completed otherwise you will take a hit on your Seller Ratings for late shipping!
As always, if you have any questions or get stuck and need help completing any of the steps outlined here, leave me a comment below or email me and I’ll be happy to help.
Image credit: giphy.com, 1.bp.blogspot.com
Up Next, Part 9: The Magic in Positive Ratings & How to Get Them
This post is a part of the ongoing Get Started Selling on Amazon: The Complete Step-by-Step Guide series, follow the links below to read them: