Does Selling on Amazon Still Work in 2018?
Over the last couple of years Amazon selling courses have been pushed by many a marketer with the promise of making you six figure sums in no time at all. A few have been good, many not so good and most just designed to milk the buyer for as much as they could. That said entrepreneurs have still had some form of success on Amazon but does selling on Amazon still work in 2018?
Amazon is the biggest online market place for a reason; it works! There are thousands of sellers pushing their wares and the competition between sellers has never been higher. Although it is relatively easy to become a seller the increased competition means profit margins are at minimum.
Unless you have a truly unique and desirable product it’s a race to the bottom as far as pricing goes.
In the early days it was a simple process of sourcing a product from a Chinese factory and getting it shipped over to Amazons warehouse. You then advertised the product and Amazon dealt with the shipping, complaints and returns. You just needed a bit of capital to get started and getting the right product meant big profits.
Many internet marketers realised the success of this and began selling courses on how to do this. They made way more money selling courses than they ever did by selling products on Amazon. Soon everyone was at it.
If they weren’t selling products they were selling their courses. If they weren’t selling their courses they were promoting someone else’s course and receiving a hefty commission for doing so. The interest started to dwindle.
Then came the dropshipping era. For those that did not have any capital this was ideal. Instead of sourcing products and paying for them you simply advertised someone else’s products with a profit added on. The customer paid you and you then ordered the product which was shipped out directly to the customer.
This worked well with smaller margins and high turnover but then along came those dreaded internet marketers and their courses again! Before you knew it everybody had a dropshipping operation going and once again the market was saturated and profits declined.
Things still progressed though and along came PLR – Private Label Products. This was going back to square one but with a twist. You went back to ordering from the Chinese factories but this time with the ability to tweak the product and re-label it as your own.
Instead of selling yet another standard grey cutlery stand you now had one in a choice of colours with a small addition of legs to make it sit higher allowing for better drainage. It was also now labelled as an ‘ABC Homewares’ product.
To the consumer they now had a choice of purchasing a run of the mill product or one that was unique for a similar price. Of course, they opted for the unique product as nobody wants the same as everyone else right?
And, you guessed it, once again the internet gurus began pushing their PLR courses and that brings us to where we are today. Amazon is currently jam packed with similar products at similar prices. They may have various labels and they may look slightly different but the chances are they are all produced in the same place and are of the same quality (depending on which factory produced them of course).
You can still have a successful business on Amazon if you are imaginative enough and with a bit of luck thrown in but those days of making massive profits are long gone. Unless you can come up with a wonder product an Amazon business alone will only provide a minimal income.
It’s not all doom and gloom though. There are ways of maximizing your profits by being a little adventurous. You just need to work a bit smarter. You have a great product idea but there are many similar ones also available all with subtle design changes. How can you make yours stand out?
The old shady way was to buy a load of fake reviews and bump your product up. Very unethical and now unacceptable by Amazon. You need genuine reviews but you have to sell the product first and without reviews who why would anyone buy your product? A catch-22 situation.
The first thing you need to do is make your business look credible and not just the product. As well as your Amazon store we recommend you also have a decent looking website set up. Most of your competitors won’t have this and in the customers mind you become more ‘established’.
You can also sell directly from your website which means the profit is all yours with a third party taking a cut. Not only that but this also gives you more control of how you want to portray yourself and your business. Don’t worry setting up a website won’t cost as much as you think, just take a look here: Affordable Websites
Secondly set your business up on social media too. Once done add regular posts and share them. Do this at a comfortable pace though as you don’t want to come across as spamming. One or two updates a week is fine. A Facebook business page costs nothing and is simple to set up. Here’s an article on it: Facebook Business Page
Thirdly, once you begin to sell your products, keep a list of your customers. There are services that will help with this such as email auto responders (Aweber, Mailchimp etc) and this will allow you to contact all your previous customers with offers and new products. It is also useful to get back in touch with customers for reviews and feedback. A good relationship with them will inevitably lead to great reviews.
It all takes a bit of time and work but once you have a process in place it becomes routine and second nature. These are the things that will enable you to stand out from the competition and keep you ahead.
As it stands the only winners are the ones selling courses at extortionate prices and offering very little in return. Rather than fall prey to them just do a little research and put the effort in. It will pay off.