Posts Tagged ‘Amazon’

Is Amazon Amazing?

November 16, 2009

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I will soon find out.  I received an email and phone call from an Amazon representative about a month ago and didn’t think much of it.  Figured they would want hundreds of dollars for something.  Then I received another phone call and email and figured I’d find out what it was all about.  I spoke with Stephanie from Amazon.  She intruduced the Pro Merchant Account with Amazon to me.  Pointed out that there are not a lot of providers of my product line on Amazon.  So I was faced with a decision to open an account with Amazon and hope for increased revenue OR sit back and be content with what I have currently with sales with little change on the immediate horizon.  To help determine if I would open a Pro Merchant Account I had a few things to consider:

  1. Cost of an Amazon merchant account.
  2. Ease of posting products.
  3. How many competing companies.
  4. Could I provide the best price.
  5. Christmas season is approaching.
  6. Loss with failure of Amazon store.

Let’s go through my own responses to the above points:

  1. Cost of the Amazon Merchant Account is $39.99 per month and they take 15% of each sale.  I think the  15% is steap but I had a couple
  2. If a product already appears on Amazon posting your product is incredibly easy.  I started by posting about 30 manually and that was pretty quick in itself.  Then I figured out how to use the upload template in Excel and saving it as a text file.  That allowed me to have 170 products listed since Friday night.
  3. In my niche there are not very many competing companies.  In my products I’m usually only up against 2 companies so that doesn’t give me many companies to beat out in price. 
  4. For the majority of the goods I am selling, I CAN beat the best price to be the lowest price for that product on Amazon.  What if I can’t beat the price?  In those cases I see if there are a lot of companies offering the product.  For instance, if 7 companies offer a product and I can’t beat the lowest price.  I don’t bother listing.  Maybe when I have a rating on there, but right now I figure it’s not worth it.  If there are 2 companies listing and I can’t beat the 1st price but I can beat the 2nd I will price between the two.  There could be a number of reasons the customer could pick my price over the lowest price: had a poor experience with the lowest price company, likes my profile, prefers my return policy, etc.  There are so many reasons they could pick my company over the low price company that I think it’s good to post even if my price isn’t the lowest.
  5. Christmas obviously means more people doing online shopping.  I thought this would be the ideal time to give Amazon a try. 
  6. If my storefront with Amazon does not work out I am only out $40 that I deserve to invest in the company.  I have been very conservative about investing in the company or taking any risk.  I figure now is the time and it’s with a very well known and reputable company on the internet.  In addition, the time to post items on Amazon isn’t so significant that I am out the time I could have spent on my own website.  Granted I’ve only been posting items that are already on there, but with that I’ve been able to post a significant 170 items. 

When Stephanie talked to me for the first time I wasn’t sure I wanted to commit to Amazon.  I must say that I appreciated that Stephanie wasn’t pushing.  She offered to give me some time to think about it and see what was currently available on Amazon to assess whether it would be the right decission for my own company.  When she called me back at the time I specified it didn’t take long at all to set up my account and I was on my way to posting products. 

If you’re considering an account with Amazon, just be sure to do your research first.  Is your company worth the risk?  I expect to update you in January on whether Amazon is Amazing in my eyes.
Do you have an Amazon Pro Merchant account?  What is your experience?