The purpose of this lesson is to walk you through the steps of adding your own physical product to your Amazon Seller (AS) account.
Before a product can be added to Amazon, it must possess a Universal Product Code (UPC). This applies to physical products, not books, as books have their own coding system.
The easiest way to get a UPC barcode is to visit the site buyabarcode.com (additional, cheaper sources are provided in the training). It’s not necessarily the best or cheapest, but it is quite easy to use.
The first thing you do on buyabarcode.com to get a new barcode is select the appropriate price-point box. Even if you are a new customer, you may want to try the “I am a returning customer” box to see if it will accept you. If not, go with the “I am a new customer” box.
Once inside, you’re able to indicate how many barcodes you want then fill in your payment information. It is a pretty basic entry screen, containing the usual information fields (name on credit card, credit card number, expiry date, etc.).
If you have a promo code, you will be able to enter that as well.
Once all the info is entered and you click “Buy now with your credit card”, you’ll be taken to the “thank you” page where it will indicate the status of your order. You should see something indicating that the barcode(s) you purchased were sent to you as a high resolution PNG (portable network graphics) file.
Now go to your email and open the email containing your barcode. It will contain the barcode image and the number.
Next you will go and log into your AS dashboard. Once logged in, go to “Inventory” >> “Add a product” (the tab located along the top of the dashboard page). Once there, click the “Create a new product” button to be taken to the appropriate entry page.
No matter what category your product is in, the process is fairly similar. You may need to enter more information in one category than in another, but the bulk of the information is the same.On the screen in front of you, you should see 3 columns, the left-most one containing a list of categories and the center and right-most one being empty. You will make selections in each column, starting on the left, with the next column to the right being filled with sub-categories.
As the third column is selected from, you’ll notice the information scrolling to the left to produce more columns, as necessary.
Once you have drilled down as far as that particular category goes, you’ll be presented with a “Select” button. Also, along the top of the columns window, you’ll be able to see the category tree that your product will be added to. For example:
All Product Categories > Health and Personal Care > Diet and Nutrition > Nutritional Supplements & Vitamins > Other Nutritional Supplements & Vitamins
Knowing this category tree is important as it will allow you to determine what your competition is. The best way to determine your category tree is to use common sense in the selection of your categories/sub-categories or, if you’re a little confused, find other products on Amazon that are similar to yours and take note of the category tree they are in.
When you click the “Select” button, you’ll be taken to the information entry screen. It contains the following 6 tabs:
• Vital Info
• More Details
As you enter info, the fields with a red star beside them are required. The other fields are optional but you may want to fill in as many fields as possible. This can help you rank better than other products that don’t have as much info filled in.
Under ‘Vital Info’, the following entries are to be considered:
• Product Name – you will want a good, descriptive, keyword-rich name already selected. It is not essential to Amazon in order to get high rankings for your product but having it there:
- o will make certain that if it does become relevant, you’ll already have it in place.
- o can make it easier for customers to locate your product.
- o provides for SEOing your listing. Google will want to see it there for you to have your best chance at ranking with Google.
• Manufacturer – it is recommended that you add your brand here as well. This makes the product even more proprietary as well as making it that much easier to find. Also, it makes it so others are not tempted to list against those products.
• Brand Name – even though you don’t have to fill this in, as mentioned earlier, this will help with ranking over those competing products that don’t have as much info filled in.
• Model Number – you may not use model numbers in-house, but it is still good to place one here. If you don’t have one, just make it up, e.g. “MATT78439”.
• Manufacturer Part Number– as with the model number, you may not have this value so go ahead and make it up. If you do make it up, you can use the same number as the model.
• Package Quantity – this is how many units in the package. In most cases this would be 1, but you may have a higher number depending on the product, e.g. 3 marker set in one package is a package quantity of 3.
• Number of Items – similar to package quantity but not really required.
• Variation Theme – size, color, etc. can be configured here. It may be that you have no variations in your product.
• UPC or EAN – you can copy in your UPC that you purchased earlier. Do not try to fake this as Amazon has a process that tests for valid UPC.
Once you’ve completed your entries, click the “Next” button. This will take you to the ‘Offer’ tab. You should see an option to skip this screen to fill it in later (by clicking “Next”) but it is recommended you fill in some of the info.
Under ‘Offer’, the following entries are to be considered:
• Seller SKU – this is an optional field which can be made up if you don’t have a SKU.
• Condition – some products don’t have this detail, but for those that do, you can set the value here, e.g. refurbished, etc.
• Condition Note – here you could add in some descriptive detail, e.g. stored in air conditioned facility.
• Your price – it is recommended you set this value slightly higher than your ultimate price. See “Sale price” for reasons why.
• Sale price – because Amazon has built its reputation on being a low cost provider with cheaper prices, adding a sale price can result in a boost in ranking. You can set this for a limited period and then simply adjust the date as you see fit.
• Quantity – this is the number of units you have in inventory. A recommended value to place here is 500 to 4000. Reasons for this recommendation are:
- o reduced quantity control – by setting this at a reasonable value, you won’t have to come back as often to adjust the quantity level when it gets reduced by sales.
- o avoiding being flagged – if you set the quantity too high, Amazon may get suspicious, being concerned about where you are getting all the inventory, and therefore may flag your account (i.e. suspend it) for manual review.
• Tax Code – if you activate Amazon’s tax collection service, you’ll want to select the appropriate code to go with your product.
• Handling time (in days) – if you’re able to ship items fairly quick, you could put a ‘1’ in this field, otherwise set it to the value that reflects how quickly you can handle the order for the customer.
• Start selling date – this date is associated with Amazon’s pre-ordering option. If you have a product for sale but want to enable pre-ordering before the product is available, enter a date here. Otherwise, leave the field blank, which indicates the product is presently available for sale.
• Gift Options – if you want to offer “gift wrap” or “gift message” option, you can select those here.
• Restock Date – the date you place here will indicate when a product will be restocked once the quantities run out. This can indicate a pre-order option before quantities are supplied. You may want to leave it blank by default.
• Shipping Method – you have 2 options:
o You ship – this is the option you would select for most drop-shipping items.
o Amazon ships – this option indicates that Amazon will handle shipping and customer service on items if they sell.
• Shipping Options – this will use whatever options you configured (configured on another screen).
Once you’ve completed filling in these fields, click “Next” to be taken to the ‘Images’ tab. On this tab, you can upload 1 or more images to associate with your product. These images will then appear alongside your product listing on Amazon.
When uploading the image(s) you will see information related to the image. For example, to be able to zoom on an image, the image length should be between 500 to 1000 pixels (1000 is the highest an image can be). It is recommended you have 1000 pixel images as this provides a higher quality image for your customers to view.
Other details regarding the images are:
• Images must show only the product for sale, with few or no props, and no logos or watermarks – in some instances, e.g. quick boost in sales, you can actually go this route but you do want to be careful as doing so can result in negative consequences against your account.
Once you’ve completed uploading your images, click the “Next” button to go the next tab.
The next tab is ‘Description’. On this tab you are able to enter the information that will appear in the description of your product as it appears on Amazon.
The tab contains two information areas:
• Key Product Features – consisting of five entry fields, the values here will appear as bullet points in your description when viewed on Amazon. These are mainly for the users but you may want to add keyword-rich values. Whatever values you enter, you want to select the strongest features/benefits of your product.
• Product Description – this is what you are using to sell your product so you want to be sure to use it. You are allowed up to 2000 characters and it’s recommended you use keywords in that description. Take note that you don’t have formatting options in this field.
Once you’ve completed the field entries, click “Next” to go to the ‘Keywords’ tab. On this tab you have the following:
• Platinum Keywords – values entered here will help categorize your product better and help customers find your product easier. Also, these are likely to be the same as your search terms, e.g. the top SEO terms you may have already determined using Google Keyword Tool or the like.
Note: this option may not be available to every customer. Research hasn’t uncovered the reasons for this but it appears to be related to the sales, meaning that Amazon is expecting a reasonable amount of sales per month before enabling this field.
• Search Terms – as already mentioned, these can be the same as your “Platinum Keywords”.
• Note – if you had a product that you couldn’t put a product name on, having these two items filled in (Platinum Keywords and Search Terms) will help that product be found on Amazon.
• Intended Use – an optional attribute, it is used to identify what the product is used for. You are able to select up to 5 different suggested values or create your own. The values will then appear on the product listing on Amazon.
• Target Audience – another optional attribute, it is used to identify who might use the product. You can select up to 5 different suggested values or create your own. The values will then appear on the product listing on Amazon.
• Subject Matter – another optional attribute, it is used to identify what the product is about. You are able to select up to 5 different suggested values or create your own.
The values then appear on the product listing on Amazon.
It is worth repeating that although there are a number of optional settings to select or enter values for, the more you use them, the more you are helping your product ranking and your appeal to customers.
Once you’ve completed configuring these settings, click “Next” to go to the ‘More Details’ tab. This is the last tab containing settings for your product.
A lot of the settings on this tab may not apply to your product. In fact, none of them may but, as with the other information configured on the previous tabs, the more you are able to fill in the better. These are simple to understand so we won’t cover them in detail here.
Once you’ve completed configuring these settings, click “Save and finish” and you should receive notification that the product was added to Amazon. The product should appear on Amazon listings in about 15 minutes.