Learn how reselling works for Amazon sellers. We’ll cover guidelines and restrictions as well as best practices and tips for success.
Reselling products in Amazon stores can be a convenient and lucrative venture. The majority of independent sellers in Amazon’s U.S. store are small- and medium-sized businesses, and in 2022, they sold more than 4.1 billion products, averaging more than $230,000 in sales.
But where can you buy items to resell in Amazon stores? How can you resell branded products and other types of offers? In this article, we’ll walk you through the process of how to launch a reselling business and resell successfully in Amazon stores.
What is reselling?
Reselling is an ecommerce business model where you obtain products from various sources and sell them directly to customers. Here’s an overview of how the process can look:
- Research product demand: Analyze trends to identify products with high demand that you can resell for a profit.
- Procure the products: Find reliable sources and purchase products in quantities that meet your business goals.
- List the products online: List the products online and set competitive prices to attract customers.
- Handle shipping and fulfillment: Decide whether to fulfill orders in-house or use a service like Fulfillment by Amazon to get products to customers.
- Manage inventory and customer service: Process returns and provide support for orders while also monitoring inventory levels to avoid stockouts or excess storage fees.
Ideally, try to find a balance point by setting prices low enough to attract customers and remain competitive, without risking low or negative profit margins.
Is reselling right for you?
Reselling might make sense for you if you’re looking to sell:
- Limited-availability items: If a product is in high demand but has limited availability, reselling can allow you to capitalize on scarcity and sell the product for a profit.
- Exclusive or rare items: Reselling exclusive or rare items, such as limited-edition collectibles, vintage items, or unique artwork, can be profitable in niches with buyers willing to pay a premium price.
- Seasonal products: Selling seasonal products, such as holiday decorations, costumes, or outdoor equipment, can be lucrative during months when demand is high.
- Clearance or discounted items: You can purchase items on clearance or at discounted prices and resell them at regular retail prices or a slight markup.
- High-demand products: Products in high demand, such as popular electronics, fashion items, or other trends, can be profitable if you can secure a steady supply and sell at a competitive price.
You can get started reselling in Amazon stores by signing up for a seller account. Choose between an Individual or Professional selling plan:
- Individual plan: $0.99 per product sold plus applicable selling fees (based on inventory, storage, and other factors)
- Professional plan: $39.99 per month plus applicable selling fees
To decide on a plan, consider how much inventory you intend to process, storage needs, and other factors. You can also use Amazon’s free fulfillment cost calculator to estimate your revenue potential.
It’s possible to effectively use this tactic if you follow Amazon selling guidelines. For example, when you resell a product from a retailer you might need additional documents, such as invoices, to sell the products.
Before you try retail arbitrage, check to see what selling fees might apply. Then, calculate your margins to ensure you can turn a profit.
How to launch a reselling business: 5 steps
1. Gauge product demand
Keep a pulse on trends as demand shifts. What sells well this month might change the next quarter, so stay informed and adapt your offerings to meet customer preferences. Otherwise, you risk stagnant inventory and decreased sales.
Popular product categories in the Amazon store include jewelry, clothing, and furniture. There are also products to avoid. Learn more about which products aren’t allowed in Amazon stores, as well as product safety requirements.
Be sure to also evaluate the sales potential for products you might like to sell:
- Explore product viability and conduct product research to zero in on best-selling products.
- Browse through best seller rankings (BSR) to learn about top-selling products.
- Use ecommerce tools to find low-competition, high-potential products.
Check out our product ideas guide for more details.
2. Source products to sell
You have options when it comes to where to buy items to resell in the Amazon store. Here are some guidelines to consider as you source products:
- Research manufacturers, resellers, and suppliers before purchasing products to reduce the risk of complaints.
- Verify the authenticity and quality of products before selling them.
- Check that products and associated parts work properly and are undamaged.
- Research safety testing and compliance requirements for the products.
- Keep documentation and records of transactions, such as purchase orders and invoices.
Reselling products from various sources can result in quality issues and returns, impacting profitability and customer satisfaction. So do your due diligence with suppliers and request samples to check quality before placing product orders.
3. List products for sale online
To save you time, the Amazon store allows you to match products to listings that are already live and discoverable for hundreds of millions of Amazon customers.
Once you’ve listed products, you might find that reselling products can be competitive. Some sellers find themselves in a race to the bottom with prices, which can hurt your profitability. Instead, strategic pricing can be key in helping products stand out.
To find the ideal rate to price items, try Amazon’s free Automate Pricing tool. It can adjust prices automatically, freeing you up to focus on other aspects of your business, and improving your chances of winning the Featured Offer box.
Here’s how to set up automated pricing:
- Log in to Seller Central. Go to the Pricing tab, select Automate Pricing, and click “Get Started.”
- Create a rule or choose a pre-defined rule. Start with the pre-configured “competitive price rule” or customize your own strategy, depending on whether you want to compete based on feedback rating, fulfillment channel, or other factors.
- Select SKUs and set limits. Select the SKUs you want to enroll and the rules that apply to each. You can do this one by one or in bulk. Set a minimum price to make sure you can maintain healthy margins.
Automate Pricing will automatically adjust prices based on real-time fluctuations in demand and your rule parameters. Once you’re all set up, monitor price updates through the Automate Pricing page, and track impacts on sales by viewing your Seller Central business reports, which also show how automated pricing relates to your Featured Offer win percentage.
4. Handle shipping and fulfillment
Do you plan to store and manage inventory on your own and then ship to customers as orders come in? With merchant fulfillment, you’re responsible for shipping orders on time and maintaining adequate inventory levels to meet changes in demand. You’ll also need systems in place for processing returns and providing customer service when necessary.
It can be challenging to keep an eye on inventory, fulfill orders, and ensure customer satisfaction all at the same time. As an alternative, Amazon offers fulfillment services through FBA. Enroll some or all of your inventory into this program if you’d like Amazon to handle storage, packing, shipping, returns, customer service, and other aspects of the fulfilment process on your behalf.
5. Drive sales
As competing resellers find new ideas and try out different strategies, you could see diluted sales and visibility. For instance, reselling popular electronics can lead to stiff competition from other sellers offering similar products at lower prices. How do you find profitable products and differentiate yourself?
To increase sales and reach more customers, focus on your strengths, and take the initiative to learn about your audiences and what they like. You can also make use of ecommerce tools, such as:
- Product Opportunity Explorer: Keep an eye on your competition and avoid being blindsided by reduced sales with this tool for exploring niches and shifts in product demand.
- Sponsored Products: Try these product listing ads to promote listings and help customers find your offers in search results.
- Amazon Live: Showcase the products you sell and interact with customers during livestream video events.
Get started reselling in Amazon stores
It can be thrilling to find the right product to sell at the right time, and breakthroughs can pay off fast. Whether you’re a beginner looking to start your ecommerce journey or a seasoned seller considering a new strategy, reselling can provide immediate opportunities for profitability.
You might also be interested in establishing your own ecommerce brand in order to build a loyal customer base, increase your profit potential, and earn passive income. If so, check out Amazon’s Brand Registry service for:
- Automated protections: Guard your business against counterfeit products and unauthorized sellers.
- Selling support: Gain access to additional tools and features to drive sales and grow your brand.
- Advanced reporting: Take action against intellectual property violations and infringements.
Whether you want to resell or go the build-a-brand route, Amazon’s global infrastructure, logistics, and reach are here to support your growth.