The Amazon Marketplace allows just about anyone who is interested in e-commerce to become an online store owner; experience is not always necessary since Amazon provides newcomers with many tools to get started, and it is even possible to begin operating a store without any inventory.
Sellers who are new to the marketplace will quickly realize that just about every product created for retail sales purposes is already registered through the Amazon Standard Identification Number (ASIN) system, which in 2017 carried more than 500 million items in the United States alone. Amazon certainly has the capacity to register as many ASINs as needed to satisfy the retail needs of their active shoppers, who are expected to top the 300 million mark in 2018.
Sellers who have already decided upon the specific products they will offer from their Amazon stores can get started by searching for corresponding ASINs; this can be accomplished through Seller Central or through various apps and web services that provide this functionality. The ASIN should match brand, manufacturing code and SKU.
What Amazon Can and Cannot Offer in Terms of Product Protection
Amazon offers new sellers more than just an option to get started without inventory; there is also the opportunity to browse products that are already listed and actively selling. As a company, Amazon is not overly concerned about multiple sellers offering the same products at various prices; in fact, the vision of the marketplace is to be a global bazaar where customers have no shortage of purchase options. Sellers need to be able to handle and fulfill sales while providing excellent customer service; through proper marketing and efficient retail management, sellers may find the marketplace to be a very profitable platform. There are three general recommendations that sellers should follow when choosing ASINs.
1 – Ability to Fulfill
Sellers must have the infrastructure necessary to fulfill orders, and this is where the Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) centers comes in. Let’s say a seller chooses to offer Spalding basketballs, the ASIN for the official NBA game ball, in this case, is B072BXLQX4. If the seller already has 50 of these basketballs in her inventory, she can get started right away; if she runs out or even if she has no inventory at all, she can rely on an FBA to handle her orders since this is a trendy item that Amazon keeps in stock. If the seller has used versions of this ASIN, she can sell them under the same ASIN.
2 – Social Media Buzz
Popular products that are being discussed or reviewed on social networks are easier to sell. An excellent way to check this popularity is to search for the products on Google Trends. Official NBA game balls are often discussed during the regular season, playoffs and finals
3 – Competition and Pricing
On the right side of each Amazon product page, a section is known as the “Buy Box” lists top sellers of the ASIN. In the case of the basketballs mentioned above, there is only one seller listed, and that particular store happens to be an FBA seller. When there are few top sellers offering ASINs at considerably higher prices, this could be an arbitrage opportunity to profit.
Creating and Protecting New ASINs
Sellers who have their products as exclusive distributors or manufacturers will have to register new ASINs on the marketplace, which means that other sellers may piggyback on their unique products and list them using the recommendations listed herein. There will be times when sellers will not want their items to be sold by others on Amazon. Sellers who create 10 or more new ASINs can use services such as Brandlox to monitor their Amazon sales activity and to prevent unauthorized sellers and counterfeiters to piggyback on their ASINs. To learn more about Brandlox and ASIN protection on Amazon, call an e-commerce specialist today at 866-848-6072 or contact us online.