If you’re serious about FBA success, then you know it’s time to get help (if you haven’t already!).
While Amazon is a great platform for reaching a huge audience, it takes a bit more to run a business than the dashboard and your own wits. As you grow, it doesn’t take long to work out that running things manually or relying on remembering is a quick route to lost opportunity.
Savvy FBA sellers pick out the right tools to help them optimize their businesses.
What tools should you consider using? Here are a few top areas for FBA sellers to get help.
(Note: This is just our opinion on a few of the best tools.)
Why get help?
Well, you could use up large chunks of your day monitoring what’s happening with competitor pricing across all of your products, but this is unsustainable once you’ve reached a certain level of sales velocity and product range.
It’s important to be on top of pricing because this is a factor that helps you to win the buy box. Just a one cent difference can put you in prime position. Some sellers will try to monitor manually, but you can’t do that all day, which means you will always be behind.
RepricerExpress is a fast and effective tool for keeping you competitive on Amazon. This is an automated repricing tool – you set it up and can choose your repricing strategies. The tool allows you to specify different strategies against different competitors if you wish. For example, you can set up different strategies for Amazon, FBA or FBM competitors. Options include “ignore”, “beat price by …”, “match price” or “price above by …”
You are able to automatically compete with featured merchants for the buy box rather than matching your price with those who may be lower, but don’t qualify for the buy box. You can also create settings that exclude competing against certain merchants who are known to try to drive prices low. Given that sellers might change their pricing at any time during the day, how much time would it normally take you to adjust yours on your own? Note: this tool also works with eBay.
AppEagle is a repricing tool that works for both the Amazon and Walmart marketplaces. It enables strategic repricing and provides sellers with insights into all sorts of pricing and competitor data that can impact your success. This is a very popular app, credited with assisting billions of buy box wins over the last year. Free up your time and let the software get on with competitor research too.
Finance and taxes
Why get help?
Have you ever gone into a tailspin at tax time? You frantically dig around hunting for financial information – your receipts, evidence of expenses and records of your tax payments. Oftentimes, sellers are sure they can keep track and will be fine when it comes to filing taxes, but things soon get out of hand while they’re busy growing the business. Not only that, they become aware that there are things they need to know specific to running a business, like sales tax requirements.
There are options here, you could
- Wait until the last minute and risk missing things, paying more tax than you had to or being penalized for inaccuracies.
- Dump everything on your accountant and end up paying big bucks to get them to sort it out.
- Be as prepared as possible ahead of time and use some simple tools to help out.
Which would you choose?
On the finance side, high-growth sellers often run into issues scaling their businesses because they run out of investment capital. Successful sellers with high-demand products can hit credit card limits, fail to qualify for loans, and must wait on Amazon’s 2-week payout schedule to reinvest. Finding capital to grow your business is a challenge, but shouldn’t stand in the way of you and your goals.
#3. Quickbooks Online
There are a few different options for accounting software available, so you’ll have to test and pick your favorite. Among Amazon sellers, Quickbooks Online is a popular choice for software that helps to automate key parts of the bookkeeping process.
In general, look for something that can automate the process for you as much as possible. If you’re going to have to input manual entries, this increases the chance that you’ll get behind on your accounting tasks. Most apps will require some kind of extension to pull through transactions directly from Amazon. For Quickbooks Online, you’ll need something like Amazon Accounting by Entriwise.
Xero is another popular choice for Amazon sellers. It’s a slick bookkeeping package with many integrations available for other tools that you may be using. Amazon sellers should choose the A2X extension in order to have transactions automatically pulled through from Amazon.
Sales taxes can honestly be a bit of a pain. You need to understand how much you need to collect and from whom based on location. If you have a Professional seller account, you can set up tax collection yourself and Amazon will automatically tax the sales that need it, but you’re also relying on knowing the correct way to set it up.
Services like Taxjar can hook up with your Amazon account and automatically sync sales tax data, then help you to file.
If your business is growing rapidly, you may run into capital constraints and have to hit the brakes at exactly the wrong time. As a seller, you need to keep inventory levels stocked up in order to meet growing demand, but your ability to reinvest depends on how much cash you have available.
Payability gets Amazon sellers daily, next-day payouts so they no longer have to wait for Amazon’s two-week payout schedule to reinvest in their growth.
Why get help?
In short, product research is time-consuming and can be overwhelming. If you’ve got spreadsheets, data all over the place and manual search methods going on, it’s a short route to a big headache.
#7. Jungle Scout
Jungle Scout simplifies your Amazon research by helping you to quickly discover profitable products. They have Amazon’s entire product database at hand and help you to filter across categories and products easily.
Jungle Scout helps you to track competitor activity and calculate opportunity scores for different products. Check out their excellent free resources while you’re at it. The idea is that you’ll make highly informed product decisions and hopefully avoid expensive mistakes!
CamelCamelCamel is a great free tool that allows you to look at price history and best seller rank history for any given product on Amazon. You can also set up price alerts through the app.
Why get help?
There are literally millions of products out there that you could be selling, but how can you find the best suppliers? The right products? Products that are high-quality? There’s a lot of legwork that goes into getting a product on the Amazon marketplace and many potential pitfalls to stumble into. You might want help if you are low on time and/or lacking the experience to do a thorough job yourself.
#9. Guided Imports
Are you sourcing from China? Guided Imports can take care of the entire process that falls in between you having an idea and the product being up for sale on Amazon. They deal with contracts, manufacturers, quality control, and shipping. They’ll also cover product validation and cost analysis.
Of course, you are going to pay for this service, so do the calculations to ensure it will be worth it. If you can get a winning product, that initial cost will more than pay for itself.
If you’re going to take the DIY route to source product and deal with manufacturers, there are a few websites that gather them together in one spot. These include sites like Alibaba, which basically serves as a massive marketplace of manufacturers and distributors across several different regions. (You can find suppliers by region if you scroll to the bottom of their homepage).
A tip here is to know who you’re talking to – are you dealing with the manufacturer directly or a re-seller? Re-sellers are basically middlemen and will tend to charge more.
Why get help?
Did you know that Amazon is the number one search engine for product searches? This means that it’s crucial to optimize your product listings by using the right keywords and terms that shoppers are actually searching for. It’s often the case that the main difference between you and a competitor might be who has done a better job of optimizing the listing.
#11. Google Keyword Planner
Google Keyword Planner is a free tool that allows you to find search volumes for keywords and to determine which phrases are most commonly being used in searches. Remember this won’t be perfect – more product searches are happening on Amazon, so you’ll want to use it in conjunction with a tool like Jungle Scout to confirm product performance (they actually wrote an excellent post about how to do this here).
#12. Merchant Words
Merchant Words is a paid tool that works by uncovering buyer keywords from marketplaces, including Amazon. Merchant Words uses AI to monitor trends coming from Amazon’s A9 algorithm, providing much more up-to-date information than tools like Keyword Planner can. It’s a way of tapping directly into those Amazon product searches.
Why get help?
In short, your listings are going to suck if they’re not optimized. You will be handing savvy competitors an advantage on a platter because all they have to do is optimize their own listings and do a better job than you. Optimized listings win the buy box and higher search rankings.
Listings with high-quality images always do better than those without. SellerPhoto.com does exactly as their title implies – they create excellent product photos for your listings.
At the same time, your business looks a lot more professional with a crisp logo and visual business page. If you need help with this, be sure to check out a couple of other services out there, like
- 99 Designs – get any logos or artwork designed.
- Fiverr – a budget option for artwork or photography (look for reviews of the seller and expect to pay more for better work).
If writing copy and keyword research aren’t really your strong suits, there are people out there who can help you out. Look for those with good experience optimizing listings – there are freelancers on sites like Upwork, or you can even find virtual assistants who can do this and more for your business.
Tip: Look for good ratings and references that are easily validated.
Why get help?
This is close to our hearts. Inventory management takes work and poor management means lost sales, missing the buy box and lowering your best seller ranking. Inventory can be a big time and cost suck if you haven’t got it right. Too much inventory means money on the shelf while too little means stock outs and missed revenue.
Forecastly is a great solution for painless replenishment, preventing stockouts and eliminating the guesswork when it comes to effectively managing inventory. Our predictive analytics provide advanced insights and help to give up-to-date snapshots of your inventory while predicting any future issues.
Another handy feature built in is the identification of any inbound shipment issues with Amazon. Have you sent in shipments that need reconciling due to an inaccurate amount being recorded by Amazon? This feature alone has recovered thousands of dollars for FBA businesses.
This is by no means an exhaustive list but provides some key areas where FBA sellers can get help in their business.
It’s not easy to do everything well on your own, especially when things get busy. You may have views of saving money by doing things yourself or only using free tools, but this ends up being false economizing when you miss sales or scramble to keep up with competitors.
Why get help? Because it makes good business sense.