Amazon Business is an expansion of what was once Amazon Supply, the wholesale site it launched in 2012. At it’s peak, Supply had about 2.2 million products, with millions of business customers, spending billions of dollars. Amazon Business will be much bigger, boasting hundreds of millions of products — and the company expects sales to multiply accordingly. Amazon Business launches today, but the company won’t officially shut down Supply until May 13.
To be a great graphic designer, you don’t need to be great at drawing, you don’t need a college degree, and you don’t need to buy a fancy expensive computer. But you do need to be a visual thinker, you do need to specialize in something, and you definitely do need a portfolio.
A book is “Acceptable” if the pages and cover are intact. The pages can include notes and highlighting, as long as the text is not obscured. The spine can also show creasing, but it must remain sturdy and intact.
Write a detailed title, bullet points, and description. Take your time here, because this is what’s going to sell your product. Also include your main key words wherever you can because this will help your listing rank. As production comes to an end, you’ll also need to create a shipment in Amazon.
And how will you determine the value of your company when it comes time to sell or bring in equity partners or to get business LOC? How do you create your brand and become a familiar brand? I assume you maintain a customer database, as such databases also have value both while the company is in your hands and the company is to be sold?
Business owners will need to register to use the site — which includes letting Amazon vet that they’re a real company — but sign-up will be free and feature free two-day shipping on orders of $50 or more, products not available to retail consumers, products with special business discounts, and a whole suite of tools, like a tax exemption program, purchasing approval, and the ability to use corporate credit lines to pay.
Tens of millions of Americans know Amazon as customers, but life inside its corporate offices is largely a mystery. Secrecy is required; even low-level employees sign a lengthy confidentiality agreement. The company authorized only a handful of senior managers to talk to reporters for this article, declining requests for interviews with Mr. Bezos and his top leaders.
One area where I think we are especially distinctive is failure. I believe we are the best place in the world to fail (we have plenty of practice!), and failure and invention are inseparable twins. To invent you have to experiment, and if you know in advance that it’s going to work, it’s not an experiment. Most large organizations embrace the idea of invention, but are not willing to suffer the string of failed experiments necessary to get there. Outsized returns often come from betting against conventional wisdom, and conventional wisdom is usually right. Given a ten percent chance of a 100 times payoff, you should take that bet every time. But you’re still going to be wrong nine times out of ten. We all know that if you swing for the fences, you’re going to strike out a lot, but you’re also going to hit some home runs. The difference between baseball and business, however, is that baseball has a truncated outcome distribution. When you swing, no matter how well you connect with the ball, the most runs you can get is four. In business, every once in a while, when you step up to the plate, you can score 1,000 runs. This long-tailed distribution of returns is why it’s important to be bold. Big winners pay for so many experiments.
Yes, of course. You pay a fee per item when you sell it based on price and type of item it is or you can get a subscription if you are a large scale seller and plan to list a lot of stuff and you pay a flat fee (plus commissions). You essentially pay them a dollar plus their commission, which is usually between 8-15%. It is different for different kinds of items. There is no charge for listing most things, you pay when you sell. If you are only talking a few things here and there, eBay is usually your best bet and you get your money sooner, but if you are talking a business, then Amazon may be better. eBay costs less but more people shop on Amazon.
You will be asked to choose one or the other as you set things up. A Professional Seller account has a $39.99 monthly subscription fee but no per sale closing fee. A Professional Seller account also allows you to use feeds and spreadsheets to manage your inventory, as well as provides access to order reports.
In interviews, 40-year-old men were convinced Amazon would replace them with 30-year-olds who could put in more hours, and 30-year-olds were sure that the company preferred to hire 20-somethings who would outwork them. After Max Shipley, a father of two young children, left this spring, he wondered if Amazon would “bring in college kids who have fewer commitments, who are single, who have more time to focus on work.” Mr. Shipley is 25.
Amazon’s proposed $13.7 billion acquisition of Whole Foods reignited concerns that the Everything Store has become a monopoly. Amazon is a brutal competitor but it has so far largely evaded antitrust scrutiny because in crippling competing businesses, it has also made life better for consumers.
You may have noticed that unlike some retailers, Amazon displays relevant Google text ads and banner ads from brands. This seems in conflict with the strategy of focus on experience since it leads to a more cluttered store. However in 2011 Amazon revealed that worldwide media sales accounted for approximately 17% of revenue!
One of the most economical ways to produce a private label product is to source it overseas in China. Alibaba is a widely used website that connects manufacturers and suppliers in China to the rest of the world. It’s a popular site of choice for many Amazon private label sellers.
You could also search for the book on Amazon as though you were buying it. Once you locate the book and go to its corresponding item detail page, click on the “Sell on Amazon” button on the right side of the screen to begin your listing.
Motherhood can also be a liability. Michelle Williamson, a 41-year-old parent of three who helped build Amazon’s restaurant supply business, said her boss, Shahrul Ladue, had told her that raising children would most likely prevent her from success at a higher level because of the long hours required. Mr. Ladue, who confirmed her account, said that Ms. Williamson had been directly competing with younger colleagues with fewer commitments, so he suggested she find a less demanding job at Amazon. (Both he and Ms. Williamson left the company.)
Sellers often use this service so they don’t have to split inventory for Amazon and non-Amazon channels. James Thomson, former head of Selling on Amazon warns, “If you use FBA to fulfill orders outside of Amazon (called multi-channel fulfillment), Amazon raises the shipping costs, and you aren’t likely to see much cost saving at all.”
An often-overlooked piece of hardware that Amazon has started to roll out is the Dash button. It’s a device about the size of a thumb with some adhesive that sticks to nearly any surface. On the front of the device there’s a circular button, the logo of a brand, and that’s it. Press the button, and you’ve ordered the designated item from that brand on Amazon. One-touch ordering, no logging in required.
If you are going to use FBA at all, you will want to fill in this information to make sure returns are sent back to the right place, and product return/disposal procedures with Amazon are in place in the way that you want them to be.
“This is a company that strives to do really big, innovative, groundbreaking things, and those things aren’t easy,” said Susan Harker, Amazon’s top recruiter. “When you’re shooting for the moon, the nature of the work is really challenging. For some people it doesn’t work.”
Once you set up your account (whether you do the free one or the paid one), you can start using the Amazon Seller App to scan items in stores or in your house. Here is my tutorial on how to use the different Amazon seller scanning apps and how they work.
An Amazon Prime account can also be linked to the business account at no additional cost. Prime membership makes you eligible for exclusive Prime Day deals during the company’s annual sales extravaganza. Hundreds of thousands of items across 20-plus popular categories (techies, gardners, pet lovers) go on sale starting at 6 p.m. PT on July 10. And for the following 30 hours, new deals are announced every 5 minutes. Plus, if you use an Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Show, Amazon Tap, Fire TV or Fire tablets for voice ordering through Amazon’s Alexa, you’re eligible for even more deals.
Once your business has been established, your products are ready for sale, and all the bugs have been worked out of the site, you are ready for the official launch. After the launch, you will need to work hard on your ecommerce marketing and advertising strategies to grow your base of loyal customers.
This description of Amazon’s business is drawn largely from its public filings and reports from market analysts. As is its custom, Amazon declined to comment or answer questions for the record. Jeffrey P. Bezos, the company’s founder and chief executive, is the owner of The Washington Post.
Amazon Business customers must be registered as participants of U.S. Communities in order to use the contract. Please Register to Participate. There are no costs, minimum quantity requirements or spend limits with U.S. Communities or to create an Amazon Business account.
In 2013, Elizabeth Willet, a former Army captain who served in Iraq, joined Amazon to manage housewares vendors and was thrilled to find that a large company could feel so energetic and entrepreneurial. After she had a child, she arranged with her boss to be in the office from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each day, pick up her baby and often return to her laptop later. Her boss assured her things were going well, but her colleagues, who did not see how early she arrived, sent him negative feedback accusing her of leaving too soon.
Call them what you will, their ranks are rapidly increasing. Amazon is finishing a 37-floor office tower near its South Lake Union campus and building another tower next to it. It plans a third next to that and has space for two more high-rises. By the time the dust settles in three years, Amazon will have enough space for 50,000 employees or so, more than triple what it had as recently as 2013.