Now that you’ve been selling print-on-demand products for a while, it’s time to consider converting some of your winning products to Amazon FBA.
If you’re unfamiliar with Amazon FBA, let me explain it to you briefly.
What print-on-demand sellers normally do is create a design and product, and upload it to Amazon.
When we get an order, we pass it on to our supplier, who will produce and ship the product to the customer. We’ll use the tracking info to fulfill the order in the marketplace.
This process is called “Fulfilled By Merchant”, or FBM.
The advantage of FBM is that you don’t have any upfront costs. You pay for production and shipping only when you get an order from your customers.
The main drawback is that the supplier needs time to produce the product and ship it to the customer. This might take around 1-2 weeks, depending on the product.
FBA is the opposite of FBM, which stands for “Fulfilled By Amazon”.
Instead of making and shipping a product from our supplier, we’ll order the product in bulk and ship it to the Amazon fulfillment center.
When we get an order, Amazon will pack and ship the product to our customer automatically. We don’t have to do a thing. Amazon handles everything for us.
Why Amazon FBA?
Why use Amazon FBA?
The main reason is that our customers will receive their products much faster than they will via FBM.
Because the products are stored in the Amazon Warehouse, Amazon can ship them to the customer quickly.
There’s no production time required, and Amazon can ship the product within a day or two.
Most people – especially Amazon Prime members – love this option because they can get their item faster than products fulfilled by merchants, for which they might have to wait 1-2 weeks.
According to the latest stats from Statista, 65 percent of all Amazon shoppers were Prime members, and Prime members placed almost twice as many orders as non-Prime customers.
So if you have some winning FBA products, you have a big chance to sell a lot to Prime members.
Let’s think about the holiday season – like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Christmas, or New Year’s. During this time, most people will purchase a gift for someone they love.
But the thing is, not many of them will plan to purchase the gift in advance. They usually place their order at the last minute, and they want the item quickly.
Before Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, I received many messages from prospective buyers.
Most of them asked the same questions:
“Will I get the product this week if I place an order today?”
“Can you expedite the shipping? I’m willing to pay for it.”
Sadly, I couldn’t provide my products quickly. I think I lost many sales because of this.
Most people want their product within a day or two, but not many shop owners can provide quick shipping like that – even if the buyer is willing to pay extra for faster shipping.
But that’s not a problem for sellers who have products in the Amazon Warehouse. Amazon can ship their products quickly. These sellers can make lots of sales during the days of last-minute shopping.
Not only many sales – but sales at higher prices.
In the past Q4, I sold a coffee mug for $29.95. People were willing to pay this price because not many sellers had FBA products left. I did, and Amazon could ship my product within a day.
Okay, this is the main benefit of faster delivery. Our customers have the option to receive the product faster, and we can charge a higher price for the item.
Apart from that, when we store our products in the Amazon Warehouse, Amazon will know that they have control over our products.
Not only will the product will be shipped faster by Amazon – they can also ensure that people will get the product. They know they will get a high satisfaction rating from customers.
Because of all these good things, Amazon will boost the rankings for FBA products naturally.
If you notice the top-selling products in any category in Amazon, most of them will be FBA.
There’s no need to be an SEO specialist or spend money on the most intelligent keyword research tools to boost the ranking for our product.
Just send it to Amazon FBA.
Most of my FBA products are on the first page of the search results for their main keywords.
Apart from the ranking benefit, sellers who store their products in Amazon Warehouse don’t need to do any customer service.
Amazon will handle customer service on our behalf. Customers can contact Amazon support directly via phone or email, day or night, and we don’t have to pay an extra charge for this.
It’s the “unfair advantage” that FBM products don’t have.
How to Choose a Print-on-Demand Product to Sell on Amazon FBA
Okay, now we understand the benefits of Amazon FBA.
If we have products that have been selling well with FBM, it’s time to consider shipping some of them to Amazon FBA.
The question is, how do we choose a product to send to the Amazon Warehouse?
What you need to know is that not every good-selling FBM product will sell well, even we convert it to an FBA product.
When I first sent my first print-on-demand product to the Amazon Warehouse, it made just a few sales in the first month after it arrived.
The sales came slowly in the second and third months. For an FBA product, that wasn’t great.
I think a good FBA product should sell out within the first or second month. Otherwise, we might have to pay extra storage fees.
There are certain criteria I usually check when I choose a product to send to Amazon FBA.
The first criteria to check is Sale Stats.
If the product sells well with FBM, it will usually sell well when it becomes FBA.
But what number of minimum units sold determine that it’s “sold well”?
I often hear this question.
It’s a bit difficult for me to answer, because the sales stats are not only the criteria we check when we’re considering products to send to the Amazon Warehouse.
So, from this first criteria, we’ll select products that have sold at least 3-4 units a month, then check them against other criteria.
The next criterion to consider is the current ranking of the main keyword of the selected products.
I will use the main keyword for the product and search for it on Amazon.
For example, if the product contains a quote related to “English Teacher”, I’ll use the keywords like “English Teacher Mug” or “English Teacher Shot Glass” (depending on the product type) to search on Amazon.
Then, I’ll check the current ranking of the product.
If the product has been selling 3-4 units a month and is on the first results page for the main keywords, then you might pick this one and turn it into an FBA product.
If the product is on the second page, there will also be a chance to make more sales after convert it into an FBA product.
But the sales velocity might be slower than the velocity of the product on the first page.
Amazon will boost the ranking slowly, and when it climbs up the ranking to the first page, it will make more sales faster.
I track all of my FBA products after I send them to Amazon Warehouse, and all of them gotten better rankings. Many of them have even been in the top ten in the search results.
Apart from these two criteria, when you send the product to Amazon Warehouse matters.
Timing is important!
For example, if you send some Mother’s Day mugs to the warehouse a month before Mother’s Day, your coffee mugs will sell really well.
But if you ship the same Mother’s Day mugs to the warehouse in Q3 – after Mother’s Day has passed and it’s summertime and slow season for coffee mugs – this coffee mug won’t sell well.
So, in order to send products to the Amazon Warehouse, you also have to pay attention to timing. Otherwise, your products will be difficult to sell and you might have to pay extra storage fees.
Send the right products at the right time!
For the coming Q4, we’ll start seeing sales in mid-October.
So, if you plan to send Q4 items to FBA, make sure they arrive at the warehouse at the beginning of the October.
Where to Order and Ship FBA Products to Amazon
Next, let’s talk about how to order and send products to the Amazon Warehouse.
Well, there are places where you can get items inexpensively. I’ll suggest two of them that I personally use.
The first place is Alibaba.
If you want to buy products in bulk, Alibaba is the BEST place to get products at a very cheap price.
Normally, we have to pay around $4.95 to produce one coffee mug in the U.S., right?
But on Alibaba, you can order 30 printed coffee mugs for just $2-2.5 per unit.
That’s 50% off the normal price we pay U.S. suppliers.
Alibaba also includes styrofoam and a box, so you can ensure that your coffee mugs won’t be broken before they arrive at the warehouse.
The downside is that it takes a long time – like, 2 months – to make and ship products from China to the U.S. If we want to place an order here, we have to plan in advance.
If you want the item a bit faster, you have to order it from a the U.S. supplier – and this is the second place I recommend.
I normally order products from CustomHappy when I want my item to ship to the Amazon Warehouse fast.
CustomHappy is the print-on-demand company owned by Rachel Rofe, who taught me the Low Hanging System business. In other words, you can trust them to make and ship your product.
The production and delivery time is usually around a month. (The delivery time might change a little depending on the time of year, so please contact CustomHappy before placing an order.)
Their FBA service will make and ship 36 coffee mugs per box to Amazon at $142.20 ($3.95 each) without the styrofoam, and $178.2 ($4.95 each) with the styrofoam.
They also provide FBA service for products such as shot glasses, travel mugs, posters, and pillowcases. Check out their website for more details.
To Sum Up
If you have some winning print-on-demand products, you should send some of them to the Amazon Warehouse.
Your product will be shown on Amazon with a shorter delivery time. That will produce a better conversion rate, because most people prefer products with faster shipping.
Amazon LOVES FBA products because they can control the delivery times and ensure that their customers will receive the product as promised.
Because of this, Amazon will boost the rankings for FBA products automatically, and these products will make more sales naturally.
But not all products will sell well, even if they’re FBA products. You have to choose your products carefully; otherwise, you might have to pay an extra storage fee.
There are the three main criteria I always use to choose the products I send to the Amazon Warehouse:
Sales stats, the current ranking for the main keywords, and timing.
If your product satisfies these three criteria, your product will sell really well when you convert it to Amazon FBA.
I hope you can follow my lead and get excellent results with your Amazon FBA, too!
P.S. If you don’t know how to create an FBA shipment, Amazon has a detailed guide on how to do it: Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA)
Sorry, I don’t want to write about this in the main post, because the process might change someday. Anyway, it’s better to learn the process from the owner of the service, right? 🙂