How to Start an Amazon FBA UK Business: 2021 Step-by-Step Guide
April 22nd, 2021
Are you a new seller or an old seller in the UK who is interested in Amazon FBA?
Are you unaware of how it works or are afraid of being scammed?
Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) is a service by the e-commerce company Amazon where storage and delivery are done by Amazon on the seller’s behalf. A large number of sellers worldwide use this service to make a profit and run a smooth business.
If you’re based in the UK and want to start selling on Amazon FBA too, then this guide is for you. This article will cover everything about how you can successfully start a business on Amazon FBA and any questions about it: what it is, how it works, pros and cons, technical stuff, and how to register.
So what is Amazon FBA UK exactly? It is a service by e-commerce site Amazon that stands for fulfillment by Amazon. This means your storage, delivery, and customer service is done by Amazon on your behalf. Here are some of the advantages for your business of choosing FBA.
1. You can Handle Large Quantities
Using Amazon FBA UK means you will get access to Amazon’s large and spacious fulfillment centers where they store your goods. Since space is not a problem, this means that Amazon FBA UK can store a large number of goods in their centers. So you don’t have to worry about space and storage on your end.
Also, this means that shipment of larger cargo is made possible because delivery is also done through Amazon as well. Hence, a large number of goods can be handled in every way.
2. To Optimize the Supply Chain of your products
As a seller, you have to worry about keeping the supply chain connected and coordinated. This can be difficult to manage on your own and keep track of all these things, and it requires so much time and effort.
Payment management is another issue. You have to hire companies for packing your cargo, shipment services, and customs brokers for international shipping.
Amazon FBA UK will help you in this process as it takes care of all these things for you, so you don’t have to contact all these different services yourself or keep track of all the payments. Amazon FBA UK optimizes the supply chain to make your job easier.
3. Security and Safety by Amazon FBA UK
The security and safety of your cargo is one of the biggest concerns. You have to protect your goods from theft and damage. Storage in a private warehouse means you might need a watchman or security system installed. This can be hectic and expensive.
Amazon FBA helps you in this regard as well, as security maintenance is their concern. They have top-notch security, and will be liable for any damage to your goods. But there is no risk of theft and product damage.
4. Customer Service is Made Easier and Convenient
Another main benefit of Amazon FBA is that customer service is very easy here. Usually, you have to deal with customers in every way: for refund, returns, exchange, and shipping.
This is quite difficult. But Amazon FBA will help you here greatly as it deals with customer service itself. So if you have to do a refund, you get tell FBA, and it will do the job for you.
5. Quicker Delivery and Return System
Deliveries and refund/return are very easy with Fulfilled By Amazon UK, as they employ only the best shipping companies to make all the deliveries. You don’t have to worry about separate payments or hiring one yourself. This also leads to a better customer experience, as products are shipped on time. And the return process is easy.
6. Large Customer Base through Amazon FBA
Millions of customers use Amazon every day to buy all sorts of products, from cheap and simple products to expensive and sophisticated products. That means your options are wide, and you can choose any category of products to do your business. A large customer base means there is less chance of loss if you’re fully committed to your business.
7. Amazon UK is a Trusted Platform
A large customer base is a testimony to the fact that Amazon FBA is a trusted and reliable platform. There is less risk of fraud and losses as far as the service is concerned. The FBA UK scheme and the site itself are trustworthy, but you might have to watch out for them. These are discussed later on.
Chapter 2: Process to Get Started with Amazon FBA UK
If you’re new to the platform, you might be wondering how to sell on Amazon UK FBA. Here is a step-by-step guide for you.
1. How to register on Amazon FBA UK
The first thing is to register for the service. If you are not already a seller on Amazon, then you have to first make an account on the site using the ‘sign up’ feature. It’s a simple process requiring basic details like the name, address, and phone number of your business.
After you have signed up, go to the services tab and find ‘Fulfilled by Amazon’; then click on the ‘Enroll for FBA today’, and complete the registration process.
2. Finalize the product you want to buy
Now you need to figure out what products you want to sell. Let’s say you decide on selling electronics. You first need to buy these electronics from a supplier, so you need to know exactly what you’re looking for like quality, price, design, durability, colors, manufacturing, and other specifications. Finalize your products and proceed to the next step.
3. Find a reliable manufacturer to source the product for Amazon FBA UK
After deciding on the exact product, you will need a reliable supplier to buy and import from China to the UK. A good way to start doing this is to look in other similar platforms that have many sellers like DHgate and Alibaba.
You can find good and reliable sellers with good quality and pricing. Make sure to avoid scams, and consider their credentials thoroughly. Check reviews and ratings, and their business details.
4. The Best way to ship to Amazon FBA UK
After you buy from products, you need to know how to ship them to the FBA UK warehouse. International shipment gives you the options of sea and ocean freight, while local shipment is done via land. So if you’re shipping from overseas, consider these factors:
How quickly do you need the product?
What is your budget?
What type of product is it?
What is the quantity and weight of the product?
These factors will help you decide between sea and air freight, and express delivery. If your product is delicate, lightweight and you need it quickly, then choose air freight.
5. Calculate final fees and costs to calculate profit margin
Your expenses include the actual product cost, shipping cost, custom duties, and payment for all other services employed in between like a freight forwarder.
Add up all these expenses to see how much your costs are. Then decide how much you want to sell your product for. In order to minimize costs, calculate your expected costs before you start buying the products.
6. Work to get positive reviews and improve page ranking
Your selling business is based heavily on your customer reviews and ratings. If you get good feedback, more people will buy from you.
There are a lot of things you can do to boost your ratings, like being professional and transparent, good product listings, and following the rules and guidelines of Amazon FBA UK. Refer to the next section to find out the details on how you can become a good seller.
Chapter 3: How to be a Good Seller on Amazon FBA UK?
Now that you have the basics down of how does Fulfil by Amazon works in the UK, you need good selling practices to make your business a success. Here are some steps you can take in that direction.
1. Optimize Product Details to sell on Amazon FBA UK
Your products are the gateway to a successful business. Your customers will only buy from you if they like your product. To optimize your product in a way that appeals to customers.
This means you need to write all the product details and specifications on the product page; write the dimensions, weight, color, good description, manufacturing, and include photos and videos. The more information you give, the better it will be. Customers need a lot of information before buying so include as much as you can.
2. Provide Good Pricing Compared to your Competitors
The second thing customers look for is good pricing. They will not buy if the product is very expensive. But you can’t keep the price too low either because then it would seem that your products are fake.
So strike a balance between two extremes. Consider the pricing of your competitors, and how good their business is going. Reasonable prices usually bring good business.
3. Follow the Rules and Regulations of Amazon UK to avoid getting the account removed.
Before starting your business, read the ‘Selling Policies and Seller Code of Conduct page on Amazon’s website. There you will find a list of rules and guidelines that you must follow to be a good seller.
Some of these policies include giving accurate information, not manipulating the reviews, price, or sales rank, acting fairly, and professional communication with customers. If you don’t follow the rules, your account can be suspended or blocked
4. Manage your Inventory and make sure it never goes out of stock
A good selling practice is to always keep on top of your inventory. FBA might keep your inventory safe but it’s not responsible for tracking how much it is left; that is still your job.
Check your inventory on a weekly or monthly basis, and order more products before you completely run out. Otherwise, you can drive away customers who will complain about not getting their shipment on time.
5. Be Professional in dealing with customers
Always remember that the relationship between you and your customers is strictly professional. This means you have to give accurate information to them, not engage in informal conversation, not ask for or disclose personal information, and only contact them through the messaging feature on Amazon. Deceiving your customers, selling fake products, or changing the price after order placement are all unprofessional practices that you should avoid.
Chapter 4: How Safe is Amazon FBA UK?
Safety is a valid concern when doing business on any platform like Amazon FBA UK. Key information about safety is as follows.
1. Online Safety of Information on Amazon FBA UK
Before you start selling on Amazon, read the Privacy Notice on its website. You will find detailed information about how your data is kept private and secure, what information Amazon collects, why it collects, what is shared, and other conditions.
Amazon collects data about you in order to optimize your experience but none of this information is given to a third party. Your financial and personal details are safe and secure with Amazon. Data is encrypted and protected to prevent leakage to any malicious parties.
2. Safety of Inventory by Amazon FBA UK
As mentioned earlier, Fulfilled by Amazon UK is very secure and safe. From a direct personal experience of a warehouse employee, here are some details of security:
No cellphone allowed
No pictures allowed
Only employees can enter upon ID confirmation
Random body searches
Many security personnel
These factors will tell you how tight the security is inside and outside the warehouse.
3. Common Scams on Amazon FBA UK which you should avoid
You should be aware of some red flags that you can encounter when selling on Amazon FBA. Scams and frauds are not that common but they do occur. Here are some things to look out for:
Fake emails to get your information
A common tactic used by scammers is to send you an email pretending to be from Amazon. They will then ask for your personal or financial information to hack into your account or get your credit card details. Amazon never asks for personal information like this so avoid it at all costs.
Third-party demanding extra charges for shipping
Shipping is done by Amazon FBA, and there are no separate charges that are required for each shipment. If someone calls to ask you for shipping charges, don’t send them money. They are always scammers. They will pretend to be from Amazon or the delivery service, but that is never the case.
Manipulation of reviews by competitors
Competitors can try to sabotage your business by manipulating reviews on your products or their own. They can give fake positive reviews to their own products to boost their sales, or they may leave many negative reviews on your products from multiple accounts to decrease your sales. So look out for too many negative and positive reviews on your own products and for your competitors as well.
Counterfeiting your products and selling for a low price
Sometimes competitors will try to copy your products and sell them for a lower price. This can damage your original brand reputations, and affect your business. So be on the lookout for fake products that are copies of your products.
Dropshipping scam on Amazon FBA UK
Dropshipping is when a person or business buys the products and then ships them to the customer after receiving an order; the product is never stored in a warehouse. Dropshipping is not allowed on Amazon. It happens like this: a customer who is a scammer will buy your product and then sell it on another commerce site like eBay for a higher price. So make sure to deal with only good customers.
Chapter 5: Some Horror Stories from Real Amazon Sellers
The red flags just mentioned might seem impersonal and irrelevant. So you might not pay attention to them. But here are some real horror stories that happened to Amazon sellers. It’s something you should be aware of before starting.
An old Amazon FBA seller reported that another one of the sellers (a competitor selling the same types of products) has over a thousand fake positive reviews on their products in the only month of business.
The original seller reported the scammer to Amazon but action has not yet been taken. It caused damage to his sales as sales were diverted to the seller with fake reviews.
2. Hijacking the product listing on Amazon FBA
An Amazon seller complained that their product listing was hijacked by some other sellers (scammers). The scammers kept selling some low-quality and cheap products under the original seller’s brand name for a few months.
This caused a lot of damage as customers left many bad reviews on the fake products, which ended up damaging the original seller’s reputation and sales, causing a great financial loss.
3. Accusing you of selling fake products on Amazon FBA
Amazon takes strict action against fake products. A seller reported that his competitor falsely accused him of selling fake products and reported the matter to Amazon.
While the matter was resolved, it was a long and tedious process so the victim seller was pushed back a few weeks on his sales. He faced a lot of damage to his reputation and sales because of this.
4. Buying all your inventory then returning it
An Amazon seller received a large order during the holiday season which emptied his inventory for that product. Which meant that he could not take any more orders from other customers for that product.
This large order was placed by a competitor who later returned all of the products. The original seller faced a huge loss in the holiday season due to this.
5. Malicious claims by the third party
An Amazon FBA seller bought products from a company and stored them in FBA warehouses; he had been selling these same products for many years, but later they received an email from a malicious third party who accused him of infringement. The third party also sent it to Amazon. As a result, Amazon banned some of the seller’s products, which caused a big loss to the seller, as he was mostly selling those products.
Chapter 6: Tips to Stay Safe and Secure on Amazon FBA UK
After hearing those red flags and horror stories, you might be afraid to start on Amazon. But here are some tips you can use to avoid scams and bad experiences.
1. Report Scam Emails to Amazon Authorities
If you receive an email from a third party asking for personal information, credit card details, or shipping charges, they are scams. They will usually pretend to be from Amazon. You should report these emails to Amazon, and never reply to these emails. Always make sure email id ends with ‘@amazon.com’
2. Enable Two-Step Verification
To protect you against scams, Amazon has a feature that offers an extra layer of security. This is the two-step verification feature.
When you log in to your account, Amazon will send you a verification code by text, call or authenticator application, depending on the option you choose. You will only be able to log in if you enter the correct code, so hackers can’t access your account that easily.
3. Go through the Reviews
Go through your reviews to check for review manipulation by competitors; check their reviews too. If you notice a large number of negative or positive reviews, then they could be fake. Make sure to check them, and report them to Amazon for double-checking.
4. Good Selling Practices – Too Good to be True
Adopt good selling practices for your Amazon FBA business. That means you should be honest about your products, follow the rules and guidelines, be professional with customers, and only sell original and good products.
This also means making smart decisions and reviewing the situation before every transaction. For example, look out for the pricing of your competitors, go through your reviews and adjust accordingly, and listen to customer complaints. Be careful about what you sell and who you sell to.
5. Look Out for Competitors
In order to avoid scams and be safe, you should keep track of your competitors. You should know and have a list of your immediate competitors. So if any of the scams do happen, you can start by monitoring your competitors. Keep the information in mind and keep updated on the situation.
Chapter 7: Frequently Asked Questions About Amazon FBA UK
1. What is Amazon FBA UK program?
Amazon FBA is a service offered by the e-commerce site Amazon that means fulfillment by Amazon. So your storage, shipment, and customer service like return/exchange is done by Amazon rather than by you.
2. How much does FBA cost in the UK?
There are two types of fees that FBA UK charges. These are the fulfillment fees which is charged per unit based on type, dimension, and weight of the product. The second fee is the storage fee which is charged per cubic foot per month. So the fee is variable depending on your product.
3. Can you do Amazon FBA in the UK?
Yes, Amazon has a Fulfilled by Amazon UK service. It works similarly to FBA service in other countries like the US.
4. How does Amazon FBA work in the UK?
The FBA service works the same way everywhere; it is the same as it is for the US and other countries. You have to register for the service in your account, and from then on your inventory is shipped straight to FBA warehouses. All the shipment and customer dealing is done by FBA as well.
5. Do I need a business license to sell on Amazon FBA?
The short answer is no. You don’t need a business license to sell products online including Amazon. This is because most products that are being sold on Amazon are not federally regulated. In general, most products sold online are consumer products that don’t require the government’s approval.
This article covered all aspects of getting started on Amazon FBA UK for your selling business. Its benefits, guidelines to start, good selling practices, red flags and scams, and tips to sell safely on the platform were given for your convenience. Hopefully, by now all your answers have been answered.
Just keep in mind to be cautious and always adopt good selling practices. A good selling business awaits you on Amazon FBA UK!