How do you become a dealer

Becoming an Amazon dealer: This is how it works and there are these risks
Become an Amazon dealer: that's how it works

Open an Amazon shop: step-by-step instructions

There are generally two ways to sell products on Amazon: The basic account, which is suitable for everyone who wants to sell fewer than 40 items per month (not useful for professional online retailers) and the professional provider account for more than 40 items per month.

With the basic account you only pay if you also sell items (0.99 euros per item); the professional account costs 39 euros per month (regardless of the number of items sold).

There is an overview of the fees and sales at Amazon in the Amazon fee calculator.

Setting up an Amazon seller account is easy. This is how it works step by step:

1. Log in to Amazon (if you do not have an Amazon account, you must first open one)

2. Then click on the "Sell" section in the bar above:

 

3. A new area then opens where you can find the most important information about selling on Amazon. There you click on the “Sell now” button. Note: This will automatically take you to the professional provider account. You can open the basic account by clicking on “Do you only want to sell a little”.

 

4. After that, a window will open and you can enter your business information. First, enter the company headquarters and company form. Practical: In this window, Amazon shows you which information you should have ready for further registration, namely business information / contact details, cell phone or telephone number, valid credit card and ID information.

5. Step by step, Amazon asks for all data for registration: commercial register number (if applicable, sales tax identification number), company representatives and contact details (have your identification document ready!), Seller information, payment details (you need a valid credit card). At the end you still have to decide what your Amazon shop should be called (a fantasy name is possible). Tip: There is detailed help for each step on the right side of the page.

6. The last step is to confirm your identity. You can either use a PIN that you receive via SMS and then enter, or you can request a callback for identification.

7. This completes the actual registration, but Amazon will now check your details as part of the two-step verification. This means that Amazon requires some documents such as the identification document, the business registration or the excerpt from the commercial register. You can see which documents Amazon requires in your seller account. You can upload the required documents there. If Amazon has all the requested documents from you, you can use your account and discontinue products.

Further information on opening an Amazon payment account is available here.

List products in the Amazon shop

As soon as your Amazon seller account is activated, you can get started and upload your products to your shop. You can either enter the product data individually or with the help of a tool (e.g. software for online shops). By clicking on the “Add product” button, you can either describe the product in detail or enter it with an ISBN number.

tip

Keywords are important here! Because only if you use the right ones that users are looking for will your product be found and accordingly bought more frequently.

Optimize products

Once you've uploaded your products, you should keep optimizing them. Here are some things to look out for:

  • Carry out a keyword analysis and adjust your keywords continuously
  • Describe your product as detailed as possible (function, size, material, etc.)
  • Upload high resolution product photos

Try to get as many 5-star reviews as you can. Because the further ahead your products appear. Attention: In order to get positive reviews, not everything is legally allowed! You can find out more about this in this article by the IT law firm: Product reviews on Amazon: What is allowed?

Amazon FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon)

Amazon offers an all-round carefree package called “Fulfillment by Amazon”. This means that you use practically the entire sales infrastructure of Amazon and you hardly have to worry about anything yourself.

The benefits of FBA for Amazon sellers

  • You no longer need a warehouse, because your products are stored in the Amazon logistics center
  • You no longer have to worry about orders: Amazon packs and ships your orders to the customer
  • Amazon employees take care of returns and returns for you
  • Amazon takes care of 24/7 customer service
  • The buyers of your products do not have to pay shipping costs, your products automatically receive the Prime logo and are therefore found better and faster

The Cons of FBA for Amazon Merchants

  • You no longer have any influence on your orders (everything is handled by Amazon)
  • You can no longer send your packages with your logo, the packages will only be sent with Amazon branding
  • It is more difficult to keep track of both your Amazon shop and your own online shop (if you have one) and to ensure that you always have enough inventory on hand. Because as a user of the Amazon FBA it is particularly important to never be sold out, otherwise you will slide down the Amazon ranking very quickly.

In addition, retailers should definitely keep an eye on the costs for the Amazon FBA service so that these do not become a problem in the future.

Selling on Amazon: Risks for online retailers

The problem with selling on Amazon is that there are multiple contractual relationships. With a "normal" sale via your online shop, you as the seller conclude a contract with the buyer. When selling on Amazon, the buyer and the seller each conclude a contract with Amazon as the platform operator. In addition, Amazon and the buyer conclude the actual sales contract:

 

This constellation results in some legal peculiarities for online retailers. Merchants who sell through Amazon are exposed to a high risk of warnings. Industry associations even say that it is not possible to sell on Amazon in a legally secure manner. We have summarized the biggest risks:

Terms and conditions, cancellation policy, imprint

General terms and conditions are not required by law on Amazon, but there are many statutory information requirements that online retailers must comply with and which they can comply with via the terms and conditions (for example, information on warranty periods, payment options and right of withdrawal).

Danger:

Do not use the terms and conditions from your online shop. Due to the other contractual relationships, these are not transferable! Never just copy someone else's terms and conditions, because terms and conditions can also be protected by copyright. In addition, you can never be sure whether the copied terms and conditions are legally secure.

A cancellation policy is mandatory when selling on Amazon. This means that you have to inform your customers about your right of withdrawal and store the cancellation policy in your Amazon shop. The same applies to the imprint.

The problem is that there is hardly any space or storage options for legally secure texts in the Amazon Marketplace. In some cases, retailers have to be very creative in order to accommodate all legal requirements.

Here you can find more information on how to incorporate the necessary information into your Amazon shop in a legally secure manner:

Data protection (GDPR)

Those who sell through Amazon (unfortunately) cannot shift their obligations under the GDPR on to Amazon. Because everyone who processes personal data is obliged to data protection. And that is what you do as an online retailer. Therefore, all obligations of the GDPR also apply to Amazon sellers. You can find out what these are and what you as an Amazon retailer have to consider in terms of GDPR here.

Infringements: Copyright and Trademark Law

The “classic” risks that online retailers can face in their business are of course also a danger at Amazon: Violations of the rights of others, such as copyright or trademark law. You should pay attention to the following:

  • Never use product images or product videos without a license agreement
  • Product descriptions and instructions can also be protected by copyright
  • You may not simply use third-party logos and brands for your shop without permission

Unfortunately, when it comes to copyright, a retailer on Amazon is not even off the hook if he has done everything right himself. Because in 2016 a ruling by the Cologne Regional Court caused a shake of the head. This had decided that a retailer must be liable for copyright infringements by Amazon (Cologne Regional Court, judgment of June 16, 2016, Az: 14 O 355/14).

Product liability

Regardless of whether you manufacture your products yourself or, as a so-called quasi-manufacturer, simply label them with your logo / brand and resell them: You have the same obligations as the actual manufacturer of the products and you are also liable for all damage caused by your product caused. As an Amazon retailer, you should therefore know the most important regulations on product liability. You can find information on this in our article: Product liability for online retailers: How to protect yourself properly.

Excursus: Amazon as a competitor?
In addition to these risks, which every web shop operator was already more or less aware of, there is one more thing that many are probably not aware of: Once you are successfully represented on Amazon, Amazon can quickly become your biggest competitor and yours "Tear business under the nail." Because Amazon sells many items itself and is constantly looking to expand its own product range. And because - when you use Amazon FBA - you hardly have any contact with your customers yourself, it is easy for Amazon to enter your segment. Amazon then often tries to purchase successful products from the manufacturer and to sell them itself.

 

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Current verdict on the button solution

A judgment of the Munich Higher Regional Court of January 31, 2019 (Az: 29 U 1582/18) on the so-called button solution will unfortunately become another problem for Amazon sellers. Why is? The so-called button solution has been in place for online retailers since August 2012. In this context, they are obliged to inform the consumer on the last order page, shortly before he clicks on the order button, again in detail about which products he is ordering and at what price. And the dispute revolved around this final order page from Amazon. The competition center was of the opinion that it did not meet the requirements and took it to court. Both in the first instance and now in the appeal proceedings, the courts decided against Amazon.

The problem with the judgment: It not only has a direct effect on Amazon, but also on all Amazon sellers! Because they also use the Amazon checkout page for their sales via Amazon and this is illegal according to the judgment of the Munich Higher Regional Court. And here again the same problem: The retailers have no influence on how Amazon designs its final page, but can still be held accountable.

All tips for a successful start on Amazon in our video:

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This is how Amazon retailers protect themselves properly

If you want to learn more about the risks of online retailers and want to know how to properly secure your Amazon business, then this video is for you! In an interview with Bastian Kunkel from "Versicherungen mit Kopf", exali.de founder Ralph Günther explains what is important:

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If you as an online retailer worry less about the multitude of risks and want to concentrate more on your business, then you can rely on the webshop insurance from exali.de. It offers protection in the event of warnings and legal violations, a legal protection function (so-called passive legal protection) and product liability insurance (freely selectable). This means that your eCommerce business is completely secured, regardless of whether you operate your own web shop and / or sell via marketplaces such as Amazon & Co.