Australian Export Council Webinar Q&A
In this month’s ‘Selling Successfully on Amazon‘ webinar hosted by the Australian Export Council, the question was asked:
I’ve been approached by Amazon to sell directly from Australia. Can you tell us about the tricks and traps, and is it possible?
It is indeed possible now to sell on Amazon directly from Australia. Whether it’s the best way to represent your product to Amazon shoppers is a different question.
There are a number of ways for your products to be sold on Amazon, each with advantages and disadvantages, and it’s not uncommon for different departments of Amazon and their associated agents and partners to promote competing alternatives.
The Amazon retail division, for example, operates like a big department store with category buyers in each department. It is flattering to be approached by a category buyer, with the promise of your products being ‘featured’ in their department. This would be the conventional approach to dealing with Amazon as you’d deal with any other stockist, and it’s not the wrong thing to do. But there are disadvantages:
- The buyer dictates which of your products will be stocked.
- You lose control of price. Amazon’s pricing policy means discounting will be inevitable.
- An onerous vendor contract.
- You must commit to weekly stock replenishment, no matter how small the quantity.
Alternatively you may be encouraged to list your products on Amazon through one of the Amazon ‘global selling’ initiatives, the idea being that you dispatch orders from Australia. This does give you control of price and control of which of your products are offered for sale to Amazon shoppers. But there are some things to be aware of.
- Delivery charges are the #1 obstacle to selling online in the USA, and Amazon shoppers like free delivery, but delivery from Australia can be expensive. If you build the handling and delivery cost into your selling price, your products might be prohibitively expensive.
- Amazon shoppers are used to guaranteed 2-day delivery. How do you guarantee that when delivering internationally?
- Your products won’t be eligible for the Amazon Prime loyalty programme. Most of the best customers are Prime members and buy mostly Prime-eligible products.
In summary, selling to an Amazon buyer means giving up too much control, and selling on Amazon from Australia isn’t likely to reach as many customers as you might expect.
This is why ExportX takes a different strategy, shipping products to the USA so that we can offer the fast, free delivery that customers expect, and retaining control of product range and pricing.