I have been dropshipping on Amazon for over 4 months, even though this isn’t a very long period of time and it doesn’t make me an expert in this topic.
I have acquired a lot of experience based on my own mistakes and observations and I will talk about them in this post so that you can avoid the common mistakes.
Dropshipping branded products
All of my products that I sell are branded, for example I could be selling an ASUS branded smartphone.
Now, let’s pretend I actually want to start selling an ASUS branded smartphone, there are two options –
- Create my own Amazon listing
- Sell on someone else’s listing
Most of the time, the first option should be 99% safe, however if you decide to go with the second route you need to be very careful.
Selling on someone else’s established listing can be very profitable as you’re stealing their customers, but you need to pay attention to the package contents on the listing’s descriptions and check the title of the listing for a brand name.
This is because sellers will repackage branded products under their own brand and when they see you’re stealing their competition they will start sending you threatening emails, usually in Chinese to take your offer off their listing.
I ignored these messages until I found out if you sell a product on someone else’s listing and it’s different to what they sell (different packaging with their logo, extra bundled items) and you ignore these threats, the company will make a test buy from you and show proof to Amazon that you’re trying to sell a “different” product on their listing page.
This actually happened to me where I noticed the person who was sending me threats ordered my products and I instantly removed my offers for those listings as I heard stories of Amazon closing new accounts who try to sell “counterfeit” items.
Note: Having a registered brand on Amazon doesn’t mean you can force people off your listing, you have to sell a different product like mentioned above. This is why you need to do your research and don’t kneel to all threats
TLDR; Staying safe while selling branded products on someone else’s listing
- Check for any brand names in the product title
- Do not sell on someones listing if they sell the same product you intend to but with different packaging/extra contents
- Take extra care to check if the item is identical; many Chinese sellers copy similar products
Sourcing branded products from Aliexpress
One day I woke up to around 50 unfulfilled orders, the website I was buying on increased their prices so I had to source my product elsewhere, I found it really cheap from 1 seller so I went ahead and fulfilled all my 50 orders with that particular seller, if only I paid attention.
The next day I wake up to 50 order messages on Aliexpress and around another 50 unfulfilled Amazon orders
The 50 orders from Aliexpress I did the previous day from 1 supplier who turned out to be selling a counterfeit version of my product had to be cancelled and re-ordered, doubling my work as I had to rush to fulfill my other orders.
Pay attention to the titles, if the product title doesn’t contain the word “Original”, stay away from it even if the price looks like a good deal.
In my case I consider myself lucky that the supplier notified me of this as if they didn’t and my customers received counterfeit products I would be in very big trouble.
When ordering products through Gearbest always make sure you put something like “Dropshipping, no invoices please” in the order note so that Gearbest ships your order without an invoice.
On Aliexpress you’re dealing with different suppliers that’s why I always leave the same note in the order and message the seller after the order is placed notifying them not to include any invoices because what if they miss the order note and send and invoice, you don’t want your customer to receive an invoice because seeing the actual price of the product is only half of the problem, if they complain to Amazon you might get suspended as you cannot include other retailers invoices with your orders.
Amazon Seller Metrics
Always watch your seller metrics as Amazon has their own standards that you need to abide by, try not to cancel orders as having a high cancellation rate can lead to suspension, instead dispatch the order and refund it, keep in mind that you won’t get all your money back this way as Amazon keeps 5% of the fees you paid them after the order went through.
Amazon doesn’t let you disburse money made from sales daily, unless you get a lot of orders daily ( I think once I hit 20 orders a day I was able to withdraw daily) meaning you will have to wait 14 days after the expected order delivery date to withdraw your money, this is done by Amazon so the customer has time to see if they are satisfied with the product and you don’t run off with the money.
This means you need to have some money saved up in your bank account if you want to keep up with the orders, depending on the cost of your product and margin.
One day I woke up to a lot of orders and after fulfilling half of them I couldn’t process any more payments because I didn’t have any more money as my bank takes time to process pending payments, I didn’t notice beforehand. Luckily I had some cash saved up and I ran to the bank to deposit the money and continue with my orders.
This is taken from my US Amazon account, this is money for orders that were made over a month ago and I’m still waiting to be able to withdraw the money.
Amazon account suspension
Always have fresh bank statements at hand as I was suspended once and Amazon wanted more information from me, also if you’re dropshipping there is the danger of not having any invoices, luckily I bought some of my own stock before and I had an invoice, however Amazon might not need that from you.
You will have to open a business/self-employment once you start selling what Amazon considers “more than an individual seller” ( this is also usually once you start nearing the 15k disbursement limit on amazon eu) , that’s what I was told in an email from Amazon after my account was suspended again, which was quite stressful.
Have any questions?
Feel free to contact me through my blog or email me at email@example.com