How to sell on Amazon

Schelto Witsen Elias, October 2021

Are you selling a product? Then no doubt you’ve considered selling through Amazon as well, or it’s on your to-do list. Not a bad idea, although it’s easier said than done. In the Netherlands we know bol.com. Nothing but praise for this online marketplace, but Amazon is a tad stricter. And, not unimportantly, 80 times larger. How can you sell through Amazon? Schelto, managing director of DivisionM, explains.

Back to 1994

Once upon a time, Amazon began as an online book retailer. Anyone who wanted to order a book had to go to Amazon, because they had the longest list of available books. Soon Amazon realized that they should not limit themselves to books, with all the consequences. Now Amazon is the largest online marketplace. You can still go there for a good book, but chances are you’ll throw a lot more into your shopping basket while browsing.

In addition to selling products, Amazon also focuses on the distribution market, so that all those products arrive at your doorstep as quickly as possible. Amazon also rents out servers, offers a streaming service and knows everything about algorithms. You name it, Amazon has it, does it or sells it.

Vendor or Seller?

Back to the beginning. How can you become part of the big Amazon? How do you ensure that consumers also choose your products on Amazon? In short, that depends on the stage your company is in. You can choose between two strategies: Seller and Vendor. Anyone can become a Seller, but you only become a Vendor after you have been invited.

Bonnet shop

A simple example. You make hats and you’d like to sell them. You set up the place online and wait for that first generous buyer. After a while you get a hit and see one of your hats say ‘sold’. You get the amount you sold the hat for, minus a 15 percent “agency fee. That goes to Amazon for using the platform. You are now officially a Seller.

Brush well

Another example. You have a large company and you sell the brush heads of an electric toothbrush. Amazon is interested in this and buys a bulk of 10,000 brush heads from you. You make sure that the bulk is delivered to a warehouse (Amazon has 100 warehouses in Europe) and do nothing else. Amazon sells your brush heads. You don’t know to whom and for how much, but they are sold. You are now a Vendor.

Amazon is strict

So the stage your business is in is important for the choice you make. As a home knitter you will not easily become a Vendor, but you will quickly become a Seller. Still, selling through Amazon cannot be compared to selling through a marketplace like bol.com. Amazon is strict. If you send a hat too late, you get a warning. If you commit a second offense, you’re out.


DivisionM can help you (and your colleagues). We support, give advice or take over the whole thing. One last (golden) tip from me for you: make time. Selling successfully on Amazon is a time-consuming task.

Want to know more about Amazon? Leave a comment! We may write about it in a future article.

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