If you want to start selling some of your donated items online, Amazon is a great place to begin.
It’s easy to create your own charity business on their marketplace, and they have a huge audience of potential buyers ready and waiting. You’ll be able to get your products in front of so many more eyes than if you just sold in your high-street store.
So how do you start an Amazon charity shop?
Step 1: Sign up to be an Amazon Seller
The first step is to visit Amazon Services and register as a seller. You’ll need a few essential details like:
- Your company registrations details
- Contact details
- A credit card
- And bank details
This is so that you can sign up to Amazon’s seller programme as your charity.
When signing up, you can choose to just sell in the UK, on amazon.co.uk, or sell on all of Amazon’s marketplaces across Europe. Bear in mind that you’ll be responsible for international shipping and potential customs duties too if you choose this option.
A business membership currently costs £25 per month + VAT, and this allows you to list as many items for sale as you want. If you plan on selling 35 items or fewer each month, you might want to consider an individual membership (but you’ll pay 75p per listing that sells).
Amazon’s commission fees are due on top of this, for both individual and business memberships.
Step 2: Decide what you’ll be selling
Next you’ll want to make sure you’ve got a plan of what you’d like to sell. The chances are that as a charity, you’ll have lots of donated items, each and every month.
Do you want to list everything online, or will you just focus on clothing for example, or electronics?
Take the time to research Amazon for similar used items and what they typically sell for. This may help you decide what you’d like to sell.
You’ll then need to decide on how to price your items on Amazon. This can involve a lot of guesswork, unless you use the item valuation feature from eCommerce multichannel software like Shopiago, which will automatically scan all live, sold and unsold listings of your item to identify the best, most profitable price for you to sell it at.
Step 3: Explore your shipping and delivery options
You’ll need to make sure you know how you plan on shipping the items that potential buyers will purchase from your charity.
Can you handle delivery yourself, or do you need some help and support?
You could choose to use ‘Fulfilled by Amazon’, where you send all your items to an Amazon warehouse, and they then handle all picking, packing and shipping. They can even offer support to customers on your behalf, in their local language.
There are additional costs with this service, of course. Prices range from 60p an item to £4.50, and storage costs are on top of that. But, that fee covers all shipping costs, so it can be profitable compared with courier fees and international shipping prices.
It also makes your products eligible for Prime and is likely to make your shop more trusted by buyers – so it could increase your profits.
Step 4: List your products
Once you’ve got your selling plan in place, you’ll want to start listing all the items you want to sell on Amazon.
This can quickly become a very time-consuming process, with so many different fields that require information.
To save time, consider using item listing software like Shopiago. All you need to do is scan the barcode, enter a brief description or take a picture and use smart image recognition software, and Shopiago will find exact match listings of the items you wish to sell.
You can then simply import all the details you need for your listings, without having to manually find all the necessary information.
Step 5: Watch for the sales
Finally, you’re ready to put your items live for sale.
You might want to optimise your listings to give you a better chance of appearing at the top of searches and encourage buyers to buy from you – and not a competitor.
You’ll also need to watch out for any customer messages, to answer questions and queries as quickly as possible. And you’ll need to be ready to despatch items that have sold quickly, if you’re not using ‘Fulfilled by Amazon’.
Good customer service is essential to ensure you get good feedback and maintain a good seller rating.
eCommerce multichannel software like Shopiago can help you with order management and order messaging too. It brings all your customer queries, information and order details into one central place – making it extremely easy for your staff to see, respond and manage.
Getting started with an Amazon Charity Shop is easy, and connecting with Shopiago makes it even simpler.