Note: This is another installment in my ongoing Amazon Fundamentals series. -JD
Updated 10/31/2012: Debra Conrad from ThriftingForProfit.com pointed out an error in this post and also provided a few new tips. Thanks Deb! -Paul
Are you sourcing Amazon inventory from Big Lots, Target, Walmart, Costco or other big-box retailers? So are many other Amazon sellers! Low clearance prices and popular consumer items make big-box stores a hotspot for Amazon sellers scouting for new items. Unfortunately, products found at these stores often have intense competition for sales and thin margins on Amazon. So what can you do?
Take Advantage of Product Bundles
Most sellers don’t know how easy it is to create product bundles. I’m not talking about selling a 6-pack of identical baseball gloves. Instead, I’m talking about selling a package of a baseball glove and a baseball.
Before getting started review the Amazon Product Bundling Guidelines. Some important things to note:
- All items in a bundle must be related and have value when bought together as opposed to individually. No baseballs and board games, for example.
- Bundles are treated as single items as far as returns are concerned.
No books, movies, DVDs, videos or video games.
- Bundles can’t be made in the Books, Movies, DVD or Video Game Categories. However, bundles can contain these products as long as the media is neither the main product in the bundle nor the bundle’s category. (Added 10/31/2012)
- Bundles are NOT multipacks of the same item or packages of variations on the same item. No red bouncy balls, green bouncy balls and yellow bouncy balls for example.
Create a Unique Bundle
Combine 2 or 3 related items to make a package that a customer might be interested in and that aren’t already listed on Amazon as a bundle.
A good trick I recently learned from a seller I really respect is to buy the individual items at different locations. For example, a baseball glove from Walmart and a baseball from The Dollar Store. This makes it tougher for other sellers to duplicate your bundle, reducing competition for you.
Go the extra mile and brand your bundles. Using unique branding can make bundles impossible for the competition to copy. (Added 10/31/2012)
Another great advantage to a bundle is that for cheaper items, they can allow you to reach that magic $25 price point so buyers can take advantage of Super-Saver shipping.
Add it to the Amazon Product Catalog
Since your bundle is one-of-a-kind, you’ll need to create a new product in the Amazon Catalog.
- Take pictures of your bundle. The main product image must be a group shot of the exact products in the bundle. Read our post on Best Practices for Amazon Product Images to learn more.
- Buy a unique UPC. This isn’t as tough as you might think! I’ve heard great things about Cheap-UPC-barcode.com.
- Make sure to include the word “bundle” and the number of items in your product title. However, if the product can be considered a “gift box” or “kit” use these words instead of “bundle.” (Added 10/31/2012)
- Package your bundle for shipment to FBA (if necessary). Bag or box your bundles and make sure to cover any barcodes on individual items.
Once you’ve started listing your bundle, your work is just beginning. Don’t be surprised if other sellers try to copy you. But remember, that their bundle has to match yours EXACTLY. If you see a dealer who isn’t matching your exact bundle, contact Amazon and have their listing removed.
Happy selling and happy bundling!