Sidestep the Competition with Product Bundles

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.

Start Listing

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!

+JD Aspinall

20 Comments

  1. trevor

    where do you put the upc codes? on bag? if you put all products in poly bag, where does upc code go?

    • UPC codes should go on the products’ packaging, just like on any item you buy in a store.

      If everything is going in a poly bag, I’d put the barcode on the bag.

  2. marc

    do you know if you’re able to bundle a physical item with an instant video that has electronic delivery?

  3. Jefmaf

    Very informative. Thank you

  4. Roberta

    Can you explain where you put the FBA labels and where you put the new purchased barcode on a bundle? Does the FBA label go on every single old barcode? Is only one new (purchased) barcode put on the sealed bundled bag?

    • You’ll need to package the bundle together in some way (bag, box, etc.) Then put the FBA labels on that containing package. I’d also recommend that you cover the labels on the individual products as well as place a label on the containing package that says, “Sold as a set.” That way, an overzealous Amazon employee won’t rip open your package and split your bundles!

  5. AK

    This is the most informative article on bundling! Een Amazon doesn’t explain step by step, seller central is not helpful. Others just say, you need to purchase UPCs for your category…but how? from who? Do I have to explain what I need it for??
    Your link to buy UPC, yes, it’s just a link but makes big difference for beginners!! Thank you so much.

  6. Geno R.

    Thank you for the information you have shared on this blog.

    Here is the closest example I can use without giving the product idea away.

    Say I want to sell a cup, so I add a straw and a coaster with the cup. Would that be considered a bundle? Or are these just accessories to the main product?

    Are accessories grouped together to compliment the maIn product make it possible to bundle the product? Or should I just sell the “Cup” and add the accessories to make it stand out from the competition?

    Appreciate you taking your time to answer this question

    • Maria

      Hi,

      Thanks for your comment.
      Bundles consist of multiple single items that can each be identified by a unique ASIN/UPC and are sold together as a single offering. A pre-packaged kit or pack with multiple items that is identified by a single ASIN/UPC is not considered a bundle.

      In your case, a cup with a straw and a coaster, should qualify for a bundle. If, for example, the item you want to list is a doll and you add some clothes or hair pins – these are considered accessories.
      Also you can better understand the “bundle” term when selling even from the way items are listed and named when sold as bundles, “Item+bundle with+accessories”

      The correct format of naming a bundle is as it follows:
      FORMAT:
      [Main Product title] + “Bundle with” + [Bundle Component Summary] + “(# Items)”

      EXAMPLE:
      Yamaha PAC112J Sunburst Guitar Bundle with Bag, Stand and Accessories (11 Items)

  7. Ellen Jacobs

    This is great! I have a lot of clearance Easter products I’m going to bundle. Individually, I would have made a few pennies on some of the items. This way, I can boost my sales and help someone looking for a unique gift not available in stores. Thank you!

  8. Hi,
    I came across your post whilst looking for ways to bundle our products!

    Can you give me some basic advice. It may seems like a silly question.

    We already have 500 units of a single product (let’s say Product A) at Amazon (FBA). We have since thought of an idea to actually bundle another product with the 500 to make it higher value and more attractive.

    Is there a way we can ship 500 of product B to Amazon and then create a listing for the bundle? Or do we have to actually package the items together before sending to Amazon?

    Does that make sense?

    Jonathan

  9. Charon

    How do you start selling bundles on amazon and where do you get the packaging from? I’m confused on the signup part!

    • Iulia Talanga

      Hi Charon,
      Thank you for your question. There is actually no separate sign up process. If you wish to offer bundles to your customers, all you need to do is to create a separate catalog page for your offer. You might as well want to review Amazon’s guidelines when creating your bundles.
      You can also check out some examples. I hope this helps.
      Iulia,
      SellerEngine Team

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