How to Dropship on Amazon

Have you thought about dropshipping on Amazon? It makes good business sense.

Amazon brings in more than two billion visitors each month, showing its strong position in ecommerce. What really matters though is that shoppers trust Amazon, and this trust can help increase your sales.

Starting on Amazon might seem tough at first, but knowing what to do can change that. This guide will give you clear strategies for doing well in Amazon dropshipping and explain the tools you need.

What is Amazon dropshipping?

Amazon dropshipping is a way to sell where you list products on Amazon but don’t keep any stock yourself. Instead, when someone buys something from you, you buy it from a third-party supplier who ships it directly to the customer.

This method is great for people just starting out because it doesn’t require a big investment in inventory. To follow Amazon’s rules, you need to make sure that any items shipped come in packaging that shows you as the seller.

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Although Amazon lets you dropship, you can’t use the traditional dropshipping method, where the supplier sends the product directly to the customer without your branding. You have to ensure all packages sent to your customers are clearly from you, not the supplier.

Yes, it is legal to dropship on Amazon as long as you adhere to specific policies. You must always:

  • Be the seller on record for your products.
  • Identify yourself as the seller on all packing slips and other information included with or provided in connection with your products.
  • Be responsible for accepting and processing customer returns of your products.
  • Comply with all other terms of your seller agreement and applicable Amazon policies.

Scenarios where dropshipping is not permitted include:

  • Purchasing products from another online retailer and having that retailer ship directly to customers.
  • Shipping orders with packing slips, invoices, or other information that includes a seller name or contact information other than your own.

You can read more about Amazon’s dropshipping policies on its website.


How much does it cost to dropship on Amazon?

Amazon’s dropshipping fees range from 8% to 15%, depending on the product type. These fees can significantly reduce your profits, especially if you work with small margins.

The categories with the lowest fees are consumer electronics, appliances, tools, and automotive products. Remember, Amazon calculates fees as a percentage of the total sale price, so the fee amount can change greatly based on the item’s price. Amazon always charges a minimum fee of 30¢ for any product.

If you plan to sell on Amazon, you need to choose a selling plan. The Individual plan costs 99¢ per item sold. The Professional plan costs $39.99 per month and covers unlimited product sales without additional per-unit fees.

Is Amazon dropshipping profitable?

It can be. The average dropshipper sells products at a 10% to 30% margin. If they dropship via Amazon, the platform will take around 15% off their top-line revenue.

If you’re selling at a 30% margin, your net margin after selling a product on Amazon will be 15%. This is quite decent, especially when you consider the wide audience base you’ll be able to tap into. 

Note: Your Amazon dropshipping margins can be higher if you win the Amazon Buy Box, but it’s highly competitive and shouldn’t be something you focus on at the start.

Pros of Amazon dropshipping

In this part of our guide, you’ll learn some of the benefits and drawbacks of running an Amazon dropship business.

No warehouse cost

One of the benefits of having an Amazon dropshipping business is that you don’t need to pay for the cost of a warehouse. Some Amazon sellers choose to make their products FBA (Fulfilled by Amazon). With FBA, sellers ship their products to Amazon and Amazon sends the products out for them.

Vetted dropshipping suppliers

Amazon sources products in bulk, primarily from European suppliers. Suppliers have to meet Amazon’s tight quality checks—items must be durable, genuine, and safe. Only then do their products land a space in Amazon’s warehouses. This approach guarantees new sellers put forth only the best products from their inventory.

Large audience base

Amazon boasts more than 310 million active users worldwide. That means tapping into Amazon as a sales channel can yield substantial returns for your business. Offer the right product at the right price and you could attract a swarm of new customers.

An added perk? The potential to reach audiences your store might otherwise miss. This broadens your target base. You might even uncover an entirely new segment eager for what you offer.

amazon dropshipping benefits

Multiple categories to target 

Amazon has more than 30 categories you can target. So you can sell in as many niches as you desire. With the right products and trustworthy suppliers, there’s no limit to how many categories and niches you can cater to.

For instance, you can sell products in the Electronics and Tools and Home Improvement categories simultaneously. There’s nothing to prevent you from serving multiple audiences.

Cons of Amazon dropshipping

Dropshipping on Amazon can seem attractive due to low marketing costs and more discoverability. But like with any dropshipping model, you have to weigh the benefits against the drawbacks. Here are three disadvantages of Amazon dropshipping:

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Visible sales data

One of the conditions to sell on Amazon is that you must give the company access to your sales data. This means it can see everything from your bestselling products to overall sales performance. There have been whispers about Amazon using such insights to edge out competitors in specific market niches.

Fewer branding opportunities

Trying to make customers loyal to your brand on Amazon? It’s not easy. Amazon’s main goal is to help merchants sell products, not build brand loyalty. This means you might find it hard to establish a name, show your products, and talk to customers.

Limited customization

Another drawback of Amazon dropshipping, and dropshipping as a whole, is the reliance on external packaging. Customers receive products in the supplier’s generic packaging, which can detract from a personalized brand experience. While considering private labeling might seem like a solution, it only hikes up the overall costs.

Difference between Amazon dropshipping and retail arbitrage

Amazon dropshipping means you partner with a supplier who ships directly to your customers. In retail arbitrage, you buy discounted products, store them, and then resell them at higher prices. While dropshipping avoids inventory hassles, retail arbitrage focuses on finding and flipping deals.

How to start dropshipping on Amazon: 8-step checklist

1. Choose an ecommerce platform

As Shopify integrates directly with Amazon, using this ecommerce platform is ideal. Shopify allows users to create an online store and add Amazon as a sales channel, simplifying order management across both platforms.

2. Choose the right products

There are several requirements and restrictions for store owners who want to sell their product on Amazon. 

According to Amazon’s list of eligible stores, you can open up an Amazon store without approval if you’re in a niche like books, computer and video games, electronics, office products, and the like.

Take a peek at Amazon’s list of restricted products to make sure you’re not selling any of them. These items include things like hoverboards and dangerous goods.

3. Create an Amazon Seller Central account

If you plan on selling a high volume of products, it’s best to have a professional account. In the individual selling plan, you’re charged 99¢ per item sold, which can eat away at your margins. With a professional Amazon seller account, you pay a subscription each month, as well as a few additional fees.

To register an account, visit sellercentral.amazon.com. Then, fill out the details Amazon requires about your business, including:

  • Professional email address
  • Phone number
  • Government ID
  • Tax information
  • International credit card
  • Bank account for receiving payments

Amazon seller central dashboard

4. Get approved in your product category

To sell some items on Amazon, you need the company’s approval. For example, if you want to sell collectibles, music, or watches, you must first get permission. Check the list of product categories to learn more.

Even if a category is open, individual products might still need a green light. To check a specific item, browse this list and select “Show Limitations.”

5. Connect your Amazon account to Shopify

After setting up your Amazon account and securing the needed approvals, it’s time to link it to your ecommerce store on Shopify. How? With an Amazon integration app from the Shopify App Store.

These apps form the connection between Amazon and Shopify. With the right app, you can:

  • Automate orders
  • Provide real-time tracking to customers
  • Keep product inventory in sync

Some of the best Amazon fulfillment apps for Shopify are:

Once you install your chosen app, crafting product listings and overseeing sales on both platforms becomes straightforward.


6. Create an Amazon product listing

Once you integrate an app, your dropshipping items won’t directly show on Amazon. To streamline Amazon dropshipping with Shopify, you’ve got three choices:

  1. Connect Shopify to your active Amazon listings via the integration app.
  2. Link a current Amazon listing with your merchandise.
  3. Create a brand new Amazon listing for a new item.

Note: If you’re a new dropshipper on Amazon, you may not be able to create several product listings right away. This is due to the cap Amazon puts on the number of new listings a seller can publish each week. The good news is that as your sales grow, the cap gets higher.

7. Have Shopify track inventory

Make sure that Shopify tracks your inventory levels. This ensures that when a customer orders on Amazon, the product is still in stock. 

Don’t allow customers to order products that are out of stock—this can lead to negative reviews and some extra customer service time you didn’t plan on spending.

8. Start promoting your products on Amazon

On Amazon, promoting your products has its limitations. Still, there are ways to stand out:

  1. Use Sponsored Products ads: Have some marketing money? Think about using Sponsored Products ads. Amazon charges you when someone clicks your ad. This can help more people see your products.
  2. Make your listings shine: Use good product titles and clear pictures. Write simple points in the About This Item section. Remember, customers quickly check many products.
  3. Try social media: You can share Amazon product links on social sites. Make a short video for Instagram. Or, create a TikTok featuring your item.
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    How to choose a dropshipping supplier

    Choosing the right dropshipping supplier can give you an edge on Amazon. While you can compete on price, the right supplier partnership truly stands out. Here’s what to prioritize:

    • Location: Your supplier should support Amazon dropshipping in your region.
    • Product quality: They should offer products in your niche that are as good as, if not better than, those offered by competitors.
    • Fees: Keep an eye on per-order fees. They shouldn’t dent your profits too much.
    • Informative dashboards: A detailed dropshipping dashboard can give insights into sales and order values.
    • Reputation: If other successful dropshippers trust them, that’s a good sign.
    • Shipping efficiency: Your supplier should keep pace with typical shipping times in your niche.

    Bonus strategies for succeeding on Amazon

    In this part of the Amazon dropshipping guide, you’ll learn a few strategies for succeeding on Amazon.

    Win the Buy Box

    Most of Amazon’s sales come from the Buy Box. This means your goal as a dropshipper is to win the Buy Box so you can maximize your sales like the pros. 

    First, you’ll need to have a high seller rating. Many find having a rating above 95% works well for them. 

    Second, you need to ship products quickly, ideally within 14 days. 

    Third, your cost (shipping and product cost total) should be lower than most of the other offers being presented. Having a low refund rate, fast customer response time, and high feedback score also help you win the Buy Box.

    Amazon buy box

    Don’t rely only on Amazon

    Don’t be dependent on sales from Amazon alone. Explore other platforms too. By having Amazon as one of many sales channels, you improve your odds for sales while minimizing risk. 

    With Shopify, you can add other sales channels, such as Instagram, Facebook Messenger, and Facebook Shops to grow your brand’s audience.

    It’s also worth noting that if a customer recognizes your brand, they’ll be more likely to buy from you on Amazon. Be where your customers are. 

    Aim for a 95% seller rating

    Having a 95% or higher seller rating has improved the likelihood that you’ll win the Buy Box. It’s also great because it makes you more likely to appear in organic searches. 

    It’s important to have a high seller rating, as this gives a major boost to earning a potential customer’s trust. It gives your Amazon store a competitive advantage over those with lower ratings.

    Do keyword research

    Just as you’d optimize your store’s product pages for search engines, when you’re learning how to dropship on Amazon, you should optimize your Amazon product pages as well. 

    You can use tools like Keyword.io to find popular keywords. If you run Amazon ads, you’ll also have access to a supply of keywords you can use to optimize your product pages

    Doing this well will help you rank high organically. If you’re running ads, it’ll help you target customers better.

    Make sure you price your products accordingly

    When pricing products for Amazon, there are a few factors to consider. First is the cost of Amazon fees. You want to make sure your margins are high enough that you can afford to pay Amazon’s monthly and other associated fees.

    Offer a better coupon discount than competitors

    By creating an Amazon coupon, you can help encourage customers to buy from you. If you promote the coupon to coupon sites, you can help drive more traffic from those looking to score sweet deals. 

    Just remember that you need to price the coupon in a way that allows you to pay your expenses and remain profitable.

    offer amazon coupons

    Optimize your product titles for user intent 

    Amazon favors listings whose titles are relevant to buyer’s search terms, rather than being stuffed with keywords.

    Put simply, titles that focus on user intent get the attention of people. As such, it’s worth spending some time thinking about what buyers hope to find when conducting searches related to your products.

    Information that matters to buyers includes product attributes such as model, size, color, quantity, etc.

    Here’s a list of tools that will come in handy when you’re learning how to start dropshipping on Amazon.

    MerchantWords

    You can use MerchantWords to view the search volume and data of keywords. The pro plan costs $30 per month.

    FeedCheck

    FeedCheck allows you to view all your product reviews in one place. It’s a great tool if you have a large selection of Amazon products in your store. Pricing starts at $19 per month.

    Sellery

    This tool has repricing strategies to help you win the Amazon Buy Box. It allows you to run pricing experiments to stay competitive while maximizing profits. You can try this one for free.

    FeedbackExpress

    FeedbackExpress helps you get more reviews on your Amazon store. It also helps remove negative reviews so you can keep a high rating on your products and store. Pricing starts at $20 per month.

    How to run an Amazon dropshipping business without money

    Most dropshippers invest money in building their businesses, including expenses for an online store, creating content, and funding advertising and marketing software. However, it’s entirely possible to start a dropshipping business on Amazon without spending any money. Here’s how:

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    Select the Individual Seller plan

    Amazon’s Individual Seller plan doesn’t require upfront payments. You pay a small fee only when you sell an item. This way, you avoid initial costs and only pay as you earn.

    Choose suppliers with no upfront fees

    Choose suppliers that don’t ask for fees before you start selling. This arrangement means you don’t pay anything until you make a sale and receive payment from your customer.

    Consider purchasing some products

    If possible, buy a few items you plan to sell. This helps you understand what you’re selling better, which can be crucial when you’re making your own marketing materials.

    Make your own marketing content

    Create your own product descriptions, snap photos, and record video demos using your phone. It’s more work and might not look as sleek as professional content at first, but it saves money. Study your competitors and know your audience well to create content that effectively communicates why someone should buy your product.

    Leverage organic marketing

    Use free marketing channels like social media—Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok—to promote your products. Make content that’s fun and engaging, aligning with current trends to catch the audience’s attention.

    Provide excellent customer service

    Good customer service can make a big difference. Answer questions quickly, solve problems efficiently, and make sure your customers are happy. Satisfied customers are likely to return and recommend your business to others, helping you grow without a marketing budget.

    Dropshipping from Amazon to eBay

    Dropshipping from Amazon to eBay involves buying underpriced items on Amazon and selling them at a higher price on eBay.

    However, there’s a catch: The end user, the one who buys the product on eBay, often receives the item in Amazon packaging. This can lead to confusion or dissatisfaction.

    While this method isn’t illegal, it isn’t well-received by manufacturers. They dislike it because dropshippers increase their profits without the manufacturers being aware.

    So if your aim is to build a reputable dropshipping business, it’s best to avoid this approach.

    Dropshipping with your own online store


    Starting your own online store for dropshipping Amazon products offers an attractive alternative to relying on third-party marketplaces. Not only does it provide increased control over customer service, but it also offers flexibility in marketing and branding, which can pave the way for long-term success.

    Benefits of dropshipping on your online store:

    1. Full control: Your own store means you can shape the shopping environment. Tailor the layout, design, and product pages to resonate with your target audience.
    2. User-friendly design: Platforms like Shopify remove technical hurdles, enabling anyone to craft a store with ease. Plus, you can quickly introduce features that enhance the buyer’s journey.
    3. Cost-efficiency: Sidestep Amazon’s referral fees by owning your platform, thus boosting your profit margins.
    4. Mobile optimization: Navigating third-party marketplaces on mobile can be challenging. In contrast, hosted ecommerce platforms ensure your store is responsive across all devices.
    5. Brand building: Operating an independent store lets you cultivate a unique brand identity, fostering customer loyalty and encouraging repeat business.
    6. Expanded options: With your platform, you can diversify your supplier base, incorporating giants like AliExpress and AliBaba. Additionally, strategies such as ePacket shipping can streamline product delivery, further enhancing the customer experience.

    Still unsure whether to dropship via Amazon’s marketplace or your own store? This video on dropshipping versus Amazon should help you make an informed choice.

    Other options to sell on Amazon

    If you want to sell on Amazon but dropshipping isn’t for you, there are other methods, like affiliate marketing and Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA).

    Amazon affiliate marketing

    Amazon’s affiliate program, called Amazon Associates, lets you promote Amazon products on your website or social media for free. When someone clicks on your link and buys something, you get a commission. The rate varies by product but typically ranges from 3% to 5%. Before starting, make sure your website fits Amazon’s criteria.

    Amazon FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon)

    Amazon has facilities called Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) centers. You send your products here, and Amazon handles the storage, packaging, and shipping to your customers. They also take care of customer service and returns. While FBA saves you time and effort, it does have various fees like storage and fulfillment charges.

    Amazon FBA vs. dropshipping

    Both Amazon FBA and dropshipping let you sell products without needing to store them yourself. The main difference? With FBA, Amazon stores, packs, and ships your products. In dropshipping, a third party handles inventory management and fulfillment processes.

    Getting started with Amazon dropshipping

    Amazon dropshipping holds promise, both for newcomers and seasoned business owners. When you pursue it with your Shopify store acting as the control center, countless tools are available to assist in sourcing, pricing, fulfillment, and marketing. Use the tools and strategies to streamline your Amazon dropshipping journey—be sure to also check out some top automated dropshipping tools.

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