If this is your first time (or even 2nd or 3rd) learning reading about selling on Amazon, you might be a little confused with some of the lingo that is used. As most industries and businesses do, Amazon has its own language and they expect that you understand it. This page will constantly be update with new terms, acronyms, and anything else that might be able to help you understand what Amazon (or I) am saying.
Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) – This is the service offered by Amazon that allows you to send your product to an Amazon warehouse and allow Amazon to pack, ship, and handle returns on your products, The service is free to sign up for, but does charge a per item fee once an item sells. By selling your items via FBA, you also get to offer customers Prime two day shipping.
Merchant Fulfilled – When you sell an item through Amazon and you send the item directly to the customer, you are merchant fulfilling an order. You will likely see the abbreviation MFN used for any sale of this fashion. Although you do not pay Amazon for their fulfillment service, you do have to handle all shipping, packing, and returns yourself.
Sales Rank – The sales rank of an item on Amazon gives you an insight into how that items sales compare to other items in that same category. For example: Product A might sell 8 units on a given day and Product B sells 4 units. Since Product A has sold more on that given day, it will be given a lower sales rank (sales rank works in reverse order – the lower the number, the better of a seller the item is). Sales ranks are constantly changing and can vary greatly from day to day.
Profit Margin –
ASIN – This is the number that Amazon assigns to all of its products that helps their database determine which listing is which. You can think of this as Amazon’s inventory system. You will need this number for certain purposes, but you will rarely have to go out of your way to get it.
Merchant SKU –
Restricted Categories –
Polybag – Polybags are a plastic bag that is used to protect items from dust, debris, and can also be used to bundle items. Per Amazon’s rules, polybags must have a warning about suffocation and small children (please look up the exact language). Polybags can be self-seal or they can require tape/impulse sealer. I only use self-sealing polybags (I purchase mine here: http://amzn.to/1zS5X6D) I buy the multi-pack so I have a good selection of different sizes for different products.
Inventory Placement Service –
Amazon Seller Account –
Sourcing – Sourcing is the practice of finding items at a low price to sell at a high price on Amazon. These items can be found in stores, online, or through other purchasing situations (wholesale, liquidation, auction).
Scanning – If you are shopping in a retail store, there are apps that you can download that allow you to scan barcodes in the store. Once the barcode is scanned, it will show you information such as list price on Amazon, sales rank, and number of sellers. Although you might look a little weird scanning items with your smart phone, you are able to get valuable information in a snap with the use of these mobile apps.
Deep – If you are “deep” in a certain product, that mean you have a large number of units of the product in your inventory. For example: If I purchase 2,000 of a certain toy, I would be “deep” in that item.