AF239 - Your Amazon Bundle Questions Answered

A little while ago, I asked you guys to submit your top questions regarding bundling, and on this week’s episode, I’m answering the ten most commonly asked of them. First up, a lot of you want to know how to start bundling when you already have wholesale accounts, and I advise that the very first thing you want to do, whether you have accounts or not, is your research. Open up your catalogs and get familiar with what’s out there, what’s available, and what products are bundleable (because not all of them are). Next, you asked about GTIN exemptions (aka UPC codes/ISBN numbers/EANs), and I explain that you don’t need a GTIN for custom bundles, so long as you’re not using branded products, and why that means you should steer clear of major brands. Our third question is on how to handle branded packaging, which I recommend having, both to meet Amazon’s standards and so that your items arrive safely with your customer. I also have some tips on how to create affordable packaging. Then you wanted to know about whether it’s possible to be successful in a niche you’re passionate about—it is, in fact, it’s much easier to be successful in an area you’re familiar with—and if it’s a good idea to order from separate vendors—yes, I recommend never relying on just one vendor for an entire bundle.

Question number six asked how much money it takes to create bundles, and my answer is that it varies—you can put together a five-dollar bundle from the Dollar Store or spend a thousand bucks at a high-end store—and what you really have to spend is time, not money. You also wanted to know what kind of ROI someone new to bundling should be looking for, to which I always respond, go for at least 100% of what you’re selling and use the rule of three to figure out your costs and profit. Next, some people wanted to know how many bundles are sufficient for an initial test run, and I advise starting with at least six, but preferably ten or twelve to make sure Amazon doesn’t mark you as having low stock. And then we have a great question about how customers find your bundles on Amazon, so I explain the various ways customers discover your products and how carefully naming your bundle can improve its search visibility. And the tenth and final question is about whether making up your own bundles is the only way to be successful. To which I say no, it’s not the only way, but it is the best way because—if you do it properly like I teach with the wholesale bundle system—you can eliminate your competition by carving out your own little piece of the marketplace that no one else can occupy.

You can chat more with the Amazon Files and Mommy Income community by joining our Facebook group with today’s codeword QUESTIONS, where you can learn more about bundling, ask questions, and participate in the conversation with other sellers. And if you’re ready to take your business to a whole new level, visit MommyIncome.com/Coach to schedule your one-on-one coaching call today.

This week on the Amazon Files:

  • Wholesale bundles 3.0
  • How to start bundling when you already have wholesale accounts
  • GTIN exemptions
  • How to package bundles when branding is required
  • Can you be successful in a niche you’re passionate about?
  • Using multiple separate vendors for bundles
  • How much money does it take to create bundles?
  • Kristin’s suggested ROI for those new to bundling
  • How many bundles are necessary for an initial test run?
  • How do customers find your bundle?
  • Is making up your own bundles the only way to be successful?

We need clarity to move forward. We need to be able to know that what we’re doing is right, what we’re doing is correct, that we’re on the right track, and that we’re moving in the right direction.”

- Kristin Ostrander

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Quotes:

First and foremost, there’s a step before having wholesale accounts. You could have a thousand wholesale accounts, but that doesn’t matter if you don’t do the work to do the research.”

The best way to create a bundle is to solve a problem or meet a need for the customer. That means you have to know the customer, and you have to know what their problems are and what their needs are, and how you can meet them with product. The best way to do that is to look for categories of products or niches or subject matter that you are familiar with.”

It’s not your typical widget selling, look at the numbers, decide it’s going to sell or not sell at a certain volume and then move on. It takes a lot more thinking ahead of time to create bundles, but once you do, there’s no competition. They’re second to none.”

Amazon gives you reasons why you can get a GTIN exemption, and one of the number one reasons you can get a GTIN exemption is if it’s a custom bundle, which is what you guys are creating.”

You’re not going to go to KitchenAid and say, ‘Hey, can you give me a UPC code to use so I can bundle your stuff together on Amazon?’ They’ll literally laugh at you.”

Steering clear of these major brands that have restrictions like that are going to be your best bet. And never, and I mean never, never try to put something in a bundle that’s on a restricted list. They will eventually find it, and they will eventually kick you off, so do not do that.”

You can’t just put a sticker on a box and call it your box. Amazon wants you to have as close as possible to retail packaging as you can get.”

I actually recommend you use multiple and separate vendors for your items. Why? Because sometimes, one vendor doesn’t carry all the products that you want to have in your bundle. Number two, it’s harder for your competition to try to copy all of the things.”

Overexplaining is better than undoing a problem that could be very costly if it’s made.”

You can even start wholesale for less than $300 with no minimum orders, like, by tomorrow. People have these ideas that this has to be super expensive and costly. And is it time-consuming in the beginning? Absolutely. Yes. I’m not gonna lie and tell you it’s not time-consuming. But everything in business is time-consuming.”

Pick how you want to spend your time because you’re going to spend time. So if you’d rather do it in your PJs, with your laptop in front of your favorite movie while you’re looking for wholesale suppliers, or you’d rather, you know, put on your boots and go outside and go from store to store to try to get retail arbitrage bundles, the choice is yours. But you’re still going to spend time, it’s just how you want to spend that time.”

I would suggest with a whole-case pack of something trying out like twelve or so. Why? Because Amazon wants you to have some stock, they consider anything less than that like low stock.”

Calling your bundle something is really, really important because that’s how people are going to be looking it up. And the way you find those items is finding what those keywords are and what the potential customer would type that in. I use MerchantWords to look at what are the top searches, keyword phrases for those attributes, all those types of things.”

You can be successful by looking at other people’s products and listing under their products. But creating your own means that you’re carving out your little piece of the marketplace that nobody else can copy, that no one else can make, that nobody else can go that way because you did all the work.”

Is making up your own bundles the best way to be successful? Yes. Can you be successful other ways? Absolutely. But that is the way to where you’re not worrying. I don’t have to go in and change my prices on my bundles, like ever. Because I set the price because I’m the only one selling that item, that bundle, so I don’t have to mess with price. I don’t have to worry about that kind of stuff.”

I buy items and work with vendors that do not care what I do with the products after that. So whether I bundle them or I list them on Amazon, or I sell them in eight-packs or two-packs or nothing, they don’t care. They make their money by doing business with me wholesale. And they say whatever you do with our products after this, we don’t care.”

Walmart plays a volume game, they sell stuff dirt cheap, and they make a couple pennies on everything. But they sell millions of products to millions of people every single day. As bundlers, we build our profit in our margin rather than on the volume. So I want to make at least ten dollars per bundle that I’m selling. Otherwise, it doesn’t feel like it’s worth it.”

Related Content:

Grow Your Amazon Business!

Thanks for tuning into this week’s episode of The Amazon Files, the show to help Amazon sellers along their business journey one step at a time with Amazon expert and your host, Kristin Ostrander. If you enjoyed this episode, head over to Apple Podcasts, subscribe to the show, and leave us your honest review. Don’t forget to share your favorite episodes with your friends on social media! Use the codeword QUESTIONS to join us on Facebook. Each week, Kristin hosts a live discussion on how to grow your Amazon business. Don’t forget to check out our website and subscribe to our mailing list for even more resources.

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