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How to sell on Amazon with Printful’s integration

By Nora Inveiss on March 2nd, 2017 - Reading time: 7 minutes

Drumroll, please…. Printful’s Amazon integration is here!

That means you can sell your products on Amazon, and Printful will automatically print and ship your orders. Selling on Amazon means reaching a potentially wider audience and accessing new customers. And Printful’s integration makes it that much easier to get started.

This blog post walks you through why you should consider becoming a seller on Amazon, the ways this integration is different from others, how to get it set up, and extra questions that are probably on your mind.

Should you sell on Amazon’s marketplace?

Amazon is an ecommerce giant – you’ve seen the numbers:

Besides these impressive figures, there are some more practical reasons ecommerce retailers should consider selling on Amazon:

  1. Amazon is a trusted marketplace. You know that customers trust and shop on Amazon, so being a seller there adds legitimacy to your business.
  1. Multichannel selling is a growing ecommerce trend. Meaning you shouldn’t just be selling products from your online store, but also on marketplaces, both online and off. This increases the chances of being found by new customers.

The cherry on top of the cake? The Printful + Amazon integration.

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Our integration makes your life easier by automatically handling printing and fulfillment for your Amazon orders. And with our product push generator, you can add products to your storefront in a couple of clicks (if you’re already an Amazon seller, you’ve likely used the complicated spreadsheet alternative).

BUT – and this is a big but – you should be aware of these things before moving forward:

  • You’ll need to sign up for an Amazon Professional seller plan, which costs $39.99/month. That’s because Amazon requires you to have a Professional seller plan to use their API, which you’ll need for this integration to work.
  • You’ll also have to pay referral fees for each product you sell. The fees depend on the product category and listed retail price.
  • This is a more complex integration compared to other platforms. And Amazon has strict seller regulations. So the setup and maintenance will be more time-consuming than with other integrations.

Amazon isn’t for beginners and it’ll require more time and money to keep it going. It might not be for everyone, but if you’re ready to take the plunge and give Amazon a try, read on and forge ahead!

How to set up your Printful + Amazon integration

Before I continue, let me get this out there: you’re in for some heavy reading.

The Amazon integration is technically dense, and Amazon itself has different rules and approvals for setting up. So this process might not be as quick and easy as our other integrations, but we’ll lay it out in bite-sized pieces for you here.

Now, this first section walks you through how to set up your integration. You can watch the video and follow the steps below!

1. Create an Amazon Professional seller account

First, you’re going to need to create your Amazon seller account. If you’re already a Professional seller – woo hoo! Move forward to the next step.

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If you have an Amazon Individual seller account and need to upgrade, follow the instructions here.

If you need to register for an Amazon seller account, you can do that here. This is where hurdle #1 comes in: it may take a couple of weeks to approve. So sit tight until your account has a green light.

An Amazon Professional seller account will cost you $39.99/month plus referral fees on your sales.

2. Register your brand on Amazon

If you’re selling custom products, Amazon requires that you register your brand. That’s because custom products don’t always come with traditional UPC codes and they need to be tracked in another way.

To do this, click here (you need to be logged in to your Amazon seller central account to open it).

This is what you’ll have to submit:

  • An image of your product packaging with your brand visible on the package
  • An image of your product with branding visible on it
  • A link to an active store/website
  • A unique identifier for your products

Important: When entering your unique identifier, do not select a UPC, EAN, or JAN. Instead, select a unique identifier for each product category you’ll be selling on Amazon.

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Also important to note is that there’s no guarantee your brand registry request will be accepted. If your brand is rejected and you still want to use our integration, you can request GTIN exemption instead, but then you won’t have the option to push products to Amazon through our generator.

3. Register for Amazon Marketplace Web Services (MWS)

This is basically Amazon’s API that allows your seller account to connect with Printful.

  • Go to this page and click on the yellow “Sign up for MWS” button.
  • Click “I want to use an application to access my Amazon seller account with MWS.”

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  • Enter Printful in the application name field.
  • Enter 9922-6479-7369 in the Application Developer Account Number field.
  • Then click “Next” and follow the rest of the steps.

When you’re done registering, you’ll be given an Amazon Seller ID and MWS Authorization Token. Keep that information saved! It won’t be emailed to you and you won’t be able to look it up anywhere later. And you’ll need it to complete the integration, so don’t lose it.

4. Connect your Amazon account with Printful

This is where the integration magic happens. Go to this page and fill out the fields in Step 4:

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And there you go! Your Amazon seller account is now connected to your Printful account.

Setting up your Amazon products through Printful

Next up is adding products to Amazon through Printful. Anybody that’s uploaded products to Amazon via upload can breathe a sigh of relief (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, it’s probably better this way). With Printful’s Amazon integration, you can use our push generator to push products to your Amazon storefront.

But (and this is hurdle #2), there’s one more thing you need to do if you’re selling apparel products, and that’s requesting permission from Amazon to list apparel on the marketplace. You can find more information and request approval on this page.

Once that’s out of the way, you can upload products through the push generator. Watch this video tutorial on how to do it:

Important:

  • It may take a couple of hours for products to sync from Printful to Amazon.
  • It may also take a couple of hours for products to show up on your Amazon storefront after they’ve been pushed.

Setting up shipping and taxes

Another technical aspect you’ll need to take care of is the shipping and taxes.

For shipping, we recommend using Amazon’s default rates. They’re calculated based on industry standards for each product category. Watch our tutorial on shipping settings here. You’ll also have to set your return address – watch that tutorial here.

We recommend consulting an accounting professional to help sort out your taxes. But you can watch the tutorial for setting sales tax and more general Amazon info here.

Keeping your Amazon account healthy

Amazon’s priority is the buyer. It wants its customers to keep coming back and buying more from the platform. So that’s why there are strict rules for sellers – to ensure the customer has a good experience.

If your store’s performance metrics don’t meet Amazon’s standards, they’ll issue warnings and then penalties if nothing is improved. Too many infractions and your Amazon account will be suspended. So it’s best to keep an eye on your metrics before things get out of hand.

You can keep track of your account’s performance by going to the Performance tab.

amazon-blog-performance-metrics

There you’ll see how your account is performing and what you need to improve. These are some of the metrics Amazon tracks:

  • The number of negative reviews for your account or products
  • The number of orders you cancel prior to delivery
  • The number of shipments that are sent out after your promised production time

So do your research. Make sure you understand Amazon’s terms and know what you need to do to follow them. You’ll find more detailed info throughout Amazon’s FAQs and forums. Contact their support if you need clarification.

How will Printful handle shipping?

If you use Printful for fulfillment, you can’t control shipping on your own. You’re relying on us to ship your orders on time, and we don’t take that lightly.

To make this smoother for us and for you, we automatically set the production time for Amazon products pushed through our generator to 6 days. This is on average the longest time it takes for Printful to print a product. So as long as your orders ship out within 6 days, your account won’t get penalized for late shipments.

You can edit the production time by going to Manage Inventory -> Edit -> Production time.

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We don’t suggest changing this, because if you set it to a time that Printful can’t work with, your orders will count as late, which could mean trouble for your account.

Bonus tip: Startup Vitamins manually upgrades all of its orders to expedited shipping. This automatically marks them as priority on Printful’s end, which bumps them up the queue so they’re sent out faster.

Tips to manage your customer support

It’s critical that you keep your customers happy on Amazon. An unhappy customer can leave a negative review, which can lead to account suspension.

Here are some tips to manage customer support on Amazon:

  1. Amazon requires you answer all customer inquiries within 24 hours. So when you get an email, answer ASAP. This increases customer satisfaction and decreases your chance of getting negative feedback.
    If you need Printful’s help, reach out to us straight away. Hop on chat or give us a call at +1 (818) 351-7181 (Mon-Fri 9-5 PST).
  1. Customers are sent requests to leave reviews after they’ve received their products. So it’s important to provide them with the best customer service you can so they’re more likely to leave a positive review.
  1. Provide returns or refunds for all products. Again, you want to keep your customers happy. At the very least, you need a very clear returns policy. And if you sell apparel, provide detailed size charts and product photos.

Ready to start selling on Amazon?

Hopefully this blog post gave you all the tools and info you need to start selling on Amazon. And now Printful’s integration will make it easier for you to manage your orders. Be sure to keep this blog post bookmarked as a resource – you’ll likely have some questions while you’re setting up.

Amazon is a powerful marketplace, whether you sell on it exclusively or simply use it as another sales channel. It may be a steep learning curve, but if you have the time to master it, get started now!

Already selling on Amazon? Share your experiences in the comments!

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  1. Russell Pruitt

    If we connect with Amazon through Printful, does that not bypass our own online stores and related systems, Order and Customer records, etc.?
    Plus … I “get” the time- and hassle-saving benefits of synchronizing products using an application rather than manually, and if someone doesn’t have their own ecommerce site, this may be ” perfect”. But if we do — and offer products not made by Printful — how might your present integration program “block” us from integrating everything we offer through Amazon?

    1. Nora Inveiss Post author

      Hey Russell! Great questions. Connecting Amazon with Printful won’t bypass your online stores and related systems.
      You can also still connect with us if you offer products not made by Printful. Simply hit “ignore” in your Printful account for those products.

      1. Russell Pruitt

        So … if we connect with Amazon via your Printful integration and a Consumer finds our product via Amazon Shopping … they would be routed to our website where, if they placed an Order for a Printful made shirt (or whatever), that Order would automatically be Produced and Shipped by Printful, per “normal” Shopify-to-Printful procedures?

        1. Nora Inveiss Post author

          I’m sorry, it looks like I misunderstood what you were asking. If a customer purchases from your Amazon storefront, then the transaction would all take place on Amazon, no going to your website. So in that sense, it would bypass your online store.

  2. Darius

    Image of product packaging?

    If I only use printful, does that mean a picture of the bag with my logo on it?

    1. Nora Inveiss Post author

      Yes! Printful offers free branding stickers of your logo on the outside of your packages. Go to your Dashboard -> Stores -> Edit to upload.

    1. Nora Inveiss Post author

      If there’s a product that doesn’t have sizing, then we recommend going straight to the manufacturer’s site – they’ll have sizing there.

  3. Dan Vega

    When creating images of “our” products should we be uploading a shirt with our logo on it? I uploaded some existing shirts of mine but Amazon rejected me. This was their response

    “The images you have provided do not clearly show professional branding on your product. Please provide us images that show the professional branding on your product clearly.”

    I don’t have my brand name on all of my shirts so I am not sure what to do here.

    1. Nora Inveiss Post author

      From what we know, Amazon’s approval process is rather subjective, so it depends on who’s reviewing your application.

      We’d recommend submitting a photo of a shirt that does have your brand/logo on it. If you do custom labels for your products, you could also take a photo of your shirt with your logo on the label.

  4. Lindsay

    Hi there,

    Is it possible for Printful to make a mockup generator for the packaging with the brand sticker? I keep getting rejected when I applied to Amazon’s brand and I don’t have a picture of package branding to supply.

    1. Nora Inveiss Post author

      That’s an interesting idea, although I’m not sure it’s something we’ll implement.

      As for Amazon brand registry, I’d suggest placing a sample order with a branding sticker, photographing it, and submitting that.

    1. Nora Inveiss Post author

      That really depends on the keywords you’re going for, and how much you’re willing to invest in your marketing!

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