Bundles are complimentary items packaged together to be sold as one unit on Amazon. If done right, bundles bring convenience to the customer and higher returns to the seller. In past posts, I talked about my intention of doing bundles but I always put it off because I didn’t want to create my own product page. But I decided that I finally need to get with it and I finally made my first bundle. In this post, I’ll share the process that I went through.
Read up on Bundles
Whenever I do something new, I like to have a guide to walk me through it. I think this is especially important with Amazon because you don’t want to break Amazon’s rules by doing things incorrectly. So, I grabbed my copy of the Bundle Basics and Advanced Strategies eBook that I purchased last July. This book is by Debra Conrad and in it she covers bundle topics such as how she comes up with bundle ideas, Amazon’s rules on bundles, creating product pages, watching your costs and how to make your bundle unique. So, there’s a lot of good information in this book. This book was recently updated and now contains videos, but I didn’t realize that I had access to the updated copy & videos until after I did my first bundle.
Find My Bundle Products
As a consumer, I love bundles and I think they’re especially good for beginner hobbyists. Think about it – say for example that you want to learn how to crochet but don’t have any supplies. Buying a ready-to-crochet kit that contains hooks, yarn, beginner instructions, a few patterns and maybe even a storage or carrying case seems a lot easier than searching for the individual supplies.
I have a lot of great bundle ideas in my head (fitness kits, home organizing kits), but as a seller, I need to consider my costs and how easy it is to package a collection of items together. This was my first bundle and I didn’t want to make it too difficult on myself. I didn’t want any oversized objects to ship or expensive objects to lose money on in case I messed up on following Amazon’s rules and the bundle got pulled from my inventory.
So, I went online and researched a few items – mostly in the beauty category – and didn’t have much luck. I was thinking about doing an acne cleanser and acne medication kit or a brush and comb set but nothing really came out of it. I finally unexpectedly found my first bundle items at Office Depot. There were two highly complimentary items displayed right next to each other on the shelf and that’s what I picked. I’m not going to say what my bundle items are but they consist of item A and two of item B. I could have just used one of item B, but I thought it would be extra cool to have two instead of one. The products are tiny and my cost for the three items is $10.81.
A quick check on Amazon shows that both products are sold as merchant fulfilled items:
- Item A: Selling for $7.74 + $5.95 shipping = $13.69
- Item B: Selling for $1.49 + $5.95 shipping = $7.44
- Total for both items: $21.13
Since I’m selling FBA, I don’t have to worry about charging shipping fees. I decided to price my bundle at $21.99. As a buyer who would want both products, their choices are:
- Buy Item A and Item B from a MF Seller: $21.13
- Buy Item A and Item B and Item B from me: $21.99
I believe my bundle pricing is more attractive because for $0.86 more, the buyer will receive two of item B instead of just one.
The Amazon revenue calculator shows that I should make a profit of $4.52 with each bundle. I plan on making more with future bundles, but with this bundle, I was more concerned about learning the process rather than making a large profit. If this bundle sells and I decide to do this bundle again, I can lower my cost by buying the supplies for 5 bundle kits at once so that I can use one of my “Buy $50.00 Get $10.00 Off” coupons to get my products at a cost of $8.81 per bundle. This will increase my profit to $6.52 each. Considering that I can fit all 3 items in a small 6 x 9 inch poly bag, this is an easy bundle to make.
A benefit of creating bundles is that your FBA fees should be less when you package two or more items together to be sold as one unit rather than selling each item separately. For example, I couldn’t even sell item B at a competitive price and make a profit because the fees exceed the value of the product. If I were to sell each of my three items separately, I would be paying $3.00 in order handling fees and $3.06 in pick & pack fees. By selling them as one unit, I will only pay $1.00 in order handling and $1.02 in pick & pack fees.
Now that I have my products picked out, the next steps are to make sure I have a UPC barcode number, a picture of the products and some words that will lead customers to my bundle and convince them why they should purchase it.
When creating your new product page, you need to supply a UPC barcode to Amazon. I bought mine from Leading Edge Codes. It was simple to order from them and I bought 500 barcode numbers for $7.99. About an hour after placing my order, they emailed me 500 barcode numbers. I imported the numbers into Excel and modified the spreadsheet so that I can track which bundle/product goes with each barcode.
July 2016 Update: I now purchase my barcodes through BarCodesTalk.
When doing your product page, you need to submit a photo of your bundle items together with a white background. It’s easier to just show a picture of what I’m talking about:
Amazon has more rules about your image file but I’m not going to list them here. In this post, I show you how to get a white background using Photoshop Elements.
Product Title, Description and Keywords
To me, coming up with a product description is the hardest part and the thought of doing so is what kept me from making bundles earlier. I struggle with naming my blog posts and writing a short description about them so I figured that doing the same with my bundle would be very challenging for me.
As usual, Amazon has rules that you need to follow. For example, you need to have the word “bundle” in your product title. However, I have seen bundles without that word but I would rather follow the rules so that I don’t get in trouble with Amazon.
Before I even started to fill out the “Add a Product” form, I came up with a list of keywords and phrases to describe my bundle. I did this with the help of Karon Thackston’s guide, Amazon Advantage: Product Listing Strategies to Boost Your Sales. In this eBook, she gives great examples and directions on how to research keywords and how to make your bundle/product stand out from other similar bundles/products.
Keywords are important because even if you have the greatest bundle, no one will buy it if they can’t find it. She shares her “quick and dirty” research method on finding great keywords. It’s actually quite simple but I would have never thought of it on my own. She also provides worksheets to help you choose your keywords.
As with the keywords, Karon also goes over how to write great product titles, product descriptions and bullets/features. This is important because once someone finds your bundle, you need to give them a good reason to buy your bundle instead of someone else’s. As I said earlier, I’m not really good in this area and I’m thankful that I had Karon’s guide and worksheets to help me with this. Without it, I would have probably just listed boring product specifications. But now, I’m a little better at it.
Here’s a bad example of describing a Crab Toy Bundle:
- Contains one red and one pink crab
- Both crabs are 4 inches tall
Here’s a better example:
- The red and pink colored crabs will brighten up your child’s playroom
- The crabs are 4 inches tall which makes them easy to take on road trips
Ok, well maybe I’m not giving the best examples, but I think you get the picture. Karon’s eBook will help you describe the benefits of your product/bundle rather than just listing the product specifications. Karon also has a free cheat sheet to help you with your product listings.
Once you have your barcode number, your picture and your keywords, title and bullets/features written out, then it’s time to go to Seller Central to fill out the “Create a New Product” form.
Create a New Product Form
You get to the form by going to Inventory -> Add a Product -> Create a New Product. From here, you’ll select the category that your bundle belongs in. Once you do that, you’ll have the form that you need to fill out:
As you see, there are several tabs to this form and I suggest taking a look at each one of them before starting your bundle so you have an idea of what questions you’ll need to answer. I know it looks overwhelming and complicated, but you don’t have to answer every form field. I’m not going to go over how to fill out the form as some of that is covered in the two eBooks that I mentioned earlier and of course, you can find help on Amazon.
Packaging Your Bundle
The prepping/packaging of your bundle is pretty much the same as with individual items. Old pricing stickers need to be removed and UPC barcodes covered up. You’ll put everything in the same poly bag or wrap them together or do what’s needed so they are all contained in one unit. But once you are done with that, you’ll need to put a sticker on the outside of your bundle package to notify the Amazon workers that the items in your package are to be sold as a set. I use the bright orange “THIS IS A SET DO NOT SEPARATE” stickers.
I hope that this post helps you if get decide to do a bundle. Listed below are the resources that I mentioned:
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Photo Credits: All by Diana Poisson