When it comes to running a business of any kind, there are always tools that can make running that business much easier. Having an Amazon FBA business is no different. When you first get started, I recommend sticking with the very basics to keep costs low. But as your business becomes profitable, I would start adding in new tools to increase your productivity.
Below is a list of our top tools that we can't run our business without now.
I'll break these tools up by what they do, not necessarily the order in which I recommend them.
Services For Your Amazon Business
Inventory Lab is the service that we use for listing products on Amazon. We like to use them to list because we are able to print our labels individually at the time of adding each item to our inventory. Rather than waiting until the end of the shipment and printing them out on Avery Labels.
Another benefit of using Inventory Lab is we can keep track of our profitability for each SKU that we send to Amazon. It's not a full-on accounting/bookkeeping system. So, we don't use it for taxes, just to see how profitable we are as items sell.
We use 3 tools total for all the “money” stuff in the business, and you can see all of the differences here.
The cost for Inventory Lab is currently $49 a month.
Scoutify is the scanning app that comes with an Inventory Lab subscription. The reason that we use this as our main scanning tool when doing in-store sourcing is because there are a lot of great integrations built right in.
This app is very easy to navigate when you first install it.
The cost is free for Inventory Lab subscribers (so $49 a month)
Shipping Supplies / Tools
The Better Pack Tape Dispenser has made a huge difference when it comes to packing our shipments. This may seem like a weird thing to be excited over. But when we use regular packing tape, we usually do 3 pieces of tape across the top seam and the bottom seam. Just to make sure it stays close.
With this paper tape, we are able to just use 1 piece of tape across the top and bottom seam. Then we are comfortable with knowing that it will stay closed.
This is the type of tape that very large companies use. It's similar to that black tape that Amazon uses that says “Amazon” across it.
You can set the dial to the length of tape that you need, and when you pull the lever it will automatically cut that size tape for you. So just pull the lever, grab the tape and seal the box. That easy!
The cost is around $400 for the machine and then about $20 for the rolls of tape (they are very large).
The Dymo Label printer can be used in conjunction with a 3rd party listing service (such as Inventory Lab) so that you can print labels our one at a time, as you add them to a shipment.
Aside from just printing the Amazon FNSKU labels (the one's that tell Amazon the product is yours, that you put on the UPC code during the shipping process). You can also use the Dymo to print out your own “this is a set” stickers, suffocation warnings or even custom expiration date labels. You do these from within the actual Dymo software.
This one printer prints out 1,000's of labels for us every month, and has run great for over 5 years! We've never had to replace it or had any problems with it.
The cost is around $100 for the LabelWriter 450 Turbo.
Scotty Peelers are one of those tools that seem pretty insignificant, but are oh-so-helpful!
If you sell a lot of products that have price stickers on them, then these are a must have tool for sure. You use the Scotty Peeler to get underneath the label, and then peel it off of the box. Almost all of our clearance purchases, Big Lots purchases and Liquidation purchases have price stickers. That means we are peeling LOTS of stickers!
I personally prefer the metal version. But be careful because I can guarantee that at some point, you WILL get a Scotty Peeler cut, and it will NOT be fun. It's like a “right of passage” amongst sellers.
The cost is less than $10 for a set.
Self sealing poly bags are a staple for anyone who does multi-packs or bundles on Amazon.
We used to use shrink wrap film, or open ended poly bags and a sealer. But these self sealing bags save us SO much time. We just add the product to the bag, pull the strip and fold over to close.
This has cut down on time spent closing bags significantly. There are days when we have 50+ packs to get ready.
Also, any products where there is a part exposed needs to be covered. So we get these in very large sizes that work for big toys and things like backpacks. Gotta protect those things in the Amazon warehouse!
The sizes that we keep in stock are: 8×10, 9×12, 11×14 & 14×20.
The cost for a starter pack of 100 is about $25. This will give you multiple sizes to see which ones you prefer the most.
Having a USB scanner on hand for entering the items in your shipment is really helpful. You plug the scanner into the computer, and then when you scan a barcode it acts like a keyboard. It will enter the UPC code into the field that you have the cursor in. It presses “enter” too, so it will move on to the next screen.
This works whether you are using a 3rd party listing service, or listing directly through Amazon.
This is an item I recommend getting in the beginning of your business. The cost is low and it definately saves a lot of time! I know that entering UPC codes doesn't seem like a lot. But when you are entereing a lot of items at once, it can really save a significant amount of time.
The cost is around $20
Browser Extensions / Plugins
Using a cash back service like Ebates is a must in my book. We are already spending so much money when purchasing inventory online, why not get some cash back at the same time?
You can see my full review of Ebates here.
I use the Ebates browser bar / button so that I can instantly be reminded when I am making an online purchase and need to activate the cash back. We have earned over $4,000 in cash back from Ebates.
The cost for Ebates is nothing! It's FREE
Cleer Platinum is an add on to the Chrome browser that makes comparing products super simple. This tool adds buttons onto the pages of many major retailers so that you can easily click to pull that item up on places like Amazon / eBay.
When you find an item on say Walmart that you want to see if it is selling on Amazon, you just click the Amazon button and it will bring up the search page on Amazon with the product already entered.
Then, when you are on Amazon, you can easily click to search other sites. So you can click to compare to Ebay, or check price history in Keepa or Camel Camel Camel.
This also comes with another tool as a bonus that will show if Amazon is selling and the rank/category…Right from the search page on Amazon. So you can quickly see which products meet your criteria, or which search result you should dig into further.
The cost is normally around $97 (one time fee).
The How Many Extension is another chrome tool that makes online sourcing easier. What this tool does is shows you how much stock the current sellers have on the product you are researching.
Say you are trying to decide if you should pull the trigger on 50 of a game. But there is one seller who is really low priced. Now you can quickly see how many that seller has in stock and make an educated buying decision based on that information.
This basically replaces the step of adding 999 to your cart to see a sellers quantity 🙂 And you can see all of the sellers quantities at once.
The cost on this one is $14.95 monthly.
We are currently looking at quite a few new tools and services. Things are always changing in the Amazon space, so we want to make sure we keep you up to date on the best and most efficient ways to run your business.
Fill us in on your favorite tools in the comments below 🙂
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