Whether you sell makeup, hair products, or perfume, selling beauty products on Amazon can be one of the most challenging undertakings an Amazon Seller can face. Beauty products fall under the ‘Beauty & Health’ category, which encompasses a lot more than just beauty products. This category includes not only beauty products like skin care products, cosmetics, and men’s grooming products, it also includes vitamins and supplements, and health, household, and baby care items.
Amazon breaks down beauty products into the following subcategories:
Historically, those who already have an established brand are usually the ones selling beauty products on Amazon. Whether they are a beauty industry professional and have thorough knowledge about which beauty products sell well, or are an experienced seller in other product categories that already has connections to manufacturers or suppliers, having experience and relationships tends to help those selling in the beauty category. That’s not to say someone who is a newer Amazon Seller can’t also sell in this category, but more-established brands tend to perform better. It will just take more work in order to check all of the necessary boxes to ensure success.
In order to get started selling beauty products on Amazon, you’ll first need to have products made by a private label cosmetics supplier. But first, make sure you know what beauty products you are and are not allowed to sell on Amazon. Check out this page to see what kind of beauty products are prohibited on Amazon.
To get started, define what kind of products you want to sell, identify the key features and outline what you’ll need from your supplier. Have a set of requirements for your products like certain ingredients you do or do not want included, whether or not you want organic products, etc.
You can Google ‘private label cosmetics USA’ to find suppliers. You’ll want to ask the following questions of any suppliers you are considering:
- Are they approved by the FDA?
- Will they print labels and packaging?
- What is the minimum you must order?
- What fees do they charge for labels and packaging?
- How long is the turnaround time for new orders and reorders?
Most suppliers will be able to cover a wide range of products from completely customizable makeup to full skincare. You can usually mix and match based on what you want your brand to offer.
You may be able to find answers to a lot of your questions right on suppliers’ websites before starting to contact them. Look to see if they state the order minimum or how their order process works. This can help you quickly eliminate suppliers who aren’t a good fit for your brand. You can further refine your search by adding keywords from your list of requirements like organic or cruelty-free to help pinpoint the best supplier for your brand.
It’s important to point out that you will likely find many international suppliers, based in places like China, who will offer lower pricing. These imported cosmetics may not meet the requirements and other standards for purity. If you do choose to use an international supplier, you may face customer complaints, products that are of varying quality, and even lawsuits. But don’t worry, there are numerous US or Canadian-based suppliers you can use so you really shouldn’t even take the risk.
Once you select a few suppliers to further investigate, you’ll want to request samples to make sure you’re comfortable with the quality of products. Most suppliers offer sample kits at a low-cost or allow you to choose single samples to order. This will require some money, but it’s important to analyze the products in-person before making the decision. You can attend trade shows to get lots of samples all at once from multiple suppliers, often they’re even free.
Thoroughly review each sample, having other give their opinions too. If you have a salon or spa, ask customers for their feedback on which ones they like best and would purchase. You could also get some of your friends and/family and ask them what they think. Feedback is key. You want to know if people are likely to purchase, so get as much feedback as you can!
Once you’ve narrowed down the supplier and you’ve placed your order, you’ll need to conceptualize your branding. This includes your brand name, logo, packaging, etc. You can see if your supplier will provide you with free photos of your branded products once you have decided on a logo design. These photos will be important for your Amazon product listings. If you need help with design work, check out Fiverr for inexpensive graphic designers or see if your supplier offers design services.
While you are waiting for your products to be made, if you haven’t already set up your Amazon Seller account, you should definitely do that now. You can see how to set up a Professional Selling account on Amazon here.
Amazon used to gate the beauty category, but back in 2017, they quietly ungated it. This is important because now you don’t have to go through a laborious process for selling beauty products on Amazon along with signing up as a seller too. However, they did make two subcategories that do require an application process. Luxury Beauty and Professional Beauty categories are exclusive and are where the ‘real’ selling happens. Brands outside these categories may find it harder to gain exposure and sales, but it is still possible! If you do want to go after those two categories, here’s what you need to know.
Amazon says that the Luxury Beauty category is for “top brands to offer you a wide range of high-end products for women and men.” That’s fairly broad and leaves Amazon the room to expand the category as they see fit. You can find brands in this category like Elizabeth Arden and Butter London. These brands are usually easily associated with luxury, but there are also other high-quality but lesser-known brands too. There are no outlined guidelines that have been made public for brands to follow in order to be welcomed into this exclusive category, so sadly for now it’s a guessing game. Once you’ve established an awesome, high-quality array of products for your brand, give it a shot and see what happens.
Professional Beauty is defined by Amazon as “…a selection of high-quality products that can be found in professional settings such as salons, spas, and dermatology offices.” This category is made up of products that your hairstylist would have in their salon, or that you’d see a professional makeup artist using.
The key to getting into these categories is to become a brand that is getting attention and selling well, either in the retail space or in the ungated beauty category on Amazon. You should focus on gaining a following. Tell a story with your products that will stand out to customers. Try to differentiate your brand and products from other brands selling beauty products on Amazon. Make honest and accurate claims about your products. Customers who buy beauty products are honest reviewers, so they won’t hesitate to call you out for dishonesty or bad advertising. Pay close attention to your packaging design and make sure to keep it current. It should look like it belongs in the gated categories, meaning it should look luxurious and/or expensive. Make sure you’re packaging is compliant with Amazon’s guidelines and is labeled according the FDA’s guidelines for cosmetics too.
You can also utilize Amazon’s PPC advertising in order to boost your products in search results. This can greatly improve your sales and brand awareness. It can also lead to reviews and a customer following. Using ad automation and optimization can help even more, by saving you time and money. On average, Sellozo customers save 8-10 per workweek and increased profit by 28% by using Sellozo’s fully-automated platform for their Amazon ads. You can sign up for Sellozo by clicking here.