Nike’s US Revenue will surpass $17 billion this year.
At the onset, selling such a well-established brand on Amazon as third-party sellers seems lucrative.
You get to use the global outreach of Amazon along with its logistical prowess to sell products that already have enough brand power on their back.
It looks like a win-win situation, even if the margins are thin.
But as they say, not everything is as it seems.
Selling Nike on Amazon has its benefits i.e. easy procurements, established markets, high demand, etc. However, you should be aware of the flipside of selling a well-established and highly popular brand on Amazon as well.
Therefore, this article won’t just walk you through how to sell Nike on Amazon but will also shed light on all the crucial details that you need to know before taking off as a Nike seller on the platform.
Before moving to our primary topic of discussion, it is imperative to clear the air about this question. Many people remain confused about the fate of selling Nike on Amazon after the apparel and footwear giant ended its partnership with Amazon after a bumpy ride of two years in 2019.
The short answer is, yes, independent/individual/third-party sellers can sell Nike on Amazon. However, you have to take care of the conditions Amazon requires sellers to fulfill if they want to sell third-party brands. The following section will cover those requirements.
You can’t just pick a Nike product and list it on Amazon to sell it. Nike is one of those brands with the "restricted" or "gated” status on Amazon. So if you want to sell Nike on Amazon, you will have to apply for it first. Once you get approved, then only you can list it and sell it as a third-party seller. Let’s look at the steps on how you can get approved to sell Nike on Amazon.
If you want to sell Nike on Amazon, you’ll have to start your search from Amazon’s marketplace. First, look for the Nike products you may source to sell on the platform. Next, retrieve their ASINs and then use your Professional Seller Central Account to start the approval process. We will use an example to explain the process.
Amazon requires you to either submit an invoice of your wholesale purchase from the manufacturer or distributor or a letter from the brand (Nike) that authorizes you to sell their products. You need to submit only ONE of those documents.
First, let’s discuss the second option.
Can you get approval from Nike to sell their products on Amazon?
Nike generally authorizes and approves third-party sellers and distributors to sell their products. However, it doesn’t entertain the applications coming from Amazon and eBay sellers.
Nike categorically mentions it on its Help page.
So, why does Nike not authorize Amazon sellers to sell its products?
When Nike was in partnership with Amazon, interestingly, third-party sellers of Nike products proved to be its biggest competitors. Nike felt that heat because third-party sellers would experience better traction and sales than the official Nike storefront on the platform. It was hurting Nike’s magnanimous brand, and that’s why they decided not to authorize Amazon sellers anymore.
Nonetheless, you can get around Nike’s permission and sell Nike footwear and clothing on Amazon. You will have to opt for the first option for that i.e. show one purchase invoice from the manufacturer or distributor.
You can’t just submit any purchase invoice to ungate Nike on Amazon’s marketplace. Instead, the e-commerce hub wants you to put forward the invoice document that fulfills these conditions.
Amazon lets you omit the pricing information from the purchase invoice if you don’t want to share it. Also, you need to submit the invoice that shows the buying of 10 or more identical units. You won’t be able to ungate Nike on Amazon if your invoice shows purchasing of different Nike products (different ASINs).
Moreover, make sure the distributor information on the invoice is correct. Amazon uses this information to verify your purchase. Amazon won’t let you sell the products if it can’t reach out or hear back from the distributor mentioned in the invoice. Therefore, it is essential to choose distributors with a good track record of providing inventory to Amazon sellers.
After checking with the distributor, Amazon will get back to you within a couple of days. You will be allowed to list your Nike product on Amazon if the platform doesn’t find any discrepancies in your submitted invoice.
Like gated/restricted products, there are gated brands for which you need prior approval if you want to sell them on Amazon. The above section thoroughly discusses how to get permission to sell a gated brand on Amazon. We have shared the process for Nike and it is similar for other brands as well.
Nonetheless, let’s quickly skim through how you can find if a brand is gated or ungated on Amazon.
Take the ASIN of any product from the given brand and search it on Add a product page on your Seller Central Account. We’re using two brands (Qansi and Adidas) to show you how you can determine which brand is gated and which is not.
You can use this simple method to determine if a brand has gated or ungated status on Amazon.
Selling third-party brands (also known as Amazon wholesaling) is an established norm on the platform. Selling well-established brands with solid goodwill does have its benefits. To begin with, you don’t have to promote aggressively and earn customers’ trust. The brand name will do that for you. Also, it remains relatively easy to scale up and down your venture when you sell other brands.
Having said that, selling brands like Nike on Amazon is not everyone’s cup of tea. Especially if you are a new seller, you may want to reconsider selling Nike or any other big brand on Amazon for these reasons.
Nike and other huge brands on Amazon operate in a very tough space. There are dozens and sometimes hundreds of sellers competing against each other to win the Buy Box for the same product. On top of that, you can’t do much to stay ahead of other sellers since all of you are offering the same product at more or less same prices.
It is Amazon’s decision to assign the Buy Box to a seller while considering various things (account’s health, the price offered, etc). As a seller, you can’t directly influence that decision in any way.
All these factors leave you in a tricky space where you can’t dictate the terms and drive your sales in line with your targeted revenue.
You are not fully in control of product prices while selling brands that are already in the market and sold by multiple sellers on Amazon as well as other channels. Particularly on Amazon, sellers keep the price of branded products low in an attempt to win the Buy Box.
Therefore, you will have to stick to somewhat “predefined” margins and pray that a high sales volume can make up for thin margins.
Sourcing Nike or any other well-reputed branded products is no mean feat. As mentioned earlier, Nike doesn’t partner with Amazon sellers anymore, and you can't buy retail Nike products and sell them on Amazon (since you need to show proof of wholesale purchase).
It means you will have to find distributors that provide Nike products and whose invoices can be accepted by Amazon. All these added steps in sourcing a product become quite thorny, particularly when you want to streamline your supply-chain regimen.
While selling other brands, you can’t build your own name and brand. It is simple as that. Often, buyers don't even look at the seller's name while shopping for famous branded products on Amazon. If you want to make selling on Amazon a viable, long-term business, you shouldn’t sell other brands. Instead, launch your own that is commonly known as a private label on Amazon.
Private Label on Amazon is a venture enrolled in Amazon Brand Registry. Any seller can apply for a brand registry if they fulfill a set of requirements that are not hard to meet. Then, upon approval, a seller can build a brand all alone through their professional selling account while using the logistical and marketing muscle of Amazon.
There are many benefits of the private label over selling third-party brands.
You can easily get a walkover with your private label brand if you have smartly picked the niche and product category you want to operate in. When there is less competition, everyone involved gets a larger slice of the pie.
When you sell products under your own brand, you get better profit margins. First, the sourcing or manufacturing price of private label items is always lower than the wholesale inventory of a big brand. Then, you remain in the driving seat while setting the price of products with your private label. Both these factors ensure that you don’t have to compromise on your profit margins.
After establishing your name in a certain category on Amazon, you can diversify and expand to other sales channels. You can have your retail website and even brick-and-mortar storefront when you already have a successful private label in your name.
We hope that you have found the answer to your question about selling Nike on Amazon. From the above discussion, it is quite clear that selling Nike on Amazon may not be as lucrative as it initially sounds. Instead, launching a private label business and introducing your own products in different niches is a better way to go as an Amazon seller.
ZonGuru’s assorted toolkit has the tools and tackles you would need for all the groundwork and everyday operational needs of running a private label business. From niche shortlisting to product selection and then product differentiation, our toolkit will help you.
Then, you can resolve your sourcing blues with Easy Source and optimization bottlenecks with Keywords on Fire— some of the valued tools of our suite. You can even galvanize and improve your customer engagement by using features from our seller toolkit.
In short, ZonGuru is a perfect virtual assistant that you would need to launch and operate a successful private label business.
We’re confident that our toolkit helps sellers win at Amazon selling. Therefore, we aren't afraid to offer a no-commitment 7-day free trial of all our Amazon seller tool suite features. So, test every weapon in our arsenal and then integrate them into your selling operations.
On top of it all, if you need hands-on help from experts who’ve aced selling on Amazon, enroll in our FREE weekly live training. You will get all the assistance and insights you need to have a flying start as an FBA and private label Amazon seller.
Discover opportunities. Maximize your sales. Grow your Amazon business!