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How to Sell Your Board Game on Amazon

While we all like to buy games from our local tabletop gaming shop, Amazon’s presence in the board game retailing industry is undeniable. Amazon is a huge marketplace, and its sheer size alone makes it the largest market in the world for board games and card games.

As such, as a board game designer, understanding Amazon is critical if you want to bring your game to a large audience and generate plenty of sales.

Amazon is designed specifically to make selling easy for you, as a product creator. However, it is a big platform that can be intimidating at first, and there’s plenty to learn before you’ll be able to use it to your advantage to sell your game.

The good news is, we’re here to help. From setting up your first listings to understanding exactly how Amazon’s search engine works (helping you get your game to the top), we’ve covered all of the basics of Amazon for board game sellers below.

Got more questions about selling on Amazon (or marketing your game in general)? Contact our team and we’ll answer your questions and help you accomplish your goals.

Reasons to Sell Your Game on Amazon

  1. Large audience. Amazon has an absolutely massive customer base, giving you access to millions of potential buyers worldwide, increasing your reach and sales opportunities.

  2. High degree of consumer trust. Amazon’s reputation for reliability and great customer service builds lots of trust with buyers, making them more likely to purchase from you via Amazon than directly from your website.

  3. Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA). By using FBA, Amazon handles all storage, packing and shipping for your game, as well as customer service, allowing you to focus on the other aspects of your business and ensuring quick, reliable delivery.

  4. Marketing tools. Amazon offers lots of advertising options, like Sponsored Products and Amazon Stores, helping you increase visibility and drive traffic to your listings.

  5. Analytics and insights. Amazon offers highly detailed sales data and helpful insights, which enable you to optimize your listings and marketing based on real-time metrics.

  6. Global reach. Amazon covers many countries, not just the United States, allowing you to port your successful listings to other markets and expand your reach.

  7. Reviews. Amazon’s built-in review system works well, can help you rank higher in the search results, and makes it easy to build your game’s reputation on a platform with a very high level of consumer trust.

How Amazon Works for Sellers

Here are the fees you can expect to pay if you sell your game on Amazon:

  • Referral fee: $0.30 or 15% (whichever is higher). This fee is charged whenever your product sells via Amazon’s marketplace. All products in the “Toys and Games” section pay the same 15% referral fee. Fees may vary for products in other categories.

  • Refund fee: $5 or 20% of referral fee (whichever is lower). If you accept a return for your item, Amazon will refund you the referral fee minus this fee, which is either $5 or a 20% share of your original referral fee.

  • Fulfillment costs. If you use Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) you’ll also pay fulfillment fees for each item you ship. Fulfillment costs can vary based on your game’s size and weight, outbound shipping method and average storage duration. One thing to note is that you can use external fulfillment services to fulfill your Amazon sales (for example, we offer our own in-house fulfillment service in the USA that you can use as an Amazon seller).

  • Advertising fees. Amazon has its own ad platform, which you can use to generate sales for your game and improve its visibility in search. Amazon ads are quite expensive, and it’s often cheaper to promote your game off Amazon by driving traffic from social media.

Amazon has a fee estimator that you can use to calculate an approximate value for how much you’ll need to pay Amazon per sale. 

Creating an account is simple. You can register with Amazon here and access Seller Central to manage your listings. Amazon’s Seller University is an excellent place to learn how the platform works and gain the skills you need to set up listings for your games. 

Selling in Amazon’s Toys & Games Section

Board games fall under the Toys & Games section on Amazon. As a seller, getting access to the Toys & Games section is generally simple, but there are specific requirements that you will need to meet if you want to sell your game during Q4.

Jungle Scout has a great guide to Amazon’s selling requirements in Toys & Games here that you can use to check if you’re eligible for selling in Toys & Games during the holiday season. 

Amazon SEO Tips for Board Game Creators

Most sales on Amazon occur via its search engine. Amazon is one of the largest search engines in the world. Unlike Google, which handles a mix of informational and commercial queries, all of the searches made on Amazon are commercial in nature.

This means that understanding how Amazon’s search engine works and optimizing your product page to show up for specific, gaming-related keywords can be incredibly valuable.

Amazon’s search algorithm is called A9. Unlike Google, which determines which pages are best matched for each search term using a mix of on-page content and links to the website, A9 uses a more broad range of factors to determine which product is best for each search.

These include:

  • Product titles, descriptions and backend search terms (explained below)

  • Each product’s sales history, conversion rate and customer review ratings

  • Each product’s availability (how many units are in stock relative to sales)

By optimizing your product listing to score highly on each of these factors, you can make your game more visible on Amazon. This drives more sales, generates more revenue (allowing you to fund new games) and strengthens your game’s reputation. 

Below, we’ve shared some tips you can use to make the most of your Amazon listing and work your way up the rankings: 

Include Primary Keywords in Your Title

Don’t just include your game’s name — instead, make sure to include primary keywords that act as descriptions for your game. Think about what makes your game special (for example, is it an area control game, or a social deduction game), then include this as a key phrase in its title.

Many people search for specific types of games on Amazon (for example, “worker placement game”). Having your game show up in the top 10-20 results due to a descriptive title can work wonders for getting people to take notice and consider it while shopping. 

Can’t think of keywords to use in your title? SellerApp has a free keyword tool for Amazon that you can use to identify frequently-searched keywords related to board games. 

After you’ve listed the type of game you’re selling, use the rest of the title space to mention its name, list what makes it special, and talk about the factors that make it fun.

Tell a Story Using Your Game’s Description

Craft a compelling product description that tells the story of your game. Describe the gameplay, objectives, and unique features in an engaging way. Try to get into your target audience’s mind and think about the words you can use to make it clear your game matches their needs.

Use this section to connect with potential buyers and give them a reason to choose your game over others. Is your game perfect for parties? Mention it. Is it a great way to deal with boredom at college, or on a plane? Tell them! Describe exactly what makes your game fun. 

Use Keywords in Your Backend Search Terms Section

Amazon allows you to enter additional keywords in the backend search terms section. Use this space to include any synonyms, related terms and long-tail keywords that didn’t fit naturally into your title or description. This helps your game appear in more search results.

Choose High Quality, High-Resolution Images

High-quality images are crucial for attracting buyers. Provide clear, high-resolution images that show different aspects of your game, including its box, its components and its gameplay. Visual appeal can significantly impact a buyer’s decision to purchase your game.

Prioritize Reviews and Feedback from Players

Positive reviews can greatly enhance your game’s visibility and credibility on Amazon. Reviews play a key role in Amazon’s search ranking algorithm, as they act as a direct indicator that your customers are satisfied and your product is good quality.

This means that a lot of good reviews can make your game more appealing to customers, and make it more visible on Amazon. It’s a win-win combination that can drive lots of sales. 

Encourage customers to leave honest reviews by following up after their purchase. Respond to customer feedback quickly, addressing any concerns and thanking customers for their positive comments. This engagement shows potential buyers that you value their opinions. 

Encourage Reviews (Within Amazon’s Terms of Service)

If you’re struggling to get reviews, you can try encouraging reviews. Amazon has strict rules for encouraging customers to leave reviews. By working within these rules, you can get customers to leave reviews for your game without putting your listing at risk.

Amazon’s Guidelines for Requesting Reviews

  • Do not incentivize reviews. Offering compensation, discounts, free products, or any other incentives in exchange for reviews is strictly prohibited.

  • Avoid review manipulation. You can’t ask for positive reviews specifically or suggest that negative reviews should not be posted.

  • Use approved communication methods. You can request reviews via Amazon tools such as the “Request a Review” button in Seller Central. You can also send follow-up emails, but these must be compliant with Amazon’s Communication Guidelines.

  • Be neutral and honest. Any request for a review needs to be neutral and mustn’t put any pressure on the customer. Simply ask for their honest feedback and accept that it will reflect their opinion, not yours.

Legal & Compliance for Selling on Amazon

Safety Certificates Required for Selling on Amazon

When selling board games on Amazon, particularly those intended for children, it’s essential to meet certain safety standards. 

Here are the key certifications and regulations you need to be aware of for Amazon USA:

  • ASTM F963 (Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Toy Safety)

  • CPSIA (Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act)

  • Children’s Product Certificate (CPC)

  • General Certificate of Conformity (GCC)

If your game contains an electronic device, you may also need to get an FCC ID to show that it doesn’t cause electromagnetic interference.

If you’re selling in the European Union, you’ll need to verify that your game complies with EN71 (European Standard for Safety of Toys) and has a CE mark before going on sale.

If your game has markers, powders or other items that may be considered hazardous for transport or storage, Amazon will also ask you for the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) and/or a TRA (Toxicological Risk Assessment) certificate.

Beyond safety certificates, Amazon is really strict about the labeling of your game. This guide goes into detail about the importance of proper labels and barcodes for Amazon and explains how you can check that your items are compliant before shipping them to Amazon’s fulfillment centers.

Intellectual Property Protection

As we’ve discussed in our guide to patenting your game, there are counterfeit copies of many popular games out there. These are usually sold online at 10-25% of the price of the authentic game, especially on marketplaces outside the United States.

If your game sells a reasonable volume, you’ll want to safeguard your brand and stop potential counterfeiters from affecting your sales and reputation. Start by registering trademarks for your board game’s name, logo, and any unique elements of your branding. 

This legal protection gives you the exclusive right to use these trademarks and helps you take action against unauthorized use.

Once you’ve registered your trademarks, you can join Amazon’s Brand Registry. This program provides tools to help you protect your brand on Amazon, such as enhanced reporting, access to A+ Content and proactive brand protection. 

These tools make it easier to deal with counterfeits on Amazon and protect your game against IP infringement.

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– Hersh (Founder of HeroTime)