Amazon Seller Misunderstandings
Throughout our extensive experience working with numerous Amazon sellers, we have consistently observed common areas for improvement, irrespective of the sellers’ expertise or level of achievement. These are often seemingly minor details that are easily overlooked but possess substantial potential to enhance the overall performance of your Amazon account. We believe it is crucial to highlight these often missed opportunities and ensure that you are not inadvertently limiting your success. So, let’s delve into these key details together to ensure that you are maximizing your potential and optimizing your Amazon selling experience.
Two Offers On An ASIN
Amazon provides sellers with the flexibility to have two separate offers in the same condition on a single ASIN. This means that a seller can have both an FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) offer and a non-FBA offer, both in the same condition. Furthermore, if the seller offers used products, each condition of the used product can also have an FBA and non-FBA offer.
While managing these dual offers on the same ASIN requires a careful naming convention to keep track of them effectively, this approach offers significant advantages. It allows sellers to leverage the benefits of FBA while having a backup merchant-fulfilled offer in case their FBA inventory is not replenished on time.
It’s important to note that an FBA offer generally has a better chance of winning the buy box compared to a non-FBA offer. However, an in-stock non-FBA offer presents a much greater opportunity for sales compared to an out-of-stock FBA offer.
If you have the capability to offer merchant-fulfilled products alongside FBA, it is advisable to maintain reserve inventory, particularly for your best-selling items. This way, you can fulfill orders yourself when the FBA inventory sells out faster than you can replenish it. This strategy ensures that you can continue meeting customer demand and maximize sales opportunities in situations where FBA inventory may be temporarily unavailable.
Amazon’s Brand Registry Tool
Offering the ability to secure and control product feed content even if you are not the manufacturer of the brand. By obtaining a signed letter from the brand owner, typically the manufacturer, granting you permission to manage their listings’ content on Amazon, you can leverage the power of the Brand Registry team to gain control and safeguard your brand’s integrity.
With this permission, you can effectively manage and lock down the content of the listings associated with the brand. This ensures that you won’t encounter any unpleasant surprises of unauthorized changes to the listings that do not align with your preferences. Many resellers have successfully built their Amazon businesses by persuading brand owners to provide them with these letters, enabling them to proactively protect and manage the brand equity of various brands on Amazon. By ensuring accurate and comprehensive content for the brand’s listings, you contribute to enhancing the overall customer experience.
Furthermore, these opportunities to assist brands in managing their brand equity on Amazon can often lead to exclusive or semi-exclusive sourcing relationships for the Amazon channel. Establishing trust and demonstrating your commitment to upholding the brand’s reputation can result in mutually beneficial partnerships, providing you with a competitive edge and access to unique sourcing opportunities.
Listing Quality and Suppressed Listing Report & Category Listing Reports
The Listing Quality and Suppressed Listing Report, along with the Category Listing Reports, are invaluable tools within the Inventory Reports section, empowering sellers to diagnose why their listings may not be appearing in relevant search results or browse results. These reports enable sellers to identify missing or incorrect data in their product listings, providing clear guidance on areas that require attention and improvement to enhance visibility and performance.
The Listing Quality report sheds light on common listing issues shared among all sellers on a particular listing. By identifying these issues, sellers can prioritize their efforts to rectify and update the listing, ensuring it meets the necessary standards for optimal visibility and discoverability. On the other hand, the Category Listing Report focuses on the data contributed by the seller on each listing, including generic keywords and product tax codes. This report serves as a valuable resource for identifying any gaps or missing information that demand the seller’s attention, allowing for targeted improvements.
Avoid Long Term FBA Storage Fees
It is crucial to pay attention to long-term FBA storage fees if you utilize FBA for inventory storage. Once your inventory has been stored in Amazon’s fulfillment centers for more than 6-12 months, you become liable for these long-term storage fees, which can be significantly higher than short-term storage fees. To proactively manage these fees, utilize the “Recommended Removal” report available in the REPORTS section of Seller Central. This report highlights items that are currently incurring or are about to incur long-term storage fees, enabling you to take appropriate action.
If you lack storage alternatives to FBA, a cost-effective approach is to temporarily pull the units out of FBA and have them returned to you. By immediately sending them back to FBA, the clock resets, and you can avoid additional long-term storage fees. While this process may involve some inconvenience, it can save you substantial expenses in the long run. Alternatively, consider evaluating the option of discounting the inventory to accelerate its clearance before incurring long-term storage fees.
By leveraging these reports and strategically managing your inventory, you can optimize listing quality, mitigate long-term storage fees, and maximize your selling potential on the Amazon marketplace.
The Importance Of List Prices
Recognizing the significance of list prices is often overlooked by sellers when creating listings, but understanding their impact is crucial. The list price field plays a vital role in determining the buy box winner, even if you are selling your offer at the list price. It’s essential to grasp that list price data is utilized in the calculation process.
If every seller has a price that exceeds the list price by more than 10-15%, Amazon is likely to refrain from awarding the buy box to any seller. This precautionary measure aims to prevent the reward of apparent price gouging behavior. Conversely, if you are selling below the list price, ensure that customers can see the list price as it helps to demonstrate that your price is a compelling deal for them.
Customers often lack strong reference points to determine what constitutes a fair price for an item, and the list price acts as a ceiling for them. Some sellers may artificially inflate the list prices to show that they are offering significant discounts below the list price. However, it’s important to note a couple of key considerations. Firstly, if you notice incorrect list prices on your ASINs, you can file a ticket with Seller Support, providing manufacturer evidence of accurate list prices, and request corrections. Secondly, if your product is no longer available from the manufacturer, you can submit a different type of ticket to Seller Support, requesting the removal of the list price. This step is particularly relevant when selling items like collectible toys, where the concept of list price becomes obsolete due to the lack of current wholesale sourcing availability.
In both cases, when contacting Seller Support, ensure you provide manufacturer evidence of the list price or the absence of current sourcing availability. This will facilitate the resolution of any discrepancies and help maintain accurate and appropriate pricing information on your listings, ultimately enhancing your buy box eligibility and customer perception of your offers.
The Importance Of Proper Classification
Recognizing the importance of proper classification is vital when creating new ASINs on Amazon. Taking the time to accurately classify your items can significantly impact their discoverability and visibility to potential customers.
Amazon utilizes a browse tree structure that allows you to place your item in the most specific product node, ensuring it appears in relevant high-level node searches as well. Regrettably, many sellers underestimate the significance of proper classification and end up missing out on opportunities for their products to appear in customer search results.
To assist sellers in this process, Amazon provides a useful classification tool within the “Create A New Product” workflow. We strongly encourage you to utilize this tool and invest the necessary time to correctly classify all of your items during the listing creation process.
By examining the Category Listings Report, you can review the Item Type Keyword associated with each of your items. Although the Item Type Keyword contribution may not reflect the current active listing information, it serves as a starting point to assess and improve your product classification efforts.
By ensuring that your items are classified accurately and placed in the appropriate browse nodes, you can enhance their visibility, improve search relevance, and increase the chances of attracting potential customers. Proper classification plays a crucial role in maximizing your products’ exposure and ultimately driving sales on the Amazon platform.
State Sales Tax Registration
Understanding the importance of state sales tax registration is crucial for sellers on Amazon. We have witnessed numerous sellers who failed to register for state tax collection and were confronted with unexpected tax bills at the end of the year, resulting in unaccounted liabilities.
To simplify the process of managing state tax obligations, Amazon offers the option to collect state tax on behalf of sellers who provide their state tax ID numbers. By utilizing this service, sellers can easily track and determine their state tax liabilities through the comprehensive reporting provided by Amazon.
It is important to note that the cost of state tax is not factored into the calculation of the buybox. This means that sellers can win the buybox and subsequently apply the appropriate sales tax to the sale, if applicable.
We strongly encourage sellers to take advantage of Amazon’s state tax collection service as it streamlines the tracking of tax liabilities throughout the year. To ensure compliance with state tax regulations, we recommend consulting with a tax attorney, particularly one well-versed in the intricacies of FBA, if applicable to your Amazon business.
A word of caution: when creating offers on Amazon, it is crucial to assign the appropriate tax code to each item, such as “A_GEN_TAX.” In some cases, Amazon may default to making products tax-exempt, even though sellers are still responsible for remitting state tax. By utilizing the Category Listing report, you can verify the tax status of each of your listings and ensure that taxes are being collected on products where you are liable for paying state tax.
Proactively registering for state tax collection and diligently managing tax obligations not only ensures compliance with legal requirements but also helps sellers avoid unexpected financial burdens and maintain a smooth operation on the Amazon platform.
Positive feedback is highly valued by sellers, but it turns out that Amazon also takes into account the quantity of feedback you receive, whether it’s negative, neutral, or positive. Amazon’s Seller Performance closely monitors the proportion of your total orders that receive feedback. If this proportion falls outside the range of 2-5% of orders, it could potentially lead to issues with delayed disbursements from Amazon.
To ensure a healthy feedback rate, we strongly recommend that sellers implement their own automated feedback request systems or leverage affordable external tools such as feedbackfive.com, feedbackgenius.com, or bqool.com. These robust tools allow you to set your preferences on when and how customers are prompted to provide feedback for your Amazon products.
While significant spikes in feedback are unlikely, using these tools will help maintain a consistent flow of feedback, which is beneficial for your business metrics on Amazon. In the event that you receive negative feedback, it’s essential to review whether the feedback complies with Amazon’s guidelines on acceptable feedback. You can find detailed information on this topic in Sellercentral’s Help section under “What can I do about incorrect negative feedback?”
It’s crucial to remember that under no circumstances should you offer to pay customers for positive feedback or to remove negative feedback. Engaging in such behavior can result in the suspension of your Amazon account. Upholding ethical practices and providing excellent customer service are the keys to fostering genuine and positive feedback from customers.
Deleting Old Listings
It’s important to note that running out of stock on an item doesn’t absolve you from potential complications in case there are regulatory changes related to that item. As a seller on the Amazon marketplace, you have the responsibility for all your listings, whether they are active or inactive.
To mitigate any potential issues, we highly recommend establishing a regular process to remove listings for products that you no longer carry and have no plans to restock. By proactively removing these listings, you can ensure that any future changes in Amazon’s regulations regarding those items will not have any adverse impact on your account. It’s worth mentioning that you can always add back these listings at a later time if you decide to start offering those items again in the future.
Taking a proactive approach to managing your listings not only helps to comply with Amazon’s policies but also ensures a streamlined and organized inventory that aligns with your current business strategy.
Creating new listings with Item Package Quantity data
It’s crucial to understand that once a listing is created on Amazon, it is not possible to add Item Package Quantity data later on. This is a lesser-known fact that sellers should be aware of to avoid potential issues down the line.
By default, if the Item Package Quantity field is left blank during the initial creation of an item in the Amazon catalog, Amazon considers the item as a single-pack and leaves the field blank.
However, problems may arise when dealing with products that are not single-packs or when there are different package quantities available for the same SKU. Without explicitly specifying the correct package quantity, there is a risk of other package quantities of the same SKU being mistakenly combined or competitors incorrectly listing their multi-pack offers on your original listings.
Such situations can lead to customer confusion and dissatisfaction when they receive a package quantity that differs from their expectations. Therefore, we strongly advise sellers to ensure that when creating a new listing, they explicitly fill in the item package quantity field, even if it is a 1-pack, to prevent any potential confusion or errors.
Additionally, for US sellers who also sell on international Amazon marketplaces, it is essential to consider the specific requirements and regulations of each marketplace to ensure compliance and provide a seamless experience for customers across different regions.
The Cost Of Currency Exchange And Wiring
If you are selling on an international Amazon marketplace and relying on Amazon to handle currency exchange and wire transfers to your US bank account, we strongly recommend considering the benefits of obtaining an in-country bank account. This simple step can save you a significant amount of money.
Until March 2015, Amazon charged sellers approximately 3%-3.75% of their revenues for managing currency exchange and wiring processes. However, by partnering with companies like WorldFirst.com, you can easily acquire an international bank account. This opens up the opportunity to reduce your handling costs to under 2%, allowing you to retain an additional 1-1.75% for your business.
Having an in-country bank account streamlines your financial operations and minimizes unnecessary fees associated with currency conversions and international transactions. By taking advantage of this option, you can maximize your profitability and allocate more resources towards growing your business.
And with that, we hope you’ve discovered some readily accessible opportunities to enhance your success on Amazon. At Marketplace University, we want to emphasize that we have no financial interests in any of the companies mentioned throughout this guide. Our aim is to provide valuable insights and recommendations based on the positive experiences our Amazon clients have had with these companies.
By explicitly stating our lack of financial affiliation, we ensure transparency and impartiality in our suggestions. We genuinely believe in sharing useful resources and tools that can benefit sellers in their Amazon journey. So, feel free to explore the mentioned companies with confidence, knowing that their mention is solely based on the positive feedback we’ve received from our clients.
As you continue to navigate the Amazon marketplace, remember that ongoing learning and adaptation are key to sustained success. Stay informed, stay proactive, and embrace the opportunities available to you. Best of luck in your Amazon endeavors!