Starting an Amazon Business: Launching Your Seller Account and Understanding Key Concepts
Congratulations on completing the registration process as an Amazon seller! Now, it’s time to take the next step and launch your business on Amazon’s marketplace.
Are You Ready to Sell on Amazon’s Marketplace?
Selling on Amazon is a complex system, regardless of your previous retail or online experience. In this chapter, we will address several key questions to help you navigate the launch process effectively:
What happens when you launch?
Launching your Amazon seller account is a significant milestone. It allows you to list and sell products on Amazon, opening doors to a wide customer base and potential growth. However, it also comes with responsibilities and expectations as an Amazon seller.
Why is this a significant step?
Launching your account signifies your entry into the Amazon marketplace, where you can start generating sales and building your brand. It marks the beginning of your journey as a seller on this platform.
What is now expected of you as an Amazon Seller?
You are expected to comply with Amazon’s policies, guidelines, and performance metrics. This includes providing excellent customer service, fulfilling orders promptly, maintaining competitive pricing, and meeting performance targets.
Do you launch with the most important products you plan to sell?
It’s advisable to start your Amazon journey by launching with your most important or popular products. These products will play a significant role in attracting customers and establishing your presence on the platform.
Do you launch before getting un-gated in your key categories?
If your products fall into gated categories that require special permission to sell, initiate the un-gating process as soon as possible. This will enable you to take advantage of the “first 30-days free” program typically available to new Professional Seller accounts. If you encounter difficulties getting un-gated, reassess your decision to sell in those categories.
Do you create new listings or match to existing listings?
Decide whether you will create new listings for your products or match them to existing listings in Amazon’s catalog. Check if your products already have unique ASINs (Amazon Standard Identification Numbers) assigned to them. Creating new listings can be unnecessary if similar products already exist in the catalog.
Now, let’s clarify some key concepts that will save you from confusion and frustration:
ASIN: An acronym for “Amazon Standard Identification Number,” it is a unique 10-digit identifier assigned to products listed on Amazon. It is often tied to a product’s UPC or EAN.
Product Detail Page: This is the visual representation of an ASIN, also known as the product page. It contains essential details like product title, brand name, bullet points, product description, images, and seller information.
Offer or Listing: An offer refers to a seller’s contribution to an ASIN. It indicates that a seller has inventory available for sale against a particular ASIN. Multiple sellers can have offers on the same ASIN, allowing customers to compare prices and choose the best option.
Seller SKU: The Seller SKU is a unique code used by sellers to label their offers on a specific ASIN in a specific condition. It serves as an internal identifier for the seller’s catalog management.
It’s important to avoid unnecessary work and delays when adding your offers to Amazon’s catalog. Check if your products have already been listed by searching for existing ASINs. Trying to create new listings for products that already have ASINs in the catalog will likely result in your listings getting matched to existing ones, saving you time and effort.
In the upcoming chapters, we will explore the intricacies of launching your Amazon business, covering topics such as product listing, inventory management, marketing strategies, and more. By understanding these processes and leveraging the existing catalog, you can streamline your efforts and maximize your success on Amazon’s platform.
How to List Your Products on Amazon: Six Common Methods
When it comes to listing your products on Amazon, there are six common approaches you can take. Let’s explore each method in detail:
The “Sell on Amazon” button: If you have a few dozen products to add and you can find them already listed on Amazon.com by other sellers, using the “Sell on Amazon” button is the simplest option. By locating the product detail page and clicking the “Sell on Amazon” button, you can add your offer to the existing listing. Provide your Seller SKU, price, quantity, and product condition. While most fields are optional, it’s recommended to fill in the “Tax Code” field if you plan to collect state tax on your orders. This approach allows you to leverage the product information already provided by other sellers, such as the product title, description, brand name, bullet points, images, and list price. This method is suitable for a few dozen products.
“Add a Product” in Seller Central (one product at a time): If your products are not already listed on Amazon, you can use the “Add A Product” option in Seller Central. Enter the product name, UPC, or ASIN to find the product and add your offer. In case of duplicate listings, consider the one with the lowest sales rank for better visibility. This method allows you to add products that are currently out of stock on Amazon.com.
“Add a Product” – “Create a New Product” through Seller Central: If your products are entirely new to the Amazon catalog, you can create a new product listing by selecting the “Create a New Product” option in the “Add A Product” section of Seller Central. Classify your item, fill out required fields, and provide a product image that complies with Amazon’s requirements. Once completed, your item will be created in the Amazon catalog, and your offer will be available immediately.
“Add Products via Upload” in Seller Central (using the Inventory Loader template): If your products are already listed by other sellers, you can use the Inventory Loader template to upload your offers. Download the template and match your Seller SKU with the ASIN, UPC, or EAN already in Amazon’s catalog. Be cautious about matching the correct package quantity. Use this method for products not yet loaded into the Amazon catalog by other sellers.
“Add Products via Upload” in Seller Central (Flat File Excel templates): For a larger inventory or if you have more than 100 offers to list, you can use Flat File Excel templates. Each category has specific templates with required and desired variables. Use the “Product Classifier” tool to determine the right classification label for each item. Upload the completed template, which will be processed into the Amazon catalog. Be prepared for error messages and consult Seller Support for assistance if needed.
Via XML feeds: This method is typically used by very large sellers with extensive new selections. It involves working with feed integration companies to submit listings through XML-coded feeds. This approach is beyond the scope of most sellers.
Remember to prioritize your listing efforts by adding offers to known Amazon listings first, followed by new products not yet in Amazon’s catalog. Avoid duplicating efforts by creating flat file templates for products already listed. Start with your best-selling products and gradually add the rest.
These methods offer flexibility and scalability for listing your products on Amazon. Choose the approach that aligns with your inventory size, business goals, and technical capabilities. For more technical specifications, refer to the Seller Central documentation.
Choosing the Right Method to Add Your Products
When it comes to deciding which method to use for adding your products to Amazon, there are several factors to consider. Ask yourself the following questions:
How many products do you want to get started with? It’s advisable to get at least some of your listings up soon after registration, even if it’s a small number. This allows you to start generating sales and familiarize yourself with the listing process. Over time, you can invest more time to build the remaining listings.
What proportion of your products are already listed in the catalog by other sellers? If a significant portion of your products already have existing ASINs on Amazon, you can expedite the listing process. By leveraging the “Sell on Amazon” button or using the Inventory Loader template to match your offers to existing ASINs, you can quickly add your products without creating new listings from scratch.
Do your products have accurate UPC information? Having accurate UPC information for your products is essential for matching them to existing ASINs on Amazon. This allows you to avoid duplicating listings and ensures your products are listed under the correct ASIN.
It’s important to note that the “Choose a Listing Tool” feature in Seller Central may not provide the most effective guidance for simplifying the listings process. Instead, focus on identifying how much of your selection is already in the Amazon catalog to avoid unnecessary duplication.
If you have a mix of products that require ungating and those that don’t, prioritize getting the ungated products listed while waiting for your gating requests to be approved. This allows you to start generating sales and become familiar with the listing tools. If a majority of your listings or the most strategic part of your catalog is in gated categories, initiating the ungating request process early is crucial to determine if you can list these items on Amazon.
Key Considerations When Listing Products
Once you’ve determined how to list your items on Amazon, there are several important issues to consider with each approach.
Ensuring accountability for your products
Sellers often overlook crucial aspects of their products, such as the specific ingredients, manufacturing origin, and applicable laws and regulations. Changes in regulations can occur in various Amazon categories, and sellers who are not attentive to these changes may struggle to adapt or understand how they impact their listed items.
Failure to promptly respond to regulatory changes and accurately describe their products has resulted in sellers being unresponsive to Amazon’s notifications and warnings. Consequently, numerous sellers have faced suspensions. This serves as a valuable lesson that every seller must have a comprehensive understanding of their products, ensuring accurate descriptions and compliance with relevant laws. Regardless of the complexities involved, it is the responsibility of the seller to remain informed and proactive.
Whether you are selling groceries, jewelry, health and beauty products, or any other item, it is crucial to know the ingredients of your products and be prepared to swiftly address any listing restrictions implemented by Amazon.
By prioritizing accountability and staying informed about product specifics, sellers can effectively uphold compliance, ensure accurate listings, and minimize the risk of penalties or suspensions imposed by Amazon. If you require assistance in maintaining the health of your seller account and preventing suspensions while building your ecommerce company, consider exploring our Account Health Maintenance program.
Accurate Matching of Offers
What happens when your offers are incorrectly matched to the wrong listings? This can be a frustrating situation that can negatively impact both customers and sellers alike.
Unfortunately, when using simplified offer creation methods like the “Sell on Amazon” button, Inventory Loader feature, or the “Add a Product” one at a time feature, there is a possibility of your offers being inaccurately matched to listings that do not accurately represent your products. We have observed instances where products with misapplied UPCs were matched to unrelated items, such as a sock being matched to a teacup. Additionally, a 1-pack item was matched to a 10-pack, causing confusion among customers and sellers due to improper submission of item package quantity data.
If you notice your offers being matched to the wrong types of existing listings, it is crucial to take the following steps:
- Immediately submit a ticket to Seller Support to investigate the issue. Provide any relevant data or information that you believe may help identify the root cause of the problem.
- Zero-out your inventory for the affected listing until the issue is resolved. This ensures that you do not receive customer orders on these incorrect listings, as it can lead to customer dissatisfaction or unprofitable transactions. Take prompt action by zeroing out your inventory, which may also involve deactivating FBA inventory if necessary.
- Double-check the accuracy of your UPC and item package quantity data. Often, matching errors can be resolved by ensuring the correctness of these two crucial pieces of information for your new offer or the existing listing.
Ensuring Accuracy of Listing Data
Maintaining accurate data on your listings is crucial to avoid potential issues and ensure compliance with Amazon’s policies. If you come across a listing where the data appears to be incorrect or questionable, it is essential to take immediate action.
- File a ticket with Seller Support: Contact Seller Support and clearly outline the data issue you have identified on the listing. Request that the inaccurate or questionable data be corrected or removed. Even if you didn’t provide the data yourself, as a seller, you are responsible for ensuring the accuracy of the content associated with your offers. Neglecting to monitor the accuracy of your data could lead to account suspension.
- Addressing data conflicts: In some cases, you may have contributed correct data, but another seller may have provided inaccurate information that overwrites your correct data. If you encounter such conflicts, promptly file a Seller Support ticket highlighting the false claim or inaccurate data. This helps bring attention to the issue and can initiate the necessary actions to rectify the situation.
- Regular listing review: It is crucial to periodically review your listings to identify any potential high-risk items that may be subject to regulations or government scrutiny. Sellers have faced suspension when their inactive listings involved products recently banned by government organizations or Amazon. We advise you to review your listings regularly and take proactive measures to ensure compliance.
- Deleting inactive listings: To mitigate any potential risks associated with inaccurate content or listing items you no longer intend to sell, we strongly recommend deleting listings for which you have no current inventory and no plans for future sales. Even if your offer is inactive, Amazon may still hold you responsible for any inaccurate content or consider it a violation to have an item listed without active inventory.
By promptly addressing data inaccuracies, regularly reviewing your listings, and taking necessary actions to maintain accurate information, you can minimize the risk of account suspension.
Establishing an Effective Naming Convention for Your Listings
Having a clear and consistent naming convention for your Seller SKUs is essential for efficient inventory management and avoiding confusion in your Seller Central account. By implementing a naming convention from the start, you can prevent issues and streamline your processes as your business grows. Consider the following guidelines when setting up your naming convention:
- Choose a scalable convention: Plan a naming convention that can accommodate your business’s growth over time. Ensure it remains practical and manageable as you expand your product offerings.
- Incorporate relevant identifiers: Include indicators such as brand or distributor information, SKU, or UPC in your Seller SKU names. This helps you easily identify and associate your inventory correctly.
- Ensure uniqueness: Each Seller SKU must be unique to prevent confusion and complications. Create a system that allows you to organize and differentiate your listings effectively.
- Avoid poor naming practices: Steer clear of naming conventions that can cause issues down the line. Here are some examples of poor naming conventions to avoid:
- The no-show: Providing a SKU number when creating a new product is essential. Leaving it blank and relying on Amazon’s randomized number can lead to confusion and difficulty in identifying associated products.
- Inconsistent names: Resellers sometimes use inconsistent naming conventions, which can create confusion when managing inventory. Ensure consistency within each batch of inventory to facilitate better inventory management.
- Non-abbreviated names: Lengthy names can be challenging to process mentally and occupy excessive screen space. Opt for concise and meaningful abbreviations that are easily understandable.
Consider appropriate conventions
Resellers or distributors: Consider naming products after the Manufacturer Part Number to align with your purchase order and accounting systems. Most manufacturers use abbreviated systems specific to their product lines.
Manufacturers: Utilize a combination of letters and numbers to represent your products. For instance, if you manufacture tennis balls, a simple naming convention could be “PS-4” for Professional Series Pack of 4.
The ultimate goal of a naming convention is to create easily understandable abbreviations that highlight the defining qualities of your products. By following these best practices, you can establish an efficient and effective system that simplifies inventory management and reduces errors in various platforms, including Seller Central, CRMs, and spreadsheets.
Taking the time to implement a thoughtful naming convention early on will save you from the confusion and time-consuming task of renaming or reorganizing your inventory down the road.
Understanding and Managing Your Content Authority Score on Amazon
When contributing content to Amazon’s catalog, it’s important to understand the concept of the “content authority score” assigned to each seller. This score determines whose content gets prioritized and displayed to customers. Here are key points to consider:
- Content Authority Score: Amazon assigns a content authority score to each seller, based on factors such as seller type, performance metrics, and manual intervention by Amazon employees. As a new seller, your content authority score is likely lower compared to established sellers, meaning that your content may be overshadowed by others, regardless of its accuracy or completeness.
- Unrevealed Score: Amazon does not disclose the specific content authority score to sellers. However, you can file a ticket with Seller Support to request corrections for any incorrect data.
- Quality of Content: It is crucial to assess the quality of the data on your listings, especially if you used existing sellers’ data through features like the “Sell on Amazon” button, “Add a Product” one at a time, or Inventory Loader. Even when creating new listings, sellers with higher content authority scores can modify the content on your listing. Amazon notifies you via email when such changes occur, allowing you to review and contest them if necessary.
- Impact on Customers: Customers base their purchasing decisions on the content they see, whether accurate or not. If customers perceive inaccurate data, it can lead to negative feedback or returns, even if you didn’t contribute to the incorrect content. Monitoring and addressing content discrepancies are essential for maintaining customer satisfaction.
- Brand Registry: In a later chapter, we will explore Brand Registry, which offers a way to secure and control content if you are the manufacturer or an approved agent of the brand’s rights holder.
- Images and Buy Box: While content authority scores influence textual content visibility, any seller can add images to a listing. However, bad images usually require a complaint to Seller Support from another seller to be removed. If you don’t upload your own images, your offers may be associated with subpar images when you win the buy box. It’s crucial to monitor your listings, particularly those with significant competition from other sellers.
By understanding the dynamics of content authority scores and actively managing your listings, you can work towards ensuring accurate and compelling content is presented to customers, thereby enhancing their shopping experience and reducing the risk of negative feedback or returns. Regular monitoring and participation in initiatives like Brand Registry can further strengthen your control over the content associated with your products on Amazon.
Understanding and Navigating Restricted Products on Amazon
As an online shopping platform, Amazon aims to offer a wide range of products to customers. There are certain restrictions in place to ensure compliance with internal policies and external regulations. Before listing or purchasing inventory for potentially sensitive products, it’s crucial to review Amazon’s list of restricted items.
Here’s what you need to know
Restricted Product Categories: Amazon has specific categories of products that are restricted from sale due to legal concerns or government regulations. These restrictions are in place to protect both sellers and customers. It’s important to familiarize yourself with this list to ensure compliance.
Legal and Regulatory Considerations: If you believe that your product may raise concerns or face regulations in traditional brick-and-mortar settings, it’s vital to evaluate whether it aligns with Amazon’s policies. Certain items, such as hazardous materials, prescription drugs, or weapons, are typically subject to strict regulations.
Precautions Before Selling: Before purchasing inventory or creating listings on Amazon, thoroughly research the product to understand any potential restrictions. Consider factors such as age restrictions, licensing requirements, and product certifications.
Compliance and Consequences: Selling restricted products can have serious consequences, including account suspension or legal actions. It is your responsibility as a seller to ensure that your products comply with Amazon’s policies and applicable regulations.
Seek Guidance: If you have any doubts or concerns regarding a specific product, reach out to Amazon’s Seller Support for clarification. They can provide guidance and address any questions you may have.
To navigate the realm of restricted products on Amazon, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the list, conduct thorough research, and seek guidance whenever necessary. By ensuring compliance with regulations and Amazon’s policies, you not only safeguard your business but also contribute to a safe and reliable marketplace for customers. If you need assistance in addressing compliance issues related to your product lines, feel free to message us. We’re here to help guide you in aligning your products with Amazon’s and international policies.
Understanding and Managing Listing Restrictions on Amazon
When it comes to listing products on Amazon, it’s essential to recognize that while a product may not be restricted from being offered, there are still content-related restrictions that sellers need to navigate. As a seller, you are responsible for ensuring the accuracy and compliance of the content on your listings.
Content Accuracy: Whether you create a new listing or contribute to an existing one, it’s crucial to verify and maintain the accuracy of the content provided. This includes information regarding product ingredients, manufacturing or assembly details, and any claims made about the product’s features or benefits.
Seller Errors: Common mistakes made by sellers involve inaccuracies in ingredient listings, origin details, or product claims. These errors can negatively impact your business and even lead to customer dissatisfaction or complaints. Take the time to review and double-check your content for any potential inaccuracies.
Listing Restrictions Documents: Amazon provides detailed information on listing restrictions in Seller Central. It’s highly recommended to review these documents to gain a better understanding of the specific pain points and areas where content accuracy is crucial. This will help you align your listings with Amazon’s guidelines and avoid potential issues.
Ongoing Content Management: Content accuracy is not a one-time task but an ongoing responsibility. Regularly monitor your listings to ensure that the content remains accurate and compliant. This includes reviewing and updating product information, responding to customer questions or concerns promptly, and addressing any content-related issues.
Ensure trust, mitigate risks, and maintain a positive reputation on Amazon by being vigilant about content accuracy. Complying with listing restrictions creates a reliable shopping experience, benefiting your business and the marketplace. For risk mitigation assistance, learn more about our Account Health Maintenance program.
Using Parent/Child Relationships to Enhance Your Listings
In certain Amazon categories, sellers have the opportunity to group similar products under a master listing, creating a parent-child relationship. This can be beneficial for organizing variations of the same product, such as different sizes or colors, and offers several advantages:
Enhanced Customer Experience: By combining similar products on a single master listing, customers can easily see all available options in one place. This streamlined presentation simplifies their decision-making process and improves their overall shopping experience.
Equal Visibility for All Options: Lesser-known variations can gain equal visibility alongside more popular options. This allows customers to explore different choices and potentially discover products they might not have considered otherwise.
Alternative Options for Out-of-Stock Items: If a customer’s desired variation is temporarily out of stock, the parent listing still displays other available options. This can lead to alternative purchases and prevent potential sales loss.
Increased Visibility in Search Results: Amazon aggregates search traffic and sales data for all child ASINs under a parent ASIN. This consolidated data boosts the visibility of the parent listing in Amazon’s search results, increasing its chances of attracting potential customers.
When utilizing parent-child relationships, it’s important to keep the following considerations in mind
Suitable Grouping: Ensure that the products you combine logically belong together and provide a coherent offering. Inaccurate or confusing groupings can lead to customer dissatisfaction and misunderstandings about the product being offered.
Implementation Limitations: Not all categories allow for parent-child ASINs, so it’s essential to review the guidelines specific to your category. Seller Central provides detailed instructions on creating parent-child variation relationships through Flat File or XML template submissions.
Remember, once sales are combined under a parent ASIN, it becomes challenging to determine individual child ASIN performance solely based on the sales rank. Careful planning and adherence to category-specific guidelines will help you effectively utilize parent-child relationships to optimize your product listings.
By leveraging parent-child relationships, you can offer customers a seamless shopping experience, improve product visibility, and ultimately drive sales. Take advantage of this feature where applicable and ensure your listings accurately represent the variations offered while adhering to Amazon’s guidelines.
Optimizing FBA and Non-FBA Listings for Maximum Sales
When it comes to order fulfillment, you have the option to leverage Amazon’s FBA (Fulfillment By Amazon) service or handle it yourself as a seller-fulfilled order.
Here are some important points to consider when creating FBA and non-FBA listings
Dual Offers for FBA and Non-FBA: Amazon allows sellers to create two offers for the same SKU—one fulfilled by Amazon and the other fulfilled by the seller themselves. This strategy enables you to have a backup seller-fulfilled offer available for customers if your FBA inventory runs out before you can restock it. Both offers can be live simultaneously, giving customers the flexibility to choose their preferred fulfillment method.
Listings Management: To effectively manage multiple offers on the same SKU, it’s crucial to establish clear naming conventions for FBA and non-FBA offers. This ensures you can easily differentiate between them and accurately track their performance. Organizing your listings in a structured manner helps avoid confusion and streamlines your inventory management process.
Prioritizing FBA for Sales: It’s important to recognize that the Buy Box algorithm typically favors FBA offers over non-FBA offers. As a result, FBA inventory is likely to sell faster and attract more customer attention. By leveraging FBA for your listings, you can take advantage of the increased visibility and customer trust associated with Amazon’s fulfillment service, leading to higher sales potential.
While managing both FBA and non-FBA offers can be a clever strategy to prevent missed sales opportunities due to stockouts, it requires careful planning and execution. Consider the following tips:
Ensure accurate inventory tracking: Regularly monitor your inventory levels for both FBA and non-FBA offers to avoid overselling or running out of stock. Accurate inventory management is essential for maintaining customer satisfaction and maximizing sales.
Optimize pricing and fulfillment methods: Analyze the performance of your FBA and non-FBA offers to determine the most effective pricing and fulfillment strategies for each SKU. This may involve adjusting prices, replenishing FBA inventory promptly, and aligning your marketing efforts accordingly.
By leveraging the strengths of both FBA and non-FBA offers, you can maximize your sales potential, provide flexibility to customers, and maintain a robust inventory management system. Strive to optimize your listings for both fulfillment methods and monitor their performance regularly to make informed decisions that drive your business forward.
Unlocking Valuable Insights with the Category Listing Report
To gain visibility into the data displayed on your listings and identify areas for improvement, there’s a secret tool at your disposal—the Category Listings Report. This report, available in Seller Central’s Inventory Reports, provides a comprehensive overview of the data associated with your listings.
Here’s how you can leverage this powerful resource
Request Access: The Category Listings Report is not readily available for all sellers. To access it, submit a ticket to Seller Central, specifically reaching out to the Category team. Request that they enable the Category Listings Report for your account. Once granted access, the report will be available for 7 days (but can be requested repeatedly).
Extract Valuable Information: Once you have the report at your fingertips, take advantage of the detailed columns of data it provides for each of your listings. This report serves as a valuable tool for understanding the current state of your listings, including areas where incorrect or missing data may be impacting your product information.
Correct Inaccurate Data: Identify any incorrect or misleading data in the report and promptly file tickets with Seller Support to rectify the discrepancies. By proactively addressing inaccuracies, you can ensure that your listings present accurate and reliable information to customers.
Fill in Missing Information: Use the Category Listings Report to identify key columns of data that may be missing from your listings, such as generic keywords or bullet points. By identifying these gaps, you can optimize your listings by providing comprehensive details that help customers make informed purchasing decisions.
The Category Listings Report acts as a valuable diagnostic tool, offering insights into the strengths and weaknesses of your product listings. By leveraging this report and taking action based on its findings, you can enhance the quality and accuracy of your listings, ultimately driving improved visibility, customer trust, and sales.
Remember to regularly request the Category Listings Report and utilize it as part of your ongoing listing optimization strategy. By staying proactive and vigilant in managing your product data, you can establish a strong presence on Amazon and unlock greater success as a seller.
Optimizing Your FBA Strategy: To Sticker or Not to Sticker?
Before we conclude this section, let’s delve into an important decision specific to Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA). When utilizing FBA for your listings, you have the option to choose whether your FBA units should be stickered or un-stickered. This choice has implications for your listing creation process. Let’s explore these options in detail.
Stickered Units: If you opt for stickered units, a unique sticker containing a new barcode will be placed over the existing UPC code on each package. You have two choices for sticker application: either you can apply the stickers yourself, or for a nominal fee, Amazon can handle the sticker application on your behalf. Stickered units ensure that your inventory is not commingled with units from other FBA sellers who offer the same products.
The tradeoff here is that sticker application can be time-consuming, requiring you to open case packs and manually affix stickers to each unit. Alternatively, you can choose to pay a small fee to have Amazon handle the sticker application process. The advantage of stickered units is that any issues or problems associated with the product are directly linked to the units you sent to FBA.
Un-stickered Units: Opting for un-stickered units means that your inventory has the possibility of getting commingled with units from other FBA sellers who offer the same products. Once your un-stickered units reach Amazon’s Fulfillment centers, they may be mixed with questionable inventory sent by other sellers, such as counterfeit, damaged, or used products being misrepresented as new. In such cases, if a customer places an FBA order and encounters a problem with the product, the responsibility for the issue falls on you, even if it wasn’t a unit you sent to FBA.
It’s crucial to consider the potential risks associated with un-stickered units. Legitimate sellers have been known to face account termination when their genuine units become mixed with counterfeit ones, leading to customer complaints and subsequent actions by Amazon.
Evaluate whether it’s worth investing less than a quarter per unit for Amazon to apply stickers on your behalf or enduring the process of stickering the units yourself. This decision can help you mitigate the possibility of questionable commingled units being sent to customers. By stickering your FBA units, only the units you sent will be dispatched to customers, thereby ensuring that any product-related issues are associated with your own inventory.
If you choose to have some of your FBA units stickered while leaving others un-stickered, you can contact Seller Support for a helpful workaround. They can switch your account to stickered, make specific SKUs stickered, and then revert your account to no-stickering for the remaining SKUs. This allows you to tailor your stickering preference to different sets of FBA units.
Consider the trade-offs and benefits of stickered and un-stickered units, aligning your decision with your inventory management goals and customer satisfaction priorities. Making an informed choice will help safeguard the quality and integrity of your FBA inventory, enhancing your reputation as a trusted seller on Amazon.
Avoid These Common Mistakes as a Newly Launched Seller
Congratulations on launching your offers in the Amazon catalog! As a newly launched seller, it’s crucial to be aware of the pitfalls that can harm your standing with Amazon. To help you navigate this crucial phase successfully, here are some common mistakes that many sellers make and should be avoided:
Over-Experimenting with Listings:
Some sellers experiment with their listings without paying attention to proper pricing. This can lead to live listings with incorrect or ridiculously low prices, resulting in customers placing orders that may lead to financial losses or the need to cancel orders. Avoid this by closely monitoring and verifying prices on all live listings.
New sellers may overlook accurately indicating the available quantities of their products. This can lead to customers placing orders for more units than the seller actually has in stock, forcing the seller to cancel orders or delay shipments. Late shipping and order cancellations are significant strikes against sellers, which can result in account suspension or closure. Ensure accurate inventory management and never list products you don’t have.
Slow Response to Customer Emails:
Promptly responding to customer inquiry emails is crucial. As a seller, you are expected to answer all customer emails within a 24-hour period, regardless of the day or time. Failing to do so risks the standing of your seller account. Make it a priority to regularly check Seller Central and respond to customer inquiries promptly to maintain a positive seller reputation.
Not Seeking Customer Feedback:
Develop the habit of actively seeking customer feedback. Customer feedback plays a vital role in a seller’s long-term success on Amazon. Seller Performance tracks the proportion of feedback received compared to the number of orders. Aim for an ideal feedback range of 2-5%. Failure to solicit feedback may raise red flags with Amazon, potentially impacting your ability to win the buy box and delaying payment if Amazon suspects high-risk behavior.
Neglecting Account Health for Ungating:
If you’re in the process of seeking permission to sell in gated categories, bear in mind that your performance data, including negative feedback, order cancellations, and late shipments, will be examined by the ungating team. Poor performance in these areas can jeopardize your chances of being granted permission to list in gated categories. Prioritize maintaining a healthy account and providing exceptional customer service.
By avoiding these common mistakes, you can establish a strong foundation as a launched seller on Amazon. Focus on accurate listings, prompt customer communication, proactive feedback solicitation, and maintaining a healthy account performance. These actions will contribute to your long-term success as an Amazon seller.
Key Considerations for Launching and Supporting Your Amazon Seller Account
Launching and supporting your Amazon seller account successfully requires careful planning and attention to various aspects of your business operations. Here are some essential highlights and recommendations to guide you through this process:
Not All Products Require a Full Data Feed:
Save time and effort by identifying which products already have listings on Amazon. Utilize tools like the UPC search tool to check if your products have existing listings. Focus on creating accurate rather than complete product data. Double-check any uncertain data with manufacturers or suppliers before listing the product.
Systems: Establish a master data feed that you update regularly, and utilize the category listing report in Seller Central to compare your data with the existing product data.
Avoid Experimenting with Listings:
Once you list a product, assume it’s live and available for purchase by customers. Ensure accurate pricing and inventory availability to avoid fulfillment issues. If experimentation is necessary, ensure you have zero quantity available at the end of the experiment to prevent unfulfilled orders.
Systems: Regularly compare your master data feed with the category listings report to address any pricing discrepancies.
Take Full Responsibility for Your Listings Data:
You are responsible for the accuracy of your listings, regardless of who submitted the data. Spot-check your active listings regularly and delete inactive offers that you no longer plan to sell. Stay informed about the rules and regulations related to the products you sell, especially in high-risk categories.
Systems: Monthly, delete inactive offers that won’t be sold again. Every 2-3 months, conduct risk management on your catalog to identify any recurring problems.
Use a Simple Naming Convention:
Create a straightforward naming convention for your products to avoid confusion and facilitate organization. Consider using the Manufacturer Part Number (MPN) for resellers or distributors, while manufacturers can opt for a combination of letters and numbers.
Systems: Implement a consistent naming convention across your product catalog.
Request Customer Feedback:
Actively seek customer feedback to build a strong reputation and gain valuable insights. Utilize third-party software tools like feedbackfive.com, feedbackgenius.com, or bqool.com to automate feedback solicitation and increase response rates. Customize feedback requests for specific ASINs if necessary.
Systems: Implement an automated feedback tool to streamline the process and improve feedback rates.
Be Responsive to Customer Emails:
Respond promptly to customer inquiries, regardless of the nature of the issue. Aim to answer every question within 24 hours, even if you can’t satisfy all customer demands. Consider designating specific team members or utilizing autoresponder tools to ensure timely responses.
Systems: Allocate dedicated resources or use autoresponder tools to manage customer emails effectively.
Performance Metrics from Day One:
Adhere to Amazon’s performance metrics from the start, including on-time shipping, confirmation of shipments, and timely responses to customer inquiries. New sellers are expected to meet these metrics without a “warm-up” period.
Systems: Prepare your business to meet Amazon’s performance criteria before launching your first product.
Aim for a Perfect First 10 Orders:
Strive for excellence in fulfilling your first 10 orders. Avoid common mistakes that could negatively impact your account’s reputation, hinder category ungating, or hinder your ability to win the Buy Box.
Systems: Focus on maintaining high standards and quality control for your initial orders.