Follow SellerEngine on Feedspot

Continue with Google
Continue with Facebook

Reading Time: 4 minutes

New opportunities for private label sellers, changes to selling requirements, and an unusual car rental service. Just a taste of the latest seller news. If you’d like to know more, satisfy your curiosity with this month’s edition of the Amazon Digest.

Amazon Private Label Opens to Sellers

Dozens of selling partners produce items exclusively for sale as Amazon.com private label. DigitalCommerce360 counted 330 Amazon Exclusives and 135 PL brands earlier this year. But PL is starting to pick up momentum on European venues too.

Tamebay claims that Amazon plans to add at least two brands to the PL tally, umi and eono. And it’s recruiting EU-based merchants willing to give up their brand so that they can sell through Amazon. Anyone interested is advised to send a query to Amazon.

No Image Changes Before Prime Day

Amazon has notified some sellers that may not be able to add or remove images for some of their ASINs until July 18, 2019. Affected listings will only become obvious as sellers try to upload their images. If you make image changes on or before Prime Day, please check your feed processing reports for errors.

FBA Small and Light Changes

Amazon.com is setting a new bar for what constitutes an FBA Small and Light item. Starting July 27, 2019, the maximum weight for qualifying items will drop from 1 pound to 10 ounces. And the maximum asking price will be lowered from $15 (initially $10, as seen in the video below) to $7. Oddly, there was no mention of the change on the FBA News page.

Fulfillment by Amazon: Small and Light - YouTube

Anything enrolled by the end of July 26, 2019 will continue to be considered Small and Light. But only until January 26, 2020. And only as long as the sale price is no more $15. Note: the enrollment guide doesn’t mention if coupons and promotions affect eligibility.

New Requirements for Wireless Accessories

We mentioned new PPU requirements in Amazon Digest V. We also talked about the ASIN crackdown. Somewhere between the two, Amazon managed to slip another change past us.

This one is about phone model compatibility. It was announced on the Seller Forums. If you sell wireless accessories, please update your listings as explained below.

New requirement announced for wireless accessories

Amazon Car Rental Business in Spain

When car rental company AVIS started offering Amazon benefits in the USA, we thought nothing of it. Now Spanish customers can rent cars for 3 or 4 years on Amazon.es. It’s all thanks to a long-term rental program called Amazon Motors.

For as little as €250 per month, customers can forget about taxes, repairs, maintenance, insurance, and roadside assistance. And they also get free upgrades to newer car models.

Shipping with Amazon Comes to the UK

Shipping with Amazon is a service that enables sellers to have all their shipments collected and delivered by Amazon. This includes products sold on other platforms. A recent job ad suggests the service is being extended to UK-based sellers as well. Keep in mind most sellers in the UK rely on couriers that only collect on certain days of the week.

More QR Code Returns on Amazon UK

It’s getting easier for UK customers to return products to Amazon. Some drop-off locations offer label-free QR code returns, just like in the USA. Doddle stores (in Morrisons supermarkets) are an example.

But that’s not all. Despite the Post Office not being mentioned on help pages or return summaries, it also accepts QR code returns now. Why does it matter? There are just under 500 Morrisons supermarkets, and just over 11,500 Post Office branches.

Return summary mentioning Labelless Drop Off

Amazon UK Buyers Can Hide Orders

Amazon UK customers can now choose which orders to display on the ‘Your Orders’ page. The Hide Orders tool can hide up to 100 orders at any given time. The feature applies to all orders, however old. Customers who change their minds can reinstate the orders for display within seconds.

Screenshot of Hide Order Tool

Possible Clamp Down on Product Variations

Just as Amazon celebrates its 25th birthday, consumer research company Which? reveals the scale of its fake review problem. It was only a few months ago that Amazon revealed it was a victim of fraud. Its latest challenge is product variations: dishonest sellers hacking into accounts to produce tens of variations, just so they can conjure up more fake reviews and top the search page.

Melanie takes an active interest in all things Amazon. She keeps an eye on the latest developments and keeps Amazon sellers up to speed

The post Amazon Account Holder Digest VII 2019 appeared first on SellerEngine.

  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
Reading Time: 5 minutes

Selling private label on Amazon has its rewards. But what if you could build a scalable PL sales model with only a couple of software tools and a few tweaks? Learn how to outsmart your competition on Amazon today.
Last week, we started talking about selling private label on Amazon. More specifically, we discussed sourcing for PL sellers. We also briefly talked about ways to defend your brand on Amazon. This week, let’s see what it takes to find and outsmart your competition on Amazon.

The PL Seller’s Competitors 1. Amazon PL Brands and Exclusives

Type “Amazon Brand” into your Amazon.com search box. Or click here to see the dedicated Amazon UK Private Label page. TJI research claims there are 135 such PL brands and 330 Amazon Exclusives or Own Brands. And the number keeps rising suddenly every Q1 and Q3, so right after the sales season.

As it streams shopping data from sales, Amazon can spot “unmet market needs” better than any seller. And what better time to learn about market trends than Prime Day or the winter holidays? And all the while, it’s promoting its existing PL Brands in the Top Rated section of a query result.

Example of Top Rated Amazon PL offers

Analyst Keith Anderson of Profitero claims Amazon’s own PL strategy focuses on big market trends like sustainability and eco-friendliness. Being able to tap into these market needs led to last year’s PL sales. They were estimated at $7.5 billion. And analysts believe this figure will more than triple by 2022.

2. Top Search Results

But PL sellers don’t compete with Amazon only. They also face off with Amazon’s recommendations. The most eye-catching products are the ones with badges, such as Best Sellers, Amazon’s Choice, and BOGOF items. And some BOGOF badges are very similar to the ones Amazon uses.

Top query result featuring Best Seller, Amazon’s Choice, and BOGOF item

3. Other PL Sellers

Aside from Amazon’s own offers and other top search results, you should keep an eye out for paid ads. Headline Search Ads and Sponsored Products feature not only on the search result page, but also on your product page, and all over a buyer’s home page. Of course, it’s always a good idea to use the tools in our competitive analysis post to pin-point your main competitors too.

How To Stay Competitive on Amazon

Now that you have a pretty good idea of how to find and sort your competition on Amazon, how do you set yourself apart and keep your edge? You can promote your products using social media, paid Amazon ads, and the Amazon Vine Program. But only after you tick these boxes:

1. Optimize Your Listing

To outrank other PL sellers, you also need perfect listings. It all starts with finding good keywords for your SEO strategy and writing high-converting copy. You’ll find plenty of listing optimization tips and best practices on our blog.

You should also have engaging photos. The Amazon Imaging or Product Photography may be of help. If you’d also like to upload a compelling video, first check the Video Shorts page for inspiration.

Before anything goes live, you should carry out some A/B or Split testing first using special software. This enables you to run two tests for similar listings simultaneously and see which changes are the most effective.

2. Price it Right

You need smart tools to keep an eye on your sales and other PL sellers. With Sellery, you can keep tabs on the competition, designate the products you want to compete with, and reprice in tandem.

It’s a customizable “set it and forget it” kind of tool, and the only one that reprices in real-time. It can spot market changes and counteract their effect, so that sales and profits stay up. Simply look up some keywords and let Sellery know what product or PL seller you’d like to compete with.

Designating and monitoring competitors with Sellery

One thing to keep in mind is that the higher your search rank, the more you sell on Amazon. But your search rank depends on your sales velocity. If you’re new to Amazon, you may need to bid more on PPC campaigns and sell at a loss for a while, just to build up that sales volume.

3. Keep Metrics Up

If you’ve registered your own brand, you’re probably not that bothered about the Buy Box. But the same performance metrics that increase Buy Box percentage for third-party sellers will drive sales for you, raise your IPI, and reduce your storage fees. So, take a few minutes to read up on them.

4. Rehash and Rewind

Amazon likes to mix it up and see what catches on. Take its Happy Belly trail mixes, for example. But two can play at that game. Repromote your product with new variations, product bundles, or with frustration-free packaging.

You may not compete with Amazon or other PL sellers for these new ASINS; at least not at first. But you can still use Amazon’s price as reference. Or check the top selected products page to find new potential competitors.

5. Build a Website

If you don’t already have a website of your own to help sell your product, don’t waste any time building one. Whether you’ve registered your brand on Amazon or not, there’s no reason to sell exclusively on Amazon. Unless you signed up for Own Brands, of course.

As more and more people sign up to Own Brands, Amazon’s brand family grows. So, more PL sellers will go toe-to-toe with Amazon. To outlast your competitors, you need a strategy for scalable sales. But you can’t have it if Amazon is your only sales channel and source of income.

In the meantime, make sure your customer service can cope with a rise in queries as sales pick up, without compromising on quality of service. Luckily, the Voice of the Customer dashboard can help pinpoint buyer issues in a flash.

That’s it for today, but please follow our blog for our next post in the series, where we’ll go into a bit more detail about pricing and advertising for private label on Amazon. Until then, stay tuned for our Prime Day Prep post with last-minute tips to boost your PL sales.

Melanie takes an active interest in all things Amazon. She keeps an eye on the latest developments and keeps Amazon sellers up to speed

The post Private Label Product: Competition on Amazon appeared first on SellerEngine.

  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
Reading Time: 3 minutes

As we mark 243 years since the USA claimed its independence, let’s not forget that Amazon turns 25 tomorrow. And it’s pulling out all the stops for Prime Day 2019. Here are some last-minute Prime Day Prep tips for the two-day birthday bonanza.

When it comes to cost and convenience, Amazon is the first choice for many. It’s the ecommerce leader, as this Visual Capitalist’s giant infographic puts it. But with Prime Day 2019 inching closer, the retail giant is ramping up even more awareness this 4th of July.

Trying to outdo itself once again this Amazon Prime Day, it’s been reaching out to a wider audience. For one thing, the Amazon News channel posted several new videos this month. Most show how technology goes hand-in-hand with happy entrepreneurs, customers, pets, and employees.

Amazon’s new tech for warehouse safety - YouTube

Then there’s the celebs. As this press release slash Prime Day invite shows, Amazon enlisted the help of A-listers to promote off-to-college and Prime Day deals. And just as the sales kick off, there’s a Prime Day concert in N.Y. headlined by Taylor Swift, and a Prime Day Party in London featuring Rita Ora.

Amazon also extended its pickup network with the Amazon Hub Counter service. Now Prime members can collect their orders not only from a locker, but also from their nearest Rite Aid store. And while they’re there, they can do some shopping. Over a hundred of these stores are primed for Prime Day 2019, with thousands to follow.

Never before has the retail giant put so much effort into promoting Amazon Prime Day. And as sales pick up momentum, the race is bound to get ugly. But not if you heed our advice and apply these last-minute Prime Day Prep tips:

  • Monitor your competitor’s stock and raise your prices as soon as they run out. Sellery does it in real time with a simple setting, so you never skip a beat.
  • Offload anything you don’t want to pay long-term storage fees for. You have until the 15th of July before monthly LTSF fees apply.
  • Consider making a modest loss on slow-moving items to avoid paying overage fees if your IPI score drops suddenly.
  • Check your Lightning Deals dashboard for recommendations on qualifying products. If you missed your deadline, at least you know what products your competitor is likely to promote.
  • Make sure that you have at least five feedback ratings this month and your score is at least 3.5 if you’re a seller or 3 if you’re a vendor. Otherwise, you can’t submit a Lightning Deal.
  • Remind people on social media to download the app, watch the deals they like, and join Lightning Deals waitlists.
  • If you’re a vendor paying for a ‘Deal of the Day’ promotion, time it right for a workday.
  • Set a reminder for your coupons, since they become active at least 2 days after you create them.
  • Prime Rewards Visa cards come with $80 credit on approval. If you’re selling an add-on item, make sure your product’s price doesn’t take buyers above that.
  • Look for Prime Day deals that qualify for tax-deductible expenses. That way, even if you fail to resell them, you can recover some of the cost.

Speaking of resale, it’s important to know that Amazon doesn’t tolerate every type of arbitrage. Also, eBay banned drop-shipping. So, don’t buy anything with Prime delivery thinking you can flip it in a couple of days. It’s against Amazon rules, as seen below. You’re free to resell on eBay, if it goes through your warehouse first.

That’s the last of our Prime Day Prep tips for the year. We’ll leave you to your Fourth of July celebrations now with a friendly reminder to follow our blog. We’ll soon be sharing Amazon Prime Day results, as well as the latest news and more private label tips. Happy Independence Day!

Melanie takes an active interest in all things Amazon. She keeps an eye on the latest developments and keeps Amazon sellers up to speed

The post Prime Day Prep with Sellery on Independence Day appeared first on SellerEngine.

  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
Reading Time: 3 minutes

With all this talk of an ASIN crackdown on Amazon, it’s easy to overreact. But there’s no reason to push the panic button. Amazon is simply shushing loud and obnoxious product titles. Here’s how to fix ASIN violations and protect your listings.

With only weeks to Prime Day 2019, Amazon is cracking down on listings with bad product titles. The announcement has had mixed reactions. Some sellers welcome the ASIN crackdown, while others think it’s a heavy-handed approach. 

Posted on the Seller Forums, the notice says Amazon’s research found a link between poor customer experience and bad titles. So, Amazon is giving sellers an ultimatum: clean up your act by July 22, 2019, or your listings will fall off the radar.

Seller Forums post announcing ASIN crackdown

But there isn’t a consensus among sellers over what an ASIN violation is. Those who resort to “keyword spam” are the most troubled by this change. They believe using keywords in titles makes a great deal of difference to the product’s visibility. They fear their sales will suffer.

And sellers who comply are also puzzled. Those who sell books, for instance, have no control over their product titles. Also, third-party sellers who add their offer to a pre-existing listing can’t change the title. So, Amazon suppressing listings left, right, and center is their worst nightmare.

Screenshot of moderator post explaining common title issues

Luckily, Amazon soon clarified, as seen above. And it’s not all doom and gloom. The ASIN crackdown will only apply to a selection of product titles. Anything with over 200 characters, non-readable symbols, promotional keywords, or no real information about the product is an ASIN violation.

The FBA Product Title Requirements page spells it out. You should capitalize the first letter of each word, except for conjunctions and prepositions less than 5 letters long. Emojis, abbreviations for units of measurement (e.g. ’ for foot or ” for inch), and virtually all characters outside the English alphabet (e.g. -, &, ©) are not allowed.

The Dos and Don’ts of Amazon product titles

So, all non-compliant sellers will see their titles suppressed from search results starting July 22. Some will be able to review any ASIN violation using the “Suppressed” tab on their Inventory page in Seller Central. The rest will simply notice a sharp drop in sales.

You may not have time to check your listings before Prime Day. But as soon as you have a moment, update your product pages. A sales slump coupled with Prime Day returns and refunds could spell disaster for your business, especially with the Q3 IPI evaluation period starting mid-August.  

If you find it challenging, reach out to other sellers on the forum and let people know. For instance, one seller there claims their private label listings are locked. To make any changes, they need to open a case with Amazon. That’s clearly something Amazon should look into.

Are you having a hard time spotting your ASIN violations and fixing your product titles? We’d love to hear your take on this, the challenges you face, and your workaround. Just drop us a line below, and we’ll do our best to help raise awareness.

Melanie takes an active interest in all things Amazon. She keeps an eye on the latest developments and keeps Amazon sellers up to speed

The post ASIN Crackdown – Bad Product Titles Beware appeared first on SellerEngine.

  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
SellerEngine by Iulia Olteanu - 1M ago
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Private label is big business on Amazon. If sourcing for Amazon isn’t your forte, but you’d like to sell PL products, give this a quick read. Our new series takes you through the basics of private label, starting with Amazon inventory sourcing.

Over a million new merchants signed up to sell on Amazon in the past year alone. With competition growing, many e-tailers – including Amazon – are turning to private label. And with all the advantages of Brand Registry, it should come as no surprise.

There’s been a shift from conventional to own-brand business on Amazon. But the scale of it is anyone’s guess. While we wait for Deloitte’s new private label report, there are a few trends to take away from the latest survey:

  • Vendor selection – quality assurance is raising standards for retailers, as well as buyers.
  • Sourcing tech – retailers invest more in advanced technology for PL sourcing.
  • Vendor consolidation – they partner up with only the most resourceful manufacturers.
  • Reshoring – retailers try to reduce the sourcing footprint to strengthen their brand.

So, private label sellers are focusing on ways to improve sourcing. The goal? To change quality perception. They’re no longer interested in cheap, generic, white label goods. They’re taking a long-term approach to selling on Amazon.

White Label Vs. Private Label

White label and private label are two different things. A private label product is exclusive to the retailer. It may be changed and enhanced at any time. A white label product is generic and sold to a variety of retailers. They simply rebrand it and pass it on to the end-user.

Sellers on Amazon often mistake one for the other. And they try to claim a generic item is a PL product. But private labelling on Amazon can only really work if the product is new, unique, innovative, and yours alone.

Private Label and Brand Registry

An item can be eligible to become a PL product on Amazon if it doesn’t have a UPC. If the manufacturer already gave it one, then it’s their brand. You can still sell it on Amazon by assigning it a FNSKU code. But you’d need to use the manufacturer’s branding.

If it’s never been branded or assigned a UPC, then it can be listed on Amazon. And the brand can be registered on the Brand Registry. But not before you register your trademark, which takes time. Even standard text trademarks, without graphics, can take up to a year for the USPTO to acknowledge.

Once you’re accepted, you can weed out unwanted competitors. But the wording on the packaging and the claims made on the listing need to be lawful. And your patent, QC, and advertising must comply with trading regulations. If you’re not sure they do, ask a private label lawyer for advice.

Create Your Brand Defense Campaign - YouTube

Ultimately, registering your brand can help protect it on Amazon, as seen above. But it won’t stop copy-cats from selling fakes on other websites. Registering your trademark and your brand is a necessity, not a magic bullet.

Deciding what to Sell on Amazon

You don’t need us telling you what you should or shouldn’t sell on Amazon. But a good PL product should have low sales rank, high-ranking keywords, few reviews, and a reasonable asking price. And to be worth sourcing for Amazon, it should also be light, durable, and non-seasonal.

Software tools can help you find good PL products and narrow down your shortlist. Start with Profit Bandit and work your way through our list of tools for analyzing your competition. You can also find Amazon inventory sourcing tips on seller forums and online directories like WebRetailer.

Finding Private Label Suppliers

Now that you know what to sell on Amazon, there’s still the small matter of the supplier. Quality, factory direct price, and defect rate are important. But if you’re sourcing for Amazon, you should also be able to count on raw material availability and prompt deliveries.

Finding the right manufacturer isn’t without its share of difficulties. If you’re thinking of offshoring, there are a few things to bear in mind. It’s not unusual to come across these challenges when you’re sourcing for Amazon from abroad:

  • Price fluctuations due to raw material shortages.
  • Inadequate intellectual property and payment protection.
  • Lengthy customs clearances and unexpected shipping costs.
  • The language barrier and time-zone difference.
  • Subpar manufacturing and labor standards.

It may take weeks to find a supplier that’s right for you. When you’re ready to put some time and effort into your research, start checking things off this to-do list:

  • Scout. Buy similar products locally. Check the packaging to find out who manufactured them. Carry out some basic research about these companies and the countries they operate in.
  • Network. Check B2B social sites like LinkedIn and join PL groups.
  • Market. Attend trade shows and speak to manufacturers directly. Only give your business card to people you’re really interested in working with.
  • Websurf. Browse e-commerce guides (e.g. ecommerceCEO’s). Check manufacturing directories (ThomasNet, Maker’s Row, Alibaba, and IndiaMart) for specialized PL suppliers.
  • RfQ. Find websites like Global Sources that allow you to submit a request for quotes and then select the best candidates.
  • Check FB. Look up their customer reviews and how they handle disputes.
  • Outsource. If you don’t think you can find reliable suppliers by yourself, look for companies that can do it for you. Some procurement outsourcing companies can also handle contracts, transactions, tracking, and compliance issues on your behalf.
  • Contact. Draw the supplier shortlist and start contacting them to check bulk shipping costs and turnaround time. If you’re satisfied with the reply, request samples.

At the risk of repeating ourselves, we have one more thing to add before we sign off. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Multi-channel fulfillment is the golden rule of online retail. Your PL product should be available for sale on multiple websites and venues.

That’s our cue, folks. Don’t forget to follow our blog for more private label tips on budgeting, pricing, and promoting PL products on Amazon. And while you’re here, check out our Prime Day Prep series for insight into sourcing for Amazon sales.

Melanie takes an active interest in all things Amazon. She keeps an eye on the latest developments and keeps Amazon sellers up to speed

The post Private Label Product: Sourcing appeared first on SellerEngine.

  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Is it just us, or is managing your feedback on Amazon getting harder? Let’s talk about the tools sellers can use to keep their feedback rate in check, and how to remove negative feedback without the risk of a suspension.

To most sellers, having good feedback on Amazon is crucial. It affects sales volume, ODR rate, and Buy Box eligibility. To some extent, it even affects the IPI score. But maintaining a good feedback rate isn’t easy.

Amazon offers a variety of tools and reports to help you understand feedback score and manage your negative feedback. The Feedback Manager is the ‘star’ table customers can view on your seller profile page. And ‘Manage your Rating and Feedback’ in Reports breaks down the ratings so you can sort and filter them.

Then there’s the ‘Customer feedback problems’ section in Account Settings>Orders. It hasn’t been around long, but it’s already affecting the way sellers respond to negative feedback. On the one hand, it streamlines feedback management. On the other, it’s a target for dishonest sellers.

Customer feedback problems

As seen above, this latest feedback tool is like a hub. It enables you to view all your feedback and take action right away. And the options are arranged sensibly. Let’s briefly talk about them, the challenges you might face applying them, and what Amazon expects of you.

Asking Buyers to Remove Amazon Feedback

Be patient. From the time their order is placed, buyers have 90 days to leave feedback. They then have another 60 days to retract it. So, it can take up to 5 months to resolve the issue, and buyers may need some hand-holding. But it’s time well spent.

Be helpful. Buyers can access feedback links from their order list or from a help page. But the format isn’t consistent across venues. For instance, buyers on Amazon UK can’t follow official instructions like the ones below because they’re inaccurate. If you can, send them the link they need to remove feedback.

Feedback removal instructions as seen on Amazon UK on June 11, 2019

Be careful. When first contacting buyers, sellers should apologize, ask for details, and offer to refund all or part of the shipping cost as a sign of goodwill. But outright refund offers or other incentives in exchange for feedback removal are prohibited. Phrase your message accordingly.

Be specific. The seller messaging service lets you specify that you’re writing to a customer about feedback. But buyers are allowed to opt out of non-critical communication with sellers, as seen here. So, messages often go unnoticed. Some sellers choose to blacklist these buyers.

Be honest. Some sellers try to get around this hurdle. They send messages with the word ‘Important’ in the subject line. But when buyers complain, Amazon sends a warning about bothering buyers, or shuts them down immediately. We’ve seen a rise in these suspensions.  

Posting a Public Reply

Be diligent. When buyers don’t respond or they don’t want to cooperate, the next step is to post a public reply to their comment. This reply serves as proof that you’ve reached out to customers and you’re still open to suggestions – both signs of goodwill.

Be courteous. There’s no room for finger-pointing here. Phrases like ‘your issue’, ‘despite’, ‘you feel’, etc. indirectly put blame on the buyer. To show that you reached out with the best of intentions, talk about what you’ve done or would have liked to do for the buyer.

Asking Amazon to Remove Feedback

Be punctual. Sometimes buyers are unwilling or unable to remove negative feedback. If you don’t hear back from buyers and you’re nearing the 60-day deadline, Amazon may be able to help. But only if the feedback violates the guidelines, and it’s less than 90 days old.

Be convincing. Contacting Amazon should be a last resort. But as long as the buyer received the product, Amazon will hear your case. When you write, prove to Amazon that at least one of these conditions is satisfied in as few words as possible, with quotes and order details:

  • The language used is obscene.
  • The information is personally identifiable.
  • The comment refers to the product, and there’s no mention  of the service.
  • The order was fulfilled by Amazon or using Buy Shipping services.

Be clear. Just like before, with the messages, Amazon doesn’t take kindly to sellers who misrepresent their case. If you try to trick them by opening cases on a different topic from the available menu, Amazon may have no choice but to shut you down. Only contact them if the feedback violates the guidelines.

Tip: Once you select Request Removal, Amazon sends an automated message saying it may or may not remove the feedback. You then have 5 days to reopen the case, once only, if you want to make changes that you think are relevant.

Clearly, managing your feedback on Amazon is becoming harder. With filtered messages, stricter guidelines, and confusing technicalities, getting rid of negative feedback is a monumental effort. But our Account Monitoring team loves a challenge, so don’t hesitate to get in touch if you need another pair of eyes.

Melanie takes an active interest in all things Amazon. She keeps an eye on the latest developments and keeps Amazon sellers up to speed

The post How to Manage Negative Feedback on Amazon appeared first on SellerEngine.

  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
Reading Time: 4 minutes

There’s much to learn from the latest edition of our Amazon Digest. We bring you our monthly batch of seller news and give you a heads-up so you can plan for Q3.

SFP Sign Up Back on Amazon UK

Last week, Amazon UK sent an email to say that registrations for Seller Fulfilled Prime (SFP) services have resumed. Merchants who would like to ship to Prime customers from their own warehouse are free to apply. If accepted, they can display the Prime badge on their listings.

Launch of Amazon.ae

In 2017, Amazon bought Souq.com, a very successful UAE bidding site turned online retail platform. Last month, a press release announced that Souq.com is now known as Amazon.ae. Customers in the United Arab Emirates can spend their AED on Amazon.ae and pay in a variety of ways, including cash on delivery.

Screenshot of Souq.com welcome page as of 06.07.2019

Amazon Page for Entrepreneurs

The Amazon SMB impact report was recently released. With it came news of a new online hub for entrepreneurs, the Build your business with Amazon page. It features programs for people who want to showcase their talent on Amazon. This includes well-known tools and platforms from sellers to developers:

No More Emailed Fee Invoices

As of May 20, 2019, Amazon has changed the way it shares seller fee invoices. Sellers continue to receive an email notification every time an invoice is available. But the invoices themselves are no longer attached to these emails. Instead, sellers can download them from Seller Central.

German Tax Reminder

Amazon is once again reminding sellers who operate in Germany to comply with the German VAT Code (Sec. 22f UStG). Sellers who are currently trading must upload their German tax certificate (F22). If they’re not trading, they should acknowledge the declaration that says they have no taxable sales in Germany.

New Amazon JP Tax Rates

A tax system revision will be taking place in Japan on October 1, 2019. Consumption tax will increase from 8% to 10%. This new rate will apply to orders, as well as fees on Amazon Marketplace. The prices displayed to business users and regular shoppers will include the tax, but tax-free prices will also be displayed alongside them.

The change will come into force at midnight. The new tax rate will apply to orders whose status switches from ‘pending’ to ‘shipped’ at that time. For pre-ordered items, the seller’s lead time will be taken into account. Eligible sellers can set their own tax rate by entering specific product tax codes in Seller Central.

New MWS Shipment Requirements

The way sellers make shipments using Amazon MWS has changed since June 1, 2019. For multi-destination shipping plans, sellers must approve them first. They will then be able to send their inventory according to each shipping plan.

The hope is that this would reduce the risk of non-compliance and speed up fulfillment. Sellers who ignore shipments in multi-destination plans, delete parts of them, send incomplete shipments, or misroute them will be sent an email notification. If they fail to comply again, they may not be allowed to send other shipments.

MCF Fee Changes in Europe

From June 1, 2019, Multi-Channel Fulfilment fees across Amazon’s European venues have changed to match the FBA fee structure. Amazon welcomes your feedback on the following changes:

  • A local fee is charged for Pan-European FBA fulfilment;
  • EFN fees are based on the destination country;
  • Media and non-media MCF products are charged the same;
  • Most expedited shipping fees have gone down;
  • there’s a per-unit fee for every product size tier.
Selling Plan Discount

When you register to sell in Europe, Japan, India, and North America, you gain access to customers from 10 countries. Amazon recently launched an offer for sellers who want to expand to all these areas. The total monthly subscription fee for those who register to sell in all 10 countries is being capped at $39.99.

Business Sellers Get Free Repricer

Amazon Business Sellers no longer need to single-handedly manage standard prices, business prices, quantity discounts, etc. They can use the Automate Pricing tool to set their own pricing rules and offers to update automatically. Up to 5,000 SKUs can be uploaded at a time thanks to the bulk upload feature.

Prime Air To Take Off

Last week, Amazon CEO Jeff Wilke revealed plans for Amazon to carry out its first drone deliveries within months. At the re:MARS 2019 conference, he talked about the FAA-approved MK27 drone that will soon be carrying the Prime Air logo.

Amazon Prime Air’s New Delivery Drone - YouTube
Amazon Opens Pop-Up Shops in UK

The first Clicks and Mortar shop in the UK opened on June 3, 2019 in Manchester. Nine more clicks-to-bricks stores are due to open across England, Wales, and Scotland. With massive high street closures in recent years, this is a much-needed change for the locals. But it’s also an opportunity for up-and-coming sellers to gain brick-and-mortar experience with backing from Amazon.

FedEx Express Not an Option

FedEx will no longer deliver packages for Amazon on domestic flights. Amazon lost the FedEx Express contract, but it will still be relying on FedEx for last-mile deliveries. In an official statement, FedEx claims the aim is to focus on the growing e-commerce market.

That’s all the seller news we managed to compile this month, but please follow our blog for the next issue of our Amazon Digest. In the meantime, enjoy our Prime Day Prep series for the savvy Amazon account holder.

Melanie takes an active interest in all things Amazon. She keeps an eye on the latest developments and keeps Amazon sellers up to speed

The post Amazon Account Holder Digest VI 2019 appeared first on SellerEngine.

  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
Reading Time: 3 minutes

The latest rumor is that Amazon is gearing itself for a vendor purge. To find out how you can shift from Vendor Central to Seller Central and make it a smooth transition, read on and heed our advice.

Back in March, wholesale orders from Amazon came to a sudden stop. The standstill lasted several days, and it was a wake-up call for vendors. To justify it, Amazon said it was trying to get rid of counterfeiters. But not everyone was convinced.

To help merchants cope with a potential vendor purge, we wrote a post titled From Vendor Central to Seller Central. In it, we talked about the fact that vendors need a fallback plan. And we urged everyone to start switching to Seller Central. Now it looks like that purge is imminent.

The Vendor Purge

According to Bloomberg, Amazon hired fewer vendor managers this season. It asked existing ones to make a case for keeping their clients. It renegotiated with far fewer vendors this spring. And it set a minimum threshold of $10 million in yearly sales. Why? A storm is brewing.

Amazon denies there’s going to be a supplier shakeup. And it says Amazon One Vendor doesn’t exist. But it needs to compete with the likes of Walmart in an increasingly inhospitable market. It’s only a matter of time before it gives into this urge to purge. When it does, small suppliers will be sidelined.

Let’s face it, it’s only logical. A purge means fewer vendor managers to pay, less inventory, fewer problem sellers, happier buyers, and more FBA fees contributing to its bottom line. Will it put an end to counterfeiting, though? Probably not.

Amazon Trends to Look Out For

Ecommercetimes claims the top 10 influencer channels on YouTube drive a fifth of all purchases on Amazon. That’s not likely to stop if a purge happens. In fact, as more vendors switch to Seller Central and learn to market their products themselves, they’ll probably invest more in social media ads.

Also, if vendors choose to go to eBay or focus on their own websites rather than switch to Seller Central, product variety will be affected. Over time, buyers will have fewer options and they may need to pay more.

But there are some positives here. If Amazon kicks vendors out and it stops selling their products, there’s going to be a more level playing field. Sellers won’t be competing with Amazon for the Buy Box anymore.  

Tips for Ex-Vendors on Amazon

Unfortunately, as vendor managers stop safeguarding some brands, sellers could start to apply more aggressive selling tactics. As an ex-vendor, you will need to take extra measures to protect your sales. To minimize the disruption and keep sales steady, you should:

  • Sign up to Brand Registry or transfer your listings with your existing credential.
  • Use Brand Analytics to understand your customer base.
  • Check customer demographics data for orders from your competition.
  • Monitor your listings on Amazon and report unauthorized sellers.
  • Read up on the first-sale doctrine and how foreign sellers could abuse it.
  • Develop your reseller policy with the help of a specialized attorney.
  • Outsource your day-to-day tasks to Amazon experts, if needed.
  • Beat sellers at their own game with a real-time repricer like Sellery.
  • If all else fails, give a seasoned seller exclusive rights to sell your product on Amazon.

Even with a top brand team and the best technology at your disposal, switching from Vendor Central to Seller Central takes time. It may not take 120 days, like Bloomberg says.  But you’ll need at least a few weeks for Amazon to lift all the listing and storage limits for new sellers.

Hopefully, there won’t be any vendor purges before Prime Day 2019. And Amazon One Vendor is nothing but a rumor. But if you want a fallback plan, your seller account should be up and running before Q3. So, now’s the time to get the ball rolling.

Our Business Coaching team can help you sort out every aspect of selling on Amazon. They can help you with Brand Registry, real-time repricing, and everything in between. Our Account Monitoring can take over the tedious tasks for you. And we even have a dedicated team to help you switch to Seller Central. Get in touch and let’s get started.

Seller Central Help

Melanie takes an active interest in all things Amazon. She keeps an eye on the latest developments and keeps Amazon sellers up to speed

The post From Vendor Central to Seller Central: Part 2 appeared first on SellerEngine.

  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
SellerEngine by Iulia Olteanu - 1M ago
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Prime Day 2019 is Amazon’s fifth mid-July sales bonanza. This year’s quarter-century anniversary is bound to break all known records. Whether you have a vested interest in Amazon Prime Day or you’re taking notes for next year, here are a few things to focus your efforts on.

Are you ready for the busiest day in Amazon history? No official announcement has been made yet, but Prime Day tends to fall on the second Tuesday in July. Since it’s likely to run for at least 36 hours again, the first sales could launch as early as Monday, July 8, 2019.

What’s special about Prime Day 2019 is that this time sellers have the brand tools to take on vendors. And since SMBs sold over $1 billion worth of products last year, the sky’s the limit this time around; but only with a little Prime Day Prep.

New Amazon Prime Day Trends

Take a glance at last year’s highlights, and you’ll see that even with worker strikes and technical glitches, Amazon did very well on Prime Day 2018. It had 5 times as many sales than on any other day, with over 100 million products sold on 17 venues.

But since then, Amazon’s made a few changes. For one thing, Amazon China is set to close down on July 18, 2019. So, this Prime Day will be Chinese sellers’ last-ditch effort to improve their bottom line. And some Chinese sellers may try to offload their inventory on neighboring venues, such as Amazon India, Japan, or even Australia.

Also, last year, only vendors and the brand owners who signed up to Amazon Exclusives could upload videos to showcase their products. This time around, sellers use the Enhanced Brand Content feature to upload videos. And anyone can buy display ads and video ads on 8 venues, without even listing their products on Amazon.

Things are changing for buyers too. Amazon’s 100 million+ Prime members and Business Prime members have more perks than ever before. And with Amazon Home & Business Services, they get Amazon contractors to fit the furniture and install the devices they buy on Amazon.

Business Prime from Amazon Business - YouTube
15 Prime Day Prep Tips

If you don’t start preparing for Prime Day 2019 right now, you’re not really giving it your all. This year, Amazon is giving sellers a more level playing field by pushing small vendors toward Seller Central. But it’s also increasing competition among sellers.

To stay ahead of the game, some Prime Day Prep is in order. We give our readers advice every year, and some of it may seem repetitive. But look closer, and you’ll see that you need to put in more effort with each new year. Here are 15 things you should do in the lead up to Amazon Prime Day 2019:

  • Optimize your listings (for mobile) to maximize views and expand your market.
  • Read product reviews and answer users’ questions, adding new images if needed.
  • Try to improve your feedback score by sending out selective feedback requests.
  • Clean up your inventory, place your removal orders, and free up storage space.
  • Stock up on cheap holiday supplies and stationery to draw traffic to your pages.
  • Mind your IPI score and FBA stock limits for this quarter when you restock.
  • Check sales ranks for popular items, stocking up on accessories, add-ons, and freebies.
  • Register your brand to access Buyer Demographics and stock up accordingly.
  • Review Amazon business reports to set up new pricing strategies.
  • Opt for a real-time repricer like Sellery that maximises your profits in any scenario.
  • Use free tools to analyze your competition or upgrade to full-featured applications.
  • Start testing keywords and set up some dummy campaigns to increase visibility.
  • Familiarize yourself with bids and start budgeting for Prime Day campaigns.
  • Set up social media campaigns and deals on other platforms (SlickDeals, AlltheStuff).
  • Join forces with influencers and Amazon Affiliates, and time your offers and deals to go live when they endorse you.  

With only days to go, you’ve got your work cut out for you. But these 15 Prime Day Prep tips should help. Please follow our blog for more tips on Prime Day 2019, and take a look at the products and services we offer to grow your business on Amazon.

Melanie takes an active interest in all things Amazon. She keeps an eye on the latest developments and keeps Amazon sellers up to speed

The post Amazon Prime Day Prep appeared first on SellerEngine.

  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
Reading Time: 4 minutes

There’s a new Amazon Dashboard in town, and it’s all about IP violations. If you thought Intellectual Property on Amazon is a minefield, read this and stop walking on eggshells.

Just when you thought Seller Central was all out of surprises, there’s a new kind of Amazon dashboard in Account Health. It’s called ‘‘Suspected Intellectual Property Violations’’. A tongue-twister, isn’t it?  Let’s call it SIPV for short. And let’s see what it’s all about.

SIPV. The Basics

From the looks of things, there’s a lot riding on this Amazon dashboard. But the way sellers handle potential IP violations may need to change.

Amazon flags up listings for ‘misuse of trademarked terms’. Phrases like ‘‘X speaker compatible’’ usually trigger it.

It doesn’t matter if you use the brand in titles, descriptions, or even keywords. As long as you refer to a different brand, you’re breaking the rules.

Amazon deactivates these listings and sends an email with examples of fair use phrases (‘‘compatible with’’, ‘‘works with’’, or ‘‘for’’). It also tells you you’re free to correct the listings when you like for reinstatement within 24 hours.

So, as soon as you get that email, you start sifting through your listings to see where you mentioned that brand. And if you found it, you’d edit every affected listing right away.

Say, for instance, they flagged up a Disney toy you listed with the word ‘Hasbro’ in the title. If you have the invoices to back it up, you can replace ‘Hasbro’ with ‘Disney’, even though Disney is a gated brand.

But recent reports show many email notifications go missing. Sometimes a trademark issue crops up in the dashboard with no prior notice, and it can be something you listed months ago.

Screenshot of Account Health dashboard as of May 13, 2019

So, because Amazon now feeds potential trademark issues straight into the SIPV dashboard and sometimes skips the notification part, you could be caught off-guard.

For private label items, it’s very easy for merchants to act on the problem. If they mistakenly used a brand name in one of their listings, they can easily do a search in their inventory with the same brand name to see where else they made the same mistake (knowing that they exclusively sell their own brand).

The rest of the sellers can carry out the same search, of course. But since the issue occurs at item level, it’s very likely that only one or a couple of listings have the same brand issue, whereas all the rest by the same brand would be correct.

Luckily, the listings featured there can no longer affect your accounts, because they’ve been closed. But here’s why you should keep an eye out anyway:

Suspected Vs. Received IP Violations

Suspected Intellectual Property Violations and Received Intellectual Property Complaints are two different things. As such, they feature in two separate tabs. Here’s why:

  • The SIPV tab displays ASINs that Amazon suspects may be violating a brand’s intellectual property. These are inactive listings. They stay that way until you edit them.

Screenshot of SIPV dashboard

  • The RIPC tab shows listings reported to Amazon by rights owners. In most cases, Amazon will keep sending performance notifications about them, letting sellers know what to do.

Screengrab of RIPC dashboard

So, to keep up with IP issues, you need to check both Amazon dashboards regularly. But that may not be enough. Based on our experience handling sellers’ cases, SIPV isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

IP Violations Dashboard: Dud or Doozy?

It’s only been around for a few weeks. Some sellers have access to it; some don’t. For those who do, it cropped up and then disappeared again several times. Sure; we can put that down to IT glitches. But those weren’t the only teething troubles.

We’ve dealt with quite a few strange situations since SIPV came along. We came across cases featured in this Amazon dashboard where:

  • The listings were fair use to begin with (e.g. title said ‘compatible with’);
  • The ‘trademarked term’ was precisely the brand the seller had in stock;
  • The ASINs were never even listed by the seller and Amazon refused to retract them.
Reactions to the SIPV Dashboard

Amazon urged sellers to review the Trademark section on the Intellectual Property Policy help page. And to contact them if necessary. But the advice is generic and it doesn’t address the big issues.

Suppose you mentioned a brand in your listing. You’d like to change the name of the brand, but you find out it’s gated. Without invoices to back you up, you’d start wondering if it’s even worth going through the trouble to list on Amazon.

Let’s also assume Amazon’s flagged up a product. But you have countless others from the same brand in your warehouse. You probably won’t blacklist the whole brand, because this mistake is on an item-by-item basis. But do you bother to look for the mistake and reinstate your listings? Or do you give up on them altogether, since Amazon says they don’t jeopardize your business?

These are just some of the issues sellers might have with this Amazon dashboard. If you’ve come across a strange situation since the Suspected Intellectual Property Violations was launched, we’d love to hear from you. Please share your thoughts and don’t forget to follow our blog for more news and reports on IP violation rules.

Melanie takes an active interest in all things Amazon. She keeps an eye on the latest developments and keeps Amazon sellers up to speed

The post New Amazon Dashboard: Suspected Intellectual Property Violations appeared first on SellerEngine.

Read for later

Articles marked as Favorite are saved for later viewing.
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Separate tags by commas
To access this feature, please upgrade your account.
Start your free month
Free Preview