October 15, 2021

Hello [subscriber:firstname | default:Amazon Seller],


Everything is possible if you've got enough nerve.

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Can Christmas be saved?

Walmart, Target, Home Depot, and other large retailers are chartering ships to bypass supply chain problems. Will the strategy save Christmas?

The cost to lease a ship runs from about $1 million to $2 million per month, plus operating costs, including the cost of renting the containers, which can run in the hundreds of dollars. The biggest retailers are using between 500 and 1,500 containers per month.

Then they can direct their ships to less busy ports in order to get the goods to the shelves. But the prices of the goods will be higher by about 20%.

Also as Black Friday inches closer, retailers like Target, Amazon, and Walmart all have announced new buy-now, pay-later partnerships in the coming weeks, highlighting how these products can be used to fund holiday purchases.

Sidenote: This news just totally made my day for some reason. I guess because any good news is a bit sparse these days.

Read more>

Important Date Change!

In a previous announcement, Amazon said to make sure that your inventory arrives at fulfillment centers by December 11 for Christmas. They have updated this date to December 2 to help better ensure that you have enough stock available for your most popular products.

Sidenote: If you're in a highly seasonal industry like toys then I feel for you. Sending in 1000s of units in November to meet the December 2nd deadline with very little sales data to work from is fraught with risk. My immediate advice is to consider a backup FBM solution.

See on Amazon>

Small sellers getting sucked in Amazon's Insurance Mandate

Small sellers say Amazon is warning them they must purchase product liability insurance despite being significantly under the threshold for the newly revised mandate.

As previously reported in EcommerceBytes, Amazon is requiring sellers to take out a liability insurance policy once they reach $10,000 in sales in one month on Amazon.com. Previously, the requirement had applied only to sellers who met that threshold for three consecutive months. But it now appears Amazon is enforcing the policy more broadly.

Sellers who are well under the $10,000 per month level are being told they must get the insurance.

Sidenote: Since Amazon lists insurance companies in Seller Central, they no doubt get a kickback. And some imbecile somewhere in the company has gone rogue with this and now they are telling every seller they have to get it. This is an outrage!

Read more about this>

Amazon Prime members can now send gifts with just a phone number or email address

Amazon is launching a new gifting feature today that will allow subscribers to its Prime service to send gifts to others using only an email address or phone number — no address required.

Gift-givers have to be Amazon Prime members, the program is limited to the continental US, and it can only be used on mobile devices for the time being. And even though Amazon has built-in some safeguards— the gift-giver never gets access to the recipient’s mailing address— this sounds like a bad idea that is ripe for abuse by scammers, stalkers, and those who take pleasure in the online harassment of others.

Sidenote: There's no end to the genius and not-so-genius ways that Amazon will come up with to make buying on Amazon easier and more frequent.

Learn more>

Amazon image requirements: 6 tips to optimize photos for more sales

Since Amazon customers can’t experience your product in person, they rely on listing photos. That’s why following Amazon image requirements is crucial to making the sale.

Your main listing photo is especially important. Not only will it show up first on your product page, but a thumbnail appears in search result pages, too. This means that your main photo could greatly impact your product’s clickthrough rate.

Check out this guide to learn the nitty-gritty of good product shots: everything from technical details to choosing which photo to feature.

See the guide>

How Does Amazon's New Country-Specific Upload Tool Work?

Amazon has finally made it easier to "localize" your pictures on listings – and it's a bigger deal than it might first appear, with huge potential benefits.
It's long been a pain point for brands with products selling in more than one country on Amazon.

Previously, if you uploaded photos to an ASIN that's sold across multiple Amazon marketplaces, the same photos would appear for that ASIN in all countries. This might not be a problem for some – but in other cases, it's very much a problem, such as when uploading images with text on them.

Learn more>

Influencer giveaways for Amazon growth

Micro-Influencer giveaways for Amazon growth are the next big thing. Launch new products, compete with your competition and become a top listing in your niche like never before.

This company hooks you up with tons of influencers who will promote your product in exchange for the product itself. From their site:

Stack Influence provides a turnkey, end-to-end rebate management process. Our Micro-Influencers only receive a purchase rebate once their social media posts are complete. Our process not only simplifies shipping logistics using Prime but insures that Micro-Influencers complete their requirements without any fraud or delay.

Check it out>

How to Contact Amazon Seller Support

That inevitable time comes in every Amazon seller’s business when an issue can’t be resolved in Seller Central, or a solution can’t be found for a tricky product situation.

For this, Amazon created Amazon Seller Support, a dedicated team with a system designed to help sellers with their queries and issues regarding every aspect of their business.

While not every Amazon seller can place their full confidence in Seller Support, there will be times when you need their help. Consider Amazon Seller Support as a resource available to you, that can help shed more light on your situation.

Keep reading to learn more about what Seller Support can do for you, how to contact them, and some practical expert tips that can help you quickly resolve your seller issues.

Keep reading>

Amazon Gets The Whole Picture

When the Amazon juggernaut rolls into a sector, market dominance is assured – it’s a question of when not if. Its latest venture? The trusty television set. Earlier this month it was announced Amazon would be selling its own branded TVs, an inevitable extension of its Fire Stick products.

Amazon owns this ecosystem. If you’re watching its channel, you’re already logged in through your Prime and your bank and address details are stored. You’re using your Firestick or a compatible remote and when the ad comes up, it’s just one click of a button and you’re done. No hunting for the phone, no scrolling through menus. And even if the remote has gone down the back of the couch cushions, it’s the work of a few seconds to shout for Alexa to pick up the slack. No other player in this space, not Apple, not Google, not Samsung which leads the pack in connected TVs, has the connected ecosystem needed to deliver such a frictionless experience.

Read the whole story>

All about coupons and vouchers on Amazon

We all love a good deal when shopping, and the stats have backed this up! On Amazon specifically, sellers using vouchers and coupons have increased sales by 11% on average. Learn how to utilize these sales drivers in your Q4 marketing campaigns!

Learn more about this>

Should You Take Out a Loan to Buy Amazon FBA Inventory?

If you’ve been selling on Amazon for any period of time, you’re bound to start getting offers from Amazon to give you a loan for your business. Typically these offers start out small (think $1000 range), and they grow and grow as your sales grow and grow – to the point that Amazon will eventually be offering you tens of thousands of dollars in loans to buy more inventory.

In this blog post, Steven Smotherman from FullTimeFBA.com wants to discuss in a bit more detail his reasons for discouraging sellers (particularly new sellers) from taking on debt to build their business:

Learn more>

Amazon Shopper Sentenced To 20 Years

An Amazon shopper who for five years bought expensive items — including a top-of-the-line iMac Pro — and then mailed cheaper items as returns now faces up to 20 years in prison for wire fraud.

Hudson Hamrick, of Charlotte, North Carolina, on Tuesday, pleaded guilty in the US District Court for the Western District of North Carolina.

The Department of Justice also issued a statement on Tuesday that said Hamrick faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Sidenote: It is amazing how many customers do this. I used to sell a $50+ flashlight. Someone bought it and then returned a really beat-up version to the same flashlight. The flashlights had serial numbers, so I could prove the returned one was not my flashlight. But Amazon doesn't care and I was out the money.
amazon powwow
Amazon PowWow Miami is here!

Look forward to an action-packed day on November 2nd, when sellers and vendors from around the globe will meet in person to network, exhibit, and hear from leading experts in the Amazon and eCommerce space.

EVENT SCHEDULE:
The event will commence at 11 a.m. with an exciting opening ceremony by the event organizers, Mac Schlesinger, Yehuda Susskind, and Joel Wolh.
The Tradeshow floor will be open all day from 11 a.m. -7 p.m. in the main ballroom. There will be entertainment, a variety of food options, and hot & cold beverages throughout the day. Feel free to network, and take a chill on the beautiful gallery overlooking the scenic Miami cruise ship port.

Speakers will give their talks from noon to six.

November 2, 2021
Regular ticket $150
VIP ticket $300

Save your spot>

Podcast: Insider Secrets To Get The Best Price When Selling Your Amazon Business w/ Jake Barnett

In the past two years, a new generation of heavily invested firms has formed with the goal of buying Amazon businesses. In some cases, these buyers have hundreds of millions of dollars in the bank. So how can you ensure you don’t sell your Amazon business for less than its worth at the exit point?

In this episode, Jake Barnett from Fortunet, a leading investment bank specializing in the sale of medium and large e-commerce businesses, shares his thoughts on the best time to sell, what exactly aggregators are looking for, and how to reach the price you wan

Listen to the podcast>

Extended Holiday Returns Policy

The Amazon Extended Holiday Returns Policy for 2021 requires that most of the items purchased between October 1, 2021, and December 31, 2021, be eligible for return through January 31, 2022. We will automatically authorize returns on your behalf to reflect the Extended Holiday Returns Policy.

This link takes you to a page with the return rules for various kinds of products.

See Amazon's rules>

Amazon Accelerate

Amazon Accelerate is an annual conference hosted by Amazon for the seller community. The event features keynote announcements, educational sessions, and networking opportunities.

Attendees will learn about the newest products and services Amazon is launching to support seller success. This year's free virtual event is open to all sellers interested in taking their business to the next level, together with Amazon.

October 20-21, 2021
Virtual Event

Sidenote: This was outstanding last year and I highly recommend it.

Save your spot>

How to Check for Damaged or Lost FBA Inventory and Reclaim Lost Profits!

Few companies —let alone online retailers—can compare with Amazon on the logistics front. Yet, no matter how advanced an automated inventory management system is, mistakes happen. Items get lost, damaged, misplaced, sent to the wrong customer, attributed to the wrong seller, and more.

Granted, such instances can be few and far between, but can, nonetheless, affect your finances over time. Having a proactive inventory management system will ensure you get reimbursed for any lost and/or damaged goods.
Keep in mind: Amazon does not entertain reimbursement claims past the 6-month mark.

In this blog, you will learn how to check for damaged or lost FBA inventory, including how exactly Amazon’s reimbursement works and the exact criteria you need to meet.

Learn more>

Available October 21, 2021: New Returns Performance dashboard

FROM AMAZON:
In our continued efforts to improve your seller-fulfilled returns experience, we’re excited to announce the launch of the Returns Performance dashboard on October 21, 2021. The Returns Performance dashboard will help you monitor your returns performance and proactively address return-related issues.

The Returns Performance dashboard will focus on three key returns performance metrics:
• Return requests approved in less than 24 hours
• Total declined return requests
• Return-related buyer contact rate

Each performance metric will contain details for the following areas:
• Current metric performance
• Target metric threshold
• Definition of the metric
• Explanation of metric calculation
• Explanation of the importance of the metric
• Policy information

Tidbits:

  • Effective October 26, 2021, all seller-fulfilled offers on fashion items will feature a free return message, and Selling Partners will no longer be able to deduct the return shipping fee for fashion items listed under Apparel, Shoes, Jewelry, and Watches in the US.
  • Amazon, Walmart, Macy’s, and Target all released their holiday toy guides in mid-to-late September, hoping that would spur an early buying rush. It seems to be working: Amazon announced yesterday that it has already sold over 1 million toys from its Holiday Toy List, which was released on September 13.
  • As top executives from the Amazon aggregator Thrasio -- including its co-CEO and its CFO -- leave the company, Thrasio is canceling its planned SPAC, an early sign of turmoil at the largest and best-funded aggregator.
  • When a Netflix show goes viral, customers tend to turn to the Amazon Marketplace to buy merch -- but the Walmart/Netflix deal hints that streaming merch is going to become a new battleground between the two retailers.
  • Twitch, an Amazon-owned, game-streaming company, suffered a data breach this past week. It’s unknown how much data was exposed to hackers, but there has been significant internal company data posted online so far. For being one of the internet’s most dominant companies, it’s disappointing to hear that Amazon was unable to prevent such a hack.
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ScoutIQ

ScoutIQ helps you find profitable books and other products to sell on Amazon using your phone’s built-in camera or a Bluetooth barcode scanner to scan items to sell. Use the built-in custom keyboard to type in ISBNs or UPCs and use the QWERTY-style keyboard to do a title search to find products without barcodes. It can also do text to speech.

There is a new feature for optical character recognition so you don’t have to type anything and you can scan in the book title or ISBN number with your phone’s camera. The software can now look up any item, not just books, on Amazon. Search in either live mode or local database mode.

The Database Mode helps you scan books up to five times faster than looking up live data. Having offline access to data allows you to scan books in areas without cell service or a WiFi signal. The database updates twice a day to give you up-to-date pricing information. Whether you sell Merchant Fulfilled or FBA, you can customize ScoutIQ’s triggers to meet the precise needs of your business. To use the database only, a professional seller’s account is not needed. To use live lookups, a professional seller’s account is required.

The tool has a feature called eScore that measures the number of days that have registered a sale in the past 180 days giving you a better insight into the book’s historical demand.

ScoutIQ analyzes multiple variables to help you select a realistic list price – including visible Prime prices, all Used prices, the Used Buy Box, and Amazon’s price. Once the app selects a list price, it then deducts shipping expenses and Amazon’s fees to arrive at an estimated net profit. Whether you sell Merchant Fulfilled or FBA, you can customize ScoutIQ’s triggers to meet the precise needs of your business.

Currently, the ScoutIQ database only supports the United States Amazon Marketplace.

$44 per month – Free Trial

Check it out here>

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Thank you for reading. I wish you unbelievable success. Selling on Amazon can be challenging sometimes, however, goals can be achieved by working hard and not giving up.

Any suggestions about our site or this newsletter are welcome. Just hit reply and let us know your thoughts.

Keep sourcing, keep selling, keep learning, keep growing.

You can do this!


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