September 17, 2021

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Being defeated is only a temporary condition; giving up is what makes it permanent.

Marilyn Vos Savant

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Amazon's newest product: Customer Service by Amazon

In August, Amazon announced Customer Service by Amazon (CSBA), a program that allows any third-party seller to pay to use Amazon’s customer service team to interface with their customers. Customer service is now a standalone program that allows sellers who handle their own warehousing and shipping to pay Amazon to take over their customer service.

Customer Service by Amazon will focus largely on issues that arise during the shipping and return process, not on actual product-related questions. It allows for customer support in multiple languages, which might appeal to people who have a large share of international sales.

It might solve a real need in the coming holiday timeframe, as carriers like UPS and FedEx have already warned of upcoming shipping delays.

Some sellers are skeptical about this new service option as Amazon has a reputation among sellers as being far too quick to issue refunds or responses that favor the buyer.

Sidenote: I would love to tell you how much it costs, but as usual with Amazon, it is complicated.

Read about this on Amazon>

How To Handle Amazon Account Suspensions: The Amazon Auto-Reply Tests

Amazon suspensions are a thorny issue. They’re not all dealt with in the same way, can be very confusing, and there’s no room for error.
To make matters worse, Amazon doesn’t exactly go easy on sellers once their accounts are suspended.

This excellent article from SellerEngine takes a look at the recent auto-reply appeal response and all the head-scratching that comes with it.

They cover these types of suspensions and discuss how Amazon is just sending out automated responses instead of reading what the seller wrote:

  • Inauthentic / Counterfeit Items
  • Safety Infringing or Expired Items
  • Used Item Sold As New
  • Not as Advertised or Wrong Item
  • Negative Feedback/ Late Shipment Rate/ Performance Issues
  • Selling Restricted Items
  • Selling Prohibited Items
  • Duplicate Accounts
  • Intellectual Property Complaints
  • Selling Violations (e.g. Fair Price, Duplicate Listings)
Read the article>

Amazon FBA Restock Limits –

What’s the Algorithm?

Amazon's inventory limits are a real issue for Amazon sellers these days. Sellers who move a lot of merchandise are really frustrated with the "Amazon Inventory Game".

In the article linked below, the author explains that what you should actually be optimizing for is what's called 'Days in Stock'; the number of days worth of stock you have based on your sell-through rate.

It really isn't about your IPI score, it is about your turnover!

For example, if you normally sell 100 units a month and you have 200 units at Amazon's fulfillment centers, then you have 60 days in stock. It now becomes clear why Amazon concentrates on this metric. They're incentivizing sellers to reduce the amount of slow-moving stock and thus unproductive warehouse space.

Small quantities in more frequent replenishments seem to be the answer even though it is more work-intensive for the seller.

The article is short, to the point, and is really helpful.

Read the article>

If you are looking for your stuff from China...

September 14, 2021: An all-time high of 56 cargo ships are stuck waiting off the California coast, as shipping ports hit their 4th record back up in three weeks.

Read more>

Shopify no longer supporting the Amazon Channel

I add this here because I used to have my Shopify store hooked up to Amazon via an app on Shopify. I found that when I did this, Amazon would never index my products and they were never found in the search.

Amazon considers Shopify a major competitor and vice versa, I guess. Amazon is always looking for ways to copy or impact Shopify in some way. Or maybe Shopify just got tired of Amazon and is shutting them off.

Here was the notice from Shopify:

Shopify will no longer support the existing Amazon sales channel as of September 27, 2021. After this date, you must use new partner apps to integrate your store with Amazon.

To continue managing Amazon directly from Shopify, our partners have developed new integrations that will continue to reliably import and fulfill Amazon orders in Shopify. With these new apps, you’ll be able to:
Sync all order information within Shopify in real-time, including orders fulfilled on Amazon

Create listings and offers in all available Amazon categories
Edit published products and offers individually and in bulk within Shopify

Okay, well they never say what apps to use instead. But I got an email from JoeLister today and they can help anyone with this issue. Here is their message:

JoeLister is fully integrated with Shopify for auto-fulfillment and we are currently working on the ability to match your active Shopify listings with your Amazon inventory. If you are currently using the Amazon Branded app we would love the opportunity to discuss how our integration can keep you in sync.

I have seen one other integration for Shopify to Amazon and that is Sellbrite.

Check out JoeLister>

Check out Sellbrite>

Time to check and update your listings - again!

Once again Amazon is updating what information it expects on your listings. You need to do update your listings before October 26, 2021. (Your listings won't disappear if you don't, but still, it needs to be done.)

Here are three attributes that used to be optional that are now mandatory.

Net Content:

  • Net Content Count: Defined as the number of units within a package, for example, the number of water bottles in a pack.
  • Net Content Weight: Defined as the total weight of the product without packaging. For example, if the product's net weight is 12 oz and contains 6 items, the net content weight is 72 oz.
  • Net Content Volume: Defined as the volume of the product contained by a package (as claimed on the label) when the item is a liquid. For example, if the unit item net volume is 10 fl oz and the item contains 6 bottles, the net content volume is 60 fl oz.

Item Form:

This attribute defines the form of your product. For example, for a 'Shampoo' product type, some of the forms are cream, liquid, foam, and so on.

Number of Items:

This attribute is the lowest level of branded packaging that encases the product sold. (For example, the number of bottles of laundry detergent, the number of bags of chips, or the number of boxes of pens).

Here are some examples:
amazon listing examples

Sidenote: I find it mildly confusing, but such is life with Amazon.

See it on Seller Central>

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>

Consumer Trends Report | Q3 2021

Jungle Scout has released its latest quarterly report about trends in what consumers are buying. You can download the full report or just go to the page for a colorful overview of the most important points.


  • Nearly as many shoppers (63%) have purchased from a Walmart store as have shopped on Amazon.com (65%) in the past 3 months.
  • 40% of consumers are using social media to search for products online, and 27% follow social media influencers.
  • 58% of consumers say a brand's social activism impacts their impression — including whether they choose to buy from that company.
  • Nearly half of all consumers (48%) prefer shopping from retailers that offer flexible payment options, and 44% of consumers use deal-finding browser extensions or plug-ins when shopping online>
Take a look>

Chinese Sellers Losing Market Share on Amazon

In May 2020, Chinese sellers’ market share shrunk because of disruption to manufacturing, freight, and warehousing. By the end of the year, it had recovered. But, since then, it didn’t go back to growing as it did for years prior.

Perhaps because the pandemic continues to disrupt the world unevenly or because domestic sellers could diversify from FBA (which is currently severely quantity restricted) faster than foreign sellers. Some of that lost market share was also because Amazon suspended hundreds of established Chinese sellers in April and May. However, suspensions have since stopped, and they weren’t because of a structural change to how Amazon regulates the marketplace.

Read on at MarketPlace Pulse>

klikbox
Here are the important features of this event:
  • All the sessions will be streamed LIVE and FREE for attendees. You will be able to interact with each of the speakers and get answers to your questions directly from them during the broadcast.
  • The huge value-add of this event to Amazon sellers is what we call a KLIK Box. It features a collection of $10,000 USD worth of subscriptions, consultations, discounts, online courses, private webinars, and more from over 20 different service and software providers.
Rather than providing a bunch of pre-recorded sessions, they will be streaming the event online, so you can interact live, get your questions answered by our Amazon Experts.

During this 5-day online event, you will learn how to:
• Manage shipping and negotiate with manufacturers
• Reveal Amazon’s most profitable products and spot the best niches
• Deal with Amazon Seller Support
• Grow your review rate by up to 10x by using your virtual assistant
• Make sure you remain VAT compliant when growing your business
• Stand out from your competitors with Amazon ads
• Make acquirers and investors pay you more money for your Amazon brand
• ...and more!

September 20th to 24th, 2021

Sidenote: This one is definitely worth a look-see.

Claim your free spot>

Get a $1000 Freedom Ticket course for $37

‘Freedom Ticket’ is one of the best courses on the Internet about selling on Amazon. It was created by Kevin King who is a well-respected and successful Amazon seller. He sells the course for $997, but Helium 10 has incorporated the course into their software subscription.

Freedom Ticket is a hands-on, technical run-through on how to sell on Amazon. No other training program is as candid and straightforward in its presentation of the realities of running an Amazon FBA business.
  • 8 Weeks of Training
  • 60+ Jam-Packed Videos
  • Real Data & Walkthroughs, No Demos
  • Review Slides & Written Notes For Every Module
  • 30+ Handouts On Sourcing, Accounting, Mistakes To Avoid, & More
Sidenote: You used to have to sign up for the $97 per month version of Helium 10 in order to get the course. But as of September 14, now you can access it with the $37 starter version of Helium 10. There is a 30-day money-back guarantee, so not much to lose to check it out.

Check it out>

Amazon Success Story

More than one story in this short YouTube video...
amazon-success-stories
easyship ad

Amazon easily integrates with Easyship for total shipping management in one simple dashboard with a powerful suite of shipping features. This includes automated label generation, global tracking, and discounted shipping rates up to 70% off.

Review Automation


Review Automation is a first-of-its-kind, Amazon-approved solution that completely automates the Seller Central review request process for Jungle Scout users. Save time and never miss an opportunity to earn a review.

Sidenote: I have heard from several people in the forums and groups that their reviews shot up using this feature from Jungle Scout. Check out the link to go to the page that tells you more about this. There is even a webinar at the bottom of the page for deeper info.

Check this out>

Tidbits:

  • There may be a systemic issue with the product liability insurance requirement for non-USA addresses selling on Amazon as many have posted regarding this issue that they are unable to buy insurance. Did Amazon not think this through, that sellers outside the US but selling on Amazon.com can't get insurance, but yet they require it? Wow!
  • Retail sales during the holiday season could rise 7% to 9%, according to the latest projections from Deloitte.
  • In its bid to hire 125,000 new workers by the end of the year, Amazon is increasing its average wage to $18 per hour -- and in some cases offering hiring bonuses.

JoeLister

JoeLister is a web-based software that creates eBay listings from your Amazon FBA inventory. Just click “list” on your FBA items, and the software automatically creates an eBay listing. This tool makes the process of creating the listing super easy by importing titles, descriptions, and pictures from Amazon into the eBay listing.

When an item sells, it automatically creates a fulfillment order with Amazon and uploads the tracking information to the eBay order. The software will always keep the quantity in sync between your Amazon FBA inventory and eBay. This means you won’t accidentally oversell or double sell an item.

JoeLister can even take fulfillment one step further by automatically leaving feedback for your buyer. Set the optimal eBay price using their state-of-the-art pricing calculator. It takes into account all Amazon and eBay fees, so you instantly know how much money you’ll pocket from each sale. And you will see previous eBay sales while on the listing screen to assist with pricing.

In 2020 they added another connection to allow users to synchronize their inventory to both eBay and now their Shopify storefront.

Starting at $25.00 per month – Free Trial

Check it out here>

Deals we know about....

Use this Promo Code - A2Z50 for 50% off the lifetime of your subscription to Zonbase
Use this Promo Code - A2ZSC50 for 50% off your first month for Helium 10.
Use this Promo Code - GET50 for 30% off your first three months for Seller Labs software, after your 30-day free trial.
Use this new Promo Code - A2Z_10_6MON_2021 for 10% Off For 6 Months for A2X software

Use this new Promo Code - A2ZSC for 20% off the first month or annual plan for SmartScout
NOTE: Above offers are subject to change.
Thank you for reading. I wish you unbelievable success. Selling on Amazon can be challenging sometimes, but I know that we can all achieve our goals by working hard and helping each other.

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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Making Sense Of Selling On Amazon

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