Amazon.com has set strict rules for e-commerce sellers, and if you break those rules, you could find yourself suspended or terminated from using the popular marketplace. If you want to reap the benefits of selling on Amazon, here are 6 pitfalls to avoid.
Pitfall 1: Not paying attention to price parity. Your selling agreement with Amazon includes a price parity clause, which states that the price you set for items on your Amazon store – including shipping and any discounts – is required to meet or be lower than your price on other online sales channels. Because Amazon is diligent about monitoring and enforcing price parity, you as the seller need to be especially mindful of your pricing, especially when you sell on multiple marketplaces.
Pitfall 2: Luring shoppers away from Amazon. If your item description contains website URLs or your business/seller name – in the text, on the graphics or even on photo watermarks – Amazon is apt to take action. Other marketplaces may not be as strict about these names or links, so pay close attention to your listing to ensure you aren’t giving shoppers a reason to click away from Amazon.
Pitfall 3: Duplicating or mismatching product details. Selling a popular item? Don’t save steps by copying another seller’s listing information; Amazon is on the lookout for this kind of activity. Feel free to compare your data with that of other sellers of the particular item, but don’t duplicate their pages.
Pitfall 4: Manipulating or editing customer feedback. Product reviews are important selling tools, but you need to ensure the information shoppers leave on Amazon about your items is truthful and appropriate. It’s fine to solicit feedback and include links to your review page, but keep your reviews accurate by ending your involvement there. Don’t ask customers to delete negative reviews, don’t offer or provide compensation for reviews, and don’t review your own store or products.
Pitfall 5: Spamming Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) with stickerless/commingled inventory. If you’ve chosen to take advantage of the benefits of FBA – which can include eligibility for Amazon Prime shipping and Amazon’s customer service guarantee – don’t risk that partnership by stocking anything but correctly identified and stickered products. You must accurately label each item so Amazon’s fulfillment system can correctly identify the product within its system.
Pitfall 6: Not communicating clearly. Amazon states that sellers must communicate with customers by email only, even if your personal store and other marketplaces are amenable to other methods. Make sure you respond to emails promptly and accurately convey Amazon’s shipping timeframes to your customers.
The Bottom Line
Amazon lays out its requirements pretty clearly, so as long as you follow the rules and frequently check your listings to make sure you’re in compliance, you should be set.
However, if you find yourself committing any of these mistakes, you should expect to receive multiple warnings or notifications of the infraction, followed by removal of your listings if you don’t correct the issue(s). In the event your Amazon account is suspended and you have transactions in progress, contact Amazon with your plan of action for correcting your listing within the specific timeframe set by Amazon. Once you have determined what went wrong, spend some time reviewing all of the elements of your listings to ensure it doesn’t happen again.