When you’re just beginning to sell on Amazon, you’re probably not planning for increased cash outflows in the first few months or anticipating that your buyers would you leave you negative feedback if you missed a shipping deadline by a day or two. As a new seller, you may run into some seemingly unexpected situations that may catch you off-guard. Here are some tips that can help alleviate any fears or qualms you may have about selling on Amazon.
Amazon Seller Tip #1: Know the Rules.
Amazon has a lot of rules and most new sellers don’t bother to read all of them. Yeah, they are boring and most are common sense. But Amazon believes in every one of them, and if you break one … in the best case scenario, you’ll just get a warning from Amazon. Worst case scenario, you’ll be permanently banned. Read the rules, understand the rules. If you aren’t sure about a rule, ask questions and err on the side of caution. Selling on Amazon could be a profitable venture, if you don’t get permanently banned before you even get started.
Amazon Seller Tip #2: Don’t expect a quick payment from Amazon.
Many new sellers get into cash flow issues right from the start. For new accounts, Amazon only pays out every 2 weeks. If Amazon decides to, it can hold payments for up to 90 days. Many new accounts get put into “review status” and their money is held for 90 days. During this time, you, the seller, are responsible for continuing to ship all orders you receive. That means getting the shipment ready and paying for shipping without receiving any payment from Amazon for 90 days.
Amazon Seller Tip #3: Triple check you are listing your items on the correct product page.
Amazon has many confusingly similar catalog listings. Each catalog listing has a unique “Amazon Stock Identification Number” or ASIN for short. At times, the difference between two catalog listings could be very trivial. But if your item doesn’t exactly match the catalog listing, you will probably get a warning from Amazon and then the item will be blocked in your inventory. If you offer your product on the wrong catalog listing more than once, your account could be suspended!
Note: If you search Amazon’s catalog for a listing by Universal Product Code (UPC), don’t assume that Amazon’s catalog page for that UPC will match the product you’re adding to your inventory. Manufacturers can reassign UPC’s whenever they want to. The UPC on your product may have been used before on another product that doesn’t match the exact item you’re selling.
Amazon Seller Tip #4: Specify the correct condition for your merchandise.
So, you have an item that has never been used or even taken out of the box? If the shrink wrap is missing, don’t list it as new. The rules really are that strict. This is an area that even seasoned Amazon sellers mess up. Amazon has a lot of condition guidelines that you are expected to follow when you list your item. There are general condition guidelines and there are category-specific guidelines. Sometimes the different guidelines contradict each other. Sometimes a specific condition in one category means something entirely different in another category. If you aren’t sure which condition to use, err on the side of caution and also state very specific product condition details in the condition notes section.
Amazon Seller Tip #5: Provide professional service, even if selling on Amazon is just a hobby.
Amazon expects all sellers, even part-time sellers to provide professional service to their customers. Most Amazon customers expect sellers to ship their orders within one business day of placing the order. If you can’t fulfill orders quickly, be prepared for customers to complain. Alternatively you may wish to use “Fulfillment By Amazon” (FBA). If you use this service, Amazon will ship your items for you. Keep in mind though that FBA has additional fees and other concerns that you should learn about before using the service. Ship the correct product(s). The biggest mistake a seller can make is shipping the wrong product(s). Be sure to use a shipping service that will have the package delivered in the time appropriate for the shipping level chosen by the buyer. Also, many buyers form an opinion on the product they are receiving as soon as they see the box it’s shipped in. To minimize buyer anxiety, ship products in a new box, provide enough packing material to secure the item(s) in the box, and tape the box well. If and when customers contact you through Amazon’s messaging system, be sure to reply quickly and courteously.
Amazon Seller Tip #6: Be prepared for abusive buyers.
Sooner or later this will happen. Someone orders the wrong product or fails to update their shipping address. Now you are being accused of shipping the wrong product to the wrong address. Some abusive buyers are looking to get something for free while others just don’t want to admit they made a mistake. If you sell anywhere online long enough, you’re bound to come across an abusive buyer. Dealing with an abusive buyer requires you to be calm and factual, even though he or she may be irate and make false accusations. If you get negative feedback from one of these buyers, be sure to respond to their feedback. Your response should contain facts about the situation and the buyer’s concerns. Don’t respond with emotional remarks and negative comments. The same is true for any A to Z claims that buyers might file against you. When you represent your case to Amazon, they only want to know the facts regarding the issue.
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