Selling on Amazon Tips: What Not to Do, Pitfalls, and Myths
There is no shortage of so-called ‘Amazon experts’ out there, but unfortunately much of the information I have seen published is either incorrect, gives false hope, or approaches the topic in a roundabout way. Here are some key points on what not to do:
A study by Shotfarm found that 87% of consumers are unlikely to shop with a brand again after purchasing an item misrepresented but its product description, and 42% of US consumers have returned something due to discrepancies in product descriptions.
Unless there is a supply shortage on your end, going out of stock kills your momentum, rankings, and sales potential. FBA short-term storage fees are cheap, especially for small products, and in almost every case it is worth having excess inventory available at Amazon Fulfillment centers to buffer spikes in demand. There’s also the backup option of Fulfillment by Merchant. Do what you can to avoid going out of stock.
Not Checking on Details and Customer Feedback
Amazon is an extremely fast paced and active site, so in the few days that you forgot to check your page you may have lost the buy box to another seller, went out of stock, had a pricing error, or had your pictures updated to something that you didn’t request.
Additionally, you may have missed out on the recent influx of negative customer reviews that complain about a product issue that you weren’t aware of due to a recent shipment of bad product sent to Amazon. Understanding that as a seller or brand you may have hundreds or thousands of pages, it is critical that you at least check your top selling pages frequently and invest in technology that streamlines these tasks across your entire catalog.
Disregarding Amazon’s Terms of Service
Amazon is very protective of its customers and avoid having them feel overly pressured or like they are receiving spam. They have strict guidelines on what you are able to say on follow up emails (i.e. you’re not allowed to incentivize reviews), what inserts you are able to put in your packaging, etc. If you’re always looking for a shortcut and to boost your rankings in the short-term by engaging in something that is a violation of the Terms of Service, you are jeopardizing your account and credibility on Amazon.
Not Responding to Customer Inquiries
You have 24 hours to respond to a customer, and there are automated tools out there that can help you with at least providing an initial response. If you do not respond in a timely manner to customer and Amazon inquiries, you risk getting negative feedback as a seller and to your product. If you are going out of town or unable to be responsive for a short period of time, update your listings to vacation mode and have someone else jump in and ensure that customer inquiries are being responded to.
Not Removing Incorrect Feedback
Amazon encourages you to work with a buyer who has left you negative feedback to see if you can address their issue. You have the ability to, and should, contact that buyer to resolve their issue and hopefully they will remove the negative feedback. The same goes for incorrect feedback. While you may not always be successful in getting these overturned, you will be surprised at how many times simply asking in an appropriate and respectful way will result in a buyer removing negative feedback.