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Amazon Sellers Can Now Opt-Out of FBA Returns Being Labeled as “Sellable”

Hey, Fellow Amazon Sellers!

Welcome to another edition of our weekly newsletter, packed with the latest updates and insights to supercharge your Amazon journey. Let’s dive in!

1. Amazon Sellers Can Now Opt-Out of FBA Returns Being Labeled as “Sellable”

Amazon sellers have been granted the long-awaited ability to prevent FBA returns from being automatically marked as “sellable,” addressing a common issue where returned items, often inaccurately evaluated, were resold, leading to customer complaints. This feature allows sellers to disable the FBA returns evaluation on all or selected ASINs, offering the option for these items to be either automatically returned to the seller or destroyed. This update is particularly beneficial for sellers of products that should not be resold due to hygiene or quality concerns, providing greater control over inventory and reducing potential negative feedback from buyers.

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2. In-Depth Study of All 92 Amazon Private Label Brands

Amazon’s evolution in private labeling is a critical watch point for sellers on its platform. Initially launching with brands like Pinzon in 2005 and expanding to over 158,000 products across 45 brands by 2019, Amazon has substantially influenced market dynamics in various categories, especially in apparel and electronics with brands like Amazon Basics and Amazon Essentials. However, despite phasing out several brands recently, largely due to FTC scrutiny, Amazon maintains a robust presence with its private labels. This deep dive into Amazon’s private label brands reveals both the breadth and integration of Amazon’s private label strategy, illustrating a competitive landscape where Amazon directly competes with other sellers on its own platform.

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3. Tips To Create An Amazing Amazon Brand Story (With Examples)

For Amazon sellers, crafting a compelling brand story is crucial in differentiating their products in a crowded marketplace. The Amazon Brand Story feature allows sellers to integrate a mix of text and images directly above the A+ Content on product detail pages, enhancing brand visibility and customer engagement. This tool is accessible to sellers registered with Amazon’s Brand Registry or enrolled in Vendor Central and other selling programs. Utilizing the Brand Story effectively involves creating engaging narratives that highlight the brand’s history, values, and unique selling propositions, which not only enhances brand identity but also aids in building a loyal customer base and increasing sales.

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4. Amazon Accused of Swiping Data From Its Third-party Retailers in the U.K.

In the UK, Amazon faces a legal challenge from The British Independent Retailers Association, which claims Amazon has been using data from small, third-party sellers to boost sales of its own products. The association is seeking 1 billion pounds in damages, arguing that Amazon’s practices undermine the competitiveness of independent retailers by unfairly leveraging proprietary information. This lawsuit highlights ongoing concerns among Amazon sellers regarding data privacy and competitive fairness on the platform.

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5. Stop Treating Your Amazon Brand Store Like a Catalog

Jason Landro, Co-CEO at Nectar, emphasizes that Amazon sellers should approach their brand stores as websites rather than simple product catalogs. He critiques the common practice of merely listing product categories on the homepage and specific products on subpages, instead suggesting focusing on a strategic presentation. Landro advises showcasing best-selling products and categories prominently while also incorporating educational content about the brand and highlighting new or seasonal items. By optimizing the design and merchandising of the store, sellers can enhance user experience, potentially increasing average order value, units per order, and overall revenue.

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6. Are Amazon Lightning Deals Worth It?

Amazon Lightning Deals provide a strategic opportunity for sellers to increase exposure and sales through time-limited discounts featured prominently on Amazon’s platform. These deals are particularly visible during events like Amazon Prime Day but are available year-round in various product categories. For sellers, Lightning Deals can enhance product visibility, clear out excess inventory, and potentially attract a surge of customers due to the deals’ prominent placement and the urgency they create. However, sellers need to consider the costs involved, including a $150 fee and the requirement to offer significant discounts, which can impact profitability especially if the product margins are low. Proper planning and inventory management are crucial to maximize the benefits of participating in these deals.

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7. 5 of the Biggest Amazon FBA Mistakes to Avoid

Amazon FBA offers tremendous potential for sellers but also poses challenges and pitfalls that can undermine profitability and operational efficiency. Common mistakes include underestimating Amazon’s various fees, including referral, fulfillment, and storage fees, which can significantly erode profit margins if not properly managed. Additionally, failing to account for storage limits can lead to excessive fees and logistical headaches. Sellers must also navigate the complexity of shipping plans and ensure compliance with Amazon’s strict product acceptance criteria, particularly for items with hazardous materials or restricted ingredients. Over-reliance on FBA without considering alternative fulfillment options like Merchant Fulfilled Network (MFN) can limit flexibility and potential market reach. Understanding and strategically managing these aspects are crucial for maximizing the benefits of using Amazon’s FBA service.

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8. Small Business, Big Anxiety This Year

Small businesses in the U.S. are facing unprecedented levels of uncertainty, the highest since the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a survey by the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB). The NFIB’s “Uncertainty Index” saw a significant rise, increasing by 9 percentage points last month, reflecting the highest anxiety since November 2020. Small businesses, which contribute over 40% to the U.S. GDP and employment, have reported low optimism for 29 consecutive months, with their outlook on future business conditions being the bleakest in 50 years. Inflation remains a primary concern, with 22% of businesses citing it as their top operational challenge, prompting many across various sectors to plan price hikes.

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9. Use Reviews to Improve Product Launches with New Customer Review Insights

Amazon has introduced new features within the Customer Review Insights tab of the Opportunity Explorer to aid sellers in launching successful products. These enhancements include Review Trends, which track changes in customer sentiment over the past six months, and Parent ASIN insights, offering a comprehensive sentiment analysis for products with multiple variations. Additionally, ASIN Benchmarking allows sellers to compare their product’s star rating against the category average to optimize positioning and competitiveness. The Topic Drilldown feature helps sellers pinpoint specific sub-topics frequently mentioned in reviews, enabling them to focus improvements on areas that matter most to customers. These tools are designed to leverage customer feedback effectively, enhancing product development and marketing strategies.

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10. Amazon and Walmart Use GenAI to Cut Vendor Costs

Amazon and Walmart are leveraging generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) to streamline their operations and enhance efficiency within their supply chains. Amazon utilizes AI to inspect and identify product defects before shipping, aiming to minimize returns and improve customer satisfaction. This initiative, dubbed “Project P.I.,” employs computer vision and AI to scrutinize product details like size and color. Concurrently, Walmart is implementing AI earlier in the supply chain process, using a chatbot to automate negotiations with vendors, significantly reducing the time required for these discussions. These advancements not only aim to reduce operational costs but also enhance the profitability of both retail giants, with Amazon and Walmart reporting significant profits in the first quarter of the year.

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11. Amazon Touts Protection for Personal Injury Claims from Defective Products

Amazon has extended its A-to-Z Guarantee to offer broader liability coverage for personal injury and property damage claims related to defective products, now including customers in the EU, Canada, and the UK, in addition to the U.S. This expansion ensures all physical products sold by approximately two million sellers are covered. Amazon’s process facilitates resolution by directly involving itself in claims between customers, sellers, and insurance providers, streamlining the process to save time and reduce hassle for all parties involved. This initiative not only enhances customer protection but also aids sellers by handling the investigative aspects of claims, distinguishing legitimate concerns from fraudulent ones.

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12. Amazon Wholesale Reverse Sourcing: How to Find Suppliers, Distributors, Manufacturers for FBA

Navigating the competitive Amazon marketplace, the key to success lies in finding profitable products and reliable suppliers through reverse sourcing. This method starts with identifying products offered by existing sellers and tracing back to their suppliers or manufacturers. Essential tools for this process include Jungle Scout and Keepa, which help sellers pinpoint potential products by analyzing sales data and historical prices. The strategy involves targeting products with optimal sales volumes and minimal competition from Amazon itself, improving chances to secure supply agreements and potentially exclusive deals with suppliers. This guide offers a comprehensive, step-by-step approach to mastering Amazon wholesale sourcing.

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Happy Selling,

Todd Welch
Amazon Seller School