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Amazon Suspensions, Hazmat Products, Long Term Storage Fees

Fee changes? Losing millions on Amazon? If you’re not up to date on all things Amazon, stay tuned for your daily digest. 



Storage Fees

With Q4 comes big sales and (sometimes) big storage fees. A post on seller central reminds us of Amazon’s long-term storage fee inventory cleanup. On November 15th, you’ll be charged a fee for all inventory that’s been sitting in the US fulfillment center for longer than 365 days. Bottom line? Make sure to check your inventory before the 15th and start clearing it out. 

For information on your inventory, head to seller central → inventory → inventory planning → manage excess inventory

Dangerous Goods

Another post on seller central prompts us to study up on dangerous goods. Head here for great information on shipping requirements and get on the waitlist for Amazon’s hazmat program. Even if you don’t currently ship “dangerous goods” it’s likely you’ll ship something classified as such in the near future. More goods are marked potentially dangerous than you’d think – including aerosol, rubbing alcohol, camping equipment, and even essential oils. Bottom line? Check out the information and get on the waitlist. The last thing you want is to be held responsible for issues in transport.

New Low Rate

Do you sell in different countries? Then you probably use a system that converts your profits into US dollars when you receive disbursements. Todd uses a service called PingPong Payments because of its lower fee, but Amazon is touting a currency converter with a new low rate. According to Amazon’s new system, if you’re doing over one million dollars in sales, you’ll potentially have a lower fee than you would with a third-party service. However, it’s unclear what Amazon’s conversion rate is. Bottom line? Third-party systems typically have your interest at heart more than Amazon does.

Millions Lost?

Finally, some big news that’s all over the Amazon community – according to this article, an Amazon seller claims to have lost 1.5 million dollars in inventory after being falsely accused of selling fake products. While many use this as a reason to avoid Amazon, don’t let horror stories like these stop you from selling. Bottom line? If you’re a legitimate seller with legitimate invoices, complaints and even account shutdowns will always be resolved. Also, worst comes to worst, you can always reach out to an Amazon lawyer


Q4 is here meaning so is the holiday season and those big holiday sales. Make sure to get your products in sooner rather than later. And if you’re wondering how to dust off stale products for a 75 to 100% ROI, check out Todd’s latest webinar breaking it all down. 

As always, happy selling everybody. 

Resources From This Episode

Outline Of This Episode

[00:20] Todd’s introduction to this episode

[03:45] Beware the long term storage fees

[05:47] How to ship potentially dangerous goods

[08:43] Amazon’s currency convertor

[11:55] Don’t let this story stop you from selling on Amazon

[25:30] Todd’s closing thoughts on this episode


Announcer (00:01):
Welcome fellow entrepreneurs to the Amazon Seller School podcast, where we talk about Amazon wholesale and how you can use it to build an e-commerce empire, a side hustle or anything in between. And now your host, Todd Welch.

Todd (00:20):
What going on everybody welcome to another episode of the Amazon Seller School. I’m your host, Todd Welch. I hope you guys are having a fantastic beginning of your Q4 so far. We just wrapped up Halloween and we are in the beginning of November. So we’ve got black Friday coming or should be crazy. And of course, Christmas coming as well. So I hope that your sales have started to pick up. Mine are kind of on an even trajectory right now there I’m waiting for some palace to get received in. And I expect my sales to really start exploding here, as everything gets received, and it’s taken awhile for Amazon to receive product in. So if you haven’t already shipped your product Inyou’re going to want to immediately, like I’ve just sent some pallets in, and some of the stuff says that it’s not going to be available for sale until December now, typically it gets in there a lot faster than that, but that just gives you an idea on how long it could potentially take Amazon to receiving your product.

Todd (01:30):
So make sure you’re getting it in right away. If you haven’t already. Now, today, we’re going to be diving into some Amazon news, some really interesting stuff, some fee changes and things like that, but also a really big story that has been making the rounds on the internet of someone who basically got their account shut down for potentially selling inauthentic products and lost one and a half million dollars worth of new inventory. So you’re definitely going to want to stay tuned for that and we can check it out. Now, if you want to get any of the links to the articles in this episode,, since this is episode 48, and you can get links to all the stories and anything else we talked about in this episode. Now, before we go ahead and dive in, I want to bring it up.

Todd (02:26):
The Amazon Seller School, wholesale mine and refined method. This is where I teach you exactly how to find these products that are collecting dust, and you can shine them up a little bit and get all of the sales to yourself at 75 to a hundred percent ROI, sometimes even more so a hundred percent profit. Just imagine having products with a hundred percent profit. I show you exactly how I do that in this masterclass mine, M I N E. If you’re on YouTube, you can get that link down below and you can purchase that masterclass. It is only $47 currently as of recording this. So you’re definitely going to want to grab that and learn the secrets that I am giving you on how to find these products that are collecting dust, and you can turn them into maybe 40, 50, 60 sales per month, all by yourself at a hundred percent ROI, possibly even more.

Todd (03:34):
So check it out. / M I N E mine. All right, without further ado, let’s go ahead and dive into this episode.

Todd (03:45):
All right. The first piece of news that I want to talk about quick was from seller central news. And basically it’s just a reminder that the long-term storage fee inventory cleanup is coming and it’s coming here on November. 15Th is fulfillment by Amazon is next scheduled long-term storage fee inventory cleanup on this day inventory that has been in the U S fulfillment centers for more than 365 days, incurs a long-term storage fee of $6, 90 us dollars per cubic foot or 15 cents per unit long-term storage fee, whichever is greater. So make sure you check your inventory and see if it’s been in there longer than 365 days. They’re going to want to make sure you pull it out of there before November 15th or sell through it.

Todd (04:41):
And you can find that information. And now you can see what inventory is going to get hit by this fee. If you go into your seller central and then go to inventory and inventory planning in the dropdown there, and then once that page loads, you go to the manage excess inventory tab, and you can see they’re all the products that are going to potentially get hit with long-term storage fees. So you’re going to want to make sure you’re, clearancing that product out. If it’s been in there a long time or removing it and pulling it out so you don’t get hit with that long storage fee. So just your reminder to watch out for those long-term storage fees, especially right now in Q4, where fees go way up a lot higher than they normally are throughout the rest of the year. So you really want to pay attention to that in Q4 to make sure you’re not getting hit with those crazy longterm storage fees.

Todd (05:47):
Next up another one from seller central and this headline check the box helps ensure that dangerous goods shipped safely and promptly, dangerous goods that ship without proper packaging and required labels can pose a safety risk while in transit and face delays, check the box initiative by the us department of transportation pipeline and hazardous materials, safety administration offers resources and guidance on shipping dangerous goods.

Todd (06:17):
So this is actually pretty cool. It’s the resources that if you are going to ship potentially dangerous goods, you can go over to this website called check the box, which is

Todd (06:29):
Put out by the us department of Transportation

Todd (06:32):
. And it’s got a lot of really good information on it as to what is hazmat, what is not hazmat, what you need to do for shipping potentially hazardous material. And a lot of this stuff could be stuff that you might not even think about as being hazardous. And so a lot of really good information we’ll put the link in the description, but it’s forward slash check dash the dash box. And you can get to that website and see all the really good information that’s on there as to determining if something is hazmat. And just to give you an idea, some of the things that could be hazmat any kind of aerosol spray any kind of alcohols like rubbing alcohol bleaches, some camping equipment like those camping stoves, kerosene lanterns, car batteries essential oils, potentially if they’re flammable fertilizer, fragrances, lots of different things that are on this list that may not immediately come to mind as being hazardous materials.

Todd (07:46):
But if you’re selling them on Amazon and you’re not labeling them properly, you could be held responsible if there’s some kind of issue in transportation or something else. So you want to know what is and is not hazardous. In addition, we talked about it in a past episode about getting signed up for the hazmat program so that you can sell hazardous materials. There’s a waiting list right now, but we’ll put that link in the show notes so you can get on that waiting list. And once that opens up, you can get in there. Now, whether you’re going to sell hazmat right away or not, you want to be on that list so that if something comes up and it’s profitable, you can sell it. But you want to make sure that you are sending it into Amazon correctly, which this website will really help you out in learning how to take care of and ship that hazardous material.

Todd (08:43):
The next headline, another one from seller central Amazon currency converter for sellers offers new low rate Amazon currency converter for sellers Amazon’s payment solution that allows you to receive disbursements in the currency of your choice. A CCS is moving from a flat rate to volume-based fees, which now provide you discounted rates as low as 0.7, 5%. So this is really cool that Amazon is decreasing these rates. And basically what this is, is let’s say you live in the United States, you’re selling in Canada, you’re going to get paid in the Canadian currency. And when you go to remove that money from seller central, if you have a us bank account, Amazon is going to convert those to us dollars. And previously the fee was very high. I don’t remember exactly what it was, but it was pretty high, like three or 4%. So I’ve been using a service called ping pong payments, which allows me to get bank accounts in different countries.

Todd (09:51):
So for example, I have a bank account in Canada and Mexico, and so I receive those disbursements into those local bank accounts, no fees related to that. And then when I want to, I can transfer that to my us bank account. And ping-pong payments only charges as a maximum of 1%. So it was a really good savings over Amazon’s previously priced for doing that transfer. So now it’s all tier based. So tier one to tier six. So the highest fees right now are 1.5%. And that if you’re doing under $100,000 a year, annual sales under 500,000, you’re getting it at 1.2, 5% greater than 1 million,ureverse that greater than 500,000 greater than 1 million. Now you’re getting down to that 1% greater than 10 million, getting to that 0.7, 5%. So if you’re doing over 1 million, the potential fee is less than something like ping-pong payments.

Todd (11:00):
If you’re doing under that, you’re going to want to use something like ping pong payments, and I’m going to reach out to them. We’ll get them on an upcoming podcasts. So we can talk about currency conversions and things like that, and selling in other countries and how you can save on fees for doing that, but really cool that Amazon is lowering. This competition is fantastic. There’s been a lot of companies that have popped up to manage, transferring your money back and forth for Amazon. And Amazon has seen that pressure and now they are lowering their rates for all of us. So really cool that, that he is coming down and going to help everybody save money on those conversion fees. You always want to look, we got the conversion fees, for example, just the other day, we were looking at PayPal for paying a virtual assistant and PayPal claims, no transfer fees, no conversion fees.

Todd (11:59):
But if you look at their conversion rate that they give you, we compared PayPal with, which is a service that I use. And the conversion rate on transfer wise, even though they charge a small fee was so much greater than a PayPal. You got a lot better exchange that we were actually spending less on TransferWise with paying the fee. Then we were on PayPal with what they claim to be zero transfer fees, but they had a really bad conversion rates. So you got to pay attention to that stuff. Another company that I’d like to get on a future podcast is TransferWise. So I will try to do that as well. So we can talk about paying virtual assistants and people overseas and things like that. But again, Amazon is lowering theirs. The thing we’d want to keep an eye on though, is what is their conversion rate, right?

Todd (12:56):
I’m not sure if it says what their change rate is currently, which exchange rate will be applied to my payment. Amazon currency converter for sellers uses the exchange rate of the day. The transfer to your bank is initiated for failed disbursements. This is the exchange rate of the day of the transfer is initiated. So it doesn’t tell us where they’re getting that exchange rate work from there’s different places. They can get that exchange rate from some are more favorable than others. So that is something we would want to find out. And it does not look like they’re being too transparent with that right here. So personally, for me, even with this lower rate, I’m going to continue to use a service like ping pong payments because I trust them to have my best interests at heart. A lot more than I do Amazon. Amazon is trying to make money for themselves, offer lower price products and things like that.

Todd (13:57):
They’re not necessarily looking at my profit where ping pong their entire business model is to provide me better pricing than what I can get elsewhere. Save me money. That is their business model. Of course they’re making money as well, but they make money when I save money as I’m switching to them because they’re offering better fees. So I always try to go with third-party services rather than Amazon, because I believe typically they have my interests at heart. A lot more than what Amazon does. All right. And last, but definitely not least. This is a big news that I have seen all over the Facebook groups and all the Amazon Facebook groups in different places online. And basically a lot of the comments do are like, see, this is why I don’t sell on Amazon. This is why I am stopping selling on Amazon. Or thankfully I stopped selling on Amazon because this kind of stuff.

Todd (14:59):
And it’s definitely something to keep in mind, but it’s not something to stop you from selling on Amazon. So let’s go ahead, read the headline here. I’ll read a little bit of the article and then we can dive into it. So this is coming to us from Bloomberg and the headline reads after going all in on Amazon, our merchant says he lost everything. Baraq Govani says he was kicked off the site after being falsely accused of selling fake accounts, like his prompted a house panel to accuse Amazon of mistreating its merchants. Baroq Giovanni made a big bet on earlier this year that he now regrets. He shuttered his New York speed clothing store in Los Angeles, storied Melrose Avenue packed up 1.5 million in inventory and shipped it to Amazon warehouses around the country, putting his fate in the hands of a company that has routinely presented itself to the world.

Todd (15:58):
As a friend of small business today, the 41 year old retail veteran is broke in couch surfing between his mother’s home and his sister’s place. Galvani hopes to start a new by getting Amazon to pay him for inventory. The company is destroyed after suggesting his products could be fake and accusation Galvani strenuously denied. And about halfway down the article, they get into the real meat of the issue. So it says Govani has been selling clothes for about 20 years, mostly brands like Hugo boss, Calvin Klein, and lucky about a decade ago, he began supplementing his store sales by putting merchandise on web marketplaces, including Amazon and eBay. Amazon emerged as the most effective partner accounting for about 90% of his online sales initially goes on. He stored, packed and ship all orders himself paying the company, a commission on each sale. Amazon representatives suggested he try fulfillment by Amazon.

Todd (16:54):
And so he went ahead and sent all of that in and to make a long story short. What ended up happening is his customers on Amazon started complaining about inauthentic product says one complaint from San Rafael, California was unhappy with the fit of $125 lucky Moto jacket and said, she was wondering if it was a fake Giovanni refunded, her money. Another shopper was upset that Kevin Klein underpants arrived in damaged carton box is pretty much broken. Item is a knockoff. The shopper said in a product review and because of these inauthentic complaints, Giovanni’s account was suspended and he needed to provide invoices to Amazon to get his account reopened. Now, the invoices that he had were more than a year old and Amazon requires invoices within the last 365 days. And Amazon said that he had to get this taken care of, or his inventory would be destroyed or he had to remove it.

Todd (18:07):
Supposedly Amazon kept changing the date when they were going to destroy his inventory. And it’s not clear as to what Galvani was doing to try to get his account unsuspended other than providing old invoices. That does say that he tried to remove the inventory, but it wouldn’t go through. So the, the article doesn’t give all the details that I would want to know about this issue. So Amazon does have that requirement that your invoices need to be within 365 days. So one of my questions would be why didn’t he try purchasing some more of the effected inventory? You know, we can even purchase 10 units is all they require, get some newer invoices, provide those. The Amazon show that he’s buying from legit suppliers and get the suspension lifted. I would also question, if, did he reach out to an Amazon lawyer that could potentially help him write his appeal to get this potentially cleared?

Todd (19:19):
And it says that he’s tried to make a removal order of his product, so it wouldn’t get destroyed and it wouldn’t go through. So what did he do after that? Did he reach out to Amazon and get on the phone, asked to be escalated, to captive, to support and talk with someone who could help him create the removal order to get the product or out of there. Now it’s possible that since Amazon thought it was inauthentic, they weren’t going to let him remove it because they didn’t want him to sell the inauthentic goods somewhere else. There’s a lot of questions as to what exactly happened and why he did not get his suspension lifted. Now, this definitely sucks. Big time. And Amazon is a pain when it comes to suspending people for strange reasons. Sometimes it doesn’t happen a lot. And I think a lot of times the stories that we hear, there’s a lot more to the story than what the person is actually telling us.

Todd (20:20):
Normally, if the issue that they claim is not real, you can go through the process and get it cleared. It can be a pain. Sometimes you have to go back and forth because you are dealing with people who really have no clue. And don’t really care a lot of the times. So you have to go back and forth. Amazon will even provide you with someone to help you in a lot of cases if you need it. So the Amazon system definitely sucks. Sometimes it is not great, but if you are not doing anything wrong, you should be able to get it clear. Now you might lose a few days, a few weeks worth of sales, which really sucks as you’re going through that process. But I think Gavani should have been able to get cleared if he had gone through the proper steps. So if you get suspended and you have to provide the way that you are going to fix these issues in the future, number one, you have to provide those invoices.

Todd (21:28):
He had old invoices. So if I was him, I probably would have got some new invoices, maybe reached out to the supplier, say, Hey, can you give me some new invoices? Can I purchase a small quantity? I need them to provide to Amazon to show that I’m purchasing from legitimate sources. He could have potentially reached out and got a letter from the brands, if at all possible as well, and worked with Amazon to get that cleared out. I’ve been suspended once in the past, I completed the paperwork and gave them everything that they wanted and they unsuspended me or closed my account within one day. So I wasn’t, we’re lucky that it happened really quickly. I was able to get ungated other people. Sometimes it can take longer. I feel like may galvani was not On top of the suspension, as you keep reading this article, it seems like he was just kind of waiting for things to go through and not necessarily working with Amazon to provide them what they needed.

Todd (22:42):
It’s hard to say for sure, from the article, but what I really want to focus on here is yes, this kind of thing does happen. It doesn’t happen a lot. And it’s not something that should scare you away from selling on Amazon. It’s something to be aware of that this can happen. So keep the paperwork that you have, make sure that the products that you’re selling are authentic. If Amazon has an issue, get it cleared up right away, provide them everything they need. If they will not accept what you need, figure out what they really need and get it to them. If you’re having still having issues, reach out to an Amazon lawyer, like we’ve had some Amazon lawyers on the podcast in the past, and we can link to that show in the show notes. So you can check that out where we talk about all the issues and how you can get through them.

Todd (23:41):
And you can actually reach out to one of these lawyers. Yes, it’s going to cost you a few dollars to get this cleared up. They’ll write you a plan of action and everything to get through these hurdles. So from the article, it doesn’t mention that Gavani ever brought on legal help or anything like that before they destroyed all of his inventory, like $800,000 worth of inventory. So we don’t know for sure what’s going on here. I think there’s more to the story than what they’re putting in this article. Of course, articles like this are typically written to scare you because fear sells. We know that from the news for yourself. So don’t let this stop you from selling on Amazon. Amazon is a huge opportunity there’s issues and things you can run into just like any business, but typically you’re going to be able to get around this.

Todd (24:42):
Scott Needham, for example, from buy boxer, they do 60 million a year and their company has been suspended multiple times over inauthentic claims or IP infringement and things like that. But they’ve also always been able to get it cleared up. They stay on top it, they get it fixed and get it taken care of. So stay on top of it. Don’t let this stop you from selling on Amazon. There’s always people out there trying to scare you and getting you to not sell on Amazon. I still think Amazon is one of the best opportunities in the world right now, and it’s only going to get better as we go forward. All right. So that wraps up the news for this week. I hope you guys enjoyed that. And again, for all the show notes and the links, 48. And if you’re interested in that Amazon wholesale mine and refine masterclass, that I did check out mine. M I N E. You can pick that up and I guarantee you will learn a lot more than the cost of that masterclass. You will really enjoy it if not a hundred percent money back guarantee. So check it out. And with that, that wraps up this episode. I’m your host, Todd Welch, happy selling everybody.

Announcer (26:16):
This has been another episode of the Amazon Seller School podcast. Thanks for listening fellow entrepreneur and always remember success is yours. If you take it.