Are you prepping for the new Amazon Prime Day date? Do you think Walmart can beat out Amazon? Have you noticed the buy box glitching? In this episode of Amazon Seller School, Todd breaks down everything Amazon-related so you can stay in-the-know and on top of your e-commerce game. Stay tuned.
The Buy Box
According to a post on Amazon Sellers ASGTG, the buy box on Amazon has been “stuck” since July 1st. In other words, when your price matches the price in the buy box, the buy box isn’t rotating as it should. You may notice a drop in sales as a result. So what can you do about it? Unfortunately not much, but it’s important to keep buying and selling products and scouting suppliers as you normally would. When this problem does get resolved, you’ll regret not keeping your business afloat.
Do you sell Washington Redskins merchandise? Unfortunately, today is not your lucky day. After the NFL team announced their name change, Amazon is forcing all sellers to remove existing merch within 48 hours. While in Todd’s mind this quick timeline is unacceptable, he recommends trying eBay, Facebook Marketplace, or simply holding on to your products. One day they’ll be valuable collectibles.
Amazon recently announced an end to seller anonymity as we know it. Beginning September 1st, Amazon sellers must publicly list their name and business address to instill confidence in customers as they purchase products through third-party sellers. Ultimately this is a good thing as it will make it more difficult for bad sellers to do illegitimate work. Worried about sharing an address? Open a PO box or use services like PostScan Mail that provide you with a billing address. Tell us what you think about Amazon’s new policy in our Facebook group!
There’s a new petition floating around asking Amazon to let sellers opt-out of returns being reshipped to new customers. In short, this is a fantastic request. Sometimes customers reship products incorrectly or with faulty products and oftentimes the seller takes the blame. Sign the petition here!
The Rise of Walmart
Watch out Amazon, Walmart is releasing their version of Amazon Prime: Walmart+. The service costs $98 per year and includes features such as same-day delivery, discounts on gas at Walmart fueling stations, and early access to deals. They’re also offering a Fulfilled By Walmart option so it will be interesting to see how the service plays out. Overall, competition is great for Amazon sellers so nothing to sweat about here. The more competition on Amazon, the harder they’ll work to keep customers and third-party sellers happy.
Amazon Pushes Prime Day Back (Again)
Finally, Amazon has pushed Prime Day back to October. This gives us sellers a bit more time to prepare. So when September hits, be sure to order extra and remember that your sales on Prime Day might quadruple!
With another news-filled episode under the books, hopefully you’re ahead of the curve on all things e-commerce. Check out more of Todd’s resources here and be sure to subscribe wherever you’re listening.
Happy selling everybody.
Resources From This Episode
- Buy Box not rotating properly since July 1st
- Amazon Sellers ASGTG
- Amazon is purging Washington Redskins merchandise from its marketplace
- PostScan Mail
- Amazon decides sellers must publicly display their name and address
- Amazon Seller School Facebook group
- Sign the petition asking Amazon to let sellers opt-out of returns being shipped to new customers
- Walmart set to launch a competing service to Amazon Prime – report
- Report: Amazon pushes Prime Day back to October
- Todd’s resources
Outline of This Episode
[00:19] Todd’s introduction to this episode
[01:03] Beware the buy box
[04:28] What to do with your Washington Redskins merchandise
[08:22] Say goodbye to your anonymity
[15:15] Fight for your rights as a seller
[19:07] Is Walmart the next Amazon threat?
[22:29] How to prep for Prime Day
[25:07] Todd’s closing thoughts on this episode
Welcome fellow entrepreneurs to the Amazon Seller School podcast, where we talk about Amazon wholesale and how you can use it to build an eCommerce empire, a side hustle or anything in between. And now your host, Todd Welch.
What’s up everybody. Welcome to this week in Amazon news, I’m your host Todd Welch. And in this episode, we have some really big news from some buy box issues to more news on Walmart, challenging Amazon, to perhaps your personal information being shown on Amazon. If you are a seller and much more, definitely gonna want to stay tuned for this one show notes and the transcript can be found at amazonseller.school/ 32, as well as links to all of the news that we talk about in this episode. So without further ado, let’s go ahead and dive into the news. So first up here is some big news on the buy box, if you are a seller. So the buy box of course, is the person who is currently selling an item on Amazon. And this information is coming from Amazon sellers, a S G T G, which is a Amazon seller group that puts out some really good news and found this on their Twitter feed here.
And it says alert, Amazon BB, not rotating properly since July 1st, many sellers losing sales. And I have heard reports of this from other places as well. I’m not having too many problems that I know of, but basically what is going on is it seems like the buy box is stuck. So if someone is in the buy box and you match their price, it’s not rotating that buy box like normal. So you may go from getting a bunch of sales on an item, and then all of a sudden, now you’re not getting any. Now this could be happening to me. I just haven’t noticed it. I’ve got like over 300 products. So it’s hard to look at all the them all the time, but I’ve heard in different Facebook groups, people having this problem where their buy box percentages have been going from like 30% of the rotation down to zero or 1% before they were getting like 30 sales per day.
And now they’re getting like one or two or five handful of sales per day. So it’s definitely a big issue. I’ve actually heard of some people they’re not sending in product because they’re worried that they’re not getting any sales. So it’s definitely something you want to be worried about and aware of because you don’t want to overstock, but at the same time, you don’t want to stop sending him product and stop selling on Amazon. Like I’ve seen some people say that they’re just going to stop or should they stop until this blows over. And Amazon knows this as an issue. It was happening earlier before as well. And they fixed it pretty quickly. So I have no doubt that they will fix it again. They know that it’s a problem and that they need to fix it. It’s most likely to some kind of bug that is going on in the system and will be fixed sooner rather than later.
So if being effected by this, don’t let it stop you continuing doing what you’re doing, selling your products, finding more products, sending more products in because when this is fixed, you’re gonna wish you would not have done that once this is fixed. So I would just keep moving forward, like normal order your product based off of your sales, velocity history and send that product in so that you are ready when this gets fixed. Hopefully sooner, rather than later, as of the recording of this, which is July 9th, it’s still an issue. Hopefully by the time this goes live, maybe it might even be fixed, but it’s then an issue. And I want to let you guys know about it, for sure.
So, all right, next up, this headline is from geek wire. It’s Amazon is purging Washington, Redskins merchandise from its marketplace. So it says Amazon told third party sellers and its marketplace. They have 48 hours to remove Washington Redskins merchandise. Havemade widespread calls for the football team to change his name from a racial slur against native Americans. That’s an opinion. Amazon notified sellers of the change. Wednesday, according to CNBC, Amazon is one of several brands that will stop carrying the team’s merchandise as the NFL and sponsors call from a name to be changed. Fedex, which owns the naming rights. The team’s home stadium is among the sponsors putting pressure on the franchise,
Basically, as it says there, if you sell any Washington Redskins merchandise, you are basically out of luck. By the time you’re viewing this, those are going to be taken down. You have to have them off there. Now we can dive into the name change. You know, I’ve heard opinions all over the board from it’s a racial slur as this article says, which is their opinion.
And to, you know, we shouldn’t change it because it’s not offensive. I’ve read an article that nine out of 10 native Americans are not offended by it. So, you know, personally, I don’t see it as a big issue, but you know, if they decide to change the name, that’s fine. I don’t really care a whole lot. It’s not going to affect my life very much if they do change it. But as far as the third party sellers having to take down their merchandise, I think that is completely ridiculous. It’s not something that they’re doing. It’s an opinion from in my opinion, probably more white people than native American people, but forcing sellers to take this down or take their merchandise down, that they may have spent a hundred or not hundreds, but hundreds or thousands, tens of thousands of dollars maybe even more for this merchandise that they have in there is not acceptable. In my opinion,
They could at least let them know that, okay, this is going to happen. You need to sell through this merchandise you have until the end of the month or 30 days or 60 days or something like that. Because most of our sellers carry between 30 and 60 days worth of stock of inventory. So to give people 48 hours to get rid of their merchandise is just very ridiculous. And it sounds like Walmart and target, and some other companies are doing this as well. So definitely not cool. I am glad I don’t sell any NFL merchandise. I would never sell any NFL merchandise because they are known to be very rude and mean to people who are selling their products, that they don’t want to sell their products. So I’m not a big fan of the NFL currently, especially in the seller marketplace.
I wouldn’t touch their products with a 10 foot pole. So glad I don’t sell any, if you sell any, I feel really bad. E-Bay from what I know as not banned of the sale of Washington Redskins merchandise. So you could unload it there, Facebook marketplace perhaps, or maybe hang on to it because this stuff is probably going to end up being a collectors product down the line. If the name change actually happens and you still have Washington Redskins merchandise or cards or whatever, the value of that’s probably going to go up in the future, because those will be disappearing. You’re not going to be able to get new ones. So it’s potentially an investment. Maybe you could hang on to that product and sell it a year down the line or something like that and make some really good money at it. There’ll be someplace that you can sell it, even though they ban it on like eBay and Facebook and Amazon, all those places, you’ll be able to find a place to sell it. If you use some of your entrepreneurial skills and say, get rid of that merchandise or unload that merchandise, um, it’ll definitely be an opportunity. So I feel bad for people who have the Redskins merchandise, they’re unfairly being left out in the cold on this, in my opinion, but wanting to let you guys know, just in case you are selling any Washington Redskins merchandise, all right
So this next piece of news found on PC magazine. Amazon decides sellers must publicly display their name and address. So this is huge news for sellers in the U S this was already the case in the UK. So if you’re in the UK and other international places, this was already the case, but amazon.com sellers, if you click to a seller’s profile, it would have like their phone number there. If they entered it, the name of their business, and that’s really it.
You couldn’t see any other information, but now with this change, they are going to start displaying your business address as well. Or if you’re not a business, your personal address, and this is going to be beginning September 1st, 2020. And just to read the beginning here, it says Amazon really wants its customers to have confidence. The products they are buying are legitimate, especially when they choose to purchase from a third party seller. So from September Amazon assisting sellers publicly list their name and address as GeekWire reports, such details are already listed on Amazon, across Europe, as well as Mexico and Japan. The change in September extends the policy to amazon.com. So us consumers can always view seller details too. Amazon informed third party sellers about the new policy by way of a letter, which explains beginning of September 1st, 2020, we will display a seller’s business name and address on their amazon.com seller profile page. For individuals, we will display the individual name and address.
So big news for sure, being anonymous on Amazon is definitely going to be going away. Now. We were never completely anonymous. There was ways to find the address. If you’ve ever gotte n a letter by vories for selling a product, and that brand wanted you to go away, they might hire vories and vories would find your address and send you this nice legal letter, telling you how horrible of a human being you are and that you need to get their stuff off of Amazon. The legality of those letters are definitely in question, but the way they were finding that information, I don’t know for sure, but they had ways to find that information and send you those letters. So there was ways to find your address and stuff before, but now the address that you have entered in seller central is going to just be displayed publicly for everyone.
I think in the long run, this will be a positive thing because it’s going to make it harder for those bad sellers that are out there from being anonymous and maybe legitimately doing things that they shouldn’t be doing, like selling products that they are not authorized to sell, or there’s some legitimate that they shouldn’t be selling those products. From the Facebook groups that I’m on. And talking with people, a lot of people are super concerned about this because it could open them up to get more letters from vories or maybe people sending fake legal letters to try to get them to take down products on Amazon. I could definitely see that happening, right? The black hat sellers, the horrible sellers that are out there, hopefully you’re not one of them trying to scam people, pretending to be legal companies and asking them to take down products.
So for me, this is basically going to make me a lot more skeptical of any information that I get from someone pretending to be a brand or a law agency. If it’s not coming in like certified mail or something like that. And I can look up that legal organization, call them on the phone, ask them up to the letter. I’m basically just going to be throwing in the trash and ignoring it. So, you know, there’s definitely a lot to be worried about too. Especially if you have your home address on there, you’re going to, I have that address is going to now be public for your business. And you know, there’s a lot of crazy people out there. You never know. They get some product that they didn’t like from you and something happens. They’re gonna potentially take it out on you. So it could open us up for that as well.
So what a lot of people have been talking about doing is if you don’t have a business address, that’s not your home address. You can get like a PO box or there are companies out there that will sell you a business address for a hundred dollars a month. UPS you can get boxes there as well that have a regular address rather than a PO box. Things like that, to put that as your business address. And that way that is what will be displayed on Amazon instead of your home address, or if you don’t want them know, like the address to your warehouse or something like that, you can do that as well. One of the things I use is a company called post scan mail. And so I get a post mail box from them. So that’s my billing address. And that is what will be displayed on Amazon for that address.
So there’s different things that you can do to still hide yourself and make it so that people are not having your direct home address if that’s what you currently have on there. So definitely big news. And if you’re worried about that at all, you’re going to want to look into more of those solutions that can keep people from being able to see your, your home address. And you’re going to need to do that before September 1st to before that change is made, let me know down in the comments you think about that story as well. If you’re listening to this on podcast, head on over to our Facebook group, amazonseller.school/facebook, and you can leave your comments there and let me know what you think on that story.
All right, so this next one is not so much news, but it’s actually a petition over there on change.org.And this one is Amazon FBA should allow sellers to opt out of returns, being reshipped to new customers. And basically what it says here is Amazon is third party sellers are the heartbeat of Amazon providing 58% of products to customers as is well known. Amazon holds sellers to an extreme level of excellence, demanding near perfect execution, delivering new products in time with outstanding customer service. This is what makes Amazon so trusted. This should continue and is why I love shopping on Amazon. It also forces sellers to always aim higher and do better. There is one scenario, however, that is hurting Amazon, the sellers and buyers that has been irking, the FBA sellers humidity for decades. If it’s shipped from FBA and the customer refuses or returns it, the item is placed back into salable and recent back to the next buyer. So what’s wrong with Amazon re sending new products to buyers, some shady buyers, especially in the high end sunglasses market, switch out a counterfeit pair with the real one. And the next buyer gets a counterfeit or used pair. The second buyer then complaints item was fake or use, and the seller gets suspended because Amazon’s strict policy. You can still on counterfeit or non pristine products.
So I definitely agree with this, and that’s why I’m bringing it up. It’s definitely an issue. My wife and I actually just had this recently where we were buying an espresso machine and we ordered three times from Amazon. And every time the box that we got was not completely sealed. And when we opened it up, the machine had water inside it. So we had to return it all three times, we ended up going and buying it from bed bath and beyond finally got one that was completely sealed and it was fine. So this is definitely a big issue for sellers and for buyers. I had this issue as a buyer have had this issue as a seller as well, where people, you know, they want to get the free return shipping.
So instead of telling the truth, they just say, Oh, it wasn’t as described or something like that, or wasn’t new. So they return it. And they’re just trying to get free shipping. They’re not doing anything malicious technically, but Amazon strikes puts a strike against us. And that is just wrong. So not sending stuff that has been returned, being able to give them the option to return that to us so we can inspect it because Amazon’s employees do not do a very good job at expecting this stuff. You know, they don’t know what they’re looking for, and they don’t have any real big reason to do a really good thorough inspection of a product. When I get the returns back to me, I, most of the time just sell them, like used like new or used very good or something like that, almost regardless,uespecially if it’s been opened, because then you’re not having to worry about getting that strike against you and the customer knows what they’re getting.
So I have already signed this petition. I would recommend you guys do as well. I’ll put that link in the show notes, amazonseller.school/ 32. So you can sign that petition as well. I would really appreciate it. As of the recording of this, there are 602 people have signed and let’s get to 1000. It says, so I’ve already signed. Hopefully you will as well. I’ll actually make a short link so you can get to this. So Amazon Seller School.com/returns will take you right to this petition. And you can sign it if you like.
All right, next up. This is from gamespot.com. Walmart set to launch a competing service to Amazon prime says the U S retail giant will soon announce a new program called Walmart P lus, according to a report, watch out Amazon Walmart is preparing to announce a new membership program of its own that will compete with Amazon prime.
This is according to a report from Recode, which States that Walmart’s subscription Walmart plus will cost 98. Us dollars a year include a lot of perks. These include same day delivery and discounts on gas at Walmart’s fueling stations. Subscribers will also get early access to deals. Sources told the site along with some kind of video entertainment. Walmart sold a streaming service voodoo in April, 2020. Walmart plus will formally launch later this month. And according to the report, the retailer originally planned to announce it in late March or April, but the company pushed its unveiling back due to the COVID-19 crisis. The report said, so this is huge news, more competition for Amazon. As I said previously in Amazon news, when someone was mentioning that they thought Alibaba was the bigger competitor to Amazon, I still stand behind Walmart being the biggest competitor. They’re putting a lot of money into the online space and competing directly with Amazon.
They have the name recognition in the U S market and they are making a big place. So competing directly with Amazon prime here, it’ll be interesting to see how well it takes off. Will people want to pay for another subscription service like this, and will people have both Amazon prime and Walmart plus, or will people switch from Amazon prime to Walmart plus, or the selection on Walmart does not match Amazon yet? It’s getting there. It’s getting very good. I am getting more and more interested in listing my products on Walmart, for sure, with everything that they’re doing. And previously we talked about that they’re having their fulfilled by Walmart service as well. So that is huge. But Walmart, I should say is making a huge play. And I’m really interested to see how this goes. Walmart is taking more and more of the eCommerce space and creeping up and competing with Amazon.
They’re still way behind. So I don’t want to make it sound like they are right there or even close. They’re still way behind. Just like eBay is way behind, but it’s awesome to see competition like this in a capitalist society like we have in the U S we need competition. Amazon right now is the dominating force. Online. Walmart coming up is just going to help push Amazon to be even better. And that’s going to help consumers and help us sellers as well. So I’m really looking forward to this. Glad to see that Walmart keeps making inroads into Amazon’s territory.
All right. And last but not least, this article is from entrepreneur.com. It says Amazon pushes prime day back to October. For the past five years Prime day has been held in July, but it looks as though the ongoing pandemic has seen Amazon decided to break with tradition and delay its big sales event.
By three months as CNBC reports, Amazon has decided that now is not the time to launch a massive sales event online, as it continues to be one of the key suppliers of goods to people stuck at home and email sent out to third party. Sellers confirms that prime day won’t happen till October 5th, but that’s a place holder date, meaning it could still be moved further back in the year. So we talked about this as well earlier that prime was getting pushed back and Amazon was having to clear out of a lot of its inventory that had stocked up on. So here is more of an official date, October 5th, so that as of the recording, this is about three months out. So that gives us all time to prepare for Amazon prime because that day sales are going to quadruple, if not more of a lot of your products.
So you’re going to want to stock up towards the end of September to be prepared for this day. So whatever you’re using for your inventory, restocking or analysis, to know what you need to reorder, you’re going to want to add some extra in going into the end of September to be prepared for this. Now, maybe they’ll change it three months is a while out, but it gives us time to prepare and be ready. Most likely they’re going to try to hit that date. If not, I’ll hopefully see the news and I can let you guys know if that is going to change, but it’s something we want to be prepared for so that when it comes, we can have enough inventory in there. So you can see that boost. It’s pretty awesome to see, like, you know, right now I’m selling around four to $5,000 per day.
And when prime day hits even that week, you’re going to go from maybe 5,000 to 10, 15, 20,000 in sales that one day, and then it’s going to start dropping off and tail off through that week and go back to normal. Might even dip down a little bit below normal as people move, they’re purchasing to prime day. But for the most part, you see a really big boost in sales that day. So you definitely want to be prepared.
All right. So that wraps up this week in Amazon news. I appreciate you guys watching get the show notes, transcripts and links to all of these news atamazonseller.school/ 32. And if you want to check out my resources as well, I have everything that I use as a seller. So if you’re just getting going as a seller and trying to find different software and things like that, that you want to use head on over to Amazon Seller School.com/resources. And I list all of the software that I use with quick little reviews on them and what I use them for. You can definitely check that out. A lot of those are affiliate links as well. So if you purchase that software through those links, I’ll get a small cut of that at no additional cost to you. And it would really be appreciated. So again, Todd Welch with the Amazon Seller School signing off happy selling everybody.
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.