Managing Your Search Results on Amazon
The eBay & Amazon Seller's News - April 20, 2016 - Volume 17, Issue No. 8
Tips, Tools, News and Resources for eBay, Amazon and Independent Online Sellers
I know this is a little late as there are only a few days left in April, but in order to reduce storage at FBA, Amazon is having a special promotion where you can recall inventory for free during the month of April. Here is the announcement:
Free removal of your FBA inventory until April 30, 2016
You may have slow-moving or low-selling inventory. Starting March 31, 2016, FBA is waiving fees for any removal order for return or disposal of your inventory that is currently in U.S. fulfillment centers. Learn more (You have to be logged into Seller Central to use that link)
The blogging book was last updated in 2014 but at that time we did not update the second section on setting up your WordPress site. My co-author, Marsha Perry is a WordPress expert. She wrote that section of the book and has just written a special bonus report, WordPress Update 2016, that updates the WordPress information.
Those of you who already purchased the book can get the WordPress Upate 2016 bonus report on the original download page. Anyone buying the book now, will have the latest up to date info delivered with the book.
And here is a time-sensitive extra bonus, good only through May 31st. If you buy Make Money Blogging From Home you'll get a $10 off coupon on Make Money with The Amazon Affiliate Program. The coupon is on the download page for the blogging book. Remember, the $10 coupon will only be available through May 31st of this year.
Interesting concept: There is a service called MyRealKarma.com that has been operating successfully in the UK for several years and has now moved into the US Market. Here is what it does:
eBay, Amazonand Etsy storefronts do not show up in Google search.
Here's how they solve it...
For every user they create a Seller Profile, which contains all of their customer feedback, social media accounts, friendly sellers etc. Users can display their Seller Profile on any website to build trust and sell more.
Also a Seller Profile is a full blown web page that is searchable by the Major Search engines. This can drive targeted high value traffic to users online stores and build web presence using their Seller Profile. Best of all, MyRealKarma.com is completely Free, not a trial or freemium.
So if you also sell from a website, I suggest you take a look at their service and give it a try.
One of the articles below is about getting approved to sell in restricted categories. But there are also several dozen restricted product brand names you cannot sell on Amazon. A lot of folks who don't know this, and are practicing Retail Arbitrage, make the mistake of buying these products and when they get home and try and list them, they learn they are not allowed to sell them.
Worst of all, Amazon does not publish the list - you don't learn you can't sell an item until you try and list it. However, I have been able to assemble a pretty good list of many of the restricted products. It's not 100% perfect, so if you have come across a restricted product that is not on my list, Please Click here to contact us and let us know and we will add it to the list.
Here is the link to my list of restricted brands on Amazon.
This is from Diana Ratliff who has written several guest posts for this newsletter. I thought my readers might benefit from this.
Ecomm Think Tank just interviewed my partner Marcus about retargeting for ecommerce.
He talks about what types of ads work best, how to use it for data-mining, choosing ad networks, determining a budget, and more.
Trying to spread the word a bit and get some mileage out of the publicity - please share if you know anyone who might be interested.
Jungle Scout has just published an interesting post on Keyword Research. Here is the information:
If you can quantify your decisions with good data, why would you not? I have based my Amazon FBA business around gathering the most important information to do product research. But once you have chosen your product, you can still use data to maximize your likelihood of success...
That strategy is called Keyword Research. We have just put together an in-depth run down of how you can do keyword research to optimize your listing for the most important, and profitable, customer searches on Amazon.
For the past few years I have been recommending Barcodestalk as the place to buy UPC codes for your Amazon listings. However, Amazon (and eBay) will soon require UPC codes that are GS1 certified, which Barcodestalk does not yet do. So I have changed over to Nationwide Bar Codes as they do sell GS1 certified bar codes. Their pricing and service are very similar to Barcodestalk.com.
UK Amazon Sellers - A while ago I featured an article that listed ship and prep centers in the US and UK. Since then I have discovered a new one in the UK - FBA Prep & Ship. Best of all they are offereing a 25% discount to my readers. So when you sign up, use the Contact Us form on the website to let them know you came from my newsletter and you will get the discount.
Lets get started with this monthís articles:
Winning the buy box means you have to come up well in search when an Amazon buyer types search terms into the search box. How well you do your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) on Amazon will determine how high you come up and allow customers to find your products.
The first thing you need to remember is on February 2, 2016 Amazon announced changes to its list of prohibited seller activities The new policies prohibit any attempts to manipulate
the search and browse experience on Amazon.
Amazon uses a search algorithm to serve up results when a customer types keywords or product names into the search box on Amazon. The exact specifications of that algorithm are secret, but some have leaked out and are well understood in the industry.
Here are some of the things we know the algorithm looks for (not necessarily in order of importance - that I don't know).
So there you have it. Those are the key items the Amazon search engine looks for to bring up search results. Now, how can you improve your chances?
If you are having problems in search and winning the buy-box, then try these techniques and they will be sure to improve your business.
It is possible to get some of your wholesale suppliers to ship direct to Amazon for you.
Typically, only the smaller companies will do this. Large companies and large distributors have systems in place that make this difficult to do. But, I have 5 different suppliers - all small companies, where I can communicate direct with the owner who I have trained to do this.
The key to making this work is to give your suppliers highly explicit directions. Here is a recent email I sent to one of my suppliers (in this case the owner of the company) explaining how to create a shipment:
You said you were willing to try this, so here is a new order for 24 each of the two piece combo __________ sets.
Here are the steps you need to do - Please read carefully as Amazon is very strict about how this is done.
- I have attached a PDF of the product labels
- You need to print those out and place the label over the UPC code on the package so the UPC is completely covered.
- Amazon does not permit Styrofoam peanuts or shredded paper in their shipments
- Put all 24 in one box
- If there are any bar codes printed on the box please X them out
- If the polybags have an opening greater than 5 inches Amazon requires a suffocation warning label on the poly bag.
- When the shipment is ready, please email me the weight and dimensions of the box. I enter that into my Amazon accounts and Amazon generates a shipping label. I will then email you the PDF of the shipping label.
- The shipping label comes in two parts. Both parts are used on the box - but one thing Amazon requires is that neither label can cover the slit in the center of the box that gets cut open when they open the box. So put one label on each side of the box center.
This is so when Amazon opens the box they do not cut through the label.
- Then you just give the box to UPS and Amazon charges me for the shipping.
- IF you want to come up with a small charge to cover your supplies and time, I am OK with that. Most of the vendors who do this for me charge 25¢ per item.
I know this sounds complicated but its really not, and it doesn't take all that much time.
Product labels attached - I use Avery 5160 labels which come 30 to a sheet. And for the shipping label you need a full size 8.5 x 11 sheet label
If this is too complicated, let me know and we can go back to the old way. But this really saves me shipping cost both to here and to Amazon and that means if these are more profitable, then I can buy more often.
This email was our first shipment and it went fine. Notice that I offered him 25¢ each for doing this. But he did not charge me for that and did it for free. Out of the five vendors who ship direct to FBA for me, three of them charge me a fee and the other two don't. Even with paying the fee I save both money and time. I only pay one shipping charge and it's the lower Amazon shipping concession charge, and my items get to Amazon much sooner so they sell faster.
Several product categories on Amazon are Restricted in the sense that you have to apply to be admitted to sell. There are also certain specific products that require approval. These include:
(Note - the hyperlinks below will take you to the page describing the restrictions, but you must be logged into Seller Central to open those links).
Categories and Products Requiring Approval
I picked the jewelry category (which we sell in) as an example of what you will see on the page. At the end of the page is a button that says "Request Approval." Hitting that button will take you to the application page. Here is what the Jewelry Restriction page looks like:
The requirements for selling in the Jewelry category reflect buyer concern for product quality, product branding, and consumer safety. Adherence to import and export restrictions is also important to ensuring that buyers can purchase authentic, high-quality Jewelry products.
Sellers must meet the requirements listed below to sell products in the Jewelry category. Please read this list of requirements and consult our Help pages if you have questions about specific policies. Meeting these requirements does not guarantee that Amazon will approve sellers to sell in Jewelry. Amazon reserves the right to review the quality of each seller's products and listings, including checking that products and listing data meet all applicable requirements. Please note that Amazon may remove your selling privileges for failing to meet these requirements.
Seller minimum requirements
Sellers must meet these performance criteria to be eligible to apply to sell in the Jewelry category:
View your current metrics in the Performance section of your seller account under Account Health.
If your account does not meet the minimum criteria, your application will be rejected . Please take corrective action and ensure your performance metrics meet the minimum criteria before completing the application.
Product quality requirements
Product listing requirements
Item data requirements
Product listing data for all Jewelry items must meet Jewelry-specific standards.
Next step: request approval
If you would like to apply to sell Jewelry on Amazon.com and if you meet the requirements listed above in the Seller Minimum Requirements section, please click the Request approval button below. If you plan to sell any items with fine materials, please indicate this on the request and your application will be processed accordingly.
When you request approval the system will ask you for several things. One of them is a website address where Amazon can look at your items and images. Remember to check the Amazon Image guidelines to make sure your images comply. As for the website, if you do not have one, an easy way to go is just set up an eBay Store and list about a dozen items - again making sure to include the Brand name, UPC code and an approved Amazon image for each item. Then just give Amazon the URL address of your eBay Store.
The other thing Amazon usually asks for, are copies of invoices from real wholesale suppliers (not retail stores). They typically want at least three separate invoices - each less than 90 days old. The best way to get these is just buy some jewelry from suppliers with low minimum orders and list the items to sell on eBay until you get approval from Amazon.
So the first thing you have to do is read all the regulations on the restricted category page and build a checklist to make sure you meet all of those. Then fill out the online application. Don't be surprised if you are denied - I have spoken with sellers who were denied at least 3 or 4 times before they were accepted.
If you are denied, do not open a support case, just reapply. The bad news is Amazon does not always tell you why you were denied - although sometimes they do, such as telling you your images were not acceptable or something like that.
One more thing - In addition to categories, Amazon also requires approval to sell specific products. Here is their list
Products Requiring Approval
Even if selling in a category does not require approval from Amazon, selling certain products may require approval:
For certain specific products such as Wine, Amazon requires you to have a liquor license from your state. If you don't have one, then done even bother applying as you will never be accepted.
Remember - not all of these websites are wholesale sites. When you run into this, just use the contact us form and send an email that looks like this:
I am a retailer located in _____________. I would like to carry your products. Do you have a rep or distributor in our area, or may we deal with you directly?
Here is our business information
1212 Main Street
Oakmont, PA 15139
PA State Resale number - B26 7759 18
OK let's list some sources.
Memorial Day and July 4th will be here soon and that is a good time of year to sell American flags and décor. Here are some flag suppliers
Highest quality flags, flagpoles, pennants and banners at the best prices.
Buy flags with confidence from our unique online flag store. All state and national designs are authentic and delivered swiftly to your door.
We stock all forms of American Flags and we sell them wholesale to anyone that wants to buy. We have a full supply of American Flags for Memorial Day, Flag Day, July 4th Independence Day, 4th of July, Veterans Day & we supply Cemeteries, Graveyards, Realtor's & public municipalities with American flags and stick flags.
Now some other sources
Huafu International Trading offer woman handbags, woman wallets and accessories.
A wholesale supplier of handbags, tote bags, and more.
Olympiceyewear is a true importer of sunglasses. They offer attractive prices to retailers and wholesalers. They use higher quality materials and ensure high level of quality control on all sunglasses we make.
Internationally recognized, Bobster® Eyewear is a global leader renowned for revolutionary functional eyewear systems.
offers a big selection of t shirts including wildlife t-shirts, funny t shirts, skull t-shirt. They also offer flexfit hats, headwraps, biker t-shirts, and more.
Wholesale Pins provides custom Lapel Pins for all your needs. You may choose from cloisonné, enamel, die-struck, and other styles of Lapel Pins.
State Line Bag Company manufactures genuine cotton bags in a variety of designs and sizes. Current lineup of bags consists of premium cotton drawstring backpacks and collection of cotton muslin bags.
Buy Glass Bottles, Plastic Bottles, Glass Jars, Plastic Jars, Tins, Metal Containers, Glass Vials, Pet Bottle, Wholesale Containers, Candle Jars, Glass Bottle and Glass Jars.
Surefire is a manufacturer of a wide variety of illumination tools
TickleMePlants Sensitive TickleMe plants! Grow your own fun tickle me plants and sensitive plants with your own seeds. A great scientific and educational project. Touch the plant the leaves close!
Thatís it for now. See you in early May.
P.S. If you missed the last issue, click here to read it.
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