1. Always Answer Customer Communications quickly – When you get a question from a customer, Amazon wants you to answer it within 24 hours and if you do not that is a demerit against your account. You can see customer questions in your Seller Central just to the left of the page and you can set up your account so customer questions are forwarded to your email so you can answer them even if you are not currently working on Amazon. If you have a smart phone, you can even answer them from your phone.
2. If you are merchant fulfilling make sure to ship all orders within 1 business day and always enter the tracking information – Amazon requires you to state the handling time for all products and to meet that expectation. Not doing so can lead to losing featured seller status and if your numbers are really bad Amazon may cancel your account.
3.Don’t trust UPC codes when listing items – When you have an item for sale, you enter the UPC code into the Amazon page where it says Add a Product. But it is your responsibility to make sure the item you are selling is the exact same item as listed on Amazon. What happens is that manufacturer’s update their products with new features and don’t always change the UPC code. This happened to me a couple of years ago. I bought some home security camera systems from a liquidation outlet. Unbeknownst to me, the reason the manufacturer sold to the liquidator was they had improved the item by adding a recordable disk drive but they did not change the UPC code. So I listed my item and when they sold, I got everyone of them returned along with a couple of bad feedbacks.
It is your responsibility to make sure that what you are selling on Amazon is exactly like the product in the listing. Not only look at the photographs closely but read the full description and the specifications to make sure what you are selling is the 100% identical product.
4. Describe product accurately – This may seem like a no-brainer, but believe me if there is even the slightest difference between the product you are delivering, and what you describe in your listing, customers will notice. This will lead to returns and negative feedback.
5. Ask for Feedback – Amazon buyers seldom leave feedback unless you ask them. I currently use Feedback Five. This is a third party service that automatically sends out an email to each customer telling that if there is anything whatsoever wrong with the transaction to let us know and give us a chance to fix it. The emails are sent out automatically and contain a link for them to just click on and leave feedback. After 5 years on Amazon my feedback was still under 50. After just two years of using Feedback Five, my feedback is now over 900. And those emails have helped me prevent several negative feedback situations when customers contacted me first before leaving feedback.
And before I tell you about the newsletter I want to point out a VERY special item in the musings. Specifically, this section:
As you may imagine December is a big month for our product sales on eBay and Amazon but my book sales tend to die during December, so I usually run a sale on my books. (I apologize in advance for anyone who just bought a book before the sale but I can’t go back and undo that)
I am offering 25% off all my products from now, until Midnight Christmas Eve. Just use the coupon code SAV25SKIP. After you enter the coupon be sure and click the button that says APPLY or it will not take.
PLEASE READ CAREFULLY – If you want to buy more than one book you will need to buy them separately because my shopping cart will only discount the last item sold. If you add more than one item to the shopping cart it will only take the discount on the last item added. We have tried to fix that but our shopping cart provider just will not do it.
Yep, you can use the coupon code SAV25SKIPto get 25% off all of my products from now until Midnight Christmas Eve.
Now to the newsletter. Here’s the scoop:
Is Amazon Inventory Placement A Good Deal for Sellers?
Does it Make Sense to Upgrade to Professional Seller on Amazon?
Before I get started let me state clearly and strongly that I AM NOT A TAX EXPERT but I do have a lot of experience in business and these are some of the things I have learned you can do to lower your taxes for this year.
There are two methods of accounting –Cash and Accrual. When you keep your books and file you taxes on a cash basis you can take expenses and deductions when you incur them, but when you use the accrual method you have to spread them out over the year and expense them when they occur in real time. Therefore for small online businesses I think you will find the cash method better and more advantageous. (Talk to your CPA before doing this so you can learn the rules).
Basically what you want to do this time of year is prepay any expenses you can and order merchandise for resale before the end of the year. This way you can take those expenses on your 2015 taxes. For example, just last week I prepaid my website hosting for the next three years). My CPA says I can take that entire expense this year.
Of course you only want to do this if you had a profitable year. If you are already in a loss situation this would only make it worse. And remember losses are not that bad if you are spending money that will make you a profit later. And also remember you can take losses against your regular income from a job if you have one.
If you have not yet started your business then December is a great month to do so because you will have expenses but little or no income so you can take those paper losses against any other income you have but you will already be set up to make money starting in January.
How to Easily Turn Your WordPress Blog into a WordPress Website – Despite the fact that the default setting of WordPress is as a blog, it can be used to make websites. How? It’s really pretty easy. This article shows you how.
Amazon Proven Inventory Performance – Jim Cockrum has a new program called the Proven Performance Inventory. I have looked this over and its excellent like all of Jim’s programs. Here are the details . . .
Is it Still Worthwhile to sell on eBay? – I get this question a lot and the short answer is yes, but it’s a little more complicated than that.
New Wholesale Sources for eBay and Amazon Sellers – Books, tools hatsand more
Many Amazon sellers do not know that Amazon will fulfill your eBay (or website or any other sales venue) orders for you. And the best part is that Amazon passes on their low UPS rates to you when they do that.
The way it works is simple. When an item sells on eBay (or any other site), find the item in your FBA inventory and click the box next to the item. Now look at the drop down box above your inventory listing and select “Create Fulfillment Order.” Hit the Go button and Amazon will bring you to a page that has a field for the address and the email address. Fill in the information and hit Continue and it takes you to a page that shows the shipping charge. It also gives you the option to select expedited shipping if that is how you sold it. Select the shipping and hit continue and Amazon will now fulfill your order.
Having explained all that there is a better way. I use a company called JoeLister that can help you create eBay listing from your Amazon FBA listings and fulfill the products automatically for you. I have been using them for several months now and its working out quite well. They not only automatically fulfill the order, they post the tracking to eBay and if your FBA inventory falls to zero Joelister will also zero out your eBay listing so you don’t sell something you don’t have.
Amazon Launches Amazon Handmade – Handmade arts and crafts has long been the domain of eBay and Etsy until now. Now Amazon has jumped into this market in a big way.
Inventory Planning for The Rest of the Holiday Season – One thing you should know is this time of year Amazon’s warehouses are so swamped with shipments that it takes much longer to accept and store goods. But nevertheless if you have inventory arriving keep sending it in.
Perfecting Titles and Keywords on Amazon (and eBay) -This article is mostly directed at Amazon and most of my examples relate to Amazon but almost all of this information will carry over to eBay sellers as well. At the end I have an additional paragraph about optimizing this information for eBay sellers.
New Wholesale Sources for eBay and Amazon Sellers – Baby items, Hawaiian soaps, tablewareand more
Third Party Service Helps With Sales Tax Filing & Payment Collecting sales tax is easy. You just set up you tax preferences in eBay and Amazon and they will collect the tax for you at the time the sale is made, but they won’t pay the tax for you. That is your responsibility.
Are Amazon and eBay Discouraging Retail Arbitrage and Drop shipping? The short answer is yes. But how are they doing that?
Research and Source Alibaba Products With Terapeak – Terapeak’s partnership with Alibaba.com is designed to help sellers to grow their sales and profits like never before.
New Wholesale Sources for eBay and Amazon Sellers – Flameless holiday candles, French-milled soaps, fashion accessoriesand more
If you haven’t purchased this product I highly recommend it. It gives you instant access to this specialized list, plus my own wholesale search engine sources for just $4.99 –AND it comes with a money back guarantee if you are not happy with the information. You can’t beat a deal like that!
1. Holiday Selling Tips – The hot 4th quarter selling season is here. Are you ready? Our first article has a few tips to help you maximize sales.
2. Fight The Online Sales Tax Bill – Almost all of the big box retailers and the US Chamber of Commerce have ganged up on online sellers and given millions of dollars of lobbying money to our congressmen and Senators to get them to pass a bill that will make it mandatory for all online sellers to collect and pay sales tax in all 45 states with sales tax.
3. Is Affiliate Marketing Dead? – It used to be that affiliate marketing was a license to print money if you had any kind of online presence. You can still make money with affiliate marketing, but it’s a little more work today than it used to be.
4. How To Be Successful Working With Wholesale Sources – I have written about this before, but it is one of the topics I get a lot of questions about so I though I would cover it again.
5. New Wholesale Sources for eBay and Amazon Sellers
1. Tips for Balancing Your Online Business and Your Life – Running an online business can be stressful if you let it. Even though I have been doing this for over 16 years, I noticed it was happening to me and it was starting to affect my health. So that is the genesis of the first article in this issue.
2. eBay Fall 2015 Seller Update – Positive Changes for Sellers
3. eBay Niche of the Month – Vintage Woodworking Tools
4. Amazon can now repackage your eligible customer returns
5. New Wholesale Sources for eBay and Amazon Sellers
I’ve just updated How to Make a Living Working from Home. The book used to contain plans for six home businesses. However the new version has seven home businesses. Click on the above link to see the book’s table of contents. You’ll see the seven home businesses discussed in the book. How to Make a Living Working from Home also has information on avoiding scams as well as tips on how to set up and organize your business.
If you’ve already ordered this book, don’t worry. You get updates for life on my ebooks. Go back to the thank you page you were given when you ordered. The new version of the book, with the additional home business, will be available for you to download. If you no longer have the URL of the thank you page, contact us and we’ll get it to you.
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