145 posts categorized " Amazon Marketplace "

February 25, 2013

Getting Away from the Gray? Plan Ahead

During these long, gray days in the dead of winter, we find many of our colleagues escaping the sunnier, warmer climates. Whether you're planning a vacation or need to get away from your business for another reason, you need to know some important facts about managing your Amazon seller account while you're away.
  • Listing Status: Be sure to set this to "Inactive." This will prevent buyers from placing orders that you can't fulfill right away.
  • Buyer-Seller Messaging: Your Listing Status is inactive, but messages will continue to arrive. You will receive less e-mail because you won't have pre-order inquiries. However, you may receive other communications, and you need to respond to these within 24 hours -- even when on vacation -- to maintain a healthy contact response time metric.
For more information, log into your seller account and search on "Listing Status" and "Contact Response Time."

February 11, 2013

Learn the Basics of Buyer Feedback

Feedback is important to both sellers and buyers because it is a metric by which Amazon measures seller performance and a resource to buyers when making purchasing decisions.

Buyers can leave feedback for up to 90 days after their transaction. Once a buyer leaves feedback, it cannot be edited, but the buyer can remove it for up to 60 days. Learn more in our Buyer Help page on feedback.

You are allowed to contact buyers about their feedback. Remember, though, that ultimately it's the buyer's decision whether to give feedback, what kind of feedback to give, and whether they remove negative feedback. Respect their decision, and always be courteous in your communications.

To contact buyers, use the Feedback Manager tool in your seller account. You can also use this tool to leave a response on your own Seller Profile to feedback buyers have left.

In general, good feedback rewards sellers who:

  • list their products correctly (in the correct category, accurate condition notes, etc.)
  • communicate well with buyers (politely, proactively)
  • ship orders promptly (on time)

Remember, customers are more likely to purchase products from sellers with higher feedback ratings. In the long run, professionalism pays off.

February 04, 2013

Have a checklist in case the weather turns worse than usual as winter winds down

Here we are in February already!

Winter still has plenty of time to surprise us, so keep a checklist handy in case you have to deal with shipping complications.

Here are some options to consider for your list:

  1. Check carrier websites periodically to see if they have any shipping delay information posted.
  2. Tell buyers about possible delivery delays as soon as you know about them. Buyers like to know what to expect whenever possible.
  3. Temporarily remove the option to have orders shipped internationally. For more information, search on "shipping settings" in seller Help.
  4. Temporarily remove your listings from Amazon.com altogether, by setting all of them to "Inactive" status. For more information, search on "listing status" in seller Help.
  5. If you can't ship your orders at all for a while, telephone buyers at your first opportunity. Again, buyers want to know.
You'll have your own priorities on your list, based on your location, carriers, and product types, among other things that can affect shipping. The main thing, especially if you are not that rare person who is calm and collected no matter what, is to have that list!

January 28, 2013

Avoid stock-outs: Update your listing quantities

With the holiday rush behind us, now is a good time to review your Amazon.com listings and make sure the quantities reflect what you have available.

You can easily modify the quantities of your listings one at a time in the Manage Inventory section of your seller account. Just find the listing you want to update, enter the correct value in the Quantity column, and click the Save button.

If you are on the Professional selling plan and use feeds (inventory files) to upload your inventory, you can use a Price & Quantity file to modify listings in bulk. A Price & Quantity file is the smallest file format with the fastest processing time; the only data required are SKU, price, quantity, and lead time to ship.

For more information on how to use a Price & Quantity file, search on keywords "Price and Quantity" in seller Help.

Not on the Professional selling plan? Learn more about the benefits of selling professionally on Amazon.

January 21, 2013

Get an "A" in Listing Textbooks 101

Back-to-school textbook season is a busy time of year! Save yourself the hassle of cancelled listings and returned orders by following a few basic rules when you list your textbooks.

List your textbook by ISBN, not by title

Avoid listing your textbook against the wrong detail page by using the ISBN and not the title. One title can have several editions, and each one could have a detail page in our catalog. You'll need to match the book to the exact ISBN, title, author, edition, binding, publisher, and publication date that is listed on the detail page. Even if the title and author of your book appear on a detail page, you will be listing the wrong edition or cover type if the ISBN of your book does not match the one on the page. Learn more about Listing Items.

Use the search fields on the main Textbooks store page on Amazon.com to find the right detail page for your textbook. If you search for your book's ISBN and don't find an exact match, you can create a new catalog page for your book (Pro Merchants only). If you are an Individual seller and cannot find a detail page for your book, you may not sell that book on Amazon.com.

Describe your book accurately

Check each book you list for wear, such as marks, highlighting, worn binding or jackets, and so on. Use the listing comments to add notes about the book's condition. When you describe your book’s condition accurately, you reduce the chances of buyer disappointment and returns.

Don't list prohibited editions of textbooks

Most editions of textbooks are fine to sell on Amazon.com, but some are prohibited. For example, teacher's editions and international editions of textbooks are prohibited. Listings for prohibited textbook editions will be cancelled by Amazon and can result in the suspension or removal of your selling privileges. Learn more about our Textbook Selling Policies.

January 14, 2013

Best Practices for an Excellent Buyer Experience

Shortly after the holidays, I purchased a cell phone accessory from a third party seller on Amazon.com. The seller shipped my item the next day and provided me with the tracking number. I checked the tracking status every few days, and the status remained the same for 2 weeks, showing the package still in California at the shipping provider's facility.

Curious, I contacted the seller with my shipping address and the tracking number, and asked if I should contact the shipping carrier directly. The seller kindly apologized for the inconvenience and sent a new package that day. Further, the seller refused my offer to return the first item, should it eventually arrive. Wow!

As a seller and a buyer on Amazon.com, I was impressed with the level of customer service that I received from this third party seller.

If you encounter a similar situation, here are some best practices to follow:

  • If your buyer has contacted you with the tracking number, you can ask the buyer to contact the shipping carrier directly. Or, you can contact the shipping carrier for assistance in locating the package and moving it along.
  • If the maximum delivery date has passed, the best solution is to refund the buyer or send a new item, depending on what the buyer prefers. Compensating buyers for lost shipments is simply a cost of doing business.
  • If the package never arrives and is truly lost, you may still be able to recover your costs if you purchased insurance originally. You will need to determine your own level of acceptable loss when deciding to insure packages.

Thanks to the third party seller's excellent customer service, I had a top notch buyer experience and was happy to leave positive feedback and a high seller rating.

For more information about providing a good buyer experience, search for 'buyer experience' in seller Help.

January 07, 2013

Handling Holiday Gift Returns

Congratulations! The holidays are over, and you survived. Welcome to the season of returns, which can be just as or even more chaotic than the holidays themselves.

Here are some basic guidelines for handling gift returns:

  • Amazon's extended holiday return policy is that orders shipped by Amazon between November 1 and December 31 are returnable through January 31. This includes FBA orders, but excludes seller-fulfilled orders. We encourage but do not require you to offer an extended holiday return period.
  • Gift recipients that need to make a return can go to our Online Returns Center to obtain a mailing label for returning gift items.
  • You may charge restocking fees (up to 20%) for returned items that are not damaged, defective, or materially different.

For more information about both holiday and non-holiday returns, search on "returns" in Seller Central Help.

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