Comments

Episode-2576- Building a Business with Amazon’s FBA Program — 13 Comments

  1. Hey Jack, I think I know a solution to the Amazon rules as far as inserting a card with promotion, website and support contact. What if the cards were inserted into the original box before they ever left China?  I imagine Jeff could ship a few cases of card stock already printed to his supplier in China and just have one placed inside each box. I guess Amazon could open a box and look inside but that seems unlikely. Just an idea. I enjoyed the show as usual.

  2. Hello Brian, I currently have my supplier print the inserts and put them inside the box itself, as you mentioned.  They source the cards locally, it is quite easy to have them do.  I do adhere to Amazon’s TOS for the insert.  If you try and do things that they don’t like, like only asking for positive reviews it is true that Amazon wouldn’t likely see your insert and do anything about it.  However, when products are send back to the WH as returns, they are opened and inspected.  This is where they could end up seeing it.  Rarely would a WH employee do anything since they are already so busy.

    • Would a contest, “register your product and get entered to win a free ____” violate TOS?

      Does “Problems? Need support? Go to thissite.com/support for help” violate TOS?

      • 1.  Offering a free gift for registering would be technically compliant.  To be safe, my insert doesn’t mention reviews at all.  If you said ‘leave a review.. also hey here’s a gift’ that wouldn’t be kosher.

        2. Problems? Need support? Go to thissite.com/support for help” violate TOS?

        This one is a grey area, technically you aren’t allowed to ‘circumvent the sales process’, yet if it is for customer service, the customer has already presumable made the purchase on Amazon.  Also you aren’t allowed to link to an external site, but it also says not to try and have them transact with you on that site.  Similar to Jack’s summary above, it probably technically breaks the rules, but you will probably get away with it.  A safer approach would be to say ‘contact us at Ourstore.amazon.com’ so that you are messaging them through their platform.  Problem is that many buyers opt out of these e-mails.

         

        Amazon’s TOS state:

        Ratings, Feedback, and Reviews

        You may not attempt to influence or inflate customers’ ratings, feedback, and reviews. You may request feedback and reviews from your own customers in a neutral manner, but may not:

        Pay for or offer an incentive (such as coupons or free products) in exchange for providing or removing feedback or reviews
        Ask customers to write only positive reviews or ask them to remove or change a review
        Solicit reviews only from customers who had a positive experience
        Review your own products or a competitors’ products

        Communications
        You may not send unsolicited or inappropriate messages. All communications to customers must be sent through Buyer-Seller Messaging and be necessary for fulfilling the order or providing customer services. Marketing communications are prohibited.

        Circumventing the Sales Process
        You may not attempt to circumvent the Amazon sales process or divert Amazon customers to another website. This means that you may not provide links or messages that prompt users to visit any external website or complete a transaction elsewhere.

         

         

         

         

         

  3. I would like to order some trees from Nick but I have a question for him before ordering. I can’t find contact info on his website. Can you tell me how to get in touch with him.

  4. When I got home today there was a package that had been delivered from Amazon. Not inside the box but inside the original packaging there was a card asking for you to leave a review with an email address and hours of operation.

     

    • Here is what I THINK Jeff is saying about that kind of thing….

      1. You can do it
      2. You will PROBABLY get away with it
      3. It does break the rules
      4. If you do get caught you could get kicked out

  5. I have noticed an uptrend in inserts asking for reviews in exchange for free gifts in packages from Amazon. Some are shipped domestic and some are from overseas. I have also seen a few hand written letters without gifts, that I actually appreciated more.

    Some examples:

    My Foxelli vest came with a small flashlight with a card asking for a review. It was cheap (like one aside the register at a gas station), but you can’t have too many flashlights! It now lives in my sock drawer. I happily gave a good review anyway, not because of the light, but because both their product and customer service were excellent.

    Both a drone and an action camera came with offers to get free batteries or accessory packages in an exchange for a review. I’ve only completed one so far, but did receive a free battery.

    In each case, because the seller did not have my personal info from Amazon, so they asked for an address and screenshot of the review.

    I guess all of this just helps build a personal connection to a brand/ seller and adds a different level to the online purchase experience.

  6. Jeff,

    Have you been hit with the $1.99 chargeback for each item fulfilled by Amazon, or does the overseas manufacturer handle the ISTA 6 SIOC testing and certification to waive it?

    I’m thinking that could be a large portion of somebody’s margins depending on what kind of niche and product they’re selling.

    Naturally, some of the big businesses just absorb or pass on the cost, but I could see it hurting the little guy. There was a mad rush to get the testing done by August 2019 by many mid level companies, while our bigger clients haven’t cared. Some people “missed the memo” and were scrambling in the fall.

    Thanks for all the is insight into the FBA program!

  7. honestly I wasn’t aware of this new rule, thanks for bringing it to my attention. I just checked and it only applies to larger items bigger than 12x14x8 I believe, so my product would be exempt. But yeah, $2 per item is a lot of margin to give up! I would certainly see if my supplier could have the packaging certified in the future. Amazon likes to throw little land mines at their sellers a few times a year to keep things interesting. I’m glad your enjoyed the show!

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