800lb Gorilla: The Dangers of Selling on Amazon

800lb Gorilla Amazon

This post is by Travis Romine, an ecommerce growth consultant at Sharp Commerce and previous owner of ParadiseFibers.com. He consults for online retailers throughout the US on building high performance ecommerce businesses, growth strategy and digital marketing. Sign up for Travis’s weekly ecommerce tips at sharpcommerce.com.

There’s no doubt that Amazon will continue to gobble up an incredible chunk of online retail in the coming months and years. Amazon has a huge audience with 54 million users of their Prime service alone!

As an ecommerce merchant, how can you best use this channel to your advantage but also protect your company?

For most B-to-C retailers I consult with, I recommend selling on Amazon as a general rule. A properly created Amazon listing will get your brand and product in front of a giant group of consumers ready to buy. However, there are some significant risks to using Amazon as your main or only selling channel.

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6 Challenges to Conquer Ecommerce Operational Efficiency as You Grow

Ecommerce Operational Efficiency

This post is by Sam Moses, CEO of RetailOps. RetailOps is an all-in-one warehouse management system for small to medium-sized businesses. Their web-based platform is built to scale and work with the processes of how ecommerce businesses operate.

A few years ago you had faith in your idea, took the plunge and started your online retail company. Now you’re seeing all that passion, drive and hard work pay dividends – your business has taken off! It’s a wonderful feeling, and well worth basking in. Go on, I’ll wait.

However, as great as this growth feels, sustaining this trajectory as a seven, eight, and nine-figure operation poses added challenges. Once you’ve identified your niche and know your customer, scaling your business operations can prove overwhelming – especially when success happens so quickly.

The challenges of warehouse and fulfillment management at scale can be huge – but not so big that they can’t be comfortably managed. As well as some everyday methodical tweaks, effective warehouse management software (WMS) exists to help you crush your problems and ease those challenges, allowing you to take charge of your growing business.

Let’s see how:

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Private Label Roundup: Sourcing, Trends, Trademarks and Compliance

Private Labeling Roundup

Private labeling is where sellers source generic items, usually from China, then add their own branding to create a whole new product.

It’s a hugely popular strategy for Amazon sellers, because it creates their own unique product listing and avoids direct competition. But it’s also surrounded by a bubble of hype and misunderstanding.

Over the past year we’ve worked to demystify private labeling, raise understanding, and let out a little of that hot air!

Here’s a roundup of our private labeling-focused blog posts. It’s also worth checking out our blog posts on Amazon and Sourcing, which are often relevant to private label sellers.

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Amazon Making Sellers Squeal on Product Review Abusers

Amazon Product Review Abuse

This post is by Chris McCabe, a former Amazonian and founder of ecommerceChris.com. For Amazon sellers, having their merchant account suspended means losing time and money trying to get back in business. ecommerceChris shows sellers how to keep their accounts healthy, or, if the worst should happen, how to get their account back from a suspension.

Helpful product reviews written by Amazon customers have been at the heart of the Amazon marketplace from the beginning. Amazon has no interest in seeing their well-established product review system falling by the wayside.

An Amazon spokesperson said:

Our goal is to eliminate the incentives for sellers to engage in review abuse and shut down this ecosystem around fraudulent reviews in exchange for compensation.

Some sellers have tried to take advantage Amazon’s previously inconsistent scrutiny of product review abuse. But now they’re cracking down. In 2016, I’ve seen sellers warned or suspended for:

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Private Label Product Liability: Don’t Get Burnt Importing from China!

This post is by online business expert Matt Thomas. Since 1999, Matt has had many online business ventures of his own, alongside client consulting and project management projects. This post was originally published on Insider Secrets as Amazon FBA Seller Liability: The Dangers of Importing and Reselling Products from China. This isn’t legal advice – Matt is not a lawyer!

A profitable online business that’s growing in popularity is importing custom manufactured products from China and selling them through the Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) program.

One big advantage of sourcing your own product from China is the ability to be unique. While the competition is selling the same products as everyone else, importing a product from China and making it your own by private labeling means you’re the only supplier. If that product is in high demand, being the sole supplier can be a very profitable position.

The gurus hawking FBA as the ultimate risk-free path to riches make it sound easy to turn all your ideas into successful products. One post I read advised to take your idea and head straight to Alibaba.com, a site where Chinese manufacturers and middlemen advertise the products they’re capable of producing. The post encouraged you to custom manufacture 1,000 units of the product and ship them direct to Amazon’s warehouse and, from there, sell them on Amazon at fantastic margins. The perfect online business, they say!

Until one of your products burns someone’s house down – as happened in the recent spate of hoverboard fires – or a child gets hurt.

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