This post is by Danny McMillan, a survivor of the music industry and serial startup entrepreneur. For the last couple of years Danny has focused on Amazon, and joined forces with Anthony Vaughan last year to co-host the The Amazon Seller Meetup events and Webinars.
As news broke yesterday it seems the internet has gone into meltdown. In case you’ve been hiding under a rock, yesterday Amazon banned incentivized reviews in the US (no UK announcement yet). These are the reviews written in return for giving products away (or at a heavy discount) and they have been the lifeblood for so many Amazon private label sellers.
At this precise moment in time no one truly knows how it will shake out. Sometimes stepping back and looking at the bigger picture and observing the lay of the land can produce dividends. We must remember getting reviews are only part of the equation and not the sole factor for success.
But if you are following the trend of, “product fits in a shoe box, pick it up for for cheap in China, stick a badge on it, do loads of giveaways, turn on PPC, collect cash on the way out”, then you are going to have it tough, especially if you are banking on high volumes.
This post is by Connor Gillivan, the Chief Content & Marketing Officer at FreeeUp.com and the Chief Executive Officer of eCommetize.com. Connor has been running ecommerce businesses since 2009 and has sold over $20 million worth of products. He writes about his own startup philosophies at ConnorGillivan.com and has been featured on many websites focused on entrepreneurship.
Were you recently suspended from selling on the Amazon Marketplace? Or has it happened in the past? Thousands of Amazon sellers are suspended each month and Amazon has an entire team that is dedicated to reading the suspension letters that are submitted.
If you’re familiar with the suspension process, the Amazon Seller Performance team sends you a performance notification that states that your selling permissions have been temporarily suspended because of reason XYZ. The non-descriptive letter encourages you to appeal the suspension by following their Plan of Action guidelines and then you just hope for the best.
At my company we’ve become experts at understanding how the Amazon Marketplace functions. Over the years, I have researched and learned a tremendous amount about the suspension process. Its mysterious characteristics intrigued me to dig deeper and to really understand what Amazon is saying when they send out their suspension letters.
In this article, I will provide practical advice on:
- How to decipher why you were suspended.
- How to structure your formal appeal letter.
- How to escalate your appeal letter to the next level if you aren’t getting a proper response from the Seller Performance team.
The first time I heard about ShipStation was back in 2011. I received an email from Jason Hodges, one of the founders, who at that time I knew as the developer of eBay shipping tool Auctane Pro.
Jason told me that he was launching a new multi-channel shipping application called ShipStation. I’ve been running the Web Retailer directory for 13 years now, and I’ve seen a lot of tools come and go, so it’s not easy to get excited about new products. I just thought, “OK, that sounds interesting. I’ll keep an eye on them.”
Now, most new tools launch loudly and then go quiet while they wrestle with the messy demands of customer support, staffing, technology bugs and all the rest. But not ShipStation. They just got louder and louder, as they released one new integration after another. There was none of the usual post-launch bunker mentality from these guys.
In just a little time ShipStation had support not only for the top marketplaces (eBay and Amazon), but other sales channels including Magento, Volusion, 3DCart, Storenvy, Prestashop, OpenSky and many more. A new integration seemed to come out every week, covering parcel carriers, marketplaces, shopping carts, fulfillment services and mail consolidators. That’s a breakneck speed of development, and it continues today.
This post is by Tommy Noonan from ReviewMeta, a tool that can be used to identify and filter incentivized reviews for any product available on Amazon, simply by copying and pasting the URL into ReviewMeta.com. This post was originally published on the ReviewMeta blog as Analysis of 7 million Amazon reviews: customers who receive free or discounted item much more likely to write positive review.
UPDATE 3 OCTOBER 2016: Amazon has now banned incentivized reviews outright!
If you’ve read reviews on Amazon within the last few years, you’ve surely noticed a disclaimer at the bottom of many that look like this:
I received this product for free or at a discount in exchange for my honest, unbiased review
At ReviewMeta, we call these “incentivized reviews”.
Consumers have growing distrust and even disdain for incentivized reviews, especially when it seems every single one is a glowing 5-star review. We wanted to confirm or deny this seemingly anecdotal opinion, so we analyzed 7 million reviews.
This post is by Gary Huang, an American based in Shanghai, China. Gary has been working in sourcing since 2008, and is the creator of 80/20 Sourcing which teaches online sellers and small business importers how to save time and make more money when sourcing from suppliers in China.
This post was originally published in two parts on 80/20 Sourcing: Hacking a Chinese trade fair as a buyer and How to attend a trade show like a pro.
Every year the seasons change and we enter spring and fall. Do you know what that means? Besides the changing weather, it’s trade show season!
Just as there’s “more than one way to skin a cat” there’s more than one way to find a Chinese supplier. Besides using sites such as Alibaba, did you know that trade shows can be a great way to:
- Quickly identify qualified suppliers (and weed out the bad ones).
- Meet them face-to-face to build trust.
- Get your hands on samples immediately.
- Find new products and trends.
Imagine all the time you save speaking with someone in person rather than emailing back forth every night to get a sample delivered to you.
So in this article I’ll explain how to find the right suppliers, ask the right questions, and get the right product at the right price when attending trade shows in China.