Amazon’s New UPC Policy: What it Means for Sellers

Amazon's New UPC Policy

This post is by Leah McHugh, an ecommerce consultant for 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. This post is an extended version of Decoding Amazon’s New Barcode Policy, published on the ecommerceChris blog.

Earlier this year, Amazon quietly made a change to its Product UPC and GTINs policy (Seller Central login required). It now states:

We verify the authenticity of product UPCs by checking the GS1 database. UPCs that do not match the information provided by GS1 will be considered invalid. We recommend obtaining your UPCs directly from GS1 (and not from other third parties selling UPC licenses) to ensure the appropriate information is reflected in the GS1 database.

What does that mean for sellers?

Well, first you need to understand why Amazon has made this change. Right now, Amazon has millions of duplicate listings, where someone has slapped their own barcode onto an existing product in the catalog. Duplicate listings are not good for buyer experience. It confuses customers and dilutes product reviews.

The GS1 policy gives Amazon tighter control of what constitutes a valid listing and reduces the chance of duplicate listings. How? Let’s take a look at how barcodes work.

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How to Use Trademarks to Protect Your Amazon Private Label Business

Amazon Private Label Trademarks

This post is by Eric Perrott, a trademark attorney at Gerben Law Firm, PLLC, a firm founded by Josh Gerben. Eric has extensive experience handling trademark matters for Amazon sellers, helping clients have more than 1,000 infringing listings removed.

Whether you are white labeling or private labeling, it’s important that you understand the role that trademarks can and do play in your Amazon store’s success.

White labelers order unbranded goods from a manufacturer and apply custom packaging, while private labelers procure and offer products exclusive to their Amazon store. Both approaches allow sellers to build a brand and market products under that brand, charging a premium for their items.

Let’s take a look at a few trademark tips that these Amazon sellers can’t afford to ignore.

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Selling Media Online: Books, Music, Movies and Video Games

Selling Media Online

This post is by Brennan Burns, Senior Relationship Manager at Monsoon Inc. Brennan works with sellers to optimize their use of Monsoon’s ecommerce management software and grow their marketplace sales. He has been with Monsoon for 8 years, and worked previously in the media business with video rental chain store Hollywood Entertainment.

Media products – books, music, DVDs and video games – were some of the first products to be sold successfully online. It’s easy to forget that today’s 800lb gorilla of ecommerce, Amazon, built its business selling books then moved into other media products, before expanding to become “the everything store”.

A lot has changed in the media world in the twenty years since Amazon was founded. The digital revolution has caused turmoil, with innovative products and services like Spotify, Netflix and the Kindle hurting sales of physical products. A succession of new video formats – HD, 3D, 4K – has delighted technology enthusiasts but bewildered slower adopters. And industry associations have taken a hard line on piracy.

So digital media has seen most of the glamor, innovation and controversy in recent years. But outside of the limelight physical media is still going strong. Despite music being the first category to go digital, it wasn’t until 2014 that digital music sales grew to equal physical music sales. Revenues from paper books were up last year, but eBooks have hit a plateau. Then in areas like console video games, textbooks and used items, physical media still reigns supreme.

In this article I’ll take an in-depth look at selling physical media products online. I’ll talk about the kind of businesses who sell media and why people still buy it, current trends and challenges for media sellers, and the best sales channels.

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The Future of Distribution – How Products Will Get to Markets

The Future of Distribution

This post is by Jake Rheude, the Director of Business Development and Marketing for ecommerce fulfillment company Red Stag Fulfillment (RSF). When the owners of e-retail businesses could not find a high-quality fulfillment partner, the decision was made to build their own, and the result was Red Stag Fulfillment. This post was originally published on the RSF blog as The Future of Distribution.

Every economic system has segments that produce products and consumers who need them. Between these segments is the distribution system.

Sometimes the distribution system is itself made up of several segments and sometimes it controls production as well. In some industries the producers have taken over the distribution of their products.

No matter how it functions, the role of the distribution system is to efficiently find consumers who need particular products and to ensure that they have access and the ability to buy them if they want.

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Selling on Cdiscount: Your Questions Answered

Cdiscount

This post is by Géric Javid of ecommerce software company Boost My Shop. Based in the Marseille area, France, Géric has managed websites and marketplace seller accounts for retailers since 2006, mainly in the high-tech and home furnishing product categories. At Boost My Shop, he oversees development of their Magento-based repricing tool for Cdiscount, Amazon, Fnac and other marketplaces.

Cdiscount is one of the largest and most important ecommerce web sites in France.

With sales of €2.74 billion in 2015, of which €1 billion is from their marketplace C le Marché, they are a giant in the industry.

Not only that, the Cdiscount marketplace is less competitive than Amazon France, and they are active in recruiting and supporting international sellers.

Read on to learn more about Cdiscount, and decide whether they are a marketplace that you could benefit from selling through.

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