7 Challenges Selling Health, Beauty and Nutritional Products on Amazon

Selling Health & Beauty on Amazon

This post is by Michael Butcher, a Senior Account Manager at SellerEngine. His career in ecommerce dates back to 2001, taking in both online retailers and digital marketing agencies. Michael has been with SellerEngine since 2011, and has helped dozens of health and beauty sellers grow their revenues on Amazon, while avoiding the many pitfalls of selling in this challenging category.

The health and beauty market is a huge force in retail, both online and off. It incorporates a wide range of products including health and personal care, nutritional supplements, medicines and creams, as well as beauty and cosmetics. Sales are high. In the US, health and beauty accounts for $300bn a year in sales, beaten only by groceries.

Amazon is the dominant online retailer for health and beauty products, as it is for many categories. I’ve seen a huge influx of sellers going into health and beauty on the Amazon marketplace, particularly in the last three years.

Its popularity among sellers is somewhat surprising, because health and beauty is one of the most challenging categories to sell in. These are products that go on or in the body, so safety and quality are of paramount importance. Brand names drive a lot of buying decisions, so counterfeiting is a big issue. And many items are liquids or creams, and contain organic ingredients, so they are fragile and can go bad if left in storage too long.

In this post, I’ll look in detail at the health and beauty market on Amazon, particularly the challenges that are unique to this category. I’ll cover what those challenges are, why they matter, and how you can overcome them to become a successful health and beauty seller on the Amazon marketplace.

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Multiple Amazon Accounts: What’s Happening and What You Should Do

Multiple Amazon Accounts

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.

If your household only has one account, total, then this won’t apply to you.

Do you have anything to declare?

This is what travelers are asked whenever they pass through Customs at airports around the world. Amazon is asking you this too, if you have more than one account. Which one is it? What’s the email associated with it, so we can have a look and decide if you need it?

If you don’t declare items to customs and they find them later, you pay more, right? The same principle applies here. If Amazon sends this message now they’re doing more than looking for a confession. They’re sending a warning shot prior to taking more aggressive actions, if past policy matters are any guide.

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Private Labeling Is Dead. Long Live Private Labeling!

Private Labeling is Dead

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.

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How to Decipher Your Amazon Suspension and Write a Compelling Appeal

Appealing to Amazon - Sorry

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:

  1. How to decipher why you were suspended.
  2. How to structure your formal appeal letter.
  3. How to escalate your appeal letter to the next level if you aren’t getting a proper response from the Seller Performance team.

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Getting Ship Done Right: An Interview with ShipStation’s Robert Gilbreath

ShipStation

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.

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