Monthly Archives: January 2018

Amazon & UPC Codes: All the Answers for Amazon Sellers

Leah McHugh covers all the bases for Amazon sellers and UPC codes: where to buy, brands, private labels, bundles and enforcement practices

UPDATE January 2018: This second edition has been fully reviewed and revised.

This post is by Leah McHugh, an ecommerce consultant for 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.

In 2016, 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. 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 over 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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Is it Still Worth Getting an eBay Store Design and Listing Template?

Changing policies and buyer habits have divided opinion on eBay store designs and listing templates. Which approach is best today?

If you were to jump in a time machine, set the dial back five years and search eBay, it would look quite different. Back then, the marketplace was brimming with vibrantly designed eBay stores and listing templates, because there was little question over the positive impact that a custom design had on sales.

Return to the present day though, and a lot has changed. eBay has banned Active Content and introduced features that hide the listing description, and many more buyers are shopping on mobile phones and tablets.

As a result of these changes, opinion has become polarized on whether having an eBay store design and listing template is good or bad. Some sellers believe that a design can hurt sales and would never use one again, as they are seeing better results with plain text listings.

Other sellers still choose to have a store design, because it provides a recognizable brand, gives marketing opportunities and allows customers to see what makes them unique. It’s one of the big advantages of eBay over Amazon – being able to stand out from the crowd.

In this post I’ll look at the pros and cons of having an eBay store and listing design, and ask if it’s possible to have the best of both worlds: a strongly branded design that works perfectly on desktop and mobile browsers, complies with all of eBay’s policies, and – most importantly of all – increases your overall sales.

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How to Make Amazon’s Customers Your Customers Using Facebook Ads

Anthony Lee explains step-by-step how to use Amazon buyer data to create targeted Facebook ad campaigns, and go direct to customers

This post is by Anthony Lee, COO of SixLeaf (formerly ZonBlast), the first and largest product launch and ranking service for Amazon sellers.

When sellers start offering their own private label products on Amazon, their goal is usually to build an independent brand. They aim to use Amazon as a springboard and, in the future, make most of their sales through their own website.

The problem is that a lot of the training programs and advice available to online sellers doesn’t explain HOW to grow your brand beyond Amazon. There is just a common notion that once your brand becomes “big enough” it will naturally happen. It doesn’t work that way.

In this post, I’m going to talk you through some practical steps which really work to build your brand. You’ll find out how to leverage Amazon buyer data to find your customers on Facebook, and target them with Facebook advertising campaigns.

By doing this, you can direct existing customers, and other buyers just like them, to products on your own webstore, and build a really robust, independent brand.

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CE Marking for Private Labels and Brands: How to Get Compliant

Fredrik Gronkvist explains what CE marking is, which products are covered, how to make your products compliant and how much it costs

This post is by Fredrik Gronkvist, the co-founder of, in Hong Kong. They provide free online courses for importers who want to learn more about manufacturing in Asia, product regulations and shipping.

What is CE marking? What kind of products need CE marking? And who is actually responsible for making sure the product gets CE marked?

These are questions I see in my inbox on a daily basis.

CE marking is misunderstood, but not necessarily as complicated as you might think.

In this article, I will explain what every importer and online seller must know about CE marking, what it takes to make a product compliant and how much it’ll cost you.

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Amazon Account Suspensions: Myths and Facts

Chris McCabe blows up some of the biggest misconceptions that sellers have about Amazon’s suspension and reinstatement process

This post is by Chris McCabe, a former Investigation Specialist for Amazon’s Seller Performance team and founder of ecommerceChris shows Amazon sellers how to keep their accounts healthy, or, if the worst should happen, how to get their account back from a suspension.

UPDATED January 2018: this second edition has been completely reviewed and revised with four brand new myths.

Amazon account suspensions are still very common, and happen frequently – fact. Either temporarily or permanently, sellers are losing cherished ASINs and seeing their accounts suspended at a rapid clip. It could be due to policy violations, code of conduct violations, suspected bad behavior, or simply having poor metrics.

Given my Seller Performance background at Amazon, I do my best to guide sellers through the root causes of their account suspensions. However, I’m seeing more and more sellers coming to me with misconceptions about suspensions, or posting incorrect advice on social media and seller forums.

I don’t know where these sellers are getting their information from, but it could potentially harm their chances of being reinstated. So, in this post, I will be addressing four common myths to help sellers develop a clearer understanding of the account suspension and reinstatement process.

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