This post is by Chris McCabe, a former Investigation Specialist for Amazon’s Seller Performance team 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.
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.
This post is by Matthew Ferguson, Customer Success Manager at Volo, a provider of technology and services to some of the world’s largest marketplace sellers. Matthew worked as an ecommerce manager in Florida for six years, before moving into a marketplace services role in London.
A little while back we were working with a big retail chain, and they were thinking about pulling the plug on Amazon and eBay. They were putting more and more work into it, and their listing count had grown but sales were down. They were frustrated and ready to completely write off selling through marketplaces.
But they hadn’t dug into their data. When we ran some quick comparisons, we found that none of their key products had been restocked. Their best sellers across several brands hadn’t been reordered over a two-year stretch. Then we saw that their product prices were getting lower but their shipping rates were up. Overall they were less competitive than they had been two years before.
How on earth did they miss such simple things? Well, when you have a large sales volume and/or a team of people working in the business, you don’t “just know” that kind of information. You have to go looking for it. But when you do routinely examine your data, those things are really easy to spot.
But using data isn’t just a matter of regularly comparing sales figures, it goes much further than that. To put it frankly, data is make or break for ecommerce businesses. It can uncover problems, optimize current sales and guide you down new paths. That’s when you really start unlocking its power.
Over the past two years we’ve profiled successful marketplace sellers from the United States, UK, Germany and Australia.
We don’t like to put forward a specific business model or sales channel as “the best”, so we’ve covered them all: wholesale, retail arbitrage, liquidation, private labeling, used items, Amazon, eBay, online stores and more.
So this post is a roundup of all our Seller Stories to date. It shows there are many ways to sell online, and no right way or wrong way to do well in this business. There are many ways that can work.