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Weighing In on Amazon Shipping Charges

 

When it comes to maximizing your profits as an Amazon Seller, it is vital that you pay close attention to Amazon’s policy regarding weights and dimensions.

Questions regarding these policies are among the most common we receive, especially from Sellers just starting to get their feet wet. We hope the following tips will help you minimize your costs and ensure that you are getting the most bang for your buck.

  • Make sure you are using an accurate scale. Put the bathroom scale away and invest in a quality shipping scale. Some have a detachable readout, which can simplify the process. Knowing accurate weights can be key to keeping your costs down.
  • Remember, Amazon rounds up, so what you consider to be a package weighing 7.1 lbs. may be billed as 8 lbs. Is there any way for you to shave that tenth of a pound from your product packaging? Figure out a solution and you may put yourself in a lower shipping charge tier, thereby saving you considerable money.
  • Also remember, price is determined by weight AND dimensions. A box that is small but weighs a lot, or a box that is large but weighs very little can both add additional cost to the shipment. You can reduce your shipping costs by ensuring that you aren’t exceeding Amazon’s requirements. We’ve seen companies substantially reduce their costs simply by reducing their packaging by as little as a half-inch. Is there a lot of empty space in your box? Making an effort to reduce that space with a better fitting box can also lead to significant savings.
  • Need to know your “dimensional weight” for a product? Here is a simple formula to help you calculate: Add the three dimensions for your box together and divide the sum by 166. This will give you the billable weight.
  • Remember, “shipping weight” is not the weight of your shipment to Amazon. It is the weight of a single product in its packaging as it would sit on an Amazon shelf. Think of it as “gross weight.”
  • When you weigh one of your products, make a habit of taking a picture of it on the scale including the weight display and keep them on hand. Should you ever need to open a case with Amazon, the photo helps to provide evidence of the inaccuracy, allowing Amazon to correct the item’s weight on their end. Doing so may potentially lead to a reimbursement for any overcharges incurred.

 

Understanding Amazon’s shipping policies can be a challenge. We encourage every seller to educate themselves on these policies to help reduce costs and maximize profits. We hope you’ve found some of these tips helpful and we would like to thank our friends over at www.refundcentral.com for assisting with this article.

When Goodwill Isn’t So Good

When you hear that someone committed an act of goodwill, you would often consider that a positive gesture – and in most cases it is. But what if someone was expressing goodwill on your behalf, without asking your permission first? Better yet – what if, as a gesture of goodwill, they gave away your hard-earned money without your permission? That doesn’t sound quite as positive now, does it?

In essence, that is how Amazon Goodwill refunds function. The buyer of your product is dissatisfied. Amazon presents a gesture of Goodwill in the form of a refund. This refund doesn’t come from Amazon’s account though – It comes from yours! Amazon is acting on your behalf under the guise of keeping your customers happy, something they never asked your permission to do.

Here is the best part. If you aren’t really paying attention, this is all done in the background. Now, Amazon is often willing to reimburse you for their “goodwill.” The important thing to remember, however, is that they aren’t going to act without you asking them to in the form of a claim. Also, you only have 18 months to make this claim or you are really out of luck!

Once you make the request formally, you very well may see a reimbursement. Unfortunately, most sellers don’t realize that they need to file or don’t understand that there is a deadline. Amazon isn’t exactly eager to remind sellers to make those claims either. That’s what we are here for.

We hope you have found this information useful and are able to benefit from a better understanding of how Amazon works.

Finally, special thanks to refundcentral.net for their assistance with these helpful tips to get the most out of your Amazon Seller Experience.  Thanks for reading and we’ll see you soon!

How eBay’s Search Engine Cassini Works

Whether you love or hate it, eBay’s Cassini search engine is here to stay. The new search engine from eBay collects data from listings, feedback, keywords, and sales figures to give users better search results. The idea behind eBay’s Cassini is to give buyers better search results when looking for a particular item. If you’re still not sure how Cassini from eBay works, here is a helpful video to break down how it work.

 

eBay UK Moving Ticket Category to StubHub

eBay’s UK ticket category is no more. The online marketplace has officially closed its UK ticket category and will soon be redirecting shoppers to its subsidiary StubHub instead. eBay plans to transition buyers to StubHub by advertising the ticket site on eBay.co.uk and then redirecting ticket-shoppers in the spring.

According to the Financial Times, StubHub UK only sells a few thousands tickets a month compared to the juggernaut StubHub in the U.S. StubHub was acquired in 2007 by eBay and lets fans buy and sell tickets to millions of sports, concerts, theater, and other live entertainment events. StubHub celelbrated its 10th year in 2010.

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Video Tutorial–Adding a Stamps.com Account to ShipWorks

The Stamps.com support in ShipWorks offers users the ability to process USPS shipments in bulk and saves time by eliminating the need to manually cut and paste or export information into other shipping tools. This video tutorial walks through the initial setup and configuration steps required to start shipping with USPS (via Stamps.com) in ShipWorks.

The Stamps.com integration also provides users with the ability to select service options and print shipping labels without having to export data or cut-and-paste information into other applications. This significantly speeds order fulfillment by giving users a convenient shipping application, which eliminates the need to manually enter data. Users can select their desired USPS service options, and print labels in bulk using thermal or inkjetlaser printers.

By integrating Stamps.com into its software products, Interapptive is providing ShipWorks users with features to print USPS postage labels for U.S. domestic shipments.

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ShipStation Launches New Service for Fulfillment by Amazon Merchants

January. 18, 2013 ShipStation, the leading web-based shipping solution company for online retailers, announced today its innovative platform is now integrated with Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA). FBA allows retailers to fulfill orders placed via their own Webstore or other sales channels by storing their products in Amazon’s fulfillment centers and leveraging its complete packing, shipping, and customer service expertise. ShipStation currently serves as the back-end shipping solution for more than 5,000 online stores, many of which have reported massive reductions in their fulfillment times due to the company’s feature rich solution.

By using ShipStation, merchants can create shipping labels for UPS, FedEx, DHL Global Mail and the US Postal Service by seamlessly managing their orders from more than 30 sales channels including marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay, Sears, Buy.com, Newegg and Etsy, and ecommerce shopping carts platforms like Shopify, Volusion, Magento, and BigCommerce. “We consistently see companies spend upwards of 70 percent of their time and resources on order fulfillment,” says Jason Hodges, co-founder of ShipStation. “ShipStation has always helped to facilitate a seamless, more efficient ‘in-house’ fulfillment process. Now, by integrating with FBA, we offer a new way for merchants to outsource all or a portion of their fulfillment operations to Amazon.”

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eBay and Craigslist Put a Stop to Inauguration Ticket Scalping

Scalping Inauguration tickets on eBay and Craigslist may soon be a thing of the past. While tickets to the event are made available to the public for free, many sellers attempt to make a profit from inauguration tickets by selling them through online marketplaces like eBay and Craigslist. However, U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, who just happens to be chair of the Congressional Inaugural Committee, wants ticket scalping of this event stopped immediately.

“eBay and Craigslist are doing the right thing in stopping the sale of scalped tickets to one of our nation’s most sacred events,” Schumer said in a statement. “I hope that everyone who has an Inaugural ticket will think twice before posting these tickets on any ticket resale site.”

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Mobile Commerce—First Smartphones, Now Tablets

WisePricerMobile, mobile, mobile. Although holiday shopping is at an all time high [insert ComScore 20% increase], more users are ditching smartphone for tablets. This trend is not unwarranted, as mobile apps and storefronts have become increasingly slow. On Cyber Monday, mobile sites took on average 18 seconds to load, according to the Mobile Commerce Index from Keynote.

18 seconds may not be a long time to wait in line, but it is an eternity for online shoppers that want the speed and convenience of shopping from their mobile devices. Just to give you an idea of how slow that is, on average, a desktop site takes 2.77 seconds to load. That is about 7 times slower than a computer, 2 times slower than a normal mobile device and light years away from mobile sellers original intention.

As a result, tablets are gaining more notoriety and use for holiday shopping this year. And it’s not just for browsing, some eCommerce experts are finding that tablets encourage online shoppers to buy, based on their conversion rates. According to an article by TabTimes, eCommerce expert Francois Gaumond contends that, “mobile is for shopping and tablets are for buying.”

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Weather Conditions Impacting eBay UK Deliveries

eBay is giving UK sellers the benefit of the doubt. Earlier this week eBay issued a warning to users that harsh weather conditions in parts of the UK may affect postage delivery times. eBay.co.uk advised sellers to “manage buyer expectations” by updating them on possible weather-related delays. The Royal Mail website confirmed severe weather conditions could affect services in some parts of Wales and England.

eBay said it had been in contact with delivery providers and “they have informed us that they are doing all they can to ensure that deliveries are getting through.” Although eBay UK said it is not automatically removing negative feedback scores for late delivery, they did state if the seller has evidence to support the bad ratings were due to weather, they would immediately remove the feedback. eBay plans on monitoring detailed sellers ratings and taking corrective action if irregular increases in low dispatch time ratings across all sellers.

On Friday, the Royal Mail site stated, “Services are being disrupted today in many areas, especially the South West and in South and Mid Wales. Further details of areas affected throughout the day will be posted on our regional Service Update pages. We’ll be out delivering today but only in areas where this is possible and it’s safe for our people to do so.”

 

eBay Affiliate Program—Now Open to WordPress & Blogger

January 18, 2013—Bloggers prepare yourself. eBay announced they have opened its affiliate program to bloggers using hosted platforms WordPress and Blogger. Previously, eBay had banned such blogging platforms because of required domain registration and validation but now the online marketplace is letting bloggers go wild.

Starting mid-February of this year, the ban on eBay’s third-party blogging platform will be lifted, allowing bloggers to start promoting eBay’s products through affiliate marketing. Earlier this week, Scott Parent, North American Communications Manager for eBay Partner Network informed affiliates that eBay will also pay compensation for any mobile traffic garnered from affiliate blogging. Until last fall when eBay began comparing traffic by classic versus mobile, the online marketplace clearly stated it would not pay for traffic from mobile devices coming from domains not registered with eBay.

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