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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!

Top 5 Things Amazon Sellers Should Do Before the Holiday Season

October 15, 2012—While many people are barely pulling out their Halloween decorations, Amazon sellers are readily preparing for the upcoming shopping holidays. Experienced sellers know this time of year always has the potential for big shopping sales and are usually the first ones to start planning. Experts this year are predicting online shopping to hit historic heights as more and more people are looking to skip the crowded lines and shopping malls in favor of clicking a few buttons on their keyboard. With that said, here are the Top 5 Things Amazon Sellers should do BEFORE the holiday shopping season.

5.) Have Inventory and Supplies Stocked

If you’re looking forward to a successful holiday season of sales then you better have all your inventory and supplies stocked. Sure, having inventory stocked and ready to go is vital but supplies too? Believe it or not, office supply stores aren’t dummies and know these supplies are in great demand during this time of season. They jack up the prices knowing full well buyers will pay almost anything to get the packaging tape, wrapping, labels and anything else required to make shipments. It seems everything is more expensive during the holiday season and we recommend ordering all your supplies and inventory before storefronts start increasing their prices for the shopping season.

4.) Change Shipping Rates

While this isn’t a requirement, experienced sellers know the heart to buyers is in the shipping price. Choosing the appropriate shipping rates can be a great conversion tool as more and more buyers during the holiday season are looking for quick delivery and cheap shipping prices. The less expensive and quicker you can ship your items the better, as chances of converting potential buyers increases ten-fold.  We recommend shortening shipping times and adjusting rates just enough to either match or beat out your competitors.

3.) Increase Seller Rating/Feedback

Amazon sellers know their seller rating plays an important part with not only winning the buy box but having buyers trust them. If your seller rating and feedback is bad, buyers are almost guaranteed to not purchase from you and you run the risk of Amazon suspending your account. Before the holiday rush starts, email all of your previous customers and ask that they leave feedback on their experience with you. Great ratings and feedback can be the difference between someone buying from you and your competitor. Make sure every customer has rated their experience and left positive feedback so you can showcase to all of your potential buyers.

2.) Adjust Prices

Selling on Amazon is tricky as many factors like pricing, shipping, and seller rating play a dynamic part in getting your products featured ahead of everyone else. One simple tool many sellers use is competitive pricing. Depending on the amount of products you list and sell on a regular basis, using repricing software can significantly improve your odds of having the lowest price. During the holiday season we recommend pricing items slightly lower than you normally would to increase the chances of people buying from you. While you don’t need to reprice your products drastically, changing the price a couple cents can make all the difference in the world.

1.) Use Amazon’s FBA Program

Amazon’s FBA program is the crown jewel for sellers during the holiday season. Many have already packaged and shipped their inventory to facilities, knowing full well the earlier their product is inside Amazon’s warehouse the better. Typically, veteran sellers get their products to Amazon before November 15th to reduce receiving time, as anything sent after this date usually gets jammed up in the mailing process. Tips to remember when using Amazon’s FBA to reduce receiving time include: making sure all items on the PO make it into the box, cover all scannable barcodes on any boxes that are not part of the actual product packaging, and make sure all units have a legible UPC or sticker that can be scanned.

*Secret Tip: Remember hearing about Amazon’s same-day delivery program? Well, many experienced sellers are utilizing this option by sending FBA packages to various FBA facilities that offer same-day delivery (Local Express Delivery). Fulfillment centers in Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, New York City, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Seattle, and Washington D.C all offer same-day delivery if orders are made before the cut-off times.

Need A Job? Amazon To Hire 50,000 Seasonal Employees

October 16, 2012—No matter who you’re voting for this upcoming election, there is no denying that Amazon.com is giving people jobs. The e-commerce goliath announced earlier this week they are expecting to hire more than 50,000 seasonal employees throughout the United States for their fulfillment centers in preparation for the upcoming holiday shopping season. That’s a significant number considering the company reported in June to having a total
of 69,000 full and part-time employees worldwide.

While many people may gawk at seasonal work, Amazon is planning on retaining many of the new hires beyond the holiday season if everything goes accordingly to plan. “We’re hiring at our sites across the U.S. for talented individuals to help us deliver a great experience for our customers this holiday season,” Dave Clark, vice president of global customer fulfillment at Amazon, said in a statement. “Temporary associates play a critical role in meeting increased customer demand during the holiday season, and we expect thousands of temporary associates will stay on in full-time positions.”

As experts predict online shopping sales to increase to $96 billion this shopping season, 12% more than last year, Amazon is getting ready for a blockbuster shopping season that may even put Santa Claus out of business.

Candidates interested in working for Amazon during this holiday season can apply directly on their fulfillment careers website located here. Available seasonal jobs range in salaries from $11.00 to $13.50 an hour. 

 

 

Amazon Fulfillment Center In California Ready For Opening

October 17, 2012—Amazon.com made headlines earlier this week when they announced they would be hiring over 50,000 seasonal employees for the upcoming busy holiday months. Now Amazon is making noise in California as construction of one of their fulfillment centers in San Bernardino is finally completed, promising over 1,000 potential jobs to residents.

To fight back online sales tax, Amazon.com decided to build new fulfillment centers all across United States with two new facilities being locating in California. California law allows Amazon to designate which city is a “point of sale” to receive one cent on the dollar for all sales process through fulfillment centers in that location.

Although construction didn’t start until April, the work on the new fulfillment centers finished two weeks ahead of schedule showcasing how enthusiastic the city is about the opportunity Amazon is giving them.

“We are ecstatic about the fact that they’re employing – right now they’re ramping up to employ for the season probably 1,500 people,” Mayor Pat Morris said. “They’ve already got hundreds on board, and many more to come.”

The new 950,000-square-foot Amazon Fulfillment center is located at the former Norton Air Force Base at the corner of Tippecanoe and Central avenues in San Bernardino, CA. Amazon plans to announce the number of jobs at a news conference later this week.

Take a Look Inside Fulfillment By Amazon

October 30, 2012–Fulfillment By Amazon is a wonderful feature that allows millions of Amazon sellers the opportunity to bypass packaging and shipping. Find out how FBA is making life easier for Amazon Sellers.

Fulfillment By Amazon, eh? Canada Launches FBA

November 5, 2012—Canada is known for three things; Maple syrup, wacky lingo, and now FBA. Earlier today, Amazon.ca officially announced it had launched the Fulfillment By Amazon program for Canadian sellers, finally helping third-party sellers have access to Amazon’s fulfillment and customer service resources. This is big news for Canadian sellers as Amazon’s FBA program tremendously helps third-party sellers by completing packaging and shipping duties typically held by merchant sellers. Plus, merchants using Fulfillment By Amazon can now offer customers shipping discounts like Super Saving Shipping and Amazon Prime, which allows customers to avoid paying shipping costs.

“Fulfillment by Amazon is a win-win for Canadian customers and businesses,” says Steve Oliver, director of Amazon.ca. “Customers will benefit from an even greater selection of items with free shipping and a trusted experience, while businesses can take advantage of our world-class fulfillment services and focus their efforts on growing their business.”

Fulfillment By Amazon works in 3 simple steps. First, sellers must ship products directly to FBA centers using special labeling for packages. Once the items are received, Amazon’s fulfillment centers will take care of all processing, packaging, and shipping duties once items are sold. The last step is to maintain all customer feedback and questions regarding products and purchase orders. Fulfillment By Amazon also provides metric tools for sellers to track inventory and sales. To begin using Amazon’s FBA program, seller must have a registered account with FBA or go here.

The Pros and Cons of Using Third-Party Fulfillment Centers

Since it first started in 2007, Fulfillment By Amazon has helped thousands of sellers sell products with relative ease on Amazon. The way it works is, you send your inventory to one of Amazon’s Fulfillment Centers and when the item sells, Amazon packages and ships the product straight to your customer. The days of packaging thousands of items monthly are gone, and with this easy-to-use FBA program sellers are finding more efficient ways of selling online. Although this fulfillment service is extremely popular, it does have its fair share of disadvantages and complicated compliance rules. They say it saves time, money and hassle, but does it really? Depending on the items you sell, size of your business, and amount of inventory you have, using Fulfillment By Amazon may not be the best decision for you.

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Amazon Webstore Offers Two New Services for Sellers

November 13, 2012—Amazon.com is giving third-party sellers a helping hand. Earlier this week Amazon webstore announced they are offering two new services for sellers using both Fulfillment By Amazon and self-fulfillment. The news comes days after Amazon.co.uk launched a new seller rating system that will impact seller feedback and scores.

The first service pertains to Fulfillment By Amazon and allowing third-party sellers who use the service to choose whether or not their products are shipped using Amazon branded boxes or unbranded. The new service will permit sellers to use their own customized packing slips and contact information, as well as add their company name to the boxes. This is great news for third-party sellers as they now have more control to promote their storefronts and brands through Fulfillment By Amazon.

The second service immensely helps Amazon sellers as it offers discounted shipping rates for self-fulfilled orders. The new service, which is accessed through Seller Central, allows third-party sellers to pay for shipping services, print domestic and international shipping labels, and set default ship-from addresses. This is big news for Amazon sellers as USPS announced earlier this year they are increasing shipping rates at the first of the year.

Bragging Rights—Amazon emails Sellers about FBA Success

November 21, 2012—Fulfillment By Amazon is a great program for sellers,
and Amazon wants to tell you about it. Amazon recently emailed third-party FBA users to update them on new enhancements to their customer delivery and, boast about a little about their service. Earlier this week, Amazon emailed the following to FBA users:

“Amazon is well-known for its relentless customer focus – and FBAA sellers are frequently the beneficiaries of this dedication. Over the past few months, we have made several enhancements in areas like delivery convenience, customer service and our fulfillment network in an effort to continually raise the bar for Amazon customers. Here are just a few ways Amazon is working for you:

  • To keep inventory close to customers and expand global reach, we have added new fulfillment centers worldwide, including in California, Virginia, Spain and Germany.
  • Amazon also continues to be the gold standard in customer convenience with programs such as Amazon delivery lockers, which are currently available in Seattle, New York, London, and California with more to come, and Local Express Delivery, which delivers products to customers on the day they ordered them in select regions.
  • Amazon continues to add new benefits to the Amazon Prime subscription service – and as more customers become Prime members, it means more exposure for your FBA products. Recent additions to Prime benefits include thousands of new streaming movies and television shows, the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library and new expedited shipping options.”

As the popularity of Fulfillment By Amazon continues to grow, the recent natural disaster of Hurricane Sandy showcased how truly great Amazon’s FBA program can really be. In Amazon’s email to sellers, it said, “thanks to our strategic inventory placement, which spreads products to fulfillment centers across the country. Fulfillment centers in unaffected regions were able to assist our locations on the East Coast, so that deliveries could continue uninterrupted.” Amazon also mentioned that they were able to fulfill the majority of customer orders on time, even with Hurricane Sandy interrupting delivery services on the east coast.

The Amazon marketplace also mentioned the need for sellers to get products into FBA as soon as possible. “Please consider the amount of inventory needed to meet this demand for all of your FBA products deep into December,” Amazon stated in their email this week to FBA sellers. “Last year in late November and early December, Amazon customer response to FBA offers was so strong that FBA sellers went out of stock on many critical products.”

Fulfillment By Amazon—Fees to Increase in 2013

December 5, 2012—The fees they are a-changin. On Tuesday, Amazon notified third-party sellers that Fulfillment By Amazon fees will increase in 2013, and introduced a brand new fee for returns in certain categories. The notice comes at a horrible time as FBA sellers prepare for the upcoming holidays and New Year.

Third-Party sellers were made aware of the new fee structure on Tuesday when Amazon updated the seller’s central with the announcement.  Amazon blames rising transportation cost for the increase and says the new fee structure won’t take place until February 18, 2013. Along with increases in FBA fees, Amazon introduced a new “Returns Processing Fee” for customer-returned products in categories that Amazon offers free return shipping. The new Returns Processing Fee will apply for products in the categories: Apparel; Watches; Jewelry; Shoes; and Luggage.

According to Amazon, offering free returns to customers in these categories helps build customer trust and encourages purchases. “To better reflect our costs, when customers receive free return shipping on products in these categories, the seller will be charged a fee for each unit returned. This fee will be equivalent to the fulfillment fees for an individually shipped unit.”

To better represent transportation costs, Amazon is launching six new product size tiers: Small Standard-Size, Large Standard-Size, Small Oversize, Medium Oversize, Large Oversize, and Special Oversize. On the positive side, Amazon is reducing some of their fees including products that fit into the new “Small Oversize” and “Medium Oversize” categories, as well as reducing the fees associated with Pick & Pack. Amazon also mentioned they are not changing fees for Multi-Channel Fulfillment fees, Zero-Fee Fulfillment, Inventory Storage Fees, or any optional service fees.

In the announcement on Tuesday, Amazon mentioned a slew of improvements they’ve made over the year, along with new services like Amazon Lockers and Same-Day Delivery:

“In the past year, we have made it easier for customers to order and receive your products, including innovations such as Amazon Lockers and same-day shipping in select cities; and we have continued to grow the benefits and membership of Amazon Prime, which this year has surpassed FREE Super Saver Shipping in items shipped. We have also enhanced the FBA and Seller Central experience, through better access to your important business data on the Sales Dashboard and Payments reports; value-added services such as the FBA Label Service; and new ways to reach global customers with FBA Global Export.”

In the next few days, Amazon is expected to update the FBA Revenue Calculator so sellers can view and compare estimated fulfillment costs under the current fee structure and the new fee structure.

What do you thinking of the new Fulfillment By Amazon fees?