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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!

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?

Amazon to Open New FBA Facility for Large Items

December 17, 2012—Large and in charge, Amazon looks to make room for large FBA items. The marketplace giant is looking to invest over $100 million to open a new 1 million-square-foot fulfillment center in DuPont, Washington that will house larger than normal items. Amazon announced the news via press release and said the new fulfillment center will create hundreds of full-time jobs with benefits. Amazon plans to take occupancy in the fall of 2013.

The purpose of the new Amazon Fulfillment center will be to house FBA items that are large in size and volume. At the facility, Amazon employees will pick, pack and ship large items to customers-“anything from canoes to televisions,” Amazon said in their press release. Amazon also mentioned the site is close to one of the largest military installations on the west coast of the U.S. (Joint Base Lewis-McChord) and have committed to hiring at least 1,200 veterans in the coming year.

Other Fulfillment By Amazon locations include Arizona, California, Delaware, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Nevada, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. Amazon also has three international facilities in Europe, China and Japan.

Amazon FBA—Third-Party Sellers Responsible for Sales Tax

December 20, 2012—Mo money, mo problems. Although Amazon implemented their split-shipment policy for Fulfillment by Amazon over a year ago, the biggest impact this upcoming year will be on third-party sellers learning to deal with sales tax repercussions. Because the products are being housed in fulfillment centers in various states, this constitutes a physical presence which means you, the seller, has to collect sales taxes for those individual states.

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Amazon Analytics

The Newest Platform for Amazon Sellers

As an Amazon seller imagine being able to easily track the number of daily visitors, the most popular listings, and even track inventory from the touch of a button. The purpose of Amazon Analytics is to create a better marketplace for Amazon sellers by providing information never before accessible. Find out how Amazon Analytics can benefit you and why it’s quickly becoming the hottest platform for sellers on Amazon. Learn why some visitors buy from you and others don’t — Adjust your marketing programs to meet your business goals and start profiting from Amazon Analytics.

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Amazon to Build Fulfillment Center in New Jersey

January 9, 2013—Amazon is coming to the Garden state. On Tuesday, Amazon announced it would open a 1 million-square-foot fulfillment center in Robbinville, New Jersey with occupancy expected to take place in early 2014. Amazon is partnering with KTR Capital Partners, a private equity firm,  to build the project in Robbinville. The state-of-the-art fulfillment center, which will cost around $200 million, should help to spur growth and investment for the state and its local economies.

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Amazon Extends Long-Term Storage Fees

Dear FBA Seller,

We would like to inform you that because of the holiday period, we are extending the cut off for the Long Term Storage Fee to the 29th of August. On
that day, Units that have been in an Amazon fulfilment centre for 365 days or longer will be assessed a Long-Term Storage fee. To avoid this fee, please create a removal/ disposal order for the affected Units by 29th of August.

Units that have not been actioned by this date will be charged the Long-Term Storage fee.

The Recommended Removal Report will enable you to see the units that will exceed the 365 day limit and to create a removal/disposal order for those units should you wish to avoid the Long-Term Storage Fee. To access this report sign into your seller account and go to Reports>Fulfilment>Recommended Removal Report

For more information, go to FBA Long-Term Storage or if you need any help with removal or disposal of your inventory, please contact our Seller Support team using the Contact us in your Seller Account.

Sincerely,
The FBA Team

Amazon to Remove Negative Feedback from FBA Orders

January 15, 2013–It’s an Amazon world and we’re just living in it. Over a rather short period of time, Amazon.com has grown to become the largest online retailer in the world. And now, Amazon has the power to remove negative feedback for third-party sellers. Oh, the perks of using Amazon to sell products just keeps getting better. 

Amazon.com has reserved the right to remove negative feedback about a shipping-related issue, such as delivery delays or corrupt packaging, if the sellers is using their Fulfillment By Amazon service.  Sellers using FBA can request that a customer service representative cross out fulfillment-related negative reviews and Amazon will oblige. 

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