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Fulfillment By Amazon- The Advantages and Disadvantages

The introduction of Fulfillment By Amazon has made selling items online easier (and more profitable) than anyone thought possible. FBA is a system implemented with Amazon.com which allows merchants to store products in shipping centers until orders are placed. When orders are received, Amazon will professionally package and ship the product directly to your customer. This innovative system is designed to assist merchants in selling more products while eliminating tedious dirty work like customer service and shipping. Sound too good to be true? Read our compiled list of  the advantages and disadvantages of using Fulfillment by Amazon and make your own decision.

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Amazon to Launch Wine Marketplace?

September 28, 2012—We all know Amazon.com is the largest marketplace online. Consumers can buy virtually anything on the e-commerce giant and the list of products they carry just keeps growing.  For years Amazon outlawed the sale of alcohol on their site but this year, during the holidays, things just might change.

You may remember back in 2009 when Amazon unsuccessfully partnered with New Vine Logistics to sell wine online. The partnership and idea ended up imploding when investor pulled out at the last second.

According to an inside source, Amazon is toying with the idea of selling wine direct to consumers online. Earlier this year around 100 Napa and Sonoma County wineries were invited to a workshop hosted by Amazon.com about the possibility of an Amazon Wine Marketplace. Although those who attended the event were required to sign a non-disclosure agreement, anonymous resources were able to divulge the details.

How it would work: To join, wineries would be charged a reoccurring $39.99 a month fee and 15% commission on all wine sales. Even though Amazon.com wouldn’t actually carry any inventory, they would work solely as a marketing and processing engine giving wineries instant exposure to the millions of visitors their site attracts a day.

While the sale and distribution of alcohol online is extremely tricky due to different laws in every state, Amazon.com looks to launch their Wine Marketplace before the Holidays. Reports suggest the launch could even be as soon as next month.

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. 

 

 

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.”

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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Amazon Launches Textbook Rental Program

Could Rental Program affect Third-Party Sellers?

This past weekend many Amazon sellers noticed a new addition to Amazon’s textbook category. For the first time ever, Amazon is now allowing students to rent textbooks for a semester rather than buy them. Since the beginning, the staple of Amazon has been selling books but the introduction of renting has caused third-party sellers to worry. With back-to-school deals on the horizon, this new textbook renting program could have negative outcomes for third-party sellers on Amazon.

 

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To Sell on Amazon or Not to Sell on Amazon: That is the REAL question

With the rise in popularity of marketplaces like Amazon.com and eBay.com, deciding to sell online can often be a complicated question. Should you build your own website and sell product through there or join a proven marketplace with millions of users? It may seem like an easy question to some and an extremely difficult one for others, but deciding which path to cross is the first step in making money online. Although both have their advantages and disadvantages we take a look inside how sellers should answer this question.

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Appeagle explains how to Increase your Profits on Amazon

Real profit is created by gaining loyal customers, not simply ‘satisfied’ customers. Amazon selling experts know the inside scoop on how to increase customer loyalty by listing their items properly, managing their orders well, and most importantly providing first-class customer service.

To keep your online buyers coming back for more, follow these tips from successful Amazon sellers:

  • When listing your items, take some time and look at your items from the customer’s point of view. By putting yourself in your customer’s shoes you may notice things that you would normally overlook. Look up a product in the Amazon catalog using the search and browse feature. How long did it take you to find your item? You want your customers to be able to find your items quickly and easily. Do a little research to ensure you are offering the best pricing options and promotions. How do you look next to the competition?
  • Analyze your selling reports regularly. Pay special attention to your amount of page views, sessions, and click information since these all help you understand buyer behavior.
  • Make sure that all of your order information is correct. Amazon buyers expect professional and accurate fulfillment on every order. Before you ship, check that the item you are shipping is correct and that it is in the same condition that you listed.
  • Package your item attractively and well. The way you package your products goes a long way in making a positive impression on customers. I’m not saying you should wrap it in pretty paper, but it shouldn’t look like you just pulled it out of the garbage can either!
  • Only ship orders to the address listing in the order confirmation e-mail sent by Amazon. If a buyer requests that you to ship to a different address, cancel the order and ask that they re-purchase the item once they have updated their delivery address with Amazon.
  • Take the time to make a phone call. While most questions and problems can be resolved via e-mail, sometimes, it can be more efficient and professional to simply pick up the phone. A considerate phone call can be the personal touch your customers are looking for and it will comfort the buyer to know that a real person is handling their order. Send a follow-up e-mail through the Buyer-Seller Messaging Service so you have a record of your telephone conversation.
  • Only issue a refund to a buyer after you have received the returned product.

Remember Amazon sellers, attention to details not only bring happy, loyal customers but it also puts money in your pockets!

Amazon Reporting Technical Error Involving Listings & Inventory Quantities

October 17, 2012–Houston, we have a problem! Amazon.com is reporting in their seller central they are  experiencing technical issues regarding amazon listings, inventory quantity control, and listing edits. Sellers have been having problems most of the day and Amazon has sent out the following message:

We are currently experiencing a technical issue affecting certain Amazon.com listings.  Affected listings may appear as “Incomplete” in Seller Central and temporarily be unavailable for sale; inventory quantities may temporarily not appear to reflect recent sales; and listing edits may be delayed.  We are working to resolve the issue as quickly as possible and will provide updates as they become available. (10/17 – 10:43 PDT)