Advice & Expert Interviews on How to Research, Launch and Grow an FBA Private label business. The focus is on British Sellers on Amazon UK, USA, and Europe, although many American listeners and viewers find the content very helpful.
How to create your own product line for e-commerce
Creating your own product is a key to e-commerce business success. But it can be a long and complex process. In this multi-part episode Michael shares a 6-step process for creating your first unique product.
What you’ll learn
* The 6 steps to creating a custom product
Scaling Up Principles Through Strategy and Execution with Eugene Terk from AlignToday
Eugene Terk is the vice president of business development at AlignToday, a business management software that focuses on detailed daily projects workload and helps manage higher-level strategic goals of your company.
Eugene will be teaching us how to scale up business through strategy and execution based on his knowledge and experience.
You’ll Learn About:
The methodology of AlignToday
The highlights of the Scaling Up Structure
The importance of knowing your foundational principles
The foundation core of the Rockefeller habits
How to move from strategy to implementation
Specific action steps to achieve goals
How AlignToday organize their meetings
The importance of tracking your metrics
Related topics about Scaling Up a Business:
* Scaling an Amazon Business to 8 Figures with Fernando Cruz of Marketplace Ops
* Scaling up – Private Label Strategy (Step 9 of 10)
* Scaling a business on Amazon with Ashley Pearce Part 2
* Scaling your Business Accounting with Penny Lowe Part 2
* Grow Amazon Business with Jenna Lieber
Watch Scaling Up Principles Through Strategy and Execution
Running an Agency with John Cavendish of SellerCandy
Running an agency can be an interesting adventure! It’s how you navigate the highs and the lows that can help you build a long-lasting business.
John Cavendish an Amazon seller with a 7 figure FBA business and co-founder of SellerCandy with his business partner Brian Patterson will show us the best way to run an agency.
You’ll learn about:
How John became very good at selling $100k a month
The best practices of Sales
The importance of the Sales Process
The significance of having a Sales system
John’s process in the Sales system
To work with John just go to sellercandy.com or email John@sellercandy.com
Mention “Amazing FBA” - pro package $100 discount
Other interviews with John:
Amazon Account Management
Coronavirus for Amazon Sellers
Translate Your Amazon Listing
How to Access Amazon Europe
The SellerCandy Services
Watch Running an Agency with John Cavendish of SellerCandy
Amazon Suspended Account (Joshua Price 3 of 3)
This is part 3 of the interview with Joshua Price of www.SuspensionExperts.com regarding Amazon account suspension and how to prevent that happening in the first place. In part 2 of this interview, Joshua covered some of the performance violation details, and now he’s explaining policy violations that lead to a suspended Amazon account.
The Risks of Mistakes leading to Policy Violation
Amazon has over 100 pages of different policies, rules, and regulations that you have to follow. That’s a lot of different areas and you can make lots of mistakes. Nobody can remember all of those things and even small little things can exaggerate out to bigger problems quite easily.
Most larger sellers will have more products and more orders. The more things that are happening, the more chance there is for errors to occur. This is especially true if you start bringing in staff and other people into your organization because it increases the risk of someone making a mistake that leads to a suspended Amazon account. We might not be aware of the requirement to have white backgrounds on images, for example. It only takes one member of staff uploading the wrong image or an image incorrectly and you could be suspended for that reason.
Another example is to do with product variations, which has often been a system that has been abused. For people who use it, it’s quite complicated and for an account with 1000 linked listings, it’s almost impossible for a seller to keep track and make sure that products are a true variation as per Amazon’s definitions. All it takes is one small issue, such as accidentally linking products that are not variations of each other, for the account to be suspended.
The more volume, the more products, the more staff involved with your account, the more room there is for issues and mistakes to shut down accounts. So whilst in some online worlds expanding fast and cleaning up the details later can be a viable approach, when interacting with Amazon systems you must have strong internal business systems and be very careful who you let loose on your Amazon account.
Intellectual Property Rights and Complaints
A common policy violation is intellectual property rights and complaints. The topic is governed by the laws of the country that you’re selling in, so Amazon tries to be as general and vague as possible. Essentially, this is when you’re selling Brand A and buying it from your supplier. If the manufacturer of Brand A doesn’t really like what you’re doing, they tell Amazon and say there is a problem. Now, because it’s a legal issue about whether you can sell the product—for example, whether you’re infringing on a trademark, design rights, copyright, etc.—you now have a suspended Amazon account until you have sorted out the issue.
Amazon doesn’t want to be involved so they back away until you fix the problem. It’s a fine system; it means Amazon won’t get sued and you have the opportunity to resolve it without Amazon giving you too bad of a penalty. The problem is that Amazon doesn’t vet any complaints. Which means that anyone can make a complaint and you still have to take it seriously because you get suspended for it. The abuse of this infringement system at the moment is causing havoc for sellers because people who are competing with you are making these complaints so that you get kicked off Amazon.
Responding to Intellectual Property Rights Suspensions
The first step is to work out if it’s genuine or not. The email address the complaint came from is always a good indicator of that. If it’s from a legitimate company the email address will include the domain name of the business. Obviously then it’s something you do need to take seriously. Large companies will also have lawyers first to represent them in these issues. You also need to consult a lawyer if it gets serious.
Amazon Appeal Letter (Joshua Price 2 of 3)
Welcome back to Part 2 of this interview with Joshua Price of SuspensionExperts.com to talk about how to write your Amazon appeal letter.
Getting your Amazon account suspended is the elephant in the room that most people either ignore or run scared from. But the truth is, of course, like any good business you have to look at the reality and deal with it. The best way to do that is to work with an expert to help write your Amazon appeal letter.
The Size of Your Business Lends Itself to Different Problems
There are various different grounds for suspension, which Joshua covers in Part 1 of this interview. The two broad areas to cause your account to get suspended are performance and policy. The performance side is about customer-facing operations, which Amazon monitors with customer metrics and data. The policy side is about Amazon’s rules and regulations, and keeping to them.
Joshua deals mainly with inauthentic suspensions and intellectual property rights and complaints. Those are the most common for larger sellers and they are policy issues. For small sellers, it’s always going to be your Order Defect Rate (ODR) because you just can’t avoid those suspensions if you’re doing lower volumes of orders.
Language Leaves Clues
Amazon will tell you the reason for the suspension which will help you write your Amazon appeal letter. They may not be entirely clear but they do tell you and it’s in the first line of the notification. It will say something like “we’ve removed your Amazon selling privileges because of…” and for Order Defect Rate it will say “…because your order defect rate is above the 1% target.”
For most performance suspensions, it’s quite plain language in the notification. Amazon will use the terminology that will be reflected in your account health dashboard. E.g. late dispatch, cancellation rate etc. For most sellers, you’ll be familiar with these if you’re familiar with the account health side of Seller Central. In that regard, it’s easy to work out why you have been suspended, and you can log into your account and see.
On the policy side, they tend to use technical language and terminology, which won’t explain for most people what’s actually happened. For example, inauthentic complaints, intellectual property rights, owner complaint and a myriad of other more small and complicated policy issues as well. They’ll often use the language in the policies which is very legal and complicated language.
Order Defect Rates
The first step for any seller is to make sure you’re familiar with the numbers and targets that Amazon is tracking in the Account Health part of Seller Central. You must do your research and know your exact numbers.
The Order Defect Rate (ODR) is the amount of negative and neutral feedback you get, which is the number of people that leave 1, 2 and 3-star reviews about your service. It’s not about the product, it’s about you as a seller. Then Amazon adds the number of A to Z claims in, which is Amazon’s guarantee program for dissatisfied customers. They also add chargeback claims, which is chargebacks from credit card companies, although that’s fairly uncommon.
Amazon adds all those up and divides it by the number of orders you have taken in a 30 and 90 day period, which gives them the ODR percentage. For both 30 and 90 day periods, the target is to be under the 1% order defect rate. Often, January and February are key times for suspension due to order defect rates. This is due to the large influx of orders over Christmas and the higher number of complaints over that period.
Diving Deeper into the Cause of the Problem
Once you understand the pieces of data that Amazon is using to calculate it, we need to look at why those customers have had those complaints.
Amazon Suspended Account (Joshua Price 1 of 3)
On the show today is Joshua Price from SuspensionExperts.com. Amazon suspended account is the elephant in the room and can become a very technical issue. Which is why you need an expert like Joshua.
Joshua started his career in eCommerce working with larger organizations on multiple platforms. This included Amazon and a range of other international marketplaces. Eventually, an Amazon suspended account occurred and almost by chance, he was the guy assigned to fix the problem and work it out.
From there, he ended up in the world of suspensions and it became clear that it was something most people don’t know enough about. Soon enough, he had queues of people asking him for help with their account suspension because it was a massive need not being addressed. Now, 3 years later Joshua has helped over 700 sellers.
The Risk of Amazon Suspended Account
Amazon does not give data on this. But from his interactions, Joshua believes that Amazon suspended account is a risk for every seller. He estimates that 10,000 sellers a day get suspended and that most sellers making between $10,000-50,000 per month will get suspended once every 2 years. There is less risk if you do fewer sales simply because you’re not interacting with as many customers. However, smaller sellers are often less aware and less experienced, so they can fall into a number of other pitfalls.
Getting Your Amazon Suspended Account Reinstated
Getting your account reinstated depends on lots of factors. Essentially, a first offense is generally something that can be excused. Depending on the reason for the suspension, you could be offline for maybe 2 weeks. Generally, every seller can get back on the platform after their first suspension. Amazon does want you on the platform so they will give you the opportunity as long as you correctly handle the appeal. It’s not guaranteed, You do have to do the right things, but they’re open to it.
Getting reinstated on your 2nd, 3rd or 4th offense becomes much more technical. The reason that a lot of people need help with the 2nd suspension is that their case is instantly complicated by the previous suspension.
Performance Suspension vs. Policy Suspension
There are 2 types of suspension categories: performance and policy. Policy is the rules, and performance is your way of serving customers and running the account.
Multiple suspensions in performance over a long period of time is much more understandable because it’s about your operations. We all make mistakes. Customers complain about little things, The Royal Mail may be running late etc. Amazon will be lenient for that and therefore it takes less time to get your account back for the 2nd suspension in the performance area. Perhaps a week to a month.
For policy suspensions, it’s easy to break the rules but Amazon is slightly tougher for allowing people to be reinstated. It can be very quick to get reinstated for policy suspension if handled correctly. However most people, especially if they are appealing on their own, could be looking at a couple of months to be reinstated. If they are reinstated at all.
The First Steps in Case of Amazon Suspended Account
Joshua says the first thing you should do the moment you see that notification email is to take at least 24 hours before responding. Our businesses mean a lot to us, they’re important and we’re emotionally involved. He says it’s the emotion ruins most people’s appeals because they send an instant response without doing their research or considering the bigger picture. They appeal too quickly and it fails. This is a problem because the first appeal is the most crucial appeal. It’s the best opportunity to get reinstated. Take 24 hours to work out your plan in detail, and if it’s suitable for you,