For most online businesses, selling on Amazon is a great business growth strategy — you expose your products to millions of U.S. consumers and increase brand awareness. But, Amazon has rules set up to make sure all businesses and consumers selling on this online marketplace are treated fairly. Do you know what they are? Our partner ecomdash published an article explaining how to avoid committing the seven deadly Amazon sins. We’ve split up the article in two parts, and Part 1 follows.
Recently, we had the opportunity to attend ChannelAdvisor’s webinar, “7 Ways to Get Kicked Off Amazon.” During this webinar, Ryan Barker, the campaign manager of Marketplace Services, discussed the surefire ways to get the boot from one of the most profitable online marketplaces. We’ll walk you through what we learned, and provide the tips Ryan suggested to avoid suspension. Have you committed any of these seven deadly Amazon sins?
1. Neglecting the Price Parity Issue
First things first — what the heck is price parity? In your contract to sell on Amazon, you agree to abide by price parity, meaning that if you sell the same item on another sales channel, the total price cannot be lower than what’s listed on Amazon.
So if you sell running shoes on Amazon for $70.95 plus shipping, you cannot sell the same pair of shoes through your Shopify account for $65.95 plus shipping, as it can drive buyers away from Amazon and toward your website instead. Amazon actively runs searches to make sure its sellers are not breaking this rule, so be sure you abide by it.
How should you avoid it?
- By understanding the boundaries set by Amazon regarding prices of merchandise outside their sales channels.
- By making sure your employees are also aware of this rule.
- Consider using a repricing software, and setting limits for each sales channel so that no matter how your product prices adjust, your Amazon products are either priced lower or exactly the same as what’s listed on other platforms.
2. Directing Shoppers Away from Amazon
Most Amazon sellers are already aware of this — nothing on your Amazon storefront can advertise or allude to your outside sales channels. There are a few ways you may be breaking this rule without even realizing it.
Make sure you aren’t doing any of the following:
- Watermarking your product images, or including promotional text within pictures
- Including a .com, .net, .biz, etc., in your seller name
- Including anything about you or your business in product descriptions or featured bullets
- Including logos with outside links
3. Mismatching or Duplicating Product Detail Pages
If you are a new Amazon seller, this may be tricky to understand. You’re pumped to get your products listed and start selling, and you may create a new product detail page without realizing that one already exists, which is a big Amazon no-no. Make sure you search for the ASIN or UPC of your product first. ONLY add a product detail page if an ASIN search did not turn up an established product page on Amazon.
To avoid mismatched product detail pages, follow these steps:
- Make sure you are using the correct UPC, by cross-referencing your UPC with product identifiers, such as title and brand
- Make sure item conditions match
4. Abusing Ratings and Reviews
Given that feedback is a vital portion of persuading buyers to shop from you over a competitor, we understand the desire to have stellar feedback from every transaction. Amazon is not a marketplace where you should expect tons of feedback, though on average, buyers receive feedback on 3-5 percent of their orders.
Make sure you do not incur any of the following violations when dealing with feedback:
- Post inappropriate or incorrect comments on feedback from your buyers
- Post a review to your own account
- Pay or offer incentives for positive feedback or feedback removal
- Write negative reviews for competitors
You are allowed to offer a free item in exchange for an honest, unbiased review. There is no guarantee whether it will be positive or negative. We always recommend editing your packing slip details to include a brief, thoughtful thank you to your buyers. Email marketing is another option, as long as you send just one email per transaction. We have a customer who was able to increase his Amazon seller rating from 96-100 percent with ecomdash’s email marketing tool, so if done respectfully, it is a good option to encourage feedback.
Check out Part II of the seven deadly sins that lead to suspension when selling on Amazon.