Whether you’re a new Amazon seller or a veteran online retailer, you’re inevitably going to make mistakes from time to time. Some of the mistakes will be minor and can be chalked up to lessons learned. However, some mistakes have the potential to negatively affect your online business in a major way. We’ve put together a list of some of the most common Amazon seller mistakes so you can avoid making them yourself.
#1 – Breaking the Rules
It’s very important that you familiarize yourself with Amazon’s rules and Terms of Service. This may seem pretty obvious, but there are a lot of new sellers who don’t take the time to do any research. They unknowingly break a rule or policy and get their Amazon accounts suspended, sometimes permanently. Having your account suspended can be an expensive (especially if you’ve already sent inventory to Amazon for Fulfillment By Amazon) mistake. Your ecommerce career could end, or at least be put on hold, before it even begins.
If you’re unsure about something, don’t just forge on – do your research and find out the right answer.
#2 – Choosing a Flooded Niche
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when selling on Amazon is choosing to sell products in an over-saturated niche. You don’t want to try to sell generic men’s t-shirts when there are already more than 250,000 of them being offered online. This is where research is important. While you might think that a certain product is feasible, and it seems to be a product that your business can get behind, if it’s in a flooded market, you won’t likely be successful.
That’s why it’s important to do your research, look at market trends, and find a product niche that isn’t over-saturated.
#3 – Providing Slow Customer Service
Amazon expects sellers to respond to customer inquiries within 24 hours. It doesn’t matter if it’s a weekend or a holiday – you have 24 hours to answer. Sellers who make the mistake of not responding within that time frame will get a warning from Amazon. And if you receive too many warnings, your account may get suspended.
There are tools you can use to make sure that you don’t miss responding to customer service inquiries. ReplyManager is one of many.
#4 – Mismanaging Inventory
One of the worst mistakes you can make as an online seller is running out of stock. On Amazon, this can lower your ranking, but more importantly, this can result in dissatisfied customers. Staying on top of your inventory tracking is crucial. That means that you need to monitor your stock levels regularly. The best way to do that is with a robust Amazon inventory management software that automatically tracks stock across all your sales channels.
#5 – Trying to Compete with Amazon
You can’t compete with Amazon retail, so don’t waste your time, money, and energy selling the same products. You won’t win. Concentrate on staying ahead of your competitors and try not to pay attention to what Amazon does with products like yours. Luckily, there are enough types of products out there, and people looking to buy them, that you can have a lucrative ecommerce business without taking Amazon head-on.
The above mistakes are common, but they can be nipped in the bud, or avoided altogether when you’re aware of them. While we know that there’s no way to avoid every mistake, when you know what to watch out for, you can keep your Amazon selling errors to a minimum.