Answers to the top FAQs regarding selling on Amazon

Answers to the top FAQs regarding selling on Amazon Marketplace

Amazon, the most popular marketplace with the huge base of loyal customers. Started as an online bookstore, today after 20 years, it is the digital retailer of choice for customers across the globe.

In 2016, in U.S alone, Amazon made the net sales worth $136 billion. With more than 310 million active customer accounts worldwide, Amazon is definitely a pool of leads and sales for the sellers.

Want to leverage this huge pool of opportunities?

Thinking about selling on Amazon now?

Hold on for a moment!

Big opportunities do not just knock on your doors without any benefit for themselves. There are risks and vulnerabilities attached to everything that glitters.

Why don’t you take a sneak peek at our post “Why you should and shouldn’t sell on Amazon and eBay?” You will have a clear idea of the golds and stones of selling on Amazon.

So, as a seller, to make sure your products get prime success on the giant marketplace, read this post till the end because I am going to answer some really important questions that we often come across about selling on Amazon.

I am certain that these answers would clear countless confusions that you might already have in your mind as a seller on Amazon.

FAQs regarding selling on Amazon

The fundamental questions

1. What is Amazon Buy Box?

Simply, the Buy Box is a section on the product detail page where customers get the direct option to add a product to the shopping cart.

Amazon in-houses uncountable number of sellers on its marketplace. Many of these sellers offer products that are also being offered by various other sellers on the site. Since Buy Box is the highlighted area on the product page, sellers ending up in the box receive more sales than those who missed it.

Amazon product page

Sellers compete on various grounds to get into the buy box so that their product receives the maximum sale.

2. How does Amazon decide the winner of the Buy Box? 

As Amazon is the home to thousands of sellers like you, becoming a featured seller in the Buy box is really a tough nut to crack. You will always find a huge number of sellers already competing for space.

It’s pretty unrealistic to think your store is ever going to rank that higher to get featured on the Buy Box. You many think of ‘Other Sellers’ section which is comparatively lesser competitive. However, not that lesser as you think, the sellers who miss the Buy Box with few scores usually get featured in the other sellers section.

But still, it’s really important to know how the Buy Box ranking works. Who knows you might be able to leverage some of the requirements and end up in the Buy Box someday.

A number of factors affect the listing in the Buy Box as well the Other Sellers section.

  • Product Pricing- Products pricing does not only include the price of the product but also the shipping cost included with it. Customers mostly prefer low prices while browsing the marketplace. Offering a competitive price with shipping cost included may get you significant attention, if not the Buy Box.
  • Selling history on Amazon- Seller with long, and positive selling histories generally have stronger chances to get in the featured list.
  • Reviews and feedback- On Amazon, reviews are important like nothing else. Customers get the best possible ways to post honest reviews about the experience with the product delivery, product itself, and sellers too. Though Amazon does not use reviews and rating as a factor in ranking the sellers, a significant amount of negative reviews and feedbacks can still force the marketplace site to ban your shop or suspend your listing.

There are numerous other factors that act as a determiner in deciding your seller ranking. As a rule of thumb, the most effective measure is to deliver the best quality products on time and ensure a communication with the customer if required.

3. What is Amazon FBA?

Amazon FBA or so-called Fulfillment by Amazon is a service offered by this marketplace to its sellers. Here, using this service you, as a seller, can send your merchandise to one of the Amazon’s fulfillment centers to be stocked. When you receive an order for that merchandise, Amazon ships it to the customers directly from their stock.

This service helps the sellers to concentrate on selling, while Amazon will handle the product delivery and customer care. Of course, there is a cost involved in using the FBA services.

Other benefits of FBA involves:

  • An extended reach to the Amazon Prime members who generally order the Amazon-fulfilled products.
  • More chances to win the Buy Box as compared to the non-FBA sellers.

Amazon product page

Did you know?

79 % of sellers use FBA for some or all of their sales

FBA is definitely a serious program to try out when you are thinking about selling on Amazon.

4. I already have my own eCommerce site, should I sell on Amazon?

Having your own eCommerce store is never a restriction. In fact, Amazon does not care if you have your own site or not. You can always create an Amazon seller account and start listing your products.

77 % of sellers use multiple sales channels- Marketplace, own site, and brick and mortar shop. Out of these, a quarter of sellers have their own webshops based on different platforms like Magento, OpenCart, PrestaShop, Shopify etc.

When so many multi-channel selling options are already there, the marketplace giant cannot allow sellers to promote their own sites on its platform. That’s understandable. Any marketplace would not want you to steal the commission and traffic it can generate with your sales on the marketplace itself.

So, stay in compliance with the Amazon’s cross-channel promotion restrictions and you will not have a problem even if you sell on both your site and Amazon simultaneously.

5. Can I sell on Amazon from my own eCommerce site?

When you have your own eCommerce site and you are a seller on Amazon too, you won’t want to drop the sales anywhere. However, it becomes so cu-cumbersome to maintain the best efforts on both the platforms at the same time.

When you concentrate on your Amazon listings, you are somewhat pulled off your site and vice versa. This dilemma makes many sellers rethink the idea of selling on Amazon. Still, they completely understand that selling on Amazon can bring some serious sales, it would be foolish to give up the Amazon shop. On the other hand, giving up your own eCommerce site is also not a wise decision.

This is where Amazon integration services come as a savior. Amazon provides the amazing MWS (Amazon Marketplace Web Service) that allow developers to use the MWS API and develop some integration solutions to make the life of sellers easier.

These integration solutions are simply an extension to your eCommerce site which connects your site with your Amazon seller account.

For example, if you install our PrestaShop Amazon Marketplace integrator on your PrestaShop based store, you will be able to manage all your Amazon listings from your PrestaShop store itself. You will not have to go to your Amazon seller account to:

  • Upload the new products
  • Update the old listings
  • Manage the orders received on Amazon

You can do all these tasks from your PrestaShop back-office itself after a few initial setup and configuration.

Amazon Products

Amazon Orders

So, yes, you can always sell on Amazon from your own eCommerce site directly by using the Amazon integration services and solutions.

Other Important FAQs

6. A product that I want to sell is already listed on Amazon by other sellers too, should I list a new product or just associate it with this listing? 

Amazon allows only a single listing for a particular product in its catalog. All the sellers who want to sell a product that has already been listed in the catalog must associate their listing with the old listing in the catalog.

If you create a second product, Amazon will consider it as a duplicate listing and will immediately remove it.

7. Why does Amazon not reimburse me the correct amount for shipping cost? 

Amazon decides the shipping cost reimbursement on the basis of the distance between the merchant’s origin and customer’s shipping address and also the weight of the product. However, sometimes the calculation does not match with the actual expense of the seller on shipping.

PS: The cost reimbursed by the Amazon can be less as well as more than the actual expense by the seller.

8. Why Can’t I map some of the shipping options with my products? 

Amazon typically does not want to take the risk of delayed product delivery. A delayed product delivery, (even if it’s the mistake of the seller) directly affects the marketplace’s reputation. So, it’s better to tell correctly about the delivery time, it does not matter if it’s a slower one; customers should get the product on or before the committed date.

So, at the initial phase of your seller account on Amazon, you might not get the access to map quick delivery options like same day, or next day, or two days to your products. You have to earn the access to those options by establishing a history of reliable shipping with the slower shipping speeds. Once you have a nice long history of on-time product delivery with the slower options, you will gradually get the access to quick shipping options.

9. What should I do when I am on a vacation and not available to fulfill the order? 

Amazon provides a great option for sellers to temporarily remove all the open listings in the event of taking a holiday, going for vacation, or for any random reason. By using the Listing Status feature, you can deactivate all your self-fulfilled listings while you don’t have to worry regarding your FBA listings. The FBA listings will be fulfilled by the Amazon itself, so you don’t have the option to take down FBA listings using the same option.

Please note:  Before changing the status of your listings, you should make sure none of your previous orders are pending. The already placed orders will not get automatically canceled; you have to manage it manually either by canceling the order or by fulfilling it before activating the vacation mode.

10. How to activate or deactivate the vacation mode using Listing Status?

When you are going for the vacation, you can set your listings “Inactive” by following these steps:

  • Go to Listing Status page from your seller account.
  • Select the status as Inactive.
  • Click Submit button to save your selection and within one hour your self-fulfilled listings will be removed from the live product listing on Amazon.

When you come back from the vacation, you can reactivate all your listings by following these steps:

  • Go to Listings Status page in the same way from your seller account.
  • Now, select the Status as Active.
  • Save the selection by clicking Submit button. The listings will be live again within one hour.

PS: This feature is only available to some sellers. If you cannot find the “Edit” button next to Listing Status, you don’t have the authorization to use this feature.

11. Which policies should I be aware of before starting to sell on Amazon?

You should be aware of the following Amazon’s policies that concern the sellers:

To conclude

While deciding to sell on Amazon, the best thing to consider is how well you know your business and how can you manage the complexities of selling on marketplaces. If you already own an eCommerce site and want to drive more sales, selling on a popular marketplace is the obvious and best recommendation with integration solutions.

If you have the time and resources, you can choose to sell on multiple marketplaces at a time. Like many of our PrestaShop clients use the “eBay Marketplace Integration” and “Etsy Marketplace Integration” along with the Amazon Integration solution. Multi-channel selling has proven to be a quite beneficial choice for them.

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Joe Parker

We boast of the best in the industry plugins for eCommerce systems and has years of experience working with eCommerce websites. We provide best plugins for platforms like - Magento, Prestashop, OpenCart and Shopify . We also provide custom module development and customization services for the website and modules..

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