Amazon. Solved ™.
Regardless how tough the problem may be—an Amazon account reinstatement or an oblique and erroneous Amazon action—we keep our focus on one target: to solve problems for sellers.
A big part of what we do is to provide the most timely, compelling information that helps sellers prevent and solve problems. Primarily we accomplish that through our weekly blogs, but we also provide a monthly newsletter. This year, a look back through our blogs reveals what sellers care about – and how they use the blogs to reference critical issues and advice.
Here are the top 5 blogs read by sellers in 2023. Enjoy!
#1 Account basics are always a good start
Sellers needing a go-to reminder will find it here. This blog breaks out the basic details of a seller account. Take a look for details about the following:
- Merchant ID: The primary way Amazon identifies your account and storefront
- Seller ID: This is precisely the same as your Merchant ID and used interchangeably with Merchant ID.
- Merchant Token: Your merchant token is your unique seller identifier. It works “behind the scenes with technologies (Amazon Merchant Transport Utility/AMTU, third-party applications, and XML feeds). The token connects products you upload into your seller account.
- While seemingly basic to know, many sellers still struggle with locating their information and why it’s important to know and use.
#2 Avoid the ever-enticing opportunity to source from liquidators
Our second most-popular piece is our megaphone to sellers to stop betting the health of your Amazon account with products that, at best, are in poor condition—and unacceptable to Amazon. And documentation? Account suspension is probable. A little common sense will tell you that liquidation carries elevated levels of risk. Consider these:
- In almost all cases, it’s impossible to prove the chain of custody for the products. In other words, you cannot show products are authentic if asked for invoices, or if you field an intellectual property complaint.
- The products might be counterfeit. Some of the most popular sources of liquidation inventory are Amazon Fulfillment Centers. But much of this inventory comes from third-party sellers, and some of it is outright fake.
- The items are often returns. They’ve been opened, used, or refused because they don’t work. Even if you have a great inspection process in place, these pieces are only fit for resale as used, or at best, open-box.
- Shelf-wear has taken a toll. Inventory on the secondary market has been through the wars. It’s traveled to multiple warehouses, stores and customers. Boxes are worn, torn, faded, discolored and dirty. It often just doesn’t look new.
#3 Fighting fake IP claims isn’t easy, but it can be done
It happens a lot to sellers. Those who are genuine and honest sellers get reported to Amazon for allegedly listing counterfeit goods or a patented product without the patent owner’s permission. Amazon knee-jerks and suspends ASIN and accounts. Our third most-popular blog talks fake IP issues and what to do if you get a complaint.
So, how do valid brand owners file fake claims? Here’s how:
- The brand owner claims the sale of counterfeit goods: Brand owners might argue that the item you are selling is counterfeit even if it’s not. They do this even without a test buyer to keep sellers and resellers off their listings. Selling counterfeit items is a cardinal sin on Amazon, and a brand owner who files a complaint on this basis knows that your account might get suspended or your listing removed permanently.
- The brand owner claims copyright and trademark infringement: A brand owner might also make a false claim that another seller is violating their trademark or copyright. This can happen even though you are selling the correct product and not violating any IP law. Copyright infringement happens when a seller uses a brand’s images or text without proper authorization from the brand in question to use it on Amazon. Ideally, product listings, physical products, and packaging can’t include copyrighted images or content unless the copyright owner explicitly authorizes it. A trademark infringement involves using words or symbols registered to a specific product or company that shouldn’t be used or reproduced without the company’s authorization.
Either way, whether the brand owner is filing the complaint to keep sellers off their listings or you actually violated IP laws, Amazon has no choice but to act legally and swiftly take down your listing. All the brand owner needs to do is fill out a form and swear under penalty of perjury that you’re abusing their intellectual property.
#4 Amazon IP enforcement remains a seller sore spot
Dealing with IP complaints makes the list again. It’s an obvious sore spot for sellers and brand owners trying to navigate IP, types of IP and Amazon’s enforcement efforts.
Here’s the problem, Amazon’s policy on IP complaints is to shoot first and ask questions later. An allegation of an IP violations can result in the immediate suspension of your Amazon seller account.
We can all agree that learning about Intellectual Property Rights isn’t anyone’s idea of fun. What’s worse, not all IP complaints are the same. Each violation has its unique conditions. Luckily, Amazon mainly concerns itself with four kinds of IP violations. These are:
A deep understanding of how Amazon interprets each violation is crucial, especially if you’re in a competitive niche. However, it would benefit your brand more if you partnered with a consultant to prevent misinterpretation. Competent Amazon consultants have access to an extensive legal network that they can leverage to sort out any violation claims quickly. That said, here’s a detailed breakdown of IP violations on Amazon.
#5 “Algorithm” insights get seller attention
Closing out our top 5 is a blog about Amazon’s search algorithm and how it determines where products are ranked in the Amazon search results. This guest blog is written by Minas Elias of Trivium, a Riverbend Consulting partner.
Knowing the factors that influence the Amazon algorithm allows you to adjust your strategies to make your products more visible in the search results. Here are some tips on how you can use them to boost your sales.
- Optimize your product listings. Make sure product listings are optimized with the most relevant and targeted keywords. Include eye-catching, high-quality product images.
- Encourage customer engagement. Encourage customers to write reviews (but always be sure to follow Amazon policy when asking for them), ask questions and interact with your product. This helps boost your product’s placement in search results.
- Stay competitive with your pricing. Make sure your prices are competitive compared to other products in the same category.
- Use Amazon ads. Spend money and invest in Amazon Ads. This helps you reach new customers and increase product visibility.
- Monitor your competitors. It’s important to stay one step ahead of your competitors. Make sure you monitor competitor pricing, product listings and customer engagements.
- Create limited-time offers. Customers love discounts and limited-time offers. Take advantage of these to help boost sales.
Applying the right strategies to influence Amazon’s algorithm will increase sales, profitability and, ultimately, rank a product higher on search term pages. It will accomplish your goal to build customer credibility and understand how the algorithm evaluates product ranking. Knowing how to get started and what to do may require some extra support.
Collaboration, education and information helps us all
The Amazon seller community is renowned for its candor—and willingness to share struggles, experiences and solutions. We’re proud to be part of a collaborative community.
Need support? Contact us. We’re here to help.