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Common Mistakes Amazon Sellers Make

Amazon Basics / December 17, 2019

Selling on Amazon has become extremely popular for the past couple of years, and there are a few mistakes that are actually pretty common among a lot of sellers. 

Poorly Written Product Listing & Product Title 

Your listing and product title is extremely important, and if it isn’t optimized correctly, this could be a reason why your listing is performing poorly. This can be one of the easiest mistakes Amazon Sellers make. It can be difficult to understand what all needs to be included in your title and description, so many sellers have lackluster listings.

This is an example of a poorly written description, product title and the listing lacks high quality photos. Just by looking at the photo you wouldn’t have a clue for what the product is for. They only have two photos and a video and the photos don’t really explain what the product is. This will easily get overlooked by those shopping on Amazon. 

mistakes amazon sellers make

Unrelated Keywords 

Keywords are used for your product listing to help show up in the right searches. If you use unrelated keywords, it will only hurt your listing. For example the picture above, is claimed to be a lid for a parfait cup. The search term I used for this example was “12oz coffee togo cups with lids” and this showed up for that search. Although I did search for lid, it’s not in the right category. Every other listing pictured were coffee cups, not parfait lids. Using unrelated keywords will let Amazon know your listing is doing poorly in the category you are using and will push your listing to the back or hide it from the search because it is unrelated.  

Results when searching for the term “12 oz togo coffee cups with lids”.

mistakes amazon sellers make

Overpricing Products 

When people start to sell on Amazon without doing any research, one of the first mistakes Amazon Sellers make is pricing their product to high. The example below shows a pack of coffee cups for over $150, when there are hundreds of listings that sell the same amount of cups for half the price. If you put yourself in the customer’s shoes, would you buy coffee cups for $186.60 or $60 that have the same features? 

If you are planning to sell your product at a higher price than your competitors, you need to differentiate your product from your competitors and really push the key features of your product. If people have to choose between two products that are exactly the same, chances are they will go for the cheaper one. If people had to choose between two products and one of them included cups and lids and your listing included cups, lids, coffee stirrers and coffee sleeves, chances are they might go with your listing since it includes more even if it is a couple dollars more. 

Poor Customer Service

mistakes amazon sellers make

When selling on Amazon, no matter how well you packed your product, there is a chance of something going wrong during shipping or packing. When customers receive a product that is damaged or not what they expected they will leave negative reviews on the product they ordered. One of the mistakes Amazon Sellers make is not responding to negative reviews. If you don’t try to fix the problem, the negative reviews will affect the product tremendously. 

Remember that you are not allowed to direct people to email you off of the Amazon platform, but you can ask them to contact you through buyer-seller messages on Amazon. You are also not allowed to ask them to change their review, but chances are if you reach out to them and fix the problem, they will go and change the rating and review themselves. No one wants to buy from a seller that ignores every bad review they get and fights with previous customers.  

Tax Issues 

mistakes amazon sellers make

Taxes on Amazon can be confusing, but it’s important to actually research it thoroughly to understand the ins and outs. Having tax issues is one of the hardest things to deal with when you are well into your Amazon business. Especially if you didn’t keep anything documented. From the beginning you want to collect sales tax. If you don’t, you will be liable to pay the amount you weren’t collecting. If you are a seller that sells hundreds of thousands of products a month, you could be looking at millions in taxes. For more information about taxes for Amazon sellers, click here. (Must be signed into seller central to access).  This can be one of the most costly mistakes Amazon Sellers make, so make sure you are planning for taxes accordingly!

Over-saturated Niche 

When looking for products to sell on Amazon, people lean towards selling items that are already popular on Amazon. This isn’t the best option, especially since some sellers have been selling the same product for years and have hundreds or even thousands of reviews. Products that have that many reviews are typically the products you want to stay away from.

It will be extremely hard to get their customers to buy your product. More than 70% of consumers base their purchases off of reviews, and if your product listing has a couple reviews while the other seller who is selling the same product has thousands of reviews, chances are they will go with the other sellers. Over-saturated products are one of the hardest things to sell on Amazon. If you need help looking for trending products on Amazon, you can read a couple of our blog posts on how to find trending items! 

Trending Products On The Rise for 2020 

The Most Profitable Categories on Amazon

Finding New Products for Amazon

Shipping Issues

One of the worst mistakes Amazon Sellers can make is shipping items late when fulfilling orders themselves. Amazon is the biggest platform that offers same-day, 1-day and 2-day shipping for those with a prime membership. So Amazon customers already expect things to be at their front door on time. When fulfilling orders yourself, you have to get packages sent out on time and if you don’t, it could count against your account. Too many late shipments can get your account suspended. 

If you have trouble getting orders out on time, whether it due to personal reasons or having an overwhelming amount of orders, you may want to consider using Amazon FBA. By using Amazon FBA all orders and packed and shipped by Amazon, and any shipping problems that arise are left up to Amazon to fix (unless it’s an issue with how you sent your shipment to the warehouse). For a small fee a month, depending on the product and amount you send in, you could solve all your shipping problems. 

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