Starting an Amazon Business – Signing up for your Seller Account
So, you decided to become an Amazon Seller and sign up to create a Seller Account. It doesn’t take much effort to go to Amazon website and click on Sell on Amazon. Well, that is where the moving parts start to roll in because Amazon will track every action you take from that point on, when you started the registration, when you finally completed it, what options you selected and then changed, etc. Some of this information will be used to determine the closing date time of the weekday to calculate your payment. If you register in the middle of a categorically heavy fulfillment day, you end up receiving less cash as the rest of the orders would be paid on the next settlement date, which is usually two weeks.
Then there is the complicated stuff like Tax Identity Information. At least two states, Washington and Pennsylvania, have already passed laws mandating Amazon to collect sales tax and remit payment directly on sales generated by Amazon Sellers. There is no doubt the rest of the states will follow suit. This means you may not have a physical presence in such states but Amazon will disclose the Amazon Sellers information when they remit their sales tax collections to the relevant Department of Revenue.
These are just a couple of points and they are only on the first page of the registration. You can always get it started with dummy information and revise it later. Keep in mind, Amazon is tracking EVERYTHING you do with your Amazon Seller account. If you act inconsistently, that will be part of your history.
What Amazon Sellers are expected to do is to ensure that they provide the best customer experience for all Amazon customers. You may ask what that entails, well that is where your Amazon journey starts to unfold.
How should you interpret Amazon’s “best customer experience” philosophy?
This is a loaded statement and Amazon expects you to be able to interpret it well and apply it in every aspect of your Amazon operation.
When you start selling on Amazon, Sellers quickly realize that all Amazon employees talk and write the same way. Amazon has a strong company culture, where everything is standardized, streamlined and measured. So, they will communicate style is concise and you need to learn to read between the lines and interpret it will.
Here is how to sell on Amazon successfully while observing the Amazon philosophy:
- Amazon Sellers should offer the most competitive price
- Your product listings should be comprehensive with description, pictures, videos, reviews, bullet points, features, etc. Most importantly, the item shipped to the customer MUST match the listing. If the picture has the old packaging, you will pay the price for shipping the newer version, or vice versa. Because it is likely to receive questions from customer, which may turn into a refund. This will then reflect badly on your Amazon Seller Ratings.
- Your orders must be shipped and delivered according to the service level displayed on the product page and in good condition with strong packaging. If you ship promptly but the carrier is delayed, you will be penalized. If you use weak materials for packing and the package is damaged, you may attract customer complaints and bad reviews, etc.
- Your post-sale performance must be good. This means if a customer wants to refund an item no matter what the reason is, you should perform in a way that will NOT jeopardize the “best customer experience” concept.
- Your Refund performance must be excellent. If you decide to issue a refund for a customer but you are not prompt, you may pay a heavy price. Unfortunately, we live in a world, where everyone wants everything yesterday. So, if your refund processing is late, you may get hit with an A-Z Claim and a Chargeback as well as a Negative Feedback, not to mention your Refund Rate will also go up. These are all Amazon Seller Ratings that are closely tracked.
These are just some of the important points, but there is much more to the story than we can cover in a few lines. Here’s where our Amazon experts come in should you have any specific questions. Ask for a FREE evaluation of your opportunity to start an Amazon Business HERE.
Next, we will cover “Listing your products on Amazon”, stay tuned for our next blog post “Getting started with Amazon Seller Account – Part II”.