5 Amazon Sellers Mistakes to Avoid This Holiday Season

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The holiday season is almost upon us. If you’re an Amazon Seller, this can be one of the most exciting times for your business. With all that excitement and increased sales though, you might be experiencing a little more stress than usual whether you are new or old to selling on the Amazon marketplace. That stress can lead to easily avoidable mistakes, so as you’re preparing for the holiday rush, make sure you know how to avoid the most common pitfalls when selling on Amazon.

1: Not Setting Your Sales Prices Correctly when Selling on Amazon

When it comes to getting customers to buy your products on Amazon, pricing is one of the most important factors. The festive period is a great time to offer sales, but you need to be very careful about pricing your products too low, because if you do you might be making a loss, or just a tiny profit, every time you sell something.

How to Avoid Sales Price Issues on Amazon

Avoid the low price problem by understanding all of the costs involved in getting your product to your customer. Work out your total cost price per item — that means the initial cost, taxes, logistics, shipping fees, staff wages, Amazon’s fees and any other liabilities.

Then, ensure when you set your prices that you’re still leaving enough of a profit to grow your business. Profit margins can be tight, so understanding your total cost and how much you can discount Amazon products is vital.

2: Not Having Enough Inventory to Meet Demand for Christmas Shoppers

The holidays are the times when online retailers shift most of their inventory. If you’re lucky enough to get a very “hot” item, you will shift significant quantities when selling on Amazon. Don’t let the demand overwhelm you, and ensure you’ve got the inventory to sell to all your customers.

How to Avoid Inventory and Demand Problems Over the Holidays

If you’ve sold the item previously, look at your sales figures reports for previous periods. Use that to estimate how many you’re likely to sell and make sure your supplier has enough product to meet demand. Talk to your supplier and see if you can get preferable, fast shipping terms for ordering larger quantities. If one supplier can’t meet your needs, it might be worth getting a backup supplier.

3: Not Getting Your Money from Selling on Amazon Quickly Enough

If you want to meet demand over the holidays, it’s vital to get your money from Amazon payments quickly, so you can use it to invest in more stock. If your revenue is tied up in Amazon’s payments system, you’ll be limited in how much cash you can release to buy inventory.

How to Get Faster Amazon Payments

Look into invoice financing. Invoice factoring and invoice discounting can get you funds for your sold items in just a day or two (rather than Amazon’s default of every two weeks), for a very low fee. You can immediately reinvest that money to buy new products, generating more profit.

4: Not Keeping Your Product Descriptions, Inventory, and Prices Up to Date

If you’ve been selling on Amazon for a while, you know that much of your time is spent comparing your products to others in the marketplace. Over the holiday season, that’s doubly important. You need to stay on top of any discounts, sales or other promotions your competition are offering. Not updating your prices, inventory or descriptions can mean you get left in the dust.

How to React to What Your Competitors are Doing on Amazon

You don’t need to do everything manually. There are plenty of software tools that can let you understand and quickly react to any changes your competitors make, and help your products stand out. Other apps can help you manage your inventory, quickly update product descriptions, and effortlessly upload details into the Amazon marketplace. Some great online repricing and inventory tools are Teikametrics, NeatoScan, ScanPower, and Sellery from SellerEngine.

5: Not Staying on Top of Distribution, Communications, and Customer Service

Because the holiday season is so busy, often you’re just focused on getting the next product out of the door. That can mean customer service emails stay unanswered, you’re not able to respond to communications and requests, or products get delayed because you can’t pack and shift them fast enough. This can result in lost business, unhappy customers, and bad reviews.

How to Avoid Issues with Distribution, Customer Service, and Communications

If you’re having problems with distribution, and you’re not using “Fulfillment By Amazon,” now could be the time to start. You ship your products to Amazon’s warehouses and they take care of picking and shipping the items to your customers. When it comes to customer service and communications, it’s worth setting aside a couple of hours each day when you just focus on dealing with questions and support issues. If you can’t find the time yourself, consider hiring someone or taking on a virtual assistant through Freeeup.

6: Not Learning From Your Mistakes

This might seem a little “meta,” but one of the best ways to avoid making mistakes in future when selling on Amazon is to learn from them now. Every Amazon Seller has stories of when they did something wrong or things didn’t go quite to plan. The difference between those sellers is that the successful ones learned from their mistakes, adapted, and are still making money. The others, well, it may not have gone so smoothly…

How to Learn from Your Mistakes

Don’t be ashamed when you make mistakes on Amazon. Learn what you’ve done wrong, see if it was an issue with training, people or processes, and fix the root cause. Get new steps in place to stop issues happening again, and evolve the way you do business. Use reports and analytics to understand how your business is doing, and make a small improvement every week to help you become more effective and efficient.

Remember, the festive period is a fantastic time of year for retailers. Black Friday is called that because for many eCommerce and retail stores, it’s the first time in the year when they’re “in the black.” Start planning for your holiday season now, and it’s sure to be more successful. Good luck, and happy holidays!

If you’re interested in receiving invoice financing in order to purchase more inventory and fulfill increased holiday orders, or you just need fast Amazon payments to cover other expenses incurred with increased business, Payability can help out. Read more about How Payability Works.

Alison Sperling
Alison is the Director of Marketing at Payability. She has 10+ years of experience in marketing helping small businesses and startups find new tools to grow their business. Prior to Payability, Alison started the marketing team at Stack Overflow. Alison completed an MBA with a concentration in Finance from Syracuse University in 2011. She has 1 cat and volunteers with several cat rescue organizations.

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