Payments and Fees Update
Written by Robert Casto on December 17, 2012 at 1:05 PM
Amazon provides lots of information but does not organize it very well. We recently noticed some issues with how we are gathering Payments and Fees data from the Transactions sellers have from Amazon. On sales where multiples of the same item are sold, Amazon would split them up in weird ways. Sometimes multiple lines each with a quantity of 1. Other times with varying quantities like 2 or 5. Personally I have an order where there are 2 lines with quantity 1, two lines with quantity 2, and one line with quantity 5.
This makes data gathering quite difficult and illustrates why it is hard to deal with data from Amazon many times. We have completed my update of this but also found that sellers who have more than 600 transactions per day will have missing data. Only a case to Amazon asking for the limit to be lifted will resolve this problem. After this update it should be possible to get 1099-K estimates for both sales and expenses. That was our ultimate goal, to make those reports as close as possible to the numbers Amazon reports to the IRS for sellers. We believe it is there but as with all things Amazon, you have to check the numbers and make sure since there are so many ways for things to be wrong.
Running session at SCOE concerning customer returns
Written by Robert Casto on June 06, 2012 at 5:35 PM
This year I thought it would be fun to run a session at SCOE which is the Sellers Conference for Online Entrepreneurs. My topic on customer returns was accepted and so I am excited to report that I will be at the conference this year and will be sharing lots of information about how to deal with returns, outsourcing options, and minimizing its financial impact on your business.
SCOE will be putting up a Bio and Outline soon which will outline the content of the session. Hope to see you there.
Hazardous Materials and Fulfillment by Amazon
Written by Robert Casto on April 24, 2012 at 3:35 PM
Amazon is notorious for marking products as having hazardous materials. Sometimes it appears random such as a book or movie. Usually though these products contain something considered hazardous by shipping companies such as alchohol, toxic chemicals, or other substances.
These products cannot be fulfilled using the FBA program because of the restriction and so when you are scouting or trying to work with shipments, you need to avoid these products. The Pricing and Scouting tools now indicate using a yellow icon and bold text whether a product is considered hazardous. This way you know right away if there will be trouble with it before you even buy it. Or if a product has been marked and you try to merge shipments, it will appear as an error message so you know which item to remove from the shipment.
So now you can deal with these kinds of products before you ever buy them, take them home, and try to ship them to Amazon. You can avoid them all together, or if the item is tagged incorrectly, you can create a case and ask that the restriction be removed.
Checking up on Shipments
Written by Lawanna Casto on March 21, 2012 at 3:19 PM
It's that time of day again; I'm anxiously waiting for my latest shipment to be checked in at the Amazon Fulfillment Center. I want to know what's been checked in and what's still waiting to hit the shelves.
Amazon provides a way for us to see this information, but for a large shipment it can be hard to get a good, overall view, so I log into Sellers Toolbox and go to Tools -->Shipments. From here I can view all my shipments. (The default is to only show active shipments.) I pick a shipment and click on it. Then I choose "View/Edit." This will show me all the items in the shipment.
Now, here's the part I really like: for each SKU, the number shipped and the number received columns are bold and red if they don't match. So at a glance I can see current differences. Or, for just a list of differences (this is really helpful if you have over 100 SKUs in your shipment), click on "Show Differences." This will list every SKU in this shipment that has a different quantity checked in than you sent to Amazon.
So are you waiting for 3 boxes to be checked in? Or just a few items? With Sellers Toolbox's Shipments tool, you can find out quickly.
Written by Lawanna Casto on February 14, 2012 at 1:04 PM
Today I got a list of products from one of my suppliers, and I have to go through the list and determine what I'm going to stock.
While I like to use numbers to tell me whether I should buy or not, I also like to look at the product, because a picture is worth a thousand words. Going through a long list one by one on Amazon is a tedious task, but on Sellers Toolbox I can use the ASIN Review feature. I just copy and paste my list of ASINs into the tool and suddenly I'm greeted with all the images of the products on Amazon.
If I have questions about a product, I just click on the image and it takes me to the product detail page on Amazon. This opens up in a new tab or window so I can easily go back to the ASIN Review. I can quickly go through the items and make my purchasing decisions. Sellers Toolbox makes these kinds of tasks easy.
Returns - A defective book? Really?
Written by Lawanna Casto on January 04, 2012 at 10:21 AM
I've been busy sending and listing products to sell on Amazon, but I haven't kept up with my returns, so it's time to check out what's been returned and why. Amazon has a return report, but there's no way for me to make notes about the return. I could easily look at the same return several times, wasting time and getting nowhere. But in Sellers Toolbox, the Returns Tool allows me to see all my returns, create a case with Amazon, make notes, and more efficiently manage my returns.
The first return I have today was a book that was returned and marked "defective." Really? Books usually aren't defective. I make a note to ask for this book back so I can decide if it's still sellable.
The next item was returned because it was "unsellable" and "damaged." I click into the order information and see that Amazon has already reimbursed the refund for me, so my account looks like I actually sold the item. Yeah. Nothing special to do here. I mark the return as "refunded" and make a note that Amazon make me whole.
The next item is a toy that the buyer returned because they "ordered wrong item." And guess what....it's sellable. Yeah! So while I lose a little money, I get the item back in inventory and it's available for sale again. In the Returns Tool I mark the item as resolved.
I frequently check the Returns Tool to see which returns still need to be taken care of. I can sort by the date, reason, or status. I like to sort by status and then look at all my "Unknown" returns. Those are the ones I'll look at first. Then I'll look at the "Waiting on Amazon" returns to see if they have answered the case I created.
Using Sellers Toolbox's Return Tool helps me manage my returns and stay on top of my inventory.