When It Rains, It Pours…Amazon FBA style

This past week has been filled with tons of problems on the Amazon FBA home front. I typically would not share a blog post like this one because I don’t want to look like a “Negative Nancy,” but in an effort to be transparent and show that everything isn’t always roses when selling online, here a just a few of the issues that have been going on behind the scenes.

Issue #1: $300 worth of returns 8 days into the month…

You’d think I was selling defective products looking at that amount of money, but the $300 worth of returns that I’m dealing with are from selling two (2) items. One item sold for over $200, however, the buyer changed their mind and sent it back and now Amazon has labeled it as “customer damaged.” I already put in a removal request to have it shipped back to me, but in the meantime, I contacted customer support regarding the issue. They went out of their way to have someone in the warehouse locate the item and take photographs of the condition for me.

I will be honest and say my stomach turned when I saw that this particular item had been refunded. I can always recoup the money, but if the item was/is destroyed, it cannot be resold because it is a health and beauty product — a $200+ health and beauty product. (I think from here on out I will leave these sort of products to eBay…oh wait…I already did that and the ‘buyer’ never paid…)

[/end sarcasm]

Issue #2: Bad titles + inaccurate listings + missing photos = dead sales…

For the past week I have been in constant communication with seller support in order to fix numerous listings that are filled with errors, lack the proper title (which results in no/low sales), are missing photos, or contain some other erroneous information that makes the buyer think they are getting more than they should.

On the bright side, once the changes are made, sales seem to trickle in, but the time it takes to create new descriptions, locate or create new photos myself, and then wait for those changes to be made is time consuming itself.

Issue #3: UPS damage and long wait times…

As I have said many times before, many sellers fail to discuss just how long it takes for your inventory to arrive at an Amazon warehouse and then to be checked into their inventory. During the first of the month I shipped over 400 lbs worth of inventory. The transit time averages 1 week and then another 1-3 days (depending on the warehouse) before it is checked in. That’s a lot of downtime. Usually I’m so busy with other things that I don’t have time to worry about when my inventory will be checked in, however, this past week I started seeing “unfulfillable” icons popping up next to my inventory due to damage that I assume occurred in transit.

…If only you could see my mile-long list of open cases this past week. Now I have to add reimbursement requests into the mix.

Issue #4: “Copyright Infringement” Threat

I woke up this morning to snippy message from a seller stating that I was infringing upon their copyright to sell a product as “new.” As far as I know, the product does not have any restrictions besides sellers not being able to sell it in “collectible” condition.

I haven’t responded to the message yet. I’m just going to open up *another* case requesting guidance on the matter.

…hopefully my week starts to look a little better. Once I get through this last batch of inventory designated for FBA, this will be the last week that I send in any new inventory into Amazon for the month of May. I need a break!