With December mere days away, here are some Amazon tips for smooth transactions during the run-up to the festive period
I know we are still in November, but commercially it’s Christmas-time!! I know shops and businesses have been radiating Christmas aura since September, but now that we’re virtually in December, it really is time to consider how we can take advantage of the Christmas buying frenzies.
For a while now, Amazon has released some Christmas selling tips. You may have noticed them in your selling account, but in case you’ve missed them, or not appreciated the significance of them, I’ve put together some thoughts on these tips below.
I know you may feel that selling used items isn’t going to register highly on the Christmas gifts market. However, I find that many niche items seem to sell well, and often for elevated prices too.
I suppose if you want to give a gift to someone who has a hobby, then it’s not always possible to buy a brand new product, as the item they need may well be out of print or hard to get. That’s where the used market is very useful.
Amazon Tip One
Christmas selling tip: consider re-listing popular out-of-stock products
To quote directly from Amazon: ‘ If you are a Pro Merchant seller you will know that we notify sellers by email when a significant number of potential buyers are looking for a product you once sold on Amazon. If you receive one of these ‘popular out-of-stock notifications’, we encourage you to take advantage of the recent customer interest in the product and offer it again for the festive season.’
Granted, you have to be a Pro Merchant to benefit from this one, but if you’re sent these emails regarding out-of-stock products, you could do some research to see where you could source products that already have a ‘hungry’ market.
Amazon Tip Two
Christmas selling tip: offer expedited shipping
One thing I know that buyers want is a quick delivery. Many people leave purchasing Christmas presents till quite late, and when you have to consider postage times, it’s easy to see why buyers may go for the seller offering quick postage.
Amazon has this to say on the matter: ‘Speedy delivery is especially important to your customers during the festive season. By offering expedited shipping, you are showing that you care about customer satisfaction.’
There are figures to show that ‘sellers who offer a next-day and two-day delivery service can increase the number of orders they receive, as they’re giving buyers a couple of extra days to order their items in time to arrive for Christmas’.
Expedited shipping is, however, only limited to domestic deliveries – that is, to addresses in the UK Mainland, PO Boxes, Channel Islands, Northern Ireland, Outer Hebrides and BFPO addresses.
If you do offer a quick postage service, you really do have to post the item as quickly as you can. Amazon has rules regarding expedited shipping, so it’s best to keep within them, as buyers will most certainly complain otherwise.
Amazon Tip Three
Christmas selling tip: give great customer service
It’s always good to offer the best customer service you can at any time of year. I always reply to any email within a few hours, in fact I do so straight away, as soon as I notice them. Feedback is so important and often issues can be resolved before adverse feedback is left, just by a speedy response to queries.
Amazon says the following on the matter: ‘ Sellers who give great customer service can see the results in good feedback and repeat sales. Bear in mind that customers expect the same level of customer service from sellers as they receive from Amazon.’
The following practice will help you obtain and maintain good feedback when selling on Amazon:
Amazon Tip Four
Christmas selling tip: consider using FBA
You may be aware of my manual Automated Amazon Profits. This is where I show you step-by-step how to sell using amazons FBA (Fulfilment by Amazon). As an FBA seller myself, I know I benefit from increased sales: sales I’d not have received if I were selling as a merchant seller. This is because people often purchase many products at one time, and if they buy from a FBA seller, they can add these goods to their ‘basket’ and pay in one go, once they have completed their buying. Another great thing about FBA at any time of year – but especially at this busy time of year – is the fact that you don’t have to go to the (very busy) post office to post your orders.
Amazon says this about FBA at Christmas time: ‘ The festive season is a busy time for sellers, and a good time to consider using Fulfilment by Amazon. Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) is an Amazon service that enables sellers to store inventory and fulfil orders from an Amazon fulfilment centre. Reduce your stress this year – let Amazon pick, pack and deliver your items to buyers.’
Some advantages of FBA include gift messages, and buyers paying Amazon to gift-wrap and send items direct to their friends or family. To benefit from this service, buyers will often purchase my product over another seller’s, because it is sold using FBA. Sometimes buyers will pay several pounds more, so they can benefit from Amazon’s next day delivery service.
For more information,
Amazon Tip Five
Christmas selling tip: use gift services and new Order Reports
This was touched upon in the last tip, but offering customers gift-wrapping and gift-messaging services will often make them choose your product over someone else’s. To quote from Amazon: ‘You can now offer customers gift wrap and a gift message on a per-item basis for non-media orders. You can specify up to four gift-wrap styles and prices, and allow customers to enter a message to accompany their gift.’
The mechanics of this are as follows: once a customer has ordered a gift, on the ‘Order Details’ page you’ll see the gift information and a feature called ‘Order Report (With Gift Information)’. You can use Order Reports to fulfil orders and enable gift services. Payment is calculated as follows: ‘When you receive a gift order, the referral fee will be calculated on the sales price, including any gift-wrap charges’.
Amazon Tip Six
Christmas selling tip: getting paid
Of course, the most important thing to ensure is that you’ll be paid. The obvious thing here is to make sure your bank account information in your seller account is correct and up-to-date.
Once a purchase has been made and you’ve confirmed dispatch, the payment is processed and the amount owing is credited to your seller account, with funds transferring to your bank account automatically every 14 days.
Here’s hoping the next few weeks are prosperous ones.