Time for round two of tackling some questions that we get all of the time in the Facebook Group. There will probably be at least one more in this series, so make sure to let me know if there is a question that you see pop up frequently and I’ll do my best to work it in.
Is it ok to buy Amazon to Amazon flips? / Can I buy with a prime account?
The short answers are Yes / No.
I wrote two blog posts looking at Amazon to Amazon flips:
How To Buy and Resell on Amazon
I’m probably a little biased, but I think both are worth reading if you haven’t had a chance.
As far as purchases for resale, the Amazon Prime Terms and Conditions make this point clear:
- Prime members are not permitted to purchase products for the purpose of resale, rental, or to ship to their customers or potential customers using Prime benefits.
If you have a Prime account (which you should! Prime is one of the best deals out there!) then you should consider making a second account. This account needs a separate email address, but all of your information (name, address, etc.) can be the same. Some people are under the impression that they need to hide the account. You don’t. As long as you are following the rules, you will be fine. Your new account (without prime) can be a normal account and you will get free standard shipping on all carts over $35. However, there is an alternative I think is better. You can make it a business account which gives you a few extra options (Creating purchase orders, easier to add Tax Exempt info, etc) as well as free 2 day shipping on carts over $49. This is the type of account that I use. It isn’t as good as Prime, but it is as good as you can get while following Amazon’s rules.
Why can’t I sell item X?
- Restricted Category. Not every seller can sell in every category. In fact, if you are a new seller, there are many categories that are restricted (or gated). Depending on the category, different applications procedures must be followed in order to be approved. This can range from simply asking permission to submitting sample pictures, an excel sheet full of product details, etc. Here is Amazon’s list of restricted categories. I have also written a guide for the application process for the Health, Beauty, and Grocery categories.
- Restricted Product. Even once you are approved in a category, there are some products that simply cannot be sold. Want some examples? Goat Milk Instant Formula, Autopsy Photographs, and Radar Detectors certified by the FCC. It isn’t feasible for me to tell you every restricted product, but you can look it up on Amazon’s page, or your Amazon Seller App will tell you when you scan the item.
- Restricted Brand. Approved in a category and selling a product that isn’t restricted and you think you’re golden? Think again. There are certain brands that you simply cannot sell on Amazon. This is one of the most frustrating restrictions because there is no Amazon centralized location that lists all of the brands. A lot comes from experience. If you scan an item with the Amazon Seller App, it will tell you. If you try to add the ASIN to your inventory (Seller Central > Inventory > Add a Product), it will tell you. If you’re new to a category or you’re looking at a new brand, it is useful to take one of these steps before purchasing!
What is up with an asin change? Do I need to respond to it and why does it occur?
These are those annoying little emails that you get from Amazon informing you that an ASIN that you sell (including items that are out of stock) has been changed. It then tells you which part of the listing has been changed. This can be something minor like the dimensions changed from 8x4x4 to 8x4x3.9 OR it can be something major like the listing changed from a multi-pack of 6 to a single unit. Because you sell these items and the changes might be important, it is suggested that you at least glance at every change. The vast majority of the time, it’s just someone slightly changing the description of the item, or Amazon fixing the dimensions, but not always. Ignore most of them, but take note of any major changes. If you disagree, there is a button to vote for your opinion. If the listing changes significantly, it is possible that you need to have your item changed to a new listing. If so, immediately deactivate your listing and then contact Amazon.
I see that I have my first order, but didn’t get an alert about a sale. Where can I see what sold?
I have a theory that almost every single new seller has gone through this. Why? Because very few brand new sellers research as much as they should (I’m guilty too) and every new seller gets excited by a first sale to see that this might actually work. Consequently, this question comes up all of the time.
When an item is purchased, you will be notified that there is a sale, but what has actually happened is that this item has been placed in a Pending status. On the short side, this can last for 30 minutes, giving the buyer time to change their mind. In some cases, it can take a few days while Amazon is getting together various items from various sellers to be shipped together. In rare cases, it can top 3 weeks as Amazon repeatedly tries to verify/fix payment information. If you are selling FBA, there isn’t anything to worry about, but if you are a MF seller, you should NEVER send a product before it is confirmed, no matter what messages your buyer sends you.
More to the point, though, you want to see what you sold:
In seller central > Orders > Manage Orders > Advanced Search > Include Pending Orders. It’s needlessly complicated, but you can elect to set this as your default search view so that pending orders will always show up when you click Manage Orders.
On the Amazon Seller App > Orders > Filter > Status > Pending (note: “All” does not work!?)
I hope I did a good job answering these questions, but if questions linger, please ask in the comments and I’ll be happy to try to help. Also, don’t forget: at least one more week of this, so let me know what questions I still need to tackle.
As Always, Best Wishes,