Will You Be Allowed to Sell Your Next New Product Line on Amazon? (Part II of II)

July 8, 2014

Marketplaces ChannelAdvisor By ChannelAdvisor

Amazon
Last week we talked about restrictions that could prevent sellers from selling certain items on Amazon
. Not being able to push specific products through this marketplace could really hinder a retailer’s online sales revenue. So, how you can protect yourself from these scenarios when you’re a growing e-commerce retailer on Amazon? Here are a few suggestions:

  • Research, research, research! Check to make sure a product isn’t restricted by searching for the ASIN within Seller Central before ordering it from your supplier. You can also check the live listing to see if multiple sellers are selling a product, or if it’s just the brand owner. If several sellers are listing the item and it’s restricted for sale, you can request to be added to the approved seller list by contacting Amazon Support, but we don’t have details on the success rate of this approach. We would love to hear your experience with it if you do try, so please let us know.

  • Get familiar with the category: In Seller Central, Amazon clearly lists the types of products that are restricted for many of their categories. Search for “restricted products” to see the list. For example, in Consumer Electronics, “Products where the serial number has been removed or altered” are restricted, and in Jewelry, “Gold or silver products that are not stamped in compliance with applicable laws” are restricted.

  • Play nice with MAP: If manufacturers are happy with the pricing that you offer, they won’t be inclined to press Amazon to police the SKU or brand. You don’t want to risk a supplier partnership by not abiding by MAP rules. So, price with flexibility if you have it, but don’t go below floors set by the manufacturer. Use a repricing engine that includes a floor in its calculation so you can automate and regulate at the same time.

  • Be aware of distribution T’s and C’s: As a retailer, you may have Terms and Conditions agreements with some manufacturers, wholesalers or distributors that restrict where and how you can sell their products. Read these over. Be aware of the restrictions. Then make sure you abide by your T’s and C’s.

  • Diversify channels: If you’re caught with stock of a product or brand that you’re not allowed to sell on Amazon, you need other channels and marketplaces where you can move the product. Diversify on multiple channels and marketplaces to give yourself more options to reach buyers if one route becomes closed for a product.

  • Diversify products: In a similar vein, diversify your product breadth and depth, so that if one brand gets put on the restricted list, you’re left with other products to keep sales up.

  • Be aware of themes: We’ve observed a few trends about items that appear on seller-generated lists of restricted products. Here are a few to take note of and give extra caution to:

    • Top sellers in a category

    • Manufacturers that do direct-to-customer selling, like Rosetta Stone

    • Brands that have first-party (1P) agreements with Amazon

    • Beauty and Health & Personal Care categories, which Amazon has stated it’s expanding with prestigious brands

    • DVDs, particularly DVDs in high demand and those from Disney, Showtime and HBO

Take these strategies back to your team to reduce the impact that restricted products and brands on Amazon will have on your business.

 

Blog post by Rachel Miller, product marketing manager, ChannelAdvisor


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