Policy isn’t sexy. I get it.
As e-commerce consultants, we are competing to be heard over all the marketing guru noise that promises “6 figures in a weekend” or “fail-proof passive income that anyone can make but somehow doesn’t have any competition.”
And then we come along with a stern look and a quote from a license agreement. Not sexy.
But you know what is? Building a sustainable, profitable business that is actually easier to run. You’re spending so much time and money learning the “hacks”. Why not use that time to learn how to do it the right way?
Once you’re set up correctly you don’t have to worry about it anymore. You won’t have to spend 75% of your time problem solving with Amazon, 15% selling and 10% pulling your hair out. You can focus on profits.
There is a lot of advice out there. These are the kinds we see most often, and you should ignore.
1.The Passive Income Promise
You can easily make Passive Income on Amazon. Amazon does it all for you!
Passive income is the Bigfoot of business. Everybody talks about it, few people have actually seen it. And, it’s not clear if you should believe those who claim they have.
Yes, you can make money while you sleep. No, it is not all done for you. Amazon is constantly changing the way they do business, and the way they let their sellers do business. Can you?
2. Hack your way to success
Which equals hack your way to a suspension. Paid reviews, super URLs, hijacking listings. Get your listing in front of millions! If there’s a loophole, I guarantee you are not the only one exploiting it, and I guarantee it’s on Amazon’s radar. Then what do you do once you have “hacked” and are now dealing with the consequences?
3. Use these suppliers/ sell these products
If someone offers you a list of “hot” Amazon products, you can be sure that everyone and their cat will be selling the same thing. Do your own research. And make sure you do your due diligence when sourcing a supplier.
4. I’ve always done it this way
2016 Amazon is a different world than 2014 Amazon.
There is an entire team dedicated to dealing with review abuse. You think you can outsmart them?
You think Amazon won’t find your super-secret-secondary-account? Won’t ask for invoices and proof of authenticity? Those days are behind us folks.
Consistently we see people saying that THEY are still doing business in a way that is bound to get them kicked off of Amazon, but they haven’t had a problem yet, and they aren’t going to change. Congratulations. You’ve built an Amazon sandcastle, easily washed away by blocked listings and suspension. Just because you can doesn’t mean that you should.
5. Everyone is doing it
Amazon can’t get rid of everyone, right?
I don’t mean to sound like your mother but if everyone jumped off a bridge, would you?
EVERYONE was abusing the review system. EVERYONE was buying resold UPCs. EVERYONE was doing retail arbitrage and dropshipping. Grey hat/ black hat practices are not grandfathered in.
Sure, Amazon will start with the worst offenders and make an example of them. That doesn’t mean they’ll stop there. Make your account compliant now and save yourself a headache later. Your business will run much more smoothly.
Leah has over 7 years of ecommerce experience, as an operations manager and then ecommerce consultant. She co-created the Amazon Appeal course with Chris McCabe and they are currently working together on a new one (or two).
She takes full advantage of working online by living as a digital nomad. If you see her in a co-working space, come and say hi.