My Amazon Christmas Clunker Double Whammy

I started to sell my canvas pictures online in 2009. In October I opened up an Amazon account in the US to add to my UK one. So that added to my sales as well. Everything was smooth.

December sales average was five times more than normal. Business was good.

My problems started in the week leading up to Christmas…

I got five emails from customers who’d not received their pictures. It was too late for Christmas so I sent refunds. The week after I got three more complaints. Merry Christmas!

Turns out that all the pictures were sent on the same day. I’d sent out seventeen pictures on December 9th and it looked like none of them had been delivered to my customers.

Somewhere there was a part time post office worker with a canvas decorated bedsit. Or no shortage of presents to give out that year.

Damage limitation. I refunded everyone I sent to on the ninth.

But by January I had 12% negative feedback on Amazon UK. And 18% negative in the US. A third of my sales were on eBay but luckily my eBay feedback stayed at 100% positive.

On January 19th Amazon blocked my account in the US. Later that week Amazon UK did the same thing.

So my post Christmas sales didn’t just dip. They were dismal.

It wasn’t until March that some phone calls and emails got my account reinstated in the UK. I didn’t get my US account back till October.

Lessons learnt?
Always use a registered delivery method. Get proof of sending and cash compensation when goods get ‘lost’.

Better still, have Amazon store and send your products with their FBA program.

Be ready for Christmas. Anyone in retail will tell you about the massive increase in sales from late November to December. Sounds obvious. However, when it hits you’ll know about it!

Amazon is less forgiving than eBay. And often more profitable.

But before you’re ready for Amazon, you need an answer to the eternal question…

What do I sell?

Jordan Malik just started a great new service that tells you exactly what to sell on Amazon. I’ve never seen anything quite like this, and I wish it was there when I started out.

Jordan’s method doesn’t involve rushing round thrift shops with a barcode scanner like some Amazon sellers recommend. That can work well, but in this case you can do it all direct from your home. Everyone including housebound sellers can run a profitable Amazon business with this system.

One proviso:  Jordan’s system is mainly aimed at US sellers. If you can open an account on amazon.com it needn’t be a problem for you to trade from your own country whilst you buy and sell within the USA. But if you want to operate entirely from your own country you can’t use this system at the moment.

There are just three months till Christmas. Now’s the time to start your Amazon business. Visit Jordan’s site here.

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