Preventing FBA Inbound Shipping Issues Is Essential! 

Sometimes losing a week’s worth of sales on your hero ASIN can cost you big on your monthly revenue goals.  A crucial part of having your stock available at Amazon FBA ensures your inbound shipping plans are accurate.  Your inventory can be available for sale sooner when your shipments comply with the Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) policy. Continue reading “Preventing FBA Inbound Shipping Issues Is Essential! “

Sourcing, Quality Assurance and PPC Management (Interview with Daniel Audunsson)

Our guest on the 29th of March, 2021,  on the sellerboard show was Daniel Audunsson from intoprofits.com

We talked about:

  • Product Strategy: How to pick products and scale your products selection.
  • Professional Supplier Management and Sourcing Quality Management.
  • PPC management.

Watch the full video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8SuNjOWvAU

0:07
Hi, everybody, welcome to the next episode of The sellerboard Show. My name is Vladi Gordon, my today’s guest is Daniel from intoprofits.com And we’re going to talk about operations, streamlining your business processes in your Amazon FBA business for growth. So we talked about product strategy, how to pick products and scale your product selection, but supplier management and sourcing quality management how to do this professionally how to communicate with your suppliers, which contracts Do you need, which agreements and documents to basically to scale your, sourcing process. And we also talked about PPC. So Daniel told us about their approach to managing PPC, managing your target acos and bids in order to reach your profitability targets. So yeah, check this out. I think this is going to be valuable, especially if you’re a growing seller. And don’t forget to give us a like if you like this content, subscribe to our channel, and check out our software sellerboard.com sellerboard is a profitability tool for Amazon sellers with a bunch of additional bonus tools like inventory management, their money back module, which finds lost and damaged goods and helps you get reimbursed. We have a PPC optimization module that automates your bids, according to your acres or profit targets. We have Shopify dashboard coming up. We have an autoresponder that automates mail campaigns, and also request review clicks. So you’ve probably seen this new functionality in the seller central request to review button which triggers a message from Amazon to the seller with a request to leave a product review and seller feedback. So sellerboard can completely automate this through an API no chrome plugins needed or something like this all runs completely automatically in the background. If you haven’t used it yet, or tried it yet, then try this. This is amazing. And the Pricing starts at $19 a month. So the link is in the description. sellerboard.com . And now let’s start the podcast. Hi, Daniel. Thanks for joining us.

2:41
Thank you. Well,

2:42
it’s my pleasure. Hey, so yeah, Daniel, tell us about yourself. How did you get into this Amazon? sphere?

2:53
Sure. Yeah. So I’ve been doing this since 2012. And I started as a college students. And this wasn’t very excited about the prospect of normal job and those kind of things. So I’m looking for some alternatives. Basically, as I mentioned, we came across selling private label products on Amazon before it was really like a big thing. And yeah, it was the right thing at the right time. So that’s a good success.

3:25
And we’ve been selling in Europe or in the US

3:31
have sold and do sell in both US and UK, Germany, but mostly it’s been us. Okay, cool.

3:39
All right. And, yeah, tell us about your current business. So what are you doing now?

3:47
Yeah, so right now, you know, I still have my private label, business, it has been going for almost 10 years. But I also have a company called into profits, which is more like a consulting company, mostly working with bigger sellers, like high 678 figures. You know, I’ve had a very big operation myself, so I’ve got some unique experiences there. But so I’m able to, yeah, I’ll add a little value to other sellers. With that, well, it’s an experience. It’s okay, and

4:19
what are you guys doing? So is it basically like a coaching or no optimization? So what exactly is your like service?

4:30
Yeah, so it’s, it’s essentially like systems and operations. So one of the issues I think sellers have is kind of like with the boring stuff, you know, not like, I want us to talk about the marketing and the strategies and you know, people tend to like that but, like the boring stuff that has to happen over and over again, you know, like managing a healthy supply chain does having good systems operations. hiring people building a team, a lot of the people we work with have some sort of ceiling, in their business in terms of how far they’re able to go. Oftentimes, it is due to them being, like, basically a solopreneur, you know, doing everything themselves, they transition to go from, you know, know how to do something yourself. And and actually, we’ve known how to build a team around the business. So sort of where we’re at.

5:28
So are you actually like helping customers grow? Or are you coming in at a later stage when somebody is already scaled or big? And kind of automating the operations?

5:41
Yeah, so it depends a bit, you know, we have clients that are earlier on, sort of minimum criteria we give us like, you have to have product, at least when you’re selling, because to apply the systems, like, they’re also going to benefit you unless you are sort of, at least committed to this and serious and sort of up and running. So we have some people earlier on, like, six figures, but we also have like, literally Seven, eight, and even nine figure businesses, too, you know, usually they do more because of specific things, because we provide like, basically like the mindset of high level and, and the connections and different things, how to structure a business. But we also have specific systems for specific things like supply chain management as a team tracking, business metrics, and also PVC. You know, so like, a lot of the people that work with us join, because they want to do PVC in house. So we have very good systems there as well.

6:45
Okay, cool. So I think I like your point about, like, moving from solopreneur kind of business to, to a scalable business, is I was a seller myself, and I think I’ve never actually managed to move from solopreneur to team and the problem I had was, you know, a lot of things that are profitable, when you’re small, like a solopreneur become unprofitable, or problematic if you start scaling, right. So because because you need to build some overhead. So that’s, that’s an interesting topic. But maybe let’s start at the beginning. You know, so beginning is probably like product selection, or strategy, right? So when I was a seller, my strategy was basically I was picking random products where the numbers looked good. But I found it wasn’t very scalable. And it was also a lot of work. So what’s, how are you doing this? Or what’s your approach to? operations here?

7:53
Yeah, yeah, I think you’re absolutely right like that. It kind of works in status. So what’s important at one point becomes, like less important, another point, that kind of thing. But obviously, what you choose to sell is probably the most important thing of all, because if you have the right product, then everything else becomes fairly easy in terms of selling the product and things like that. But obviously, doesn’t mean that it becomes easy to scale the business with a lot of products. So So yeah, I mean, we do have basically very systemized methods to select the products. Usually, like, if you’re already have a pretty established business, like initially, you have to do like brainstorming and start from somewhere, right and, and we test smaller orders, and sort of do a very scientific process and cannot listen to what kind of works easily, you know, we’re trying to find something that’s easy, not difficult. So we talked about that. But, uh, basically, like, as you grow, if you have a base of products, what tends to be the easiest way in terms of product selection is to take a very data driven approach and analyze what you have, you know, look at your data, you know, variations, you could potentially do related products and things based on what’s working. So like, let’s say you’re looking at your PPC, you might have, you know, great keywords and things that work well for you and maybe be able to tap into that more with, you know, related product or variations and things might see thing, see things show up. They’re suggesting that, hey, I’m you and selling my product through these keywords that are not meant for my product. So if I actually sold that product, these keywords are actually for it’s more specific, it would do even better. So there’s a lot of things like that. And then also, for you know, bigger businesses, what tends to be very valuable to is to look at actual products and kind of evolve them. So maybe you start customizing them or improving the actual products and that goes on A lot of value within your business and tends to kind of, you know, keep you on top, you know, because if you’re too static with the product, you don’t do anything to that product, and is expected to last, you know, four to three years probably isn’t going to happen, there’s going to be competition that comes in erodes that advantage, you have an issue when there’s a lot going on to it. But hopefully that makes sense.

10:22
So would you like, Okay, my problem was, this totally makes sense. And I want to also add variations, but, but it’s so much work, right? So how do you scale this? Because, you know, solopreneur, obviously can’t do everything, right. If you start outsourcing, or trying to get help, you know, we need to educate people, and so on. So how, how to basically grow your portfolio if you’re a solopreneur?

10:57
Yeah, sure. I mean, good question. Because it’s one thing to, like, know how to do something, and then another thing to be able to actually execute it at scale. So the way I look at it, obviously, the simplified version, but basically, like two parts to it, first thing is you need the structure, right? So you need to have clear systems, effective systems, where you can basically get as much output through as little effort as possible, you know, so you can streamline your activity, to let’s say, if you’re adding variations, you can do the right things in the right order, minimize a waste around that process, and have a structure. Then the second thing, and actually what we can measure, you know, what you’re doing with that measure, obviously, cast and all those things, time things, right. But then the second thing is, is really the, the hiring the team building. So I learned a lot through the years on that, like, the importance of hiring really good people for, for instance, how to get Yeah, be able to get really good talent on board, how to work with those people, how to train them up how to get them, then running your systems, not like a robot, which I think is an issue people have, like, if you hire a VA, to just run something robotically, you know, then they sue tends to be that all the questions and decisions still fall on you. So it’s kind of like an extension of yourself, and it can become kind of annoying and frustrating, as well, and to do a worse job than you would do and all that kind of stuff. So it’s a different thing to actually have a team where people are actually smart, take responsibility and can make decisions for you. And that’s when you start to get a real team going in a real business that can actually escape.

12:53
Alright, let’s talk about, like the next stage sourcing, you know, how, how do you? Like, do you have any specific systems or like approaches? How to scale this process, right? Because like, my problem was, I had 15 different suppliers. I had a different status with every one of those suppliers. For some, you’re just negotiating some, you’re just, you know, exchanging samples, right? Some products are being produced already. And I even like need a place to store the status. Because, you know, at a certain point, you’re not sure anymore. What did I order and what it’s like on the boat? Right? So how do you build a process and how to manage this

13:45
is definitely the most complex part of the business. And, essentially, like, you just need really good tracking and things like that, and the right kind of structure. So basically, we have several different systems we use for things. So like documentation, and the tracking is very important here. So like, when it comes to reorders, you know, we use a certain tracking system for purchase orders, we have actually agreements we use with the suppliers, to get them to sign there’s a certain protocol to it. And then tracking the orders from you know, ordering, through production, monitoring the lead times into the shaping face, you know, getting the quotes, finalizing everything. So we just basically track it states through a couple of different systems that cannot connect longer. So it’s simple. It’s actually quite complex. But we try to make it as simple as possible because by nature, it’s already very complex. But the key is to is to have a very good overview and the right kind of structure for it.

14:54
How would you like when sourcing like, I want you to manage Quality? You know, is it? Is it the one time pre shipment inspection? Or? No? What options do we have here?

15:09
Yeah, that’s a great question. So actually, there’s a couple of things we do there. Basically, we were looking to dis reduce risk, right as much as possible. And so in, like, in reality, it obviously starts with just selecting your supplier and things like that. And having a good process to actually find a great supplier in the first step is kind of like hiring, you know, you’ve got to find the right person. So we have a good process, our cue process for that, factory audits and things, you know, make sure we’re getting like a legit factory, not like a trading agent, assembly shop type of thing. In China, at least. So we have, yeah, we have processes entire way, when it comes to ordering, we have a process to define the quality of the item. So like all the specs, for components, like what goes into that, and actually defined proper inspection criteria for the product, because you could do just like a generic inspection, but it might not check the most important thing with this particular product. So we have that, we always use pre disorder agreements with terms and things. And built into that is the actual inspection. So we do a pre shaping inspection based on our criteria, which I think is worth it as an investment because if it saves you want that order going into FBA can ruin that product, right with bad reviews and things, high costs, getting that out. So we do that, you know, to be as certain as possible that everything is okay before it shipped out. But then we also look at the feedback. And as we’re selling, you know, any feedback that comes through on the product, any issues, or things like that, we take that any kind of feed it back into the the specs, the inspection criteria. So if like, if you have an issue, make sure in the next order, we actually attack that, specifically, we’ll make sure it’s not an issue again. So it’s kind of like an optimization process to dial in the quality with a manufacturer, eliminate issues and reduce the risk of them happening. So if you want to be actually have these agreements in place, we can refuse the order, if an inspection isn’t acceptable, and the supplier will have to redo it and things

17:27
like that. So once you recommend to start with pre shipment inspection, or even earlier in the during the manufacturing process,

17:41
Yeah, great question. Pre shipment this the default. So we do that. We rarely do inspections, like within the manufacturing process, but not saying you never want to do that. You might want to do that. This depends on the situation. I would say. It’s rare that we do that, though. But you could I guess if it’s something, you know, that could not come out, right, if it’s not done correctly this days, and things like that. And of course, if you have products where you’re sourcing several parts of several places, you know, it becomes more complex and but everything should be inspected for sure.

18:21
But what happens like if the if you find a defect during the pre shipment inspection, because you probably pay normally you pay in advance right before the inspection, or at least a big part of of the money, like I don’t know, 70% or so. So what happens if you notice? Okay, the products are completely unsellable.

18:41
Yeah, great question. Again. I mean, basically, what we do is we have like the default payment terms is 3070. So deposit is 30%. And essentially, of course, you could maybe negotiate that to be better early on, you might not get those terms already, we try to put this in our favor. And essentially, what the purchase order agreement is saying one of the things is that unless the product passes the pre segment inspection and we approve it, you’re not going to pay the 70%. So the supplier has to fix the issue. Usually if there’s like defects and stuff, they will replace those items and things like that. I mean, inspect again, the basically is built in so we don’t pay, you know, the majority unless it is approved by us.

19:33
Does the supplier know this criteria before they start the production?

19:40
Yes, because it’s like we issued a purchase order, right? Who basically it’s it’s a purchase order that outlines like the order the units and everything, but also it has terms and we use agreements like in China that are English and Chinese, so they should underline standards, and they are supposed to seal it, you know, with a Chinese seal. And do those things, send it back. So they’re basically signing the agreement. So the purchase order is also like an agreement that they’re signed.

20:20
So, tell me like, what, I didn’t know, maybe we can pick some example product? I don’t know, jump rope, I’m always making the example for jumper. At what level? Should you specify those quality criteria? Right. So is it like, you could say, okay, it should be the product should be best quality, I guess. Or you could specify it like, the very high level of detail. But I think for me, it’s it was sometimes not clear what is obvious to the supplier and and sometimes things that are obvious to you, as a consumer are not obvious to the supplier. Right. So yeah, how do you decide? Or what’s your experience? At what level? Should you specify those inspection criteria?

21:10
Yeah, so depends a bit on the product. But basically, you want to go as detailed as possible. So we kind of work with a list of different things like the materials used, you know, the way they’re put together, the look and feel, you know, different things, we kind of go through this list with a product to define what we regard as important. So we basically just try to be as specific as possible, and understand the product. Now as you go forward with this, too, but at least, you know, you would want certain things like in a jumper, I’m trying to think what it would be, but I assume like, like the stretch, you know, you could stretch it or something melody break in on the handles coming off. So maybe that’s something you define that it’s like, strung together in the right way, and it can resist after a certain amount of pressure. And you would want that in the inspection. Basically.

22:09
Okay. Okay. So it’s, I guess I understand it’s really product dependent. Okay, I think it’s very Oh, one more question. I think it’s very, very, like, systematic what, what you’re doing and on I was selling, I was never taking care of any purchase agreements or criteria. So I was just basically telling him then already, right. But this isn’t necessarily the best, the best approach to the quality. But tell me, like, when does it make sense to do those things, right? Because if you’re a small seller, and you for making your first order, probably it’s too much overhead to put all those agreements in place, and so on the character stuff, so when does it make sense to start with them?

22:59
Yeah, it’s actually a very good point, I think some of these things you should really have, like they want and would be better, like the purchase order. Not that doesn’t take too much time. And I think it would really help you like any case, you know, reduce risk, and also come across as professional things. But you’re right, I think certain things you wouldn’t want to do from day one, because you want to be kind of agile, and flexible and quick. So as we focus more on helping someone that has good business, successful business, make it better, you know, make it more profitable, make it more efficient, make it scalable, reduce risks, you know, reduce costs. And so that’s when these systems obviously do that for you, like, you really need those system, that sort of a certain point. Or you’re going to have issues like you’re going to have, like even just staying in stock, you know, is a big thing. As you grow with many products, like it’d be very tricky to stay in stock. But if you think about it, like you could actually make more money in your business, if that’s all you focused on, like, let’s say this year does never run out of inventory, then if you were to launch like two new products, because you just I mean, that’s something you already have at St. Same goes with like bad orders, quality issues, I mean, they can really trip you up. So we want to get those things, you know, secured and stabilized as you grow.

24:25
All right. So look, let’s keep the launch part. So we talked about product selection strategy, and then sourcing, let’s skip the launch and go to ads, right? Or actually, maybe, maybe ads are also relevant during the launch phase. I don’t know what’s your view on ads actually. Is it something you view as a booster like just just to get the blood going or something that you run continuously?

24:56
You might be surprised by this actually, like I guess we were a little bit different. With our approach, but we use PVC almost exclusively to market our products, we don’t really do much else. And obviously, we’re choosing products that work well with PVC on purpose. I can be higher price than him some things like that sometimes. But we launched more or less just through PPC. And that’s the main mechanism we use for ongoing promotion. And one of the things we do that’s I guess, different there to more sellers is we really focus on the relationship between like PPC, ads and your rank. So the page optimization, the keyword indexation and keyword prioritization, conversions like the offer, and, and all those things like this focus on those fundamental things, doing PPC, extremely well being extremely on top of it, reducing waste, you know, maximizing market share, but then balancing that out with organic ranking things to find like, this sweet spot where you are the most profitable, because you get definitely spent more than you need to on PPC. But you could also spend less like a lot of sellers will think that a lower a cost is is a better thing. But sometimes it’s actually it’s not like you also reduce your organic sales and visibility if you reduce your equals or the amount of PPC spent to retract that relationship and try to optimize that, basically.

26:33
So how do you track it? I mean, not necessarily at scale. But in general, what does it like? What’s the what what is this relationship? If I make one PPC sale through a certain keyword, I should like rank higher on that keyword is that, that the relationship?

26:55
Yeah, it can get really complex on like the keyword level, you know, because you have hundreds of keywords and maybe 1000s. But the big metric is the A CTS, which is basically, your ad spent compared to your total sales. So what I see a lot, for example, is, you know, your a costs goes up and you’re like, Oh, that’s bad. But if you look at a CTS, it actually went down. So you’re actually better off now with a higher A cos. And this is because your organic has grown more than the pates. Right. So, Beals attracting is like the percentage growth in organic versus paid, and things like that. So we’re trying to find it’s usually more like on the whole product level, you know, we have systems to take the keywords and things and and optimize them within the listing make sure was working well with PPC has is given enough weight to rank for it as well. I think so then he had that as an outcome process. But basically, we have, yeah, overall, we’re tracking on the product level, like where we are the most profitable. And also, yeah, they issue t s, essentially is what is a little more complicated. But that’s essentially the metric, you know that we focus on more than a cos?

28:20
How do you know whether so for example, your AC or d s, I think we’re calling it a real a cousin, or software, but it’s basically the relationship between it’s basically the sales spend divided by the total sales, right? Not by advertising sales. But But Tom says, right, so but if you if you see like a drop, so that’s a good thing, right. But how do you know you grew organically because of of the ads, you might have grown organically because of something different, right?

28:54
Yeah, that’s a great point. So again, we basically only do PPC, so I guess that makes it a bit simpler to understand. But what we do is like we have mysap, like a target A cos, and we keep our PPC optimized around that. So by moving that number, let’s say you started 30%. And then you reduce it down to 25%. And then 20%. It’s kind of like split testing, we’re able to see the impact at each point, and where we basically have the most profit at the end of the day. It’s not again, it’s not a perfect science, but it gets as close to the ideal spot with each product.

29:38
So what’s your approach on on the acres? Like, is it is there a good number that that you kind of target? We’re talking about acres or how do you know what’s your ideal acres?

29:56
Yeah, it’s going with different products. Usually we started like the breaking point. And because we lost the campaigns and everything, like they’re going to be at a pretty high cost, first couple weeks most cases. So we launched quite a lot, test a lot. And then we optimized it down to that target acres. And again, usually start at breakeven point. And then, once we were at that consistently, we can see like, how the product is performing, like how many? Yeah, how much sales volume of things are we getting, which will tell us if we’re in a good place with the product, or if we need to troubleshoot, like, let’s say, the conversions could be holding us back limiting how much we can sell about a cost and things. But if it’s looking good, you know, usually we would test low and that target A cos, but like 5%, seeing the impact, like overall. And then if that is better, we would keep going 20% analyze it, is looking better or not? That’s sort of how we do it to find the the perfect A cos, you know, but obviously, this will then again, change over time and things like that.

31:08
So, suppose you know, your perfect acres or like if we picked a target, right, it’s at breakeven acres minus 5%, which would be the new margin, I guess, right? How do you? What what’s your approach to changing bits to achieve this? target?

31:28
Yeah, so yeah, really good questions. I think that is a song that we do a little bit differently as well, you know, so basically, we measure, like, there’s a few processes we have, but at the like, targeting level, like the keyword acent, we are, we’re also measuring what the cost is. But it also like some things won’t have any cost because there’s no sales, right? So we’re also monitoring for like a cliff threshold. So let’s say something had six clicks, eight clicks, no sales, you know, we would want to cut that down.

32:05
But if a cost cut down in the sense of, like, reduce the bid, or, or put yes

32:10
or no. Yeah, so we are not really so much in like, the negative keywords and stuff like that, you’re more reducing the bits because it could work at that lower bit. Because the placement might be different. So that’s, that’s our approach is more like lowering the bits. And seeing if it works, obviously, at some point, if it’s not working, it’s just gonna die off. Yeah. But we use, we use bulk operations and API to, you know, be able to do this at scale, like, source reports and things to the bulk reports to be able to, you know, take an entire accounts data and basically do these things at scale. Because you, you know, if you’re manually clicking and campaign manager, it’s small, sustainable or scalable. Yeah.

32:54
Yeah. Interesting.

32:57
Okay, so

32:57
let’s talk about keyword harvesting. Do you have any specific process for this? Or like moving keywords from auto campaign to manual campaigns or, or something like

33:08
this? Yeah, yeah. So the way we do this is we have basically a couple of different campaign types, Kim’s campaign structures, which are essentially processes like, you know, so piece, and each one has its own, like harvesting method for keywords, in essence. So we have one campaign type, which we call uniques bids will harvest untapped opportunity within your account. So let’s say you’ve got an auto campaign running, somebody is working there. to scale that off, you’d probably want to take that and put it into a manual, test exact phrase and broad, see what happens different bids and things like that. So yeah, we do that. And same goes like if something comes through phrase match or broth, nuts, variations, we might want to isolate that variation in another campaign and see how far we can take that. So that’s one campaign structure then we have you know, there’s like the auto suggested terms by Amazon, some things outside of Amazon like reverse Aysen searches and things, some competitors so it’s kind of like a mix. And sort of the big benefit comes from having this healthy mix of campaigns that is always monitoring things and testing things and trying to maximize market share or find more things that can work sort of on a regular basis because things change you know, you might have new keywords pop up that people are using yeah that are working

34:41
Yeah. So Daniel, would you like do this job for for a seller and take this PPC management and also other stuff that we discussed completely or like to help help them build this system or or and then kind of like a coach that growth coaches and like this So what’s your approach?

35:06
Well, we have we do actually do both. But it’s much more of the latter. So we’re actually giving sellers like the systems to do this themselves and do it in house. So we show them how to hire someone to do it, basically, within their own team.

35:23
Okay, very cool. Look, Daniel, thanks so much. I think this was very informative. Tell us where can our users find you? You mentioned into profits. We’ll put the URL in the description, by the way, but maybe you can tell it for those who are just listening.

35:40
Yeah, sure.

35:42
Yeah. So this into profits.com. That’s our website. So intoprofits.com And you can see some stuff on their content and like a free case study if you want to learn more.

35:58
Cool. Thanks so much, then. Good luck, and have a great day.

36:03
Yeah, you’re most welcome. Thank you for having me.

36:05
All right. Thanks so much for watching guys. If you like this content, then don’t forget to press the like button, subscribe to our channel. And I’ll see you next time. Bye bye.

What is the best app for Amazon sellers?

Have you ever wondered how to stop using multiple Amazon seller tools and find that one single tool through which you can manage everything? Well, look no further; sellerboard is the all-in-one software Sellers have been desiring! 

Amazon is an incredibly diverse platform with many features for sellers that lets millions of people quickly build their e-commerce business. But the standard Seller Central functionality is often not enough to cover all the sellers’ requirements. They are looking for an additional Amazon seller app to help them track sales, manage their stock levels, and manage multiple Amazon marketplaces at a time

Here, let’s go through the main features you might need in an Amazon seller app and check why sellerboard is often considered the best option for sellers. 

What is Amazon FBA?

Amazon FBA stands for Fulfillment by Amazon. One of the most considerable advantages to selling through Amazon FBA is that it allows your products to achieve the “Prime” badge, which is essential for maximum visibility and sales to potential Amazon customers.

Utilizing Amazon FBA allows you to store your products in the Amazon warehouse until they sell, and when a customer orders one of your products, Amazon picks, packs, ships, and tracks the order for you. The FBA program also handles refunds and returns. This premium service isn’t free of charge, so Amazon charges both storage fees, sales commissions, and FBA fees. 

Of the top 10,000 sellers on Amazon’s marketplace, 66% use FBA in some form

Why do you need FBA?

The Amazon FBA program is fantastic because it takes a lot of burden off sellers and provides them with more time to take care of their business. Even Amazon charges fees for its premium services, and countless successful sellers can confirm that it is worth it. So, let’s go through its benefits!

  • Amazon’s name association with your products is invaluable. Trusting the Amazon brand is definitely what most buyers appreciate, which helps gain consumer confidence in your brand.

 

  • 24/7 Customer Service: all around the clock, Amazon handles customer service inquiries, returns, and refunds on behalf of Amazon FBA sellers. Of course, Amazon charges various fees for that service, but you no longer have to be concerned with these time-consuming but vital tasks. sellerboard provides you accurate information on these services and over 70 Amazon seller fees! 

 

  • Amazon has preferred rates with most of the major shipping companies and even has its own. Therefore, sellers utilizing this advantage can pay less inbound shipping fees when compared to items shipped from an individual account. Another great benefit is that sellers using Amazon FBA service can offer industry-leading expedited shipping to customers over a certain amount since products sold through FBA are eligible for Amazon Prime.

 

  • Multi-Channel Fulfillment: The advantage of Amazon being able to ship inventory quickly and manage most of your marketplaces and channels simultaneously. In conjunction with the sellerboard eBay and Shopify connectors, this benefit will help you fulfill your orders on other sales channels while using Amazon’s Multi-Channel Fulfillment Service. With sellerboard’s multi-channel integration, Amazon will automatically handle your multichannel inventory and fulfill the orders made on eBay and your Shopify stores. 

 

  • Shipping Standardization: Whether the customer is buying from an FBA third-party seller or Amazon themselves, the Amazon warehouse team will take care of the inventory, packing, and shipping with identical world-class efficiency.

 

  • Prime Audience Access: Qualified Amazon FBA listings will be eligible to Amazon Prime and displayed with a Prime logo. This benefit will enable a seller to reach new and existing customers interested in less than 48-hour shipping or Prime-eligible products where a Prime badge is visible. 

Are there any disadvantages of Amazon FBA?

Amazon FBA is an excellent service for businesses to sell their products online. But likewise, with all advantages come disadvantages which are not much but are worth mentioning and being aware of:

  • Amazon charges different fees for FBA: fulfillment and storage fees, long-term storage fees, removal fees for defective, damaged, or unsellable products, as well as disposal fees charged for getting rid of unsellable inventory. The good news is that you’ll be able to see all of them.
  • Product Handling Issues: Sometimes, Amazon can lose or damage inventory while in the Amazon warehouse. Per their policy, Amazon has 30 days to locate your item(s) and put it back in your sellable stock. If the item is deemed missing for 30 days, they will reimburse the loss to you. Automatic reimbursements don’t always happen in 100% of cases, though, so sometimes you can end up without the inventory and with no refund. sellerboard has a solution for that: the “Money Back” feature in sellerboard finds such errors and shows them to you in a format that you can directly use to open a seller support ticket and ask the Amazon team to double-check what happened. In most cases, the seller support decides to reimburse the lost or damaged items to the seller unless they find the missing items.
  • Strict Product Guidelines: Amazon has many stringent requirements for products, such as category-specific packaging, compliance, and labeling requirements. Amazon wants to ensure that the products arrive at the Amazon warehouse in optimal condition and survive their fulfillment to the customer without damage. Ensure that you check and verify the specific category requirements within Amazon Seller Central before deciding on your final product assortment.
  • Product remeasurements: Sometimes, Amazon or another Seller will make changes to your product’s dimensions, which leads to an unwarranted shift in the FBA fee. If the newly measured size is more extensive, you might have to pay a higher FBA fee for every single unit’s shipping. As an Amazon seller, you have to make sure you track your products’ dimensions and the FBA fees when selling on Amazon, whether manually checking daily in your Seller Central or using a third-party app such as the sellerboard alert feature. 
  • Commenting on customer reviews: Recently, Amazon has retired the feature that allows buyers and sellers to comment on customer reviews. That’s difficult for 3rd-Party Sellers because there is no more way to address a negative review publicly. Therefore, it’s imperative to avoid getting negative reviews and work more on receiving positive organic ones and asking for unbiased feedback with the autoresponder feature such as the one in sellerboard. The sellerboard autoresponder feature now even can ask for a rating with direct API integration using Amazon’s template, making it very easy for customers to review their purchases. 

Why do Amazon sellers need a third-party app to sell better?

Amazon FBA does cover most of the service side (customer service, shipping), but it’s only a tiny part of a business on Amazon.  

There are so many more things to automate, such as advertising, tracking sales and conversion rates, managing your inventory and stock, managing lost products and refunds, etc. — all these processes take your time.

Third-party Amazon seller apps help Amazon sellers take the burden off such tasks and automate them. 

Here’s an exact list of the leading and most valuable features an Amazon seller might need to get the job done, which you can automate with sellerboard:

  • Data visualization dashboard reports providing all the crucial information at your fingertips
  • Inventory management
  • Lost inventory and refunds management 
  • PPC tracking, optimization, and automation 
  • Customer follow-up messaging 
  • “Request Review Button” 
  • Product listing change alerts
  • Multiple seller account dashboard 
  • eBay and Shopify Multi-Channel Fulfillment Connector
  • P&L Statements 
  • Export specific reports
  • Sales trends
  • Cashflow quick take 
  • Forecasting

Here’s how Sellerboard might improve your seller’s experience

sellerboard is an all-in-one Amazon seller app that helps sellers quickly and efficiently view their data in an organized fashion. Here are some examples:

Live Dashboard

The live dashboard will help you display detailed information on Amazon fees (e.g., FBA fees, commissions), PPC spend, return costs, promotion costs, and even your other business expenses (e.g., Virtual Assistant, Prep Center). You can also view by time period (today, yesterday, or this month) and by ASIN. This feature helps you understand how much profit you are making, whether in total or per product and understand which products are the most profitable. 

One of the most significant advantages is that sellerboard will also provide you with a forecast based on your sales velocity. This way, you’ll understand which products are likely to run out of stock, approximate numbers you’ll be making, and help you make better inventory replenishment decisions. 

Configurable Charts

sellerboard’s flexible charts enable quick and convenient analysis of your Key Performance Indicators. Every seller needs to view data analytics through easy-to-digest but detailed diagrams. 

Everything is customizable: KPI’s (e.g., sales, units, profit, return costs, etc.), time frame, and granularity of the output (e.g., last year by month, last month by day). The user can filter by marketplace or product (with multi-selection).  This way, you’ll be able to select what key performance indicators you’d like to view and compare months according to your interests.

The configurable chart feature will help you see the summary information or drill down into the product list by every period and into product details.

Profit and Loss View

The Profit and Loss view is a user-friendly P&L statement, with the ability to focus on every credit and debit parameter (e.g., sales and amazon fees) of each time period. It provides the ability to customize the time frame and granularity of the data (e.g., last year by month, last month by day), filter by marketplaces or products, and view products sold in any selected period. 

The P&L view is indeed an efficient financial dashboard for Amazon sellers. 

Trends

The trends feature in sellerboard helps you keep track of all critical KPIs for every product to make sure you don’t have any negative trends. Such KPIs are, for example, BSR, sales, returns, profit, and advertising cost. If one of these has dived lately, the seller should take action to understand why their numbers are trending poorly. (e.g., new competitors, their quality control, inefficient ads, etc.).

You can select a KPI (e.g., return rate) and a time frame and see a table with all your products and their month-by-month performance (including the value of the KPI and the % change in comparison to the last month).

Sorting the table will immediately show you all your problematic SKU’s (e.g., the ones where BSR dropped in the last month compared to the previous month).

Cashflow

The Cashflow tool allows you to manage your cash flow by clicking the “Add” button to fill in the amount of additional investment in the business, the amount paid for the goods, as well as dividends and VAT. Payments and Expenses populate automatically. You can add monthly (recurring) and one-time expenses, which will help you clearly understand how much cash you have on hand. 

The clear chart view will help you clarify your payouts, marketplace expenses, cost of goods, and your business’s overall financial health.

The forecast will help your cash flow management and make the right management decisions.

PPC Optimization

The Amazon Advertising PPC dashboard tracks the profitability of your PPC campaigns, ad groups, and keywords and helps you optimize bids to reach your target profitability.

sellerboard has developed a unique algorithm, which estimates profit by PPC campaign. Based on this estimated profit, the sellerboard calculates the break-even-ACOS and the break-even-bid for every keyword and makes recommendations on optimizing your bids.  

It is challenging to run your Amazon Advertising campaign passively within Seller Central, so we recommend using the sellerboard PPC automation button to free up more time for other essential tasks in your business.

Product Breakdown

Exact details on any product and for any period or marketplace. See actual sales, profit, fees, and expenses related to each product, e.g., COGS, cost of returns, PPC, VAT tax, by any period.

Monitoring of your fixed costs and other expenses

sellerboard retrieves all Amazon-related data automatically and helps you track other expenses, such as warehouse costs, virtual assistant, sample costs, software tools, etc. Expenses can be recurring (e.g., monthly) or one time and can be segmented either as general or as an expense related to a specific product (e.g., packaging design or photoshoot).

Export

With sellerboard, you will be able to export Amazon seller data as a spreadsheet or text file. Then use Excel or other tools for an in-depth analysis of your data. You can export the sales and profit data by many variables, including time period, order information, and even repeat customers by brand.

Report Automation

Automation allows you to receive sellerboard reports programmatically. This way, you can integrate the sellerboard data with your 3rd party applications (e.g., spreadsheets).

Under “Reports”, you can request and download reports in different formats manually. The sellerboard report automation will enable you to set up these reports to run recurrently and make them available as a protected web feed or convenient mail attachment.

Autoresponder

The sellerboard Autoresponder is an excellent feature that sends automated messages to your buyers to collect more unbiased feedback, product reviews and provide better customer service. sellerboard’s Unlimited campaigns with flexible settings, e.g., targeting by product, country, the marketplace, repeat customers, and much more. Use our proven predefined message templates, Amazon’s, or set up your own. Define the perfect moment for your message to arrive (e.g., the day your product is delivered), and you can choose one of sellerboard’s templates or create your own. 

The newest template is the automated “Request a Review” button; this feature, when utilized, will allow Amazon to send an email to the customer prompting them to leave a product rating, review, and seller feedback. sellerboard’s Autoresponder can now completely automate this process for you. sellerboard uses the new official Selling Partner API to request reviews, so there are no browser plugins required.  Autoresponder allows your whole team to utilize and access this crucial automated function without relying on multiple copies of browser-based alternatives.

You can set up a “Request a Review” campaign for all or only selected products and decide when the request deploys. The fantastic news is that the review request email will be sent directly by Amazon and not You! The email includes easy one-click rating access, links to your product review area, seller feedback submission, the name, and a picture of your product.

Autoresponder provides an excellent way for generating organic and ethical reviews for your products. All you have to do is set up a campaign in sellerboard’s autoresponder according to your preference.

Refunds for lost inventory

sellerboard helps you find FBA errors and request your money back through Amazon seller support. Sometimes your inventory is lost or damaged by Amazon employees in the FBA warehouse and is not reimbursed automatically by Amazon. Another possible FBA error is returns refunded to the customer but was never actually sent back. 

sellerboard finds these cases automatically and provides a text template, which you can use to ask the seller support to research the matter and reimburse you for the missing items. It’s pure profit and sure beats the drudgery of manually digging through reports on Seller Central!

Users & Rights Management

The Users and Rights feature allows you to grant other users access to your sellerboard account. Each user has their login and password. If necessary, you can configure restricted access rights for every user by function. 

Some of the tools might have sensitive or private information which you might not want to give contractors or new employees full access to; this way; you’ll be able to configure what information users see according to their approved access level. The User Access feature in sellerboard will help you segment your team’s access rights appropriately to their position within your company. 

For example, you can grant access to your:

  • Employee, who is responsible for inventory management, with a restriction to the “Stock” function. They will be able to work with the stock but will not see your P&L
  • Marketplace manager, responsible for a specific marketplace
  • Investor or potential acquirer who requires read-only access
  • Advertising manager, responsible for your PPC performance

Listing change alerts

sellerboard monitors your seller feedback and listings and notifies you per email about important events you should take action on (e.g., hijackers or fee changes). 

Alerts will help you act immediately to any changes, and in case you miss the notification in your sellerboard account, sellerboard will notify you by email to make sure that you react on time.

Monitored events include but are not limited to:

  • Surprise product listing changes: listing name, description, main image, product category, + more.  Amazon hijackers are one of the most annoying problems that many Private Label sellers can face. Hijackers can sometimes change their listings to fit their products. In this case, you should take action immediately and correct your product page to its correct specifications.

 

  • New sellers on the listing and loss of the Buy Box:
    It’s easy not to notice a new seller on one of your listings, especially if you have many products. The new seller might be a hijacker or another business that has bought your previously lost inventory from liquidation. Sellerboard will notify you per email or in the dashboard if the number of sellers on a listing is changed or if you lose the buy box.

 

  • Changes in FBA fee, product dimensions, and referral fee:
    Sometimes Amazon changes the dimensions of your product, and if you’re unlucky, the FBA fee. This event is tough to notice for a seller and might cost you a lot of money. Sellerboard will notify you about such changes so that you can take action (e.g., by contacting seller support and asking them to re-measure the product). Also, the Amazon referral fee increases unexpectedly (e.g., if the product category is changed). If the new category is incorrect, you should try to change it back as soon as possible.  Giving Amazon Seller Support the proof of inaccurate dimensions will also sometimes allow you to request additional reimbursement when they were incorrectly charging you additional fees for a larger product.

 

  • Negative or neutral seller feedback.
    If you get negative or neutral seller feedback, you should respond to it, contact the customer, and solve it.  If negative or neutral feedback violates Amazon’s Terms of Service, you can also message Amazon and request feedback to be removal.

Thousands of satisfied Amazon sellers trust sellerboard for its comprehensive functionality, regular feature updates, and ease of use. There are many tools available for Amazon sellers out there, but the wide range of features sellerboard includes makes it an excellent fit for businesses of all shapes and sizes.   

More importantly, no Amazon seller wants to spend too much money on multiple apps to access different needed features, doesn’t break the bank, and has all the required components to manage an Amazon business effectively. 

No matter what stage your business is currently at, sellerboard is exceptionally affordable, and plans start at only $15 per month.

Here’s what you get with sellerboard:

  • Sophisticated inventory management: You can specify production and shipment time to the FBA warehouse or your prep center for every product if applicable. sellerboard calculates the selling speed per product based on your 3, 7, and 30-day sales and automatically notify you whether it’s time to restock the FBA warehouse or place a new order with your supplier.
  • Understanding your Amazon profitability: Amazon has dozens of fees, which is a lot to manage. The good news is that sellerboard tracks all expenses and reimbursements precisely, e.g., storage fees, long-term storage fees, inbound shipment, remissions, labeling fees, etc.
  • Return visibility. Tracking return reasons and customer comments in sellerboard help take action on every comment to prevent negative reviews. Sometimes products are returned because the color in the photo does not perfectly match the received item, or the product’s dimensions do not correspond to customer expectations. Tracking return reasons will improve your products, whether packaging, listing descriptions, or legitimate repeated efficacy concerns. 
  • sellerboard’s automated seller software features will give you more free time to manage your business and improve your sales. 
  • Manage your business on the go. sellerboard is also optimized for usage on a mobile device. A mobile application is available for iOS and Android. Therefore, it is a straightforward way to manage your business, whether through a PC or a mobile device.

To Sum It Up

Effective business management is crucial for any operation, and sellerboard offers a full, well-rounded Amazon seller app with many opportunities to free your time up so you can massively scale your business.  

With plans starting at only $15 a month, you can try sellerboard today with our no credit card required one-month free trial and join the over 4,000 satisfied sellerboard customers!

Get your one month of free access to sellerboard using this link: https://bit.ly/2xgHKNl