Could be a book in the works on this topic - been around here since 2005;
– This will always be what you make it. If you can acquire inventory as low as possible, your profit will be maintained. Biggest factor that effects the profits is the TIME involved - whether waiting on seller support, dealing with the MANY “glitches” in the past two years, etc. It is a matter of “going with the flow” - don’t waste time complaining about no payment transfer, trying to fix item pages…just move on.
-Shipping (cost and accessibility)
— one area that has seen a great improvement. Being able to print from Amazon instead of 3rd party source. The ability to actually set shipping templates for areas and items that weigh different. The “old” $3.99 and price/lb were killers back in the day. Heavy toys - electronics etc were hard to ship without raising the product price to cover it. One thing Amazon should do is implement a SCAN FORM for the post office. Seems someone should be able to write that code.
— definitely different over the years. Now it is 97% SCRIPT replies from seller support. If SS can not locate an issue in “the book”…you get the scripted INTERNAL TEAM will handle it reply. MANY MANY cases go unanswered, huge lack of follow up on Amazons part. But then again, do you spend hours/days begging them to reply.
— Of course with the recent return program, scammers are raising daily. In general, I think that buyers(good ones) here are still searching/find/buy compared to the flea market type on eBay. Many will pay 25-50% more then the same item on eBay.
— Being grandfathered - the daily requests are still very helpful. Past year the “glitches” are appearing more and more frequently. Surprised Amazon has not really raised the $39.99 for pro-merchant yet.
— Hard to compare, I no longer sell on there. When I left I had 6,000 items, having a store there was great. Once they started with PAYPAL and then with the price per listing, Was not profitable for me to stay. To have 6,000 sit in a store front and pay 20¢ per item each month would be costly.
-Anything else that comes to mind!
MANY OTHER THINGS do come to mind;
#1 The HUGE SNAFU with toys that eliminated MANY MANY sellers because some techno-nerd or BOT changed a code. This put a huge number of ASINs into a restricted category and AMAZON had to lose MILLIONS on this screw up. Slowly coming back - a lot have gone elsewhere to sell.
#2 Also with toys was the SNAFU with the NEW YORK law on TOY GUNS. Again eliminated huge amount of ASINs and again, had to impact Amazons profits in that category. Seriously - a LEGO TOY BLASTER (ONE INCH in length) looked to much like a real gun?
#3 PHOTOS for item detail pages…back in the day was out of control. You could actually add a photo of your pet dog to the item page and it TOOK! But now it goes to far to the other side…you need the 14 URLs from the manufacture that prove the photo matches the item. Plus you need to have the “power” as a seller of the item to actually change it. This is sometimes determined simply by the seller support agreeing to the photo(even if they have no clue). That toy car description really doesn’t match the photo of that woman in the bikini.
#4 Continuing with Item Pages…back in the day it was “better”… now the item pages are so screwed up. Again, not worth the time going round and round with “seller support”. I have had titles that state “paperback ( hardcover 2003)”…hello??? really? Or allowing a item to actually say NEW in the title, but options to list as used. Yes, Amazon doesn’t “create” the listings, but if you are going to “police” something, this would be a start.
#5 So after the TOY SNAFU…same year Amazon comes out with the MUSIC SNAFU. Eliminates, NOT hundreds but THOUSANDS of ASINs because you can’t prove that yardsale buy you got on CDs are not fake. BIG(HUGE) killer of the bottom line Amazon. Someday you may realize EVERYTHING can be counterfeited.
#6 BOTS – this could be another 5 pages of info. This automation is creating more havoc then good. These “bots” have become Amazons “INTERNAL TEAM” and seems to be a lack of HUMAN supervision over the bots actions.
#7 Buyer INFO – a simple “code” can be written to insure that the order you get has a VALID ADDRESS recognized by the postal system.
#8 STOREFRONT – totally screwed this up in the past couple years when Amazon changed your storefront to show BEST SELLERS and no option to see RECENTLY ADDED ITEMS. As a seller, if you have regular buyers that would like to shop your store, now there is no way to show them the new items added. Leaving us 3rd party sellers with a poor marketing strategy. Again, a SIMPLE code (much less then what was involved in the new forum).
#9 NEW CONDITION NOTES — Eliminating these hurt some item pages, this will always be a topic of discussion. This comes from the title description that may have varieties or questionable description - notes sometimes eliminated the confusion.
#10 AZ Claim and Feedback program needs a major overhaul. What does and doesn’t effect metrics. When/how a buyer can post these. TOO MANY good 3rd party sellers are CANNED because of this system and then you see others that have 20% feedback rating etc and are still selling.
oops…forgot a major one… AMAZON PHONE APPS!!! “I ordered it NEW, not used(from my smart phone and I didn’t go past the first page)…please send new item…”
Sorry this message was so long…just 13 years, need to vent a little. Thanks for the post.