Category Archives for "Blog"

Oct 12

5 Keys to Preventing Hijackers on your Amazon Listings

By Jon Haver | Blog

5 Keys to Preventing Hijackers on your Amazon Listings

            At Listing Eagle, we’re all about helping you get rid of hijackers from your Amazon listings as fast as possible.  Are there things you can do on the front end though to prevent hijackers from targeting your business?  Absolutely.  And are there things you can do that help your defense to then remove hijackers that do show up?  Again, yes – for sure.  That’s what we’ll hope to cover in this post for you.

Amazon Listing Hijacker Prevention

The biggest thing you can do early on in your Amazon business to prevent hijackers is to focus on differentiation.  There are certainly successful models out there that are focused on turnover of generic or common items that can be arbitraged for a profit, but the fact of the matter is that as Amazon’s marketplace continues to become more and more competitive, selling items that anyone else can also find and sell is going to open you up to hijackers.  You may have some success, which means that inevitably competition will come knocking on your door and if your product is in no way differentiated you will end with hijackers on your listing.  So what can you do?  Stand out.

  1. Private Label Differentiation

To stand out and differentiate your products from your competition, you should create Private Labeled variations that are unique.  If you are able to create a new product then nobody can replicate that product and offer in the market as their own (with the right protection in place with your suppliers – more on that in the next section).  So if your research brings you to investigate a product to sell, you can do some research and investigation to understand what the best private label opportunities might be.  Look at the reviews and note what people like about the product, dislike about the product and what they wish the product had, but does not.  Look at competing products and perform the same research.  Use your research to create a list of potential improvements to make on the product, such as altering specs of the product and adding a built-in custom branded label of some kind.  Then start to work with OEM suppliers/manufacturers to understand the costs of the potential improvements, negotiate the costs and product order requirements/lots, create a simple agreement and move forward.

  1. OEM Agreements

In working with your suppliers, make sure you protect your product improvements and brand through an OEM Supply Agreement.  This agreement doesn’t have to be anything too fancy, but it should definitely spell out that the supplier is not allowed to offer your custom product to anyone else, nor can they offer or suggest the engineered customizations you worked hard to identify and develop.  This is not going to stop all bad behavior, but with an agreement and a solid working relationship with your suppliers you’re at least doing what you can to set yourself up for success.  Not nailing things down with your supplier can leave you open to risk and your business vulnerable.

  1. Private Branded Website

The other thing you want to think about very early on is creating your own private branded website.  This is a site/ecommerce store that you maintain control of on the internet that is separate from your Amazon listing.  Put the pictures you want to use on your Amazon listing on your website as well.  This is very important as it arms you submit a copyright infringement claim on Amazon should a pesky hijacker decide to use your pictures, descriptions, and other information from your private branded website.  If the only web presence you have is on Amazon, it will be a much harder fight with Amazon to bring down other hijackers leveraging your information.  Trust us, this will save you a ton of time and energy.

  1. Use Expensive to Ship Products

Another thing you can consider is focusing your business around items that are expensive to ship.   Most hijackers essentially drop ship from China, so if your product can not be competitively shipped individually (because it’s big and/or heavy) than people will be less competitive with hijacking.  It’s kind of counter-intuitive because then it may be more costly for you to ship as well, but when everyone in the market is focused on finding things that meet certain price and margin requirements and are easy to ship, you can differentiate yourself here again with the focus on the bigger/heavier items.  Just make sure that your overall margin requirements are met when selecting products and choose the more expensive to ship products and this will make it harder for hijackers and counterfeiters to compete with you.

  1. Amazon Brand Registry

Of course the obvious one we can’t leave out is to join the Amazon Brand registry program.  You have to jump through some hoops and complete some red tape to get approved, but once you do – this makes the barrier to hijackers much higher.  And with the new program changes and enhancements Amazon is making, the Brand Registry will carry more weight and should deter hijackers and counterfeiters more effectively than in the past.

“But I still got hijacked?”

Is it possible to completely prevent hijacking on Amazon?  Probably not.  Of course the Brand Registry program can help as well, but counterfeiters sniff out success and will likely come to your listings at some point if you’re successful.  So follow these five keys to minimize the likelihood that you’ll be hijacked, and position yourself to win the fight against them if they do come.  Part of that fight is also awareness that a hijacker is on your listing so remember to use Listing Eagle to monitor your listings and alert you with text messages to your mobile phone and emails if any hijacker shows up.  To your success!

 

Sep 21

How to Fix Suppressed Listings on Amazon and the 5 Most Common Reason Your Listing Will Be Suppressed

By Jon Haver | Blog

So you have just noticed that your Amazon FBA listing has been suppressed and are wondering what to do now!

This article provides some context on why Amazon uses the tactic of listing suppression, what the meaning and impact of a suppressed listing is and finally how to fix it.

If you are looking for a way to detect if your listing has been suppressed instantly have a look at ListingEagle 24x7 monitoring!


Why Does Amazon Suppress a Listing?

Amazon cares about customers and sales, knowing what they care most about helps put their use of listing suppression into context. They want to protect the buying experience and ensure listings that don’t meet their quality expectations are not shown in their marketplace.

What Does a Suppressed Listing Mean?

When a listing has been suppressed it means Amazon determined the listing to have a problem and not compliant with there marketplace standards. When your listing is suppressed it will not show up in the search results on Amazon.

What is the impact to your sales of a suppressed listing?

The impact of a suppressed listing is that it will no longer show up on the search results in Amazon and your sales on that listing will be dropped to 0.

It Isn’t Always Easy to Detect a Suppressed Listing

To detect a listing suppression (see this article for more details on how to detect if your listing has been suppressed)

“I was going through my "Manage Inventory" area and saw my listing
as "active" with the word "suppressed" next to it. I have never seen that - what does it mean? I don't know what could be wrong with the listing.”
(link - https://sellercentral.amazon.com/forums/thread.jspa?threadID=181985)

To check if your listing has been suppressed you can

How to Fix Your Suppressed Listing

Here are the steps as suggest

  1. In your seller account, click the Inventory tab and select Manage Inventory.
  2. Select Suppressed in the top navigation pane.If you have suppressed listings, you will see "Suppressed" in the top navigation pane. If you do not have any suppressed listings, you will not see this option.
  3. Select a viewing option, such as All Suppressed Listings, or only a specific type of suppressed listing, such as Image Missing.
  4. Select a listing and click the Edit button, and then select Edit (top option) or Manage images.
  5. On the Amazon Product Summary page, select a tab with an alert indicator.Suppressed listings are indicated by a red exclamation point. You may also see Quality alerts, which are indicated by a yellow triangle.
  6. After you have resolved all alerts for a listing, click Save and finish.

Suppressed Listings alerts usually disappear from the Manage Inventory page within a few minutes of saving your updates. However, alerts can remain on the "Listing Quality and Suppressed Listings Report" for 48 hours or more.

From - https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=200898450

5 Most Common Mistakes You Need To Avoid To Ensure Your Listing Isn’t Suppressed

1. Title – Too long

  • It depends on your category but one of the fastest ways to get your listing suppressed is to have too long of a listing title. Here is a great article from Seller Labs on the impact of long titles on your listing getting blocked.

2. Title – Promotional

  • If your title is too promotional including “best” “cheapest” “top rated” or similar than your listing will quickly get suppressed.

3. Image - Missing an Image

  • Amazon doesn’t want their listings to look incomplete and the image is one of the 2 most important parts of the listing. Therefore Amazon will suppress a listing until an image is displayed.

4. Image – Image not compliant

  • The most common reason if you have an image on your listing and your listing is suppressed due to your image not being compliant it is likely due to your main image not having a white background. There could be other reasons your main image is not compliant but this seems to be the most common reason a listing is suppressed due to the image not being compliant.

5. Missing Key Information

  • Amazon wants their marketplace to have listings with all the information necessary for their customers to make informed buying decisions. If you are missing any of your critical information there is a good chance that your listing will be suppressed. This critical information is most commonly the UPC, Bullet Points, Description and Brand Info.
Sep 19

How to Check If Your Amazon FBA Listing Has Been Suppressed or Suspended

By Jon Haver | Blog

In this article I am going to show you how to check for suppressed listings both the often painful way and the easy automatic way!

If you have experienced a suppressed listing you know the frustration of logging into Amazon and the punch in the gut feeling of seeing your listing suppressed and thinking “how did I not know this” or “how long has my listing been suppressed for” or “why the heck didn’t I know this – damn Amazon”

Others experience similar problem - http://theamazingseller.com/tas-216-why-amazon-suppressed-my-listing-and-didnt-know-check-your-listing/ (had a new listing suppressed for 2 days without noticing)

Always always be monitoring your backend

What is a Suppressed Listing?

A suppressed listing is when Amazon determines your listing not to be compliant with their terms and is not providing the best customers experience. As a result they protect the quality of their marketplace and their customers by suppressing the listing.

- See Amazons Suppressed Listing Help Page - Here

Below is how to determine if you have a suppressed listing, to learn how to fix a suppressed listing visit this article.

How To Check for a Suppressed Listing (Painful Way)

For this method you need to be very very dedicated to never forgetting to check! This method requires you to execute the steps below at a minimum daily and the downside is a listing c

Steps:

  1. Login to SellerCentral 
  2. Go to Inventory - Manage Inventory

         3. Check to see if a “Suppressed Listing” is located there

TIP – It is critical to do this EVERYDAY… one suggestion would be to set a calendar reminder to include a checklist of critical Amazon Seller activities. One way to achieve this is to require a VA to complete whatever your checklist is and execute it every day.

Pro:

  • Free

Con:

  • Your listing could be suppressed for hrs / days without you noticing
  • Drop in sales rank due to lost sales
  • Drop in income due to lost sales

How To Check for a Suppressed Listing (Easy Automatic Way)

The smarter way to monitor any potential suppression of your listings is to use a tool that notifies you by email and text as soon as your listing is suppressed so you can take action and fix it!

Steps:

  1. Signup for Listing Eagle (24x7 listing monitoring) 
  2. Enter your email/phone number 
  3. Be notified within minutes of your listing being hijacked or suppressed

Pro:

  • Be notified instantly of being suppressed so you can take action right away 
  • 24x7 monitoring (even when you can’t login to your seller account ListingEagle is monitoring your listings)

Con:

  • Not a “free” service but will pay for itself quickly