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View Full Version : Amazon Webstore looks like a game changer



deanp
02-20-2014, 11:02 AM
Everything built-in, and hosted on Amazon's servers:

http://webstore.amazon.com/amazon-webstore-pricing/b/6368778011

Goodbye to overage, speed, and connectivity issues.

OHC
02-20-2014, 11:11 AM
I don't know if I would trust Amazon. They can be draconian in their policies and just shut you down. Plus the additional 2% transaction fee. On a $100k a month store, that is an extra $2000.

deanp
02-20-2014, 11:19 AM
This isn't selling through Amazon though, this is just using Amazon's ecommerce platform and nearly-perfect cloud network. I really like the look of it. But of course it's not going to be for everyone.

GGG
02-20-2014, 11:29 AM
Not so fast. I hope it will force the other hosted ecommerce carts to step up their game, but cold day in Hades before I let Amazon have access to my customer emails, sales figures, product info, or anything else.

They're in business for one reason only...to be 'the everything' store at the exclusion of others. Bezos isn't happy with a piece of the pie...pretty sure he wants it all. Can only imagine what 'rights' you're signing away.

Nope. No way. And I only need just an itsy, bitsy, tiny, little crumb.

ritchey
02-20-2014, 11:42 AM
Very aggressive of Amazon - I know, what's new!

Pricing is basically 5% of your transaction with CC and processing fee. A little higher than if you went direct to a gateway and payment processor, but not by much.

The negative is your giving your data to Amazon...

My worry is Amazon using that data for their own advantage.

The pricing basically matching shopify's approach if I understand it right.

GGG
02-20-2014, 11:54 AM
I didn't go into it too far, but there's so much b.s. on there about Amazon that there's no way I'd touch it unless I set up another domain for the sole purpose.

Furthermore, I'm not branding for Amazon...their brand is big enough. And I wouldn't be too happy that 'Amazon algorithms' were hard at work in my store, either.

However, to each their own. I'm old and old-fashioned...I'm allowed to be paranoid. :)

deanp
02-20-2014, 12:12 PM
Hah, lots of paranoia here. So you'd rather give your customer data to Volusion? The people who have only been masking customer passwords for 10 months and who still can't keep their servers up through "DDOS Attacks?" Like they would be less shifty and do smarter things with it?

I don't know about that...

And besides, odds are Amazon already has your customers' data, and that your customers are already Amazon customers, or Zappos customers, or IMDB searchers, or Already use one of Amazon's zillion other acquisitions.

GGG
02-20-2014, 12:59 PM
haha! Glad to know I'm not the only Amazon paranoid. I just can't partner with a company whose business ethics are questionable at best (I'll clarify...just my personal opinion). So many accounts of what Amazon has done to entire industries, FBA members, etc.

Yep, they may have my customers' emails, personal info, blah, blah, but they're not going to get them from me.

In terms of V vs. Amazon...a) I don't brand for Volusion b) as far as I know V is not a competitor in my field c) I guess I just have to hope V is less 'shifty' than Amazon

Good God...with as much control as Amazon wields over their policies...how long before you think they'd shove their other products down your throat/give you 5 days to vacate? Wait a sec...it just dawned on me that I'm talking to toilet paper guy. LOL

Ok, fine then. Let's just say that I'm not getting out of bed with one devil to sleep next to another...and in my opinion V's interest in the success of an ecommerce store is for completely different motives than Amazon.

anglodepot
02-20-2014, 02:56 PM
Before settling on Volusion, we tried Amazon Webstore.
Our main issues with it were:
a) really expensive
b) there were long delays in receiving payment
c) could not be properly adapted for
- fixed, tiered shipping costs (we export boxes & pallets containing multiple products)
- issuing quotations (something else we do)
- custom bits & pieces (sorting by our own value for money & eco rankings, finding products by colour etc)
d) poorly developed for some of the European markets we sell in (e.g. in terms of payment options)
Quite apart from issues of trust, maybe it's like with PayPal; you have to decide whether potential increased volume offsets higher costs & more constraints/more mess. We felt that Volusion ( + Skrill) was a lot more flexible and quite a bit cheaper, better overall considering what we do.

Kitty
02-20-2014, 03:12 PM
I can see the appeal and can imagine benefits in customer perception piggybacking on Amazon's brand name, and ultimately customers like things easy which Amazon do well.

I personally don't like the evergrowing oligarchs in the ecommerce world anymore than GGG but can see the benefits of this although Amazon is sadly not the place for me.

Regarding motives for success, you can throw this on its head.

Actually the transaction fee is a motivator for Amazon/Shopify/(Big Commerce if they do it) to get things right.

All these platforms want to make the max money from you it is in their interests for your store functionality to be up to the job and capable of maximising sales. Interestingly there was a post on the shopify forum about the fact that they rigorously test changes to the platform and take into account the affect on overall transactions across stores on their platform as ultimately this affects their bottom line.

A lot different to Volusions Business Model as they have they hands in your pocket and boost income with things like Bandwidth overages whether you make sales or not so have no real motivator to make the platform run smoothly other than to stop people leaving.

I don't know whether this is a relaunch or marketing push though as I looked at Amazon webstores before I signed up for Volusion so they have been around a while now.

BabyBeauandBelle
02-20-2014, 03:26 PM
Actually the transaction fee is a motivator for Amazon/Shopify/(Big Commerce if they do it) to get things right.

A lot different to Volusions Business Model as they have they hands in your pocket and boost income with things like Bandwidth overages whether you make sales or not so have no real motivator to make the platform run smoothly other than to stop people leaving.


This is an excellent point.

I don't have the same fears as some here about going to the Amazon platform, I think it's whatever system is built best for your needs and product, these days privacy, customer data, etc is open game and everybody has it.

ritchey
02-20-2014, 03:54 PM
Reviews on Amazon, seems to have horrible support and documentation, and all items need a UPC Code and customization is limited.
http://www.ecommercebytes.com/R/R/chart.pl?SD&101542&Storefront_Solutions_and_Shopping_Carts&Amazon%20Webstore

Amazon's modus operandi, is set up services that are as automated as possible to keep their overhead as small as possible while leveraging what ever they can, as aggressively as possible. Aggressive means what can they do to be number 1 in a market.

The data part makes me very nervous, since Amazon has a history of using data for their own gain. With Volusion and Google, they are not direct competitors to e-commerce merchants at this time. Google you can argue with on advertising.

ChefTom
02-21-2014, 08:12 AM
... I just can't partner with a company whose business ethics are questionable at best

you left Volusion?!?!? ;)

Phil
02-21-2014, 08:53 AM
UPC requirement stops me from even considering it. Half our products don't have one.

GGG
02-21-2014, 09:52 AM
UPC requirement stops me from even considering it. Half our products don't have one.

Ditto. I didn't even get that far. Too busy rolling my eyes with the branding.

deanp
02-21-2014, 02:49 PM
Let's also be sure we're separating our contempt for Amazon as ecommerce store owners (because they're THE competitor) from our thoughts on their platform. Just sayin'.

GGG
02-22-2014, 04:16 AM
Let's also be sure we're separating our contempt for Amazon as ecommerce store owners (because they're THE competitor) from our thoughts on their platform. Just sayin'.

But Dean, that's precisely my point...why would I give THE competitor unfettered access to my store? (despite the fact that the platform wouldn't work for me anyway).

However, as often shown on this forum...to each their own and whatever works best based on independent need. There isn't a single follower in the bunch of us :)

Kitty
02-22-2014, 05:31 AM
But Dean, that's precisely my point...why would I give THE competitor unfettered access to my store? (despite the fact that the platform wouldn't work for me anyway).

However, as often shown on this forum...to each their own and whatever works best based on independent need. There isn't a single follower in the bunch of us :)

My decisions are made on what I feel is best for me not necessarily what other people advise, or to simply follow the flock. In fact my strong sense of independence can be to my detriment as I hate it when things get ridiculous cult followings like fakebook and Apple and will often go the other way just to prove a point and celebrate my independence.

Life and people would just be so boring if everyone obeyed and all similarly conformed to the latest trends and fads some of us have to be individualists.

Point blank, Amazon is no good for me. I simply don't have products with barcodes or upc's or isbns.

Although I am sure a lot of people will consider the old saying 'If you can't beat them, join them'.

I feel very certain that the Amazon branding will do merchants who use the platform a great deal of good as far as trust and authority goes with the average joe.

As will the easy ability to integrate Amazon payments.

Marc_NY
02-22-2014, 06:03 AM
For me overages have never, ever been an issue, although we don't have nearly the traffic DeanP has on "his" site.

Speed is usually not and issue for us. I am not concerned with milliseconds, really.

With few exceptions I rarely see any connectivity issues.

I don't really have issues on these areas with Volusion that would warrant jumping ship but if I did it would certainly not be with Amazon.

I mean 2% of our sales they want??? You gotta me joking. We pay 100 and change for hosting on V and we're not giving what would amount to thousands a month extra to anyone.

Not to mention their credit card processing fee is way too much.

I could go on and on but Amazon is not going to happen that is for sure. ZERO advantage for us.

Kitty
02-22-2014, 08:25 AM
Marc you obviously have things sorted with Volusion and from what you say don't blame you for not wanting to leave. Hat's off to you for running a successful business. I can't say whether or not you are a typical example of a Volusion user or not in the bandwidth overage stakes. I know that lots of people complain about their vast bandwidth overages and are dissatisfied with Volusion for various other reasons too.

Your skill in coding has probably helped you overcome many of the bugs in the software that other people couldn't. You have definitely helped me and all of us on the forum immensely to overcome problems within Volusion and I for one am very grateful for that. If it wasn't for the help by you and others on this forum I would have left Volusion a long time ago.

If I could triple my net income by giving someone an extra 2% cut I would definitely do it, but of course in the ecommerce game their are no guarantees. People play this game with google adwords some make it pay some don't there are too many people out there full stop wanting a cut of the pie.

An average merchant who is not just playing at a hobby might be paying for:

Credit card processing fees,
Adwords advertising,
PLA's,
FB Advertising,
Ecommerce cart hosting,
Feed management,
Multi channel selling fees such as to list on Ebay/Amazon or other cross selling channels,
any other addon software or advertising costs,
tax
and subsidising things like postage costs to be competitive
a pile of other things I can't think of

At the end of all that another 2% slice of that seems unthinkable it defies belief how some people manage to make any money.


However, I would bet my bottom dollar that if Big Commerce go to the transaction fee model, Volusion will be soon to follow particularly if they float the company and become under pressure from board/shareholders to maximise profit. This probably would not affect 'grandfathered' accounts but would level the field between Amazon's offering for new people looking.

Basically I just reiterate that I can see the appeal in Amazon Webstores for many people. I see their target market as mid level Amazon sellers who want a quick easy way to try and pull customers into their own site.

Given the way google is obliterating small merchants these days with their ranking culls, I wonder how long this bubble of small to medium businesses setting up an independent website will truly last anyway.

The landscape keeps changing big time always in favour of the biggest companies.

Marc_NY
02-22-2014, 12:47 PM
I don't want you to get the idea that I am defending Volusion in any way cause I am not. There are countless things that I think need to be fixed. But to give away 2% + to Amazon is just silly in my opinion. I just don't see spending money for clicks and other advertising as a good business model for us. Would rather have less sales with a profit than more sales at a loss. I simply focus on giving people the items they want at the best price available all the time, with no coupons or other gimmicks.

I used to give free shipping for orders over xx but I had to raise prices to compensate for that. Just wasn't worth the headache. I get people asking for free freight saying xyz is giving free freight and I say then why are you calling me? Oh your price is cheaper, lol. Well there you go... Sometimes I do it if the order is large enough.

Now to move to a platform like Ebay and/or Amazon I would have to raise prices to offset the money needed to fund these guys, making them richer and more powerful. I am simply not going to do that. I'd rather give it to the people who are our customer base.

You say you would gladly give 2% to triple sales but if you triple sales you will most likely have increased operating costs as well to process those triple sales increase. So that 2% turns into 3, 4 or 5%. Again I am not going to bust my ass just to make a few extra dollars and make these fuckers richer in the process. Not me.

As for these...

Credit card processing fees, - We all have them, its the cost of doing business
Adwords advertising, --> We have never done any Adwords advertising, ever
PLA's, --> Again never have done this
FB Advertising, --> No FB page
Ecommerce cart hosting, --> Well of course
Feed management, other than Google sitemap and The find - nothing
Multi channel selling fees such as to list on Ebay/Amazon or other cross selling channels, --- Again never
any other addon software or advertising costs, ----> nope, chat software what $7.00/month
tax ----> we all pay tax
and subsidising things like postage costs to be competitive ---> nope

Although I obviously cannot say specifics but I can say we continue to have record years each and every year all with little effort and cost.

But hey whatever works for you fellas.


Marc you obviously have things sorted with Volusion and from what you say don't blame you for not wanting to leave. Hat's off to you for running a successful business. I can't say whether or not you are a typical example of a Volusion user or not in the bandwidth overage stakes. I know that lots of people complain about their vast bandwidth overages and are dissatisfied with Volusion for various other reasons too.

Your skill in coding has probably helped you overcome many of the bugs in the software that other people couldn't. You have definitely helped me and all of us on the forum immensely to overcome problems within Volusion and I for one am very grateful for that. If it wasn't for the help by you and others on this forum I would have left Volusion a long time ago.

If I could triple my net income by giving someone an extra 2% cut I would definitely do it, but of course in the ecommerce game their are no guarantees. People play this game with google adwords some make it pay some don't there are too many people out there full stop wanting a cut of the pie.

An average merchant who is not just playing at a hobby might be paying for:

Credit card processing fees,
Adwords advertising,
PLA's,
FB Advertising,
Ecommerce cart hosting,
Feed management,
Multi channel selling fees such as to list on Ebay/Amazon or other cross selling channels,
any other addon software or advertising costs,
tax
and subsidising things like postage costs to be competitive
a pile of other things I can't think of

At the end of all that another 2% slice of that seems unthinkable it defies belief how some people manage to make any money.


However, I would bet my bottom dollar that if Big Commerce go to the transaction fee model, Volusion will be soon to follow particularly if they float the company and become under pressure from board/shareholders to maximise profit. This probably would not affect 'grandfathered' accounts but would level the field between Amazon's offering for new people looking.

Basically I just reiterate that I can see the appeal in Amazon Webstores for many people. I see their target market as mid level Amazon sellers who want a quick easy way to try and pull customers into their own site.

Given the way google is obliterating small merchants these days with their ranking culls, I wonder how long this bubble of small to medium businesses setting up an independent website will truly last anyway.

The landscape keeps changing big time always in favour of the biggest companies.

Kitty
02-22-2014, 01:59 PM
I don't want you to get the idea that I am defending Volusion in any way cause I am not. There are countless things that I think need to be fixed. But to give away 2% + to Amazon is just silly in my opinion. I just don't see spending money for clicks and other advertising as a good business model for us. Would rather have less sales with a profit than more sales at a loss. I simply focus on giving people the items they want at the best price available all the time, with no coupons or other gimmicks.

I used to give free shipping for orders over xx but I had to raise prices to compensate for that. Just wasn't worth the headache. I get people asking for free freight saying xyz is giving free freight and I say then why are you calling me? Oh your price is cheaper, lol. Well there you go... Sometimes I do it if the order is large enough.

Now to move to a platform like Ebay and/or Amazon I would have to raise prices to offset the money needed to fund these guys, making them richer and more powerful. I am simply not going to do that. I'd rather give it to the people who are our customer base.

You say you would gladly give 2% to triple sales but if you triple sales you will most likely have increased operating costs as well to process those triple sales increase. So that 2% turns into 3, 4 or 5%. Again I am not going to bust my ass just to make a few extra dollars and make these fuckers richer in the process. Not me.

As for these...

Credit card processing fees, - We all have them, its the cost of doing business
Adwords advertising, --> We have never done any Adwords advertising, ever
PLA's, --> Again never have done this
FB Advertising, --> No FB page
Ecommerce cart hosting, --> Well of course
Feed management, other than Google sitemap and The find - nothing
Multi channel selling fees such as to list on Ebay/Amazon or other cross selling channels, --- Again never
any other addon software or advertising costs, ----> nope, chat software what $7.00/month
tax ----> we all pay tax
and subsidising things like postage costs to be competitive ---> nope

Although I obviously cannot say specifics but I can say we continue to have record years each and every year all with little effort and cost.

But hey whatever works for you fellas.

And I don't want you to think in anyway I am disputing what you say because I am not :o

I admire your way of working I too would prefer not to even have to consider adwords, and the rest of the BS but the problem is most of us cannot survive unless we give our 'protection racket' money to the moguls.

There is a big difference though between selling commodities and things that people need that are discretionary purchases. A washing machine say is a bit like a car many people need it to function and it is no longer considered a luxury in the 21st century.

This is very different from selling discretionary frivolities that people can basically live without when times get lean, they really say don't need something decorative and if push comes to shove will go without a new handbag to make sure their washing machine gets mended.

Once you get a solid customer base going for commodities as long as you have a competitive pricing model and offer a good service you stand a lot better chance of surviving the recessions than say someone who sells the latest fad in fashion, toys, gifts or decor and the nature of the beast means you have less need to indulge in the 'protection racket' activity like adwords and the rest that people in the discretionary markets do to try and keep in people's minds and desires.

Personally I would never desire a washing machine part but then again I would not want to live without it.

Many things I desire I can happily live without.

And it depends on your business model tripling sales would not triple our costs, but I actually said I would happily give 2% to someone if it increased net profit, not just sales :)

What I mean is I would happily make a $million profit and give someone 2% cut of the profit and net 800k than sell 500k and keep all the profit for myself. Ultimately I would be better off with the first option as my operating costs are low and not labour intensive.

eellsworth
02-22-2014, 02:23 PM
I would never host a store with Amazon. You know they will look at all the analytics and use it to expand their services and/or make adjustments that work best for them.

I would not trust them to be independent and have your best interest in mind. All that pricing data you'd give them and to have that ability to aggregate it and understand your business better than you?

No thanks.

Kitty
02-23-2014, 06:16 AM
I would never host a store with Amazon. You know they will look at all the analytics and use it to expand their services and/or make adjustments that work best for them.

I would not trust them to be independent and have your best interest in mind. All that pricing data you'd give them and to have that ability to aggregate it and understand your business better than you?

No thanks.

Interesting point about the analytics if somewhat obvious. A given that neither Google, Ebay, Amazon or any of the marketplaces like Etsy have individual merchants best interests in mind. They simply want to make money.

Lots of people seem happy to sell on Amazon and share all their data already. My point is hosting a website with Amazon for someone who has already given them access to all their sales data is no big leap.

We have all heard the horror stories about how Amazon sellers are suddenly told to stop selling their product as it is now an Amazon line but people still find it one of the most successful outlets for their businesses and still use the platform despite the cutthroat environment and it is still the giant of online marketplaces.

Hosting a website on Amazon for someone who doesn't already sell on their platform is a different story.

As I said I don't sell on Amazon. I am not saying that I would, or other people should simply that I think lots of other people will find this appealing. Most likely the type of people who sell on Amazon already and that the people who spend money (customers) like the ease and security of buying from Amazon so the branding could be beneficial.

Personally I wish that Amazon, Ebay and the rest could just be cut out of the serps. In my mind there is no point having the serps inundated with aggregate marketplace results. Google shopping for example these days is rubbish it is just overpowered by the repetion of aggregate marketplace results but the sad fact is the people who are visible have the best chance of selling.

Solid Commerce
02-23-2014, 05:16 PM
I think the online sellers that are going to see the most success will be the ones who see this first and foremost as another channel -- another way to push inventory out in a world that's more and more beneficial to those who are willing to embrace the multi-channel selling model.

Kitty
02-24-2014, 03:15 AM
Good point Sean. Oh for the good old days when you could just make a business selling from a B & M or one channel.

Now we all have to run like hamsters in a wheel to get nowhere fast.

Fellow Anti-Amazonists more news in their ploys to take over the world. http://www.ecommercebytes.com/cab/abn/y14/m02/i24/s02

ritchey
02-24-2014, 10:10 AM
I thought this was worse...

http://forum.blu-ray.com/showthread.php?t=203808

Basically Amazon is getting tougher on returns, and may ban you if they are excessive. It does not seem to be happening much, but wow if you do the majority of your shopping on Amazon.

Solid Commerce
02-24-2014, 12:49 PM
Hey, with the right software, you can keep that hamster wheel spinning while you sip a tasty beverage from a few feet away. Multi-channel selling CAN be complicated, but the right tools will be able to help keep things work FOR you, and not against you. ;)

deanp
02-24-2014, 03:40 PM
Amazon Webstore (not selling on Amazon) wouldn't work for us either. The transaction fee would be a killer. We all know that one solution isn't going to work for everyone.

But remember that there are people out there paying 2.9% to PayPal, or Stripe, or whoever, plus a per-transaction fee upward of 30 cents, plus whatever their monthly bandwidth package is. These people could see some savings. And if they're on a platform like Volusion, they'll definitely see some change in their uptime and speed.

JBO
02-28-2014, 09:08 PM
With our volume pricing with credit cards we pay under 2% averaging out all transactions, which is lower than most, so their fee structure would kill our bottom line. Giving them 2% extra would decimate our profit margin as we're in a relatively low profit margin industry, although we have large volumes of sales coming through.

Personally, I feel Amazon has a lot going for them on the server side of the house and I wish Volusion didn't rape so hard on bandwidth. I'm not sure I would personally trust them with customer data, SEO, etc. That's just my opinion however. We don't have much overlap on competition with Amazon. Items we compete with Amazon are all lower volume lower profit margin items that make up a tiny percentage of gross sales.

deanp
03-03-2014, 10:01 AM
The feedback on this has been very insightful to me; I would not have guessed that an Amazon-made ecommerce platform would be so frowned upon. I may write about this. Thanks all.

shirtsthatgo
09-17-2014, 09:30 AM
Hey folks I am late to the table on this one. I am strongly considering a move to Webstore but wanted some guidance. I would also consider 3D cart possibly. Basically I want reliable IT infrastructure and features such as Amazon checkout integration. We have been a happy Volusion "steele" client for over 4 years now but I think it is time to go.

We just started selling on Amazon and I am excited about the possibilities there for us. Should I move everything there and then even start using FBA or is there a better way. Our product is kids t-shirts and it is a product that we make so I am not exactly competing on price with folks that are selling the exact same thing as us. That being said we are still in the mom and pop stage...though we remain optimistic about our little brand.

Will take any guidance I can. Thanks Guys and Gals

Nick www.shirtsthatgo.com

ritchey
09-17-2014, 10:54 AM
If it's your own product, your safer moving to Amazon's infrastructure. If it was a generic product that others can source, I would recommend against it.

The best thing to to is open some demos stores, and see what is best for you.

I wish you had a T-Shirt of the F-23 :-)

Jaime
09-17-2014, 12:29 PM
FBA is great if you don't have a bunch of cut throat competitors. I love to have popular items with no competition. Mostly, this doesn't happen much. As soon as you start selling a lot, someone will try to compete.

I think every item needs a distinct UPC, and the fees for clothing went up lately.

I'm up to almost 50% of my sales through FBA. I love it, but it certainly worries me. I hate to have too many eggs in one basket.

shirtsthatgo
09-17-2014, 05:17 PM
Good feedback. In our case Amazon reached out to us with the invite. I was excited to get into the clothing category that has for years been closed to us. How did you start to get reviews? We have 17 of our tees live now and in 3 sizes but no reviews yet... I expect it will take a while. FBA is down the road but I plan to go to that as soon as I can.

Jaime
09-18-2014, 12:06 AM
Good feedback. In our case Amazon reached out to us with the invite. I was excited to get into the clothing category that has for years been closed to us. How did you start to get reviews? We have 17 of our tees live now and in 3 sizes but no reviews yet... I expect it will take a while. FBA is down the road but I plan to go to that as soon as I can.
FBA should not be down the road. It should be at or near the top of your list, especially going into the holiday season. If done right, FBA is a business game changer.

A few things I'd point out. Don't get on Amazon's bad side. No advertising to their customers at all. No promotional emails. No business cards in the package. They will suspend you in a heartbeat.

Buyers on Amazon can return stuff for a full refund months later. You're generally expected to eat the shipping both ways. You will get returns. They'll usually say it's defective, wrong size, etc, so they don't have to pay return shipping. If you don't kiss ass, even when it's not your fault. They'll leave negative reviews which really hurts you.

Luckily my items are returned at a pretty low rate (1.5-2%). I've heard of people having 30-40% post Christmas returns.

Remember you also pay for that Prime/free shipping. $2.50-$5.00 per item most of the time. If you are going to have a lot if items sold per month (40+), definitely get a Pro membership for $39.99 a month.

Don't price your items too cheap. If you sell something for $25 on your own website, take into account Amazon's commission, FBA fees (if you go that route), shipping charges, and percentage of spoilage/returns. Always double check every item sent out, even a small blem can lead to A to Z claim, a negative review of you or your product, that will stick around a long time.

Even with all these pitfalls, you can make a lot of money.

I started out 2.5 years ago fulfilling everything myself. The first few months, with no customer reviews of my account, I had 2-4 sales per month. Maybe $200-$300 per month. After I got positive reviews, sales escalated, and I added dozens of new items. After a year I was at 10-20 sales per month, $1000-$2000 per month. I was quite happy, as this was all extra sales. I upgraded to a Pro account halfway through the year so I could add my own products.

I switched to FBA a year later, and was amazed at the difference. Finding unique products, and having Amazon stocked well is critical. I can now survive off my FBA sales. Not that I'd do it, but it certainly gives you a nice warm feeling. At the same time I am trying to get my online ecommerce sites up to speed, too. One thing I've learned after being in business for almost 30 years is to specialize in your products you know well, yet don't ignore changing markets.

shirtsthatgo
09-18-2014, 05:02 AM
Awesome download Jaime! Much appreciated. I am totally new to this as you know and definitely excited to see what it can bring. From our own site we have little to no returns and I think that is in part because the product is solid and it is a low cost item that is easily re-gifted or just forgotten about. As for reviews did you seek out the first few or do Amazon buyers simply tend to leave reviews/ratings and it is just a matter of time?

Agree on FBA. I want to get there as soon as possible so I don't really have to handle fulfillment anymore. We have many more SKUs we can add (about 20 more designs and also long sleeves and other sizes) but what is holding me back is just budget for doing the professional product photos. In time though we could have around 500SKUs I think.

Jaime
09-18-2014, 08:05 AM
Awesome download Jaime! Much appreciated. I am totally new to this as you know and definitely excited to see what it can bring. From our own site we have little to no returns and I think that is in part because the product is solid and it is a low cost item that is easily re-gifted or just forgotten about. As for reviews did you seek out the first few or do Amazon buyers simply tend to leave reviews/ratings and it is just a matter of time?

Agree on FBA. I want to get there as soon as possible so I don't really have to handle fulfillment anymore. We have many more SKUs we can add (about 20 more designs and also long sleeves and other sizes) but what is holding me back is just budget for doing the professional product photos. In time though we could have around 500SKUs I think.

Reviews are strange. Even now, I get maybe 1% of customers leaving feedback for me! Maybe 1/2% leave product reviews. Of course some people have friends and relatives buy products and review them, but it's not recommended, and I'm sure could get you banned, if caught.

Are you required to have a distinct UPC for each size/color combination?

shirtsthatgo
09-18-2014, 09:04 AM
Yeah, I am the same... I buy a lot but I don't do much reviewing. Maybe I should to get some review Karma!

UPC I am not sure. Each shirt size, color, design, etc is a separate SKU

ritchey
09-18-2014, 10:07 AM
There is some review software that plugs into Amazon you can use. Look at what other sellers are doing in the Emails they send you after purchasing.

Another challenge with Amazon, is you need to respond to orders within a set period of time.

shirtsthatgo
09-18-2014, 10:12 AM
I am pretty sure I am going to make the move. Any tips for the first ever migration of my site? My biggest concern is keeping all that hard won link authority. I have links to all my pages from various sites as well as the home page. Wondering about best way to make sure that goes with me (redirects I think) and then DNS control... I will likely want to let Amazon or a 3rd party control my domain and DNS though I could leave it at Volusion but not sure what they would charge me. Hate moving DNS... would rather just keep same name servers forever :-)

Rick H.
09-18-2014, 10:47 AM
Cool. How about we all just send a check directly to Bezos every month, too? Screw Amazon. The "game-changer" will be when Amazon is "too big to fail".

GGG
09-18-2014, 11:20 AM
Cool. How about we all just send a check directly to Bezos every month, too? Screw Amazon. The "game-changer" will be when Amazon is "too big to fail".

I think it's already beyond that point. Swear what bothers me more than anything is the CIA using their servers. Bezos (in my humble opinion) is deranged. I think he'd do just about anything for his perception of power. His motivation doesn't seem to be $.

Hoping the Big Mouse and the publishers can hold out...

http://www.forbes.com/sites/dorothypomerantz/2014/08/12/with-disney-dispute-has-amazon-gone-too-far/

ritchey
09-18-2014, 12:36 PM
“You realize when you work for Disney why the mouse has only four fingers—because he can’t pick up a check,”
Robin Wiliams