Milestone – First FBA Complaint!

THE GOOD

I originally expected my product to be a slow mover on FBA. One, maybe two in the first month. And let's be especially clear: I would've been delighted to have sold 2!

But as luck would have it, I ended up selling 16 in the first 24 hours! My first FBA sale was great news. However, I quickly remembered that I only had a total of 43 sitting in Amazon's warehouse (and a 3-week wait to get more). So, I temporarily deactivated the listing so I could figure some things out.

Even though I haven't answered all my questions, I decided to re-activate the listing. The result: I sold another 13 in the last 12 hours!

Even though my price model was inaccurate and, thus, I am barely making anything off of these products, I'm excited to see my FBA idea actually working!

THE BAD

Shortly after my first day with an active FBA listing, I received this message:

FBA Complaint

Some quick Googling turned up that this was a serious problem. In fact, my seller’s privileges could be suspended PERMANENTLY for such a violation!

2 months of planning and on my first day I’ve already wrecked my business. Great.

The first thing I did was immediately contact Amazon’s Seller Central Customer Support line. At first it didn’t seem like I was going to get anywhere. None of the representatives seemed to understand my problem and therefore couldn’t provide useful solutions.

After working my way through 3 or 4 representatives, my savior finally arrived: Joey! Joey, like the others, also had an Indian accent. The difference in Joey’s voice wasn’t about accent, but about his depth of knowledge. He quickly understood my problems and got to work on it. Within 2 hours I got a callback from Joey with great news: “Your account is in good standing! Oh, and you didn’t do anything wrong. Is there anything else I can help you with?”

“No, that will be all. Thanks for your…wait, what?! Nothing wrong?!”

As Joey then explained, the message that I received from the “brand owner” does indeed refer to concepts that Amazon takes very seriously. However, it turned out that the seller’s info was completely falsified: they were not the brand owner, didn’t own any copyright, and had no method to stop me from selling my product. In summary, he said that it was an Amazon troll looking to intimidate other sellers from competing.

Whew! Close call!

While I consider this whole affair to have been a completely unnecessary distraction from the normal work I need to do, I believe there’s always a worthwhile takeaway from an experience like this. For me, it was that I needed to dig deeper into Amazon’s policies so that I never end up in the situation I thought I was already in. Patience triumphs over frustration.

Milestone – First FBA sale!

Vindication

After many months of researching, brainstorming, and preparing (1, 2), my product finally went live yesterday on FBA (for real this time)! In the last 24 hours, a shocking 37% of my inventory has been purchased by the wonderful customers of Amazon. Seeing as I expected to sell only 1 or 2 products in my first month, I was more than pleasantly surprised to find that I sold 16 items in the first single day! For reasons I'll discuss in a later post, this speed will soon decrease dramatically. But I'll take what I can get!

Product charges: $103.87

It's a great relief to finally see some FBA revenue. Small in quantity, but significant in meaning, this little victory is my "proof of concept". Now it's time to really buckle down, increase the variety of my inventory, and develop a well-functioning system for the timely replenishment of stock.

Tune in next time for more details about my first sales, my future plans, and the difficulties I see just over the horizon!