Weekly Amazon Seller News – December 15, 2020

Every week, our team of experts round up the most important news for Amazon business owners. Here are all of the bite-sized news nuggets for the week of December 15th, 2020.
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“Amazon Brand Protection Secret Revealed: Firm Shares How Private Label Sellers and Brands Can Eliminate Unauthorized Sellers” (Source: PR Newswire)

  • This article covers how, through Amazon-specific packaging, brands and private label sellers can create a stronger relationship with Amazon.
  • Amazon prefers to see their own packaging and know that their programs are being implemented and sellers are cooperating with their rules and policies, but from a brand protection point of view, having specific packaging just for Amazon can help brands eliminate unauthorized sellers as well.
  • Amazon-specific packaging facilitates the process of issuing trademark complaints when unauthorized sellers join a brand’s listing. 
  • When sellers create packaging as their own goods or supply chain manufacturer, they ensure that no one else can match their product listing details, the difference in packaging would be considered trademark infringement on Amazon.
  • When it comes to the actual packaging requirements, Amazon does not stipulate strict terms but they do favor packaging designed specifically for Amazon’s consumers.
  •  “Amazon considers every single consumer that purchases through the website to be its consumer, not necessarily the seller’s customer. Having something special for Amazon’s customers is an influential tool that sellers can use to protect their brand integrity and their brand sales.
  • Read the full article here

“Amazon Updates Sellers on Marketplace Tax Collection” (Source: eCommerce BYTES ) 

  • Amazon announced that it has expanded the number of states for which it collects sales tax, adding an additional 11 states and Puerto Rico.
  • In the announcement, Amazon told sellers that Marketplace Tax Collection is now available in more locations.
  • “You may have noticed since our last Marketplace Tax Collection (MTC) update that we’ve expanded from 32 states and the District of Columbia to an additional 11 states and Puerto Rico.” 
  • When items are shipping to any MTC jurisdiction, you may see sales tax calculations made by Amazon, on your orders, at no cost to you. 
  • Taxes collected by Amazon are shown with the order details and in various Seller Central reports. Amazon remits (as the taxpayer) all taxes collected as MTC to the appropriate tax authority.
  • The newest jurisdictions are Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Ohio, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
  • Amazon says as always, work with your tax advisor to help identify any changes to your business and tax reporting in these states and visit the Marketplace Tax Collection FAQ that contains state-specific details and your Amazon reporting options.
  • Read the full article here

 

“How to List Product Bundles on Amazon” (Source: Jungle Scout) 

  • As an Amazon seller, you can create convenience for your customers with product bundling. Which is taking two or more products and bundling them together into one listing. 
  • Bundling products isn’t just for big brand names. Third-party sellers can bundle popular products, leveraging existing brand awareness to boost their own unique brand.   
  • Creating your own brand of bundled products with custom packaging prevents other sellers from selling on your listing. 
  • While competitors can most likely find all of the products that you’re bundling together, they won’t be able to sell on your listing because their product won’t be an exact match for yours.
  • As long as your listing is optimized with great images, keywords, and copy, your bundle should not have issues showing up in search results. 
  • If you are selling your own private label product, creating your own custom branded packaging is a great way to stand out from your competition—the same goes for selling a product bundle.
  • Bundles consist of multiple single items that can each be identified by a unique ASIN/UPC and are sold together as a single offering. 
  • A pre-packaged kit or pack with multiple items that is identified by a single ASIN/UPC is not considered a bundle.
  • The bundle must have its own standard product identifier or manufacturer part number. The identifier of any individual product in the bundle may not serve as the identifier for the bundle.
  • Using a UPC from any single product in the bundle to identify the entire bundle may lead to immediate removal of the listing. 
  • You are responsible for obtaining a UPC for each bundle you create.
  • Read the full article here

 

“The Broken Amazon Fulfillment Elasticity” (Source: Marketplace Pulse) 

  • This year, Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) changed from a service sellers can rely on to a service they hope Amazon will allow them to use. Now an algorithm decides which products at what quantities are allowed to be in FBA.
  • The elasticity of FBA broke first in March when Amazon started prioritizing the stocking of household staples and medical supplies by disabling inbound shipments to FBA for products that do not fall into essentials or high-demand categories. 
  • A few months later, all items were allowed to be shipped to FBA again, but some shipments took weeks to get received. 
  • Then, Amazon imposed quantity restrictions for new products and limited others based on recent sales history to prepare early for the holiday season and meet sustained increased demand. 
  • By the end of November, to relieve pressure from the FBA network, Amazon started diverting some sales volume to sellers fulfilling orders themselves. And quantity limits got even more restrictive. 
  • As product demand increased in the fourth quarter, the FBA quantity limit instead decreased.
  • It has been months since FBA operated normally, and many more sellers have made strategic decisions to use 3PLs for more of their sales or invest in building a warehouse than in the years prior. 
  • For the first time since FBA launched, to maximize sales on Amazon, sellers had to use FBA and a backup warehouse.
  • Read the full article here