Sunday, August 29, 2010

Amazon Tidbits & Helpful Info

We were having an interesting discussion about Amazon and Merchant -vs- MarketPlace and SellerCentral and what it means, and here is some information I pulled together from various Amazon Help pages. Enjoy. And hope it helps, some great reading here.... (LONG POST!!)

Bob Willey

If you ask different people at Amazon you almost always get different answers.
The details on the setup of accounts and databases is a very complicated and confusing mess,
and not even many at Amazon understand it all.

I know that when I setup for FBA, it switched me over to SellerCentral (you see it when you go into your Seller Account)

Let me see what I can find:

Differences Between Pro Merchant and Individual Seller Accounts

Seller Account Feature
Plan Type
Individual Pro Merchant
$39.99 monthly subscription fee No Yes
$0.99 per-item closing fee Yes No
Ability to create new product pages in the catalog No Yes
Use of feeds, spreadsheets, and other tools to manage inventory No Yes
Access to order reports and order-related feeds No Yes
Amazon set shipping rates for all products Yes No
Seller-customized shipping rates for non-BMVD products No Yes
Use of the Vacation feature Yes Yes
Promotions, Gift Services, and other special listing features No Yes
Eligibility for Featured Merchant status and listing placement in the Buy Box No Yes
Price limit of $10,000 for each listing* Yes No

*This price limit does not apply to Individual sellers approved to list in the Collectible Books category.


Amazon Marketplace is a sales platform used by sellers outside the Amazon Merchant program. Marketplace sellers can be businesses or individuals, who can sell new, used, refurbished, and collectible products.

Not all product lines are enabled for Marketplace selling. For example, the Apparel category is currently not open to Marketplace sellers.

For stores that offer Marketplace, you can find a link to offerings on the product detail page, in the More Buying Choices box. For example, when you view a product detail page, you might see "51 used & new from $13.73." If you click this link, the offer listing page appears, showing all listings, including listings from Marketplace sellers, merchants, and the retail Web site.

"Seller Agreement" means the Selling on Amazon Service Terms, the Merchants@ Program Agreement, the Marketplace Participation Agreement, any successor to any of these agreements, or any other similar agreement (as determined by Amazon) between you and us that permits you to list and sell products via the Amazon Site.

The new Amazon WebStore provides many advantages and improvements over the original WebStore by Amazon. However, there are some differences between the two products. The following table notes some key differences.


New Amazon WebStore

Original WebStore by Amazon

Seller Branded Checkout pipeline option

Yes (with Amazon WebStore Accounts)


Support for multiple sites

Not Yet


Choice of Customer Account Type

Yes, choice between Amazon WebStore Accounts or Accounts (See FAQ)

No, accounts only

Integrated multichannel applications for store and phone ordering



Integrated customer service application



High Upsell Cart



Ability to sell in restricted categories (e.g., Watches, Jewelry, Beauty, Cell Phones & Accessories)


Limited (seller cannot use both Amazon WebStore and Selling on

UPC restrictions



Customer “Your Account” functionality

Seller branded Your Account features

Most links point to

Support for pre-order items

Not Yet

Limited (Pre-order of FBA products not supported)

Store Design and Merchandizing

Supported using new and enhanced Store Design Tool


Add and Edit Products

Supported using Inventory Tool with major enhancements like interactive and batch editing, search wizard, advanced search and feeds.

“Add a product” tool, feeds

When registering as a seller on, you create a single selling account for your business. Operating and maintaining multiple seller accounts is prohibited.


Seller Central Help: Account Settings: Getting Started: Things You Didn't Know You Needed to Know to Sell on

Things You Didn't Know You Needed to Know to Sell on

Now that you've read your seller agreement and associated policies and guidelines, we want to give you additional information that is key to selling successfully on Amazon.

We find that new sellers on often bring with them their experiences with other selling platforms and assume that all seller platforms work the same. They may think that there's no need to pay much attention to the details in your seller agreement and the platform policies and guidelines. As a result, we receive communications from sellers that begin with "I didn't know I was supposed to...."

= Things to Know
= Things to Do
= Things to Avoid
= Policy Violations

We don't want you to find yourself in that position, so we are presenting you with some of the things that are most commonly overlooked by new sellers. The icons at right will help you identify what you need to know, do, or avoid doing.

Your Account

Things to Know

When registering as a seller on, you create a single selling account for your business. Operating and maintaining multiple seller accounts is prohibited.
You can help build buyer trust in your business by providing clear and detailed information about your policies.
Your returns policies must be at least as favorable to buyers on as the Amazon refund policies.
: Amazon's refund policies allow for the return of new, unopened items within 30 days of delivery for a full refund.

Things to Do

Provide the business name that will be displayed on so that they remember your company.
Make sure your business contact information is current (e-mail & phone number if available) so that we may contact you, if necessary.
Keep credit card and bank account information current for payments and settlements
Provide shipping and returns policies to help build buyer trust.
Describe the gift messaging and gift wrap services you offer
Upload your logo—your storefront logo image must be exactly 120 x 30 pixels
Only enter company info specific to how you manage your business on
Choose shipping rate settings so buyers know what your shipping costs.

Things to Avoid

Registering for multiple seller accounts.
Including website URLs in product feeds, business name, or other company information that may refer buyers to your or any other website.
Assuming other sellers are doing it right. Always double-check your practices against the applicable platform policies and guidelines and the seller Help content.

Listing Products

Things to Know

Listing products in the right categories and with the correct information is critical for good buyer experience and strong seller performance.
You can help build buyer trust in your business by providing clear and detailed information about your policies.
Your returns policies must be at least as favorable to buyers on as the Amazon refund policies.
: Amazon's refund policies allow for the return of new, unopened items within 30 days of delivery for a full refund. buyers expect their purchases to be well-packaged and to arrive on time.
Product detail pages do not belong to any one seller. The product title, image and details must be specific to the product, not to any seller or any individual seller promotions.
Set up your shipping charges, sale pricing, and promotions using Amazon tools; don't include any of this information in your product listing details.
Your Amazon seller agreement requires that the price at which you list a product on and the other terms of your offer must be the same or better than for the same product offering on your other online sales channels.

Things to Do

Product Titles
Provide information about the specific product only
Keep it short, but include critical information
100 characters maximum
Start with the product brand where appropriate – not seller
Include a model number, when available
Use only plain text (no HTML formatting)
Capitalize the first letter of each word
Use numerals (2 instead of two)

Use white, clean backgrounds that do not distract from the product
Create images with 300 dpi minimum; 1,000 dpi is best
Show the entire product. It should occupy at least 80 percent of the image area
Include only what the buyer will be receiving
JPEG (.jpg), TIFF (.tif), or GIF (.gif) format; JPEG preferred.
Use photographs

Things to Avoid

Product Titles
Marketing information (“x% off” or other marketing messages, seller URL, seller name) in product information
Using categories that do not match the existing browse tree
HTML code
Symbols (! * $ ?)
Promotions or other information that is not descriptiove of the product itself

Promotional text such as "Sale" or "Free Shipping"
Colored backgrounds or lifestyle pictures (for the main image)
Borders, watermarks, text or other descriptions
A single image displaying multiple colors of your product together when they are sold separately
Line drawings or artistic representations
Animated images
URLs or seller logo/name on product images

Customer Orders

Things to Know

When you set up your account, you'll find information about shipping expectations that you will need to integrate into your order and fulfillment processes. You'll also see that you're required to confirm to Amazon when you have shipped your orders, so we can keep buyers informed about the progress of their orders and charge their credit cards for the purchase.
You are required to ship media products (books, music, DVD and video) within 2 business days. Non-media products must be shipped by the shipping availability date you specify in the product feed for such products.
You must confirm to Amazon that you have completed shipment in order to receive payment for an order. This confirmation will also trigger Amazon's shipment confirmation e-mail to the buyer and will set the expectation for estimated delivery date.

Things to Do

Review default shipping settings and customize to fit your fulfillment model
Check your account at least daily for orders
Schedule order reports to ensure an authoritative report of all orders and order information

Things to Avoid

Including any marketing or promotional materials with packing materials
Relying on e-mail notifications of account activity. E-mails can get lost or deleted.

Customer Service

Things to Know

You are required to take returns and provide refunds up to 30 days from the date of delivery in accordance with Amazon's Returns and Refunds policy.
Selling on requires less communication by you to buyers than most other online sales channels because much of the process communication is handled by Amazon.
Amazon will provide all the order and shipping e-mails to buyers; you must not send order or shipment confirmation e-mails, to avoid conflicting messaging or confusion for the buyer.
You must not market or advertise to buyers, nor divert them in any way from the Amazon sales process—not even in otherwise permitted communications, such as when responding to buyer inquiries about your products or their orders.

Things to Do

Fulfill all orders within the promised lead time and shipping windows and ship exactly what you listed for sale.
Clearly explain your shipping, returns and refunds policies and processes, along with other pertinent information. Seller return policies on, at a minimum, must be at least as favorable as the current Amazon Refund Policies.
Learn about buyer communication policies for doing business on; be aware of when Amazon handles the communications to buyers and when it is appropriate for your company to communicate (or not). Generally, you will not send communications to buyers other than as necessary for order fulfillment and related customer service. Respond promptly to buyer questions about the status of their order.
Keep in mind that buyers have come to expect the same level of customer service from sellers that they receive from Amazon. If you don't meet that standard, you may have to deal with some unsatisfied buyers.
Be courteous and patient with buyers when they request information, returns or refunds.

Things to Avoid

Bribing buyers for positive feedback.
Using buyer information for online or offline marketing purposes, or directing buyers to your own or another's website.
Engaging in arguments with buyers rather than courteously working to resolve the problem.
Assuming that buyers read your policies.

Pass this along to your friends, link to your Facebook and/or Twitter, Enjoy!!!

Brought to you by:

Bob Willey http://BobsNeatBooks


Kat Simpson said...

Bob, I am thrilled you got all this info into one place. I love selling on Amazon but sometimes getting an answer is HARD!

mymomsbooks said...

Bob you always get all the info and make it organized for us.
Keep teaching!

Beth Cherkowsky said...

Bob this is really helping me decide that Imight actually do FBA - I'd ruled it out but it might be a good thing. THANKS!