Selling on Amazon, thoughts?

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Funtastic
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Selling on Amazon, thoughts?

I run a flashlight business in NZ and have just been asked by Amazon AU if I’d be interested in selling on there. I’m having trouble deciding where or not it’s actually worth it or whether it comes with too many issues of its own. I can’t really communicate with the customers and help sort out any issues that may present themselves?. I’m guessing if a product is returned it’s then either ditched at my request or I have to then pay for it to be returned here in NZ. The easy returns that Amazon accept mean that I could have countless returns simply for user error which would be a pain to deal with.

I’m the only flashlight store I’m aware of that checks everything twice before a customer receives it, once upon receiving, and again before shipping. When doing this I wouldn’t have many faulty flashlights at all, but have still had a heap of clueless customers. Two days ago a customer got in touch because his Convoy L21B was “faulty” and only worked on low mode, turns out he never read my manual and didn’t realize it had multiple modes. Another customer phoned to complain about his “faulty” Sofirn, but didn’t know he had to have the tail cap fully screwed on lol. If it was Amazon, I think both cases would have resulted in a return.

My thorough quality control inspection hasn’t seen a warranty return in 2 years.

Any thoughts on this?

Piercing The Darkness YouTube channel – https://www.youtube.com/c/PiercingTheDarkness

moforos
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I wouldn’t touch Amazon as a seller, mostly because I’ve got comtempt for it.
There are writers whom have gotten returns and ended up in the negative.

Let the chinese be on the aliexpress2.0.

The company itself is involved in shady business practices, not just treating their employees like cattle, but doing somewhat hostile takeovers of competition to run them into the ground.
Bezos is a sack of shit too.

zoulas
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Amazon gets a huge cut in your sales, and it’s well deserved as you are basically directly benefiting from their reputation.

To maximize profit per unit sold, sell direct. If you want to sell 100,000 flashlights, make $1 each net, then get 1000 returns that you have to eat, sell on Amazon.

Kind of depends how much of a headache you want and how much money you want to make.

Bear in mind the basic business rule: Making a lot of money with no headache is not possible.

JenkinsMatti
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Funtastic, you answered your own question in the OP.

You gave every reason to NOT sell on Amazon.

Don’t do it…

lampliter
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Not recommended:
Big money=Big B/S

Unless you know or can hire someone with the “smarts” to wade that swamp without gettin’ bit; don’t bother.

"The marvel of all history is the patience with which men and women submit to burdens unnecessarily laid upon them by their governments.” ~ U.S. Senator William H. Borah (1865-1940) affectionately known as the "Lion of Idaho"

Funtastic
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JenkinsMatti wrote:
Funtastic, you answered your own question in the OP.

You gave every reason to NOT sell on Amazon.

Don’t do it…

Yeah, I have certainly read enough feedback on there for nonsense things, such as, it gets too hot on turbo so I returned it. Even on AliExpress some are terrible. One on the Convoy store because Simon didn’t include a free holster after the customer asked for a freebie.

Matt Smith sells on Amazon US, so thought maybe the higher sales could be worth it.

I think it’s best if I just start shipping to Australia instead, the only thing that bugs me is dishonest people opening Paypal disputes or delays in customs causing upset customers. I guess the increase in sales would be worth it over the small % of problematic customers.

Thanks for the replies

Piercing The Darkness YouTube channel – https://www.youtube.com/c/PiercingTheDarkness

Sirstinky
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Funtastic wrote:
JenkinsMatti wrote:
Funtastic, you answered your own question in the OP.

You gave every reason to NOT sell on Amazon.

Don’t do it…

Yeah, I have certainly read enough feedback on there for nonsense things, such as, it gets too hot on turbo so I returned it. Even on AliExpress some are terrible. One on the Convoy store because Simon didn’t include a free holster after the customer asked for a freebie.

Matt Smith sells on Amazon US, so thought maybe the higher sales could be worth it.

I think it’s best if I just start shipping to Australia instead, the only thing that bugs me is dishonest people opening Paypal disputes or delays in customs causing upset customers. I guess the increase in sales would be worth it over the small % of problematic customers.

Thanks for the replies

I used to work as a sales account manager for a small business (like yours) who was also a specialty retailer (had a physical storefront too). We sold on Amazon, Sears.com (when it was around), our own website, and eventually Ebay so I have se experience with this. Keep in kind some things may have cha held since I did it, but heres my pain points with Amazon. It can be worth it, but there are some caveats. #1 is LOTS of competition. There are tons of established sellers even for flashlights already. If you have a solid customer base and revenue from your other ecommerce platform you’ll be okay, but be prepared for slow sales. Black Friday and the 2 months after Christmas (people using gift cards) and Cyber Monday were our busiest times and we made lots of money ($60,000 a momth on average) during those months.

  1. is Amazon’s fee structure for sellers. They charged us between 15 and 16% just for their merchant fees, and more for the sales commission on your sales volume. All told, we lost probably 20-25% of our gross sales profit to Amazon fees (not to mention sales tax in our state was 8.2%).
  2. is seller metrics. Amazon requires you to have a certain volume to maintain your merchant status. Fall below and they flag your account for low performance. If you have complaints or too much negative feedback that also hurts a lot. We were suspended due to low inventory causing customer complaints and refunds. I did the math on it once and one negative feedback negates about 5 positive ones.
    Marketing is very important like setting your listings up is very time consuming. You can hire Amazon to do it for you, but it can get expensive if you have many listings.

Bottom line if you know that going into it and have a plan for and budget for that, you’ll be fine. Keep Amazon happy and keep your customers happy and you’ll do well I think.

zoulas
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Don’t think small. Like I said, Do you want to sell 1000 lights and make $1 each or do you want to sell 30 lights and make $10 each.

Forget about how much Amazon is making, think about how much you could make.