I should be getting two samples this week. Actually one of them has arrived in Singapore. However, since I am not at home most of the time (throughout the day), I have rescheduled the DHL delivery man to come back on Saturday.
So yeah, I don’t have the samples with me. I was shown a photo of a completed sample with the packaging designed by me. Well, it is a simple colorful design (hope it is not too cheesy). But yes, this sample is only possible after a second try- the first batch of 1000 packaging was done wrongly and had to be discarded.
Ok, there is 2 major news recently that will affect new FBA sellers like me.
Amazon is not allowing new FBA sellers to ship inventory to their Fulfillment centers until after 19 Dec 2016 (read here). Basically, when I try to send inventory using the Seller Central platform, I get the below message.
“We are restricting shipments from new-to-FBA sellers to ensure we have the capacity necessary to receive and store inventory and to ship products to customers quickly. If you have not completed your first shipment to Amazon before October 10, 2016, we encourage you to start shipping to Amazon after December 19, 2016. We encourage you to continue selling on Amazon and fulfilling orders directly to customers. We apologize for any inconvenience. If the situation changes before December 19, 2016, we will notify you by e-mail. We apologize for any inconvenience.”
So yes, I did not manage to make it in time to ship my tiny shipment to Amazon USA. On the upside, due to the error from the first batch of printing (of the 1000 packages), I manage to negotiate to send only a tiny number of samples to Amazon (however, I do have to pay for this new batch of 1000 package printing and a small batch of samples).
Anyway, the idea is to create a link and set up a system.
In the meantime, I have registered for:
- EIN (needed to set up the Tax Setting in Seller Central);
- VAT (in case I want to sell in Amazon Europe in the future);
- Filled in the IRS tax form.
Amazon has banned ‘incentivised’ reviews over the lack of impartiality (read here).
Earlier on, I mentioned about the possible strategy of selling out my items at a heavily discounted price to reviewers so as to get their reviews in my Amazon listings.
Well, with this recent ban, this is no longer possible. New sellers may find it hard to gather lots of reviews organically and may find it difficult to compete against more established sellers who already have lots of reviews in their listings (some of which might be ‘incentivised’ reviews).
With the 1st news, I guess there won’t be many updates on my FBA attempt (until after 19 Dec 2016).
As much as I like to quickly set up the system – to see if it is a failure or success quickly…. I do understand that a lot of time is needed to ‘scale’.
For instance, you can spend a lot of money, getting a lot of inventory and just send to Amazon to sell… however, a more prudent way is to slowly send small amounts to test the market/system. An FBA seller mentioned (in a Youtube video) that he took 7 months to slowly build up his side business.
Given the hiccups, I encountered so far (misprinting of packaging / can’t send inventory from now till 19 Dec 2016) — I think I will probably need a much longer time :p.