Seller Candy refers to themselves as Your Amazon Seller Central Personal Assistant. In a nutshell, they take care of every sort of issue that may come up in your Amazon Seller Central account. Seller Candy’s team of experts has extensive knowledge of Seller Central issues and their solutions. One might consider them a tier above the usual Amazon VA.
Ben Smith – Seller Candy representative – is our guest in today’s Partner Spotlight video with Amy Wees. In this episode, Ben breaks down the typical Seller Central issues they encounter and how to resolve them. Watch below:
What Can Seller Candy Do For You?
Seller Candy offers a suite of services covered in Seller Central account management. To put it simply – they do the dirty work so you don’t have to – e.g. account auditing, troubleshooting, getting in touch with Seller Support, and more.
That got your attention, didn’t it? Here are a few other details about Seller Candy’s services:
- All their monthly plans offer unlimited use of their services – with a varying amount of issues that can be worked on simultaneously based on your subscription
- Plans start at $549 on a month-to-month basis – with the option to upgrade or downgrade anytime you want
- They cater to all Amazon sellers (private label, resellers, retailers, etc.) in all marketplaces worldwide – USA, Europe, Japan, Brazil, Mexico, Canada, etc
- A free account audit is done for those who want to take advantage of this service
- Seller Candy has 70+ agents and has worked on 200+ different Seller Central accounts to date –
7 Most Common Seller Central Problems and Their Solutions
We’ve all been there. Days of tinkering in your listings wondering why it was flagged all of a sudden. It doesn’t help that Seller Support communicates in sphinx-like riddles that will never just tell you what’s wrong in plain words. Seller Central issues are frustrating, tiring, and some of the most discouraging aspects of being an Amazon seller.
So let’s air out some of those issues and breathe. We’re here to decode Seller Central – breaking down Ben and Amy’s conversation in our featured video. Ben’s team at Seller Candy went through 8000 of their tickets and tallied the most common they’ve encountered. Let’s lay it all out here with the possibility of helping some sellers get out of the dark.
Ready? Let’s start:
1 – Listing and Store Updates (32%)
TOS, SOPs, and system updates are necessary. And on Amazon, updates are the most common reasons for issues in Seller Central accounts. A smooth-sailing listing may suddenly have problems when Amazon finds it in violation of updated policies.
One hack is to go through your flat files. Admittedly, this might be intimidating to some, especially those not keen on working with spreadsheets. At the same time, always be in the know about Amazon updates. Read emails, newsletters, and announcements. Educate yourself with tutorials on youtube or Google.
2 – Inactive Listing Issues (15%)
Inactive listings are a waste of money and resources. They could mean anything – a glitch in the backend, a stockout, a missing piece, or an outdated section in the listing.
Ben advises you to go to your seller account’s inventory screen regularly to check. Amazon also has a built-in wizard that could help you pinpoint the specific issue. Type in ‘my listing isn’t showing’ and wait for the wizard to get back to you with a reason.
3 – Account Health (13%)
Some accounts may have several underlying issues that the owner may not be aware of. Amazon does not bring all account health issues to the sellers’ attention – or at least not until they get worse. Some account health problems include compliance, trademark or intellectual property-related, and other issues that are not often talked about.
A good solution is to perform an account audit. Take advantage of Seller Candy’s free auditing service to get your listing to its optimum condition.
4 – Customer Service (10%)
Order issues, inquiries, and bad reviews are some of the major stressors in the life of an Amazon seller. They all come with the territory. Dealing with customer issues is unavoidable and must be managed promptly, and with grace.
Seller Candy can handle most basic and non-technical customer service inquiries. Be aware that some product listings naturally get a higher volume of inquiries. Always stay on top of inbound customer inquiries to ensure that everything is being handled properly.
5 – Reimbursement (10%)
Some Amazon FBA accounts have had to deal with losses due to mishandled inventory. In most cases, Amazon automatically reimburses you for lost and damaged goods. The rest must be filed manually by you.
Monitor your shipping queue, check the consistency in numbers, and create a case for any discrepancy. Amy once got $1700 in reimbursements back after she diligently went through the shipped orders and found losses in her account.
6 – Inventory Reports and Issues (7%)
One of the worst things that could happen to your account is a stockout. Not only do you miss income opportunities but Amazon also penalizes you with a delisting.
Seller Candy’s inventory management is an excellent preventive measure. Besides regular inventory monitoring, Seller Candy also provides restock recommendations – notifying you of which skus are recommended for restocking. These are based on seasonality, sales volumes, and other factors.
7 – Everything Else (13%)
There are some things that just can’t be put in a box – and this is where they belong. 13% of uncategorized issues include everything from brand registry-related to BSR or advertising.
Most of the time, a few updates on your flat file may fix the issues. But some of us may just not have the time to go through the spreadsheet or solve the Seller Central mysteries. In those cases, it’s time to reach out for some Seller Candy.
We’ve finally reached the end – and as a parting note, may we remind you that you are a business owner. You own your business – your business does not own you. Don’t be enslaved by your Seller Central account. Take control by delegating tasks that are out of your skillset. Organizations like Seller Candy are out there presenting solutions that help businesses scale. Give Selller Candy a chance – and enjoy the sweet reward.
Amy Wees: Oh my goodness, it’s Wednesday. And you guys know On Wednesdays we either do cool tool reviews or awesome partner spotlights. So today, I’m so excited to be hanging out with my friend Ben Smith from cellar candy. And let me just tell you guys, I have to brag on seller candy a little bit because I we all spend a lot of time in Seller Central. We spend a lot of we hate it. People ask me all the time. Amy, can you just do this for me? And I’m like, I outsource it to like, I don’t want to do it for you. You know, and I didn’t know that you could actually outsource all of the things that seller candy does for you. So I got on a call with you know, one of seller candies, folks, key folks there and we started talking through like, what is what is seller candy? What are they offered? I got done with my call with Richard I think it was and I was like, I need this like I’m signing up today I need this. So I ended up signing up for seller candy and we received and I’ve been members for about a month and seller Kenny does everything for us in Seller Central. They do our reimbursements, they do create new listings for us. They do like anything like shipments were all the things like anything that you deal with in Seller Central, they will just do it for you just instead of opening up a ticket with Seller Support, you open a ticket with them, and they work on you know all of your tickets, you know, at whatever, however, depending on what plan you’re on, and they take care of everything for you. So it’s just really, really great. And it’s freed up so much of our time. And they are experts because a lot of their employees used to work for Amazon so they know the system they know how to say those the words you know all the things. So anyway, I’ve really enjoyed working with seller candy, and today I’m going to talk with Ben about their most their most common tickets that they get from sellers to do things in Seller Central. So hopefully you guys learned some things about what you can do in Seller Central. And please say hi in the chat. Let us know your questions. We’re gonna pick Brent Ben’s brain today just like crazy and learn all the things. And please, Ben, welcome. And please tell everybody who you are and what you do.
Ben Smith: Oh, Amy, after that intro, you’re gonna make me blush. That was amazing. So thanks so much. And thanks again for having me on the show here. But yeah, so you did a great job, you could pretty much work for our sales team. But seller candy, yeah, we were started about two years ago. And we’re unique in the market in terms of kind of what we do. So we’re essentially we have a team now about 70 ish agents are growing fairly rapidly. So but I think it’s around 70, a lot of them used to be Seller Support staff members, very knowledgeable people in terms of all things Amazon, but we actually give sellers, brand owners resource doesn’t matter what type of seller even we support agencies and aggregators as well. But essentially, we give them access to leverage our team to accomplish really anything that they might face within their Amazon selling journey. So and we do this all totally outcome driven. So you know, unlike Seller Support, where you submit a ticket or something like that, and they give you a canned response, you submit a ticket to us, we’re going to tackle it and run with it, whatever that means we need to do to exhaust every possible option, we have to get you to the outcome that you’re looking for. So I mean, that’s kind of how we work. And then the kind of unique way that we operate is that you can submit unlimited tickets to our team. And as you mentioned, you know, it just depends on the subscription tier you’re at, but we’ll work on a set number simultaneously. Anytime we finished a ticket, we just moved down your cube submitted tickets, and just keep working through your list. And so the nice thing is that we essentially provide kind of bandwidth on demand with expert level, you know, agents that can really help with anything you’re gonna face inside of your Amazon account. So I hope that kind of did justice in terms of what we’re able to handle. We also do, as you mentioned, handle reimbursement related work. So for you know, any of that inventory that might get lost in the shuffle at Amazon. And more recently, we actually launched a customer service option as well. So now we’re actually able to handle any tier one customer support or customer inquiries that come into your Amazon account. So that
Amy: you guys have no idea how much I love it. Like it’s so great that I don’t have to now I used to open up all these cases with Seller Support, and then wait and you deal with it. Now I just get emails of cases that you guys have opened and I know that you’re going to deal with it from the start all the way through to the end. So it’s awesome. I love it. I’m so I’m so excited to just like dig in today. So yeah, so did we want to talk about you said you said out of like almost 8000 tickets that sellers have submitted to you. You said 32% of them are listing and store updates. So let’s talk about that. Like what are the struggles when it comes to listing in store Are updates.
Ben: Yeah, so, you know, getting ready for this, this show I just I took a look at kind of our 8000 or so tickets that, you know, our clients have submitted to us. And by far the most common issues related to listing and store updates. Now out of that, the majority of those are probably going to be for just trying to and we’ve all seen this, if you’re a brand owner or private label seller, we’ve seen a ton that it’s become increasingly hard for you to even push updates that you would think would be simple or used to be in the past live onto your listing. So really, what this is going to encompasses anything related to updating your listings, fixing problems related to the listings, variations, variations, I’ve gotten a few recently that are just trying to update the brand name, which is just a nightmare. So you know, these, these are very, they can, in some cases, the result quite quickly. But it’s not like you know, it used to be three or four years ago, where you could just go in, click Edit on your listing, and just manually update it now you really, in most circumstances end up having to deal with flat files or opening cases back and forth with Seller Support. And that’s really where the time suck, can can occur, right? Because as we know, Seller Support is not always the most useful in terms of actually getting you what you want. The analogy that I often give is, you know, you open a seller support ticket and ask for an apple, they say, Hey, I understand you’re asking for an orange, here’s a banana, right. So it’s this weird run around that you get. But that’s where you know, we see a huge time suck. And that’s one of the things that I think sour candies able to really assist our clients with is just helping resolve those issues.
Amy: Yeah, so I have noticed that too, with listing updates, you know, you pretty much have to use a flat file nowadays. So between, you know, we want to give sellers tips just in case they’re not going to use seller candy, and they want to do it on their own. What do you recommend for sellers in terms of learning flat files? Like? Do you feel like Amazon has a pretty good tutorial on it that they can check out? Or what do you recommend in that case?
Ben: Well, I mean, trial by error, of course. But that’s a little tricky. When you’re trial by air could mess up a listing. I, I constantly am talking to sellers who get to the point where they maybe need to do a full delete relist in before they do it, they are terrified. I was terrified the first time that I did it. And so I understand the trepidation there. And yeah, I guess to answer your question, though, you know, I’m, of course, the tutorial that Amazon has is definitely going to be helpful. I’m a big fan of just the power of Google, right? And especially YouTube, like there’s so many options. And nowadays, there’s so much content on there, I would obviously try to find, you know, more recent videos, the one other might one of my gripes with flat files is that, first of all, they’re normally different across marketplaces. So you can’t necessarily use a US flat file always in another marketplace, which means you just have to rebuild it from scratch, but also they change all the time. So they might add in new variables, or this or that. So you know, in the past, I used to download a flat file, the template created, fill in all my details, and then save that, so I could use it later. Now, it seems like I can’t really do that nearly as much.
Amy: Okay, that’s a good warning for people that they should be downloading new templates. And I know another great hack. So for those people looking for recent YouTube stuff on the amazing at home YouTube channel, I’ll put the link down in the ticker, we have a video about flat files with Vanessa hyung. She’s like the queen of flat files. And it’s a great tutorial. And one of the best Hacks is to actually download your category listings report where it shows all of your listings, and then you can just update it from there. But definitely trial and error as Ben says, and realize also great tip and that things are changing a lot lately, I was helping a client on the on a coaching call the other day, and we had Seller Central up. And even the category pickers when you went to add a product, they’re all They’re all messed up. Like they’re, it’s like Amazon continuously making changes. And I’m like, I’ve never seen this before. But if I was a new seller, or this is my first time listing something I’d be like, What do I like, I don’t even know what to do here. And then because of Amazon, the departments aren’t connected. If you were to open a case about that. They’d be like, I don’t know what you’re talking about, like, you know, they wouldn’t necessarily send it to the web development team. Right? It’s too big. So yeah, I was able to kind of work around it because I had familiarity with the way listings are created. But yeah, top so I love that you guys offer that. So let’s talk about the next thing, which is 15% of your tickets are inactive listing issues. What is that about?
Ben: Well, so we just see, it can be you know, all sorts of different issues that cause an inactive listing. Whether it’s just a glitch in Amazon’s back end or something else, maybe there’s a something missing on the actual back end that needs to be updated. There’s all sorts of different reasons that these pop up. But obviously these are ones to look out for and normally you know do lead to a lot of headaches just because they normally are directly tied to what you’re selling, right. So if you’re not being active listings, you’re not going to be selling or displaying live on on amazon.com. So that’s obviously going to pose a lot of issues. You know, again, in these instances, it’s certainly case by case, sometimes again, you can just go in and make a manual update. You know, if you’ve done, if there’s some other kind of like, compliance error or something else, or compliance issue or something like that, that’s kind of a separate process, right. However, a lot of them can still be resolved by just again, going the route of flat files. But that is certainly I’d say, you know, it’s it makes up obviously, a significant amount more ticket submissions, but it’s also one of the ones that I get, I get on a lot of calls with sellers that are just extremely frustrated. And so that’s where you really have to kind of dig in try to do and I’ll get to this a little bit later. But what we kind of call a root cause analysis to understand, hey, what is the thing that’s actually triggering this listing to go inactive, you might not always be able to find that out. But generally speaking, we’re first going to kind of take, at least in our process, going to take a deep dive to try to understand the context and what causes and then based on what we determine the causes, we’re at least gonna start from there in terms of troubleshooting and trying to resolve it. But you know, again, a lot of these will result in, you know, either flat files to fix listings, or, you know, worst case scenario, but going to Seller Support after you’ve done some of the preliminary troubleshooting steps.
Amy: Yeah, that makes sense. And I think the biggest thing, I always tell people, if you’re, if you have a problem with your listing, and you’re not sure, the best place to check it is go to the inventory screen. So go into Seller Central, go to inventory, manage inventory, and look and see if a listing is inactive, or it’s been suppressed. Sometimes you can’t tell until you click into the listing until you click Edit in the listing, and then you’ll get a pop up error. And then the other my favorite tool for this is Amazon has a built in wizard, you can just type in my listing isn’t showing or my listing is an indexing and into the help bar in Seller Central, and you’ll find a wizard there, and it will give you the reason. And that’s what you can use as your reason code when you open a case with Seller Support about that, but like you were saying, then, like the big thing is, what happened, how did this happen, is a lot of times like people’s products are flagged as adult products and, or other, you know, issues, pesticides, because of a word that they used in the listing, you know, or Amazon will update their algorithm or their bots, you know, crawling the listings, and all of a sudden all these listings are flagged that weren’t flagged before. And so you’re like, well, that words have been in my listing this whole time, like I don’t do anything different. But it’s now flagged because they don’t just look at I remember we wrote a listing for somebody and we use the word mildew, Mildew resistant, because the only thing in the listing policies said that the word mold, you couldn’t use the word mold. Well, because mildew was updated in the algorithm as a related keyword to mold. The listing was still flagged, and we had to like basically, unfortunately, the seller had made the critical mistake of reaching out to Amazon because it was flagged for pesticide, the the seller made the critical mistake of reaching out to Amazon and saying like this listing was flagged for pesticide, it’s not pesticide, blah, blah, blah. Well, what sellers don’t realize is when they do that they’re admitting fault. They’re saying that their listing is a pesticide whether or not they’re saying it isn’t, it’s, it’s now double flat. And so the easy fix if your listing gets flagged as pesticide is just to remove the words like use a flat, halt, delete, and then and then go back and remove the words that are suspect and re uploaded again, and you’ll be live and everything will be fine. But I’ve seen people be suspended for six months or longer going back and forth with Seller Support when they didn’t when the fix was literally two minutes. And that’s what the beautiful thing is about working with somebody like seller candy, because you guys already know you see it every day we deal with it every day. So instead of them going back and forth for six months, you can have a backup for them, usually very quickly.
Ben: Yeah, and that’s one of the most frustrating things by the way that I’ve seen is a listing with one word causing an issue that you couldn’t identify. Now I’ve personally dealt with this a ton but like opening tons of cases months go by and then you finally just say I’m gonna try to clean up the listing and just see what happens and all of a sudden, like magic who just reactivates the listing those are just so infuriating after you’ve you know sat and wasted all this time worrying about it. So yeah, that’s another good thing is just you know, stay on top of if you can like what the the list all the all the stuff that Amazon puts out in terms of like what the guidelines are. Sometimes you can find your answers just by actually going and reviewing hey, what can I put in a listing and what can And so I put and then checking that against yours. But like you said, that one is tricky, right with mildew mold, you’re not going to directly know that even if you go look at the actual guidelines for your listing. So yeah, it’s a little give and take there.
Amy: Yeah, for sure. And as Steve says, sometimes even though flat file updates are not reflected on the front end, we can often see in the catalog gets updated. That’s for sure. And as he says, one more question regarding the changing of the variation theme for the variation family is a very frustrating thing. Yes, I would agree. It’s a very, it’s very frustrating, because there’s variation rules and guidelines are different for every category. And so sometimes you have to get creative with variations. So definitely understand that. So the next one is account health. Now, this is something that was really surprising to me that you guys do it cellar candy, which I didn’t even realize, you guys have kind of an account audit process where when you first onboard with seller candy, they do an account audit, so that you can they identify all the places where your account can be improved, whether that’s like the account health or you know, reimbursements, or whatever, and then they start working on those things. And I was just like, wow, like, I just want to know what you guys do for account audits, because I’m sure that I could be doing this right. So let’s talk about accounts. And and how you guys help? What do you do for account health things?
Ben: Yeah, so Account Health obviously, can there’s a multitude of different types of issues that you can face there, you know, seller candy, we do assist our clients with everything from compliance related issues, you know, trademark or IP related stuff, we see a lot of that terms of IP violations on you know, with resellers less so with private label and brand owners. And then we do see the more severe instances where maybe something’s happened, that’s going to require some sort of appeal or plan of action. The nice thing working with our team and really, you know, what anyone could do is go through address it normally, I tell people, you know, I’m I’m in account health on, on an individual account, I’d be checking that every single day. Now, hopefully, you’ll get notices or emails, but sometimes there’s a delay with those, you don’t always get them right away. But normally, I’m going in there and monitoring that every single day. And then if I notice anything that comes up, that’s where we’re going to go in and start again, doing kind of a root cause analysis to investigate, in the event that a plan of action is required or some kind of appeal, you definitely want to take the time to really understand what needs to be done there. Generally, Amazon wants you to address, you know, what you’ve done in terms of investigating to identify the root cause. And this really applies, you know, regardless of the type of issue, but is identifying the root cause that caused this issue. Then talking about what you’ve specifically done to address it, let’s say if it’s, you know, I’ll just use an A to Z claim, which obviously is a little bit different, but native Z claim, you would maybe need to go in and say, Hey, I’ve addressed this by reaching out to the customer, trying to offer them a refund, blah, blah, blah, here’s proof of that. So essentially addressing what you’ve done to try to rectify the issue, if it’s something else, maybe I’ve expired inventory or something, Hey, I’ve gone in, and we’ve already removed all of our inventory, or you know, whatever it may be. And then from there, you’re going to go through and talk about what you’re going to do to prevent this from happening again, and then provide the necessary supporting documents with Amazon. One thing I would caution, though, is definitely with appeals and Amy, I’m sure you’ve seen this too. But with appeals, any of that kind of stuff, you do want to really spend your time this isn’t something where you just want to go in there and throw you know, a willy nilly throw an appeal together and submit it because there does we you know, there is this kind of a death notice, so to speak from Amazon, where you don’t want to get to the point where they reply and say, Hey, we may not respond to further appeals or correspondence related to this issue. And I’ve seen that normally with more severe issues. But if you’ve already gone through and tried to submit two or three appeals that maybe you didn’t spend a lot of time on, or put the effort into, you could end up there. And then that’s not the place that you want to be to try to you know, it’s already a tough
Amy: don’t usually need like a lawyer or something to even get back in, you know, to be able to even talk to Amazon at that point. And I’ve seen that as well, time and time again, then with sellers, they’ll just be immediately respond. I didn’t do anything wrong, or you know, like without even thinking it through and like actually, Amazon provides you like a little template of what they expect you to do. Right? They tell you the emails, kind of a blurb, and it’s kind of cryptic, and you got to take your time and read each sentence and see exactly what they want. I see this with new brands submitting their packaging for approval. They don’t read every little thing that’s required on the packaging. So then they keep getting declined and you know, it’s just it’s a mess. So like I always tell people the secret to responding to Amazon is give them exactly what they’re asking for not anything less than anything more is exactly what they’re asking for. I mean, even highlight what they sent you. And then here’s my response to that, here’s this, here’s my response to that. Because that way, even when we would try to get invoices approved as wholesalers, we would highlight the product, the receipt on the invoice, this is this product that we ordered, it’s related to this ace and and we would write the asin on there. And those are the invoices that got approved every time we would submit something that was blank. Amazon was like, Nope, it’s not accepted. Sorry,
Ben: I was just gonna say that. I mean, like with invoices it you really have to sometimes they’ll accept it when you when you don’t even highlight stuff. But more more often than not I, you know, I will spend the time to, you know, really go in and maybe even add a little thing, arrows on my invoices or whatnot to literally call out because you have to remember who’s on the other side that’s reviewing this, it’s someone who’s reviewing hundreds of these per day, they need to try to identify the things that caused this and how you’re addressing it as quickly as possible. So just keep that in mind when you’re going through this is make it easy for them so that they can go through and do a quick analysis. Obviously, that doesn’t guarantee anything, but at least it’s going to help your case in terms of getting these issues resolved.
Amy: Got it. All right. And let’s go to the next one, which is customer service. So I know for us customer service stuff is like you can’t respond to reviews anymore, that that’s not fun. But you can respond to emails, if a customer asked you. So what kind of customer service things do you guys do
Ben: for people? Yeah, so I mean, in terms of our customer service, offering, we do any tier one non technical customer inquiries that may come in. So this is for people that are maybe asking, you know about their order or some issue related to it. Now, Amazon has done things over the past few years, so that most sellers have seen that volume of inbound has dropped. But it really depends on the seller, some people especially with maybe like health supplement or something like that, something big and bulky. Or if you’re doing FBM, they might be getting higher volume. In terms of customer inquiries, the biggest thing there is obviously to address and make sure that you’re responding in there 24 hour SLA timeline. And that’s one because Amazon says that, that’s the guideline you need to follow. Number two is obviously you want to have your customers to have a good experience. And specifically, they’re going to normally reach out when they’ve already placed some sort of order. And so we know that that’s going to directly if you’re not getting back to them quickly, or addressing whatever issue it is, that’s obviously open you opening you up for more of a chance that you’re gonna get some sort of negative feedback. So the most important thing to just stress there is just staying on top of any inbound customer service inquiries, and just handling them appropriately. And another thing that does kind of fall in line with this, but for FBM returns another one that I see, and this does cause a lot of grief if you’re not staying on top of it. But if you don’t have the auto refund setting enabled, and you go in and manually process those, make sure you’re really on top of those, I’ve seen a lot of issues where customer will return an item and the second it gets delivered, they’re gonna they if they haven’t got their refund processed or you know, very quickly, they go and open an A to Z claim. And now that’s means more work for you in the background. So just make sure again, that’s something that should be on your daily checklist, if you are doing FBM just to help prevent, you know, any of those issues from cropping up. The one other thing I was gonna say too is an AMI, I’m sure you probably have seen this but for private label and brand owners who do a brand registry on the brand dashboard. Now, I think I can’t remember when this was actually rolled out. But now you for those people that leave a I believe it’s a one or two star review on your product, you can actually reach out to them directly through the new tool that they have in there. And that’s could be a very powerful resource for you, if you do see that you’re getting negative feedback is to reach out and just address it see if you can offer them you know, something or refund or you know, another product shipped for free or something like that. So that is one thing that I see is kind of at least Amazon’s doing something to try to help us and addressing those since you know, it’s not really easy otherwise to reach out to
Amy: Yeah. And I think that that needs to be part of people’s daily process to when they’re checking in Seller Central. I mean, I luckily have you guys doing that for me. But if you’re doing it yourself, like you should be going into your brand dashboard and looking at the the customer reviews section and anything that’s lower level review, you can contact that customer and make it right. So yeah, I agree it needs to be part of your daily process. Because we don’t stay ahead of that that can it can really help ward off those bad reviews. So speaking of bad things, and that is the money that Amazon owes us. So can we talk about reimbursement, so 10% of your tickets are reimbursements. What is that all about? And what kind of things can Amazon sellers get money back for from Amazon?
Ben: Yep. So if you’re doing FBA, this is primarily gonna relate to those sellers doing FBA. But when you send inventory into Amazon’s warehouses, obviously, there’s a ton of different ways that the inventory can get lost, whether that’s from the inbound shipping itself, which is probably one of the most common areas that Amazon loses inventory. That could be just, you know, I admit that’s in their warehouse that got damaged, lost whatever it may be, or that could be mishandled customer returns, I believe there’s maybe 12 or 13 Different areas where there we have identified reimbursement related opportunities. Now, there’s some great software’s out there that kind of do the very high level stuff, and will help you with, you know, essentially opening cases or fighting for reimbursement really your work, we do take it a step further in terms of what our team does is for those clients, we support we go through and actually download on a weekly basis, a bunch of different reports from Amazon, and then look for those discrepancies. One of the cool things there will not cool but if you have not been doing reimbursement work to protect your bottom line with Amazon, you can also go back retroactively, depending on the category, but between six and 18 months. So if you have you know, all of a sudden scaled up and you haven’t thought about doing this before, and now it’s kind of come across your plate, that is something to be on the lookout for is that you can go back retroactively.
Amy: And it’s it’s 1000s of dollars that you can get back when we were only selling a few products. Like I think we had like two or three skews. When we first started. And we did our first bout of reimbursements. We did them ourselves. But through you know, opening cases with Seller Central and following a process. But we got back like in the first week. It was 1100 or $1,700, I think and then the second week, it was like another $800. And we were like, wow, you know, this was money we could have used. So I love that you guys do that as part of my account management, because then it’s one less thing I have to worry about. And it kind of pays for some of the services too.
Ben: Oh, absolutely. I mean, that’s the thing. At the end of the day, this is already money that you’ve invested or spent in Amazon. And a lot of I would say for newer sellers, they they don’t really, they aren’t aware that this is even something that can be done within their account, right, because they might see that Amazon is issuing reimbursements because Amazon will automatically disperse or go through and investigate and reimburse you for lost or damaged goods. But there are a surprising number amount that is normally going to be showing up only when you actually go in and dig in for a true analysis of the account. And so it can stack up pretty quickly. So that’s definitely something that I would highlight to you know, anyone who’s watching this, but is you know, depending where you’re at in your business, it never hurts to at least spend some time going through that. And an easy place to check is, again mentioning those FBA inbound shipments is you can go through just your FBA shipments and look for any that are closed out and just see, okay, I sent 100 units and showing that they only received 90, it’s pretty easy to go into that shipment and then provide normally, they’re going to ask for a proof of ownership document like an invoice or something from your supplier or manufacturer. And in some cases, a bol. Depending on whether or not you’ve used Amazon’s partner carriers, and then you can literally create a case right there in the widget. So that’s something that I would just highlight to anyone who’s kind of at that place where maybe they’re scaling up and you know, haven’t thought about this before.
Amy: I love it. That’s an easy way without having to learn any reimbursements process to just go in, go into your shipping queue and look at the ones that are close their merch closed, and then just look at how many were received and how many you sent and then provide that and you’ll get that that money back. So that’s awesome. Inventory the next one, and we’re almost to the end of the list. This is the last one before everything else. So inventory reports and issues. What is this about?
Ben: Yep, so one of the value ads that we do is we do you know, staying on top of your inventory is obviously very important for FBA, specifically, but you know, the worst thing that you can have happen is going out of stock. So you definitely want to monitor your inventory, which can get more complex if you know, it’s fairly easy. If you maybe only have one SKU no seasonality, maybe it’s not very high volume. But as you add more skews, or you have seasonality to factor in, or other types of things, staying on top of your inventory is very important. So one of the value ads that we do offer is to help with inventory management in terms of generating reports that highlight both restock recommendations based on you know, your recent sales, volume, seasonality, all that kind of stuff. But even beyond that, another kind of core areas. You know, if again, it might be easy to miss this. But if you do have a SKU or a couple of skews that are slow moving, and you have FBA inventory, you know there are fees associated with long term storage there, right. And those again, can also stack up very quickly. We see you know, every couple months, Amazon says hey, our storage fees are going up or you know, during q4, we know that the storage fees are going to be higher. So that’s another thing that you should definitely stay on top of. But more importantly I think in it here is that there are a lot of issues related to inventory that we also see and I’d say the most common ones are going to be stranded inventory related issues. And Amy, I know you mentioned earlier on using the widgets to actually get the exact reason for why, you know, let’s say a listing was inactive, there is also on the stranded Inventory tab, the ability normally to see a reasoning for why inventory might be stranded. One thing I do want to call out there as I’ve definitely seen quite a few issues where it shows either no issue reasoning, or it shows reasoning that turns out not to be related to the issue. So don’t always take that when it’s shows there as kind of the final word, but at least again, to your point earlier, that gives you a starting point to further investigate what’s going on and try to get a result. So yeah, I’d say those are kind of the most common things we get tickets for around inventory is you know, help with the reporting, you know, monitoring overstocked inventory related issues from that could be removal orders, or help processing removal orders building of shipments, you know, there’s some Amazon’s constantly updating the shipping inbound shipping workflow. So all that kind of stuff.
Amy: Yeah, I know that Rasheed loves that he doesn’t have to create shipments anymore, you guys can just do it for him. It’s like, it’s very nice that you know that you don’t have to worry, he doesn’t have to worry about that anymore. So just to recap, just the common things that we went over in case we have people that are just tuning in now, these are the things that Ben has provided us with tips to check in your Seller Central account. And the percentages next to them are related to what percentage of the 1000s of tickets that seller candy gets from sellers to fix in their Seller Central, that’s the percentage that have to deal with this. So we’ve got listing and store updates at 32%. So check your listings, make sure you’re making your updates. And then the next thing is inactive listing issues. So like if you have a suppressed listings, something like that, then we’ve got 13% is account health issues. We’ve got 10% customer service, reimbursements, 10%, get that money back and give you tips for that. inventory reports and issues. So understanding how to manage your inventory within Seller Central running reports for that making sure you’re staying stocked or if you’re overstocked taking care of that. And now that brings us to the last point. And that is everything else is 13%. What is everything else? Like? What are all the other things that you guys handle?
Ben: I mean, there’s all kinds of so I will say the caveat of sometimes we do have our clients that they don’t know how to categorize or where to put something else. Or maybe it’s between two categories. So they’ll drop it into everything else. But yeah, I mean, there’s, you know, we’re dealing with Amazon, there’s so many different little issues that crop up. And, you know, this is one thing that I talked about pretty often but you know, when you’re maybe a solopreneur, and you’re running your own business, and you know there is a lot of value, and you spending time learning how to deal with all these little things and nuances that come up. But certainly as you scale up, that’s where it is either easier, or there’s just a better use of your time to go ahead and outsource some of these these items. That being said that a lot of these are going to be very, you know, even though I’ve been in kind of the Amazon world for five, almost six years now, I feel like I’ve seen a lot, but I’m still surprised with the number of things that still crop up. Like, I’ll just throw one out there. But you know, I talked to us, I wouldn’t say a decent amount. But some some brands that are maybe used to be selling through vendor Central. And now they’re migrating to Seller Central. And in this kind of goes back into the listing area, but they have issues a lot of times where they don’t own the contribution rights on the listing, because Amazon owns them because they were on vendor Central. And so dealing with issues related to that. This could be like brand registry related issues. You know, another one, I guess kind of goes back into listing and store updates. But we have seen a number of sellers that have listings with no BSR showing, which obviously is really crucial. If you’re, you know, running advertising to your listings to drive traffic and sales. If you can’t see what the BSR is, then you don’t really have a good way of validating how well your advertising efforts are doing.
Amy: And that could indicate that there’s a category
Ben: problem. Yep, a lot of times
Amy categorized or
Ben: something. Yeah, there’s a lot of times it’s Amazon could be deprecating categories. There could be just some issue with a category. I see it a lot with sellers or brands that try to update a listing and maybe move it to a different category. It could just be a back end glitch Browse Notes. So there’s all kinds of little nuances in terms of what’s causing that. Again, that goes back to a lot of times it’s going to be a flat file that can help resolve that or resulting ultimately in casework. But that is another one I do see and that’s definitely something to look out for. Which to be honest, I didn’t know about until you know, working with seller counties. I didn’t even know that was an issue until recently as I’ve started to see it more and more on certain accounts that we actually work with.
Amy: Got it? Yes. Wow. I think it’s really great. Um, I think it’s awesome that you guys have a breadth of knowledge and how to deal with these things. sellers need to know that they have an option to actually have somebody else take care of their seller, central foes, and faux pas, right. So I have a special offer for everybody. Seller candy, there’s their plans, our monthly plans. And so we kind of want to talk a little bit about how it works. For those of you who are interested in using seller candy, they have monthly plans. And I’ll just show down here in the ticker, you can save $100 off your first month with code amazing at home at checkout at cellar candy.com. So how it works is when you go to sign up with them, it’s a monthly rate. And you can pick your package, depending on you know, how many tickets you want them to work on at a time. So I actually use I mean, I have a small private label brand and and I only have 13 skews. So for me it made sense to use your lowest tier, which I believe is around $500 a month. And one more, please explain how it works. So I’m on the two tickets at a time plan, which is their their beginner plan, like their their lowest tier plan? And so can you talk a little bit about your various tiers and how that works?
Ben: Yep, so our core services, what we call a seller candy unlimited. And essentially, it allows you to submit unlimited tickets to your team. And then depending on the tier that you’re on, either the professional the expansion or the takeover determines how much bandwidth you get allocated to your support requests. So our professional allows us to support you on two simultaneous tasks at any given time, then it goes up to three on the expansion and five on the takeover. And essentially how that works is you can go into a portal that we have you submit your tickets and tell us hey, this is what I want done. Do and ask? me Are you back? Yeah, I don’t know why dropped out or a few days. No worries. But yeah, I was just going over. So the packages, you know, essentially, you can submit unlimited tickets to us and then determine it or depending on the package determines the bandwidth element. So the professional gives you the ability to have a support on two tickets at any time than the expansions three and the takeover is five. So essentially, as you move up, you just get more bandwidth. But you can submit unlimited tickets. And then how it works is we have a portal, you submit them, tell us what you want done. We’re totally outcome driven. So we’re not going to come back to you and ask for Hey, how do we do this, the only time we’re going to come back to you is either with updates on what’s going on, or if there’s a missing piece of context, we need to get that issue resolved. But the nice thing about you know, working with us is I think we support now roughly, it’s over 200 Different Seller Central accounts and a couple of vendor central in there as well. And so you know, we have a lot of internal contextual knowledge of exactly what is going on within Amazon and what kind of the different changes and things that are happening. And so we’re able to use that and then kind of take whatever requests you’re submitting, make sure it gets routed the right way, make sure we do the proper troubleshooting steps. And then we’re just going to give you updates as we go. But yeah, to your point, they started $549 on our professional, it’s all month to month. So we’re very much so a subscription service, you can easily you know, upgrade, downgrade, all that jazz. So we try to make it as friendly for all different levels of sellers, just so that they can get the support that they need.
Amy: Yeah, Rebecca wants to know if you guys work in others Seller Central marketplaces. like.ca.mx
Ben: Yeah, sure. So we support and we support in any market that you’re selling and worldwide. So you know, we have sellers i I’d wager probably in every active Amazon market. I’m not 100% sure on that. But I know like off the top of my head all the European markets, North America, Brazil, what Japan, Australia. So yeah, we definitely can support you pretty much wherever you’re selling.
Amy: Got it. Very cool. That’s, that’s awesome. So I think we pretty much have everything covered. The last thing is, you know, is there for people that want to follow seller candy or learn from them or join your mailing list or whatever, what’s the best way for them to do that?
Ben: You can just head over to our site, check us out seller candy.com And then you know, if you want to subscribe to our email list, go for that. And otherwise, if you’re ready to, you know, sign up for any of our services, you can literally just check out on our site directly or you can book in for a call. Most of the consultation calls these days are with myself and I’ve been joking that we need to have an amaz Some therapist on staff because I get on so many of these calls with just sellers that are so frustrated with their problems related to Amazon. But I love talking to sellers. It’s always fun to learn about, you know what people are doing. But go ahead and you know, if you want book a call with with our team, and that way we can chat about any specific issues you’re facing or go over kind of how sour candy works and can help you out as well. So Gotcha. Sour candy. Delco.
Amy: Amazing. Yes. And you guys were so good at just getting on a call with me and explaining because, you know, and check out the menu, I tried to share my screen earlier. And it was like, I don’t know what’s going on today. But, you know, check out their menu of services, because it’ll give you ideas of what can be done for me with the reimbursements and everything seller Candy’s already paid for themselves. So it’s like, it’s almost like having a free three people to take care of my seller central, it seems like you guys are, I don’t know. It’s like a trick or something. But I like it. I like it. Well, amazing. Thank you, Ben, so much for taking the time today to teach us all about these things. We did have one other question from one other question from a seIf wants to know, if you could please share some hacks for changing the variation theme, I think you have to delete the parent listing and and then that will scatter the children off to the four winds. And then you just create a new parent listing. And then in the variation tab, you add in the the skews from the children and then you can choose a different variation theme. But if you go in and try to create another variation listing, your those children are already assigned to another parent. So you’re gonna get errors, and it’s not gonna let you just change the category. It’s another situation if you need to change a browse node or a category and it’s a variation listing, you have to remember that those are each listings on their own, and the parent is only a placeholder that holds the children in place. So in order to affect those children and change that parent, you have to delete the parent released the children and then go back in but and create a new variation listing, I think that’s my best hack for that. Definitely check out my flat file. thing with Vanessa hyung that I did that will help you but any any other advice on that, then
Ben: I think you nailed it, I would say that that’s that, that’s probably going to help out a lot. The only other thing I always recommend is with anything dealing with a flat file, right? Just get good at downloading the processing feed or whatever it’s called afterwards a summary. And I that’s that’s one of the best ways that I learned how to do flat files is just looking at what errors Amazon’s spitting out, and then just fixing those, and then you might get new error, but at least now you’re iterating and learning Hey, this is what’s causing it. But I think you nailed
Amy: Awesome. Yeah, that’s a great yeah, I’ve had to work through those processing feeds. That’s how I learn with flat files because like, upload it again and see what the processing feed says, oh, okay, try to decrypt it and then go into the tab and you’re like, Okay, I think I got it this time. So you know, until finally you upload it and you don’t get any errors, and everything’s just fixed. And you’re like, This is beautiful. Yeah, great.
Ben: There’s a lot of satisfaction when the feed actually goes through. And it successfully resolves whatever issue you’re facing. I still love that feeling every time.
Amy: And then you’re like, how do I preserve this? Like, how do I write down everything that I learned? And then of course, they changed it for next time in your life.
meant to drive us mad as the we’re sorry, but it’s meant to drive us mad. So thank you for all the questions, everyone, thank you for checking in. And you guys definitely check out seller candy. I mean, try him for at least a month because they will have you sold like I’m telling you, I didn’t even realize that such magic could take place. And now I’m a believer.
Ben: And one last thing, Amy too, is with all of our new clients, we also do a free account audit. So a lot of the stuff we’re talking about and in terms of just preventing future issues. After you do sign up, you can book in for an audit call. And we’ll go through your account and help you and get on a call with you and just talk about any issues. We’ve seen any opportunities for growth. And so I think that’s another really valuable thing, especially for sellers who maybe want to kind of prevent some of these issues for coming up or identify any of those opportunities maybe that they’re missing out on so just
Amy: know what else you guys do that surprised me that you did that we didn’t include in customer service was you’re able to sometimes get reviews removed.
Ben: Hmm, yeah. So seller feedback. So well to two elements. I’ll go fairly quickly there. But yeah, we do proactively go through accounts and look for negative seller feedback. And a lot of times just from the drop down there you can normally request to have those removed. Sometimes same as you know, Emma’s It’s pretty liberally found with removing your seller feedback if it’s negative, however, there are some that are maybe a little trickier. And we’ve still seen some success with then converting that to an actual case with Seller Support. And then the other thing that I would just throw out there in terms of the customer service element, I guess, but in terms of requesting feedback, I have been loving the on the orders, the individual orders, Amazon implemented that request feedback button. And there are some services out there, we do it with our customer service subscriptions, but where you can, in bulk, essentially request feedback on all of your recent orders. And it’s coming from Amazon directly. So we’ve definitely seen that that’s a nice bump in terms of getting more feedback on your product listings or your seller account.
Amy: Yeah, I mean, when I look at your menu of services, there is so many things that that you guys offer that I just had no idea it just so many things. So I would just encourage you guys to go to cellar candy.com and check that out. Because it’s there’s so many things that you probably aren’t doing with your account and there’s like, you know, little things hiding in different places that can really help you out. So again, thank you so much, Ben for coming on the show today. Thank you everybody for watching, feel free to reach out and you know, ask your question seller Kane is really good at at providing great customer service. They also have a really great Facebook group after you become a member, you know, all that kind of stuff. So, you know, I just, I’m a big fan. So I’m great that I just felt feel great that you guys came on the show today just to talk about these issues. And hopefully, this show even if you guys aren’t using seller candy. Hopefully this show has helped you guys kind of audit your own account and go through and see like what you can do and what kind of processes you should be running on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. To make sure that your account stays clean. You’re managing your inventory, you’re taking care of customer service, and listing and store and account health issues.
Ben: Yep. Awesome. Thanks so much, Amy for having me. And thanks, everyone for watching as well.
Amy: Yes, for sure. All right. Bye everybody. Have a great day
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