Responding To The Latest Changes In Amazon Selling

changes-ahead-road-signThe past few weeks have been difficult for many Amazon sellers as multiple aspects of selling on Amazon have changed. On May 13th, Amazon closed the categories for Grocery, Beauty, and Health & Personal Care. Anyone who was already selling these items was “grandfathered” in to being able to sell in the above categories, but if a new Amazon seller (or one who has yet to sell in the above categories) wants to sell these items, they will have to go through an application process to be approved. You can read a little more about getting approved to sell groceries in our blog post, Adding Grocery to Your Amazon Sourcing Strategy.

On May 22nd, Amazon began to freeze almost all FBA inventory related to the Disney movie Frozen. This was in reaction to possibly thousands of counterfeit Frozen related items being sold on their platform. In fairness, Amazon also restricted merchant fulfilled sellers from selling those items as well. Amazon is now currently conducting an investigation of almost all of the Frozen movie related items to see if they are counterfeit are not. Sellers have inventory (capital) that they cannot move until this investigation is complete. You can read more of my thoughts on this topic in my blog post, Freaking Out About Frozen Items Being “Frozen.”

icon_256It seems that all hardships come in threes, and this time is no exception. On May 28th Profit Bandit, the Amazon sourcing app, announced that it was moving from a one time purchase fee of $14.99 to a monthly usage fee of $9.99. This change, as you might expect, was not welcomed with open arms by the reselling community.

Any one of these announcements on its own would be a minor setback, but all three of these together in such quick succession have the potential to be discouraging to us as Amazon sellers. But we have a choice whether or not we’re going to let these changes get us down.

So what are your options in the face of these announcements? You could see all these frustrations as a sign of things to come and you could quit selling on Amazon altogether… You could go to Facebook and complain about these changes (and miss out on time sourcing, packing, shipping, or even miss out on valuable family time)… OR, you could adapt to the changes and make the most of your mental, emotional, and physical energy to push your business to the next level.

change-quoteChange happens. It’s inevitable. Most of the time, we have absolutely no say or influence in the changes that occur. The only thing we have control of is our response to change. Those who are going to succeed in this reselling line of work are those who will adapt to the changes and make the most of every situation.

Not approved to sell grocery? Apply. Get rejected? Apply again. Have your Frozen movie related items held up in an Amazon warehouse? Stop over-worrying about it and focus on finding other profitable items to send in to Amazon. Profit Bandit now requires a fee? Decide for yourself if $9.99 per month is worth it to you for all of the data that Profit Bandit provides you when you are out sourcing. Don’t want to pay the $9.99 fee? Learn how to use the Amazon Seller app.

Learn. Adjust. Grow. Learn more. Adapt.

These three changes will not be the last ones. More changes will come, but the important thing for you to do is to focus on how you will respond to these changes. Those who will win are the ones who will respond with wisdom, patience, and a renewed desire to accomplish their overall goals, no matter what happens.

So what about you? How do you respond to changes in your business? I’d love to hear how you make the most of these changes. (Comment below the video)

23 Responses to Responding To The Latest Changes In Amazon Selling

  1. Great post! My plan is to focus on what I control and let the other things fall as they may. I am going to stop buying frozen items until amazon releases the items that are now being investigated.

    As for Profit Bandit, I will probably just pay the $9.99/month. It’s not really going to be a material amount to my business, and I think it’s a long time coming that they get on a subscription model.

    Overall, I am going to focus on what I control, and use this as a reminder that we are playing in amazon’s playground.

    Best Regards,
    Ryan

    • That’s a wise plan, in my opinion, Ryan… and I agree that this monthly fee could have been seen coming for quite some time now. I’m glad you enjoyed the post.

  2. Another Superbly Awesome post!
    As a paid forum moderator, I see tons of complaints about this. People are asking why they were not “grandfathered” in.
    Change happens, everything goes up in price. We all have choices. We can sink and quit or we can go with the flow and swim.
    John Ruskin once said, “What we think or what we know or what we believe is, in the end, of little consequence. The only consequence is what we do.

    • Thank you, Patricia. I just hope this will help people calm down and realize that online selling is not immune to change, and the best thing for us to do is to learn how to deal with it in a profitable way. Great quote and reminder from John Ruskin.

  3. I don’t have a problem with them moving to a subscription model. I just think it was handled very poorly. There were a number of ways they could have softened the blow. Giving people a week’s notice was a bone-headed move, IMO.

    • I agree, Sue, that the latest news from Profit Bandit could have been handled much better. I bet their day was crazy yesterday dealing with upset users.

  4. My online business is too important to squabble over a small amount subscription fee. I’ve make some big mistakes in the past before there was software available to know the value of an item. Nothing like having a garage full of neat looking glassware to sell on eBay hat wasn’t of any value. So $10 per month, I’ll just give up diet sodas to make up the difference. That will make my doctor happy. Gary

  5. Thanks for the great info. As a new member to your blog, and to selling on Amazon ( I started on April 20), I’ve found your blog to be one of the better ones.

    As a new FBA seller, I did have to “jump through hoops” to get approved in the Grocery, Health & Personal Care and Beauty categories. It took several attempts, emails and phone calls but I got approved in all three.

    I started out using the Amazon Seller app and then tried Profit Bandit. I personally find the Amazon Seller app better but that’s probably just because I’m used to using it.

    Do you feel Profit Bandit is better than the Amazon Seller app? I’ve used both now side by side while sourcing and I keep falling back to the Amazon Seller app.

    Thanks and keep up the great work!

    Joe

    • Joe, it’s good for me (and for others) to see that your persistence in getting approved in the newly gated categories payed off for you.

      I need to revisit the latest version of the Amazon Seller’s app. I only looked at it while it was still new, but now is a good time for me to look at it again to see how it compares.

  6. Andrew Cassinelli

    Awesome post, Stephen. I agree that Profit Bandit eventually had to move to a subscription model. They probably planned that transition long ago.

    In light of Profit Bandit now being a subscription service, I wondered if it was time to reevaluate the scanning apps that are available. Previously, Profit Bandit’s one-time fee made it significantly cheaper than the competition. Have you tired other apps?

    Side question: do you know of any way to be warned of restricted or hazardous items when scanning? I’ve gotten stuck with a few things lately (ex. AirWick Air Fresheners). Profit Bandit support told me restricted items information is not included in the Amazon API, so they have no way for the app to warn the user.

    • Hey Andrew,

      Saw your question regarding restricted items. That’s one of the nice features I like when using the Amazon Seller app. If an item is restricted, a warning pops up at the top of the screen when you scan it.

      Joe

    • I have tried the ScanPower scouting app and loved it, but at $39.99/mo it was too much for me (especially when Profit Bandit was a one time fee). Even at $9.99/mo, Profit Bandit is still a good deal, in my opinion. I have Amazon Seller app downloaded but have not tried it since it was new and had less features. I plan on revisiting that app to see how it compares.

      I know the Amazon Seller app is currently only available on iPhone/iPad, and that they are currently working on an Android app. For those who are Android users, the best bet might be to stick with Profit Bandit. I’d happily pay $9.99/mo for a app that makes me thousands per month.

  7. Stephen I really enjoy your posts. I am very new to selling on Amazon (started May 1st). I started then boom all the changes started happening. I was only approved to sell in groceries because that is all that I had sent in. I applied for Health & Personal Care and Beauty Categories but I have been denied. I was told that I need 3 invoices in order to get approved. I don’t want to buy a bunch of stock and then not be approved to sell it. I just purchased last week the Profit Bandit app, now they are going to charge a monthly subscription fee. I haven’t even had it a month? This is very discouraging as a new seller to Amazon.

    • Melissa, First of all, congrats on almost completing your first month of FBA! Don’t worry, all these changes will not be the norm, but it is good that you’ll have some experience dealing with them.

      One possibility, since you recently downloaded the Profit Bandit App, is requesting a refund. The worst they can say is no, and you could get your money back.

      Don’t be discouraged. This is just a small bump in the road and you’ll get back on track in no time. Check out the Amazon Seller app and see what you think. If you think Profit Bandit is a necessity, then a $9.99/mo fee might be worth it to you. No matter what you decide, I wish you success!

    • Melissa, one thing I just learned: If you DO NOT update your Profit Bandit app, then you will be able to continue to use it like normal. Profit Bandit announced that this would be a possibility. One of their employees said, “If you don’t upgrade the app, you will still be able to use the old one. Obviously since things change all the time we can’t guarantee that it will continue to work forever, as Amazon might change things, etc.” So, the good news is that, for a while longer, the older app will continue to work like normal. This will give you time to try out other scouting apps or decide if the $9.99/month fee is right for you.

  8. Jason McDaniel

    Hey everyone. In regards to the Amazon seller app not available in Android when exactly will they have it available on Android? I will gladly use it.

  9. IMPORTANT UPDATE!!!! If you DO NOT update your Profit Bandit app, then you will still be able to continue to use it like normal. Profit Bandit announced that this would be a possibility. One of their employees said, “If you don’t upgrade the app, you will still be able to use the old one. Obviously since things change all the time we can’t guarantee that it will continue to work forever, as Amazon might change things, etc.” So, the good news is that, for a while longer, the older app will continue to work like normal. This will give you time to try out other scouting apps or decide if the $9.99/month fee is right for you.

  10. I think I read about another change coming to the Amazon Seller Page. Something about it being removed?
    Have you heard anything about this?

    Beth

  11. I have the amazon seller app for my samsung galaxy 4 and the scanner seems to work fine for me.

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