Monday, August 20, 2018
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Amazon Item Descriptions Revealing The Item Is Not The Condition Listed

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Poor Amazon Seller Descriptions - TaughtToProfit.com

Often when shopping on Amazon or listing items you can see all manner of strange descriptions sellers put for their items. The worst description I have ever seen was an item listed as “New” where the seller said it had only been used a few times and was in perfect condition. Of course, this is not even remotely close to a new item, but many sellers either do not know the Amazon condition guidelines or do not care to follow them. I guess many sellers do not care to properly rate an item’s condition because Amazon does not seem to actively monitor these descriptions or hold sellers accountable for incorrect condition ratings.

I have collected just a small sample of descriptions where the sellers plainly describe that their items are not the condition they listed them as. Lest you think these are all newbie sellers, here are some examples of the rankings of these sellers:

Amazon Poor Condition Ratings And Descriptions   Amazon Poor Condition Ratings And Descriptions

Even sellers with a large amount of feedback and with 100% positive ranking are still not listing items with the most accurate condition.

New, Never Opened, But Possibly Damaged
New, Never Opened, But Possibly Damaged

This item is described as “New, never opened, never owned [are they saying that they do not own the item?], sealed.” The problem is that the description also goes on to say that it is in good shape with wear, and that the wear may include scuffs, scratches, creases, bends, and edge wear. All of these things would immediately disqualify the item as being in “New” condition, and it could not even be listed as “Used – Like New” according to Amazon’s Condition Guidelines. A New item must be perfect with no wear to the box. Even a “Like New” condition item means “the original packaging is intact and pristine” and that it has “absolutely no signs of wear on the item or its packaging.”

Brand New, Slight Damage
Brand New, Slight Damage

This description of a supposedly “New” condition item describes why the item could never be listed as “New” or even “Like New.” Now, I do want to add that many of these types of descriptions are default condition descriptions and the actual item they are shipping to the customer may be perfect and actually in “New” condition. This is why it is probably better to not use such default descriptions.

Sellers Using The Same Exact Description
Sellers Using The Same Exact Description

This exact same description is used by multiple sellers, as is seen in the same one in the above two images which are from two different sellers. It may be a description given by some Amazon selling course or some site people are following word-for-word. It could also be that the two sellers using this exact description are the same seller with two accounts, in which case they are breaking Amazon’s terms against multiple accounts and opening themselves up to permanent account suspension.

New, Never Opened. The Box Is A Little Withered, Though.
New, Never Opened. The Box Is A Little Withered, Though.

This description tells us that this item would be “Used – Very Good” due to the fact that it does not qualify per Amazon’s Condition Guidelines. You cannot sell an item as “New” when it has a withered box. It does not matter if you personally would rate it as “New,” the guidelines for what is new are determined by Amazon and not the whims of the seller.

New Book. Never used!
New Book. Never used!

This description is fine, except it is a description for an action figure, not a book. There is no book or anything book-related included with the item. This is most likely some default description the seller uses and accidentally kept when they switched to listing non-book items, but this could cost them sales if people see this and skip it because they are not looking for a book.

You may wonder if these condition issues really are all that important, especially when there are so many sellers listing items with a better condition than they are truly able to be rated. Just because Amazon does not currently police this, they could in the future and your business could be in jeopardy if you have built it upon incorrect condition ratings. Another problem, one that applies right now, is that of buyer complaints that could result from improperly rating an item’s condition. While this may not result in a complaint from most customers, if a customer purchased the item with Amazon’s 1-Click buying, they might never see the description and the buyer is depending on the condition to be accurately rated. This could easily result in a return, negative feedback, or even an A-to-Z claim when the customer gets the damaged box item that they were expecting to be a new item with an undamaged box. It is always best to rate an item the proper condition and ensure that your customer has the best experience possible. Tricking customers by listing items as “New” because you want to get the highest price for an item with a damaged box is short-term thinking and will eventually end in problems.

Amazon Condition Guidelines – Most Sellers Get This Wrong

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Amazon Condition Guidelines - TaughtToProfit.com

For the sake of discussion let us say we have a brand new item that has damage to the packaging and the plastic wrap is coming off. The item itself is untouched and the package is still factory sealed. What is the condition that this item can be listed in per Amazon’s condition guidelines? New? Like New? Very Good? Good? Acceptable?

The vast majority of the sellers I know will get this wrong, including long-term sellers. Most sellers will say, “New” or “Like New” would be the proper condition for such an item. The answer is neither of those and Amazon is very clear on this, but this is only clear to you if you know Amazon’s actual condition guidelines. Here is what Amazon states as their condition guidelines:

New: Just like it sounds. A brand-new, unused, unopened item in its original packaging, with all original packaging materials included. Original protective wrapping, if any, is intact. Original manufacturer’s warranty, if any, still applies, with warranty details included in the listing comments.
Used – Like New: An apparently untouched item in perfect condition. Original protective wrapping may be missing, but the original packaging is intact and pristine. There are absolutely no signs of wear on the item or its packaging. Instructions are included. Item is suitable for presenting as a gift.
Used – Very Good: A well-cared-for item that has seen limited use but remains in great condition. The item is complete, unmarked, and undamaged, but may show some limited signs of wear. Item works perfectly.
– Taken from http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=1161242

Notice how the condition guidelines for “Used – Like New” say that “the original packaging is intact and pristine” and that there “are absolutely no signs of wear on the item or its packaging.” The item we are discussing is brand new but has damage to the packaging, so the best possible condition it could be rated is “Used – Very Good.” Rating the item as “New” or “Used – Like New” is against Amazon’s terms and if they caught you on this it could result in account suspension. Just because Amazon is lenient on this right now does not mean that they will not eventually crack-down on sellers who consistently rate their item’s conditions inaccurately.

It is always best if you have any question about what Amazon wants to actually check their own guidelines. If you just listen to what many sellers are saying you may be wrong and putting your business in the hands of people who are ignorant of what Amazon requires of sellers. Keep in mind that for each category there are specific guidelines, so make sure you are aware of any special guidelines required for the category the item you are listing is listed in. You can read up on the “Category-Specific Guidelines” at: http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=1161242#CSCG

Time Management – Speedyroute – Map Out Your Sourcing Trips

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If you are sourcing in a new area or going to locations you have not been to before then it can save time to have a plan to route you to each location in order to ensure that you are on the fastest route to each location. If you need to get the best route to 12 locations or less, Speedyroute.com offers a free service that does just that for you. They have a limit of 5 free route calculations from one client IP Address over a rolling 24 hour period. You can calculate more than 5 routes from the same IP Address within 24 hours and more than 12 locations in one route, but you must purchase a subscription in order to do so. For most people, the free service will be more than adequate for their needs.

A service like this is especially useful when you are going to garage sales. Since each location changes every week, you do not develop a general idea for the best route to the locations like you would a retail store, thrift store, or wholesale store that you frequent regularly. Make sure to plan your sourcing outing in the most efficient method using a route planning tool like SpeedyRoute. If you have navigation systems like Garmin or TomTom then SpeedyRoute’s export feature supports GPX files as well as CSV files (GPX files can be used by some SatNavs such as TomTom and Garmin devices).

Speedy Route

Time Management – FollowUpThen Email Reminder Service

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FollowUpThen - Reminder Email Service - TaughtToProfit.com
FollowUpThen - Reminder Email Service - TaughtToProfit.com

If you have ever set a reminder on your phone or other device you know how easy they are to snooze and never get done. Reminders are important, but how the reminder is sent is equally important. This is where FollowUpThen comes in handy. It provides you with unlimited reminders via email. You can send yourself reminders with pictures, text, and forward emails to yourself to follow up on later. The later becomes especially valuable if you are trying to keep your inbox uncluttered with emails that you “keep meaning to get to.”

FollowUpThen is simple to use. You simply send an email to a pre-selected email like 4hours@followupthen.com, and then in 4 hours that email will be sent to you. You can set it for specific days like December24@followupthen.com. You can set monthly reminders by emailing every15th@followupthen.com, which would have that reminder be sent to you every 15th of the month. You can be more specific with every15th8am@followupthen.com, for every 15th of the month at 8 am. You can set reminders at custom intervals like every12hours@followupthen.com or every2years@followupthen.com. You can set daily reminders like daily5pm@followupthen.com or weekdays5pm@followupthen.com. As you can see from these few examples the functionality is very broad, though it is as simple as sending an email to use. They also have features like response detection (to detect if someone you sent an email to responded), calendar integration, tasks, SMS reminders, email-based actions, and a lot more.

I used FollowUpThen to cut down my email workload from 2 hours a day to around 30 minutes a day. It easily paid for itself that first day in the time it saved me. In many ways it can be set up to operate like a true virtual assistant.

They have a free version and a paid version (which starts at only $2 a month). The free version may be all you need, but if you need more follow ups or advanced features like Calendar Integration, Response Detection, SMS Reminders, Customization, and User Management then the Premium paid version would be perfect for you.

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Click Button Above To Sign Up For FollowUpThen

How Not To Pack An Item For Your Customers

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There are a variety of ways to improperly pack an item to ship to your customer, but today I am showing you one such way that is thoroughly inefficient and bizarre. This particular method of packing was performed by one of the world’s largest retailers, and the same exact system of packing was done for three separate boxes from different warehouses! The only difference was one of these 30 x 17 x 13 inch boxes had 3 towels in it, the other two had 1 towel each. These boxes could have easily held 100 such towels per box, if packed normally.

This same company sent a half a dozen ceramic tooth brush holders to me in a poly bag with no bubble wrap or protection at all. As you might guess, every single one of those ceramic items was broken into many pieces. Then when faced with an unbreakable item like a towel, they chose to pack it with so much protection the towel is hard to even locate among all the packing paper. This is one of the common issues you will see with how many businesses pack their products when you do a lot of online arbitrage. It is worth noting these problems so you can correct them in your own business. This will save your business money long-term and keep your customers from shaking their heads im amazement at how your company is being represented through your packing system.