If you are using Amazon’s Fulfillment By Amazon service or any other third-party fulfillment for your inventory then you may have items that require two or more items together as a set, and separating them would cause the customer to have a bad experience with missing parts or a missing item. Just placing items that are supposed to sell as a set together does not mean that the third-party fulfillment center will know that. They could separate the items and when the set sells your customer would receive only part of the set they ordered.
What I do is put these neon orange (very noticeable) labels that say, “This Is A Set Do Not Separate” on these sets. For example, if it was two bottles of shampoo that sell as a bundle, I would poly bag them together and put a “This Is A Set Do Not Separate” label on the bag. These labels are very inexpensive and can save you the expense of a return or a negative feedback from items in a set getting separated.
We have all had moments in the shower where we have a great idea, and by the time we get out of the shower we have forgotten the idea (or we have a nagging feeling we are forgetting part of it). The solution is to get out in the middle of showering and writing the idea down, or keeping your phone or tablet near to try to document the idea without getting the device wet. A company called Aqua Notes had an idea to make holding onto those ideas easy with a waterproof notepad that you can use while in the shower.
The Aqua Notes pad is a waterproof note pad that has suction cups built into the pad that attach it to your shower wall. It comes with a standard graphite pencil to write on the pad (the pencil also has a suction cup attachment as well to hold it to the shower wall). There is not really much more to say about it. If you get ideas in the shower that are important and worth documenting then the Aqua Notes pad does the job you need it to do.
Whether you are shipping to customers directly through merchant fulfillment on Amazon, eBay, Bonanza, Etsy, or your own website you want to save as much time as possible in packing. You also want to save money on packing materials.
I have seen people who tape up their boxes in such a way that the box looks mummified. While this does work, it is inefficient and wasteful. If you do online arbitrage or even just order from big online retailers like Amazon, Walmart, or Target, you will see how the professionals pack things. They do not put tape all over the box. Most often they use one piece across the bottom seams and one across the top seams. This is why you need to get at least 3 inch wide tape and dispenser. This enables you to tape just like the pros do, save a lot of tape, and, most importantly, save time. There is larger tape available at 4.7 inches wide, but in my experience this is too large and provides no additional benefit for normal shipping.
The best 3 inch wide tape dispenser and tape I use is below:
Please keep in mind that the tape needs to be around 2.6 mil in thickness. I have tried cheaper tapes of 2.1 and 1.9 mil and they are just too thin and end up wrinkling and sticking to itself to easily.
For entrepreneurs there is a flood of information daily coming through all forms of media. Periscope being one form that “feels” more time sensitive due to the live nature of the broadcasts.
While there are some really great and useful content-producing people on Periscope, there are also many that are wasting your time. How many times can you hear people begging for hearts or telling people to invite their friends for 5 to 10 minutes? How valuable is seeing the contents of a sourcing haul if none of these items are able to be sourced easily in your location (i.e. most thrift store and garage sale hauls)? How valuable is a generic pep talk about business when you could be spending that time actually running your business? How valuable is people bragging about sales figures in order to convince you to purchase their latest coaching course or eBook?
I understand that the nature of a lot of home businesses is that we tend to not have a lot of outside human interaction (besides UPS, USPS, and FedEx drivers), but just socializing on media like Periscope about business can make you incorrectly feel like you are “doing business.” It can also take up a lot of valuable time that you could be using on more productive things.
We need to constantly be evaluating our time usage and cutting out things that are wasteful. Of all the resources you have available to you, your time is the only one that you cannot gain more of. Use your time wisely and cut out these distractions.
One of the unmentioned benefits of selling via Amazon’s Fulfillment By Amazon service is that the natural negative feedback that can be received when you did everything right can be removed easily.
In any business where you ship to customers there are times the product can get damaged, regardless of how well you pack. If you are merchant fulfilling the product then you are responsible for that and any negative feedback received because of it is unlikely to be removed.
This is where a great benefit of FBA shines through. Take that same item, same damage in transit, same unhappy customer, and same negative feedback, but this time it was fulfilled by Amazon? You submit a request to Amazon for removal of the negative and it is generally removed instantly. Sometimes it is struck out with a notice saying Amazon takes responsibility for this because they fulfilled it (the negative shows with the text with a line through it, but it no longer counts against you. This would also work for any neutral feedback as well.
Amazon also removes feedback that is related to shipping or the item not arriving on time, if it was FBA. For merchant fulfillment and Amazon fulfillment both, if the customer leaves a feedback related to a review of the item and not related to your service as a seller, they will likely remove that as well.
To request for Amazon to remove feedback navigate to the “Help” section of Amazon Seller Central (make sure you are logged in). Locate the link to “Contact Seller Support.” From there click on “Orders” and then “Customer Feedback Problems.” Fill out the required information and hopefully your problematic feedback will be removed.
This is not some universal instant negative feedback removal just because your item is FBA. If the item is inaccurately described or there is some other problem then the negative could be upheld, so do not get overly optimistic in grading the condition of an item. You should do everything you can to provide the best customer experience. Do what is right for your customers and you will rarely have to deal with negative feedback anyway, but in the rare case that you do, you can rest assured that Amazon is fair and wants both seller and buyer to be satisfied.
Also worth mentioning is Feedback Genius which will help you dramatically increase the amount of feedback you receive on Amazon and it will immediately alert you when there are any negative feedbacks left for you.