Amazon Account Suspended: How to Get Your Account Unsuspended

32 - Amazon Suspension What to do if Your Amazon Account is Suspended

Has your Amazon seller account been suspended? Write a strong appeal and detailed plan of action to get your Amazon account reinstated!

With so many new sellers joining Amazon third-party selling, one of the most common and frequent issues appearing is the suspension of Amazon seller accounts. Many of these suspended sellers rely on the sales and income from Amazon selling to support their livelihood, leading to very stressful scenarios trying to reinstate their accounts. If you are reading this article, it is very possible that your Amazon seller account is currently suspended and you are looking for a solution to get your account back. If this is the case, we’re here to help!

In this blog, we’ll be describing what you can do if your account is currently suspended by Amazon. To get your account reinstated, we will need to determine why your account was suspended in the first place and the best actions you can take to try to appeal your suspension.

Types of Actions Taken by Amazon

Before we identify a solution, we need to break down the different phases of Amazon suspensions. If your account is currently suspended, it is most likely at one of these stages:

Phase 1: Suspension. You are in phase 1 of suspensions if you were just notified of your account being locked by Amazon. At this stage, it is still very early on and you should be eligible to submit an appeal. Phase 2: Denied. If you have already submitted an appeal but your account was not reinstated, you are most likely here is phase 2 where your appeal was denied. Don’t panic, this just means you can submit a revised appeal and try again. Phase 3: Banned. This is the last and worst stage of suspensions. This phase means you have submitted multiple appeals unsuccessfully and Amazon has decided to terminate your account.

By this point, we hope you are either in phase 1 or phase 2 and still have the opportunity to save your Amazon account. If this applies to you, keep reading to see what the next move is!

Why Was My Amazon Account Suspended?

Now that we know your account is still salvageable, the next step is to identify why your account was suspended in the first place so we can come up with a solution to reinstate your account. Amazon usually suspends accounts for 3 particular reasons:

Violating Amazon Selling Policies

The first reason is simply that you violated Amazon’s selling policies. This includes their Terms of Service, Privacy Policies, Community Rules, or Seller Guidelines. In your suspension notification, Amazon will explicitly state why your account is being suspended and include which of their policies you triggered.

If this is the case, make sure to identify which policy was broken and what actions led to that suspension. Remember, you’re selling on their platform. They have every right to protect their company and their customers and will take action if it protects their stakeholders.

Violating Amazon Restricted Product Rules

The second reason for your suspension could be due to product violations, or particularly Amazon’s restricted or “gated” products and brands. We discussed this issue and Amazon’s policies around gated products in our blog: Amazon Restricted Products and How to Get Ungated on Amazon in 2021. Essentially, Amazon has a list of product categories, brands, and specific products that require prior authorization to sell. This involves providing invoices, finding authorized manufacturers, and supply genuine, authentic goods.

If your account was suspended for violating one of Amazon’s product rules, it means there was something wrong with your products or how you handled, packaged, or shipped your products. This includes if your products are counterfeit or fake, or if your supplier is unauthorized to produce a brand or product, Like before, Amazon should provide you with an in-depth description of your violation. Make sure to write it down and identify which product(s) led to this violation so we can include it in your appeal.

Poor Performance Metrics

The last reason your account could be suspended is due to poor performance metrics. In this situation, we referring to your order defect, pre-fulfillment cancellation, and late shipment rates on your Amazon seller account. Amazon is very serious about their suppliers having good performance metrics because it reflects poorly on them if their third-party sellers are unreliable. Amazon has clear minimum standards that they suggest to every seller including:

Order defect rates: <1%

Pre-fulfillment cancel rates: <2.5%

Late shipment rates: <4%

Amazon won’t suspend your account automatically if your performance numbers fall beneath these recommended rates. But, accounts with poor performance metrics will be more likely to get suspended if they happen to violate the selling or product rules we mentioned above. To be safe, you should always try to keep these rates within the acceptable standards listed by Amazon.

Appeal Suspended Account

By this step, you should be in phase 1 or phase 2 of your suspension and you should know why your account was suspended. The next step is to submit an appeal and a plan of action to Amazon to reinstate your account.

Before we begin writing your appeal, here are some key “Do’s” and “Do Not’s” that will help make or break your appeal. Be sure to read each of these carefully and keep them in mind during your writing process.

What Not To Do

  1. Do not rush to submit an appeal. Take your time. Amazon usually provides 17 days for you to submit an appeal. Therefore, it is vital to take your time, read through your violations, and come up with a strong appeal to reinstate your account.
  2. Do not, I repeat, do not create a new account. Not only is making a new account a violation of Amazon’s policies, but it also makes it harder for you to get your first account back. Be safe and do not make a new account.
  3. Do not try to modify or fabricate invoices or proof of authorization. This mainly is for suspended accounts that violated Amazon’s products policies. Do not try to make a fake invoice or authorization if you are accused of selling counterfeit or unauthorized goods.
  4. Do not be rude to Amazon customer service or Seller Support: Amazon Seller Support or customer service cannot help you at this point. All you can do is submit an appeal. Being rude or contacting Amazon through other means is not a solution to anything.
  5. Do not threaten legal action. This is pretty straightforward, but remember that Amazon has every right to suspend or ban any seller who threatens their company, brand, business, or customers.
  6. Do not blame the buyers. Think back to the saying, “The Customer’s Always Right.” We’re not saying this is always the case, but to Amazon, that’s all that matters. Buyers have the power to freely report sellers without any hesitation. If they accuse your products of being counterfeit, Amazon will more likely believe the buyer than you, the seller.
  7. Do not panic. This is the most important rule. We understand this may be a stressful situation, but it is vital to approach the next steps with a level head. Stay calm, and continue with the process.

What To Do

  1. Be professional and respectful. When submitting your appeal, be kind. Show that you are a true professional seller and you proactively want to solve this issue. Don’t throw blame at the buyer or Amazon.
  2. Be responsible. Even if you are were unaware of your violations, be willing to take responsibility if something is wrong. At the end of the day, it is your products, your account, and your business. If there is an issue, you need to be responsible and hold yourself accountable for any potential mistakes.
  3. Be direct. When submitting your appeal, directly address the violations. Explain what may have occurred to trigger the suspension.
  4. Be a problem solver. We will get into more detail about this, but it is important to solve the area of concern. We will break this down in the next second on Plans of Action (POAs), but if there is a violation, what actions are you going to take to solve it.
  5. Be proactive. Use this suspension as a learning experience to be a better seller in the future. If your account is reinstated, keep these lessons in mind as you continue to sell and grow your business.

Creating a Plan of Action

Now that you know how to approach your appeal, the next step is to develop a plan of action (POA) with clear and concise procedures you are going to take to fix any issues or violations. We want to remind you about the Do’s and Do Not’s we mentioned previously and to keep them on hand when writing your plan of action. Here is a simple template you can use when writing your POA:

1. Address the Seller Performance Team

“Dear Amazon Seller Performance Team,

Thank you for allowing me to appeal the suspension of my Amazon seller account. Below, you can find my appeal alongside my Plan of Action to resolve any existing or future violations/issues.”

2. Explicitly identify and address the issue

“From my violations report, I was notified about my violations regarding Issue A, Issue B, …”

3. Explicitly state what actions you have taken or will take to resolve the issues

“To solve each of these issues, I have (or am planning to) done Action A, Action B, …:”

4. Conclude your appeal with graciousness and gratitude

“Thank you again for your time to review my appeal. Please let me know if there is any other information or details I can provide you. I look forward to hearing from you

Sincerely, [Name]”

This template is only a baseline for your plan of action. You should use it as a reference to build your own that specifically and directly addresses the issues and the steps taken to fix any violations. All sellers will need to develop their unique POA based on their suspension.

Amazon Suspended Account Reinstated

Within 48 business hours, you can expect a response from the Seller Performance team on their decision. Looking back at the types of actions they can take, the Seller Performance team will either reinstate your account, deny your appeal so you can submit a new and improved POA, or if you have submitted multiple POAs beforehand, your account may be banned permanently.

We hope that it is the first result which reinstates your account so you can get back to selling. If your appeal is denied, take this as an opportunity to submit a new and improved appeal with a more clear and more detailed POA to directly address your prior violations. Unfortunately, if your appeals have been denied repeatedly and your account is permanently banned, there is not much more you can do.

How To Prevent Amazon Suspensions in the Future

Whether you’re currently suspended, had your account reinstated, or just being precautious, here are some tips to prevent and avoid any future suspensions.

Frequently Checking Amazon Seller Central Accounts

We highly encourage all sellers of any size to regularly and consistently check their Amazon Seller accounts. Many times, you’ll have messages from Amazon and from buyers who need to get in contact with you. The more frequently you check, the more organized your account will be, and the faster you can resolve any potential issues. Remember, communication is key!

Be Proactive with Your Amazon Product Listings

Sellers should try to be proactive with all their products and their listings. Make sure to check if any of your products have restrictions to their brands or categories and ensure you are following any of Amazon’s guidelines for sourcing and shipping. If you have old listings, make sure to take them down promptly to prevent any mistaken orders from being shipped out. Your listing descriptions should go through a strict editing process to fix misinformation or prevent mistakes that can trigger a policy violation.

Buyer Knows Best

As the saying goes, “the customer is always right.” If a customer claims there is a defect in your products, it would be best to take these matters seriously. Inspect all of your products when possible to ensure only the best products are being sent to customers. Buyers may also want a refund from you for a defective product, which you should take into consideration and refund the customer if possible. Some customers will be extremely thankful for your cooperation and will leave positive reviews and ratings on your seller account. Its also important to stay on top of the seller’s performance metrics to ensure low defect rates, low cancellation rates, and low late shipment rates. Prioritize the customer’s needs first and your metrics will follow.

Product Sourcing Done Right

Lastly and most importantly, make sure you are sourcing ethically from proven, reliable suppliers who are authorized to produce your products. We discuss this in great detail in our blogs on 15 Questions You Need to Ask Your Amazon Wholesale Supplier. Make sure to read through those questions and come up with others to make sure you can validate that your manufacturer is trustworthy. You never want to source products if you cannot guarantee their authenticity because the last thing you want is to be accused of selling counterfeit products.

If you need help sourcing profitable products or finding reliable suppliers, we recommend checking out Sellgo’s FBA tools including our Search Management, Profit Finder, and Product Tracker tools.

These tools can help you break down supplier catalogs instantly and locate profitable products with proven sales performances that you can source and sell on your Amazon account. Not only will you increase your earnings, but you can be more confident in your products being from trustworthy, authorized manufacturers.

Protect Your Amazon Seller Account Before Its Too Late

It is always better to be proactive than reactive. You never want to put your Amazon seller account in jeopardy by violating Amazon’s selling and product policies or having poor performance metrics. If you need help to source reliable and trustworthy products or improve your seller metrics, you should consider utilizing proven FBA tools to help grow your business.

Head over to Sellgo.com where we have a ton of resources and tools to help you grow a successful Amazon business while avoiding all possible violations that can ruin your Amazon seller account.

What is an ASIN number? Amazon Standard Identification Numbers

31 - What is an ASIN number

What are ASIN numbers? ASINs are 10 digit codes for products bought and sold on Amazon! Maximize ASINs to grow your catalog and business!

What are ASIN Numbers and ASIN Meaning?

ASIN numbers, also known as Amazon Standard Identification Numbers, are 10-digit codes composing of numbers and letters assigned to any product sold or bought on Amazon. ASINs are known as “product identifiers” that are used by both Amazon and its sellers to identify any product with ease. Before ASINs, products had a multitude of product identifiers, but Amazon decided to overhaul and streamline the old management system by implementing a new standard that is specifically tied to their system. This is how ASINs came to be.

Along with ASINs, there are other product identifiers including UPCs (universal product codes), GTINs, (global trade item number), EANs (European article numbers), or ISBNs (international standard book numbers). Each product identifier is used for different kinds of products and within different online marketplaces. In some cases, a single product may have multiple product identifiers for different markets. Not only has Amazon taken over the e-commerce industry, but their ASIN product identification system is quickly becoming a global standard.

Why You Should Use ASINs for Amazon Selling

ASINs are essential for every Amazon seller to expand product catalogs, track and manage inventory, scout potential products, and more. While you can use other product identifiers when selling on Amazon, ASINs are the most useful, easiest to use, and most common on Amazon. Here are some of the biggest benefits of using ASIN numbers:

Protecting Your Brand and Products using ASINs

The first benefit of using ASINs is protecting your brands and products you sell on Amazon. This is often referred to as “brand gating.” When you add a new product to Amazon, you’ll be required to add a product identifier like an ASIN so Amazon can correctly catalog your products to their databases.

While we’ll cover how to add ASINs for products, using ASINs for your products creates a barrier to entry that prevents other sellers from selling your products or brands without your permission. Since your unique ASIN is linked to your specific brand and products, you’ll instantly notice if an unauthorized seller hijacks your ASIN and starts selling your products without prior authorization. ASINs also protect from counterfeiters! If another seller starts selling fake products they claim are the same as yours, you can easily stop these sales using ASINs to gate your brand!

By using ASINs, you gain a defensive tool to protect yourself from potentially harmful sellers. Specifically, if you sell Amazon wholesale or Amazon private label, ASINs are vital to protecting your brand name or white label products.

Product Scouting and Product Research with ASINs

If you’re looking to expand your product catalogs to increase your sales on Amazon, ASINs are a great resource! The first thing is to find a competitor. If you are already selling on Amazon, look for other FBA sellers who are currently selling similar products to your current catalog. Then, simply analyze their products and take down their ASIN numbers. By having their ASINs on hand, you can track their products, sales performances, organic rankings, advertising campaigns, and more.

ASINs provide a direct route to keep tabs on other sellers to find popular products you can start selling and identify new trends that can help grow your business!

How to Find ASINs on Amazon

There are 2 methods of finding a product’s ASIN on Amazon, both of which are extremely easy and should take less than a minute!

1. Product URLs

This first method uses the URL from the product page. When you arrive on a product’s page, quickly scan the URL for “dp/” followed by a 10-digit code of numbers and letters. For our example using the Simple Being Anti Fatigue Kitchen Floor Mat, we easily identified the ASIN in the URL by finding the “dp/” followed by

“B07P6HH3XH”.

2. Product Information

Every product page includes a small box below the product description titled “Product information.” Once you enter a product page, just scroll down until you see the box. The Product information box includes the product’s core data including the product’s dimension, weight, manufacturer, and of course, the ASIN. For our example, the Product information table explicitly provides the ASIN as you can see from the graphic, displaying “B07P6HH3XH.”

ASIN Lookup Tools

For our more experienced Amazon sellers, you may have to scan hundreds if not thousands of ASINs at once. One way to analyze and find hundreds of ASINs is through using FBA tools.

If you don’t currently use any FBA tools, we highly suggest looking into Sellgo’s FBA tools, particularly the Search Management tool. With the Search Management tool, you can quickly upload a supplier’s catalog and the tool will review thousands of ASINs instantly. This will not only save you plenty of time, but can also provide in-depth insights into which products have the highest profit potentials so you can add to your catalog, source from suppliers, and get right to selling on Amazon!

ASINs vs. UPCs vs. EANs/GTINs vs. ISBNs

As we mentioned previously, ASINs are not the only product identifier you can use, but they are the easiest and most common on Amazon. Here is a quick snapshot of the other identifiers and how they match up versus ASINs.

Universal Product Code (UPC)

Compared to ASIN, UPCs are the second most common product identifier, trailing on ASINs. UPCs, as the name entails, are quite universal and commonly used industry-wide. UPCs contain 12-digits consisting of a series of numbers and are most often used in physical retail stores.

European Article Number (EAN), formerly known as GTIN or “Global Trade Identification Number”

Behind UPCs in terms of use and popularity are EANs, formerly known as GTINs. EANs, as the name suggests, is most often used in Europe to identify products from across the globe. EANs contain 13 digits and are applied to all sorts of products ranging from furniture to toys. If a product doesn’t have an ASIN or UPC, it most likely has an EAN.

International Standard Book Number (ISBN)

The fourth most common product identifier is ISBNs. From the name, you can infer that these identifiers are specifically used for organizing books and other literary publications. ISBNs can range between 10 to 13 digits and are the most common method for books. Unlike ASINs, the biggest benefit of using ISBN is that they differentiate books by the publication edition, book materials (hardcover vs. paperback), and publication information. ISBNs are so handy, that even Amazon uses ISBNs more often than ASINs for books sold on their platform! While ISBNs are globally standardized, they are the least common on Amazon since they can only be applied to books and publications. Regardless, ISBNs are awesome!

How to Add ASINs for Existing Products

By this point, you should have a good understanding of what ASINs are, how they can be used, and how they match up against other product identifiers. The last thing we want to cover is how to use ASINs to add products to your Amazon Seller Central Account and expand your Amazon catalog or business.

The first thing to note is that you cannot add an ASIN to an existing product. This means before you add a new product and ASIN to your Amazon account, quickly check if the product is already being sold on Amazon by searching the ASIN in Amazon’s search bar, If the identical product appears, it means that the product is already being sold and you can simply add it to your inventory through the existing ASIN.

If the product already exists, don’t feel discouraged! Existing products and ASINs make it even easier to add products to your Amazon business! Simply go to your Amazon Seller Account, click “Manage Inventory,” and easily add the product listing to your Amazon catalog using the existing ASIN for the product.

Warning: it is explicitly prohibited by Amazon to create a new ASIN for a product that already exists on Amazon. If you try to get around these restrictions, Amazon can quickly suspend or remove your product for being unauthorized or because they suspect your account of selling counterfeit products.

How to Create ASINs for New Products

If you are adding new products that are not currently sold on Amazon, you will need to register the product to obtain a brand new ASIN number. In addition, if you utilize the FBA method, you will also need to include these new ASINs on your products before you ship them to an Amazon fulfillment center.

To create a new ASIN, simply go to your Amazon Seller Central Account and click the “Add a Product” option. This will direct you to input your current product identifier or “Product ID,” usually a UPC or ISBN. Most products come with an existing label, which should include a 10 to 13-digit code which is most likely its UPC, EAN, or ISBN.

Amazon’s Add a Product tool will also request additional product information such as the product name, brand name, color, size and dimensions, material, department/product category, and more. After you input all of the information, simply hit “Save and Finish,” and you’re set! Your product should have a unique ASIN and it’s cataloged into Amazon’s database and ready to sell!

ASINs for Products with Multiple Variations

The last thing we want to note about ASINs is for our sellers who sell products with multiple variations such as products with different colors and sizes. This is known to Amazon as “parent and child” products or “variation relationships.”

When looking at a listing with multiple variations, you should separate the listing or the “parent,” from the possible products or “children.” Look at this example with the Anker Soundcore headphones. These headphones have two color variations, one black, and one silver. In this example, the “parent” is just the listing itself, “Anker Soundcore” headphones. But, the black headphones and silver headphones are the “children” and each has its own unique ASIN. By using the tactics we showed you earlier, we easily identified the black headphone’s ASIN (B07NM3RSRQ) and the silver headphone’s ASIN (B07X3ZBYRF).

Essentially, products with variations will have different ASINs for each variant, but they all share the same listing. While the headphones from our example only had two variants based on color, other products may have dozens of colors, or possibly different sizes, models, etc. If you are selling a new product with multiple colors, make sure to add the products individually to cover every color or size variation of the product. Note that variations can range to dozens of options.

Master ASINs and Get to Selling!

ASINs are a crucial aspect of Amazon’s foundation and it makes buying and selling on Amazon so much simpler! Now that you are fully trained on ASINs, you can take this knowledge and apply it to your Amazon selling or buying! Find some amazing products, create their ASINs and add them to Amazon, then start selling products through your Amazon business! While we covered multiple ways that you can find and use ASINs, we understand that some methods will work better for sellers with smaller catalogs.

If you are a more experienced seller with a large catalog, we highly suggest you check out FBA tools to help automate your ASIN analysis. If you’re not sure where to start looking for tools, we recommend our tools including our Search Management, Profit Finder, and Profit Tracker tool that will not only help you find ASINs but will also give you real data to find the best products to sell on Amazon to grow your sales, profits, and Amazon business. So what are you waiting for? We’ll see you on Sellgo.com

Amazon Wholesale vs. Amazon Private Label: 5 Reasons to Sell Wholesale on Amazon in 2021

30 - Amazon Wholesale vs. Amazon Private Label

What Amazon business model should you pick in 2021? Amazon Wholesale and Amazon Private Label are great options, but which is better?

If you’re seriously thinking of getting into Amazon selling, you are most likely considering 2 potential business models: Amazon wholesale or Amazon private label. While both models can be profitable, they have vastly different strategies and logistics to scout, source, and sell their respective products. In this article, we’ll be breaking down the two to see which one would be best suited for your needs and why you should ultimately pick Amazon wholesale over Amazon private label. Before we can compare these two types of Amazon businesses, let’s do a quick rundown of each business model.

Amazon private label is the high-risk, high-reward model for Amazon selling. It starts with a seller finding a white label product, which is usually a generic product without any branding or labeling that can be bought in bulk from a manufacturer. Private label sellers take these unbranded products at low cost, slap their own brand name on them, and then resell the product on Amazon for a higher price. Amazon private label relies heavily on finding high-quality, generic products that can be rebranded and then market their products to be sold. Most private label sellers choose this model because it provides sellers with the most power and control of their products. They get to choose which products to sell, how much to sell products for and control their brand marketing.

Amazon wholesale is a medium-risk, high-reward model for Amazon selling. It starts with a seller finding an established product, which is usually a brand name product and buying these products in bulk from a manufacturer or brand owner. Wholesalers take these branded products and then resell them on Amazon for a higher price. Amazon wholesale relies heavily on finding well-established, branded products with a high return on investment and profit margins. Amazon wholesalers pick this model because it provides safe, consistent, and strong brand-name products that are guaranteed to have strong brand identities and established customers. While sellers have less control, working with brand-name products often leads to more consistent sales and revenue over time.

Now that you have a general understanding of both of these models, let’s start comparing to see why you should use Amazon wholesale.

Wholesale vs. Private Label: Brand Recognition

One of the biggest benefits of Amazon wholesale over Amazon’s private label is the established brand awareness, recognition, and reputation of their products.

Private label sellers gain more agency for their products, but an issue with starting a branded product is that it is simply too new. New products have no existing customer base and therefore have no brand recognition whatsoever. Marketing your brand can be extremely difficult and may require a ton of pay-per-click ads to gain traction for your generic products. In addition to the brand being new, another issue is the overall trust for the brand and product. New brands are essentially unknown, and therefore customers are less likely to purchase your products because they are unfamiliar with their quality and simply do not trust them enough to buy them immediately. If you decide to use private label selling, be sure to have a concrete marketing strategy upon branding your products.

Compared to private label, wholesale has a ton more brand recognition and awareness. Wholesalers can basically resell any existing product or brand on the market. Many brands already have dedicated consumer bases that trust a particular brand or product, meaning there are already customers willing to buy from wholesalers. Brand name products have set expectations in terms of product quality and value. This means wholesale sellers and their products have an inherent advantage over private label products without having to further market their products. With brand-name products, they market themselves.

If you do not plan on marketing your products or do not have any experience in growing a brand from the ground up, we highly suggest the Amazon wholesale model. This will allow new and inexperienced sellers to make a ton of sales and revenue without the need to grow a new brand or market products themselves.

Wholesale vs. Private Label: Buy Box and Pricing

The unfortunate truth about private label selling is that you can choose the selling price for your products, but Amazon will heavily regulate your prices to meet their requirements.

If you shop often on Amazon, you should be very familiar with the Amazon Buy Box. When you shop, your Buy Boxes most likely look like this photo below. The box will include the price and allow you to easily add the item to your cart or even buy the product now.

But once in a while, you may run into a suppressed Buy Box, which will look like this. Suppressed boxes are not a coincidence, these boxes are intentionally suppressed by Amazon.

When a product gets listed to sell on Amazon, Amazon will compare the listed selling price across the entire web, to see if that product is priced accurately. But, if the price is too high compared to prices on the internet, Amazon will suppress the Buy Box to make it harder for customers to check out your products. For private label sellers, this is a huge issue because you have no control over your selling prices. You may want to sell an item at a premium price, but if you decide to do that, Amazon will intentionally suppress your listing so customers will be deterred from buying your product. What does this mean for private label sellers? Well, it simply means that your products have a maximum selling price, at least on Amazon. If you decide to sell your products for too high, you’ll be penalized with a suppressed Buy Box, and if you sell too low, you’ll lose out on potential profits. While you want to have complete control over your private label products, Amazon makes it essentially impossible to have full control over the price.

Amazon wholesale is a lot simpler. For branded products, most manufacturers will have a minimum advertised price (MAP) that indicates the minimum selling price that all sellers must meet. If a seller goes under the MAP, they may be penalized by the manufacturer and lose access to the products. Amazon also regulates the maximum selling price for branded products but in a different way.

While wholesalers can set a premium price, they won’t suppress your Buy Box unless you are the only seller selling for an extremely high price. If other sellers are selling the same products, Amazon will prioritize sellers with the lowest price in the Buy Box so the customer gets the best deal. What does this mean? It means that wholesale sellers should try to match the lowest price possible if they want to maximize their sales and time in the Buy Box, but, will not penalize the entire listing if you decide to sell your products for a higher price. While private label selling gives more control over pricing, it also increases the risk of being suppressed by Amazon.

Wholesale vs. Private Label: Copycat Products

A problem that you may come across as a private label seller is competing with duplicate or “copycat” goods.

Looking back at the private label model, private label sellers purchase bulk unbranded products from a manufacturer and then add their brand names to those products using logos, labels, and other brand identifiers. But, what is stopping anyone from going to the same manufacturer and buying the same products then adding their brands to compete with your products? The answer is virtually nothing. It is quite impossible to purchase a generic product and expect no other competitors to enter your market, especially if they see your product is selling well.

Essentially, Amazon private label leads to a plethora of similar or identical products with different brand names. This is extremely problematic for any private label seller since there will always be other sellers entering your market segment and there are little to no barriers to entry. What’s worse is that these other sellers do not have to have the same manufacturer as you. They could find a different manufacturer that produces similar products but with poor materials and worse quality. Copycat goods can also reflect poorly on your products, even it is a different brand. If a customer buys a copycat’s product but the product is extremely worse, they may leave bad reviews for your products because they look similar! Bad reviews weigh heavily on Amazon sales, since most potential buyers may be deterred from buying your product due to another copycat good ruining your reputation.

Look at this photo from Amazon. By simply typing in “water bottles” to Amazon’s search bar, the first 4 products that appear are all private label products selling similar or identical products. Each of these products could come from different manufacturers, with some having better quality than others. This is just one example of how competitive the private label market is with copycat products.

In comparison to private label, Amazon wholesale virtually negates this entire issue because all sellers are selling the same product and brand. With wholesale, all the sellers selling the product have to source their products from authorized brand manufacturers. Every time you source a product, the supplier must be approved by the brand owners (or is the brand owner) and they undergo strict quality assurance processes to ensure all their products are of similar, high quality. In addition to quality, all of the same branded products are sold under the same listing and Buy Box on Amazon, which means that the competition is much lower. We cover this topic in detail in our blog on 6 Strategies to Win the Amazon Buy Box, but, if you are selling a brand-name product on Amazon, you just need to match the lowest prices within the Buy Box and Amazon will automatically give your listing sales. In doing so, wholesale sellers never have to worry about copycat goods or other sellers selling the same products.

When deciding your Amazon business model, keep this problem in mind before you start sourcing your products. If you do not want to have to compete with copycats or the risk of low-quality duplicates, we highly recommend using the wholesale model.

Wholesale vs. Private Label: Defect Rates and Product Quality

Like we mentioned in the previous section, a benefit from using Amazon wholesale and selling branded products is that their quality assurance process is usually a lot higher than the standards of private label manufacturers. As a result, branded products have better quality and build, and tend to have lower defect rates for their products.

With private labels, defect rates can be substantially higher. Defect rates can be extremely detrimental to your brand and product. Not only does Amazon penalize sellers with high defect rates, but unsatisfied customers may leave negative seller reviews on your profile or leave poor ratings and reviews on your private label products. Customers with defective products may also request refunds which may incur service fees on your Amazon account and lower inventory levels substantially. All these aspects considered, defective private label products can easily destroy your brand and ruin your sales.

Something that also happens within the private label space is competitors intentionally buying your products to leave bad reviews or claim your products are defective. Other private label sellers who are selling similar items as you may want to take your product down. So, these competitors will buy your products, then claim the product was defective and leave a negative review on the product and your seller account. While this practice may not be common, the potential threat from other private label sellers reveals a weakness within Amazon private label.

To be extra safe, sellers worried about defective products or competing sellers can mitigate this risk with Amazon wholesale. As mentioned, the branded products have a lot less competition and lower defective rates, making this issue is practically non-existent.

Private Label Sabotage Tactics

Fake reviews and ratings are not the only tactics that competitive private label sellers will use to take down your product or hurt your business. There is a multitude of other sabotage tactics they can take that every private label seller or potential seller should know. Here are some of the other harmful methods sellers will use to hurt your Amazon private label business:

  1. Steal your product information: competitors selling duplicate products will try to take your sales by stealing your product information. They would essentially take anything from your listing and copy it for theirs including titles. descriptions, visuals, keywords, and more.
  2. Steal your product photos: this is a common tactic from copycat goods, where they will find your private label listing, and take the product photos and use them for their own listings. This is quite common within Amazon and other e-commerce platforms where your product photos are stolen and used for a competing product.
  3. Report your seller account: competitors may report your account to Amazon to get your account suspended. This happens after they submit a ton of fake defect reports or bad reviews, which leads to Amazon suspending or banning your seller account for selling fake, defective, or counterfeit products.

Amazon Wholesale or Amazon Private Label?

If you decide to pursue Amazon selling, keep these advantages in mind. We want to note that we have nothing against Amazon private label. It provides a ton of agency for sellers to control their products and the direction of their brand that is unmatched. But, it is very important that account for the potential risks that come with private label selling. If you are a new seller or inexperienced at building a brand, we highly recommend the Amazon wholesale model because it mitigates all the risk that comes with private label selling. Amazon wholesale provides high profitability without any of the issues that come with private label selling. At this point, we think the choice is pretty obvious.

The next step is to pick your model and start selling, and we can help! For starters, check out our Beginner’s Guide to Selling Wholesale Products on Amazon and our blog on 7 Steps to Activate Your Amazon Seller Account. After you get set up, we can help your business off the ground with our FBA tools to help you scout, source, and sell wholesale products that will grow your inventory and increase your sales. What are you waiting for? We’ll see you on Sellgo.com!