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#131 - Amazon crackdown on sellers, TikTok Shop Is Hiking, and more

Amazon truck passing Amazon logo billboard
As we continue our journey through the ever-evolving landscape of Fulfillment by Amazon, this edition brings you a fresh array of insights, updates, and expert strategies designed to propel your success on the platform. Whether you're looking to optimize your listings, navigate Amazon's latest policies, or capitalize on emerging trends, Issue #131 is packed with actionable guidance tailored to elevate your FBA game. Dive in and discover the tools you need to thrive in today's competitive marketplace. Happy selling!

Hot News

TikTok's ecommerce efforts are about to turn a lot more profitable for the social media giant, according to a new report that claims TikTok Shop will soon quadruple its fees from 2% to 8%. It's a classic story of online app success: Enter the market with such low fees that no one can turn them down, establish a userbase, and then hike those fees way up — opening up the possibility for another competitor to swoop in and start the process again.


Alongside all of the autonomous vehicles and 8K drone cameras at this year’s January confab, something less tangible but just as significant will take up space: streaming advertising. Disney, which launched an ad-supported tier of Disney+ a year ago and now fully owns veteran ad purveyor Hulu, will have a sizable presence, as will players like Roku, Paramount Global, NBCUniversal and Amazon. Netflix, which entered the ad game just before Disney, will have its first-ever booth on the CES show floor.


In 2023, you could hardly move for mentions of generative AI and its applications. The upcoming year looks set for more of the same, as retailers and CPGs alike plan to pull ahead in their adoption of these buzz-generating technologies and leverage them in innovative but impactful ways. Amazon is just one of the companies tapping generative AI across a broad range of use cases. The company recently detailed some of the ways it is leveraging these technologies to deliver substantial value, from product listings to palm payments, and more.


Good to Know

What do you do about people who buy things online without reading (or comprehending) the product descriptions? It's a problem for sellers on marketplaces like eBay and Amazon, summed up in a recent post on the Amazon seller discussion boards.


As product recalls continue around the nation, Amazon has faced issues with some of its sellers offering banned child products. Earlier this month, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced that a specific Amazon seller was found in violation of selling a product that is currently banned in the U.S. under the federal Safe Sleep for Babies Act (SSBA). The seller was offering crib bumpers for sale which pose a suffocation hazard to infants, the CPSC said.


An article about Amazon sellers who are seeking legal help over suspensions revealed some interesting attitudes from consumers in the comments section about third-party sellers on the platform. Shoppers aren’t necessarily happy with what one seller characterized as a “massive proliferation of obscure sellers.”


Marketplace sellers operating across multiple channels experienced strong holiday season sales with revenue up 25% between the 1st of November and 31st of December 2023, according to eDesk. The big winners were sellers operating across multiple channels, who are also challenged with the increasing costs of doing business.


Yes, you can write great descriptions, take stunning photographs, and optimize your product attributes - but to really succeed on online marketplaces, you need to pay extra to advertise. At least that seemed to be the message from eBay, Walmart, and Amazon in recent blog posts.


You never know, luck might be on your side as we head into 2024. Amazon is currently on the lookout for 50 full-time employees and one seasonal recruit in South Africa, coinciding with its plans to create a marketplace in the region. Among the several positions advertised are a customer service lead, a B-BBEE senior program manager, a transportation and fulfilment manager, and various roles within vendor and supply chain management for its South African division.


To the clouds! While that may sound like a superhero catchphrase, it was actually the de facto motto of martech and ad tech in 2023. The deification of data clean rooms, the need for privacy compliance and this year’s generative AI explosion were just a few of the trends pushing businesses away from owning and maintaining their own servers and toward cloud-based tech infrastructure.


As of December 28, 2023, Amazon sellers located in areas where UPS charges a Remote Area surcharge will no longer see the charges weeks after return labels are generated. In an email this week, Amazon said the surcharge would appear at the time the label for their customer’s return is generated. Amazon sent the following message to sellers with the subject line, “Important update on UPS remote area surcharges for product returns”.


Amazon has been among the best-performing stocks you could own for a long time. If you'd invested $10,000 in Amazon two decades ago, it would now be worth over $571,000. However, that return used to be higher, as Amazon hasn't set a new all-time high since 2021.


Tips and Tricks

Before you can create a listing for your new product on Amazon, there’s one crucial step you need to take care of — purchasing a UPC. While it may sound a little intimidating to a new seller, the process is relatively simple. In this article, we’ll go over what a UPC is, why you need one, and where to purchase one that’s compliant with Amazon’s Terms of Service.


As one of the largest online marketplaces in the world, Amazon offers a variety of opportunities for publishers to monetize their work. In this section, we will explore the different ways that publishers can use Amazon for monetization. From selling books directly on the platform to utilizing various programs such as the Amazon Affiliate Program and the Amazon Advertising Program, there are multiple avenues for publishers to generate income on Amazon. We will also discuss the benefits and drawbacks of each method, and how publishers can effectively utilize them.


Before you can create a listing for your new product on Amazon, there’s one crucial step you need to take care of — purchasing a UPC. While it may sound a little intimidating to a new seller, the process is relatively simple. In this article, we’ll go over what a UPC is, why you need one, and where to purchase one that’s compliant with Amazon’s Terms of Service.


Sponsored Products has been the flagship product of Amazon since the beginning of the ad platform. This campaign type has become the anchor of many ad strategies for brands on Amazon, as it should, but there have also been limitations that advertisers need to be aware of. So let’s go through the pros and cons of Sponsored Products and what to be aware of when using this type of Amazon ad campaign.


Finding the right product to sell on Amazon is key to finding success on the site. But even if you’re selling the perfect, high-demand product, an optimized Amazon product listing is what’s going to drive sales and take your business to the next level. In a recent Jungle Scout study among more than 1,000 Amazon sellers, nearly 80% are prioritizing optimizing their Amazon listings with relevant, high-quality keywords.



Discover the best practices for Amazon product sourcing excellence as we welcome back Kian Golzari, the Amazon product sourcing sage, for his fifth appearance to impart his vast knowledge on mastering the Chinese manufacturing labyrinth. Kian’s guidance takes you through the crucial steps from selecting the right manufacturers on Alibaba to conducting effective factory visits, ensuring you return home with more than just souvenirs – but strategies to boost your product quality and cost-efficiency.