New sellers in the third-party Amazon Marketplace have a few options when getting started. Individuals who are completely new to online retail can become e-commerce entrepreneurs virtually overnight without experience and even without having any actual goods to sell. This is made possible by selecting items that are stocked and fulfilled by others, including Amazon in many cases, but this is not the most optimal approach to the marketplace because it limits profit margins.
The Importance of Doing Your Research as an Amazon Seller
Coming into the Amazon Marketplace without goods of your own means that you will have to conduct market and product research, which in turn means evaluating dozens of product listed under various Amazon Standard Identification Numbers (ASINs). While this can be a good learning experience, you should ideally work towards developing a situation whereby you actually introduce products of your own to the marketplace; this may require you to acquire inventory and formulate a branding strategy, but it will make a difference between making pennies on the dollar and deriving real profits.
Inventors, manufacturers and exclusive distributors stand to benefit the most from their marketplace presence because they can control marketing, branding, inventory, pricing, and logistics; furthermore, they can always decide to enhance their sales performance by earning the privilege of selling to Amazon Prime customer or entrusting their inventory to Fulfillment by Amazon centers.
With all the above in mind, here are a couple of situations that all Amazon sellers may run into when evaluating ASINs on the marketplace:
Duplicate ASINs and Sketchy Listings
Amazon’s effort to build the largest and most inclusive product catalog in the world is based on the company’s goal to ensure that ASINs match the desires of shoppers. However, this may not always work in the best interests of sellers.
Let’s say a shopper browses Amazon for a red Swingline stapler for his or her office. There is a good chance that he or she will come across ASIN: S7074718E, which is a Swingline 747 Classic lipstick-red stapler, but he or she may also come across ASINs B002L5C6X6 or B0006HUQZ6, which may appear to be similar but are actually different items offered by competing sellers. To Amazon, it does not make a difference which stapler the shopper buys as long as it is listed under the ASIN he or she is interested in.
If you come across an inventory of pink Swingline staplers that you wish to list on the Amazon Marketplace, you may encounter a situation whereby the UPC number you enter brings up an existing ASIN of red staplers. When this happens, you should not try to list your products against existing ASINs because it may result in duplication as well as incorrect listings that only manage to confuse shoppers. Trying to sell pink staplers listed under a red stapler ASIN could result in a sketchy listing even if you think your UPC is unique. In this case, you should contact Amazon Seller Support.
Creating Selling Opportunities With New ASINs
Let’s say you notice that no other sellers are offering pink Swingline staplers as part of a gift set. If you play your cards right, this could be an opportunity to move your inventory since it will give you a valid reason to create a new ASIN. Your gift set may include a matching pink notepad and pencil holder. This will require you to get new UPC labels under your own brand, and it may prove more to be more attractive to shoppers at the right price.
Once you introduce 10 or more new ASINs to the marketplace, you should start thinking about protecting them against unauthorized sellers and counterfeiters.
Brandlox is a subscription service that keeps an eye on your ASINs and alerts you of suspicious activity. If someone tries to list against your ASINs without your approval, Brandlox will let you know. Contact us today to learn more about protecting your brands and products on Amazon.