Amazon FBA 2021: 24 Critical Things You Need to Know

Amazon is changing
Seth Kniep
Jan 21, 2021
Ecom News
Amazon is always adapting to the market and evolving. That means that things have changed for you sellers too...

You need to know:

1) Exactly how these changes at Amazon affect you 

2) What you can do about these changes

3) What to expect from Amazon in the future.

Today, I’m going to bring you 24 critical things you need to know to sell on Amazon in 2021.

Each one of these points can either help you obtain massive financial growth or help you avert financial disaster for your Amazon FBA business:

1. ESSENTIAL AMAZON TOOLS & A+ CONTENT ARE NOW ACCESSIBLE TO NEW SELLERS.

What is "A+ content?"

When you become Brand Registered, you get access to essential data analytics and A+ content tools that help elevate your listing to the next level. 

A+ content used to be called “Enhanced Brand Content.

When you are Brand Registered, Amazon will make life easier for you.

How Brand Registry used to work:

You had to have a registered trademark in order to become Brand Registered.

It can take you anywhere from 8 to 12 months for you to get approved at the US Patent and Trademark Office.

Additionally, the Trademark Office won’t approve your trademark until you’re already selling your product.

Therefore, the earliest that new Amazon business owners could get Brand Registered and get access to A+ Content would be between 8 and 12 months.

Here’s what changed:

You can become Brand Registered when you apply for your trademark through Amazon vetted lawyers. 

It’s called the "IP Accelerator program."

It costs about $1,500, and this money goes towards your trademark registration.

Go to brandservices.amazon.com/ipaccelerator to apply. This will drastically shorten the time it takes you to get Brand Registered.

Amazon IP Accelerator

2. YOU CAN NOW UPLOAD VIDEOS TO YOUR AMAZON LISTING TO HYPE YOUR PRODUCT.

Product videos used to be an A+ Content privilege exclusive to Brand Registered sellers. Before that, only vendor sellers could add videos to their listing. 

Now, non-brand registered sellers can upload videos to showcase your product and brand when they are the brand owner.

Boost your conversion. Do yourself a favor and act on this.

3. IT JUST GOT EASIER TO SELL IN GLOBAL MARKETS—IF YOU USE THIS:

Amazon Currency Converter.

Amazon Currency Converter will convert your internationally earned money to the currency of your choice and disperse it right into your bank account. 

For example, if you’re a European selling in the USA, you can get dollars converted to Euros. If you're an American selling in the UK, you can get GBP converted to dollars.

The higher your sales volume, the lower a cut Amazon will take.

Whether you’re an American selling across the world or vice versa, this will massively simplify conversions for you.

4. USA SELLERS: YOUR OPPORTUNITY TO EXPAND INTO CANADA AND MEXICO JUST BOOMED.

Amazon will now sell your products to Canadian and Mexican buyers from your American FBA inventory. 

They call it “Remote Fulfillment with FBA.

Cross-country FBA means you won’t have to divide up your storage.

5. AMAZON JUST EXPANDED INTO 3 NEW MARKETS WHERE YOU CAN MAKE A FORTUNE: 

The United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Singapore.

What makes these markets great?

  • Saudi Arabia: the 18th largest economy in the world.
  • Singapore & the UAE: both speak English!

By the way, don’t forget India—which is not brand new, but it is an untapped market of over 1 billion people.

Each of these markets are growing. Take advantage. Get in early.

6. AMAZON BUSINESS TAXES JUST GOT EASIER!

Marketplace Facilitator Laws in the USA, and new Value-Added Tax (VAT) laws in Great Britain mean that Amazon now has to collect and remit taxes for you, taking a huge burden off your shoulders.

But, in the USA, you still have to manually go into your Seller Central Account and direct Amazon to collect and remit sales tax for you in a few states. 

7. THE SAME AMAZON PRODUCT TACTICS NO LONGER WORK.

Back in the day, you used to be able to buy something off of Alibaba, slap on a “private label” on it, and it was good to go. 

Not anymore. 

You need to make your product stand out and bring more value to your customers than your competitors. 

How?

Differentiation.

Differentiation is the act of producing a product that is not already out there. 

For Example: If a customer looking for a cat backpack carrier, and one of them sets itself apart by having a clear plastic bubble that allows their cat to look around—guess what.

Cat Backpack Carrier

The shopper now has a reason to choose that product whether it has reviews or not.

How to Differentiate Your Product on Amazon

When people say FBA is dead, what they probably mean is that it’s not the easiest thing in the world to do, so they quit. The old way is dead. Instead of adapting, they blame Amazon. Be better than that. Focus on what you can do to succeed and leave the finger pointing to the people falling behind.

Just One Dime will teach you how to choose and build a product that builds you long term passive income. 

In fact, I would like to give you an opportunity to apply for your FBA training here.

Amazon FBA may not be as easy as slapping a label on something, but if you have the right mindset and follow the right people, you can go far.

8. 2021 PRODUCT RESEARCH CRITERIA IS ENTIRELY DIFFERENT!

It used to be that I suggested that your product fit into a shoebox. Cheap and small, cheap and small, they say. Well, hold up. 

What matters is your profit margin.

Here’s a quick look at product research in 2021: Find a product with prices above $25 minimum, low competition, and high differentiation potential. Those are, by far, the most important criteria when it comes to choosing a product to sell.

How to Find a Product to Sell on Amazon

9. ALIBABA IS NOW SAFER AND BETTER THAN EVER.

Alibaba got this reputation as a haven for scammers. Since then, Alibaba made it easier for you to filter out the bad actors.

Tool 1: Use Trade Assurance. When you use trade assurance, Alibaba holds 30% of the money that you pay the supplier until you confirm that you got the exact goods the supplier promised you.

Tool 2: Use Verified Supplier where Alibaba will only show you suppliers that Alibaba confirmed are real. 

Alibaba Filter Tools

10. HIJACKERS ARE GONE! (MOSTLY)

If you asked third-party sellers what the number one Amazon issue was in early 2020, they’d say, “hijackers.” They’re not that much of a nuisance anymore.

If you’ve differentiated your product well and followed specific guidelines taught in the Just One Dime membership, you will have far fewer hijackers to worry about. 

Illegal hijackers that sell fake goods are bad for customers. Anything that’s bad for customers is bad for Amazon. Amazon will crackdown on anything that upsets customers.

Plus, hijackers are now easier to deal with when you apply techniques taught in the Just One Dime membership.

11. NEW BRAND NAME RESTRICTIONS ARE LIVE.

Amazon made this restriction to protect and support third-party brands. Not so much sellers, but brands.

This update gives Amazon sellers control of their own listings—which makes dealing with potential hijackers much easier.

What do you have to do?

When you open a new listing, you have to call Amazon to verify it is your brand that is being listed.

This filters out bad actors and frauds.

One step. It’s a short delay in getting your listing live but every bit worth the wait.

12. COVID-19 HAS CHANGED AMAZON FOREVER: 

Amazon sales have exploded in part due to the pandemic.

Looking at the last 12 months of all retail sales in the US, what percentage of those would you guess are online?

14.3%!

Sounds low, right?

Various statisticians expect this to turn into 20% within the next five years.

Beyond that? Even higher...

Retail ecommerce sales

How can you take advantage of this unprecedented opportunity? Start your ecommerce store now.

13. AMAZON IS RESTRICTING YOUR PRODUCT PRICING!

...For essential products. 

When the COVID shutdown first happened, many sellers rushed to mark up essential items like hand sanitizer 5,000% or more. 

And it pissed buyers off. If you piss buyers off, Amazon will shut you down.

How do you make sure that you’re not price gouging? 

Check out your competitor’s prices on Amazon, Walmart.com, and Jet. Stay beneath the highest price when selling essential, covid-related products. 

Ideally, you’re selling a differentiated product, so this doesn’t apply to you.

14.  BUYERS CAN RETURN YOUR AMAZON PRODUCTS 90 DAYS AFTER PURCHASE?!

Another COVID-19 measure, Amazon made the holiday return period start in October! Customers had until January 31st to return any product bought between the start of October and the New Year.

This encouraged buyers to do their holiday shopping early

Amazon got so many orders that they struggled to fulfill them on time. Spreading out purchases was a big plus for them.

Amazon had a 60 day holiday return policy in 2019.

What’s in store for 2021? 90 days. 

2022? Probably still 90 days since customers will be used to it.

15. AMAZON ADDED EVEN MORE STORAGE FEES.

In addition to the 6 month storage fee, there’s now a 12 month storage fee!

Amazon wants to make room for more products. 

Predict your inventory needs here.

16. NEW INVENTORY LIMITS ARE PUNISHING AMAZON SELLERS!

Amazon doesn’t want to be a storage center. They want to be a fulfillment center. That's why when Amazon flew me to their headquarters in Seattle and I called it an "Amazon warehouse," they quickly corrected me and said, “No, Seth. It’s called an Amazon fulfillment center.” 

As a result, they’re holding sellers to higher standards and require that you maintain an Inventory Performance Index of 450 or more—or else you’ll face restrictions.

Amazon would rather have a few of many products than many of fewer products. 

One overlooked reason Amazon is doing this: they want room for more new sellers.

17. NEW SELLERS: JOIN A NEW PROGRAM TO MAKE FULFILLMENT BY AMAZON EASIER THAN EVER.

It’s called the "FBA New Selection program." 

Here are the program’s benefits:

  • Free monthly storage and free removals on new ASINs for your first 50 units.
  • Free return processing for five product categories: Shoes, Handbags, Jewelry, Luggage, and Watches on your first 50 units.
  • Discount on shipping—Your first $100 in inbound transportation charges will be waived.
New Amazon Seller Programs to Help You Grow Your Business

18. INCENTIVIZE YOUR CUSTOMERS TO BUY YOUR PRODUCT IN BULK WITH SPECIAL PRICING OPTIONS.

Bulk pricing options are now in the Automate Pricing tool in Seller Central.

Now you can set minimum and maximum price limits for up to 50 SKUs at a time across multiple countries.

19. YOU CAN SELL YOUR PRODUCT WHEN IT’S NOT IN STOCK?!

The In-Stock Head Start feature will allow you to sell to customers when your inventory is on its way to Amazon Fulfillment Centers.

This pilot program used to be limited to a few sellers and now is available to regular FBA sellers. 

Here’s how it works:

FBA will automatically make your temporarily out-of-stock products available for customers to find and buy when your shipment is on its way, and Amazon is confident about its arrival date.

Ideally, you won’t have to use this, but it can come through in a pinch.

20. AMAZON WILL AUTOMATICALLY CANCEL YOUR ORDERS?

Amazon is forcing Merchant Fulfilled Network orders to cancel if orders aren’t fulfilled after 30 days.

It’s a decent grace period.

If you have trouble meeting a 30 day deadline, use a 3PL Third Party Fulfillment provider to make sure you fulfill orders on time.

21. USA SELLERS’ PERSONAL INFO IS NOW PUBLIC.

Amazon started publicly listing your name and address on September 1st, 2020. Amazon sellers were really delighted about this. 

Two simple steps will ensure that your private information is not visible to the world:

First, purchase a remote address such as a PO Box.

Second, register that remote address with Amazon.

22. IS YOUR AMAZON ACCOUNT AT RISK? HERE’S HOW YOU CAN CHECK:

Account Health Rating (AHR).

AHR is a new feature that displays on the Account Health page for professional sellers worldwide. 

The AHR helps you monitor your account health based on how well you adhere to Amazon’s selling policies—helping you to proactively keep your seller account healthy and avoid disruption to your business. 

23. YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THIS NEW PRODUCT BUNDLING TOOL.

You can now create virtual product bundles with FBA ASINs to help increase your sales, if you are a brand owner.

Bundles:

  • Are free
  • Use your existing FBA inventory

24. GRAB CUSTOMERS’ ATTENTION WITH CUSTOM PRODUCT OPTIONS.

Yes, you can customize your products for your buyers via the “Amazon Custom” program.

Amazon Custom has been around since 2015, but Amazon recently added a ton of new customization options that encourage customers to jump ship from Etsy and mosey over to Amazon.

You perform the customizations, not Amazon, and you must fulfill all customization orders FBM (fulfilled by merchant).

What kind of customizations can you do? 

First, you can print text onto your product, do engraving, embroidery, printing, painting—with this update, you can do practically anything.

For example, say you are selling a PS4 case on Amazon. Via Amazon Custom, your customer could tell you their initials that they want you to emboss on the plastic.

Second, shoppers can now send you images to print on products they want to buy.

Third, product configuration or "list of options" enables you to create a series of drop-down options through Seller Central that customers can use to build their own product.

Amazon Custom

I’m not going to go through all the fine details of new customization options, but I do want you to understand how cool and in-depth these updates are.

Your Amazon Custom listing is treated just like any other listing on Amazon.com in that they show up in search results and you can run PPC on your listing. But customers can filter by “Amazon Custom” just like when they filter by product category.

All you have to do is register to become an Amazon Custom seller.

To watch a step-by-step video version of this blog, click below.

BONUS: you can now boost your sales with an editorial recommendations article. 

Click here to learn about the best kept Amazon FBA secret right now and increase your sales by as much as 10 times, literally. 

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Seth Kniep

Married a pearl. Fathered 4 miracles. Fired his boss. Turned a single dime into $104,857. Today, a self-made millionaire, Seth and his team of 8 badass coaches teach entrepreneurs how to build passive income on Amazon.

Dead serious about building income on Amazon with eight successful coaches in a community of badass Amazon sellers? Join the Amazon FBA Mastery membership.

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