Answers to the top four Amazon "What if?"s

Worry no more with answers to these commonly asked questions
Seth Kniep
Oct 30, 2017
Grow your Amazon store
Some of the most permeating questions when selling on Amazon are "What if"s. What if this happens? What if I don’t succeed? What if I don’t know how to respond? I've learned a lot of things the hard way, through years of trial and error, asking questions, searching online, and figuring it out as I go. Today I'm answering the top four “what if” questions I get on running a passive income stream through your Amazon store.

Remember the key concept here is being able to go to sleep, wake up, and have more money. All you have to do is manage that; you can move on with your life and make more money. Passive income is only effective if you’re willing to put the work in so you can enjoy it. Even me having margin to write these blogs is a result of building up passive income. I’m not worried about my finances, because I’ve built machines to make me money.

There is no get-rich-quick scheme in the world that works. This is not multi-level-marketing that will have you sign up under someone. These are true, raw tips on how to be effective.

What if someone sells under my product listing? What do I do?

My first response to you is why didn’t you private label it from the beginning?

There are some exceptions to this; for instance, if you find a patented item and get permission from the manufacturer. But anyone else can also do that and sell under your listing, even if you created the whole listing from scratch.

Let me give you a quick example. 

Let’s say this is your product: you went through the time of taking the photos, writing the description, putting in keywords, and doing everything you could to make this listing perfect. You wrote all the vital information, the offer, took and edited the images, pruned the description. But then someone comes along and all they have to do is click “Sell this item” to list their product under you.

If I click on “Used & new (15),” you can see that 14 other sellers are selling this product under the listing that you took the time to create! All they had to do was go to “Add a Product” in Seller Central, type in the name, and click “Sell Yours.”

You don’t want to be on the receiving end of this. It’s a horrible feeling to see someone list their product under your listing, potentially even price theirs lower, win the buy box, and steal your hard-earned sales. But if it does happen, what do you do?

First, private label your product if you are able. You could have a trademark on your brand name, which protects you legally. You could have custom packaging from the supplier with your brand on it, which would be very inconvenient for any other seller to reproduce. Or, at bare minimum, you can include your company logo as one of Amazon’s images and in the title of your product put “By (your brand name)”. These will make it very difficult for other sellers to sell under your listing.

If they still sell on your listing, you can send them a scary letter. Be professional, but send them a legally frightening letter. I have one that is written by a lawyer that will scare the heck out of them. It basically says “You’re selling under my brand; I can report you to Amazon and have your selling privileges removed. Do not sell under my product.” That’s one way you can protect yourself from people selling under your listing. I have a letter template that you can use that works every time for me - it's available at the end of this blog!

What do I do if I run out of inventory?

If you keep selling items but run out of inventory faster than you have money to buy more, you have a money management issue. This problem has nothing to do with Amazon or your product; it has to do with you. You have to manage your money really well and be smart about it. It’s very important to know exactly what you’re spending, what your revenue is, your wholesale cost, shipping costs, and Amazon fees, and your profit.

Know your numbers. Then you can use your profit to buy more inventory. If you use your profit to go buy a cheesecake, you’re slowing down your business. It will not grow unless you pour all the money you can back into your business and build it up to where it can support you. If you spend all your profit, you’ll stay the same. If you want to grow up, you need to use your money well.

This should not be a problem. It’s very important you don’t run out of inventory, because it effects your performance and makes it much more difficult to win the buy box. You’ll lose sales if you don’t keep track of your money.

My customer had a credit card chargeback. What do I do?

This has happened to me once in 2.5 years. It’s rare, but it happens. Amazon is pretty good about filtering out bad credit cards, but if a chargeback does happen, here’s what you do.

Go into the Seller Performance area of your Seller Central account. It will show you a notification that says “You have a credit card chargeback from one of your customers.” All that Amazon needs from you is to verify you shipped the item. That’s it. Once you do that, your butt is covered.

If you don’t do this when you get a chargeback, it could hurt your performance, so make sure you show them you shipped the item by providing the tracking number for that order.

What if my products aren’t selling?

If you’ve dropped your price lower than your competitors', ran campaign pay-per-click ads, ran sales, and done even more to sell your product but it isn’t moving, you have two options. One, you can get really creative in how you want to promote your product, or two, you can cut your losses.

Maybe you didn’t do enough research and it’s not the right product. There are times where you can find a product, be convinced, but end up with a dud. It’s happened to me before. You have to decide whether it’s worth spending more time and money promoting it or getting all your inventory back from Amazon FBA, putting it up on eBay or Craigslist for at-cost price, selling it off quickly, and starting over. I’ve had to do it, and it’s okay if you have to. You learn a lot in the process; do not let that cause you to give up.

If you feel there is still great potential in your product and you’re not making an emotionally-driven decision, you’re not attached to the product, then you can promote it in other ways. You can try through social media: if you have a strong online presence through Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest, you can actually create an e-commerce store and start advertising the heck out of it. If this is your product, your baby, and you want to build a business around it, then go the long route. It’s a good route.

You don’t have to be restricted to Amazon. You can blog, write content about that product, reach out on social media and promote it. It is a longer road, it takes six months to get decent traffic to a website if you’re a blogger. But many many companies have been successful this way.

There is a lot more I could get into. I encourage you to not restrict your thinking. If you came up with your product, patented it, and it is yours, go far outside of Amazon to promote it! It’s going to be a long journey, but it is so worth it.

If you have any questions, I am here to help you succeed. Have an awesome day.

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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.

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