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Seller Best Practices

Whether you're a low- or high-volume seller, Amazon.com wants you to succeed. It's important that you are able to focus on growing your business and not have to worry about the mechanics of selling. In light of this, we've created these useful insights for you that are used by our most successful sellers. For easy reference, bookmark this page and the links below.

If you are a Professional seller, you have access to volume listing tools, frequent-seller programs, subscription selling rates, downloadable inventory reports, and many other features. When relevant, we've highlighted additional information for you.

If you're serious about selling, we're serious about helping you.

Finding Answers Quickly

  • The quickest way to find answers is to read our Help pages and FAQs, available in our Seller Help pages.
  • Always check the Seller Announcement Board before contacting Amazon about a current technical issue--this is where our support staff will post notices of any known issues.
  • Interact with other sellers and find out why they're so successful. Become an active member of our seller community by visiting our discussion boards such as the Help for New Sellers board.

Listing Items and Inventory Management

  • Update your online inventory daily to avoid stock-outs that may occur when an Amazon buyer purchases an item from you, but you no longer have that item on hand. Making updates is especially important if the inventory you are selling on Amazon Marketplace is also for sale through other venues.
  • Before pricing your items, research prices for comparable products on Amazon Marketplace and make adjustments if necessary.
  • If an item has been listed for more than 30 days and has not sold, check your pricing to make sure that it is competitive and make changes if necessary.
  • The Listings Status feature may take up to 36 hours to remove your listings and another 36 hours to restore them. During this period, listings cannot be modified or deleted. Because of this, we don't suggest using this feature to remove your listings from the site. Read more about using this feature by visiting the Seller Account and Preferences help page.
  • Ensure that you classify the condition of your items in accordance with our posted Condition Guidelines.
  • For more information about listing on our site, please visit our collection of Help pages for Listing Your Item.
  • For information about inventory management, visit our page for Managing and Relisting Your Items or our related FAQ.

Additional Information for Professional Sellers

  • Break large Inventory Loader files into batches with fewer than 25,000 listings or file sizes smaller than 10 MB.
  • It is best not to submit the same Inventory Loader file more than once. You might experience a slight processing delay during peak times, but our systems will still process files in the order we received them.
  • After your file finishes processing, be sure to review the error log to determine why some of your listings may not have loaded. Click here for more information.
  • For more information about how to use Inventory Loader, please visit our page on Volume Listing Tools.

Order Management

  • Check your Manage Your Orders section regularly for important updates on your sales, rather than relying exclusively on e-mail notifications. You can access order information through your Seller Account.
  • Provide high-quality customer service, which includes handling refunds and returns in a timely manner. Cancel an order within 48 hours if you are unable to fulfill it, and issue refunds for returns within five business days of receiving the return. You'll find instructions on our Charge When Ship FAQ and Refund Orders pages.
  • Use the A-to-z Guarantee only as a last resort when resolving matters with buyers. Multiple guarantee claims are an indication of seller performance problems.

Fulfillment

  • Always ship your items within two business days of order notification. This is a requirement!
  • Include a packing slip with your item. You can print it from your Seller Account or create your own. Don't forget to include your return address. Please also review our shipping and packing guidelines carefully.
  • To understand shipping rates, visit our Shipping Resources page.
  • Include a note with your package with your contact information and encourage your buyer to leave you feedback at www.amazon.com/feedback.
  • Though we handle order and shipping notifications, we encourage you to work directly with customers to resolve their questions and concerns about products and orders.
  • For additional help with this topic, visit our Help pages for Fulfillment, Getting Paid, and Feedback.

Additional Information about A-to-z Guarantee Claims for Items Not Received
Sellers are accountable for resolving A-to-z Guarantee claims for items Not Received and the claims will be processed according to the following policies:

  • Products(s) Shipped without Tracking
    A seller will be liable for a not received claim if Estimated Delivery Date (EDD) has passed and the order was shipped without tracking information. This policy will apply to all orders, including those shipped by media mail.
  • Product(s) Shipped with Tracking - In Transit
    If a product is not delivered by the end of the EDD range, and tracking information shows an expected delivery in the near future (and the product was shipped by the promised ship date of two business days from the order date) the claim will not be granted and the buyer will be asked to wait for the product.  The seller will not be liable. However, if tracking information does not show expected delivery in a reasonable timeframe, the claim will be granted and the seller will be held liable.  This will apply to packages lost in transit as well. 
  • Product(s) Shipped with Delivery Confirmation Tracking - Tracking Shows Delivery and Buyer Claims Item Not Received
    The A-to-z Guarantee team will investigate the dispute. Amazon may contact the buyer to confirm non-receipt. If no receipt is confirmed, the seller may still be held liable for lack of fulfillment - Amazon will not cover service errors, including loss, theft, or postal/shipping issues.  Amazon will, however, continue to protect sellers from fraudulent buyers and A-to-z Guarantee abusers.
  • Product(s) Shipped with Signature Confirmation Tracking - Tracking Shows Delivery and Buyer Claims Item Not Received
    If the name on the signature confirmation matches the buyer, the A-to-z Guarantee team will deny the claim.  If signature confirmation does not match the buyer, the A-to-z Guarantee team will deny the claim and ask the buyer to follow-up with the individual that signed for the package.  Guarantee claims for packages that are signed for by a freight forwarder or an agent of the buyer (e.g. receptionist, family member) will be denied.  However, if an investigation determines that the customer did not receive the order due to a shipping error beyond his or her control, the seller may be held liable.  We anticipate that this would be a very rare occurrence

How sellers can reduce the risk of an A-to-z Guarantee claim
There are three simple ways to mitigate the risk of an A-to-z Guarantee claim for item not received:

  1. Ship promptly and use a shipping method that ensures reliable delivery before EDD.
  2. Ship with a trackable method, and provide tracking information when confirming orders.
  3. Ship higher priced items with signature confirmation tracking and/or insurance.

You can review the pertinent section your agreement with us for additional details.

Additional Information for Professional Sellers

  • Professional sellers can schedule Order Fulfillment Reports to run on a regular basis. We recommend that you schedule these reports no more than once per day. The reports generated by this URL contain data for the most recent 24-hour period.
  • You can manually generate a report for 15, 30, or 60 days via your Seller Account if needed.

Customer Service

  • Answer all buyer inquiries within 24 hours of receipt. Good communication with buyers promotes good feedback for sellers.
  • Amazon.com was founded on providing an extraordinary experience for buyers. Customers have come to expect this type of service, and that is what keeps them coming back for more purchases. We encourage you to use the reputation we've established to leverage your own business. As a seller, you are now in control of the same experience for your buyers: never lose sight of this philosophy.

Security

  • Change your password regularly.
  • Consider setting up a separate bank account for disbursements.
  • Amazon.com never asks you to verify sensitive information via e-mail. Submit such information only when completing an order on our website, registering to sell on Amazon, updating account information in Seller Central, or contacting us directly through our online forms.
  • Review the terms of our online Privacy Notice and our other Privacy & Security resources.
  • If you are ever in doubt about the authenticity of an e-mail, visit our site directly by typing the address into your browser bar, rather than clicking any links. To find out more about Amazon.com's efforts to combat fraudulent e-mail, please visit our Stop Spoofing page.

Community

Familiarize yourself with the Community Rules for sellers and the terms of our Participation Agreement.

After a customer finds your product, present them a compelling offer. Quality images and effective product details entice customers to buy your products.

  • Clear, high-quality images: Is the image clear, on a white background, and a good representation of the product you are selling?
  • Great product details and descriptions Does the customer have the information they need to confidently buy from you?
  • Effective merchandising: Do your items show up in the appropriate areas of the store based on the information you provided?
  • Pricing and shipping: Are your products priced competitively against comparable pieces? If they are unique, collectors, or designer items, does the customer have enough information to justify the price? Can you offer shipping incentives to sweeten the deal?

Follow up with great customer service, an excellent buying experience, and (as a result) great feedback ratings for you as a seller.

Images

Effective product images stimulate a customer's imagination and inspire them to buy your product. Evaluate your image quality based on these guidelines:

  • The image matches the product description in size, color, and so on.
  • The product is recognizable
  • The image is a photo and not a drawing
  • The photo is taken at a flattering angle.
  • The product is focused and well-lit.
  • Close-up shots are not obscured by highlights or shadows.
  • The product occupies at least 80% of the image area
  • The entire product is depicted in the image
  • Backgrounds are simple and clean so as not to distract from the product.

Product Titles and Brand Names

Consider these title and branding guidelines when creating your listings:

  • Your product title should entice customers to buy your products.
  • Do not use ALL CAPS. Customers are wary of products and pages that appear to be shouting at them.
  • Use title case for product titles and brand names. For example, Men's White Silk Shirt for that "Uptown Party" Look.
  • Product titles should contain only relevant information specific to the item. Shipping, promotional information, or seller name should not be included in the product title.
  • If the item is a designer item, the designer name goes in the Brand field. If it is an unbranded item, like most jewelry, the seller name goes in the brand field.
  • Brand names should be entered according to the manufacturer's standard format (for example, TAG Heuer, Seiko, Rolex, or Movado).

Product Feature Bullets

Testing shows that well-crafted bullet points increase sales. Customers rely on them to understand key product features as they highlight important or distinguishing facts about your product.

Use the following guidelines as you craft your bullet points:

  • Highlight the key features you want customers to consider, such as dimensions, age appropriateness, ideal conditions for the product, skill level, contents, country of origin, and so on.
  • Maintain a consistent order. If your first bullet point is country of origin, keep that same order for all your products.
  • Reiterate important information from the title and description.
  • Begin each bullet point with a capital letter.
  • Write with sentence fragments and do not include ending punctuation.
  • Do not include promotional and pricing information.

The bulleted list below follows these guidelines in describing a set of rain gear:

  • Made in USA
  • 100% waterproof
  • 100% breathable
  • Available in khaki, yellow, or green
  • Money-back satisfaction guarantee

Product Descriptions

As you describe your product, you might want to include some key features listed in your bullet points. Well-written product descriptions help the customer imagine the experience of owning or handling your product.

Put yourself in your customers' shoes: what do they want to feel, touch, think? How will their lifestyle be enchanced by your product? Incorporating information about the feel, usage, and benefits of your product can fire the customer's imagination. This is as close as you can come to creating an in-store experience.

Avoid overly simplistic descriptions, such as these:

A rugged microphone for sound professionals.
Washable canvas pants with faux suede trim on the back

Instead, consider these solid, compelling descriptions:

In the tradition of the SM58®, the Beta 58A dynamic microphone has become a top choice among vocalists and touring sound professionals. The Shure Beta 58A is a high-output supercardioid dynamic vocal microphone designed for professional sound reinforcement and project studio recording. It maintains a true supercardioid pattern throughout its frequency range. This insures high gain-before-feedback, maximum isolation from other sound sources, and minimum off-axis tone coloration. The Beta 58A has a shaped frequency response that is ideal for close-up vocals. The superb performance of this microphone is not affected by rough handling, because of rugged construction, proven shock mount system, and hardened steel mesh grille help protect it from damage. Typical applications for the Beta 58A include lead vocals, backup vocals, and speech.
Cut for active wear, these pure cotton canvas pants might be the most durable and comfortable trousers you'll ever wear. Washable faux suede trim on back pockets and D-ring add durability and extended wear. Available in brown, green, khaki, or stone. Washable. Imported.

Pricing and Shipping

Research the competition as you develop a compelling price point. Do not forget to take shipping costs into account as well. Customers consistently see shipping costs as the main issue when deciding to make an online purchase.

Offering free shipping can significantly increase your sales. In particular, think about inexpensive items. A $5 shipping charge on $5 to $10 worth of merchandises not very compelling.

Clearly communicate your shipping policy. This includes both charges and delivery times. Use the "Your Info & Policies" feature to add to the information you provide in your "Shipping Settings."

Seller Support

Please use the e-mail address associated with your Amazon.com Seller account.