Problems with Amazon for Startups

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by Prahari/ on 10 Feb 2020

Here we are sharing our overall net positive bad experience of selling with amazon, which can guide you better when you put products on Amazon. First of all who we are ? Let’s make an Introduction . We are a startup Prahari technologies manufacturer of innovative gas leak detector - GASCO with auto electric cutoff. We started selling on Amazon approximately six month ago.

Here we are sharing our overall net positive bad experience of selling with amazon, which can guide you better when you put products on Amazon. First of all who we are ? Let’s make an Introduction . We are a startup Prahari technologies manufacturer of innovative gas leak detector - GASCO with auto electric cutoff. We started selling on Amazon approximately six month ago.

Disclaimer:- This is our personal experience and point of view we are putting, We Strongly suggest Amazon is best among other Online Platform. But There are some flaws we found, it big whale system.

Visibility:
  • New products struggle a lot to get on the first page, even though it is an only product listed in that category. For Example We sell products with the keyword “Gas Leak Detector for Home”, If you start searching for the same you will get some random product getting on top which does not have any relevance with your category. Amazon does not have any manual review process for uploading a product, whether it is matching with the keyword product has mentioned or not. If amazon is getting sale, they will simply list that product.
  • While other free products listed in the wrong category and users are diverted by getting the wrong product and Actual product are gone invisible.
Reviews :

Fake reviews and competition is also a big challenge for listing a product,Competitors try to degrade your brand. Amazon do provide some review removal tools and manual review setup. But Amazon can not counter all product review and information provided by your competitors. As You know what could go wrong in product you are selling and provide customer specific solution. You have already sold more than thousands of products, So After some time you know very well what kind of problems people might face.

Programs:
  • Amazon startup programs like Launchpad, actually not that much supportive.We had uploaded our product on amazon launchpad and passed their criteria of being an innovative startup. They reviewed manually for one of our product which is newly launched, our product was uploaded and went under their processing for month. We had not heard a single response from them till 1 month. After a month again we made a contact with them and they again held me for 2 months and after two months they were saying that this program is discontinued for new entries. In our opinion they have the responsibility to inform me at least once whether the program is going to close ,open, update, under maintenance blah blah.Like this way we have wasted our 3 months after amazon.So here our point is that if you have ended the program then why is this still blinking on your website ?? to confuse new startups ?? to put them in trouble? or to waste their valuable time after this program ?
  • Neither any Amazon staff has ever contacted me back for the same till date and anyhow we have to list our product in a general category even though it is the only and first product one of its kind in the world . we were not able to list Gasco under Amazon launchpad neither we have never got any facilities from amazon till now related to Launchpad Services. Amazon might promote itself as startup friendly, but trust me , in our opinion it is not. Here are the screenshots of the mail from Amazon employees Regarding Launchpad Service.
Charges:
  • Even After Opting Launchpad Program There are Monthly 15k Fees They are Charging.
  • Even though getting the buy box for a new product is an easier task, you need to understand that without a buybox it is hard to make any sale.
  • How you need to submit your product on FBA one process of Amazon to deliver product to the customer easily and you also have to pay for that as a seller
  • Again if you want to sell products on Amazon for a short time you have to run their marketing campaigns which will cause 50% of your product cost approximately plus commission on each sale extra. Which we find most effective and only working way.
Return Policy :
  • Amazon has a shitty return policy. They do not have any reverse mechanism to check if the product is defective before receiving a return from the customer.
  • Product might be broken from the customer side purposefully. We are facing such problems on a daily basis. We are the manufacturers and we are 110% sure that we provide very well tested products to customers, yes on other hand we are also accepting that there might be some issues in one product in One out of Hundred.
  • We have the product having electronics circuits inside . It’s not that all buyers of our returning product have a great knowledge about the circuit board inside. When we are receiving 60% broken warranty sealed products back from customers, competitors order a product for the R&D purpose of copying the product, and send that back as defective. Amazon has to take care of this.
  • A New product and there is an innovation. Anyone can easily order a product, open it ,analyse it and send it back as a product is defective. We have images to show how we are getting back many products and suffering from huge monetary losses for this responsibility of amazon .

If we complain about this against Amazon and we receive only 10% of what actual profit we are getting on a product so the product value is hundred and you are getting 60 in your hand after selling it on Amazon the defective product you will get only 10% of 60 that is only 6 bucks . Amazon has to think that sellers are not GOD ,who have unlimited property, can bear huge losses by this action and will never get an economic crash. If amazon will think this way and make a continuation like this, Why a new startup ,a new entrepreneur will prefer amazon ?

Cross Selling Do Exist:

Cross selling here means getting a conversion form your own website by listing products on amazon . That means some sellers use amazon for their advertisement only .

  • There are some sellers whose products are ranking on the first page for a particular keyword ,driving traffic to their own website by their own fake comments below the product.
  • So customers would divert to their website rather than end purchasing on amazon ,with a thought of getting cheaper products from somewhere else.they cannot see a comparison on different products on amazon .
  • Let me show you something .go for a keyword water level controller . You will find a live example as we explained before .The blue box toy standing in front of the row has clearly mentioned it’s own website url in the comment box and with a description “product available cheaper here “ and drives traffic to its own website .

Even After Complaining, Amazon didn’t take any action aginst the company till date.

  • Amazon should take care of these things and should work strongly on the comment section on each product .
Conclusion:

Concluding all points, if you are a newbie into the Amazon market and you want to expand your business for the first time then be prepared with a mindset of no profit and no loss for atleast few months to Year. Amazon might be a good platform for small good product sellers but it’s your wrong imagination that the product selling always will be profitable on Amazon. It should be tough because amazon’s policy is not seller friendly rather it is customer friendly. We must say that amazon’s telephone support team is the most excillent support we have seen so far. We have worked with Indiamart, Snapdeal, Justdial, Trade India and Exporters India.

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