Should I stop selling on Amazon?
Amazon can provide a huge platform of opportunity for Sellers all around the world, and has been integral to many people’s success in recent years. But there are also times when the marketplace might not work for you or your product, and what should you do then?
Craig Gedey, managing partner at suspension specialists Thompson and Holt, has significant experience on the site, and says that while it might be a difficult decision to make, there are definitely times when it’s beneficial to you to stop selling something on Amazon. Here he goes through three key scenarios where that might be the case, and advises when it might be time to call it a day with certain items.
Gedey explains: “Amazon is no different to any other market place in that sometimes there are going to be periods of failure. These are situations we can always learn from, and hopefully improve our businesses moving forwards, and it is important to know when it is time to move on from a particular product on Amazon.”
1. Increased competition
“This is something that is increasingly common on Amazon, particularly after the last 12 months, the global pandemic and a move towards online retailing,” Gedey says. “You might have been first to market with your product but now you’ve got a host of competitors trying to squeeze in. If this starts to happen to your product, maintain regular monitoring of your competitors’ listings and look for reasons that they might be more effective than yours. If they are, make changes to make sure your listing is as attractive as it can be. Look at the possibility of selling on other marketplaces such as Facebook and eBay if the competition isn’t as great there. But if competition has had a major impact on your item on Amazon, don’t be tempted to get into price wars that could significantly damage your business - decide on a line to draw at for your price, and if your product just isn’t selling at that level any more, it could be time to withdraw the listing.”
2. Change in product trend
“Items such as the children’s toy fidget spinners can quickly rise, and then fall, in desirability,” Gedey continues. “If you get to market quickly and are well priced and marketed, you can capitalise on these situations, which is great. But if you’re behind your competition, you may have missed the sales spike you’re looking for, making it much more difficult to make it profitable. And even if you were active during that period, the inevitable downward slide in goods such as these, when they fall in and out of fashion with children, is going to come. Don’t hang on too long when the trend has changed - spend your time instead being ready for the next one. You can easily check Google Trends to track the popularity of specific products through search patterns.”
3. Bad reviews
“This can happen even despite your best endeavours,” Thompson and Holt’s Gedey says. “Sometimes, the products you see just aren’t of sufficient quality to earn the kind of reviews you need to achieve strong sales. By all means try all the usual methods we would always recommend to secure positive reviews - there is a detailed page on this at https://www.thompsonandholt.com/post/how-to-get-great-reviews-on-amazon. But if negative reviews keep coming in, it might be time to look at a different product.”
What do I do if I decide to stop selling a product on Amazon?
“You have a number of options if this is the decision you have reached,” Gedey concludes. “As outlined above, don’t think that this is the end of the world - failure and learning are very much part of every single business operation. But if you have come to this conclusion, you should remove your inventory from Amazon’s warehouse if that is where it is stored - the longer it sits there, the more storage fees will mount up. There is a remove fee involved in that. You could look to liquidate your listing by selling it in bulk to a liquidation company, on eBay or even donating it. The final option is having Amazon destroy your inventory, which also has a fee but can be the most cost-effective way to move forward.”
How do I close my Amazon Seller account?
If you do decide to close your seller account there are a few things you need to know, you can find out exactly on the Amazon Seller Central help pages here.
What will happen if I close my account?
If you choose to permanently close your seller account, read the following information first:
If you have a European Unified Account and you close your seller account, all of your other eligible accounts will be shut down at the same time. For example, if you close your UK account, your French, German, Italian, and Spanish accounts will also be closed.
The simplest way to tell if you have a European Unified Account is to check whether the marketplace switcher is available in the header of your seller account.
Once you close your seller account, you will no longer have access to it. You cannot view order history, process returns, issue refunds, respond to A-to-z Guarantee claims, or communicate with buyers.
Accounts cannot be terminated until 90 days after your last sale. This guarantees that the A-to-z Guarantee claim period is honoured. If you have any open A-to-z Guarantee claim, your account must remain open until they are settled. Your account balance must be zero before your account can be closed.
What do I need to do before I can close my account?
After you have read the information above, complete the following steps:
Fulfil any outstanding order.
Wait 90 days after your last sale to ensure that the A-to-Z Guarantee claims period is honoured.
Wait until you have zero balance in your account (your next disbursement or charge date).
Resolve all of your transactions with buyers, including issuing any necessary refunds.
Confirm that you have valid bank account information on file to receive a final payment.
Check your Performance Notifications to make sure that all the reasons for your account’s suspension have been resolved and your account has been restored.
How do I permanently close my account?
Once you have completed the steps listed above, do the following:
Go to the Contact Us page.
Click Close your account.
Fill in the form and click Submit request.
Amazon will send a confirmation email that your account has been closed, or send an email detailing why your account cannot be closed at this time.
Worried about an Amazon suspension?
If you have found yourself suspended while selling on Amazon, contact Thompson and Holt for a free LiveChat to get your Seller business back online as quickly as possible.
Thompson and Holt are also offering a free month’s trial of their Monitor and Protect service to help sellers prevent a suspension of ASINs or an their account during the COVID pandemic, more information on how to protect your Amazon seller account from a suspension can be found here.