How We Choose The Condition Of Our Items For Amazon

Conditioning:

This area of selling on FBA does have some guidelines, but at the same time it relies heavily subjective opinion of the seller.  Of which incorrect conditioning can come back and bite you in the butt. We have always found that if we simply under condition and over deliver the customer is generally agreeable to your conditioning label.

There are 6 main conditioning levels with Amazon that you will use almost every time you list an item with a few more condition levels still reserved for certain situations.

Those general conditioning levels are as follows:

  • New
  • Like New
  • Refurbished
  • Very Good
  • Good
  • Acceptable

In the beginning you might find it hard to start to condition your items. Nobody gets it right the first time. It takes practice and after a while it comes second nature. Ironically when this happens it affects all sourcing prospects as well when you’re out and about. (i.e. – you become more selective.)

In the beginning people have a tendency to go two directions. Either they over-condition their items to try and get them to sell faster or they are under-conditioning them, which only leaves their pockets lighter. While over-conditioning may move some items quicker for you in the beginning you’ll also gain the reputation of trying to take advantage of your customers as well which will be reflected in your metrics through returns and overall customer satisfaction if your items’ conditioning is not agreeable to the customer.

Below I’ve listed Amazon’s Conditioning guidelines, we’ll be going over these one at a time. Are ya ready?

General Condition GuidelinesCategory Specific New & Used GuidelinesCategory Specific Collectible Guidelines

The General Condition Guidelines are a great help in determining what Amazon expects from you in your conditioning on a general basis. These are for items that do not fall into the Category-Specific Condition Guidelines, which if you’re going the Thrifting route, you’ll be experiencing more than anything else, depending of course on your business plan and strategy.

Let’s look at these Condition Levels:

New The NEW condition is reserved for items that are pristine new straight from the manufacturer. Fresh off the shelf or out of the case box they were shipped in. No damage, sealed boxes, never opened, All warranties intact. New means NEW.
Used – Refurbished REFURBISHED Or sometimes referred to as “remanufactured” are items that have taken in by authorized professionals who have brought the item back to working order from a previous broken state. These items still have manufacturer or Refurbisher warranties applied to them if applicable.
Used – Like New LIKE NEW is reserved for items that are APPARENTLY new. In other words you may know they are, but because you are not the original purchaser from the company and they are not presented from within a shipping box they are LIKE NEW. These items can still be presented as a gift, however can be missing original protective wrapping.
Used – Very Good VERY GOOD items are items where the owner took great care of them. Presented next to a new item it would be difficult to tell the difference. These items have seen a little use, but bit enough to cause excessive wear. Oh yeah, and the item works exactly as it’s intended.
Used – Good GOOD items are category specific, meaning that this guideline is not allowed in all categories. These items show wear from consistent use, however they are still in working condition. They may have some identifying marks on them, but are by no way damaged.
Used – Acceptable ACCEPTABLE items are category specific as well in that there are few categories this classification will work for. Not only do these items show signs of wear, but there are dents and worn corners as well as possible identifying marks.

Click on images to bring them into view.

Books Camera & Photo Cell Phones & Accessories Computers
 Amazon's Books Condition Guidelines  Amazon's Camera & Photo Condition Guidelines  Amazon's Cell Phones & Accessories Condition Guidelines  Amazon Computer Condition Guidelines
Home & Garden Industrial & Scientific Ink & Toner Electronics
Amazon Electronics Conditioning Guidelines Amazon's Home & Garden Condition Guidelines Amazon's Industrial & Scientific Condition Guidelines Amazon's Ink & Toner Condition Guidelines
Music Musical Instruments Office Products Outdoor Living
 Amazon's Music Condition Guidelines  Amazon's Musical Instruments Condition Guidelines  Amazon's Office Products Condition Guidelines  Amazon's Outdoor Living Condition Guidelines
Software & Computer Games Tools & Hardware Toys & Baby Videos, DVDs & Blu-ray Discs
 Amazon's Software & Computer Games Condition Guidelines  Amazon's Tools & Hardware Condition Guidelines  Amazon's Toys & Baby Condition Guidelines  Amazon's Video, DVD & Blu-ray Discs Condition Guidelines
Video Games Watches
 Amazon's Video Games Condition Guidelines  Amazon's Watches Condition Guidelines
Books Music Toys & Games Videos, DVDs & Blu-ray Discs
Amazon's Books (Collectible) Condition Guidelines Amazon's Music (Collectible) Condition Guidelines Amazon's Toys & Games Collectible Condition Guidelines Amazon's Video, DVD & Blu-ray Discs (Collectible) Condition Guidelines

So Above we have looked at what Amazon wants  or guides us towards…

Now, let’s get down to a simple way to manage your conditioning. This can be a  sensitive subject sometimes, but really just be honest with yourself here. If you were to recieve this item in the mail, how would you classify it’s condition.You can never know the mood of the person you are sending the package to when they recieve it. Nor can you tell the personality. Are they analytical, good with flow, critical, understanding?

These come into play as to how your buyer is going to view your package, unless it is unmistakably new.I say this because our business model is based around exercising our arbitrage skills in second hand, better known as, thrift stores. Being that this stuff is donated  and the workers are there either there through volunteer efforts of their own or that set by courts, so the handling isn’t always the best. But this is why CONDITIONING is going to play a huge role in your business.

We first started out buying everything with a barcode. We sent some stuff in, but then we had a yard sale to get rid of the rest because it wasn’t worth sending it into Amazon.

So right of the bat, when you’re sourcing try to make sure your items are in the highest condition they can be. With all their parts.When you get home and really have time to scour over your newly acquired treasures you may find that the item you thought was Like New shifts quickly to Good because of a scuff you might have overlook. These, what seem to be minor, blemishes can turn the perceptual price of that good down tremendously.

So you have the jist now. Although these guidelines are there remember that ultimately it’s your business. I recommend under conditioning and over delivering, but that’s me. I plan to stay in business for a while.

 

 

 

If you want to see Amazon’s conditioning guidelines check this out:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=1161242

Designing Your MSKU To Matching Your Business Needs

The SKU, or more apporpriately, the MSKU. What the heck is it, why do I need it and how the heck can I design it to match my business needs? So the untrained eye SKU’s can be just and arbitrary set of numbers and letters, but if you know what to look for and you’ll be better apt to decifer them and what better way to learn how to decode them than to make your own for your Amazon business.

Trust me, the sooner you get this done the easier you’re life will be in the future.

How to check to see if your item is in the Amazon catalog before listing it.

Look to list your item? Of course you are! That’s the whole point of this selling thing anyways isn’t it? Got to get it on the marketplace if you’re going to sell it right!

Well this is pretty much where you start. With three easy steps I’ll take through checking to see if your item is in the Amazon catalog.

Step One: Select “Inventory” at the top of your Seller Central portal that appears after you login.

Step Two: Select “Add Product” from the drop down list and that will bring you to the catalog search page

Step Three: This is the most in depth step as there are options or variables involved here. So let’s look at it.

There are five ways to do your search:

ASIN Amazon Standard Item Number
ISBN International Standard Book Number
EAN European Article Number
UPC Universal Product Code
String Type in the name of the product and search

All you do is type in the appropiate identifier from above into the search bar on the Add Product page on Amazon.com and then hit search.

The first 4 identifier (ISBN, UPC, ASIN, EAN) will get you the most direct and appropirate match, but sometimes that just isn’t available. I always do a serach from lowest possible match to largerest, but every situation is different.

From what I’ve expereinced to go from the lowest possible matches to highest possible matches try the identifiers in the order listed above if you have the information available to you. Most likely it’s going to be an ISBN, UPC or String search that you will be preforming.

 

If you’d like more information on these identifiers be sure to check out Amazon’s explaination.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/seller/asin-upc-isbn-info.html

 

Where are the Amazon Fulfillment Warehouses Located in North America?

Amazon has thier fulfillment warehouses strategically placed throughout the world to cover every aspect of thier market aspect’s platform. Below we have listed the locations, but also the abbreviations for each one too. This will make more sense in some of the shipping posts that are on this site.

North America
USACanadaMexico
Arizona (PHX)
California (ONT, OAK, XUSD)
Connecticut (BDL)
Delaware (PHL)
Florida (MCO, MIA, TPA)
Georgia (ATL)
Indiana (SDF, IND, XUSE)
Illinois
Kansas (TUL, MCI)
Kentucky (CVG, LEX, SDF)
Maryland (BWI)
Massachusetts (BOS)
Nevada (LAS, RN)
New Hampshire (BOS)
New Jersey (EWR)
North Carolina (CLT)
Pennsylvania (ABE,MDT, PHL PIT, XUSC)
 
South Carolina (CAE, GSP)
 
Tennessee (BNA, CHA)
 
Texas (DFW, HOU, SAT)
Virgina (RIC)
Washington (BFI, SEA)
 
Wisconsin (MKE)
Ontario (YYZ)
British Columbia (YVR)
State of Mexico (YYZ)

You know…. I was going to add the fulfillment centers overseas as well just cause, but I feel I should stop here. Let’s just focus on North America, as that’s where my experience is.

 

Hello and Welcome to Our FBA LIFE!

Our FBA Life

Welcome to our humble little site here. This is our first post of many on how we have started and grown and are growing our FBA business. At the moment we are starting small, but we are excited as each month we are seeing continually growth within our small little company of my wife and myself.

Do we know what we’re doing? Ha, half the time we feel like we don’t, but when get down to it we do our research, put in the time and strive to improve every day to become better and more knowledgeable on the direction we have decided to guide our lives.

Retail Arbitrage
SO… Do we know what we’re doing? To a degree, we know what is working for us and that is what we are planning to present to you. Are there other ways  in which people make money on and with Amazon? ABSOLUTELY! Our way is built around a manner of Retail Arbitrage at the moment. Buy low, sell higher, split, reinvest and enjoy the profits, repeat. Basic principles to the model.

Affiliate Marketing
Some people create on websites that sell other people’s products and then take a cut of the referral price for sending people to that individual product. This is called Affiliate Marketing and is allowed through Amazon Associates, however it is not available to everyone.

Private Labeling
Another way is people create their own products and have them manufactured shipped directly to Amazon and all they really handle after a time is the design and the transfer of product after manufacturing. This is mainly referred to as Private Labeling.

Author your thoughts
Then there the eBooks. A very lucrative manner in which many people make a lot of money simply by creating valuable content, formatting it to Amazon’s specified format and then upload it. Of course there are some more complications behind that but in the simple explanation that’s what you’re looking at. Write, Upload, Collect…. For digital 1’s and 0’s that you created through the power of your own knowledge and creativity. Anyone can be an author.

Now I’m sure there are plenty of other manners in which you can leverage the power of Amazon’s market share of attention from shoppers throughout the world, but these are the ones I’m familiar with at the present time. This blog at the moment will be focused around the Retail Arbitrage aspect as we have found this to be the most cost advantageous approach to start slowly and without a lot of money at all.

Due diligence will get you through we are finding and sometimes you just have to stick it out through the hard times to make to the promised land. Embark on this journey to helping yourself, just as we have helped ourselves, take back control of your life.

This blog and this lifestyle, for us, is about more that just being about make money finding great deals and having great ROI’s (Return of Investment). It’s about growth not just in our business, but also as human beings. In order to gain control and respect of the your life and business you have to grow into a position of leadership that deserves such entitlement of the riches that hard work as proved possible.

What ever your choice in path for your life. Know your determination and hard work determines how far you go down that path. Always be open to new opportunities though. I never saw us ending up here, but here we are and have found that not only do we get to be treasure hunters by day, we get to be stay at home PARENTS (Take notice of that ‘S’). Yes we have both been able to stay home and take care of our children. Well… Child at the moment, we meet the next in a few months!

How great is it though to be able to though. We made that choice, and took a pretty substantial pay cut and location change to do it. Worth every penny though. Hopefully our little FBA blog here can help you to gain more control over your financial life and give you back more of the control over your life that you’re looking for.

So again WELCOME! We look forward to sharing our continually unfolding story as we grow in this community, maybe along side of you.

– Shawn