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:
- Like New
- Very Good
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?
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.
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: