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🗝- Trump China Manufacturing, Thousands of Unsafe Products Investigation, AMA Webinar Coming

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August 27 · Issue #33 · View online
The Amazon Insider
🎧 Episode 098 Now Available!
The latest episode of Keyword: the Amazon Insider Podcast features Peter Kearns, 180Commerce, from our recent Ask Me Anything Webinar. This episode covers questions from webinar attendees. Peter answers questions covering a variety of topics including dealing with black hat tactics, asking for reviews and product launches. Listen now!
💻 Join us for our next Ask Me Anything Webinar!
Chris McCabe, ecommerceChris.com, will be joining us for our next Ask Me Anything Webinar coming September 3. Register now to have a chance to ask Chris about the latest account suspension trends and ideas for handling reinstatement.
Click here to Register Now
We will be recording the webinar and making parts of it available later in future episodes, but if you want the full conversation, you’ll need to register.
🔧Beta test new Amazon software tool for free - Virtual Bundle
Recent News...
Trade war with the United States and China continues to cause problems and potential problems for Amazon Sellers. So.. are you looking for a new factory outside of China? Let us know by responding to that question on our Facebook page.
Sales Tax Updates
Amazon began on collecting sales tax on July 1, 2019 for the following states:
  • Arkansas
  • Indiana
  • Kentucky
  • New Mexico
  • Rhode Island
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Wyoming
Amazon will begin calculating and collecting sales tax in Ohio starting on September 1.
Amazon Liability Case Gets Rehearing
The full Third Circuit court is next up to decide if Amazon is a product “seller” for that can be held liable items sold by third parties on the Marketplace. The appeal was granted to Amazon on August 23. Previously, a July ruling by a lower court found Amazon was liable for a product that injured a Pennsylvania woman. This could be a landmark case that determines if Amazon has to pay in future injury claims.
😱Third-Party Merchants found selling thousands of unsafe, mislabeled and banned products
The Wall Street Journal says Amazon has evolved into flea market of sorts in this article where it determined there are thousands of products listed for sale that big-box retailers would never sell. The investigation found 4,152 items for sale on Amazon.com that have been declared unsafe, improperly labeled or banned by federal regulators. Amazon removed more than 50% of the listings after the Journal told them about their findings.
This investigation should be a good reminder for sellers to make sure all products are in compliance and follow required guidelines.
👎Black Hat Tactic: Positive Reviews Hijacked to trick Shoppers
Bad actors are combining reviews from multiple products to boost their own positive review count. This article talks about ways to spot the problem and report it. (We’re hopeful Amazon will do more to prevent this abuse.)
🌟Amazon testing a new “Top Brand” Badge
A new badge hopes to give brands more conversion and discoverability on the Amazon Marketplace. It’s currently being tested by big brands like Under Armour and Fruit of the Loom. It’s not clear how Amazon picks the “Top Brand” recipients, only telling Wired that it will be given to brands consumers love. There’s some skepticism that it could hurt smaller sellers and their abilities to stand out in an already competitive market.
🏷Price Alert!
Amazon is asking third-party sellers to raise prices for products listed on competitor marketplaces, like Walmart or else risk losing Amazon perks. This kind of behavior tends to make the Federal Trade Commission upset. No word yet if it will be used in the ongoing antitrust investigations currently happening of US tech companies.
👍Good News! Unsold Goods Now Donated instead of Dumped
A new program, Fulfilled by Amazon Donations ,will start sending items that third-party sellers can’t sell to charities. It’s been reported that these items were destined for the trash if they weren’t sold. CBS News reported in May that nearly 300,000 items were trashed in a nine month period.
📈Amazon believes it’s good for entrepreneurs
“Small and medium-sized businesses are the lifeblood of the economy, and we are committed to empowering them,” said Nicholas Denissen, Amazon Vice President of Small Business in this article. More than half of the merchandise sold on Amazon comes from third-party sellers.
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