Amazon FBA: 4 Biggest Struggles Beginner and Veteran Sellers Face and How They Overcome Them

March 10, 2022
Written by Ken Zhou
amazon fba

Amazon is, no doubt, the biggest online shopping website of today. With over 6 million unique sellers and 700,000-800,00 sellers joining every year, it is undoubtedly seen as the most profitable way of growing money for everyone who wants to start their own business online. Thankfully, the Amazon FBA program is still up and running.

An Amazon FBA seller is diligent – it does not give up so easily when faced with many struggles in online selling. That’s what makes successful FBA sellers rise to the top, seeking solutions to overcome challenges. And while beginners get more overwhelmed with learning the ins and outs of FBA compared to the veterans, new and unique challenges still come along the way that even the most educated and experienced FBA seller cannot plan flawlessly.

Take a look at the 4 most common and biggest challenges that may come to every Amazon FBA business and see what you can do to solve them!

1. Failure to Find the Best Product to Sell

As an Amazon seller, you are faced with finding products to sell on Amazon. Whether you sell products via wholesale, retail arbitrage, handmade, or private label, you will need to exhaust all the means to seek options on which products to sell and where to source them.

For the most part, you only need to make sure the products you’ve chosen to sell qualify for these two things: that they are in demand and that they are cheap to source. Of course, other qualifications apply to niches your online store may belong in, but these two are indispensable. 

To check which product to sell or whether your intended product to sell is in demand, analyze these factors first:

  • Your target market. This is the group of people you aim to have your items bought by them. You should put yourself in their position and find out what they need or want. For example, if your target market is fitness, you may sell fitness bands or nutritional supplements. 
  • The current trends in customer behavior. The theory of trends was created because there are certain patterns to which your potential customers adhere. For example, if you are selling clothes for millennial women, you will see that their tastes in fashion change, whether slowly or quickly. 
  • The number of sellers and stocks vs. the number of buyers. This one is a no-brainer. When a few sellers are selling a product that many buyers seek, there will be a shortage of that product. In that case, that is where you can find a reputable and reliable supplier or manufacturer, which you can tap to source your product.

There are many factors to analyze on a case-to-case basis. However, these are just the three main factors that constitute huge importance in brainstorming which products to sell.

When you’ve thought about which products to buy, you may go ahead and find a strategy on where to obtain them. Here is a concise list of where to source your products:

  • Retail arbitrage – mortar-and-brick stores such as groceries and department stores
  • Private label – manufacturers from Alibaba, Modalyst, and SupplyMeDirect
  • Handmade – labor from you, other artisans, or you and other artisans
  • Wholesale – Thomasnet, Alibaba, CB Distributors, Bargains Group

2. Amazon FBA fees are too high

When it comes to selling on Amazon, profitability is the biggest factor a seller must consider. After all, sellers join Amazon to profit and not to lose money. And here comes the predicament of paying a huge amount of money for FBA: the miscalculations and decisions which would end you up paying more.

To avoid that from happening, you must know the different types of FBA fees that you will have to pay:

  • FBA Fulfillment Fees
  • Monthly Inventory and Long-term Storage Fees
  • Removal Order and Disposal Order Fees
  • Returns Processing Fees
  • Prep and Label Service Fees
  • Small and Light Fees

Aside from those above, you also have to prepare for the other associated fees when you encounter hiccups in your business operations. While FBA indeed provides convenience for sellers by logistics, processing, and warehousing solutions, it also comes with many fees that Amazon can apply. So, quantifying these fees in advance is necessary to lessen the costs and gain more income from your FBA business.

Lastly, with Amazon periodically releasing changes in FBA fees, sellers have to be informed as soon as possible. This gives them a leeway to plan and prevent losing potential revenue. Just remember, the more information you have, the more prepared you can be. And preparing can minimize your lost income along the way!

3. Poor customer service from Amazon

Amazon is the undisputed leader in eCommerce in North America and the whole world in general. It services millions of customers every day and caters to at least 6 million third-party sellers. However, while this online shopping giant continues to uphold quality experience in retail, it is not spared from lapses that it is prone to make due to unfavorable circumstances.

Here are just a few of the scenarios wherein your customer will contact Amazon customer service:

  • Canceling orders
  • Inquiring where the order currently is and ask for a delivery request 
  • Returning orders that may have items that were wrongly chosen or that do not match the requested specifications
  • Requesting for a refund of defective items

These are only some of the most common reasons your customers deserve a prompt response and solution. In this case, since Amazon is your warehouse and logistics partner, they will have to face these as these are crucial for customer satisfaction. 

4. Slow shipping times

Logistics will always be the lifeline of eCommerce. In the case of Amazon, that can be categorized into two sides of the coin: the FBA sellers’ side and the customers’ side. 

When your items are being shipped from Amazon Fulfillment Centers to your customers, the responsibility lies on Amazon. The FBA service includes promptly shipping your items stored in their warehouses to your customers, with no delays. When there’s damage inflicted on your items caused during the handling process, Amazon will have to reimburse you. 

You’ll also have to ensure that your inventory gets safely from either your place or your manufacturer/supplier to your designated Amazon Fulfillment Center. Any damages incurred in transit in this particular path will be your responsibility, and Amazon will not be liable. Unfortunately, the current pandemic has made global shipping difficult. Still, luckily Amazon has been of help to many third-party sellers by commissioning more private ships and planes to hasten the logistics.

There will always be hiccups in shipping with the increasing demand and movement of goods. Now, this is your responsibility to plan out realistic goals for your inventory movement to avoid out-of-stock status and maximize your profit!

money growth upward

Conclusion

Amazon is a haven for sellers for it houses the biggest customer base amongst all online shopping websites worldwide. However, if you are an FBA seller already or perhaps planning to be one, it’s necessary to prepare yourself for the problems that may come along the way. Take these challenges – finding the right product to sell, high Amazon FBA fees, Amazon’s poor customer service, and slow shipping times – as a reason to exercise yourself to think of the countermeasures. 

Prepare yourself today and save yourself from unnecessary losses in Amazon FBA. Partner up with us to hear from our panel of Amazon experts who are more than willing to give you the most reliable and up-to-date strategies. Please book an appointment with us by emailing us at [email protected] today!

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