From Sellers with Love, or the Funniest Stories About Running a Business on Amazon
One thing that unites all great Amazon sellers is that they love-love the marketplace.
They know Amazon in and out and take their Amazon relationship very seriously. After all, as a partner, Amazon can be pretty tough, demanding, and sometimes even unforgiving. But the ups always outweigh the downs, and that, we guess, makes a strong marriage.
Just like with any love story that lasts a lifetime, there’s no happy marriage without fun. And while starting an Amazon business is a serious endeavor, it’s also full of amusing moments.
On Valentine’s Day eve, we asked sellers to create a love note to Amazon, sharing the most interesting and funny stories they’ve come across while running their business. And the response was h̶̶̶i̶̶̶l̶̶̶a̶̶̶r̶̶̶i̶̶̶o̶̶̶u̶̶̶s̶̶̶ overwhelming.
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Love Notes to Amazon, or What Makes Amazon Business So Much Fun
#1. The One About Amazon Customers and Their Wild Imagination
As a seller, and especially as an Amazon seller, you are nothing but customer-centric. So, to sell your products, you have to get into your buyers’ shoes and know exactly what they need the product for, how they use it, and why.
But sometimes, you’ll see your imagination hit its limits – because customers might find extra creative ways to use your product.
Just read Steven Pope’s story.
"One time, My Amazon Guy client's listing was banned from advertising, but in a really unusual way.
A customer had written a glowing review about how they had used the product. Well, you see, the product was rope. Just plain rope. And the review posted a bondage-like rope tie on a mannequin that got the product marked as adult and banned from ads. You can imagine the laughter everyone involved had, including when they had to explain the ridiculous situation to seller support.
Spoiler: we got the product back live."
The moral of the story? Read your reviews and talk to your customers – they might open your eyes to completely different uses for your product.
#2. The One About 50 Shades Of Gold
If you ask any Amazon seller, everyone has a supplier story to share. That’s because it’s one thing to build an audience and demand, but it’s a different thing to manage supply and find reliable sourcing partners.
See Zach Zorn’s funny (not so funny at the time) supplier anecdote.
“After getting comfortable finding and sourcing products, I began to expand my FBA product line. In doing so, I found that magnetic levitating globes were increasing in popularity.
I wanted to set myself apart from the other sellers and ordered these globes in a shimmery gold color that looked very elegant. Several product restocking orders went without a hitch, and then one day…I receive 300 mustard-yellow-colored globes.
I messaged the supplier to let them know they sent the wrong product, and they responded by saying, “Sorry, we were out of gold, but your customers will love yellow, don’t worry, it’ll sell.”
Little did they realize that all the marketing photos and product descriptions used gold globes. After some back and forth, PayPal stepped in and refunded me all my money. I tried to return the globes but the supplier never replied. Looking back, it was funny, and that was the last time I sold any globes.”
What can we learn from Zack’s story? Don’t trust the supplier when they say, “don’t worry, your customers will love it!” Only you truly know what your audience loves – so trust your instincts and don’t take chances when it comes to Amazon sales.
#3. The One About Finding a Job That Feels Like a Vacay
Having an Amazon business is often portrayed as that easy side gig or that job that lets you live a lifelong vacation. Well, Wesley Stryker sure knows that’s not the case!
“In 2015, Amazon took notice of how well my brand was performing on my Shopify site and invited me to sell on Amazon.com. At this time, Amazon wasn’t nearly as big as it is today, so I foolishly threw up a few merchant-fulfilled listings without much thought.
I went on vacation a few months later and enabled “vacation mode” the morning I left.
When I returned, I was greeted with several late shipment notices and a suspension letter from Amazon. Unbeknownst to me, vacation mode can take several days to take effect and inactivate your listings, so I was still receiving sales while away on vacation that I was unable to fulfill. Thankfully, I was able to get my account reinstated.
Lessons learned: get educated on Amazon’s seller policies before you start selling, eliminate late shipment risk by outsourcing fulfillment to FBA, and if you must put your account on vacation mode, enable it a few days before you depart.”
#4. The One About a Rescued Duck
Sellers tend to take Amazon’s categorization pretty seriously. But sometimes, the category lines are very blurry. Yet you’d think human products and animal products would never intertwine. You’d be wrong, though.
Will Haire shares this lovely story about his human-intended product saving someone’s duck.
“This is a legit review left on one of our brand’s PDPs. It’s a supplement company, primarily for humans, but we saved the life of someone’s duck.”
Well, if a customer’s wild imagination from the first story got the seller’s listing banned, this time, it helped save a duck. So, there’s a silver lining to each amusing Amazon business tale.
Happy Valentine’s Day, and May You Do What You Love!
Love is the prerequisite of any business success. And more so on Amazon.
You have to love your customers, the marketplace, and even the suppliers who sometimes fail to deliver on their promise. But setbacks go away, while the smile stays.
Try to take it easy and enjoy running your Amazon business!
On our side, Sellzone and Semrush will always have your back and try to make your challenging job much easier – so you can enjoy all those little moments that make it so much fun!
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