If you’re new to the world of Amazon FBA, then based on what you’ve seen online you might be of the opinion that the most successful sellers get to the top without experiencing any problems or stress … and that might be making you feel bad if you’re experiencing challenges or struggling with your own journey in general.
As someone that’s sold over 100,000 units and generated over £1,000,000 with Amazon FBA over the past 4 years, I can tell you that whilst it has been incredibly rewarding, making progress hasn’t been a walk in the park – for every few highs that I’ve had there’s usually been a low, but that’s life for you – full of ups and downs that can be very challenging, but at the same time, give you an opportunity to learn and improve once you overcome them.
So, if you are feeling possibly a little demotivated or down because of a challenge or difficulty that you’ve been facing with Amazon FBA selling… I’ve got something to cheer you up – a summary of the worst things about Amazon FBA… as experienced by me!
Amazon FBA – Account Suspension!
After around 10 months of selling, I was pretty happy with how my Amazon FBA business was running. I had two growing products that were both profitable, and everything seemed to be going pretty smoothly…
That was until one day out of the blue I received an email from Amazon saying my credit card number was invalid, which I thought was pretty odd given I’d been using it since I first started selling, and it didn’t expire for another 2 years.
So, I logged into my account and was greeted by a message from Amazon FBA saying I’d been suspended for providing them with an invalid credit card. In my haste to try to fix things, I started adding more personal cards, changing my details and emailing Jeff Bezos, which I really shouldn’t have done as I was just panicking and making things worse.
Because of an issue on Amazon’s end with my card, for the next 2 weeks I was sat on the sidelines without a selling account, watching all of my competitors take the sales that should have been mine, which was incredibly frustrating. Fortunately for my sanity, it wasn’t long before my account was reinstated – without an apology from Amazon of course – and I was back in business…
Attacked With Fake Reviews By Another Amazon FBA Seller
The first product that I started to sell on Amazon FBA became a pretty big success quite quickly, selling out in the first few weeks and then generating me around £30k in monthly revenues after just three months – all with a nice 30% profit margin. It was an amazing feeling to have when I realised that thousands of strangers from around the country were choosing my product over my competitors, but unfortunately.. other sellers weren’t too happy about it, which I realised when all of a sudden I started getting lots of 1star reviews, one after each other.
At the time, I knew that getting 1 star reviews was something that any amazon seller should expect, but getting 10 in a row was pretty unheard of, and my suspicions were raised when all of them were written in poor English and were complaining about things that didn’t quite match my product’s description.
Of course, my Amazon FBA sales went from 50 a day all the way down to pretty much zero, which was devastating given I had over 2000 units in stock that id just paid for. I was really feeling sorry for myself, until I decided to be a problem solver, and start doing some investigating into the people leaving the reviews.
Once I’d done a bit digging, I discovered a number of groups where people were getting paid to leave reviews – which included bad ones. My competitors were clearly paying strangers to try and bring me down, which only made me more determined to beat them.
So I collected all of the evidence I managed to find, put together an email and sent it off to Amazon, and within a week, the reviews had been removed and my sales eventually returned to normal. Not a nice experience whatsoever, but I prevailed in the end, and the seller that was the one responsible, is no longer on amazon at all!
Infringing On Someone’s Intellectual Property
A few years ago, just a month after one of my best selling products hitting £70k in a month with Amazon FBA, it was suddenly removed from sale by amazon without any warning. After checking my emails, I saw that another company had complained to amazon, stating that my product was infringing on their patent, something that I was completely unaware of.
At this point I was in shock and was at a complete low because I had around 2000 units in stock and knew that unless I found a resolution, I wouldn’t be able to sell them. So, like before, I put my problem solving cap on, I did some research and decided to email the patent holder with a proposal that would allow me to continue selling my current stock.
After about 2 weeks of email exchanges, they eventually agreed to let me continue selling until I ran out of stock, which gave me my listing back and enough time to change the product so that it wasn’t infringing on their patent anymore. Problem solved!
Not Labelling An Amazon FBA Product Properly
This one was a real low point for me. On the morning of my WEDDING DAY, I was having a nice leisurely stroll through the park, decided to check how my sales were doing, and once again greeted with a love letter from amazon telling me that they’d removed one of my products from sale.
This wasn’t too much of a concern at the time, as some of my products are in the electronics category so Amazon can do this quite frequently and but they will quickly reinstate the listing as soon as you provide the right compliance documentation, which im very familiar with.
So, fortunately I was able to get married without it being on my mind too much, and then went for a nice honeymoon to the Maldives whilst my other products continued selling in the background.
On around the 4th day of the honeymoon, I found that the problem was actually worse than I first thought – when I opened my email to find a message from Trading Standards saying that they’d requested my listing be pulled because the product when inspected, had failed safety standards – this immediately panicked me. Upon reading their email in more detail, I found that the reason the product had failed their tests, was because of an issue with the labelling on the product itself, as opposed to the product actually being unsafe to use, which really annoyed me. Because of some jobsworth reporting me over a very tiny issue, I had lost my listing and now had 1000 units trapped at Amazon’s warehouse which I couldn’t sell.
But, of course I didn’t say this to the Trading Standards, instead, I sent a solutions oriented email back to them, to which they said I could continue selling the product if the labelling issue was corrected. Which resulted in me having to remove all of the units from Amazon’s warehouse, correct the labelling, and then send back in, which took around 4 months to fix. A complete pain, but a hard lesson learnt!
Whilst at the time of each of those lows felt like I was being taken to hell and back for eternity, looking back now they honestly just feel like blips on my Amazon FBA business’s path to success, and I’m so glad that instead of becoming permanently demotivate up for each low that I went through, I fought them all and won.
I never gave up or faltered, I stayed determined and I looked for solutions. And because of that, for every that challenge I’ve faced, I’ve beaten it and come out a much strong and better businessperson as a result.
Under no circumstances would I want to go through any of these again, but I’ve no doubt that as my Amazon FBA business continues to grow over the next few years, I will of course face many more issues that I’m sure I’ll be able to describe as more of my worst moments in future videos. That said, I understand that highs AND lows are part and parcel of running any business, and whilst some of the Amazon FBA gurus out there try to hide that, you should know that for every success story that you hear and see, behind that will be stories of fails, stress and pain. But the difference between a winner and loser in this game, is the winners don’t give up when they experience fails. They find solutions, so that the only possibility left is winning.
So if you are reading this now and thinking of giving up with Amazon FBA because you’re not finding it as easy as others seem to be – don’t! You will be rewards by all of your efforts – just like I have, so stick to it, be a problem solver, and refuse to accept failure under any circumstances – if you do that, then you can’t lose.
I hope you found this motivational and you can now understand that the success that I’ve had hasn’t been down to luck or because I don’t make mistakes, trust me, I do – I just refuse to ever give up over what I see as a once in a lifetime opportunity that is hugely rewrding. Don’t give up!
You can read another article of mine on whether I think Amazon FBA is a scam here.