Using Amazon Keywords Update

To continue on from the article  Q&A: How Can I Use All the Search Keywords for an Amazon Listing Kieran popped over a very interesting email and wants to share with you, the feedback here is exceptionally curious.

Hey Matthew

Just found out something useful and interesting from Amazon support.

I was having trouble with an ASIN, I lost it in the search as if it was suppressed.

I contacted them to ask about it and found out something interesting.

I have been told you must leave a space after your comma in the keywords otherwise it picks the whole box up as one keyword.

The guy explained that he tested my keywords and as an example he searched “slot-in slot in” and my product came up on amazon, the keywords looked like this “slot-in,slot in”

I think this is soooo important if this is the case and i noted that your article does not show spaces between your commas and keywords.

This came from Amazon support.

Currently a potential buyer would have to search for “Slot in slot in 3ds stylus touch stylus pen” as an example because i have setup my search terms wrong!

I hope this is useful to you, its certainly useful to me as currently most of my keywords are completely useless as there are no spaces.

Kind regards


So using spaces is recommended :)

Are you Selling on Amazon Yet?

Howdy, myself & Dave F are working on the “Ultimate Guide ” to selling on Amazon and to make sure we’re on the right track, we have two questions for you.

We thought it best to pop these into a quick 2 minute video, just hit play below:

Question 1 – If you’re already selling on Amazon

Is there one tip that you can give a new business owner who is about to start selling on Amazon?

Question 2 – If you’d like to sell on Amazon

If you are about to start selling on Amazon, what one thing would you find most useful to you?

Your Feedback

You can let us know your feedback by leaving a comment below in the comments box

Amazon Release a Synchronize Offers Internationally Tool

Amazon have just released a tool for selling internationally as a pilot. This is very curious, especially what the implications are for both yourself as a business owner and also 3rd party tools too.

Let’s jump straight in and have a look at the email from Amazon.

Synchronize Offers Internationally Tool

Hello Seller,

As a successful international Seller, you have experienced the benefit of listing your products in multiple marketplaces. Creating listings in multiple marketplaces can be a time consuming process. That’s why Amazon is testing a new tool that will make it easier for you to create listings in multiple EU marketplaces: The Synchronize Offers Internationally Tool. We invite you to participate in our Beta program and use the Synchronize Offers Internationally Tool.

With the new Synchronize Offers Internationally Tool you can:

  • Automatically create listings in the target (new) marketplaces based on products you are selling in your source ((home) marketplace.
  • Automatically sync price changes in the target marketplace whenever your make price changes for your products in your source marketplace.
  • Monitor exchange rate fluctuations and adjust your prices accordingly in target marketplaces.

To participate in this program, simply respond “yes” to this email and we will grant you access to the Synchronize Offers Internationally Tool.  After you read the important help content and terms and conditions, you can start using the tool.

Click here to download a live demo

Click here to review help pages

Thank you!

Amazon Global Selling

So what is this Tool?

This tool will allow you to sell your products from existing stock on Amazon, internationally across the other Amazon sites. If you’re primarily using, this means,, and, sounds great, but there are some caveats.

  • The product already has a detail page in the target marketplace with the same ASIN as in the source marketplace.
  • The product is in stock in the source marketplace.
  • The listing is active in the source marketplace.
  • The condition of the product is “new”.

Point 1 is the biggest one, your product(s) need to already exist on the international sites with the same ASIN that you’re using on We all know that this may not actually be the case, so this tool may need some work or considerations by yourself before using this as Amazon will take the stance that their product catalogue is perfect and there are no duplicates.

Amazon Synchronise Offers Internationally Tool- 2

Amazon Synchronise Offers Internationally Tool- 2

In the video that accompanies this tool, it gets really interesting at 10 mins 40 seconds when a new product is added a new product will be pushed to the sites where there is a product that exists with the same ASIN, but not to the sites where the ASIN does not exist yet.

Also on the topic of pricing, Amazon have 3 pricing rules to choose from, these are:

  1. The same price as the base site converted to Euro’s
  2. Percentage above source marketplace (eg 10%)
  3. Fixed amount above source marketplace (eg 5GBP)

If you watch the video, at around 14 minutes, there is an interesting block on over pricing, Amazon have written a maximum of 200% of the base price, also when connecting other marketplaces, there needs to be no pre-existing offers on that marketplace.

A screen shot of the connections screen is below:

Amazon Synchronise Offers Internationally Tool

Amazon Synchronise Offers Internationally Tool

Find out more

To contact Amazon about being on this Beta program, you can email them at [email protected] and request access, after being entered into the program you’re able to manage the connections of products from your Amazon seller central account. You can find out more here on their dedicated help page here.

What do you think?

It’s a nice touch that Amazon will use the exchange rates for you when converting the prices, some tools charge for this service. But do you think this will be helpful to you? What about pricing rules for international selling, is this just enough or is it too restrictive?

Let em know in the comments box at the bottom.


Do I Need a Barcode to Sell on Amazon?

This was a question asked a few days ago at the Brightpearl Commerce Acceleration 101 I presented at a few days ago and I thought it’s worth sharing with you.


So do you need one?

Yes and no.

The answer really depends on if the product you are selling is already listed on Amazon or not and I’ll explain why.

If the product is already listed on Amazon

Then this is “happy days“, all we need is the key and key is something called an ASIN.

This is pronounced “A-SIN” and stands for “Amazon Standard Identification Number”. Once a product has been loaded onto Amazon, Amazon gives the product a unique key that is not the barcode and looks like  this example “B003MWJKVI” which is for a memory stick.

If you pick any item on Amazon, you’ll notice that not only in the page URL you see the ASIN of the product like below:

An ASIN in the Amazon URL for a product

An ASIN in the Amazon URL for a product

Also the ASIN can be found further down the product page and looks like the screen shot below:

An ASIN in the Amazon product page

An ASIN in the Amazon product page

It should be noted that the ASIN still refers to the barcode (or the correct name is GTIN or EAN) but unlike where a barcode is meant to be for a single product only, an ASIN can refer to more than one barcode. Barcodes are leased not bought and can be re-used, hence that’s why you can sometimes find a barcode belonging to more than one product on Amazon.

Oh, if you’d like know the differences between an ASIN, GTIN, EAN, UPC or JAN then take a look at this article, as I covered that last year and a video explanation is also included too.

If the product is not listed on Amazon

Now this is not “bad days”, it just means that we need to locate the barcode for the product.

Most mainstream products have barcodes assigned and are on the product itself, just look for the numbers below the stripy label. However, if you’ve got a product that is new or undocumented on Amazon, then you’re going to need a barcode to create it on Amazon with.

There are a collection of sites on the interwebs that you can buy a barcode for a few pounds, these are fab if you only have a few products, but I’m guessing you have lots and this where you need to speak to a company called GS1. You can find them here

Barcodes are not bought, they are leased

This means that you can lease a range of barcodes and if you’re wondering “how many do you get?” basically you are given as many as you need. This could be 10,000 this could be several million depending on your requirements.

To subscribe to GS1, the rough prices are £250 for the first year and £125 for the next years subscription as the first year they charge you ~£125 set up fees. But you get as many barcodes as you need to use and if you run out, you can go back and ask for more.

A full breakdown of the pricing can be found here:

Oh and how to find out the barcode of an ASIN?

Free ASIN to EAN ConverterThat’s a little more tricky if you have lots of products and you need to use the Amazon Product Advertising API to look them up.  But…. if you know the ASIN, then the tool at the link below will convert them for you, for free!

If you want to know the ASIN’s of the variations of products listed on Amazon with variations, you may wish to contact me directly as I have a script that I use with clothing and footwear businesses to look the variation ASIN’s up on Amazon for existing products, all in a deliciously simple CSV file for its output.

Hope that helps!

How Much Did eBay & Amazon Spend on Google Advertising in 2011?

While researching for an article working I’m working on in relation to Google Adwords and the eBay & Amazon marketplaces, I came across the info-graphic below and I’ve got to share!

The numbers are just unreal

In 2011:

  • eBay spent $42.8 million
  • Amazon spent $55.2 million

On Google advertising in one year.

Yes, in one year!!!

Question: How much did you spend on Google Adwords last year?

Was it £0, £10, £1000? You can let me know in the comments at the bottom

Googles Earnings Breadown for 2011

Googles Earnings Breadown for 2011

Amazon Hike Electronic Accessories Fees to 12%

Amazon have moved several of their fee structures around which most are effective from today and the big hike for electronic accessories from 7% to 12% is delayed until the 4th April.

A new category has been added just for electronic accessories to be able to charge this higher value, along with the minimum fee per unit. Amazon is not daft, they know which lines are more profitable than others and the hike in fees doesn’t surprise me as we already know that Amazon charge 25% for jewellery products.


New Amazon fee Structures

Amazon Fee Decreases
Amazon SiteCategoryWasNowNotes
UK, DE, IT & ESVideo Game Consoles15%8%6 month promotion
FRVideo Game Consoles10.44%8%6 month promotion
FRPC Hardware, PC Peripherals and TV7%5%6 month promotion
Amazon Fee Increases
Amazon SiteCategoryWasNowNotes
UK, DE, FR, IT & ES Electronics Accessories
(new category)
7%12%Now has a min 0.50 GBP or EUR fee
Effective 4th April 2013
FRBooks,  Music, Video VHS, DVDs10.44% 15%+ new VCF from 0.44 EUR
FRVideo  Games, Software 10.44% 15% (mentioned but no value specified)

Seller Central Notice

If you check your Amazon Seller Central account you’ll see the following notice:

On 5th  February  2013, we are launching a new  category and a new store for Electronics Accessories.  The Electronics Accessories category will  have the following referral fees on the UK, German, French, Italian and Spanish  Amazon Marketplaces: 12% or 0.50 GBP/EUR minimum fee per unit,  whichever is higher.


Your current Electronics Accessories listings will be automatically  moved to the new category when it launches on  5th February  2013, but the new category fees will not take effect until 4th April 2013.  Learn more

How Will You be Affected?

How will the new fee structures impact your business?

Urgent: Dealing Amazon Pending Orders


Firstly apologies, I’ve know about Amazon’s pending orders for a long time now and they can be dangerous. I should have considered their impact at this time of the year earlier. I never suggest anything as ‘urgent’ that I cover here, but this is the exception…

What Are Amazon Pending Orders?

Amazon pending orders, are orders that have one or more issues with either the customer or the payment for the order. This means that there is an order that has been taken by Amazon, but not yet been made available for download and/or processing.

Taking a direct extract from the Amazon help system, pending orders are explained below:

Orders in pending status indicate an issue with the customer’s payment method. Those orders are not in a shippable status, and should not be shipped, even if the buyer contacts you directly. Pending orders will not have confirm and cancel buttons in Manage Orders, and they will not appear in either the Order Report or the Unshipped Orders Report.

Once an order is in a shippable status, the confirm and cancel buttons will appear in Manage Orders and the order will appear in both the Order Report and the Unshipped Orders Report. At that point, the order should be shipped and the shipment confirmed in Manage Orders or with a feed.

Note that Amazon assumes the risk of buyer non-payment for every order in your Unshipped Orders Reports or that has confirm and cancel buttons in Manage Orders. Of course, just as now, there may be circumstances where payment may later need to be refunded, for example when the buyer does not receive the order, or it is not as described.

Why Are Amazon Pending Orders Dangerous?

Using the Amazon help explanation of pending orders, I’ve highlighted the key points above “orders are not in a shippable status” and “will not appear in either the Order Report or the Unshipped Orders Report“. To clarify such orders are dangerous because:

  • They’re sat in a different queue
  • Stock may or may not be allocated to such orders
  • They don’t appear in the standard (or any) reports that can be exported

Pending orders are both a liability & risk to the business. Such orders can sit in this status for weeks sometimes, however at this time when there is a higher velocity of sales than normal the low risk of these turn into a serious risk.

Stock can be locked in Amazon orders and 3rd parties may not know of them, thus keeping the stock available on other channels and open the business to higher chances of overselling. The orders are not shown in the order reports and any system, whether it’s the sellers own or a 3rd party can overlook these and not account for them in the current stock levels.

The Scale of Amazon Pending Orders

Now this is curious, I checked on four Amazon Seller Central accounts this morning, roughly their account types were like this:

Average Order ValueOrder Velocity
Very High (over £150)Medium
Medium (below £50)High
Medium  (below £30)Medium
Very Low (below £10)High

Now my logic beforehand would have indicated that both the “very high value” and the “high order velocity” for the “very low” orders would have been the two accounts that displayed issues with pending orders.

However I was wrong, both these accounts had very few pending orders (one had 3 and the other 11). It was both medium order value accounts with moderate to high volumes of sales that had the most number of pending orders, one account had over 150 of them and the other was over 50.

However they ALL had pending orders, some were showing back to late November and the numbers differed from account to account (they’re four unrelated accounts in four different product verticals).

How Do You Locate Pending Orders?

Locating Amazon pending orders is relatively straight forwards, there are several paths and I have also included a direct link to them as well:

  • After logging in to your Seller Central account, on the right column, scroll down to the section called “Your Orders (Amazon.ext)”, under the section called “Seller Fulfilled” there is a line for pending orders and the count is a link
  • From the top menu, hover on “Orders” and select “Manage Orders”, then click on “Advanced search” and select a date range (I’d suggest 365 days for the first time) and set the “Order Status” drop down box to “Pending” and hit search
  • A direct link to the last 180 days of Amazon pending orders is here and if you want to search for less or longer change the value of the “preSelectedRange” attribute

How To Handle Pending Orders?

Firstly the good news…

3rd parties such as eSellerPro, ChannelAdvisor & Linnworks use Amazon’s newer API called MWS (Marketplace Web Services).

Why is this important? Included in the calls is the ability to locate and account for pending orders. This allows them (3rd parties) to allocate stock lines that are held in pending orders so that they’re not allocated for sale on other sales channels (like eBay or websites for example). If you’re using either of these then you have nothing to worry about.

This is of course assuming that you have setup MWS with these platforms. If there is any doubt at all, contact them immediately.

Now the bad news…

If you are using the order reports from Amazon to process your orders either manually, through a 3rd party or through AMTU (Amazon Merchant Transport Utility) then you are likely to have a potential issue.

The ability to integrate to MWS is there but requires time & a developer, this is ruled out. The same goes for integrating to any of the fore-mentioned 3rd party platforms. So you’re stuck in a limbo period.

Also this only affects merchants that either use a virtual business model or are also selling the same products on other platforms/marketplaces. If you only sell on Amazon and work in a stocked business model, then you can ignore this completely.

Dealing With Pending Orders Manually

However if your business does sell its product ranges elsewhere or uses parts of a virtual product model, then I suggest the following:

  1. Check the pending orders 2-3 times per day, once in the morning, then around lunch and once in the evening (this depends upon the velocity of your orders and the amount of pending orders you’re seeing)
  2. You can copy/paste the pending orders list to excel (it doesn’t paste that well, but its workable)
  3. Take a few minutes to highlight new pending orders that have appeared and allocate stock levels accordingly.
  4. Track orders exiting to real orders and orders that are removed

A 5th option which may or may not be an option for your business (and I suggest you do so, because of the complicated risk factors with Amazon as we need to allow as much lea-way for returns and cancelled orders post Christmas) is that you actually order the products in the pending orders and allocate them to one side.


Amazon pending orders can be tricky, especially if your business is not using the MWS API or a 3rd party that uses this to communicate with Amazon & have that part dealt with effectively.

Stock can be allocated without the ability to let other selling channels know and this opens your business to a risk of overselling and the “fun” that stems from cancelled orders.

If you’ve not read this article yet (there is a video too), I cover some core essentials on how Amazon reacts to marketplace sellers. You never cross Amazon because if it was a human, it would be a woman and she is a ………

If there is only one takeaway from this article, go check your Amazon orders right now for pending ones, be aware of them and you can do this via this link.

Webinar with ChannelGrabber Today @ 17:00

In case you’ve missed it, I’m holding another Free Webinar this evening at 17:00 GMT with MD of, Daniel and one of their users, Jason who is also one of the ProjectE 6.

Who Should Attend?

If you’ve never used an “automation tool” to manage the differing sales channels eBay & Amazon, then this webinar is for you.

There are typically three spikes in an online small/medium business, the first spike is when you start selling in the first place and dedicate time, the second is when you add more sales channels and the third is when you use a tool like ChannelGrabber to automate as much as possible and to refocus on better inventory data and more inventory.

These are my three rules to expansion, efficiency (internal & external), more sales channels, more inventory. A tool such as ChannelGrabber underpins ALL of these.

What are We Covering?

The webinar will be broken into two sections, the first will be hosted by Daniel and he’ll explain why a tool like this existed and how it can help you.

The second part will with Jason, an actual user of ChannelGrabber and you’ll hear “a real customer” that uses this for his business

Why Not Wednesday?

I’m off to a “customer council” with eSellerPro tomorrow and don’t fancy trying to host the Webinar from hotel wifi.

Where Do I Register?

You can register here and it starts at 5pm tonight.

See you there!

eSellerPro At Lords in September

eSellerProIn case you’ve missed it, eSellerPro are holding their first public customer conference at Lords on the 15th September. The line up includes the usual suspects, eBay, PayPal and lunch. However MoneyBookers, Profulfillment & Priceminister have presentations in the afternoon, which is a first as I’m aware for an event such as this.

The two key parts I’m looking forward to are release of the product roadmap from Eamonn Costello, the new product development director & also the “heads up” from the CEO,  Keith Bird.

A tour of Lords is also included and the agenda is below:

10:00Welcome, eSellerPro, Vision and Strategy, Keith Bird, CEO, eSellerPro
10:30Product Roadmap – Eamonn Costello, Director of Product Development, eSellerPro
11:45eSellerPro Customer Case Study – Towequip
How can you grow your Business Internationally
14:30Panel Q&A and Close
15:00eSellerPro Surgery, Meet the Team and network with our partners
SellerPro Surgery, Networking and Tour of Lords

You can register here and the full details are here. Looking forward to seeing you there!

Part 2: What Are Affiliate Networks & Should I be using Them?

wedge-of-cashWelcome to part 2 of ‘What Are Affiliate Networks & Should I be using Them’, this is a continuation of the article I started yesterday here. Lets get straight to it.

Who’s Using Affiliate Networks To Promote Their Products?

Now this is where I am going to start name dropping, names such as Matalan, OFFICE Shoes, Misco, McAfee, Hilton, Vodafone, BT, P&O, Maplin, Kodak, eBuyer, Marks & Spencers, Littlewoods, Very, ASDA I could run out of this virtual ink listing all the companies that use affiliates to promote their sales.

Marks & SpencersBut don’t let the use of high street brands put you off, there are thousands of smaller merchants working the affiliate scene and some convert better than the big boys!

Companies use affiliate networks for a simple reason, they work and they also work on commission on confirmed sales. Unlike PPC (Pay Per Click) and PPI (Pay Per Impression) the money is spent before knowing the results, affiliate networking is for a confirmed purchase.

Examples of Affiliate Sites

Sadly none of these are mine, I do have an a good idea from old data, on some of the revenue these sites create and its not small amounts, by any means:

Special Networks

eBay UKNow there are two affiliate networks which are worth a special mention, these are eBay and Amazon. Thats right you can use either of these companies to promote your own products. This also explains where some of your fees go to each month, into affiliate pockets. Well the ones that converted browsers into buyers that is. Remember almost all affiliate schemes are based upon commission on confirmed sales.

eBay is a bit ‘funky’ as they have changed their stats and payments to work on a fairer structure is based upon actions, bids and purchasing, with a more true representation on what the customer that was referred by the affiliate is then doing on the site.

Amazon UKAmazon is also a bit ‘funky’ too, unlike the typical affiliate program that would have a cookie period of say 7, 30, 45, 60 or 90 days, Amazon has a cookie life of just 24 hours. Yes, as an affiliate they need to convert their browser into a buyer in 24 hours from them clicking the link. Sounds horrific, but Amazon converts like crazy and its one of my largest income streams from affiliate marketing.

Summary of Affiliate Networks

You should now be aware of what an affiliate network is; that affiliate networks mostly have a setup fee, a monthly fee and a commission to be paid to both the affiliates that drive you sales and a commission on the commission’s to the affiliate.

But within this structure lies the key, once you can get over the the monthly overhead, the sales that are generated by the affiliates should be much cheaper than those acquired by other means, plus its your customer to market who you wish after the sale.

In the final part of this series, you can discover The Top UK Affiliate Networks.

Updated Services List, Forthcoming Articles & Client History

Forthcoming ArticlesI’ve been really quiet again on the article front this week again. I’ve not given up, quite the opposite. I’ve been beavering away in the background updating other content on the site (like Amazon & eSellerPro category pages) and that’s what this article is about, what is coming up and what I have completed in the past few days.

Also, I have a draft article on my MBA progression that is due for tomorrow morning (Friday 11th March), if you have any background on working with someone whom has an MBA, been through the process, employed, read about or have any information you may feel would be of use to me, please contact me today, as I’m at the OU in the evening.

Forth Coming Articles

This is not a complete list as there are a few that I wish to keep in my ‘back pocket’ for later use. However should give you an idea on the topics that are due to be released here in the forth coming days:

  • What is Fulfilment By Amazon & How much does FBA cost? (FBA Calculator included!)
  • Should I be using Amazon’s FBA (Fulfilment By Amazon)
  • Which eBay Shop Subscription Level should I be using? (Fees Calculator included!)
  • The untold truth about using 3rd party software such as Channel Advisor or eSellerPro
  • Is eSellerPro really worth +£2,000 plus fees?
  • Why choose Channel Advisor, aren’t they Web 1.5?
  • What is 247 TopSeller?
  • An Ex Employees/Insiders guide to eSellerPro
  • Get Ready, Get Set. Facebook Credits are going to change EVERYTHING
  • How To: Using eBay Shop Keywords to Leverage the Extra eBay Shop Pages

Client History!

This page is really is in its infancy currently. however it has been an interesting experience, remembering all the different companies I have worked with. The stark reality that there are so many and how different each of them were. The Client History page is not complete yet, however it visually shows the breadth of businesses I have had and still have the joy of working with.

New Service Offerings

I’ve been documenting what exactly I can offer potential clients and what I have been helping businesses for what is a very long time now with. Its been quite an interesting process as I am well-rounded-character and have experience in a lot of fields, that is a quality that makes me unique, however I do have key offerings, these are:

Business Mentoring & Consultation
The person you can turn to for advice, suggestions and solutions to your issues. If you want to work 4 hours per week we’ll work towards that, if you want to grow by X% then, we’ll do what is needed to achieve that goal.

Competitive Intelligence
A legal and ethical business practice, which allows executives and managers in making strategic decisions for an organisation. Competitive Intelligence is the defining, gathering, analysing and distributing intelligence about a company, its products & services, its competitors and any aspect that affects the company in question.

In short, knowing your competition better than they know themselves.

Data Manipulation & API Integrations
I am an expert with MS Excel, can write VBA, iMacros, PHP and JavaScript by hand, however I know that there is no point in adding complexity, if the lowest skilled user cannot use it. That’s why I have for a long time used the term I coined ‘Matt Proof’.

From SOAP to CSV, XML to HTTP Post, if it needs to be altered, chopped, changed, manipulated, uploaded or abused to a much nicer format for use elsewhere, then there is an extremely high chance that I can aid you with this. I’ve included several examples on this on the Data Manipulation & API Integrations page.

If you are interested in any of these services, then contact me today.

Fulfilment By Amazon Webinar: Shipment Creation and Inbound Process

Fulfilment By Amazon. FBAIf you’re interested to understand in more detail how the shipment creation and the inbound process of Amazon’s fulfilment services (FBA) works, Amazon have a webinar at 5pm GMT on Wednesday 26th January.

I have attended a few Amazon webinar’s in 2010, they were well laid out and always learned something new while watching, the questions & answer sessions at the end can be very useful too.

Register Now

Apparently space is limited (is this a modifier to provoke action?) you can register your place following the link below:

Or for those whom need a call to action button, click the button below:

Register Now

Webinar Overview:

We are pleased to invite you to this FBA webinar focusing on the topic of sending shipments to our UK fulfilment centres. We will discuss the following:

– Quick Reminder about the shipment creation process
– Amazon’s requirements and restrictions
– Examples of common mistakes and problems which occurred last year
– Q&A

A representative from our operations team will be there to share first-hand experience and tips on these issues.

This session will mostly focus on learning how to improve your shipment process and avoid inbound problems. We will dedicate as much time as possible to questions.
For sellers starting with FBA, who are not familiar at all with the shipment creation process, we recommend you to first watch the recording of our previous webinar ‘Create your first shipment’, located here.

Title: Fulfilment By Amazon: Shipment Creation and Inbound Process
Date: Wednesday, 26th January 2011
Time: 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM UK Time

PS: Thanks to Carole from the Amazon FBA team for clarifying the day as the dates were out