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Chapter 4. Selling Through Amazon > Get (and Keep!) a Good Seller Rating

Hack 56. Get (and Keep!) a Good Seller Rating

A positive or negative seller rating can affect your Marketplace bottom line. Here are a few tips that can help keep your rating positive.

With so many seller choices available on Amazon, a good seller's rating can mean more than who has the lowest price when people decide whom to buy from. Every seller on Amazon has a profile page like the one you see in Figure 4-10, and it includes their overall feedback rating based on input from buyers. You can also see the comments buyers have left to better understand their ratings.

Figure 4-10. Amazon seller Member Profile page

If you're buying a book from the "New & Used" section of Amazon, be sure to check the seller's profile page before you place your order. By scanning the "Recent Feedback" you can get a sense of how people feel about doing business with the seller. The feedback ratings show up along with the book listings, but they can sometimes be artificially high or low.

There's no script or bit of technology that can artificially inflate your seller rating or remove negative reviews. Because your seller rating is based on people who buy from you, getting a good rating is all about customer service. Here are a few ideas to keep in mind as you interact with people through Amazon.

Ship on time

This sounds obvious, but 90% of negative feedback is about late shipments. Amazon requires you to ship your item within two business days of receiving the order. If you can get it out any sooner, your buyer will appreciate it.

Ship in protective packaging

Another sore spot with buyers is items damaged during transport. Bubble-wrap envelopes cost a bit more, but will ensure that the item arrives in the condition you described. Even with protective packaging you can stay under the shipping credit amount that Amazon provides.

Use tracking numbers

The United States Post Office has a service called delivery confirmation (see the USPS web site at http://www.usps.com/send/waystosendmail/extraservices/deliveryconfirmationservice.htm) that gives you a tracking confirmation number for your package. You can use delivery confirmation with any postage rate, including media mail, and it's well worth the charge. With the confirmation number in hand, you can track the package at the USPS web site to make sure it gets to its destination. If there's ever a dispute, you have the post office documentation to back up your claims of delivery. You can also send the tracking number to your buyer and let them track the package. They'll remember the effort when they're adding feedback.

Send a shipment confirmation to your buyer

You're not required to contact a buyer directly, but why not email them a note to let them know you've dropped their order in the mail? It's your first point of direct contact with the buyer, so keep it friendly and to the point. If you have a tracking number, include the URL where they can track the package.

Include a packing slip with your name and logo

Your next point of contact with the buyer will be when they open their package. It's a good idea to include a packing slip listing the item they ordered. This is also a chance to sell yourself, so include a logo and URL to your web site or other Marketplace items for sale [Hack #54].

Encourage your customers to rate you

Much of the effort of building a seller rating involves getting people to leave feedback. Sometime after they receive your order (you were using a tracking number, right?), ask the buyer to rate their experience. People often don't think about leaving feedback if everything goes smoothly.

Follow up on negative reviews

Negative reviews happen, and there's no easy way to remove the mark from your record. Contact the buyer who left the negative review, and make sure you understand what happened so you can avoid the situation in the future. There's no way to remove negative feedback, but you can post to your feedback to tell your side of the story.

Keep in mind that leaving a scathing negative review in someone's seller feedback can impact their ability to sell items on Amazon. Before taking this step, contact the seller directly through their profile page and try to amend the situation.

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