If you’re not doing private label, you don’t need to know how to generate positive seller feedback on Amazon, right? Think again.
In fact, for sellers doing wholesale and particularly those doing online arbitrage, seller feedback (or seller reviews) plays a massive role in their success.
Often, it’s much bigger than many people realize. One 5-star review might not make an immediate difference in your business, but a few 2-star reviews might.
We made this guide to help you understand the importance of cultivating not just positive seller feedback, but perfect seller feedback.
It’s not something that will happen overnight. It might not even happen in the course of a few months; but you can make it happen with these actionable strategies.
Why You Should Care About Positive Seller Feedback
A healthy account will get auto-ungated in brands and categories, which opens up brand new selling opportunities.
Furthermore, good metrics ensure you won’t be at risk of sudden suspension (it’s a headache to appeal, and an even bigger headache if you don’t).
Seller feedback plays a small part in buyer psychology – a small number of customers will look at your positive feedback ratio before making a purchase.
While it’s not massive, you will snag a few more sales than your competitors if you meet their standards. In some cases, this opportunity will come up in the form of a suppressed buy box, which is easy money when you have great metrics.
Why Getting Lots of Seller Reviews Is a Struggle
While we’re talking about psychology, let’s go over negative bias. It’s the idea that negative events have a greater perceived impact by an individual than neutral or positive ones – even if all those events are the same intensity.
This holds true for reviews in particular, which makes cultivating perfect seller feedback an uphill battle (but still totally possible).
Negative bias means that getting slapped with negative reviews on your account is much easier than generating positive seller feedback.
You might do the same thing as a customer: If you have a great experience with a product or brand, you’re happy but unlikely to say anything about it.
However, if you have a terrible experience or feel slighted, you’re going to post a review railing against those responsible for all to see.
Your customers will do the same thing, which is why it’s important to know how to handle negative reviews when the time comes. For that, check out our guide on how to remove negative seller feedback.
Stay Realistic About Feedback
It’s important to set reasonable expectations for seller feedback generation. With the methods outlined below, you should be able to get a 1-4% seller review rate.
That means that for every 100 orders you get, as few as 1, but as many as 4 people will leave a review on your account. It could be more, could be less, but that’s the average goal you should strive for.
Every way we suggest amplifying your positive feedback boils down to the same thing: over-deliver for your customer. Many FBA sellers think that because they pay $40/month and Amazon “handles their customer service,” that they don’t have to deal with customers.
Yes, it’s true that they will take care of the bulk of the interactions on your behalf (and yes, you should be very grateful for that), but you still have a responsibility as a business to do what’s best for your customers.
Playing Offense for Reviews
Whether it’s in the form of direct communication where you respond to their inquiries quickly or indirectly where you triple-check for quality and make sure you’re delivering on what you promised them, it’s all the same: over-delivering for your customer is the best way to generate positive seller feedback.
Therefore, it makes sense that playing offense is the best way to save time for both you and your customers.
It’s unlikely they’ll contact you if they don’t have issues – so do everything you can to make sure they won’t have issues. Here are some ways you can do that:
Method One: Quality Control
Quality control absolutely everything. What does that look like? Let’s say you’re doing online arbitrage. When you receive a shipment from a retailer, open the package and carefully pull out each unit.
Verify Exact Matches
First, make sure what you received from the store is what you ordered – you’d be surprised how many times that isn’t the case. They could have sent you an updated model or the completely incorrect product.
Next, verify that the product you’re holding in your hand is the exact match to the product listing you’re going to sell on.
No doubts, no uncertainty – it must be the exact same product. Check that the product is the same size (ounces, ml, etc), dimensions (bust out the tape measure if you need to), weight (use a scale), and color (phone a friend if you’re colorblind).
Is it a multipack or a single pack? Is it a set of items? If so, do you have everything in the set? Is the material cotton, but what you have nylon?
Those subtle differences may get you in trouble (not only with your customers but with Amazon too).
Check that the UPC on the product matches the UPC on Amazon.
Sometimes the UPC isn’t available on the listing, so if everything else above checks out, you’re probably fine. This is just an extra check to make sure you’re covered.
Prep It Properly
Now that you know it’s the real deal, prep the product how you would want to receive it if you were the customer. Perform a visual inspection of the product from all sides.
Don’t just stop at the outer packaging – if you’re able to pull the product out without breaking any seals, double-check that too.
Ensure that the product is in the same condition as your future offer on Amazon. A “new” product should actually be “new.” No signs of use, no bent corners, no scratches, etc.
It’s fairly self-explanatory, but you can find Amazon’s condition policy here if you’re ever uncertain.
Understandably, many customers don’t feel great inside when they open up their product and find it has an old price sticker on it showing way less than they paid on Amazon.
It’s inevitable with online arbitrage that you’re going to have products that have the price you paid for them on it. Obviously, this isn’t the price you’re going to sell it for, so do what you can to remove any trace of it.
If it’s a label, peel it off. Sometimes fingernails won’t do the trick, so a combination of a hairdryer (a heat gun is better) and Goo Gone work wonders. If it’s printed on the packaging, cover it up with a well-placed label.
That brings us to our next point in quality control – labels. We strongly suggest using FNSKU labels rather than manufacturer barcodes.
With labels, Amazon knows that product “A” came from seller “A” because it’s labeled with seller “A’s” personalized barcode.
If you do manufacturer barcodes, though, product “A” could come from any seller that doesn’t use FNSKUs.
Other sellers might not have the same standards you do when it comes to quality control, so you could be liable for shipping any product the Amazon employee pulls off the shelf.
Take pictures of the products before sending them in. In case an issue arises, you’ll be able to prove more conclusively that you did everything you could to ensure a positive customer experience.
When packaging the products to ship to Amazon, take care in your thought process. Think about how it might shift during transit, or what will happen if it’s thrown around by the UPS employee.
Polybags for bundles (put the FNSKU label on the outside of the bag), bubble wrap, and case-packing products go a long way.
Don’t use packing peanuts for your padding material unless you want to get in trouble with Amazon for making a mess in their warehouse.
Also, make sure the box you’re shipping stuff in is sturdy and taped up well.
If you’re using a prepper, make sure they’re following these guidelines – or at least something very similar – when prepping your products. When it comes down to it, any errors ultimately fall on you.
Method Two: Communicating With Customers
That’s not the only way to generate positive seller feedback, so let’s play some more offense with proactive customer communications.
Amazon already sends your buyers emails that remind them to leave feedback for the product AND feedback for the seller. However, these messages can be pretty easy to ignore and shouldn’t be the only thing you rely on to get more review traction.
Ask for the Review
Despite what you may have heard, you are absolutely within Amazon’s TOS to communicate with a buyer and ask for feedback.
The stipulation is that you cannot ask for a positive review, a negative review to be removed, or incentivize the review process in any way. These are Amazon’s customers first, so tread carefully.
With that in mind, here’s how we recommend communicating with your buyers:
At a small scale, emailing customers individually is very do-able. The benefit is that you’ll be able to customize messages for each buyer.
A custom message beats a generic message every time. You can fine-tune the content for each person and increase the chances that they’ll leave you some feedback.
However, manual messaging falls off once the orders start rolling in. It can be very time consuming to message each and every person at the right time.
It’s recommended to send a feedback request at least 2 days after the buyer has received the product. This isn’t a hard and fast rule – use intuition to send messages when they make the most sense.
For example, if you’re selling cookbooks, give the customer a little time to use it before sending a message. They’re more likely to leave a review if they’ve had a chance to experience the product.
Playing Defense for Reviews
Let’s talk about playing defense: what to do in response to customers. In most cases, this will look like either responding to customer messages or dealing with negative seller feedback.
We’ve already covered the strategies on removing negative seller reviews, so we’ll just talk about the former now.
Responding to Buyer Messages
When you receive a message from a buyer, treat it as a high priority. Failure to respond to these messages within 24 hours will actually result in your seller account metrics being penalized.
Ideally, you’ll be able to take care of these messages immediately, but shoot for responding in under 12 hours.
Responding to customer communications promptly will result in a boost in your metrics, so it’s ill-advised to mark the messages “no response needed.”
Your response should be professional, courteous, and succinct. Keep it as short as possible, while still being thorough. It’s great to personalize the message, it will help make your business more relatable.
Address their concerns as best you can on your own, but if they’re requesting help with things beyond your control, it’s okay to direct them to Amazon customer support.
Let them know the best email and phone number to contact so they can get their issue resolved ASAP.
Once you’ve optimized your review rate, it’s just going to be a matter of selling more products over time. The more products you sell, the more reviews you receive, so the more products you sell.
It’s somewhat cyclical, but these methods should help kick-start your first few reviews and help you become highly more competitive on the platform.
To see what kind of impact these improvements make over time, track your buy box share. You should see an increase over time as your metrics help you gain an edge in the buy box algorithm.
If you want to put this knowledge into practice, join our Rookie Leads – a weekly dose of 5 free product leads that you can use today. These free online arbitrage sourcing lists are a great, risk-free way to practice with until you’re ready to join one of our pro Atlas lists.