6 of the scariest Amazon & eBay issues we have ever seen online

Jeepers! It’s Halloween time and the Molzi team have come together to compile our top scariest Amazon & eBay marketplace practices we have seen. There are a lot of ways that selling within online marketplaces can go wrong and the results can have ghastly consequences if left unnoticed or unchecked. Here are 6 key ecommerce challenges to watch out for that would make even a vampire blush. 

1. Amazon Keywords 

Maira: I was doing keyword research for one of our clients when I stumbled upon a chilling example of keyword targeting. A hardware brand selling chainsaws was running a sponsored brand campaign for their products. They hadn’t set up the campaign properly, or at least were not reviewing it, because their product would show in all the wrong categories. For example, if you searched for Texas chainsaw massacre’ on Amazon, their campaign would appear at the top of the search results! Instead they should have used negative keywords, saving themselves a lot of wasted impressions. 

In the world of ecommerce, time is money, and no-one knows this better than our PPC managers. Avoid this scary scenario and let our PPC experts ensure your products are being seen by the right people at the right time. 

2. Amazon Algorithm

Chris: I remember a time, when you viewed balaclavas on Amazon, it showed baseball bats and crowbars in the ‘other people also viewed’ section! This was because Amazon is algorithm based. There is no human element to how Amazon’s algorithm works. It relies on computer automation. The algorithm is built to suggest items that will increase average order value through up-sells and cross sells without anyone having to approve it so there was no-one at Amazon’s HQ that saw the concerning connotation. Amazon has since remedied this, but it certainly had The Purge vibes to it.  

Don’t fall victim to a confusing algorithm, mastering Amazon’s SEO is Molzi’s number one priority. Everything we do supports sales.  

3. Amazon Reviews 

George: Customer reviews on Amazon can make or break a product. I once came across a book that explored themes of women in subjugation within a patriarchal society. The reviews were mainly all above 3 stars, however there were a few frightening 1-star reviews. Being curious I decided to take a look at the low feedback comments. My favourite remark was one that claimed the book to be ‘stupid and degrading to women’. It was evident that this reviewer had not understood the theme of the novel, yet their feedback still affected how many stars the ASIN held altogether. It remains a permanent comment on the product page! Although it appears to have been unavoidable, it represents the importance of why a product description should provide all relevant information for the consumer so as to avoid returns and bad reviews. 

Reviews are an integral element to any Amazon listing. Since they improve customer conversion, customer reviews also play a large role in Amazon’s SEO ranking. There are two ways in which to encourage feedback; the Vine Programme and the Early Reviewer ProgrammeMolzi has experience in enrolling our brands in these programmes to improve both Amazon SEO ranking and customer reviews. 

4. Marketplace Rules & Regulations 

Bridget: I remember a story about a man from Florida selling his kidney on eBay in the early years of the marketplace being established. eBay removed the listing a week later because the listing broke eBay’s rules & regulations of selling human body parts. The bid closed when it was being sold for approximately $5.7 million. It was hair-raising at the time and obviously extremely unethical if it had been allowed to finish. What sellers should take from this scary story is the importance of reading a marketplace’s rules & regulations before selling on it. A kidney is unlikely to be accepted on most upstanding marketplaces, but there are some more innocent products that you might find are banned or ‘gated’ on specific sites. 

Our team of dedicated account managers understand the ins & outs of multiple online marketplaces. With our indepth knowledge, we ensure our clients follow the rules and regulations for both Amazon & eBay respectively. 

5. Translating Amazon Listings 

Caroline: I know of quite a few examples of brands getting their translations wrong. For example, one brand didn’t realise that they were claiming that their drink brought customer’s ancestors back from the grave! Now and again you see similar situations on Amazon’s international sites. I have never personally seen any as ghoulish as this example, but you can usually tell when a product is from another country as the copy is written in broken English. Equally, you can usually tell when a product is from the UK or US on Amazon’s international sites because the translation appears clunky. Transcreation is such an important factor in succeeding internationally and it is often ignored completely because it takes time and money to produce. 

As a specialist in growing sales on international marketplaces, Molzi’s content team specialise in the difference between translation & transcreation. We all believe that, for any brand to successfully sell on Amazon or eBay internationally, the content must be fully optimised and concise. 

6. Duplicate listings 

Ross: The scariest issues I have ever come across are brands that have loads of duplicate listings on Amazon. They are so dedicated to making sales that they sell to several distributors that are also selling on Amazon. These nightmarish distributors somehow find ways to bypass Amazon’s one listing for one ASIN rule to remove their competition. Rather than using their ‘brand registry‘ to remove or merge these duplicates, many sellers leave them to steal sales away from the original product page which they are winning! It still makes me shudder when I think about the potential sales these brands have lost out in 

Since we deal with managing Amazon & eBay accounts in full, we have a lot of experience dealing with clients’ duplicate listingsMolzi can help you protect your brand and ensure that there is only one ASIN for each product – yours! We can do this by knowing when it is best to merge or remove certain duplicates. 

Avoid these scary marketplace issues with Molzi 

Selling online can sometimes be like Jekyll & Hyde. Most of the time your listings and sales increase, but now and again you can end up suffering from some abhorrent aspect of one of your ASINs. That is exactly what Molzi is here for! We can exorcise your Amazon demons and turn a gremlin listing back into a Mogwai!