Natural Products Expo West 2019: Vendor Central Scare & Selling Supplements on Amazon

The show started with a bang. The day before Expo West began, Amazon seemingly cut off thousands of brands from Vendor Central. Manufacturers at the show were abuzz with questions about how Amazon’s sudden and shocking move would impact their ecommerce business.  

Since then, some questions have been put to rest. Amazon has resumed placing purchase orders with vendors, so long as they are or become enrolled in Amazon’s Brand Registry program. For the moment, business on Amazon has returned to normal. 

Rogue Sellers & Channel Ownership

Besides the Vendor Central scare, manufacturers at Expo West were eager to discuss challenges that plague ecommerce across all industries: rogue sellers. We’ve covered various ways to remove and defend against rogue sellers in previous posts: 

To maximize your brand control on Amazon and mitigate future risks, we advise partnering with a single third-party retailer or selling from your brand’s own account.  

For those interested in selling from your own account but bemoan the high buy-in (salaries, training, and resources), don’t lose hope. You can partner with an Amazon agency like Marketplace Growth Partners. This agency manages your Amazon channel from within your vendor or central account, providing support for logistics, marketing, refunds, and customer feedback management. 

Restricted Products

In addition to rogue sellers, other hot topics at Expo West were cannabidiol (CBD) oils, new mushroom-based products, and collagen products. While many manufacturers and consumers alike are interested in these products, we had to counsel against listing some of them on Amazon for the time being. 

Even though hemp is now legal under federal law, CBD oil remains on Amazon’s restricted products list. While the recent law has permitted farmers to grow hemp and the market for CBD products may be growing, brand owners would be wise to refrain from listing them on Amazon while CBD products remain on the list. Selling restricted products is likely to result in Amazon removing the listing and possibly even shutting down your account. Restoring your account after a shutdown can be a lengthy process if you’re not familiar with Amazon’s appeals process. 

 

Overall, Expo West was another rousing success. If you want to discuss how etailz can support your success, reach out through our contact form. 

 

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