Sunday, 22 January 2017

My Amazon FBA Journey - Abbreviations

In 'My Amazon FBA Journey' posts I'm going to cover the good and the bad as it has happened to me (and my daughter). The bad are not likely to be negatives for the Amazon FBA system, but rather the affect it had on me as I come to grips with how it all works.

I will try and offer useful insights into what I've misunderstood, learnt, tried and failed, tried and succeeded. Let's just say it's quite a journey.

In this post I'm going to list a few of the abbreviations I've come across, which are never clearly explained, so I've often to run a Google search to find out for myself. A lot of things are assumed by writers and help lines, SKU for example. We know what it does , but what does it stand for - and do I need to use it? (Well yes, you do.) 

An acronym is an abbreviation which can be said as if it's a word - which is why users assume everyone knows what they are talking about. It's jargon - and the use of jargon should only be with people who use it themselves. So if you want to bring in new people, then use the full phrase, followed by the initials - ie always say what it means early on in the verbal or written conversation. (Here endeth the first grammar lesson!)

So, for what was intended as a quick post, here are just a few of the acronyms and abbreviations which you need to be aware of in your Amazon FBA (or merchant) business inventory.
  1. SKU - A Stock Keeping Unit (SKU) is a product and service identification code for a store or product, often portrayed as a machine-readable bar code that helps track the item for inventory. A stock keeping unit (SKU) does not need to be assigned to physical products in inventory. Use it to identify your products quickly. This is your ID code for the type, model, colour, size etc of the product or service you are selling. Find out more in Wikipedia:
  2. ASIN - (Use of this one really annoyed me btw!)  The Amazon Standard Identification Number (ASIN) is a 10-character alphanumeric unique identifier assigned by and its partners for product identification within the Amazon organization. Wikipedia again:
  3. FBA - yes, even the FBA term itself. Fulfilment by Amazon helps you grow your business in the UK and internationally when you sell on Amazon and through other sales channels. In fact it to be grammatically correct it should be used as simply FBA otherwise it reads 'Amazon Fulfilment by Amazon', which is a bit daft. But FBA on its own applies to other things too, so even I tend to always say 'Amazon FBA'. (Google FBA just for fun!)
One more I would like to mention here and now is the Buy Box. It is neither an abbreviation nor an acronym. It actually means what it says, but there is an awful lot of perceived mystery and exclusion around it. And I don't think there needs to be.

The Amazon Buy Box simply refers to a seller's product having the yellow Buy Box in their listing, which in turn means most people will click the yellow box to buy - so because it is against your product, you get the sale. 

However, because Amazon sell stuff too, and have such tremendous buying power, there's a bit of a myth surrounding this that you haven't a hope of 'winning' the Buy Box. Other sellers have the same opportunities as you to do though - and with my very first batch of products, when I was testing the system, I dropped my price to just below the others' and the Buy Box was mine! (But one has to avoid getting into a price war!) Read up about the Buy Box, but don't think for a moment that you will never, ever benefit from it - it just depends who you are up against at the time.

That's all for now. I'll put some more acronyms in as and when I come across them.

Lyn Hill

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