The constant demand of customers makes taking a vacation seem not possible. But what if we tell you that with Amazon vacation settings you can continue your work and at the same time enjoy your time apart. The growing demand of customers can make vacation time seem impossible but selling on Amazon #meetime is a possibility!
What Is Amazon Vacation Mode?
This amazing feature gives you the freedom to put your seller account on hold instead of closing it. If you want to take some time off your business, you can choose this mode.
Sellers can use the vacation mode in the following two ways:
If you are fulfilling the orders yourself, the Amazon vacation settings let you deactivate your listing yourself. Now, do not hurry, it may take up to a good 36 hours for Amazon to remove your listing from the website, and FYI you can activate it whenever you wish from your official Seller Central account. This particular option keeps both your listing and your store safe.
If Amazon fulfills your products then the vacation mode permits you to keep your listing active, so that you can still sell and grow your business ‘even’ while you are away on a trip or so. However, in this case, you will still have to dedicate a minimum amount of time to check your seller account performance and buyer messages, to ensure that everything is running fine.
Things You Need to do Before Taking a Vacation
One of the most crucial aspects of the e-commerce delivery model in the order fulfillment process is positive customer experience. To avoid negative feedback from a buyer streamlining of the fulfillment activities becomes prominent.
Booking a vacation is easier when you are a small cog in a large corporate wheel, but the whole axle does not have to come apart now that you are an Amazon seller. Planning ahead of time is the ultimate key, there are a plethora of factors that need your attention before you think of going into vacation mode.
1. Make Sure All Your Pending Orders are Fulfilled
To be honest, buyers do not care or even do not know that their seller is on a vacation and will not find that an acceptable reason to wait on their purchases until you get back, make sure all of your pending orders are fulfilled and shipped perfectly first. After that, you will be able to clear to inactivate your listings, but doing so does not automatically cancel pending orders- they will still be there, waiting to be fulfilled.
2. Write an Automatic Reply for Messages
You do not want to mess up your seller metrics, not responding to customer questions can hurt it. It is better to have a template response that goes out automatically when you are away. The response should not be detailed, just a simple message that lets your customers know you are away and for how long they can understand when they will place orders again. The response should also let your customers know for how long you are restraining them from taking orders.
3. Inactivate Listings with Plenty of Notice Before
The very last step in the process is changing your listings to inactivate so that customers cannot place orders. Give yourself at least two days to do this. If you are planning to change them with less than 48 hours to go, you are risking getting orders that you will have to fulfill that could also cut into your vacation time. But if as any smart seller would do you change them to inactivate 10 to 15 days ahead of time, you could be losing out on orders that could be fulfilled easily before you go. You are going on a vacation, but you do not want to lose your customers or face a major loss. The only way is to be active and on our toes, only then you can systematically plan everything.
List of things to take care of during the inactive period
Unfortunately, you will have to check your account a little bit while you are vacationing, or you can assign that task to someone trustworthy and reliable. While vacation mode gives you peace of mind, you cannot just forget about your business. This is one of the main demands of this business to be active all the time.
Following are some of the things that you need to take for sure take care of during the vacation:
- Avoid logging into multiple devices as it may lead to account suspension.
- Track your Seller Central Account: Make sure to keep an eye on your Amazon seller account frequently at least once in 24 hours. In this digital age, it gets easy to stay updated with your customer hurling demands, you also need to keep up with the racing pace. Log in to a mobile account of the Amazon app to answer your customer queries as much as you can.
- We get it you are on a VACATION but still, you have to or you must still comply with Amazon’s rules and respond to any messages from your buyers within 24 hours (at least). Utilizing an email auto-responder tool with a nice message telling the customer that you will get back to them as soon as you get time is usually enough to keep both Amazon and your buyers happy (yes!).
The Final Step- How to Turn On the “Vacation Mode”
Before we jump into the whole process, we would like to say one thing. Amazon vacation mode is a great way to continue selling even while on a holiday. This is an amazing source of relaxation, and we would suggest sellers use this mode even when you are planning to go on a small vacation.
We call the THREE EASY STEPS- Do not panic it's not a long list of procedures.
#STEP1: Log into your Seller Central account. Select “Account Info” from the Settings tab in the top-right corner of the screen.
#Step2: Select Listing Status then click on “Going on vacation?”
#STEP3: Change the marketplaces you don’t want to sell to “Inactive”.
And Voila! You have activated Vacation Mode Successfully.
Set Your Inventory to Zero
Another way to reduce tension while on vacation is to set your inventory to zero. Just follow the below-mentioned steps;
- Click on Inventory
- Go to Manage Inventory
- Set Available: 0
What is the benefit of this?
During this period, your customers will not be able to put an order until you come back and change the inventory to 1 or higher.
Steps to Turn off the Vacation Mode on Amazon
Once you are ready to sell again and get back active on Amazon, you will need to repeat the following steps to reactivate the Amazon Seller Account.
- To add your seller listings, select the Active button on the vacation settings page, and then click Save.
- All your listings will become active and visible in the search results within an hour.
- All these changes are not effective in the case of vacation mode- Amazon FBA. The listings will remain active for the Amazon listings as Amazon takes all care of the inventory.
(PS) Note: Only privileged users who can manage the inventory have access to edit the listing status.
Changing the Handling Time
After the Amazon handling time settings are altered, you can with ease manage the delivery time of your listings. This is an amazing option for those who are planning to keep their vacation mode last for a short time. By extending the handling time, a seller can even avoid customers negative feedback depending on the product category.
You can change the handling time by going to the General Shipping Settings Section of the Shipping settings in the Settings tab. Changing the current handling time depends on the method you set the handling time earlier. You need to check the listings individually if they are updated one after the other.
Go to Inventory -> Manage Inventory -> Action -> Edit Details -> Handling Time.
*Change the time as per your schedule.
In case, if you have uploaded your listings using an excel file, you can change the handling time in the same sheet and upload it again.
Changing the handling time is quite flexible to revert to your default settings once you get back from your holiday. This option is suitable for a short time as the customers may not wait for longer delivery time. It can end up attracting negative reviews from buyers.
If you desire to see a clear picture of your inventory levels, you can log in to the SellerApp tool. You can go to profit dashboard- Inventory, you can find the summary of each product listed in your Amazon portfolio.
What are the Downsides of this Mode?
Like every program, this mode also has some negative outcomes. When you are stressed or want to give your family a good long time, putting on vacation mode seems tempting. But before you do so, get to know what can be the downsides of this too.
- You can make more sales when everyone else is on vacation such as during Christmas or New Year. This is not necessarily a drawback, especially if you decide to go on vacation during the “non-holiday” season. Timing is the key, and you can still have a lot of fun in the off-season too as well. Nevertheless, scheduling your time off based on your customers’ behavior can be frustrating.
- It will lead you to lose margin- while you will still have to pay other fees as an official- Amazon seller. You could counteract this fact if you opt for FBA, but in this case, the fees could be high, and you will still have to work on vacation.
You can lose new and old customers (yes, both) who want to buy from you. Since your listing will not be active, you would not be able to find new customers. At the same time, your old customers who want to buy from you will not be able to find your listing either. Indeed, inactivating your listing while on vacation could have negative results on customer retention and loyalty.
Factors that Can Cause Amazon to BAN YOU!
Yes, ban. No seller wants to get banned but sadly there are some things which can lead to the ‘banishment zone’. As a seller, you should take these things seriously. You do not want to damage your image by being banned.
Amazon has tried its level best to reinforce this again and again. Lots of times they have tried to ensure that quality is not compromised. Keeping this in mind, let us take a look at the following factors that can result in account suspension.
1. Product Quality The majority of reasons which lead to the banning of accounts are related to product quality. As a seller, you must be struck to sell high-quality products on Amazon rather than sacrificing it for pricing and quality.
2. Selling Poor Quality Product Amazon may audit/suspense your seller account if you are selling products that are of poor quality. Any defect whether it is related to its functionality or the very design, will not bode well with customers and those responsible for ensuring the quality.
3. Selling Prohibited Items Various products are prohibited from the Amazon marketplace. These items cannot be sold on Amazon, period as simple as that. Then certain product categories are dubbed as restricted, you may sell items in that market, but you would need to get a pre-approval from Amazon before listing your product. You must follow all the legal and regulatory compliance for this kind of niche to avoid any hassles later. 4. Violating Copyright Laws Amazon can take stringent action, corrective measures against those sellers who are in breach of its Intellectual Property Policy. It means that you cannot sell products that are owned by other brands without getting prior permission. Also, you cannot use another brand’s trademark, logo, and other relevant information on your listing to generate sales. If you are caught for copyright infringement, it may lead to Banning your seller's central account. 5. No Certification If you are a seller, you must know that some products require specific certifications by an authoritative body before they can be sold on the online platform. For food and other items, the body is the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
If you plan on selling ‘dangerous’ goods on Amazon – products that may serve a risk to a person’s health, safety, and the surroundings – you will be required to disclose all the relevant information about the products in detail. While creating your listing, you will have to address hazardous items regulation questions and answer them precisely. Moreover, you will also be required to upload safety data sheets, exemption sheets (if applicable), and other similar documents. 6. Customer Review You have no idea what a negative review can do to your seller account. Amazon takes feedback very seriously. Your success is measured by how good your reviews are! To avoid negative reviews, always answer a customer question, give them relevant information, and fulfill their orders on time.
7. Violating Listing Guidelines Amazon has tried its level best to state its guidelines and requirements on creating an Amazon product listing page. This includes guidelines for product titles, descriptions, images, and other relevant sections. Needless to mention, these rules must be followed. There are some instructions for images as well.
8. Operating Multiple Accounts You can only operate one selling account on Amazon. You think you are smart and can create multiple accounts with similar information (then you are mistaken), Amazon may soon realize what you are doing and ban all of your selling accounts, including the original one.
Conclusion- The Grip of It
We all are HUMAN and every one of us deserves some time off. Amazon vacation settings are a brilliant way to not harm your sales and take a vacation as well. Delayed response and delivery fluctuations along with a set of unanswered questions may deter your ranking and can stand the risk of getting suspended. Amazon introduced this vacation mode to give sellers a break from a hectic schedule. There are scads of options to maintain your rating and brand value whilst you are still on the vacation.