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Keeping Your Amazon Account Safe When Outsourcing Work

Ed. Note: Many of my readers worry about keeping their Amazon account safe when their virtual assistants have access to it. So I contacted Matt Harrison, VP of Strategy of FreeeUp, to write this guest post. I have personally relied on FreeeUp for finding trusted, cost-effective, talented virtual assistants for my business. This guest article has some direct, tactical tips on keeping your account safe.


Matt Harrison, VP of Strategy, Freeeup

Keeping your Amazon account safe is always a primary concern. It’s not difficult to do when you are the only one who accesses it. When you start outsourcing work, however, keeping your Amazon account safe becomes something that you need to pay more attention to.

Hiring anyone to help you with your Amazon account means that you’ll have to give them access. There’s no way around it. But there are ways to minimize the risk that this can bring to your business. We know that it can be technically challenging to get this set up if you’ve never done it before. This is why we have put together this simple step-by-step guide.

You can grant access easily without worrying about allowing someone you don’t know into your account.

Keeping Your Amazon Account Safe

There is nothing you can do to bring the risk factor down to zero when granting Amazon account access. You can prevent many issues, however, if you follow these three steps.

1.  Hire Carefully

You are at the helm when you outsource work. It is your responsibility to properly vet candidates. This means that you need to be very specific with what you’re looking for. When an applicant reaches out, you then need to conduct a thorough interview and make sure that you confirm the needed skills – both hard and soft. If you can’t get on the same page, move on.

As FreeeUp founder Nathan Hirsch says, “Hire slow, fire fast.”

When you partner with a hiring marketplace like FreeeUp, you get a certain level of additional protection. FreeeUp pre-vets every freelancer that applies to join the marketplace. This process is designed to allow only the freelancers with the highest ethical standards onto the marketplace. Every precaution is taken to detect scams and protect clients. FreeeUp also takes freelancers through multiple pages of marketplace guidelines, which include a section devoted to protecting client data, including account credentials. When it happens – which is rare – that a freelancer who passes the testing phase fails to follow the policies, they are quickly removed from the marketplace and banned from working through FreeeUp.

At the end of the day, however, only you have the tools and information to ensure that you are keeping your Amazon account safe. Only you can monitor hires to detect information leaks and fraudulent behavior. On FreeeUp, part of this is because of the non-disclosure agreement that each freelancer signs, stating that they will not share client information with FreeeUp. No one but you can monitor and secure your Amazon account.

2.  Onboard Properly

An important part of onboarding new hires is discussing your expectations for work, including your policies and standards. It’s always uncomfortable to talk about things like theft and fraud, but you cannot make the assumption that it won’t happen to you just because you’re embarrassed. Keeping your Amazon account safe requires detailed agreements. If you don’t want to talk through them, you can prepare a document for all hires to sign.

You should also always have each person you hire sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) that details each element of privacy that you need covered. No one with high ethical standards will refuse to sign an NDA that protects you and your account, as long as it does not leave them open to abuse or infringes on their rights. (Ed. Note: The 'non-disclosure agreement' link goes to a site - RocketLawyer.com - where you can create an NDA and download it during a free trial where a credit card is required. Neither the author nor I receive any revenue or credit if you decide to use that service.) 

3.  Grant Needed Access

Don’t give anyone more access than they need to do their work. It can take some time to navigate the permission settings and get verification and all that before a freelancer is all set for work. When it doesn’t happen instantly, it is very tempting to just click away to make sure they have access. Just remember that this leaves you open. It’s best to view the time that you spend as an investment in keeping your Amazon account safe.

To make it easier, here’s the basics on what to do when granting access:

Seller Central Access

The User Permissions settings are under the main Settings on your Amazon Seller Central dashboard. Click on the link that says "Add a New User" and enter the freelancer’s email address. To make this even safer, use an email address that you have created for them under your own domain - or an extra free gmail account where you know the password, so that you have control over it:

Send the invitation and wait for the freelancer to accept. It’s best to set a time to get this set up so you are both online and can more easily work out any glitches. Refresh the page if you don’t see the new user and the status of the invite.

Once the user accepts, they will be given an Amazon-generated code. You need to enter this Confirmation Code next to their information in Pending Users. Once that’s done, you should immediately set their permissions.

You’ll find the Edit My Permissions link under Content Users further down on that page. Choose only the areas and permission levels that the freelancer needs. If you’re not sure about certain permissions, don’t allow access. If you’re not sure about certain permission levels, grant minimal access. You can always add or change permissions later. Test the access yourself and adjust as needed.

To change permissions or revoke access down the line, just go back to that page and locate the freelancer under Current Users. Click Edit next to their information and update the options. If you need help, you can always contact Amazon support. If you’ve hired through FreeeUp, an assistant is always available to point you in the right direction – at no additional cost.

For Amazon Marketing Services (AMS) Brand Users

The AMS Manage Users options are on the brand drop-down menu on the top navigation bar of ams.amazon.com. The account management drop-down menu is also on the top navigation menu.

Under Manage Users, click Invite a new user and assign a user to a brand by entering their name and email address. Again, hosting this email on your own domain is safer than using the freelancer’s own email address. Assign the access level you want this new user to have and send the invite.

Here’s what the permission options mean:

Admin status:  Full Access

  • adding, removing, and changing Amazon Page and Post content
  • viewing Amazon Analytics metrics
  • managing user permissions – adding, removing, changing a status for Amazon Pages and Posts

Editor status:  Limited Access

  • adding, removing, and changing Amazon Page and Post content
  • viewing Amazon Analytics metrics

You can change the permission level of any user by coming back to this page and selecting the correct access level in the Access box. To remove a user, click Delete in the Actions column.

Keep Your Amazon Account Safe

You may still feel anxious about giving a freelancer access to your Amazon account. This is a healthy fear. You should always err on the side of caution. It does not take much to add permissions, but you could end up losing thousands of dollars before you realize it if you aren’t careful.

The best thing you can do is to add permissions slowly. You need time to build trust with any new hire, freelancer or not. When you feel more comfortable with them, you can add more permissions as needed.

You should also carefully monitor your account. This will take additional time for both you and the freelancer, but again, better safe than sorry. When you feel more comfortable with them, you can monitor less frequently.

Keeping your Amazon account safe will not always be absolute. There is always a risk present, no matter who you hire and where you hire from. There is simply no guarantee. Frankly, even if only you have access, there are always unscrupulous hackers around.

The point is to minimize the risk by taking precautions. Secure what can be secured. Build trust so you can judge whether or not a hire acts with the utmost integrity. Weigh the risks and remain vigilant. If you see any red flags, investigate immediately. And don’t hesitate to let go of anyone you can’t trust. The time and money you may lose by having to hire a different person is always far less than what you risk by keeping them on. Always put the safety of your business’s sensitive information and systems at the top of your priority list.

About the Author: Matt  Harrison is VP of Freeeup, the preeminent freelance marketplace for hiring high quality, vetted talent. Matt has hired freelancers from around the world and built teams to service multinational brands resulting from over $100 million in web hosting company acquisitions. He currently lives in St. Petersburg, FL.

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The Wholesale Formula Review

Ed note: You asked me for help with sourcing profitable, replenishable products for your Amazon business. Below is my review of The Wholesale Formula for Amazon Sellers.


New Review for 2020

 

You're here because you're asking "Should I get The Wholesale Formula to start or grow my Amazon business?"

The short answer (my opinion) is: [click to continue…]

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Everything you need to know about The Wholesale Formula

wholesale formula free workshop

The Wholesale Formula Enrollment is Feb. 10 - 13, 2020 here.

 

The Wholesale Formula ("TWF") is a proven blueprint/system for sourcing and selling wholesale products profitably on Amazon. Its founders Dan Meadors and Dylan Frost (above) have sold over $25M in wholesale products on Amazon.  (Full disclosure: I'm an affiliate partner of TWF, so I may be compensated if you purchase it). [click to continue…]

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(The Wholesale Formula Enrollment is Open Until 2-13-20, It won't reopen to the public until 2021!)

 

wholesale formula bonus

[Click here for my $3700 Bonus Package Details]

 

The Wholesale Formula is expected to open its 2020 enrollment during its live webinar on 2/9/20, 8PM EST. 

If you're ready to take that leap into freedom with a real, sustainable Amazon business, now is the time as The Wholesale Formula won't open to the public again until 2021.

Let me give your new venture all the help you need, with: one-on-one certified coaching, my $2000 Inventory Buy Back Guarantee, an official TWF Leads List, and more. ..

They're all included my $3700 Bonus Package, which is 100% FREE for you when you buy The Wholesale Formula here.

My bonuses are in addition to the already-awesome 6 bonuses you receive from The Wholesale Formula when you enroll.

[Click here for my $3700 Bonus Package Details]

Questions? Post them below or email me: jordanmalik@gmail.com

- Jordan Malik

P..S.

The Wholesale Formula Enrollment is Open Until 2-13-20, It won't reopen to the public until 2021!

 

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I just interviewed Dan Meadors & Dylan Frost, two young $25M Amazon sellers in Kentucky who grew up poor.

Their drive and passion for selling on Amazon brought them to prosperity. Here's my brand new interview with them (scroll down).

Warning: this is a highly energetic, motivational interview!

Video highlights are marked below, if you want to jump around:

  • 00:00:01 - Introduction
  • 00:02:16 - Why sourcing wholesale is the best model above other methods for getting products to source on Amazon
  • 00:05:41 - "We're making more money without more effort because there aren't enough other 3rd party sellers to keep up with Amazon's growth"
  • 00:06:00 - Sourcing wholesale allows Dan & Dylan to work "only a few hours a week"
  • 00:07:45 - How Dan & Dylan made the transition from sourcing in stores ("Retail arbitrage") to sourcing wholesale products
  • 00:10:15 - Fun Star Wars Reference
  • 00:12:03 - Sourcing products in stores ("Retail arbitrage") has gotten a lot harder.
  • 00:12:25 - "If we didn't transition out of Retail Arbitrage, Amazon would have eaten us up and we'd have to go get 'real jobs'."
  • 00:13:35 - "We source products the way Amazon wants us to - it's the same way they do it too."
  • 00:14:00 - How any Amazon seller can start sourcing wholesale today.
  • 00:16:20 - How Dan and Dylan use "Reverse Sourcing" to find the best products to source, and then build a relationship directly with the brand or manufacturer. (More on this in their Free Workshop: http://TWFWorkshop.com)
  • 00:19:00 - No warehouse needed! Dan & Dylan have their products sent right from the manufacturer, into Amazon FBA warehouses
  • 00:19:50 - 99% of Sellers Sourcing Wholesale are doing it wrong, and here's why it doesn't work
  • 00:24:00 - The simplicity of providing value to a supplier you want to source from.
  • 00:27:00 - Amazon wants MORE 3rd party sellers because there is more profit for them (vs. them buying and carrying the product themselves.
  • 00:31:00 - Why critics who say "Amazon has too many sellers" are WRONG.

Let me know what you think. Remember Dan and Dylan will show you their business model in their free workshop Jan. 30 - Feb. 13, 2020. Get access here: TWFWorkshop.com

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Wholesale Formula workshop

The Wholesale Workshop is back and it's FREE (No Catch)...

Dan Meadors (l.) and Dylan Frost have a $25M Amazon business...

In their free workshop, they will teach you from scratch how their business works so you can copy it, plug and play.

By the end of the workshop, you will be able to easily find profitable wholesale products you can sell on Amazon.

This is available for only a few days, so register your FREE spot now: TWFWorkshop.com

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Wholesale sourcing mistakes Amazon sellers make

Sellers who want wholesale products can fall into this trap.

(Breathe a sigh of relief because it's easy to spot. I'll show you now.)

Typically, a seller will go to google.com and type in “buy wholesale”, and they'll end up buying from one of the dozens of companies they see in the results. Example:

[click to continue…]

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4 Ways Amazon Sellers Get Burned (Avoid This)

If you feel your sales 'bombed' in 2019, this post is for you.

What's best to sell on Amazon? Avoid these traps

Some Amazon sellers report 2019 was their least profitable year to date

Those sellers had one thing in common: they all were sourcing clearance products mainly from stores and online ("retail arbitrage" and "online arbitrage").

And they all faced similar issues. Chances are, you did too:

  • Policy Warnings with Product Takedowns: Sellers can suddenly be restricted from selling an item; or the item disappeared entirely from Amazon, leaving the seller stuck with inventory he or she can't sell
  • Seller Saturation and Financial Loss due to hundreds of sellers jumping on the same product
  • Suspension from Customers' (False) 'Inauthentic' Complaints - when a customer complaint puts your Amazon seller account at great risk
  • Suspension from another seller's (False) 'Counterfeit' Complaints - when an Amazon seller copies your product, makes their own listing on Amazon, then files a complaint to Amazon stating you are selling a counterfeit version of their item

In this blog post, I'll be exposing more of these seller traps. [click to continue…]

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The Best Amazon Seller Software and Tools

Review of Amazon seller software and tools

I reviewed the best Amazon seller software and tools on the market for 2020 and organized it according to business growth needs.

Before we jump right in, I have one word of caution: No software or tool is perfect. 

And: this is a brand new and crazy industry. A firm that I find reputable and trustworthy one day can ‘disappear’ the following year. So do your homework, take advantage of free trials if they’re available, and ask your peers for their recommendations before you spend your hard-earned money.

That said, here is a crazy long list of the best Amazon seller software and tools for all levels.

[click to continue…]

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eFlip vs. Zen Arbitrage onilne book sourcing software

Online Book Arbitrage Software Battle

 

In 2015 (5 years ago), I started hearing about “online book arbitrage,” the practice of mining Amazon for cheap merchant fulfilled books that could be resold via FBA (back on Amazon) at a profit.
[click to continue…]

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  • Zen Arbitrage vs. eFlip: Which is the Better Online Book Arbitrage Software?

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