Joe Zalta is the Co-founder of Riverbend Consulting. He runs a team of consultants who work with many of the top 1000 Amazon sellers as well as smaller sellers to help them prevent and resolve account suspensions and get ahead of potential issues. Their team is made up of ex-Amazon seller performance managers and other people who have worked at Amazon and they work hand in hand with sellers to find solutions to Amazon’s ever-changing policies.
Joe is an expert and has run successful businesses in multiple industries including e-commerce and wholesale/manufacturing. Prior to Riverbend Consulting, he was the President of Parish Kids and Parish Nation, and he was a National Sales Manager at Oved Apparel.
Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:
- Joe Zalta explains how sellers get notified about listing shutdowns due to recalls
- How Riverbend Consulting resolves Amazon suspension issues and how they handle sellers who try to cheat and sell counterfeits
- Joe talks about Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) returns that involve bad items being moved back to inventory
- How having a customer-centered philosophy leads to a long-standing excellent relationship with Amazon
- Joe discusses the best practices for packaging Amazon products and how to optimize product instructions and photos on Amazon
- Joe shares 3 key points to becoming an entrepreneur in 2020 on Amazon and tips for finding the next big thing to sell on Amazon
- What nimble Amazon management is and how it can catapult you to the next level
- Why being part of a group of other Amazon sellers is beneficial to entrepreneurs
- Joe explains what variation abuse means on Amazon listings and how he helps clients resolves issues related to it
In this episode…
When Amazon sends a notification to sellers that their listings have been taken down, most of them don’t know where to start in the appeal process. This tends to be a high-level issue and for the sellers that try to resolve the problem on their own. They’re hit with roadblocks in the process that make them realize that they need professional help to fix the problem.
Joe Zalta’s team at Riverbend Consulting comes into the picture the moment the notification is received. They help resolve account suspension issues and work with Amazon sellers to ensure that such issues are resolved as fast as possible and how they can avoid encountering these issues in the future.
In this episode of Buy Box Experts, Joe Zalta is interviewed by Eric Stopper about how the work Riverbend Consulting does for Amazon sellers. Tune in as he shares some of the best tips to avoid suspension issues, how to optimize product instructions and photos on Amazon, how to avoid variations abuse on the platform, and find out how to discover the next big thing to sell on Amazon for you to become the best entrepreneur you can be this 2020.
Resources Mentioned in this episode
- Buy Box Experts
- Riverbend Consulting
- ABH Nature’s Products Recall
- Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA)
- Million Dollar Sellers Group (MDS)
- Joe Zalta on LinkedIn
Sponsor for this episode
Buy Box Experts applies decades of e-commerce experience to successfully manage their clients’ marketplace accounts. The Buy Box account managers specialize in combining an understanding of their clients’ business fundamentals and their in-depth expertise in the Amazon Marketplace.
The team works with marketplace technicians using a system of processes, proprietary software, and extensive channel experience to ensure your Amazon presence captures the opportunity in the marketplace–not only producing greater revenue and profits but also reducing or eliminating your business’ workload.
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Learn more about Buy Box Experts at BuyBoxExperts.com
Welcome to the Buy Box Experts Podcast where we bring to light the unique opportunities brands face in today’s e-commerce world.
Eric Stopper 0:18
This is Eric stopper and welcome to the Buy Box Experts podcast. This episode is brought to you by Buy Box Experts. We take ambitious brands and make them unbeatable. Big brands hire us because we are one of the best holistic solutions on the market. We’d love to talk with you about what you want to get done on Amazon where your struggles are, where you see low hanging fruit, and we have a team of consultants who will help you figure that out. I am one of them. I’m on this consulting team. Reach out to me reach out to any of my colleagues we know our stuff we’d love to help you make more revenue and navigate the platform as best as possible. So go to buyboxexperts.com click on the free analysis button at completely free, no strings attached. We will eventually start charging for it though because our time is just getting scarcer and scarcer. Now today, I am honored to bring on Joe Zalta from Riverbend Consulting. He runs a team of consultants who work with many of the top thousand Amazon sellers, as well as smaller sellers, to help them prevent account suspension and to get ahead of potential issues right, just nipping into the bud before it can become a problem. Their team is comprised of ex amazon seller, performance managers and other people who have worked at Amazon. And these consultants work hand in hand to find solutions. So all of the changing Amazon policies. Joe is an expert. He’s an Amazon seller and he’s come to impart his knowledge about how to become the best that you can on Amazon. Joe, welcome to the show.
Joe Zalta 1:51
Eric, great to be here, man. Great to be here. I love what you guys are doing.
Eric Stopper 1:56
Yeah, we’re having a lot of fun. Now I have all sorts of questions. For you around a bunch of different topics, but give me the rundown on like the most significant thing that you guys are dealing with day to day right now at riverbend Consulting, like what’s the hottest thing that people are having issues with?
Joe Zalta 2:14
So right now, there’s this really huge recall, part of this supplement supplement category, that there was an ingredient by ABH pharma that caused this massive recall. And what it did was it triggered Amazon to basically take down or suspend a ton of sellers listings or in the supplement category. So anywhere between two to 300 sellers had their top listings taken down right away, and they had no clue it kind of hit him, you know, totally out of nowhere. And they saw that their you know, listings were getting bad reviews and that their listings were down And Amazon has actually also issuing refunds to customers that bought the product over the last six months to even a year, which is, again every day, something new, you know, you never know what’s gonna, what’s going to come. So these sellers, some of them reached out to us found, you know, found us on social media or found that on Google and thank God our team is you know, well equipped to handle basically anything regarding seller performance. So, you know, we pulled the we pulled some of the some some magic out of a hat and we got some of their listings back up within a day or two and, you know, constantly we’re getting calls from other people that other supplements sellers that were having those same issues. So again, that’s this week’s poison. You never know what next week is going to bring.
Eric Stopper 3:48
So So help me understand though because if I ABH is the one that provided this specific ingredient to a whole bunch of people, right? Why are they they’re not the only provider of that ingredient though.
Joe Zalta 4:01
No, from what I understood was that they were called out by the FDA. Mm hmm. And then there was a list put together on on on the FDA website that said that anyone that purchased that ingredient from this company, that there was a recall. Okay, then what Amazon did is Amazon basically zapped, they just swept the whole category swept, oh,
Eric Stopper 4:28
it didn’t matter, they didn’t verify that you got the ingredient from ABH or not,
Joe Zalta 4:33
right? If your company has to be on that list, okay, so you can have to be on that list, but not every product. So that was the wild part. Let’s say you had one product that have 15 that had that ingredient, and it may not have even been from that time period. But let’s say you know, it was they basically swept all 16 products and they took them all down and then you had to basically appeal Amazon and say, Hey, guys, this is incorrect. Here’s My supporting documents is my supporting evidence, please reinstate my listing. And that’s what my team did for all these sellers.
Eric Stopper 5:06
So so hold on, hold on, hold our hands through this process, right? Because some of the people listening, we’re probably a part of that group. So I’m assuming you’ll get some calls. But they get they get the note, there’s a notification that comes to them that says, hey, all your all your listings got shut down, or is that something that you had to go and check on manually? And then you mean the seller from this?
Unknown Speaker 5:26
Eric Stopper 5:26
yeah. The seller they see their listing, how do they come to the knowledge that their listing has been shut down as a result of this recall?
Joe Zalta 5:32
So they were notified through the regular channel of seller, you know, seller performance, they had that little red flag, as we all know, and we dread seeing every time we sign on to our seller account. And then there was a notification saying that all their agents were taken down for this record reason, and then they had to appeal it. And really, most sellers didn’t even know where to start. I think some of them tried to appeal themselves but didn’t get anywhere. Because it was a higher level issue and that’s kind of why you need professionals that know which departments within Amazon to go to, to get these things taken care of.
Eric Stopper 6:09
So you, you deal with escalating these these issues, these appeals, right? So somebody comes to you, they say, hey, all my stuff is in disarray in a panic. And you guys directly connects them with somebody at Amazon. Are you emailing seller performance? Like what’s what’s the typical, like first steps that you’ll take?
Joe Zalta 6:29
Gotcha. So we’re not doing, we’re not reaching out on behalf of anyone. That’s not what we do. We consult the seller. We immediately have a conversation with them on the phone, which not every company does, but we like to get to know our people that we work with, and we hear their side of the story. Then we do a full analysis of their accounting of the issue that they got to spend it for. And then we comprise a, we’ve put together a plan of action for them, and then they submit it and then we tell them where to go to first. We always start from the bottom. And if the entry level team could take care of it, they do. If not, and we feel like it needs to go to a higher department, then we go to that higher department.
Eric Stopper 7:10
Right on, that makes a lot of sense.
Joe Zalta 7:12
So I don’t like going to school and saying, you know, talking to the teacher First, the teacher sends you back and you say, Can I speak to the principal, please? Hmm. Not that you would ever do that. But you know,
Eric Stopper 7:21
sure. Yeah. Can I can I speak with the regional Superintendent?
Unknown Speaker 7:25
Eric Stopper 7:26
So one one question that’s always been burning on my mind for because because I don’t interface I don’t I don’t offer this like seller performance consulting myself. The people on our team will consult at a like a mid level on on these kinds of things. But how often when a seller comes to you, or they just totally in the wrong and they’re just this, you know, piece of crap seller that’s trying to cheat and counterfeit and stuff like that. How often does that happen?
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