The 80/20 Of Ecommerce – April 15, 2022

China Sourcing Update 4/15/22 

What we know

  • Shanghai is still under lockdown and nobody knows when things will get back to normal
  • Though the Shanghai Port and Terminals are open, trucking products to and from the port is a big problem
  • Other regions of China such as Shandong are opening up but still feeling the effects of lockdown

Rumor: Ningbo and Suzhou are pretty close to a full lockdown

As of April 15, Shanghai and its 30 million residents are still under lockdown with no end in sight.  

Anecdotally speaking, my friends and family in Shanghai have been having problems getting enough food since the lockdown began.  Not only can they not go outside, even food delivery services have been suspended.  

The Ports in Shanghai are open and operational but the problem is getting the trucks to the ports.  There have been many road closures and Covid PCR test points which are causing delays and even quarantines when drivers test positive.  A number of drivers are refusing even to accept deliveries when they need to cross through multiple regions and checkpoints so they don’t risk going into quarantine.

All this means that the supply chain is under a lot of stress and facing disruption in many parts of China. 

A total of 193 expressway exits and service areas have been shuttered in Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces. As a result, the country’s delivery network from electronic to raw materials has slowed down. 

I have even heard rumors that Ningbo and Suzhou are going under lockdown soon due to a rise in Covid cases.

In Shandong province, factories have been reopening which is good news, but on the other hand the bad news is the supply chain is not operating as normal.  For example, domestic shipping options have been severely restricted due to the COVID lock downs.  In one instance we tried sending samples from our supplier in Weifang, Shandong, to our partner in Zhejiang province. However, the courier simply couldn’t take up the samples at all so we were stuck and we couldn’t send the samples out.

So on the surface, even though lockdowns may be lifted, in reality there are still many weak links in the supply chain that you need to watch out for. I recommend that you communicate with your contacts on the ground in China to get real world information and to minimize disruptions as much as possible. All in all I would add an additional buffer in the delivery lead time of 50% longer than expected and to plan your orders accordingly.

Amazon Delays changes to buyer cancellation process

Image Credits: iStock

Amazon has deployed changes to the buyer cancellation process and provided further information about the changes. Amazon will launch the new approach on May 10th rather than April 27th.

All buyer-initiated purchase cancellation requests will still be sent to sellers through email. They won’t need to download order data to observe buyer-initiated cancellations as a result of this. Sellers can activate the Buyer-Requested Cancel field in their Order reports to see cancellation requests.

It’s regarded as an unofficial cancelation if a consumer requests a cancellation exclusively through the buyer-seller chat channel, and canceling it will affect your cancelation rate data. The buyer must go to Your Account, Your Orders, then Request Cancellation to cancel their order.

Sellers can send a critical message if the buyer does not answer the merchant’s request through the buyer-seller messaging tool. Even if a buyer opted out of receiving non-critical alerts, the email will be sent to them.

Takeaway: Buyer-initiated cancellations are pretty frustrating. It’s important to remember that it’s all part of the selling process. Whether or not you dispatched the order will determine how you handle cancellations. The vendor can only cancel orders that have not yet been dispatched. If the order has already been dispatched, different steps must be followed. It is based on whether the shipping was handled by Amazon or a third-party carrier.

How Amazon plans to fix its multi-billion dollar returns problem

Image Credits: iStock

As Amazon’s market share grows, so does the number of returns, creating a considerable worry for Amazon and the environment.

Last year, the National Retail Federation said that a record $761 billion in merchandise was returned, resulting in 5.8 billion pounds of landfill garbage.

The company has already committed to a “zero product disposal aim” while also making returns more free and straightforward, from boxless returns to encouraging customers to retain certain items.

Amazon, therefore, has created liquidation, donation, and resale services for returns. According to the company, customers are more likely to repurchase and deepen their loyalty if returns are made more accessible.

Takeaway: As an Amazon Seller, returns can impact profit. However, even when there are times when buyers seem unreasonable, you need to deal with them helpfully and politely. Keep your return records, reach out to the buyer, and determine why the items were returned. Lastly, do not forget to inspect your returns. Managing your returns and returns properly will protect your account and reputation in the marketplace.

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Taking place September 20-22 at the Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, this year’s event features some amazing special events, including a LIVE Welcome Party performance from Grammy award-winning rap superstar Nelly and an inspiring keynote address from serial entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk. 

I think this will be a great in-person event to connect with other sellers and I was able to get a special discount to our readers.  \

Helium 10 will offer a $100 discount when you register through this link and use my code: S3PAXGARYHUANG 

Note to be transparent – I’m an affiliate of Helium 10 and I believe that this is going to be a great event.  If you do purchase a ticket I will receive a small commission to help us keep creating the best award winning content to help you grow your ecommerce business.  And it helps pay for my coffee!  Thanks!

To learn more, visit  today!

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Have a great weekend!


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