Over the past couple of weeks leading up to Q4 of 2019, Amazon has announced several new updates that all Amazon sellers should be aware of. Here's a summary of what's been happening in the “jungle.”
The first one of note is the Live Creator App for iOS.
Live Creator allows Amazon sellers to create LIVE video streams demonstrating the use and application of their products.
This is a powerful marketing and brand-trust building tool that all sellers should strongly consider implementing in their marketing toolbox.
Sellers are able to engage with potential buying customers in real time via livestream comments. You can answer questions about how your product is used, why it's unique, and better than your competing brands.
The live stream video content is broadcast via https://amazon.com/live
To start using this feature, and learn more about it visit Amazon.com
IP Accelerator Program
Amazon has established it's own intellectual property rights program for Amazon sellers. This program is made up of “pre-vetted” legal services that have partnered with Amazon to provide trademark registration services for brands.
As part of the program, sellers that use this service will be granted certain protections against infringement. Amazon states:
Brands will benefit from automated brand protections, which proactively block bad listings from Amazon’s stores, increased authority over product data in our store, and access to our Report a Violation tool, a powerful tool to search for and report bad listings that have made it past our automated protections.
To learn more about the IP Accelerator Program, and Apply, visit the Amazon IP Accelerator Page
Sales Tax Collections Expanded to 34 Total States as of October 1st, 2019
As of October 1st, 2019, Amazon will calculate, collect, and remit sales tax for a total of 34 states with the inclusion of ten more states added to the mix.
According to Amazon:
Based on changes to Arizona, California, Colorado, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, North Dakota, Texas, and Utah State tax laws, Amazon will begin calculating, collecting, and remitting sales and use tax for all orders shipped to customers in these states on October 1, 2019.
For most sellers this comes as welcomed news as sales tax collection up until these latest sales tax laws have been implemented, has been entirely left up to sellers to work out. The challenge is that most sellers are poorly informed and a great deal of accountants and tax professionals don't understand the complexity of “economic nexus”.
The sales tax automation service TaxJar has a great article explaining what Economic Nexus is but to summarize:
Even if you do not have a physical presence in a state, if you pass a state’s economic threshold for total revenue or number of transactions in that state, you’re legally obligated to collect and remit sales tax to that state.
Do you know what your economic nexus is for the products you sell are on Amazon? What if you also have a Shopify store but fulfill your items through Amazon? With TaxJar, you can automatically connect your selling account to their service and have them locate the states you owe sales tax to, calculate, report, and file automatically. Sign up for a free trial of TaxJar here.