[ BDSN ] 🐶 Rufus is on the loose & Amazon is cracking the whip

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More than 80% of TikTok Shop sales to date have been in Southeast Asia, not the United States. 4.5% of GMV is from what one category?

[ Answer at bottom of email ]


Ecommerce Chris says Amazon often ramps up enforcement ahead of Prime Day so they won’t need to take down thousands of accounts just before or during the big day itself. He says this year is no different.

Remember Amazon’s response to appeals is not automatic; they require a well-founded appeal that aligns with the information requested on the seller’s Account Health page. If an appeal is weak or lacks necessary details, it will be rejected, necessitating a more robust appeal strategy for future attempts.

Chris’ team is seeing a couple trends right now of brand owners continuing to botch a couple of key no-nos:

Trend #1 revolves around Amazon’s handling of seller account suspensions related to alleged abuses of competitor products through negative reviews.

Sellers may receive notices of deactivation for supposedly influencing customers to leave negative reviews to damage competitors, or they may be warned of potential deactivation pending an appeal.

Sellers need to proactively ensure they do not engage in or appear to engage in practices that unfairly target competitors.

Those enrolled in the Account Health Assurance (AHA) program have an opportunity to appeal such accusations to maintain their account activity, while others face immediate temporary deactivation until a successful appeal is made.

Trend #2 highlights ongoing issues with Amazon sellers attempting to manipulate their sales rankings and receive positive reviews through inappropriate methods.

Despite the well-documented risks of account suspension for review manipulation, some sellers still use outdated techniques like bad packaging inserts or enhanced buyer-seller messaging to encourage positive reviews over negative ones.

These violations typically involve offering compensation for reviews, such as gift cards, free products, or discounts, communicated outside the official Amazon buyer-seller messaging system, including through emails, social media, and text messages.

This top seller needs to immediately change their packaging.

Specific frowned-upon practices include:

  • Inserting requests for positive reviews or incentives in exchange for reviews within product packaging or through shipping materials.

  • Proposing refunds or reimbursements after a review is posted, especially if this is done through non-Amazon payment methods.

  • Encouraging buyers to alter or remove reviews in exchange for reimbursement.

  • Diverting negative reviews to private feedback mechanisms while directing positive reviews to Amazon.  

    If you have inserts like this in your current packaging, it’s best to remove them immediately.

False accusations abound for this type of offense.  You may dispute it by A) trying to figure out who made what type of accusation against you and B) having a dispute all set and ready to go ahead of Prime Day, demonstrating all the facets of your compliance methodology.  Chris says this will come in handy if you are accused in error. Amazon often shoots first, asks questions later. Be ready!


The art of persuasion, and “pre-suasion” are vitally important in getting your customers to take the actions you want them to.

The short video below breaks it down and gives you actionable things you should be doing in your marketing, your videos, your listings, getting reviews and more.

It’s worth a quick gander.


BDS Dream 100 member Vanessa Hung is getting excited!

The Rufus beta is expanding and is starting to show up on more and more customer Amazon Shopping apps (including her roommate’s).

Rufus uses a generative AI-powered conversational shopping experience, acting as a personal shopper for customers. It understands the context behind search queries and provides personalized results based on the customer's intent, rather than relying solely on keywords.

After getting her hands on it, Vanessa says Rufus confirms many of her theories. She is convinced it will drastically change how customers purchase on Amazon and how sellers build listings.

Vanessa’s presentation at BDSS X in Hawaii last month placed third in the audience voting amongst stiff competition. It focused on the specifics you need to do as a seller to prepare for the coming changes with Amazon AI.

To optimize your listings for Rufus, she recommends you focus on providing context and answering potential customer questions. This includes detailed information about your product's functions, activities it can be used for, complementary products and target audience.

A few of her suggestions (watch it here if you have replay access):

  • Rufus leverages customer reviews, catalog data, and web information to understand the product and customer intent better. You should encourage customers to leave detailed reviews and ensure your catalog data is up-to-date and comprehensive.

  • As Rufus relies on context rather than direct keyword matching, you need to shift your focus from keyword stuffing to creating listings that provide a clear understanding of your product's features, benefits and use cases.

  • Rufus continuously learns and refines its results based on customer interactions and feedback. Engaging with customers through Q&A, addressing their concerns, and encouraging them to vote on helpful reviews can improve your product's relevance in Rufus search results.

  • Building a strong brand presence beyond Amazon, such as having a website and social media presence, can help Rufus better understand your product and brand, leading to more accurate and personalized recommendations for customers.

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🛠️ IT’S ALL in a NAME

A famous quote from Dale Carnegie says "A person's name is to him or her the sweetest and most important sound in any language."

Choosing a good name for a company or product can be a daunting task. Many of the simple and obvious names have already been claimed, with the corporate name, domain or trademark (or all three) being unavailable.

People often follow business trends when naming companies. There was a time when everything was named after simple nouns, such as Structure, Apple, Orange and Pineapple.

Another trend involved combining a color with an animal, resulting in names like Blue Antelope, Red Bear, and Black Dog. The use of made-up adjectives, such as Scient, Viant, and Pliant, also had its moment.

The addition of "ster" to words became popular, giving rise to names like Napster, Friendster, and Dogster. More recently, the zen theme has been prevalent, with companies like Zendesk, Zenefits, and Zen Payroll (now Gusto) embracing it.

Some companies prioritize finding available domains then name their company after the domain. This approach has led to the emergence of companies like drugstore.com, pets.com, waiter.com, restaurants.com and cars.com.

However, not all startups have unimaginative names. Elon Musk, for example, is celebrated for naming his first company x.com and one of his most recent ventures, the Boring Company, showcasing his creativity in the naming process.

Here are two tools I use to help generate ideas for names for new companies and products (my new podcast with Norm Farrar, “Marketing Misfits,” was named with one of these tools).

#2 Namify


Michael Lovitch, co-founder of Baby Bathwater Institute, discusses various aspects of his entrepreneurial journey and marketing strategies on the "Marketing Misfits" podcast this week with Norm Farrar and Kevin King.

Lovitch talks about his unconventional marketing tactics, such as certifying a cat to generate media attention and traffic.

He also recounts his transition from a special ed teacher to entering the business world, where he ventured into hypnosis programs and nutritional supplements.


The truth is, it’s tough to value what you have until you lose it. People are usually blind when it comes to something they take for granted.

Tomer Rabinovich

I am sharing this here since many of you may have missed the email Tomer Rabinovich sent to his followers yesterday.

He shares details about a tragedy his family is dealing with and a very important message that we all as entrepreneurs and humans need to remind ourselves of.

Tomer is an outstanding individual and a leading figure in our industry.

He has spoken at BDSS, was the very first Dream 100 member, and he’s speaking at BDSS XI next year in Iceland.

On June 1, literally minutes before he was set to fly to host his Top Dog Summit in Austria, his daughter drowned in the pool where his family was staying in Thailand. He had taken them there last year to be safe from the events in Israel.

I encourage you to take a moment to click and read his message below:

💔 I buried my daughter 💔

Tim Jordan also set up a GoFundMe in memory of Noya if you’d like to participate.

here’s looking at you kid

My “why” has led me to visit 94 countries and all 7 continents. I create my business around my life. Not my life around my business.

I hope to inspire you in your journey of business and life with photos, a short video I filmed, and a brief description of my time there.

I took this single trip in Biz Class for just 190,000 AA Miles

21 flights in Business Class for 190K miles

The secret to doing this: a tool called Expert Flyer

A few years ago I used Expert Flyer to create an unforgettable experience using an American Airlines "Explorer" award (now discontinued), carefully selecting flights with available business class seats on American Airlines and its OneWorld partners using miles.

I flew 21 flights and covered 36,393 miles in three weeks for just 190,000 miles all-in. The comfort and luxury of lie-flat beds and top-notch service made the long hours in the air a pleasure.

My main purpose was to revisit places I had missed on previous trips, and I was determined to make the most of every moment.

In Manila, I was touched by the warmth and hospitality of my taxi driver, who invited me to dinner at his humble home. As I explored the historic island of Corregidor and participated in an engaging walking tour, I found myself fully immersed in the rich history and culture of the Philippines.

Myanmar, with its unique charm and stunning landscapes, left an indelible impression on me. Kuala Lumpur surprised me with its modernity, diverse religious influences, and mouth-watering food scene. I felt like I was discovering hidden gems at every turn.

When I arrived in Australia, I was determined to fulfill my goal of snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef. Despite less-than-ideal conditions, I marveled at the world's largest coral reef system, knowing that I was witnessing something truly special.

Perhaps the most out-of-the-way part of my journey was my deliberate detour to Tokyo, where I had been a few times before.

I had one goal in mind: to indulge in my favorite meal, authentic Japanese A5 Wagyu beef. This rare delicacy, known for its unparalleled marbling and flavor, is best experienced in Japan.

Japanese A5 Wagyu in Tokyo (about $30 per ounce)

I made sure to savor every bite at the renowned Seryna restaurant on the 52nd floor of a skyscraper in Shinjuku. The melt-in-your-mouth texture and rich flavor were worth every mile I flew out of my way.

As a side note, be very careful if you order Japanese A5 Wagyu beef (sometimes called Kobe beef) in the USA. The real stuff should cost $30-$40 per ounce, and must be imported from Japan. Always ask to see the birth certificate. If they can’t produce it, then don’t pay premium pricing as it is probably not real A5 Wagyu.

In Vegas at Sushi Samba making sure they have the birth certificate

I hope this little story serves as an inspiration to others who yearn to follow their wanderlust and make their travel dreams a reality.



“Your mind is a garden, your thoughts are the seeds. You can grow flowers or weeds.”

✌🏼 Have a great weekend.

See you again on Monday.

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