Just some quick notes of what’s happening in the world of Amazon suspension. Tune in next week for a post on how Amazon is addressing bad actors on the platform. Please note that when I say “I believe, should, may, might,” etc. that I am expressing my opinion based on what we are seeing and hearing and not official Amazon policy.
- Ashlin Hadden Of Voldico Insurance Is Bringing Reinstatement And Business Continuity Insurance To Ecommerce Sellers!
Due to launch in early February this insurance will not only cover the cost of reinstatement, but also provide 75% of your normal revenue for either 15, 30 or 90 days – a real godsend for sellers. Once all the details are available, I will have a follow-up blog post. Stay tuned! You can contact Ashlin to get added to her notification list.
- The Ability To Advertise Within The Sexual Wellness Category Is In The Works As Well As A+ Content. We Hear It Will Be “Soon.”
- New Suspension Reason: “Violation Of Code Of Conduct.”
This one is serious and permanent. We suspect that there is more to this than getting banned. Time will tell. What we know for sure is that we can’t get you back.
- Manipulation Of The Platform For Product Reviews Is STILL Occurring.
Please understand. There is NO WAY around Amazon’s rules on this one. NONE. Focus on sales, not reviews. Sorry. Don’t use ZonBlast and then follow up with emails soliciting a review, for example. Don’t do it. Programs like Feedback Genius have a filter that will turn OFF product review emails for products bought at a discount. We recommend everyone use that filter to avoid accidentally asking the wrong buyer for a product review. Here’s more information on how to do that.
- Amazon Has Started To Take Action Against Companies/Lawyers That File Copyright Infringement Cases As A Tactic.
We saw the first volley when they started to give sellers an appeal process. We believe that Amazon will take further action against frequent offenders. If they follow previous procedures like with product review companies, we anticipate possible lawsuits. We hope so. We’ve seen some companies file dozens and dozens of bogus claims against sellers. If you have a legitimate beef against an infringer, be sure to follow the rules and answer their emails if they contact you, explain the infraction and send an email to Amazon once the issue is resolved.
- Amazon Is Proactively Filing Counterfeit Claims On Sellers Who Have Not Even Sent In Product Yet.
We are not sure if this is due to claims filed by rights holders or simply because Amazon has seen a problem on those brands. What puzzles us the the most is why these brands are not gated if there is a problem? They are letting sellers send in the merchandise and then sending them listing suspensions before the goods even get to the warehouse.
- Amazon Is Stepping Up Its Game Going Directly To Manufacturers/Brand Owners To Get Them Registered In The Brand Registry And To Sell Product Themselves On The Platform.
We are seeing a lot more of their people at trade shows, etc. Why would they do this? To reduce inauthentic/counterfeit issues for buyers. This is both an opportunity and a threat for wholesale sellers. Lock down your relationships AND remember that you know Amazon better than most brands. Use that to your advantage.
- Selling NFL Licensed Products You Bought RA Or OA? You Are At Risk For Suspension And Inauthentic Claims.
A new algorithm tweak means lots of sellers are being suspended for licensed products (all sports not just NFL). Don’t sell licensed items unless you are buying from an authorized manufacturer/distributor. You can often find the list of authorized manufacturers on the internet. They are VERY limited and tightly controlled. Buying in a retail or online store is not good enough.
- Do You Sell Textbooks? Amazon Is Suspending Used And New Textbook Sellers Right And Left Recently For Counterfeit. 100 Sellers Are Being Sued By Publishers.
Are you sure your textbooks are authentic? Are you buying them from a legitimate source? If not, you may want to pull your textbooks. They are cracking down hard on counterfeit textbooks. Most of our clients didn’t even realize that counterfeit textbooks are a real problem. Amazon recently obeyed a subpoena from several textbook publishers to produce the real names and addresses of 100 Amazon booksellers. These sellers are being suspended and we can’t help them get back until they resolve the lawsuit with the publisher. In addition, Amazon has the right to sue these sellers as well. Read more in this article from Financial Times.
- Amazon Launched Worldwide Account Verification For New Sellers.
This means that anyone wanting to open an account in the US or anywhere else needs to go through a thorough screening. They will want your passport/birth certificate, proof of your bank and credit card (they will call them), proof of your physical location and more. Note that everything MUST be in the name of your business or your name. Do not use your mom’s credit card and your cousin’s warehouse. We suspect that sellers who get suspended will also be asked for verification data before being reinstated. We’ll let you know.