Amazon POLICY WARNING! Experiencing The Darkside Of Being An Amazon FBA Seller! We Need To Talk About This!
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As an Amazon seller, unfortunately there is a dark side to Amazon where they may give you an Amazon policy warning. Worst case scenario, they may suspend your account. I’ve experienced both of these things. It can be quite an anxiety inducing experience, especially if you’re not familiar with Amazon’s procedures are.
What I will stress is that I still strongly believe that Amazon FBA is a fantastic opportunity. You can really make a wonderful online business using FBA. You can automate and scale and you can really change your life. That said, there are two sides to Amazon. And the more success you have with it, the worse it is when you get caught on the dark side.
I’m a big advocate of honesty and transparency when it comes to Amazon and sharing the ups and downs – and this is no different.
Amazon Policy Warning
I’ve recently experienced a policy warning which, unfortunately, I do have my opinions on what the issue is. I think this has happened to a number of people that I see online. Amazon have questioned a specific product within my library of products, and they want to know if I’ve got the invoices to prove that that product is an authentic product.
I do want to stress that I absolutely do believe that if anybody is being shady and pedaling illegal goods on Amazon they should be punished and disposed of. I can understand why Amazon’s number one focus is the customer and that products are genuine.
However, from an Amazon seller point of view, I wish there was some more transparency when it comes to this scenario. There could be more communication directly about what the problem is, what’s at fault and what Amazon are trying to prove.
I know that I’m just trying to create a genuine business using Amazon. But I also know that from an Amazon point of view, they need to protect the marketplace. I just wish that, as sellers, we would be listened to.
As A Seller
There are many of us sellers who have put in a lot of time, effort and money into our Amazon stores, but when it comes to Amazon sending you an email about account suspension or policy warnings, it makes our hearts thud.
I think that all I can do in this situation is leverage myself as a content creator, and much of my audience are Amazon sellers, so I’d love to have this conversation about how Amazon deal with this stuff. In an ideal world, I would communicate this to Amazon, but unfortunately, that is more difficult than it would seem. We just get told through generic emails.
What confused this situation even more is that I responded to Amazon and they got back to me saying, “Please respond from the email account associated to the seller account,” which it was! I literally hit the reply button! So that gave me a really negative vibe about getting this resolved. I was thinking that I have no idea who is on the receiving end of this email, but if you think it’s not from the right account then I am worried.
There are massive pros to Amazon, but unfortunately, this side of Amazon is not great. I’ve experienced suspension and policy warnings, so it’s about time I share this with you. I also want to stress the importance of automating your Amazon business so they are not so dependent on one point of failure, as Amazon policy is a real point of failure.
It is also very important that as you extract yourself from businesses that you always stay involved in the processes and remain aware of possible problems like this and how to overcome them. I also wish that if another seller has a complaint about my products, they would communicate with me first, before going to Amazon. I will take it seriously and resolve that issue with you first without having to deal with Amazon!
Amazon, as a service, is great and the automation is great, but it would be nice if there was more peer to peer and seller to buyer communication, allowing us to come together on issues like this without having to suffer these interventions from Amazon. That is just my opinion.
My Amazon Policy Warning
I received an email from Amazon saying that some specific products didn’t match the details page on the Amazon marketplace. “Within seven days, please reply with all the invoices/documents demonstrating that these products are the products in the conditions described, the branded products…”
Basically, I responded saying that I’m very sorry and thank you for bringing it to my attention. At first, I was thinking what is going on because it’s exactly the same image and everything appears to be identical, hence my team has purchased them and decided to sell them.
As I dug in deeper, there was a bit of a lesson to be learned for my team, which was obvious to me after digging into it. However, as you extract yourself from the business, these are the lessons that you learn and the failures that make your team better and better.
I started looking into it and responded with the invoices, then Amazon got back to me and said they need more information. That’s a little more frustrating because they knew exactly what the issue was one they knew what the issue was, but they’re just asking for more information. They were asking to identify the specific items, listing quantities, display condition. It feels like they’re saying that I’m not giving them what they want, but without telling me what they want. They’re basically saying that this is the wrong product.
I started to look into this a little bit more. I had apologized by this point and was doing everything I could to resolve the issue. Looking at the pictures of the product, they were absolutely identical to me. My team thought exactly the same. As I started to look into it further, I came to the conclusion that what had most likely happened is that the brand of the product in question has private labeled this product.
I’ve had to assume that this company, Inspired Styles, has private labeled this product. I have no argument with this at all! If it is a branded private label product and somebody hijacks that product, you would want other sellers to not be allowed to sell that product. I would want the same for my private label products.
I had listed what we thought was a generic product with no branding on a listing for a product that was exactly the same. However the listing for that lamp had a company’s branding on it. I had basically accidentally hijacked a listing with a product that was not branded the same. This is definitely, I concede, our mistake.
I just wish that we could communicate with each other, seller to seller, without going through this process that landed me with an Amazon policy warning. I think Amazon have a habit of making this a little more worrying and confusing than it actually is. This should have been a very simple fix. However, Amazon just said that if I could not correct this, I may be banned from Amazon – without specifying what exactly the problem was.
This filled me with negativity but really it should have been a quick fix.
I basically said that I’m sorry and we accept responsibility. We will verify, at all times, that our products will exactly match listings. This is something that I’ve spoken about with my team in the past but ids the first time it’s played out with an Amazon policy warning.
Learn From Our Mistake
Unfortunately it can be quite threatening to receive this kind of email, and it looks like a listing match, but Amazon have to take these precautions. When sellers launch private label products and somebody tries to sell a generic product on their listing, they will obviously complain and it can cause you a lot of undue stress.
I hope by sharing this that you don’t make the same mistake. I also would like to start the conversation about how Amazon deals with this stuff. If Amazon had simply sent an email listing the exact problem, it could have been resolved in an email, rather than both ends spending time and effort in communicating in such vague terms.
Has This Happened To You?
If this has happened to you or if you have an opinion on this process, I would love to hear from you in the comments. I personally wish that Amazon was clearer about this stuff. They have to treat everyone the same, and they don’t know me from somebody who is a fraud. They have an amazing workforce and they are a great company, but this kind of lack of personalization can cause a lot of undue stress as a seller.
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