Listings deactivated due to customer complaints that used book sold as new. Please help


#1

Hi All

some of my listings are deactivated as described by Amazon. Below is an email I received from them.

Dear Seller,

We removed some of your listings because of customer complaints about items listed at the end of this email. Customers may be complaining because the items they received did not accurately match the condition or description of the product mentioned in the product detail page of your listings.

Why did I receive this message?
Amazon has several product detail and listing policies to ensure customers have a consistent buying experience and receive items in the condition they expect. Products listed in “new” condition are expected to arrive in brand new, unopened condition with no signs of damage or wear. If customers receive a product that does not match this description, it may lead them to perceive the item as being previously opened or used.

Learn more about our policies in Seller Central Help:

Condition Guidelines (https://sellercentral-europe.amazon.com/gp/help/200339950)
Product Detail Page Rules (https://sellercentral-europe.amazon.com/gp/help/200390640)
Prohibited Seller Activities and Actions (https://sellercentral-europe.amazon.com/gp/help/200386250)

How do I reactivate my listings?
To reactivate your listings, please provide us the following information:

A plan of action that explains:
    The issue(s) that led to the complaints about the product condition or description of your items.
    The actions you have taken to resolve the issue(s) that caused the complaints about the product condition or description of your items.
    The steps you have taken to prevent future complaints about the condition of your items.
Here are a few things to consider as you create your plan:
    Sourcing: Are you sourcing the product from a trusted supplier that sells items in condition?
    Listing: Is the product accurately described on Amazon? Have you ensured that there is no ambiguity and the customer is well informed?
    Packaging: Is the product in its original manufacturer packaging as listed on Amazon?
    Shipping: Have you taken all appropriate steps and quality checks to ensure that the product is stored, packed, and shipped appropriately, and will not be damaged when shipped?
    Review your communications, reviews, and feedback from buyers to better understand the issues.
    Be as specific as possible in your plan.
    Do not limit your plan to issues with specific orders.
Copies of invoices or receipts from your supplier issued in the last 365 days for the ASINs listed below:
    These documents should reflect your sales volume on Amazon during the last 365 days.
    Please include contact information for your supplier, including name, phone number, address, and website. We may contact your supplier to verify the documents. We will maintain the confidentiality of your supplier contact information.
    You may remove pricing information, but the rest of the document must be visible. For ease of our review, you may highlight or circle the ASIN(s) under review.

You can only send .pdf, .jpg, .png, or .gif files. These documents must be authentic and unaltered.

How do I send the required information?
To send us the required information, please visit your Account Health Dashboard (https://sellercentral-europe.amazon.com/performance/dashboard?ref=ah_em_pq) in Seller Central and click on the appeal link next to the impacted ASIN.
What happens if I do not send the requested information?
If we do not receive the requested information your listings will remain deactivated. If we receive additional complaints about your listings, we may deactivate your Amazon seller account.

We’re here to help
You can get help creating your plan in Seller Central Help (https://sellercentral-europe.amazon.com/gp/help/200370560).

You can view your account’s performance at (https://sellercentral-europe.amazon.com/performance/dashboard?ref=ah_em_pq)
or select Account Health on the home screen of the Amazon Seller app on your iOS (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/amazon-Seller/id794141485)
or Android (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.amazon.sellermobile.android&hl=en) device.
The Account Health dashboard shows how well your account is performing against the performance metrics and policies required to sell on Amazon.

Thank you,
Amazon

Below is my action plan which was rejected.

Dear Amazon Seller performance Team

My listings have been deactivated due to a complaint logged by a customer regarding order listed below:

Used Item Sold as New

0571299474

From Quantum to Cosmos: The Universe Within

Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to appeal against this and reactivate my listings.

I understand that Amazon takes failures to comply with their requirements very seriously and I would like to share with you my Plan of Action in which I explain what I have done to resolve the issue and what I will do to prevent similar complaints in the future.

Background:

I source my books from private individuals and selling books from my own library. These books are in the majority brand new never read. Some books are second hand and I list all books according to their condition. Used books are always listed as used and listed from the drop down menu on how used they are whether as new or acceptable.

There has been an incident recently where a book was sent to a customer that did not match the description. Upon receiving a message from the customer I immediately sent a message back to apologise for this accident. I also sent in that message possible option for me to resolve the issue for the customer leaving it in the customers discretion to decide which action he/she would like to take. This customer replied to my message asking to keep the book and receive a partial refund. I submitted the refund immediately upon receipt of the customers message.

Plan of action:
    The issue that led to the complaint was that the book contained some pencil marks as described by the customer. This was an omission on my part and resolved immediately with the customer by submitting a partial refund. I have given the customer an option to return the book with return postage paid by me.
    I have taken a few steps to prevent this incident from happening in the future by implementing a full book check prior to dispatch. If for some reason the book does not match the description for future sales I will get a replacement book sent out to the customer from a variety of sources including quick ordering of a book that does not match the description from local book retailers such as Waterstones, Heffers and Cambridge University Press all of which will be able to provide me with new condition books if necessary within a 24 hour period of time.
    I have Gone over my inventory in the last 3 days (approximately 1500 books) and have checked that each book listed on Amazon matches the description. All books checked are now matching the description as listed on Amazon.
    I have taken into account customer feedback which has not revealed any discrepancies in condition of books listed in the past apart from the one incident which led to my listings being deactivated.
    As always I package my books in safe cardboard packaging which ensures that books bought from my store always arrive in the condition described on Amazon and meets the strict Amazon policies.
I am a small seller of books on Amazon. I do not meet the thresholds for Ltd company set up nor do I meet the thresholds for VAT registration. The books I sell are mainly my own books that I have bought over a period of last 15 years creating a small collection of books. I have also purchased many books of of Amazon and am now reselling these. I have also sourced some of my books previously from private people. I do not use commercial suppliers unless the condition of the book does not match the condition specified on Amazon.

I hope that the above plan of action is sufficient to have my listings reactivate and that steps taken to resolve this will prevent any issues arising in the future.

Yours sincerely

Any advice on how to reword it to ensure that it gets accepted. I understand that nothing is guaranteed I could do with all the help I can get.
thanks in advance
Jimmy


#2

This would be your first mistake. The books you are selling are clearly second hand if you are buying from private individuals. As such they cannot be in ‘New’ condition, at best they can be ‘Used - Like New’

You are not buying new stock from a publisher to sell, so you cannot be selling new stock. Maybe frame your plan of action around that?


#3

Thank you Peter very useful just tweaking it now.


#4

Hi
The exact same thing is happening to us and its devastating to morale. All my sympathy!
I have now submitted the appeal three times, once on a form and twice as an email. I was accused of the same sin - reselling - when in fact we are the manufacturers of the item in question so how could it be secondhand?
Anyway, below is a copy of the last effort from me to make an appeal (names of suppliers blanked out for our protection) I sent five photos of our workplace and the packed item as well as four invoices from suppliers to this appeal and still they want something more but I don’t know what it can be. They won’t talk to me of course only the stupid chat assistant who knows less than me.
Any help will be incredibly welcome, I am broken to tears here!
Yours, Rachel

Hi
You removed a listing nearly a week ago due to a customer complaint.

**APPEAL TO REINSTATE LISTING OF ASIN: *********

  1. ISSUE THAT LED TO THE DEACTIVATION:

A customer asserted that the item did not arrive in new condition.

  1. ACTIONS WE HAVE TAKEN TO RESOLVE THE ISSUE:

We cannot see any action we could take to prevent a customer thinking this since we at Birdboxview are the sole producers and distributors of this camera nestbox.
Birdboxview are supplied with nestboxes adapted for our product by ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ ltd acting as Brand* (recent invoice attached) which we then finish in our own workshop by adding cameras and other parts as required and finishing any rough edges etc. We then pack the boxes ourselves adding further accessories and an instruction leaflet written and printed by ourselves.
There is therefore no possibility for us to be reselling a used item.
If a customer receives an item damaged in transit we always, when informed of this, send out a replacement item immediately without waiting for the customer to return the damaged item.

  1. STEPS WE CAN TAKE TO RESOLVE THE ISSUE
    We have reviewed our listing on Amazon to check that we are as clear and accurate as possible in describing the item. Further than that we cannot see what steps we might take to “resolve the issue” as we cannot see there being any actual issue here. If there are actions your team thinks we are not doing adequately please let us know and we will do them.

SOURCING – OUR SUPPLIERS:

We source our item base from the ***** department of UK import company ****** please see attached invoice.
We source our accessory from two factories, both in place . See attached invoice for an order of cctv cameras from ***** supplier .
We source our **** other accessory
from various uk suppliers including ***** supplier ****. See attached invoice

LISTING DETAILS:
Again we have checked our listing for this ASIN and can see no way to make it any more accurate or informative than in its present form.

PACKAGING – OUR SUPPLIERS:
As we are the original manufacturer the packaging is ours. Our packaging comes from ****** Packaging Ltd. I attach one of their invoices.

SHIPPING:
We use Royal Mail’s business services and do our best to pack items securely. Of course the boxes may get thrown around during transit. If an item is damaged on arrival we automatically replace it for the customer (provided they inform us of this problem)

(Sadly we have had no contact from the customer who made this complaint as far as we are aware. However, if you do have their details please ask them to contact us and explain what was defective in the item and then we will, of course, make good on it for them.)

REVIEW COMMUNICATIONS AND FEEDBACK.
Our feedback and reviews are very positive.
We always respond to messages within a few hours of receipt.

On the advice of your phone assistant this morning we are resubmitting our appeal and attaching photos of our workshop and packing areas to show the condition of the goods we sell. Please will you therefore reinstate this ASIN

With best wishes
Terence and Rachel Symons (Birdboxview proprietors)


#5

Trust me guys it is happening across a lot of different things not just books.
Looks like the bots are screwing up again. I had one removed for a used comment.
But I have had no returns, no negative feedback, nothing,
Cannot reason with a bot?


#6

The bots didn’t screw up for once with the book seller he was listing books as new when they had came feom private sellers so they are second hand so he can list them as used but new like condition which he has been advised to which he is doing so hopefully no more problems


#7

True, in a way he’s lucky because (with a lot of work) he will be able to get it sorted. But what about when you can’t find anything you’ve done wrong?


#8

Oh I just received this, even more depressing:

Dear Seller,

We received your submission but do not have enough information to reactivate your listings at this time.
Why did I receive this message?
You have not sent us sufficient information that we previously requested from you. We requested this information to address the complaints we received about the condition or description of your items

For privacy reasons, we do not provide details about our investigation methods.
What happens now?
Your listings will remain deactivated and we may not respond to further emails about this issue. If we receive more complaints about your listings, we may deactivate your Amazon seller account.


#9

Thank you all for your thoughts and advice.
I will resubmit my appeal and will change all new listings to used like new. Birdboxview1 sorry to hear your situation.
When I first started selling on Amazon and did not realise the strick rules I did not send 2 books on time (1 day delay ) and they suspended my account.
It took about 5 appeals to get through to them and a lot of help from fellow Amazon sellers.
Try and stay strong.
I sometimes feel like I m emailing a machine and not a human. Its really difficult to get through to Amazon.


#10

It appears that they are not asking for invoices in your case.

I would focus on issues that may have caused the buyer to feel that they were receiving an imperfect item and step that you can take to eliminate this.

Typical issues can be :-

Variation from product images. Is it ‘organic’ with a natural variance from one piece to the next, eg, wood finish, paint colour, varnishing etc. Do your images truly reflect the reality of what the customer receives?

Handling and quality control during storage and prior to packing. Are your items thoroughly inspected, is it possible they are getting scratched and dented/dinged and this isn’t being picked up by your packers?

Quality/inspection of packing. Do you have a standard packing process, have you documented drop tests do you have cross-inspection of packed items to ensure presentation and finish quality before shipping?

I’m not saying any of these things are a problem, but they are areas you can flag for improved or robust performance to Amazon to answer customer quality issues based on what you suspect the customer may have experienced, if that makes sense?


#11

Thats very helpful Peter thank you .


#12

Thanks Peter, very thoughtful comments.
We are a husband/wife team, no employees so we do every stage of the preparation ourselves, Keith handles each box in his workshop, adding windows and camera and checking the finish before bringing them to our packing table. As we pack them I check that there are no rough bits he has missed and we have a set routine as we pack to ensure nothing is missing and that the boxes are properly filled. However it may be that Amazon will need reassuring of our personal control of the preparation so I will include the above and promise to be even more careful not to make any mistakes in future!
Also your helpful reply got me thinking about things I do and there is something I realise that I have done a few times that may have sparked the complaint - when I am labelling boxes for the mail I can realise from my spreadsheet that, due to the average cost being borderline between two postal bands, we can save money by substituting a less heavy box for one we have already processed on Royal mail and stuck a postage label on (the boxes are weighed when packed as weights vary up to 150g, due to environmental factors). I then carefully peel the label off the first one and place it back in storage. The fact that I will have relabelled it over slightly roughened cardboard when finally posting it may have been visible to this customer. Who knows? I won’t be doing that in future anyway and I will explain this in my next (4th) attempt to appeal!
Thanks again for your thoughts on this
I will let you know if I get anywhere with the next appeal!


#13

Very best of luck!!!


#14

I second that.

Never read is not the same as new.

It’s the start of a slippery slope. It’s not read but the pages are toned a bit. It’s not read and the spine is a little out. It’s not read but the dustwrapper is a rubbed a bit.

Even worse are the sellers who become defensive when you put in a return on one of those books.

No.

If it’s come from the publisher or distributor or wholesaler, it’s new. If it’s come from a private collection, a charity shop or even Waterstones, it’s not.


#15

Exactly the same thing happened to us in the run-up to Christmas with a brand new metal sign that we have sold for years at around £6. The customer gave no reason why they thought it might not be new, but they had previously returned it because they didn’t like it and we had already sent a full refund, so were very shocked by their accusation. Amazon deactivated the listing and also removed the premium shipping option from ALL of our listings for 4 weeks. Just before Christmas. Perfect!

Like you, we were told to jump through hoops and provide a detailed action plan etc to re-instate the listing. It simply wasn’t worth the time and effort for a £6 item so we withdrew it from Amazon completely and continue to sell it happily elsewhere, including a well-known “auction” site where it achieves a higher fixed price than Amazon ever did. We’ve reported the malicious “customer” and blocked him from buying from us ever again.

It’s disgusting that Amazon can treat it’s real customers (ie the business sellers) so badly and demand action plans and confidential business information without requesting a shred of evidence from the person making the accusation of selling second hand items instead of new ones.

Come on Amazon, you need to rethink your policy on this issue.


#16

We had one last week, they closed an ASIN as they received a complaint item was 2nd hand. They want all this plan of action rubbish and 365 days worth of purchase receipts blah blah blah. My reply would have been very succinct ‘we do not have any second hand stock so therefore we cannot have sent any second hand stock’

Seeing as the item is not a big seller I cannot be bothered, so whether it was down to over zealous Amazon bots or a malicious buyer I do not have the time or energy to resolve it. It does amaze me though that we had been selling that item on Amazon for about 6 years without one single complaint or return and just one issue arises and bang they shut it down.

Selling on this platform is such a difficult and frustrating experience !


#17

Hello @jackandjimmy,

As per the information provided I understand that you want some suggestion on writing an effective plan of action.

The books which you will procure from the manufacturer/supplier directly are considered as "NEW", if you are procuring the books from private individuals then those are not considered as new. These books should be sold under "USED" condition so that the buyers are not misled.

Below are some suggestion which will help you to write an effective plan of action:

Root Cause:

Along with this point write in detail why did you list the books which you got from an individual in NEW condition? Did you check the policy of amazon before listing these products?

Refer to the below link to understand the product condition policy:

LINK - https://sellercentral-europe.amazon.com/gp/help/help.html?itemID=200339950&

Corrective Measure:

Mention the same in the appeal along with the immediate steps which you have already taken on the account to re-categories all other ASIN correctly.

Preventive Steps:

Above mentioned details are more reactive but as a part of preventive measures, you need to provide proactive steps which will avoid these complaints in the future.

1 - What proactive steps will you take to ensure the books are sourced from a reliable suppliers?

2 - Give detail description of change in the packaging which you have implemented.

3 - How will you ensure Amazon that the courier service you are using are handling your products correctly? If not, then what will be your steps against them?

4 - What steps will you take to ensure that you are shipping the correct item to the buyer?

Focus on the above points to make your appeal effective and make sure you have implemented those changes and then send the appeal.

You also need to send the invoice of the given ASIN, below are the requirement:

1 - Invoices must be procured with in last 365 days.

2 - Must have your supplier details.

3 - Quantity in invoices must reflect the sales volume on Amazon selling account.

If you have invoices then kindly submit it along with the plan of action. If in case you do not have the invoices, mention in the plan of action as to why you do not have them.

Good Luck,
Dhoni.


#18

I too sell books. In my opinion there is a difference between “new” and “as new” . I buy many books from charity shops and many are in “as new” condition, not read (easy to notice if a book has been read or not) and in great as new condition. In addition many “new books” that one say buys from Waterstones, even if new many have bumped corners etc. If amazon think “as new” is equivalent to “new” they should not have that option for sellers to use.

Best Regards
Simone


#19

Hi

I had similar problems with a customer as mine had a sticker mark on the seal (it was a DVD in my case ) basically Amazon Seller Support will make you jump through hoops but i will tell you what i did and it was the only way i got the listing reactivated , it may not be the best solution but at least the listing was reactivated , i described the item as Like New and in the Product Information column i described about the sticker mark on the seal.

Hope this helps


#20

In this context, the difference between New and Like New as far as Amazon is concerned is that for books (or any other item) listed in New condition, they may require you to supply an invoice from your supplier. That supplier cannot be a retail outlet, charity shop, auctioneer or private individual, it must be either the manufacturer or an approved wholesaler/distributor.

Paul