That is a very brave and noble decision.
I’ve gone from a prime vendor with good sales everyday but have now reduced it to around 4 sales a week. I’m fed up with Amazon rules “our way or the highway”. Also the A-Z claim should really change to “customer will auto get a full refund even if proof is provided claim”. Every large company I speak to think Amazon is a horrible company to deal with.
I think it’s time I just stick to eBay (they actually want my business and want to help resolve issues).
That is a very brave and noble decision.
Thanks for taking the time to write and share your thoughts. It is an excellent lucid statement of the main issues. Sadly I doubt it will have any consequences.
Not brave, but bloody sensible. Amazon has been going slowly down hill since we started to sell on this platform. Never seem to get any help from anyone at Amazon. Customers are consonantly taking the mick. Just last week a customer ordered some products from us and gave us a hotel room number and a hotel in London. We were rightly on guard from when the order arrived. We readied the order and thought “This is a no brainier we could see this going astray from the start”. Then out of the blue 15 mins before we sent the order out a message arrived to say she would be out of the country before the order arrived. WOW we felt we dodged a built there. An hour after we made the full refund she placed the same order again. 3 hours late she again demanded a full refund or she would contact Amazon. I never get this sort of customer from any other platform we sell on.
A colleague left a year ago for the same reasons. Just said so much wrong with Amazon I can make money without all this fuss and rubbish. He was taking big sums of money every week.
I agree with everything you say, i feel the pain and im sure everyone else feels the same pain.
Im currently battling with a case in which another seller changed an item from item A, to item A + B, so all of my products for that ASIN in FBA are now useless, seller support suggested me to report the listing, which i did, then amazon removed the listing and slapped me with a ‘‘product policy violation’’. I cant change the listing because amazon needs proof of item details that even the brand dosent share on their website. The only person that can change it is the one who created it ???
Only problem is, unfortuantly when you choose to leave amazon, someone will step back in to take your place. If you stopped selling an item, id be able to jack my prices up and make more profit. Thats the sad truth, i dont see any real change coming from amazon, were endlessly stuck on a sinking ship.
It is indeed a sad state of affairs and I am very sorry to read what you have had to do. I suppose the only plus from your side is your statement above. At least you can make a decent return elsewhere. I don’t know if or how the system will change. It seems that every day, more and more people are suspended on Amazon and yet there are even more taking their place. As long as the seller numbers continue to grow I can’t envisage any changes being made unfortunately. I think most sellers could identify with all the points you make, without a doubt. Good luck with your other platforms
Some businesses do not always have the business acumen or available resource to make the kind of calculated assessments that you have.
I think that often Amazon is seen as a platform to a market place with tones of ‘get rich quick’. The Amazon business model does not seem to have evolved fast enough in a balanced way to cope with that influx of associated problems or objectively distinguish between genuine sellers in other areas.
We have in a similar way to you, begun limiting our content to try and reduce the management required to deal with over focused ‘customer centric’ model, because of the required resources.
My sympathy is mostly with those many genuine sellers who have invested in a business to sell on Amazon and have then become subject to the constant changes and poor support especially when things go wrong, often resulting in an adverse affect on their livelihood.
Recently, there was a gentleman who posted on the forum. If I recall he was in his late 70’s, selling a few items here and there and had done for the past however many years. Some snowflake raised a complaint and his account was suspended. He had to write war and peace and submit it to some support employee who probably didn’t even speak his full native tongue never mind English in order to try and just regain access to his account.
Now for me, that could have been dealt with by a phone call. Amazon can consume your life and your business.
Fortunately this forum has a great number of frequent posters with great knowledge to be able to navigate and help people where they can. It is only a shame that they are never rewarded by Amazon for the work and great advice that they provide.
Please take my very best wishes with you.
That’s exactly what Amazon want, great advice and support at zero cost. They even have the cheek to include the support from other sellers on the forum as part ‘their’ customer service.
The get rich quick part of your statement rings true with me.
Those with genuine intentions get crushed under the weight of people joining from watching the multitude of youtube videos on how to make 30K in one month selling private label, or how build a fully automated business selling on Amazon so you can sit on your backside in the Caribbean, etc. Funnily enough the people who make the youtube videos are now telling their followers that there is so much competition and joining and Amazon and creating a business is harder than ever.
Fair play to the OP. He’s put time in to analyse and thankfully, unlike plenty of us here, doesn’t need to rely on a company that forgets third party sellers have genuine businesses which has a genuine effect on their life.
I can only give my 100% support and thank you for putting my thoughts down on paper. Everyone one of your well made points is reason enough to leave Amazon, on its own.
Thank you and best wishes for the future of your other lines of business.
Yes, this essay is right on point. The only difference between the sellers: Some can handle it, some can’t - and Amazon knows this, of course. That’s why I don’t see any improvement in the near future.
I feel your pain. As well as all your points, very well made by the way, I am struggling to gets my head round why my sales have dropped so massively since October. I was reading lots of articles over the weekend and it appears that an algorithm change has damaged lots of third party sellers. Not sure I have the energy to battle this.
I think that’s the understatement of the year.
Amazon thrive on the fact the many sellers don’t actually know how much it costs to sell here. Even their FBA calculator isn’t giving the full picture.
You have to factor in such things as advertising, returns, storage, customer damage, customer fraud, Amazon loosing or stealing your stock/money, etc, etc…
Then you have to factor in how much time you spend dealing with Amazon problems, like OP has done. Time is money, so there is a cost.
I think if people truly crunched the numbers a lot of sellers would come to the same conclusion as OP.
I’ve decided to pull out of the US because although I’m still making a reasonable profit, it’s nowhere near the same as here, and the number of issues that Amazon create is exponentially more. I just don’t need the hassle and the time saved can be use more productively elsewhere.
Can’t agree more with you and it’s something we are very aware of and becoming increasing worried about and have begun changing our Amazon selling inventory.
The Amazon market place is not for faint hearted so to speak. That said, there is no excuse for the poor seller support that sellers recieve and is reflected constantly on this forum.
I’ll round of this reply off with something that happens to us on regular basis. Customers walk into our stores look at an item. They often then order the item from our Amazon store knowing full well that if they are unhappy or change their mind then they are more than likely going to end up retaining the item and be fully refunded. Customers even have a nickname for it - AZBUSE.
We’ve been scaling our Amazon inventory down for a couple of years our sales started going south around 4-5 years ago and we tried everything but to no avail.
Amazon went from no 1 sales channel to our 3rd.
Amazon has always been hard work but when sales are flooding in you just accept it and deal with it because you are reaping the rewards,
Our referral fees have gone from 8% to 15% (this April) in that time and we’ve had to move our FBM to FBA after the collapse of our FBM sales.
I’m pretty much done with it now as Amazon has become more expensive than Ebay and PayPal combined and it’s twice the aggravation,
The sales are no longer there so what’s the point?
There were a number of pro Amazon sellers that always frequented these boards and they never had a bad word to say about them, think they’ve fallen foul to Amazon’s ridiculous policies as well.
Yes even the fan boys are now seeing Amazon for what they really are. There was a large seller on the US forum had their account shut down or something only a few weeks ago.
When Amazon turn their biggest supporters against them that’s when things really start getting ugly. I can see a class action law suit before long, you know what they’re like over in the states for litigation.
This person has the bravery and integrity to say what we’ve all been thinking for a long time now.
They blocked our Germany account because one customer returned an item to a German warehouse worth 25 Euros. We’ve never enabled Pan European FBA and our turnover is negligible. Maybe 3000 a year. It’s wrong but I don’t care anymore. If they don’t want the meagre 540 Euros fees from us a year that’s fine. I am sure they will feel it as they have closed thousands of accounts wrongly and they probably don’t care. This is their problem. They don’t care.
Fortunately for the OP they are fine with their current model but so many of us have come to rely on Amazon even if the income may be low.
I can’t say we’ve particularly suffered much fraudulent behaviour from buyers apart from we currently have a case for an Item different to what they ordered when it isn’t.
We’re slowly investing in our website. If we invested 15% per item on PPC marketing I think we’d do as well if not better than our Amazon sales though we can’t really afford two sets of 15% for a month to test that theory…
This amateurish Amazon-method first startet with the UK, then Germany, and will be next on FR. To be continued…
I particularly liked the UK Digital Services Tax that the UK government announced Amazon has to pay and, of course, this has already been passed onto us as we will all knew it would. They’re never going to pay tax in our failing economy.
Handed straight down to us poor sellers.
Absolutely spot on post!
After about 5 years here ive just been booted off for one listing that was removed when it shouldn’t have been. I submitted no less than 9 POA’s and each time it was bounced back with the usual spiel that we haven’t addressed the issue or that information was missing. How many times can you re-word an appeal that did address the issue and also was backed up with relevant invoices and even a letter of authorisation from the rights holder citing we had full permission to sell their merchandise?! We had no help at all from CS whilst we still could speak to someone, and then when AZ withdrew the ability to contact anyone, thats when the curtains were finally being drawn. I even had another complaint issued when we weren’t even selling! Total mess and beggars belief the way we’ve been treated.
Ive always sympathised with sellers here when they got suspended, look at what happened to “K” for example.
I’m now having to start a claim to get my final disbursement released. I’ve lost about 2K a week now. I wasn’t solely trading here (eggs/basket) but boy i do miss the sales.
Well done to you OP for this post, nailed it mate! Good luck to you and also to everyone here who’s doing their best.