Everyone knows the benefit of selling on Amazon which is that you can make a ton of money. Not many talk about the reasons not to, of which there are plenty.
- Amazon can shut down your account at any anytime
- If your business is 100% Amazon, you’ve just lost your business. In some cases, Amazon will keep your inventory and whatever payout was due to you.
- Amazon can hijack your listing
- I have a listing which makes over 100 sales a day. Amazon decided to come in, amend the photos and description and hijack the listing. About 70 emails, customer support tickets and phone calls hasn’t done anything. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to register a trademark which is one way you can kick off Amazon from your listing
- Amazon can suspend your listing while they “review” your inventory or investigate a “customer” complaint
- I’ve had listings in “review” because Amazon needed to verify that they had the correct inventory in the warehouse. It took about 5 days and lots of lost revenue before they reinstated the listing. I’ve also had situations where a “customer” (more likely a competitor) complained about a product and they reviewed the listing. It took 3 days to review and after I was given approval, they never actually put the product up. The rep that was in charge of my case was on holiday apparently and was only reinstated 1 week after the product was approved again. This during December meant over $20,000 in lost revenue.
- Amazon will rarely notify you of important changes
- While Amazon puts your listing under review, you will not be notified. If you or your team is not checking your listings regularly, you’ll only notice from decreased sales that something has happened.
- Amazon can hold your payment for months while your business goes under
- This hasn’t happened to me (yet) but it’s happened to other Amazon sellers that I know.
- Amazon can change the commission charge without notice or advance warning
- A single update to Amazon’s search algorithm can destroy your search rank
- A good selling product will be the target of hijackers which Amazon doesn’t care about.
- In fact, Amazon almost encourages it. They want as many sellers as possible on a listing so that customers get the best price.
- Amazon will charge money to your account which has nothing to do with you.
- I had a buyer that paid for Amazon Prime Membership. They cancelled the membership and Amazon decided that I should be the one to pay the refund on the Prime Membership. The only reason I even found out about it is because the customer wrote in asking some questions about the product. Of course, I opened a ticket and the customer service rep refunded that cost based out of “goodwill”.
- Amazon is suppose to refund money on returns that were never received.
- They do this sometimes but never always. It’s up to the seller to keep Amazon honest.
The bottom line is that it’s Amazon’s playground and therefore, Amazon’s rules.