I cannot deny that Amazon provide a great platform for thousands of large and low-volume sellers to make extra income – or indeed a main income.
However, they do have rules and regulations that you have to abide by – otherwise they will ‘cut you down’.
The threat is always there by way of performance tables that they regularly send out.
Amazon can implement sanctions such as suspending your seller account if you go against their rules.
To be honest, it’s possible for this to happen even if you are unaware you have broken rules. You are supposed to read Amazon’s terms and conditions, so you are aware of every nuance to selling on Amazon.
I put my hands up, I have not read them all – I am aware of the gist of them of course, but I have not read every word.
I do understand that customer is king as far as Amazon are concerned: they want all sellers to provide a seamless service, no matter whether the buyer purchases from Amazon or a third party operating from their site.
If you look on your seller account page, you will note that Amazon have a section called ‘Account Health’. Mine has always been good, with a green tick against it, which I assume means all’s ok, so apart from a rare glance at it, I tend to ignore this section.
So imagine my dismay when I noted instead of a tick, I hade a triangle of yellow, and my account health stated ‘acceptable’.
There are certain levels of performance that Amazon expects you to operate…
- Sending out your orders within two business days.
- Operating a good service that will limit chances of bad feedback.
- Replying to customers’ emails within 24 hours.
These are all rules we abide by, so, to double-check, I looked at my feedback from buyers. All seemed OK.
After a short investigation, it appeared that I had not clicked on notices that Amazon had sent – which I decided were not of interest just by reading the headlines.
I really had no idea it was mandatory to read them.
So, I dutifully clicked on every link they had sent to my seller account (without reading the content, as it was just not relevant to me) and my account health returned to ‘good’ again! Hooray!
Of course, no matter how good your service is, you may find that one or two customers are not happy.
Sometimes, even though the customer is always right, it really is their fault, rather than yours…
This week, a customer activated an ‘A–Z complaint’ against me. She had claimed I had not replied to her emails informing me her book had not arrived. In fact, not only had I sent her a replacement copy, I could prove I had sent her at least three emails, which she had ignored.
Amazon did close the A–Z, once I had contacted Seller Central with my evidence.
So, on some occasions, someone may find fault even if you do stick to all rules and play fair.
However, luckily, the vast majority of customers are very happy with my service and hopefully this will keep Amazon happy too.