What annoys you most about selling on Amazon?

Herts, England United Kingdom
Kudos: 11,516
Joined: Jan 1, 2001
What annoys you most about selling on Amazon?
22 Apr 2015
Amazon generates a lot of orders for marketplaces sellers, but they sure make you work hard for it.

Performance standards are unforgiving, suspensions are common, and the competition sometimes seems unfair.

What annoys you most about selling on Amazon?
Andy Geldman, Web Retailer
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New York, NY United States
Kudos: 123
Joined: Feb 18, 2014
Re: What annoys you most about selling on Amazon?
22 Apr 2015
@Andy Qualifying for that Buy Box without losing all profit in the sale. Verses eBay's algorithm of free same day shipping, multiple quantity offered, quick responses, extended returns gets you up in the Best Match. Most buyers don't know there are multiple sellers of a product on Amazon, they simply just click BUY. That annoys me.
London United Kingdom
Matt Thorpe
Kudos: 204
Joined: Oct 15, 2014
Re: What annoys you most about selling on Amazon?
22 Apr 2015
I find the most annoying part about selling on Amazon is that you don't get the customer's email address when you sell something. Amazon treat the customer solely as their own customer and not yours, so it is very difficult to maintain a long-term relationship with them.

I also own a laptop bag brand that sells on Amazon and I have found that the best way around this is to offer a free extended warranty if people register the product on your website. you can add this as a bullet in the listing under features. This is also a great way of collecting a bit more data about your customer. I usually also send a post-sale message via the Amazon platform to tell people about this offer. It's time-consuming but it helps us capture the email address of about 10-15% of customers. The only other way is to ensure your products contain a sign-up card.

Returns also annoy me because there is usually nothing to tell you what the problem was with the product. Our returns rate is actually very low but we often see products returned in a right state because someone has used it and then decided it isn't big enough for their over-sized lunch box as well as their laptop and work gear. At this point, they get their refund and we might get a bag returned back in unsellable condition. I wouldn't mind but I could do with knowing what the problem was so we can make the product better. A distinct lack of feedback isn't help at all.

On the whole, Amazon is a good platform for us. They are far better than dealing with Apple!!
Midlothian, VA United States
Jax Music Supply
Kudos: 2,310
Joined: May 25, 2009
Re: What annoys you most about selling on Amazon?
22 Apr 2015
As a US Seller, one of my biggest bugaboos with Amazon is their price parity requirement. Sellers are required to maintain price parity across all selling markets to sell on Amazon. In the US, for my niche, Amazon's selling fees are 50% greater than eBay's (if you are a TRS) or any other website. In practice, depending on your price point, Amazon's fees are much higher as they require a minimum $1 fee. Because of this, Amazon really sets the price for our products even though we could probably make more money (and greater margin) at a lower price point on other platforms. Unfortunately Amazon is too big to ignore as a market and is increasingly becoming a greater part of my business.
Garland, Texas United States
Retail Web Diva
Kudos: 150
Joined: Dec 2, 2014
Re: What annoys you most about selling on Amazon?
22 Apr 2015
@Andy Wow, this may be a long answer! For the most part I love doing business with Amazon. It is a good supplemental income. Be sure to read to the end. There is some information you might find valuable.

However, I don't like the fact that they depend on automatic pre cancellation metrics that can shut a seller down, without notice, at any time. Of course, after they shut you down (they call it suspension), you have to wait anywhere from 1 to 7 or 8 days to appeal and be allowed to sell again.

I have been suspended twice and it cost me 7 business days of revenue. I sell restricted products on Amazon (pepper spray, stun guns, etc.). Therefore, my suspension rules are different than everyone else's.

I put a legal disclaimer (3 in fact) on every restricted product stating that I can't ship to NY, MA and WI. The customer may not see it, may see it and not give a hoot and expect the seller to break the law and ship their order.

When that happens, I email the customer 3 or 4 times asking them for their consent to cancel. The reason I have to go through this stressful, time consuming process, is because if I have the customer's consent to cancel, I can choose the drop down box "buyer cancelled" and it doesn't go against my pre cancellation metrics. However, if they don't consent to cancel, I have to choose the drop down box "undeliverable address" which does negatively affect my pre cancellation metrics.

Now, here is the rub. I don't force them to order something that's restricted in their state. They choose to do that. Then when they order, their order becomes an "undeliverable address", forcing me to go through the process I mentioned above.

I have written so many emails to seller performance so many times I can't count them. Plus, talking to them on the phone.

But, here is the good news! I found out that any seller can email Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon, at his personal email, jeff@amazon.com. So I did that.......twice. My emails were read and I got a personal response from someone that said Jeff had read my email and passed it along to have it looked into. Supposedly, when he questions something he reads, he puts a question mark on it and sends it to the appropriate department to look into it. And no one there wants to see that question mark!

The rules have not changed yet, however, I am hoping that if enough people contact Jeff personally, there might be a chance of getting this unfair "Amazon law" changed.

So here is what I am going to do. I will email Jeff again with this URL so that he can read all our responses if he chooses to. And I would encourage any of you who have complaints to voice them on this website. Don't be shy!

I said it was going to be long. But sometimes, that's just the way it is!
Lawanna Bean
Tucson, Arizona United States
Kudos: 46
Joined: Apr 21, 2015
Re: What annoys you most about selling on Amazon?
24 Apr 2015
@Andy The lack of individuality
United States United States
Kudos: 108
Joined: Dec 13, 2012
Re: What annoys you most about selling on Amazon?
28 Apr 2015
I generated over $200,000 in fees for Amazon last year and still have never been contacted by anyone from Amazon. I would think that anyone generating that kind of income for a company would be worth a phone call now and then.

I also would like a better understanding of the reason for why a customer is returning an item

I have High $$ low margin items that if they sell would generate $350 in income for Amazon but only $35 for me if everything goes right. It is not worth the risk to me and they loose income. Better for them to take less and make something then nothing.

I have custom made products that cant be manufactured until after the order is placed. Amazons one size fits all ordering, shipping and tracking requirements do not work with this kind of product.

Nottingham United Kingdom
Kudos: 2,113
Joined: Feb 21, 2014
Re: What annoys you most about selling on Amazon?
30 Apr 2015
The fact that they get the 'Buy Box' even though they have less stock (even if theirs is on pre-order) and their price is 15% more than yours.

The problems associated with correcting incorrect listings.

Lack of customer feedback.
E-commerce , love it or hate it, that's why we are here
New York, NY United States
Kudos: 128
Joined: Sep 19, 2014
Re: What annoys you most about selling on Amazon?
4 May 2015
A big concern for a lot of Amazon sellers is winning the buy box and the frustration that accompanies the best practices of it. Having a lower price, a high seller rating, really being on top of your listings and utilizing FBA.

Selling on Amazon efficiently is hard work and takes a lot of sellers time to maintain and stay ahead of your replenishment alerts and on top of your inventory in general. Its a necessary evil for a lot of sellers, one that is quite time consuming to optimize.


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