A growing number of unethical Amazon sellers are abusing the system to take down their competitors. Here’s how they do it.
We all know that Amazon is a competitive marketplace. The battle can be intense and sellers are constantly on the lookout for ways to boost their listings. When it comes to the Buy Box, this is usually through price, maintaining good performance metrics and using FBA.
But some sellers will take things a step further and try to shoot down their competitors using a range of dirty tricks. Their aim is simple – to get a competing seller or listing suspended.
This underhand behavior is rife on Amazon, and a variety of different tricks are being deployed. These range from leaving negative reviews on competing products to switching genuine items with counterfeits, then making inauthentic item claims to Amazon.
Massive disruption is caused for the “victim” sellers, who lose money while their account is suspended. They are left frustrated, having to write a Plan of Action to reinstate their account – for problems that don’t actually exist.
To raise awareness of these anti-competitive practices, we’ve found five of the most prominent dirty tricks being pulled by Amazon sellers on their competitors.
…and the top 5 things you need to know about each of them.
This post is by Austin Fisher, Product Manager for SellerEngine’s product research scouting app Profit Bandit. He also works with SellerEngine Services, helping Amazon sellers with listing and account issues.
For those of us who have dealt with Amazon for a while, it was only a few years ago that selling through the ecommerce giant seemed like the wild wild west.
Anyone could start selling and making money. There weren’t many third-party software or service providers, and – most importantly – there weren’t so many rules, regulations and rapid-fire changes to watch out for.
Today it feels quite different. Amazon selling, FBA, retail arbitrage – they’ve all hit the mainstream now. And Amazon has got a lot more proactive in regulating their marketplace.
This post is by Jordan Garner, Director of Marketing at Trustpilot. 20,000 new reviewers join Trustpilot each day, making it one of the world’s largest online review communities. Trustpilot has over 20 million reviews of 130,000+ businesses and counting.
The holiday season, for most online retailers, is the busiest time of the year in terms of sales revenue. But new data shows that it’s also when the proportion of negative customer reviews is at its highest.
Having a rock solid strategy to proactively collect and manage reviews is critical at all times of the year, but is certainly most urgent during the holidays simply because of the sheer quantity of feedback that comes in during this time.
It’s not all bad – the increased quantity of reviews also gives sellers a unique opportunity to turn 2016 holiday wins into 2017 sustained growth. By proactively collecting tons of feedback, retailers can use these reviews to boost sales moving forward, as well as make sure any new customers are having the best possible experience so they will come back for future transactions.
Let’s look at the numbers…
This post is by Chris McCabe, a former Amazonian and founder of ecommerceChris.com. For Amazon sellers, having their merchant account suspended means losing time and money trying to get back in business. ecommerceChris shows sellers how to keep their accounts healthy, or, if the worst should happen, how to get their account back from a suspension.
If your household only has one account, total, then this won’t apply to you.
Do you have anything to declare?
This is what travelers are asked whenever they pass through Customs at airports around the world. Amazon is asking you this too, if you have more than one account. Which one is it? What’s the email associated with it, so we can have a look and decide if you need it?
If you don’t declare items to customs and they find them later, you pay more, right? The same principle applies here. If Amazon sends this message now they’re doing more than looking for a confession. They’re sending a warning shot prior to taking more aggressive actions, if past policy matters are any guide.
This post is by Tommy Noonan from ReviewMeta, a tool that can be used to identify and filter incentivized reviews for any product available on Amazon, simply by copying and pasting the URL into ReviewMeta.com. This post was originally published on the ReviewMeta blog as Analysis of 7 million Amazon reviews: customers who receive free or discounted item much more likely to write positive review.
UPDATE 3 OCTOBER 2016: Amazon has now banned incentivized reviews outright!
If you’ve read reviews on Amazon within the last few years, you’ve surely noticed a disclaimer at the bottom of many that look like this:
I received this product for free or at a discount in exchange for my honest, unbiased review
At ReviewMeta, we call these “incentivized reviews”.
Consumers have growing distrust and even disdain for incentivized reviews, especially when it seems every single one is a glowing 5-star review. We wanted to confirm or deny this seemingly anecdotal opinion, so we analyzed 7 million reviews.