Best practices for Plans of Action and DMCA counter notices
This post is by Chris McCabe, a former Amazonian and founder of ecommerceChris.com, with Suzi Hixon, an Amazon FBA seller and attorney specializing in intellectual property law at The Private Label Lawyer.
Chris McCabe’s first post on this topic, False Infringement Claims are Rife on Amazon, was published on Web Retailer in January.
The incidence of rights infringement claims at Amazon spiked upward recently, as many parties have realized how easily this can be abused to remove unwanted sellers from a desired listing.
In fact, Amazon’s policy teams have moved much more aggressively to suspend sellers, instead of warning them and removing the ASIN in question from their listings.
The net result of these actions is to drive up the number of suspended account appeals. These appeals require Plans of Action to address not only how you’ll resolve the current dispute with the claimant, but also how you’ll avoid such rights infringement cases in the future.
That’s the bad news. The good news is that the increased friction around notice claims has resulted in new methods to prevent notice abuse. Amazon is now taking this subject very seriously and no abuse of Amazon’s systems or policies will be tolerated going forward.
…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.
How unethical sellers abuse the system with bogus IP, trademark, copyright and patent reports
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.
UPDATE FEB 2017: A follow-up to this post, How to Fight Amazon Rights Infringement Claims, covers Amazon’s changing attitude to false claims, how to create a Plan of Action, and how to file a DMCA counterclaim.
As demonstrated in a recent CNBC article about Samsung sales, Amazon scarcely has any process in place to vet disputes over sales rights or to filter counterfeit claims from alleged rights owners.
In order to meet a minimum liability standard, Amazon only acts upon properly submitted and completed notice claims of infringement. They notify specified marketplace sellers which party reported them on what listing, and how to reach that would-be rights owner via email. The rest is up to you.
Unfortunately, now word is out that anyone could submit a form without any true vetting or verification process on the other side. Investigators merely check the form for completed content in all the right spaces. They don’t independently verify that any of the information is actually correct, or valid. The rights owner makes a legally-binding declaration in the form, and signs it. What if you can’t locate a party who submits a false form?
If anything there does not square with reality, then it’s up to you to chase them down.
One of the most popular topics on Web Retailer is being banned from selling on Amazon.
It’s an emotional experience. One seller described his state in the day he found out he was suspended as, “confused, destroyed, anger, sadness, extreme worry”. Bans are an everyday occurrence for Amazon’s Seller Performance team, but they’re a gut-wrenching experience for the sellers who go through them.
In this roundup we cover everything you need to know about Amazon suspensions, from a blow-by-blow account of one seller’s suspension, to detailed advice about how to find out why you were suspended and put together a successful appeal.
This post is by Connor Gillivan, the Chief Content & Marketing Officer at FreeeUp.com and the Chief Executive Officer of eCommetize.com. Connor has been running ecommerce businesses since 2009 and has sold over $20 million worth of products. He writes about his own startup philosophies at ConnorGillivan.com and has been featured on many websites focused on entrepreneurship.
Were you recently suspended from selling on the Amazon Marketplace? Or has it happened in the past? Thousands of Amazon sellers are suspended each month and Amazon has an entire team that is dedicated to reading the suspension letters that are submitted.
If you’re familiar with the suspension process, the Amazon Seller Performance team sends you a performance notification that states that your selling permissions have been temporarily suspended because of reason XYZ. The non-descriptive letter encourages you to appeal the suspension by following their Plan of Action guidelines and then you just hope for the best.
At my company we’ve become experts at understanding how the Amazon Marketplace functions. Over the years, I have researched and learned a tremendous amount about the suspension process. Its mysterious characteristics intrigued me to dig deeper and to really understand what Amazon is saying when they send out their suspension letters.
In this article, I will provide practical advice on:
- How to decipher why you were suspended.
- How to structure your formal appeal letter.
- How to escalate your appeal letter to the next level if you aren’t getting a proper response from the Seller Performance team.