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Cynthia Stine

Cynthia Stine

4 years ago

I wish I could say that this story of suspension/ban was unusual, but it is not. Glad you are back in the game, James! Thanks for the link. I’m glad the article helped you. A lot of sellers are getting caught up in Amazon’s new approach. I call it the “Rise of the Robots.” A lot of my clients don’t even know why they are suspended. There are good sellers who should have never gotten suspended who can’t get back on and then others who violated a lot of polices who get approved easily. It is crazy.
Cheers,
Cynthia

James Amazio

James Amazio

4 years ago

Thanks Cynthia! Yeah, I agree 100%… pretty scary riding shotgun.

sam

sam

4 years ago

James, do you offer coaching services?

sam

cam

cam

3 years ago

I have the same story . stay away from amazon . they close my business and life.

Jack Phillips

Jack Phillips

4 years ago

Thank you for sharing the information. However, you were very short on what happened that caused the suspension in the first place. You stated you played by all the rules, but Amazon thought you were doing something nefarious – did you ever find out what it was that caused the problem or was it just a random thing?

James Amazio

James Amazio

4 years ago

No, as stated in the article, I never found out the reason.

Sam Tan

Sam Tan

4 years ago

Amazon is just trying to get your supplier so they can compete on your product from their end. They are basically competing with you. Because they see so much money from your product if they can sell it by themselves by buying them directly from your supplier.

Cynthia Stine

Cynthia Stine

4 years ago

Sam,

While that could be true, my experience with suspended/banned sellers shows that the products in question are not necessarily that popular or selling fast.

Amazon doesn’t need access to our suppliers – they can just go straight to the manufacturer who will gladly tell them how to buy their product 99% of the time.

There is a huge problem with sellers trying to undermine other sellers by making false claims and policy violations to get their competitors suspended/banned.

In addition, there are reasons for every suspension it is just that most sellers can’t figure out what they are on their own – like James. I have clients who are NOT suspended who hire me to conduct an assessment on their account so they can discover potential problems before they get in trouble. It is not obvious and Amazon will not give you all the reasons you are suspended. You just get a form letter with some (not all usually) ASINs to look at.

Dee Funked

Dee Funked

4 years ago

Yep, It’s called monopolizing the market and Americans have forgotten that there are laws protecting them from such actions. The government has not exercised the Clayton or Sherman act in decades and has let the large enterprise monopolies take over…

baz

baz

4 years ago

That is totally true, amazon has been currently buying manufactures and competing with name brand companies

jonas

jonas

3 years ago

this is very true, amazon is all about amazon and uses dirty tricks to obtain supplier info and cut out any middle men..Faster and higher you rise more attention you bring to yourself and they will try their best to obtain the rights to sell your item directly themselves.

Katey

Katey

2 years ago

That’s what I think it is. I have been shut down by Amazon exactly like James. Spent so much time appealing and they just left me hanging.It’s very frustrating thinking what wrong have I done to get suspended and eventually shut down. I have over 5,000 products listed and it’s going to take me forever to delete and relist if they ever let me have a new account.I loathe this company so much.

Gary

Gary

4 years ago

Are you using a USTPO registered trademark to sell the duplicated private label items? The words FAKE and counterfeit in any customer, AZ customer service messages, reviews or feedback will trigger the autobots, legit or not. EVERY one of these notifications must be appealed. I went thru this exact scenario this weekend. Customer claimed fake to CS agent on phone to get free return label. Third world CS agent types in all caps. I an the owner of the registered trademark. I immediately fired off to the executive office of Jeff Bezos. Took 12 hours to resolve. I am the only seller of this niche and hold the patent, and Amazon makes considerable bank off my product. Amazon has tried multiple times and ways to acquire my product. It was pretty easy to convince them they were shooting themselves in the foot over this asshole customer. Amazon recently offered me a 100k+ loan and their wibbly wobbly seller killing policies like this make me afraid to partner I generate a thousand times more income than the off his meds crazy full moon customer and third world, third grade customer service agent with their fake fake report ever will. Amazon is… Read more »

James Amazio

James Amazio

4 years ago

Nope, all my stuff I own the sole rights to including any TM’s, etc. These are products/brands I built from scratch.

I agree completely about Amazon needing to do much better in treating 3P as a customer; hence why the survey polls on Seller Central have been very specific these past months.

Perry

Perry

4 years ago

James, you mentioned “DIVERSIFY YOUR CHANNELS AND INCOME. As soon as you possibly can” have you been able to do that yet? If you would like to work with me on a private label project to help diversify I would gladly pay you a fair fee.

James Amazio

James Amazio

4 years ago

Hey Perry,
I mean diversify away from Amazon in general. There’s levels of diversification, you can go after another niche, etc. but your eggs are still in Amazon’s basket.

Perry

Perry

4 years ago

Hey James, I already have a 7 figure AZ business just trying to grow it my thoughts would include a passive income on your side for royalty’s of sales as well as diversifying from your personal AZ account as we can take advantage of your knowledge of private label as I can increase my chances of being successful and you can keep on growing without the day to day of having more products. If I have a horse that is running fast I would never pull back the reins I am not interested in the coaching but I am interested in making us both money.

James Amazio

James Amazio

4 years ago

Hey Perry,
Contact me at help@feedbackz.com

richard

richard

4 years ago

What other channels would you recommend besides the obvious ebay?

James Amazio

James Amazio

4 years ago

I think there’s levels of diversification. I wouldn’t waste time on eBay much to be honest, because Amazon FBA is the 800 lb gorilla. I would first diversify across other products in completely different niches, then either build an ecommerce website to sell your product and/or go after a completely different business than ecommerce.

randomseller

randomseller

3 years ago

Its posts like this that make me glad I have made it big on eBay because you are only killing away any competition I would have in the future. eBay is a free for all with generally harshes rules than Amazon. Anyone who can get PayPal verified can entered it no problems and you can sell a lot more products you would be restricted in amazon. Seller support is much more better than Amazon and are willing to see it your way as long you can show proof and evidence. James is right – you should NOT be focusing on amazon to make every single penny because something like what happen to James might happen to you. He made the mistake of relying solely on Amazon and that was his downfall. Plan: Aside from changing products, you should focus on selling on other channels, ect eBay, If one channel kicks you out at least you have money coming in the next channel. Easy to get right? the problem is that every channel is different, one more profitable than others, it all depends how you manage them and make them work. According to Amazon rules, you cannot link your site or… Read more »

sueallen

sueallen

3 years ago

Hey Perry I am about to start selling private label products on amazon, I like the idea to create my own brand and products,I would like to work with you on private label projects to help diversify and grow my business,please contact me as soon as you can my email is beyonda@live.nl

I hope to hear from you soon .

Amit

Amit

4 years ago

Hey James,

Great write up!

I wanted to ask you about the “DIVERSIFY YOUR CHANNELS AND INCOME.” statement you made also.

With this, do you mean create a website yourself selling your products, getting your own traffic etc? Meaning your not reliant on Amazon?

But wouldn’t this mean when a customer goes to the shopping cart on your site, they are simply being forwarded to Amazon as it holds all your inventory at their FBA warehouses?

Cheers
Amit

James Amazio

James Amazio

4 years ago

Thanks. Yes, making sales outside. As well as pursuing other non-Amazon related businesses.

DG

DG

4 years ago

Hmmm, I did a seach for these types of suspensions and it’s only a few people who are getting suspended for obviously failing to list their products properly,misleading copies,promoting items which are featured in a different edition to prejudice sellers who are selling the exact product and selling counterfeit products (especially DVDs).I think Amazon made it pretty clear in their letter why they suspended you [As stated in our policies, sellers may not list items against detail pages for different products.] Basically,your description was not exact or specific and it seems you were trying to optimize the description for not one but a group of products.A vague and misleading description is viewed as a counterfeit because it gives a wrong expectation to the buyer (even if you are selling a genuine product).This thread makes it clear how some people end up getting suspended https://sellercentral.amazon.ca/forums/thread.jspa?threadID=223245&start=0&tstart=0&sortBy=helpful

Joe

Joe

4 years ago

Only an idiot or inexperienced person would state these things. I have received two “does not match listings” on my own products the last 3 months. It happens all of the time. Amazon needs to overhaul their practices.

Cynthia Stine

Cynthia Stine

4 years ago

DG – it is not a “few” people. It is hundreds and hundreds of third-party sellers all at once. All of us who offer reinstatement services are swamped and working 12-15 days to handle the load of suspended and banned sellers. Amazon takes days to weeks to get back to you on your plan of action because they are overwhelmed.

Christine

Christine

4 years ago

It makes you wonder with all these suspensions and with holding of thousands +? Dollars for a month or more, is this a shady move on Amazons part to gain interest while funds are in their bank accounts. There just seems to be more to it.

linda

linda

4 years ago

I read a lot about this problem…….Why didn’t you create your own listings? Sorry to sound cynical, but you are hopping on other peoples listings and skimming off their hard work getting their ranking up, and you swoop in with your own brand? Clearly a violation, of not being an exact product as the listing, and is stated in Amazon rules.
What is the point of having your own brand if you are listing on someone else’s product? Unless I am missing something, Amazon was correct in suspending you.

I love the riding shotgun part…..describes our life perfectly.
Thanks for your story.

James Amazio

James Amazio

4 years ago

They are my own listings.

linda

linda

4 years ago

Then you are not being clear enough in your post. If Amazon is sending you :

a review of your account indicates you have listed against detail pages that do not accurately describe your items or are not in accordance with our Condition Guidelines.

says you are listing on already established listings

James Amazio

James Amazio

4 years ago

The articles clearly stated that these listings were created from scratch with new UPCs and my products are 100% my own brand. You cannot hi-jack a product listing that is your own.

It says it’s established because technically it is established after I created it and sold on it.

KH

KH

4 years ago

James did an outstanding job clearly explaining his situation in this article. I went through EXACT same thing last month… I, too, received exact same emails, same timeline, and reinstated about a month later. BTW, my account was suspended because a claimed she received a counterfeit product. EVERYTHING I SELL IS AUTHENTIC. I also believe another seller made the claim because I have most ‘buy’ boxes and my volume is fairly large. This experience left me utterly drained that I am now looking for another business that doesn’t require selling on Amazon.

James Amazio

James Amazio

4 years ago

Wow KH, thanks and exactly! I had to fight so many fake negative reviews and claims, it’s crazy. It very well may have been a third strike type of deal..

Jack Phillips

Jack Phillips

4 years ago

It seems like to me this is something more like keyword spamming. Saying that it is similar to product XYZ when it is not that product. “Esteben” got in trouble for saying his guitar picksups were similar to Fishmen, a trademarked item.

James Amazio

James Amazio

4 years ago

Hey, I agree you can get in trouble referencing or using other copyright/trademark/big brand names for sure. In my case, it wasn’t.. I used nothing but my own brand.

Katey

Katey

2 years ago

This is what winds me up so much, I spent so much time and effort listing my thousands of products and other lazy sellers just jump on to my listing.

RRM

RRM

4 years ago

In your article you mention: “Amazon suspended one of my accounts”, how many accounts do you have? Do you have permission from Amazon to have multiple accounts?

James Amazio

James Amazio

4 years ago

I have two. Yes, I have permission for both.

Karleen

Karleen

4 years ago

I do have one question. Did Amazon send you any previous warnings about your listings? They say “you have continued to list items which violate our Condition Guidelines and/or our policies regarding product authenticity.” It sounds like they maybe sent you warnings that you ignored? Thank you so much for sharing your ups and downs with FBA. My one and only private label product was doing pretty well until I received an email from someone saying they had a patent on the product and asked me to stop selling it. It may or may not have been legit, but I didn’t want to take any chances so I deleted the listing. Something I learned from your situation is that even selling used books on Amazon could potentially cause an account close down. There have been times when I’ve looked up a book I wanted to sell and can’t find any listings that are the exact description, like it might be a third edition and there are only other editions. I’ve been tempted to list it anyway and just say in the comments that it’s a third edition or whatever. That would be listing against the product description, which is against… Read more »

James Amazio

James Amazio

4 years ago

Thanks.. honestly Amazon can kick you off for anything they want to. It’s their playground. Enjoy the ride while it’s hot and while you can but don’t depend on the income solely for putting food in front of your children.

Yes, they sent me warnings before. Not for the same thing, but after awhile; I think a warning in general falls in the same bucket as a number total instead of a specific issue.

Jack Phillips

Jack Phillips

4 years ago

James, I truly appreciate the information, it really seems that there is something missing here. If you were doing as much business as you say you were, and were working to get your listings back up or sell on Amazon again, I would have pursued it continuously to figure out what I did wrong and not just let it go. You want to avoid the same mistakes again. You just let it go? Are you sure you didn’t use something that referenced another product? Say if you were listing a guitar under your brand name and used Strat Style (or Stratocaster Style) instead of “S-Style”? A post such as this is a lot more helpful if show people how to avoid the situation.

James Amazio

James Amazio

4 years ago

Thanks Jack! Yeah; I wish I could of done that. At that point, after all that back and forth.. cash flow is king here. It would of been months before and IF things even resolved. In months; I could create and sell more products, better value of time imo.

James Amazio

James Amazio

4 years ago

Forgot to answer your other questions.. if I knew what I did wrong then I could help show how to avoid lol but I don’t. None of the listings ever referenced any other product.

Dave

Dave

4 years ago

Part of the problem, is Amazon has scaled their business to the point that they really have not got the time or personnel to “finesse” problem solving, just based on the sheer volume of sellers, daily new listings, and the “disreputable” sellers who cheat and talk smack to Amazon about competitors.

Amazon’s SOLE purpose, is to protect their buying customers.

They DESPERATELY need to have a “time selling/seller performance” algorithm, that gives more consideration to folks who have proven they are trying to do right by the customers.

If they can manage to provide pre-approved loans based on sales figures and high SP scores… surely they can tell who deserves a bit more finesse in resolving “suspendable offenses” .

Many many sellers don’t fully appreciate how unwieldy the size scale of Amazon makes dealing with smooth functioning of the Seller Central system.

To be clear… not saying they did right here… quite the contrary, in fact.

Of course, that’s why your advice about diversification is so SPOT ON.

IMHO, Amazon is within 12 to 24 months of having good sellers seriously look at alternative channel building, at a much higher rate of “exit” off Amazon, than they are seeing at present.

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