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A Competitor Destroyed My Amazon Selling Account. It Could Happen to Anyone.

By Mike Young

An agency hired by my competitors targeted my business with false claims and malicious reviews to bring me down. They almost succeeded.

A Competitor Destroyed My Amazon Selling Account. It Could Happen to Anyone.

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steve donald

Great work Mike, thank you so much for doing this. Its terrible how people can destroy years of hard work, so easily and in fairness to amazon its hard to know how to deal with it.
I wonder if this is W and H enterprises I think they did something similar to me, for me my online selling accounts were just a side business and I could not afford the time to pursue the case, I did find the name Wali Afzal in companies house, is this the same person Mike?
There needs to be a new law to target these evil people, mis-selling on amazon, mis-representing there goods and when they don’t get there own way they try to bring down a business. I hope the police do something against the person or business that did this to you and you get compensation. I urge everyone to check there negative feedback, we might be talking about the same person, or maybe they use different names.

Chris Dunne

Hi Mike

This is terrible. So sorry to hear about your plight.

I hope you manage to get your Amazon suspension lifted and negative feedback removed.

Hopefully, someone can take action against the agency and company behind the false claims.

All the best for the future.

Ed

Replying to Chris Dunne

Hey Mike

Very dispiriting, echo Chris’ comments above. How frustrating!

anonymous

I have experienced this sort of thing on Amazon, too. In fact, a product name was even stolen and that product remains a prime target. Each time we have a product rise, someone systematically comes and takes it down in one way or another. This started for us around 2013 and we have walked fine lines to stick around. It’s amazing we can still launch products that do well enough to be deemed “a threat”, thus targeted. I wonder what our business would be like without the ugliness.

I’m very sorry this happened to you and yes, thank God for eBay!

Deidre

Replying to anonymous

I was suspended on December 2, 2017 For Inauthentic claims on products from Walmart and Big Lots. I was a new Seller and this was depressing. I’m looking to sell on Facebook marketplace, EBay and Mercari.

Sam

Long wait for something like that to come, i have been targeted by my competitors for years , but never had guts and new how to tackle the problem.
At the beginning strugled badly to understand that there were anything wrong with my services and products. Only after few months i realised that someone was leaving negative feedback on purpose by seeing events occurring repeatedly within the short time from each other.
I suffered so badly so i was considerimg to close my account as sells went deep diving immediately. After many researches i came across that other an individual was acting alone or a company was behind of filthy tricks.
I am so plesed that at last someone like you Mike can fight the dirty game players and hopefully stop something like that to happen to anyone who wants to make his or her living by spending a lot of effort and hard work for years ,to create a clean and fair business .
I strongly believe they are same people who targeted me and i hope they get arrested and get what they deserve.

Ken

I think Amazon is at fault by creating such and easy way to target genuine businesses. Amazon should have well proven reason to close and account not just some negative feedbacks and claim by evil people.

Mr Bean

Replying to Ken

I totally agree with you. Amazon has far to much say in the peoples business, after all, they carry the goods and dispatch them and have a platform for us to sell on BUT to close the business is a ruthless step that they take far far too lightly and frankly, i can see a day when someone decides to sue them for loss of profits and damages and I think they would lose because they have a lot of money and any judge would know that so they will just say to Amazon cough up! So I think there are grounds to take action against them, even if they are an unwitting participant because its them that closed the avenue to selling and in so doing stopped someones proven yearly income, from an ambulance chaser type solicitor I think they would have a field day with this and if the business is gone then the seller has nothing to lose, I would go down the legal root if I lost my account this way.

Ken

Mike I am sorry to hear about this. It is hard to build a successful business and to see being destroyed by other people for no just reason is heartbreaking

Philip leahy

Really sorry for you hearing that people will do this type of act. Thanks for sharing your story with others

Chet

Amazon is about money, people being treated like this has no effect on their bottom line – NONE! You must know that Amazon is a whore of a company, and we all deal with this whore. It is wrong to say Amazon is not culpable is just absurd. Vicious people not being questioned or removed by Amazon, as hard-working people just try to take care of business?

Mr Bean

Replying to Chet

Totally agree that Amazon are responsible, the bad people did not close the account Amazon did. The result was a disaster for the seller. The bad people won the day. What kind of message does that send? Be a sh*t and win. That’s not the result I want to hear. Actually i support eBay and try not to do anything on Amazon. I find they are like dealing with a horrible bank phone system or queue like for the tax line number. Just horrible company and your words ring so true. I suggest they take legal action against Amazon, nothing to lose, get a no win no fee lawyer on it if i was them.

Mark Hertherington

You might not blame Amazon but I do, absolutely.

EXACTLY the same thing happened to me with the fake goods/feedback scenario. After several years on eBay I also switched to Amazon after eBay scrapped “Ending Soonest” as the default view for buyers and replaced with “Best Match”, which ruined our business. It didn’t work then and it doesn’t work now, although I have managed to get a small business back up and running on eBay. But it’s a struggle now. But I digress.

I built up a six figure turnover too, in fact from almost nothing I was approaching a quarter of a million turnover in just under 18 months. Then it started. first of all a couple of negative feedbacks. Then an A-z claim stating the goods were counterfeit. Then another. Then another. Within a few weeks I was trying to fight off half a dozen or more negatives a day, at least a couple of A-z claims and Item Not Received claims.

Exact same pattern, items were being returned by Royal Mail with “Not at this address” labels and yet the “buyers” were sending in fake item A-z claims for items they had not received. I later found out they were even sending in photos of completely different items from the ones I was sending. Only after I invited Amazon to open a few of my items at random – or they could open the lot if they wanted to – did they accept that the photos of the item were not photos of items I (or rather they, via FBA,) was sending out.

This went on for a few months, with a constant battle with Amazon’s foreign based staff trying to get them to understand these were false feedbacks and claims. It was affecting sales, it was extremely stressful – my wife will say I’ve never actually recovered, I’m a permanent nervous wreck now every time anything happens on eBay and, well to cut a long story short – I have written about it on this forum before – Amazon suspended me indefinitely.

I never found out who was doing it and in the end a manager admitted to me “off the record” that the reason they got rid of me was it was taking two members of staff a lot of time to maintain my account and continue investigating these issues.

Frankly I’m not convinced they bothered to investigate anything. There were clues – the perpetrators were almost certainly Asian judging by the names they were using, and there was often a “Z” in the name, almost as if they were gloating, wanting me to know it was them again.

Now I’m not sure what percentage of people in the UK have a Z in their name but I’m guessing it’s a pretty small number. So why Amazon couldn’t see this blatantly obvious connection is beyond me. They talk about sophisticated fraud detection programs, but I’ve yet to see any evidence of it.

Amazon also charged me per-item to get my stock back, I was luckier in that it “only” cost me around £1200 but these were also only small items, all of which went into half a dozen boxes and must have cost Amazon a maximum of around £30 to return to me. They also “lost” around 20% of my goods.

I also had a battle to get my final payment but got it eventually, but I know of many stories where people who have been suspended have lost their final payments.

Why do I blame Amazon? Because this sort of thing obviously goes on a lot more than we know, and they are doing little or nothing to prevent it. This is a company who are “stealing” seller’s final payments, and in my opinion their stock as well, unless there is some mysterious black hole somewhere swallowing it all.

This is one of the most successful companies in the world run by the world’s richest man who, if you look into his history, doesn’t give a damn about anybody else as long as he is making money. He’s hiring staff at extremely cheap rates who simply are not able to cope with these things and when serious issues like this come up it’s somewhere between excruciatingly difficult and impossible to get the help you need.

These people are committing a criminal offence and Amazon are aiding and abetting it. I know, ebay are not much better but it is easier to get at least some sort of support, and they do seem a little more aware of certain issues even if they’re not too clever at dealing with them.

But this should not be allowed to happen. Amazon should be involving the police and doing more themselves. Financially, they have the resources. But sadly this is the world we live in now, it’s every man for himself and if you’re a victim it’s just your bad luck. Don’t expect any help from Amazon, eBay or the police because nobody is interested.

The trouble is by turning a blind eye to it, the problem will only get worse as more and more people learn how to exploit the competition in this way. If we’re not careful we will end up with a society as corrupt as some of the Eastern countries.

anonymous

Replying to Mark Hertherington

I haven’t dealt with this yet, but I have received TM violations from products that I just listed, on an already created listings that haven’t even sold any yet. How can they submit a TM violation without any evidence?
Anyways, I came here to add a little inside information from a distributor of mine, we’ll call them Tommie, who use to work as a manager (don’t remember department) at AMZ.
Tommie’s response to a of mine question about their prices being close to AMZ’s price and how AMZ can afford to sell at wholesale prices was very surprising to me based on how I know they treat their sellers.
Tommie said that most of their revenue comes from sellers and the products they sell. Huh? No way! … “Yep!” Tommie replied, “Their AMZ account subscription, product fees, labeling & packing service, their advertisement percentage, and storage fees, not to mention all the apps for sellers to use/purchase, they get a cut.” Tommie continued on by saying they could care less about a small, none, or a loss of revenue on a listing, and that AMZ wants to be the place, that everyone knows and will come to, for the lowest price of a product available. Which is why we get the broken and annoying price alert algorithm (don’t get me started on that POS!).
According to Tommie, the larger the customer base was the larger the seller base was inturn … More $$$ for AMZ. They even have an algorithm, tied into the price alert (ugh), the sends out a scan across the net every 15 minutes to find the lowest price of all products at major retail stores, and Amazon will match their products price to that lowest price. At first I was in disbelief, that was until I read an article on how many new sellers sign up a day. I forgot the actual number, but it was high enough to make me believe Tommies information. Another convincing factor that made me believed it was all true was whenever I saw a product price drop on Target or Walmarts, within 15 minutes Amazon’s price would change to be the exact same price.
This is why I would absolutely blame AMZ for allowing these attacks and false claims from marketing firms who’s sole purpose is to be the devil’s @$$h0Ie! AMZ can afford it! and should want to protect the sellers! As we are the foundation that made AMZ grow even larger and quicker than what it was. And yet we get things like the price alert, constant lost and damaged inventory, and a seller support system that doesn’t understand what you are talking, or doesn’t even care or read the emails and responds with templated responses.
This is beyond frustrating and as mention in other comments, illegal. Even so, they will always take the side of the initial action, whether it be from an inaccurate price alert or a false TM/patent accusations. Their policy is guilty until you can prove your own Innocence. Then beg your accuser to forgive you for proving your Innocence and hope somewhere inside them is a shred of morality to withdraw their claim.
I never had luck with eBay, so not user friendly for sellers except the actual listing part. But as soon as a site like AMZ pops up with two shipping and a prime like membership, you better believe I’m switching. Even if it’s way less monthly sales. I’d gladly pay that price, as long as the new site took care of it’s sellers, I’m on board!

Mr Bean

Replying to anonymous

Me Too. I think Amazon truly awful and should have millions of lawsuits against them for this type of behaviour and believe sooner or later there will be a class action that might just make them sit up and pay attention to the seller’s point of view after all we are the ones paying the bills. Actually, they are very pro-China factory and do not care about western sellers, they tout the factories in China and say go direct and stuff your existing customers and we will take care of everything for you….and they do and the Chinese factory has to do almost nothing in comparison to western suppliers. I know this as a fact as I have the inside track on this. So this is not guesswork, its a fact.

Mark Hetherington

Oh, one other thing. If you’re doing well on Amazon and publishing stories about it on here or anywhere else you’re a bloody fool, because you’re simply presenting yourself as a target.

If you’re doing well in ANY business keep it to yourself. The world’s most successful businessmen didn’t get where they are by telling the world how they are doing it.

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