I have had many support cases with Amazon Seller Support over the years. I have not only dealt with Amazon UK, but I have also had cases with Germany, France, Spain, Italy, and even Japan.
It’s tough. You need to know the mentality of Amazon Support to understand why the process and answers you get back from them are quite often terrible. On occasion you get your case answered quickly and accurately first time, but from [vast] experience this is a rare occurrence.
Amazon Seller Support is not like this image below in my experience.
Amazon Seller Support is Bad a Lot of the Time
A year or so ago I started drafting a long post about my experience with Amazon Seller Support in the UK. It was a particularly tough exchange where an inbound shipment was incorrectly processed by Amazon and units went missing. I was never told about this situation, I discovered it myself and had to educate the Amazon support representatives so they could start to help me. Which, I should add they did not.
To make matters worse, when this same shipment did eventually get listed and live on Amazon I noticed that overnight I went from having 800 units in stock to having only 10. I worried a competitor was doing something black hat (AKA dodgy) and contacted Amazon Seller Support. It took a few days before I was told that in fact Amazon had decided to move my inventory around a few different warehouses in the UK. I was told not to worry and my products would never go out of stock and my sales would be unaffected.
Guess what? I went out of stock and I needed to chase Amazon many times. It took a week so sort out, and eventually I found out my inventory was taken off the shelves, put on a pallet and left in a corner of a warehouse for nearly a week, and only after I chased (and chased) did they realize this and moved it out.
I never finished drafting this long post, but another incident has sparked me in to action.
I have two or three similar stories like this, and many more less serious ones. But I want to just share a simpler situation that has hit every single on of my products in the UK, Spain, Italy, France, and Germany markets.
Amazon Restricted My Listings
Because all my products fall under the same sub-category, which is car seats, a change in criteria within this sub-category affected all my products. Even though my products are not to do with car seats directly, but fall under a sub-category, I was affected.
I was firstly restricted from editing my listings, and later my listings became inactive because of this change in criteria. In the UK I was particularly P*SSED off because I had just hit Best-Seller rank and was doing 50+ units per day until my listing became inactive overnight. It remained inactive for 4 days and I slipped to 5th in the Best-Seller list.
Again, this is a rant for another day. I wanted to highlight the headaches of dealing with Amazon Seller Support. They are always polite and on the surface helpful, but really they are just trying to get a resolution as quickly as possible and hope it is good enough.
Don’t Stop Pushing Amazon Seller Support
If the answer you get from Seller Support is not good enough for you please don’t give up. Re-open the case or start a new one and be more forceful. Stay polite and respectful but state your facts and ask for a resolution that is good for you.
Here is a recent example, and is what prompted me to finally post an article about this. It relates to Amazon.de (Germany). I was again restricted from editing one of my products, and when I tried to edit I got to a page that told me it was a restricted category and I needed to apply to be accepted. This is after years of selling in this category.
I contacted seller support saying:
“Hi, I cannot edit my listing on Amazon.de – ASIN: **********. This situation has happened previously and is caused by (automatic) updates to Amazons category specifications (i think).
I am the brand owner and I have 2 colour variations of this product on sale in Germany as well as in the UK, Spain, Italy, and France. I have no other restrictions, only on this one ASIN.
Please could you remove any restrictions on my account for this ASIN (**********) because I need to update some sale prices urgently.
I got 3 reply messages on the same day, each saying it had been passed on to another department. Not really helpful and I expect it is because they need to reply within a specific length of time to hit their targets. So it does not matter if it answered my question, as long as they replied.
A day later I got this reply:
Thank you for your continued patience and understanding! I am Parul and I will assisting you today.
I understand that you have initially contacted us stating that you are unable to edit information for ASIN: B0728122C4.
I would like to inform you that we had contacted our team and have requested them to fix the issue. They have now informed us that these products have been restricted to sell by the sellers who have not listed or had sales on these ASINs before 21.10.2016. This restriction has been placed on sellers in order to ensure that customers can shop with confidence on Amazon and also there are a number of reasons why we implement selling restrictions, including for safety or authenticity concerns. Currently, we are not accepting applications to sell this product at this time.
Please be informed that this restriction is temporary and will be lifted once the counterfeit items are flushed out of our system. You might see sellers who are not facing this restriction. This is because they have listed the items and have had sales before 21.10.2016.
Please note: There is no specific date mentioned as to when this restriction will be removed and all the sellers will be notified the same once the restriction has been lifted. I request your understanding with this regard.
If you have any further queries please write back to me and I would be glad to help you further.
Thank you for your understanding!”
Firstly, this was not the ASIN I contacted them about. This ASIN was some wind chimes or something and not my product. Their other reasons for restricting my access was not acceptable, so I replied:
“Hi, no I contacted you in regards to ASIN **********.
I made the first sale of this colour variation in Germany in December 2016, and the black colour variation (ASIN **********) of the same product in November 2016.
However, in the UK I first sold ASIN ********** in October 2016 and the black colour variation in August 2015. So almost 2 years ago.
I am the brand registered owner of *** ******, the owner of this ASIN. I also have a website at http://www.**********.co.uk where I also list my products.
I am therefore 100% NOT counterfeit and I would be very grateful if you could re-assess this case and lift any restrictions so I can edit my listing.
Three days later I got this reply:
thank you for your inquiry!
We have forwarded your case to our relevant specialists for this type of inquiry.
They are looking into your issue as top priority and will contact you if any additional information is required.
Then on the same day I got:
“Greetings from Amazon Seller Support,
I am writing to let you know that we are currently working on your case.
We will write back to you with an update soon.
Thank you for your patience. Have a great day.
Finally, a day later (6 days after I contacted them) I got this message:
“Greetings from Amazon,
My name is Ashish and I will be addressing your concern today.
Firstly, we regret the delay caused in responding to your query. We are experiencing a severe spike in emails, and we are trying our best to assist every seller as soon as possible.
I understand that your concern is regarding ASIN ********** which was not active for sale on Amazon.de and you requested us to remove the selling restrictions for this ASIN.
I am glad to inform you that the ASIN ********** is currently active on the detail page. Please note that there was a technical error and which is why ASIN ********** was restricted on Amazon.de
Selling restrictions have now been lifted and your offer for ASIN ********** is currently active on the detail page. (Screenshots attached)
I apologize for the inconvenience that was caused to you.
Have a wonderful day.”
WOW, it is resolved.
To repeat myself, I have had many situations like this where Amazon Seller Support have given me a response that was not good enough or correct. This Germany case was relatively painless in comparison with others I have had. Some have needed several phone calls and support messages to resolve. But this Germany case highlights that fact that Seller Support can give you an answer that is not acceptable.
If I had accepted the first response I got I would have a listing I could not edit, and potentially it would become inactive like my listings have in the past. You likely know more than the Seller Support representatives so always push until you get the resolution you need.