October 2, 2019

High-volume sales and a large catalog don’t protect your Amazon account

As we head into peak season, it’s easy for large third-party Amazon sellers to be over-confident about their position with Amazon. Many assume that their high revenue, large order volume or wide selection of offers protects them from enforcement actions by Amazon Seller Performance.
In other cases, sellers have had long-time personal relationships with account managers, sales folks or even executives in Amazon’s Seattle offices. These person-to-person interactions must offer some degree of protection, right?

What does Amazon really think about third-party sellers?, bicep

Unfortunately, the larger Amazon becomes, the less any of these factors truly help a third-party seller:

  1. Broad selection means nothing. Unique selection, however, is seen as a virtue. If you sell items that have a lot of other sellers on them, Amazon is not concerned about losing you as a seller. Someone else is already providing your inventory on the platform.
  2. Similarly, a high volume of orders or big revenue numbers don’t protect you. Amazon can get those same sales from other third-party sellers or vendors.
  3. Personal relationships are becoming less important as the company gets bigger. Many sellers make the mistake of believing that an “account manager” – who is really in sales at Amazon – can protect their account. That’s simply not true. These sales folks are responsible for bringing in new sellers and product selection. They do care about their accounts, since they are goal based on revenue. But they don’t have the power to make enforcement issues go away. Strategic account managers sometimes can help, but their arguments to Seller Performance must be based on facts – not your account’s size or selection.
What do Amazon executives care about? They love feel-good stories that prop up Amazon’s reputation:
  1. Amazon executives like seller-owned brands that sell exclusively on Amazon and spend money for PPC, Early Reviewer, etc. These sellers bring in sales that Amazon wouldn’t have otherwise.
  2. Amazon executives like sellers who bring unique products to the platform, through exclusive relationships with manufacturers, wholesalers and the like.
Being a unique brand or having exclusive offers on Amazon still won’t prevent Seller Performance from taking action if it perceives your products or customer service as poor or risky.

What is the takeaway for large third-party Amazon sellers?

Invest in strategies that ensure your Amazon customers receive excellent-quality products and fantastic service with every transaction. That will protect your account sooner than volume, catalog size or even Amazon relationships.
Concerned about your account, no matter the size, we can help put your mind at ease. Call Riverbend Consulting at 877-289-1017