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Amazon Geo-Targets Sellers with Storm Warnings

Amazon.com emailed sellers who are located in areas that may be affected by the latest winter storm that they should consider contacting buyers about potential shipping delays. An email that some sellers received read in part:

“Dear Seller,
“Our records indicate that you or your business may be located within an area that may be impacted by Winter Storm Janus. Your safety and the viability of your business are important to us. Following are some actions you can take to help protect your business:

“If you anticipate that you will be unable to meet your shipping service levels, consider temporarily setting your seller-fulfilled listings to inactive.” “

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Amazon also suggested sellers might obviate for negative feedback: “To help preserve buyer trust and avoid negative feedback, contact buyers of seller-fulfilled orders via the Buyer-Seller Messaging Service about the status of their orders.”

The message reassured sellers that “no action is required for products fulfilled by Amazon, and Amazon will handle messaging for all FBA orders impacted by Winter Storm Janus.”

Large shipping carriers employ meteorologists. To get a sense of how important they are to logistics, FedEx blogged last fall about how its meteorology team helps in contingency planning.

How about Amazon.com? Although spokesperson Erik Fairleigh said the company does not have a meteorologist position at Amazon, clearly the company is keeping an eye on weather events. Tuesday’s email informed sellers referred sellers to the National Weather Service website for additional weather updates.

In one online forum, a seller said she “contacted a few buyers yesterday to let them know the packages would be a day later than normal.”

Another seller, based in Washington DC, Michelle, whose main site is dejavupostcards, was not concerned, as she said she only sold on Amazon via FBA.

Earlier this month, we wrote about Amazon and eBay’s efforts to inform sellers about weather events in this EcommerceBytes Blog post.

Julia L Wilkinson

Julia Wilkinson is the author of “The eBay Price Guide” (No Starch Press, 2006) and “eBay Top 100 Simplified Tips & Tricks” (Wiley, 2004, 2005, 2006). Her free “Yard Salers” newsletter is at available at YardSalers.net where you will also find her latest ebook, “Flip It Again.”


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