In a rare display of introspection, Amazon is taking a look at how it treats sellers. The company is surveying marketplace sellers about how it removes seller privileges, such as listing takedowns and account suspensions.
Amazon presented eleven statements, and asked sellers to indicate which of them caused them the most concern when selling on its site. The survey generated lively discussion among sellers, with many commenters saying they wanted to click on multiple answers but could not, so instead clicked on “Other” and wrote in “all of the above.”
Another seller expressed skepticism that Amazon would act to improve its policies based on the results of the survey.
Some sellers who responded to the poll also received a phone call from Amazon asking them to elaborate.
The following survey was presented to sellers in their selling accounts:
We’re trying to understand what our Sellers worry about when selling on Amazon. Which of the following concerns you the most about how Amazon removes seller privileges (such as taking down listings or suspending accounts)?
Buyer feedback carries too much weight
Events outside of my control may count against me
Only a few mistakes could lead to Amazon removing my selling privileges
I don’t believe Amazon’s decisions are always justified
Performance standards are not fair to sellers with my sales volume
Amazon’s standards are too high
Some sellers manipulate Amazon’s system unfairly against me
Amazon sometimes incorrectly removes seller privileges
I fear Amazon would not help me if my selling privileges were removed
There is not enough advance warning before my selling privileges are removed
Guidelines are not clear about what is or is not acceptable
In addition to comments from sellers who said they wished they could check more than one (or most or all) answers, sellers discussed specific concerns. One seller said if they had confidence that Amazon wouldn’t suspend them for an honest mistake or for a few bad buyers, they would ramp up their business. Others echoed the sentiment, saying they did not like to be dependent on the Amazon marketplace for their income.
Another raised an issue not mentioned in the survey: the fear Amazon would begin selling the same products as the seller.
One statement some sellers said they did not agree with was, “Amazon’s standards are too high,” saying they were happy Amazon had high standards for sellers.