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Amazon Ban on Used Electronics Proves to Be False Alarm

Online sellers got a scare over the weekend when they were unable to list used electronics on Amazon. The boards lit up with questions and theories about why they couldn’t list used Sony and Nikon products.

Amazon spokesperson Erik Fairleigh told EcommerceBytes the company did not make any policy changes to the Used category, nor had it added restrictions. If sellers are experiencing issues with their listings, they should contact Seller Support, he said.

The reports surfaced on Friday, and many sellers who were impacted feared it was a policy change and said they were disappointed Amazon had given no advance warning.

Some believed the apparent targeting of used electronics indicated Amazon wanted to address the problem of counterfeit goods or remove “flea market” goods from the site. Others wondered if Amazon faced pressure from the manufacturers.

After the problem cleared up on Sunday, sellers were left wondering what happened. “I’m wondering if it was really a glitch or Amazon really had time to think it over and realize how dumb it was to do this,” one seller wrote. “I hope this is back to normal.”

During the incident, many sellers said they thought a deliberate ban on used goods by Amazon would give an enormous boost to eBay.

Threads such as this one provide good insight into how sellers would react if Amazon were to deliberately ban used goods on its site. No doubt some sellers are left wondering if the incident could be a sign of things to come.

Comment on the AuctionBytes Blog.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.