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Amazon FBA Reimburses Fees for Returns of Banned Face Masks

Amazon FBA Reimburses Fees for Returns of Banned Face Masks

Amazon implemented more stringent requirements for selling certain products related to coronavirus, including face masks, though it never mentioned the virus by name in the notice to sellers sent today.

Some sellers were scratching their heads because they received notices that said Amazon had removed their offers, even though they don’t sell such items. The products include disposable face masks, hand sanitizers, disinfecting wipes/sprays, and isopropyl alcohol.

Significantly, Amazon said it would reimburse merchants for FBA fulfillment fees they incur if they create Removal Orders requesting Amazon return their goods or dispose of them. It’s unclear in this case how Amazon would dispose of such goods if requested by the seller, given the fact the items are in demand by healthcare workers.

A reader forwarded the letter they received today:

Subject: Important message to sellers

Dear Seller,
You are receiving this message because you are currently selling, or have previously sold, products such as disposable face masks, hand sanitizers, disinfecting wipes/sprays, isopropyl alcohol, or related products.

We have implemented more stringent requirements to sell these products in our store, and as a result your offers have been removed. We are not accepting applications to sell these products at this time.

If you have any remaining inventory of these products in Amazon’s fulfillment centers, you will need to create a Removal Order. Amazon will reimburse you for the return or disposal fees through May 31, 2020. If you believe Amazon erroneously identified your product for removal, please contact Seller Support.
Thank you,
Amazon Services

A seller on this thread of the Amazon discussion board said they received the notice but only sold sports face masks, not the kind used to protect against COVID-19. Another said they sold masquerade and kids party masks.

Sellers have been discussing price-gouging and marketplace restrictions on other industry boards, including on the AuctionBytes Blog post, “New York Governor Threatens Mr. Amazon and Mr. eBay.”

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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/.