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Amazon Is Listening to Sellers, Executive Says

Amazon Is Listening to Sellers, Executive Says

Amazon executive Dharmesh Mehta told sellers the company has heard from many of them about the significant challenges they face in maintaining inventory levels, coordinating operations, logistics, and fulfillment capabilities, and in managing day-to-day business and employees – as well as balancing changes in their personal lives – due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Vice President of Customer Trust and Partner Support wrote in his post, “These are challenging and unprecedented times, but our team is working hard to serve you, our customers, and the community. I wanted to share some of the key decisions that we have made, and some of the things that you can expect from us in the future as we get through this together.”

He summarized some of the previously announced actions Amazon has taken, such as allowing more products into fulfillment centers – though it continues on fulfilling “the highest priority products that customers need at this time,” and is therefore placing some limits on the quantity FBA sellers can send.

Mehta said Amazon the actions it had taken to protect sellers (stopped suspension of selling accounts for high order defect, high cancellation, and high late shipment rates) would stay in effect through at least May 15 – “and we will extend these as appropriate.”

But he also advised sellers to put their account on vacation mode if they could not fulfill products – “making reliable promises for customers is particularly important at this time,” he said.

He summarized some of the other actions Amazon had taken to help sellers during the pandemic:

1) Paused repayment of all Amazon Lending loans for sellers in the United States and the United Kingdom until April 30.

2) Waived two weeks of inventory storage fees for products stored in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Poland, and the Czech Republic.

3) Waived the April 15 long-term storage fees for inventory stored in those same countries.

Mehta told sellers that in the coming weeks, Amazon would launch “new ways for experts to share what they have learned and are doing to help businesses manage through this difficult time.”

“We want you to know that many of us at Amazon are working tirelessly to find new ways to support you and your business, and that as always, we are listening when you tell us about your challenges through our support team, the seller forums, or the emails you have sent over the past few weeks. We value you and your honest and open feedback to help us focus on what is most important to you right now.”

Seller reaction to the post varied. We noticed there wasn’t much in the way of news, but that it was more personal, and one seller said they’d like to see more such posts with a name attached.

Some sellers who use Amazon’s fulfillment service expressed concerns that thanks to the restrictions on inbound shipments to FBA warehouses, they would be unable to make their payments through the Amazon Lending program on May 1st – see today’s AuctionBytes Blog post for developments on that front.

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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/.

2 thoughts on “Amazon Is Listening to Sellers, Executive Says”

  1. ” many of us at Amazon are working tirelessly to find new ways to support you and your business,”

    Oh really? Then why in the last couple of weeks have they deleted almost 400 of my listings for what they call a ‘potential’ high price error in the first paragraph of the email that comes with each list. By the second paragraph there is no pretense whatsoever about it being a potential high price error. As far as they are concerned, it is an error and I’m not really sure how to fix it especially since there is no button to say that this price is not in error. The prices that are in error are the knuckle-head sellers sellers that list current Vogue Sewing Patterns with a MSRP of $30-$33 for less than $5. You can’t buy that same Vogue pattern at Joann Fabrics for that little even when they are on sale! So how are they selling ‘NEW’ patterns for that price? Yet apparently I’m supposed to list mine for that price although Amazon does say to make sure we are still making a profit. The Bots are running the asylum. But I am glad to have this guys name as I am composing a letter to Jeff, the BOD if I can find their email address, this guys, and I’m thinking of the Wall Street Journal and perhaps the Attorney General. It isn’t just patterns that I have justifiably listed in the $20+ range, but they have deleted some of my listing in the $4.99-$6.99 range. Uh, excuse me but how much lower can you go and make any money at all?

    The thing that gets me is that for every $10 drop in price, Amazon is losing $1.50. Doesn’t sound like much, but multiply it by thousands. Wonder what the board and stock holders will feel when they find out that Amazon is deliberately forcing sellers to lower prices that causes Amazon a huge money loss spread out over all the sellers that this is happening to. Obviously my customers don’t mind my normal prices as this is the best month I have ever had selling, and selling within all the prices points that are supposedly too high on the individual items that were deleted including one size of the pattern is okay and another size listed for the same price is too high??? except for those really low prices I have. Perhaps I should try to jack them up.

    1. They have no idea. What often happens, at least in organizations I’ve worked in, is that management is presented with a very simple dashboard. Depending on the purpose, it either had red/yellow/green lights or maybe a very basic line graph (like sales per quarter). These people are only bright enough to see that a red light or downward trending line are bad. They have no idea _why_ it’s that way or what to do about it. That’s for “the little people” to figure out now that they’ve made their Very Important decision and been paid handsomely for it.

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