"Black Friday week" has taken on a new meaning for many Amazon sellers as they find themselves locked out of categories in which they'd been selling for years. Rather than an opportunity to capitalize on the holiday shopping frenzy, the week saw sellers facing the prospect of lost sales with no idea if it's temporary or permanent, a mistake or deliberate.
One big hit was Hallmark, as sellers discussed in this thread
. A seller who purchases from a company that buys Hallmark overstock and discontinued stock at auctions was shut out after having sold the brand for years with no problems.
Sellers of audio CDs had a similar complaint: "I just had a very rude surprise at AMAZON, for some reason all of my listings in music (Soundtrack CDS) were deactivated on Nov 23 without any notice and I was barred from resisting anything in MUSIC!"
The seller said FBA Customer Support did not know anything about the issue, but said, "I did finally get through to someone in their GATE DEPT and told me they were having a number of issues with sellers who list in MUSIC as well. Here is a link
to the Amazon discussion forum that has a number of folks who are having the same issue as I am."
Sellers discussed the issue on other boards as well - some reported receiving the following letter from Amazon that refers to a "technical glitch":
"Due to a technical glitch last week, some of your listings for certain brands may have been deactivated. This problem has since been resolved. We are sorry for any inconvenience this has caused.
"You can reactivate "Inactive" listings at any time from the Manage Inventory tab in your Seller Central account. Click Show My Inventory and select Inactive. If you want to re-list the inactive products, click Unblock under the listing Actions to make them active again. Please note that it may take up to one hour for your listings to appear for sale on Amazon.com."
But several sellers said there was no way to automatically reactive the listings - it would have to be done to tens of thousands of their items one at a time, they reported.
It almost appears that for certain brands and categories, Amazon is freezing out all sellers it's not sure about, and letting them back in if they can provide required proof that their inventory is legit, rather than trying to identify and weed out the bad sellers.
In mid-October, a seller started a thread
about the same problem impacting small and even no-name brands: "The boards are blowing up with sellers who are getting listings pulled for NON major brands, even no-name brands, then their invoices get denied, even though they have legit invoices and have sold the brand for years. If you have been kicked off a brand, please post here. Please do NOT post if you have been arbitraging or liquidating, just if you have plenty of legit invoices and it is not one of the pay thousands to play."
Let us know if you've been impacted - and if you think it bodes well for eBay.