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Sat Mar 21 2020 12:36:16

Today's Amazon COVID-19 Response Gets Panned by Sellers

By: Ina Steiner

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Amazon announced plans today to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on sellers' account health by relaxing policies for shipping-related Performance metrics. 

But some sellers panned the announcement as unhelpful as they grow increasingly anxious about their livelihoods. Amazon restrictions mean many are unable to ship items to the company's fulfillment centers, while some also deal with outstanding loans through the Amazon Lending program.

Amazon posted a message on Seller Central on March 21, 2020 at 12:37 am. But some said the company is forcing sellers to rely on buyers to cancel orders, which they call an unrealistic expectation. They also say Amazon's seller performance standards are automated, making them skeptical of promises to make allowances for coronavirus-related issues.

Amazon provided answers to the following questions it has received from sellers:

1) What should I do if I am unable to fulfill any orders?

2) How do I cancel an order that I accepted, but I am suddenly unable to fulfill?

3) What do I do if a buyer requests that I cancel an order?

One seller wrote in part, "If Amazon really wanted to make the process easier, they could add a template to the Buyer-Seller Messaging that notifies the customers that their order was cancelled due to a Covid-19 restriction and also add a Covid-19 cancellation reason for sellers that when chosen, doesn’t count against their metrics. Could it be abused? Sure, but Amazon could monitor its use and these are unprecedented times."

Other comments included suggestions such as the following:

- "waive monthly service charges for professional accounts";

- "please open FBA";

- "turn off the order cancellation metric until this crisis passes";

- give sellers more time to process returns so sellers can quarantine items coming into their facilities.

You can find the announcement on Amazon Seller Central.



Comments (17) | Permalink

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by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Sat Mar 21 16:16:09 2020

It doesn't matter what Amazon or Ebay does. Its always either not enough or useless according to the sellers. Never can make them happy.

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by: purpleiris This user has validated their user name.

Sat Mar 21 18:04:15 2020

As an Amazon affiliate who prefers to link to FBA items to avoid any third-party issues, I feel their pain. Why bother listing anything when it may not be available for long, not knowing when Amazon will start accepting their shipments again.

If Amazon FBA sellers can't sell, then I don't sell.

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by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.

Sun Mar 22 09:43:47 2020

Just one more reason I don't sell on Amazon - if I did though I'd never use their fulfillment center for a whole lot of reasons including the above

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by: purpleiris This user has validated their user name.

Sun Mar 22 21:02:54 2020

The thing is, they shouldn't be allowed to do the above, crisis or not. Cutting off citizens from their income is a crisis in itself, so, they're just compounding the problem.

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by: Moonwishes This user has validated their user name.
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Mon Mar 23 00:06:46 2020

One of the big things I have noticed on the Amazon boards is the total panic of sellers thinking that the USPS as well as the UPS and FedEx will close, which of course, means they won't be able to maintain their store with shipping. Many have for some reason gone ahead an shut their store a week or more ago. The USPS is still functioning as are the other two, so why would a seller that fulfills their own inventory close up shop? I'm having a hard time with that. I know that those sellers using the FBA program are having a rough go of it and Amazon isn't necessarily being supportive on that front and yet at the same time, they apparently had buyers wipe out the virtual shelves at the warehouses as well. Amazon with their computers should have been able to see what was happening immediately and put quotas in place for those necessary goods. They would also be able to tell if someone such as a medical clinic that orders 200 face masks a week were making their usual purchase compared to Joe Blow who is trying to buy 500 of them for he and his family. But this is certainly a live and learn time and no one was prepared for something like this to be going on.

I am left wondering one thing. Why didn't these measures go into effect when we hit 20K+ dead from the seasonal flu virus? The current death toll for the covid-19 is 452.

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by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 23 03:22:21 2020

"Amazon restrictions mean many are unable to ship items to the company's fulfillment centers"
^^ Those FBAers should keep their products in-house, in the basement or garage or rent a storage unit.  That's the alternative, use it.

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by: hawk This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 23 04:39:48 2020

since when does corporate giants help anyone but themselves? they help just enough to trap the people , so they can take whatever people have left at the end , and laugh about it. look back all through history. trust no one !

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by: Disgusted This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 23 08:59:10 2020

I was looking on Amazon for some food stuff.  Bought in the past-cheaper than local store. Anyway, Prime is out - 3rd party sellers selling for 4 to 5 times as much for the same item.  Isn't that gouging?  Especially in the essential food group?  
I read that Amazon and ebay had their hand slapped for it.  Looks like Amazon is turning it's head to third party sellers so some revenue come in.

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by: railady This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 23 10:23:11 2020

@Moonwishes, Your comments are always right on and I truly enjoy hearing your views.

To offer a thought - ''regular'' flu has become a nuisance, not a crisis, and having vaccine available is calming.

Since there is no vaccine, and the fearmongers are hollering from the rooftops about the ''Silent Killer'' and starting runs on stores to hoard products (Are some people doing this ''just to do it''?  Too many of the general public seem to be falling victim to the ''Freak Out'' mentality.

I wish there was some way they would pay attention when someone tells them to get a grip and smarten up.

Here is another statistic that doesn't seem to elicit much reaction form the public: According to the CDC website:  ''Every day, 29 people in the United States die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver. This is one death every 50 minutes. The annual cost of alcohol-related crashes totals more than $44 billion.''  

And there were 311 homicides committed in New York City in 2019.  

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by: purpleiris This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 23 10:31:42 2020

@Moon and Railady...spot on! I'm wondering the same as you, Moon. I think this only became a crisis because people started seriously freaking out.

I've seen it and am afraid to go back out and I'm out of smokes. LOL I put it off, yesterday, but I fear I'm going to have to drive around to multiple stores just to get a carton of cigs (I was lucky to get two packs last time).

If I can find them, I'll buy two cartons because I really don't want to witness anymore of that.

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by: railady This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 23 10:43:59 2020

@Purpleiris, you might try the quick stops... they got the OK to stay open in our area.

This seems like a herd of bison stampeding -- once a few leaders start up they all seem to get crazed and follow!! Let's hope it will not be over a cliff!  

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by: purpleiris This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 23 15:14:55 2020

Whew! One store and no scary encounters to report. As a matter of fact, I only saw two people with masks walk in, but nobody else was even paying attention to any six-foot rule.

I got back just in time to hear our mayor announce that he will NOT be shutting down the city...thank heavens!

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by: BargainzBabylon This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 23 19:32:57 2020

::headdesk::  

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by: purpleiris This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 25 04:28:56 2020

Well, he shut down the city...until April 3rd. As of this afternoon, we've only had 69 cases reported in a metropolis of millions, Houston being one of the largest in the country. So, it would make sense that he didn't see a crisis; yet, barely 24 hours later he's changing his mind?

I'm sorry, but I can't help get the feeling they're being strong-armed into these overly-drastic measures.

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by: Cargo11 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 25 14:52:09 2020

Sometimes I wonder if the Amazon FBA sellers' product is what Amazon is using for their own product so they can't send back products back to 3rd parties, product they don't have - thus the freeze on removing product from their warehouses and a promise of no fees on long term storage.  Thus I remember the old saying: "If you don't hold it - you don't own it."  And it stands true today.  

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by: jimcooncat This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 25 20:34:20 2020

@Disgusted
I'm an Amazon seller that focuses on groceries and household, and have for years. I'm doing my best to comply with all the gouging laws, and there are many different criteria to address. I've seen blatant gouging on items I've wanted to sell, and I've brought some prices way back down.

There have been a few items I know would have sold well but I cann't make a profit on them because Amazon used to sell them at crazy low prices. I can raise them 8% or so and that's it -- I can't buy and pay the fees for that price.

I applaud the price gouging laws for what they do to protect the consumer. But the big downside is that the marketplace could enjoy many different items that were traditionally underpriced and are now sold out.

I don't have the answer. I just do the best I can to make items available for sale to people who can't otherwise get them.

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by: Sierra This user has validated their user name.

Sat Mar 28 00:41:13 2020

On Thursday, the U.S. death toll from COVID-19 hit 1,000. Today, Friday, it hit 1,500.

Yesterday there were 13 deaths from COVID-19 at one New York City hospital ... where they parked a refrigerated truck near the building to use as a temporary morgue.

This is going to get much worse before it gets better.

Stay home.

Shelter in place.

Flatten the curve.



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