|Tue Nov 13 2012 22:38:05|
Play the Marketplace: What Should Amazon Do?
By: Ina Steiner
An Amazon seller located in an area impacted by Hurricane Sandy said his performance metrics were negatively impacted by the storm. He was unable to ship some new orders that came in just as the storm hit, but he was able to inform customers and he then shut down his listings.
Each year, Amazon restricts sellers from selling in the Toys & Games category during the holiday shopping season. This year, the restriction runs from November 13, 2012, through the first week in January, 2013.
Because this seller did not meet the required shipping metrics, Amazon informed him that he would be unable to sell in the Toys and Games category during the holiday season. (Sellers who use Fulfillment by Amazon are not be subject to the holiday season restrictions provided their accounts are in good standing.)
It was interesting to read the response to this seller's post. Everyone was sympathetic to his plight, but not all agreed with him that Amazon should give him a break.
"I deeply sympathize with everything you have had to deal with because of the storm," wrote one colleague. "I sympathize a little less with your amazon situation. Most of us in the area at risk turned off our listings well before the storm hit. It is not as if we didn't know it was coming, and we knew taking a gamble could cost us dearly. And as for Amazon's "unfairness," they really bent over backwards in the days preceding the storm, reminding us all to prepare, which really is not their job."
The seller took the criticism calmly, but firmly replied that Amazon should judge him for his entire year's shipping performance, not 30 days before November 1st, arguing that was not a proper measure to see if a seller actually has a good shipment record or not.
However, another seller wrote, "Giving you a pass because, while you still had services, you chose to continue to sale during the storm, would also be unfair to those who chose to suspend their business. You made money while you didn't have any service while those who shut down their business did not."
But they went on to give advise to the original poster:
"There is a chance you can have Amazon review your metrics and make some adjustment but when contacting Amazon don't play the victim role. Come to them with a plan on how this will be prevented in the future. Present a short and professional business plan and maybe Amazon will make some adjustments to your score.. It is worth a try. It is not like people don't feel for the situation you are in, but this is business and buyers are less likely to purchase from Amazon again, based on the service they received."
The seller also had advice for Amazon: "Amazon could come up with a better business plan themselves. They know our address. They know where we ship from (or at least most of us). They could send a notice and ask if the listing should be made inactive before any expected disruption in services. But, it is not our platform, we are just invited guests."
What do you think? And will the havoc of Hurricane Sandy change the way you approach impending storms?