Sellers failed to receive satisfactory answers from Amazon when their regular disbursements failed to show up in their bank accounts on Monday as promised in email notifications they had received on Saturday.
Sellers who inquired about their missing funds received canned responses or were told there was no problem on Amazon's end and to simply wait. This discussion board thread
shows the frustrations some sellers had in dealing with overseas customer support representatives.
When sellers notified EcommerceBytes of the problem on Wednesday, we immediately reached out to Amazon for answers and reported the problem in yesterday's 411 newsletter. While a spokesperson would not provide an on-the-record statement or specific information about when sellers should expect to receive their funds, some sellers began receiving emails from Amazon Wednesday evening in which it acknowledged a technical issue.
Hello from Amazon,
Due to a technical issue, the disbursement we initiated to your bank account on 11/19/16 failed. This disbursement was resent to your bank account on file on 11/22/16. Please allow 3 to 5 business days for the funds to arrive in your bank account.
We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused and thank you for selling on Amazon.
Especially concerning are reports that Amazon sent instructions with this week's already delayed disbursements requesting that the funds not be released to recipients until Friday:
"Just got off the phone with my bank, payment was sent but they stated with the payment not to release the funds until Friday or their account would be overcharged."
"This happened to us as well, my bank says that Amazon made the funds only available for Friday and that they could not disperse until Friday...that is just great."
eBay recently had its own problems
that impacted seller funds, and these kinds of incidents raise questions about marketplace cash-flow issues. Amazon is notoriously close-lipped, which is its prerogative. But that's not the case when it comes to money it owes sellers, who are small businesses and individuals with their own cash-flow issues.
Finally this morning, one seller reported having received their disbursement: "I received payment this morning/overnight. So hopefully everyone else is not far behind."