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Sun Dec 9 2012 18:52:44

Amazon Seller Loses Buy Box over USPS Tracking Error?

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
We are sellers on the Amazon website. We have been having a great holiday season on Amazon, especially with a particular product that we sell for ladies.

Our sales were flowing like never before on Amazon until yesterday when we lost the buy box on this item because of our "account health" having received a yellow flag for on-time shipping for 30 days (Oct 28, 2012 to Nov 27, 2012).

When I went in to see how this could all of a sudden happen to us when we have held the buy boxes all of this time and had very favorable standings in our account health, it showed two orders that they were claiming made the 30 day account health change and issue a yellow flag.

The first order was from October 24, and when I checked the tracking, the package not only was not late but was showing received days before it was expected to be received.

The second order was from October 20 and the USPS website had lost the tracking info for this order. It says to check with our local post office to get tracking results for this order due to an error on the USPS website.

Why should my sales come to an end over a USPS website problem? Strange.

I emailed seller support who looked into these orders and found that both were delivered well before their scheduled time yet the yellow flag remains on my account and we are losing a hundred or more orders a day on our product.

Now another thing I realized last evening was, that the yellow flag was for an order from October 20 and an order from October 24.

If these orders had been late, why did it take Amazon until December 8 to yellow flag my account when I have had raving account health up until now?

Then look at the dates that the yellow flag cover which are 30 days (Oct 28, 2012 to Nov 27, 2012). Something is wrong here - These orders were from October 20 and October 24 which does not even fall into this date range they are rating.

So we are losing lots of orders everyday and the yellow flag remains.

Now I am looking at who is holding our buy box..guess who? An Amazon-fulfilled seller.

Our price is well below theirs but they now hold our buy box because of a yellow flag that Amazon places on our account for October that were delivered on time and took them until December 8 to say these October orders were late? And on top of that, the orders don't even fall within the date frame of the 30 days they are rating.

Something is not honest about this.
Linda



Comments (11) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Amazon Seller Loses Buy Box over USPS Tracking Err   Amazon Seller Loses Buy Box over USPS Tracking Err

by: Eagle This user has validated their user name.

Sun Dec 9 23:29:05 2012

This response may be jumping off the subject slightly, but USPS has really went downhill this year! We have been using them for over 10 years in our business and were very happy with the service provided. Granted our shipping has increased slightly, but in the last 6-7 months they have lost 6 times more packages than the past 10 yrs combined? Trying to get satisfaction on reimbursement of insurance and shipping charges has become more than a standard hassle also!  

Perminate Link for Amazon Seller Loses Buy Box over USPS Tracking Err   Amazon Seller Loses Buy Box over USPS Tracking Err

by: julie This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 10 00:05:39 2012

Haven't you heard? Amazon is NOT your friend................. I sell on there too, and do well but I have no illusions that Amazon is out for my best interests. I use it as a tool and a way to advertise and gain customer's trust. Many buy repeatedly from us direct after having had a nice ''Amazon'' experience with us. Or they check us out on Amazon, see good feedback, come back to our site and order.

That said.. I do not like the new Seller Rating area. They are now computing your USPS shipping timeframe and giving you +/- ''points'' based on tracking data (which as you found out is not correct at times).... I just shake my head at it all.

Especially this blurb:
While we are very excited to release this new system to Sellers, we have no immediate plans to make the ratings visible to Buyers. This is because we really want your input first before we consider making it visible to Buyers.

Huh?? Did someone from Ebay sneak into Amazon??

I have to admit, I liked selling on Amazon before they started all this seller monitoring.. it's getting a bit like being watched all the time. They even rate you on how fast you respond to messages, and if you dare to click on No Response Needed, well, then, you get an email telling you that this option should really not be used - ''we recommend that you select the ''Mark as no response required'' option only for messages where it is clear the buyer does not expect a reply''. Huh, again??

And then there is the Amazon Notification messages which I get in my in-box, read em, delete em. But no, Amazon rates those too under Policy Violations, so I also have to log into Seller Central and open them there too, otherwise my Rating drops since they show as ''unread''. Good grief! ;)

Feels good to vent a little tonight.....

Perminate Link for Amazon Seller Loses Buy Box over USPS Tracking Err   Amazon Seller Loses Buy Box over USPS Tracking Err

by: puppies&flowers This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 10 00:18:02 2012

In the last few days I've been price checking some of our items that haven't had sales. We try to price so that we are in rotation for the buy box. Maybe i've been asleep (LOL) but I don't recall seeing this before - I've noticed that on a number of occasions, the item with the lowest price wasn't getting the buy box. Under the item title a seller that uses FBA is featured and the price is noted under the title. The buy box has no information, just the add to cart button. When you click the Add to Cart button you are purchasing the item from the seller featured under the title. Then under the buy box is the More Buying Choices box with the items that are lower in price. The price of the seller using FBA in some cases is significantly higher than the lowest price available for the item including shipping cost. All the sellers involved, so to speak, have good feedback. Our account is in good standing and this has affected our placement. So it appears to be driven solely by FBA usage. Wonder how amazon customers will react when they realize the buy box is no longer the best price...  

Perminate Link for Amazon Seller Loses Buy Box over USPS Tracking Err   Amazon Seller Loses Buy Box over USPS Tracking Err

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 10 00:49:17 2012

I don't sell on Amazon but I do buy there---Can some one explain to me what the "Buy Box" IS?   I know when I go to Amazon it is sometimes extremely CONFUSING to figure out WHO has the best prices on an item--and the whole "new" vs "used" (which I see ebay has stuck onto it's listings now!  Wannabe posers!)  can be absurd---

I was looking for mailing supplies and the system claimed that USED POLY MAILERS were available!  Really?  

Between etsy and Amazon --I often give up trying to find what I want--and that IS a real shame!  

IS Amazon trying to be more like ebay?  Now I KNOW the End of the World is Nigh!!!!

Perminate Link for Amazon Seller Loses Buy Box over USPS Tracking Err   Amazon Seller Loses Buy Box over USPS Tracking Err

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Mon Dec 10 01:27:32 2012

Amazon using flawed data to flag an account and give the Buy Box to an Amazon fulfillment seller sounds much the same as eBay rigging search to assure big box sellers have top priority in search visibility.

Amazon and eBay love to walk over small sellers at every opportunity. Their actions should come as no surprise to small sellers. Each company has their priorities - small third party sellers do not rank very high on that list.

Small sellers are taken for granted due to the fact that their so called trading partner maintains the view that they have no where else to go.  

As such, Amazon and eBay have no fear of losing sellers due to unfair policies or overzealous enforcement. The only sellers these companies do fear losing are the big box sellers because of the perceived volume they bring to each companies bottom line - volume that small sellers rarely are able to generate hence the shabby treatment.

Perminate Link for Amazon Seller Loses Buy Box over USPS Tracking Err   Amazon Seller Loses Buy Box over USPS Tracking Err

by: Cloud This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 10 02:07:32 2012

One thing I've found out the hardway, over and over again, is that the only customer service worse than eBay's is Amazons. I got screwed because Amazon double charged the buyer and they filed an A-Z. When I finally managed to get someone that understood what I was trying to tell them Amazon did agreed that the problem was there fault and they did eventually take care of the buyer but I still got left with a mark on my account because of the their mistake. Thankfully the buyer did also leave bad feedback or I would have been hit with a double whammy.  

Perminate Link for Amazon Seller Loses Buy Box over USPS Tracking Err   Amazon Seller Loses Buy Box over USPS Tracking Err

by: FREDDY This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 10 04:55:58 2012

SIMILAR SITUATION: AMAZON REPLY - ALL AUTOMATED - CAN DO NOTHING.

Perminate Link for Amazon Seller Loses Buy Box over USPS Tracking Err   Amazon Seller Loses Buy Box over USPS Tracking Err

by: wallflower This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 10 08:32:07 2012

A small amazon rant. I buy there often. I put an item in my cart recently. The price was $20. Two days later I go buy and it is now $25 (sold by amazon). I need it for a gift, so I order it. As soon as I get it, I see the price is back down to $20. GRRRR! Maybe best not to put things in the cart, I know sometimes they show different prices to different people.

Perminate Link for Amazon Seller Loses Buy Box over USPS Tracking Err   Amazon Seller Loses Buy Box over USPS Tracking Err

by: JoJo This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 10 13:31:21 2012

One thing I have discovered with Amazon customer service is that you may need to be that squeaky wheel to get something accomplished there.  Keep hounding them and eventually they will probably fix it.  

Amazon is just a tool for you to use to make sales, and I hope it's not the only one in your toolbox.

Perminate Link for Amazon Seller Loses Buy Box over USPS Tracking Err   Amazon Seller Loses Buy Box over USPS Tracking Err

by: RCL This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 10 14:30:13 2012

I don't even know what you are talking about, but I spend a fortune at Amazon...shop almost every week there. I guess sellers get abused everywhere. Amazon givith and Amazon can taketh away.

Perminate Link for Amazon Seller Loses Buy Box over USPS Tracking Err   Amazon Seller Loses Buy Box over USPS Tracking Err

by: FREDDY This user has validated their user name.

Sun Dec 16 08:24:28 2012

Amazon IMO is a little worse than ebay. Do NOT do anything that they may not like. Competing is one example. If you have the buy box and are doing well(amazon has there own way of calculating) they will start selling the product. You are out of the buy box. If you lower your price - good chance you can get PERMANENT suspension for that. The sweet part of getting suspended is that they do not have to give a reason. I take from that, they choose who they will allow on the site. Is that legal????  My take is that if Amazon is selling directly or thru FBA - might as well stay away. No longer ''level'' playing field.
Difficult enough selling due to returns for whatever reason are fine with Amazon. Feedback with Amazon are running around 6% for me. Heard the same roughly from other buyers. Low feedback scores will get you kicked off.  Also, if buyer doesn't want to go through you for refund, they file A-Z claim. Instant refund. I won a claim. Did not have to refund. However, still got a strike on my account. WILL NOT _ CANNOT BE REMOVED. Also have strikes for late delivery??? Inquired - If it is not delivered due to storm (SANDY) or lost by USPS or UPS, still get a strike. ALL AUTOMATED. Tough to do business with Amazon-ebay. So far sold a dozen items on Etsy-no problems to date.
I long for the good ol days of ebay when it was fun.
Amazon is just a place to go buy your item and leave the site.  



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