Amazon is shifting its focus in terms of suspending Sellers for breaching its terms, providing a fascinating insight for those trading on the site.
The current climate created by the coronavirus pandemic has undoubtedly had an effect, with suspensions for price gouging on the rise. Amazon has made no secret of its desire to come down hard on Sellers seeking to take advantage of stockpiling and world wide shortages of certain products to maintain a balanced marketplace for consumers.
But the top 10 reasons for suspensions on Amazon this year offers further insights into how the company’s focus is evolving. The top 10 reasons are:
2020 top suspensions so far for Amazon sellers
1 Inauthentic items 22%
2 IP infringement 20%
3 Duplicate related account 18%
4 Price gouging 16%
5 Used/sold as new 7%
6 Verification of new account 5%
7 Inaccurate product description 4%
8 Late shipment 4%
9 Review manipulation 2%
10 Asin abuse 2%
Thompson and Holt managing partner Craig Gedey has significant knowledge and experience of how Amazon operates and says the statistics show that their priorities are changing.
Gedey said: “Amazon has always been a hugely customer-focused operation. They want their customer experience to be the best in the market - in any market - and their policies and guidelines are all centred around that.
“Because of that in some sense it’s no surprise to see inauthentic items still being the most popular reason for suspension. They continue to focus on selling genuine goods and protecting brands, because they want their customers to feel secure when using the site.
“But below that patterns are changing. The rise of suspensions for price gouging can be directly related to the current coronavirus pandemic. At Thompson and Holt we have seen certain Sellers try to exploit the current market, and it’s completely understandable that Amazon would want to clamp down on this. Amazon want to send a unequivocal message that this practise will not be tolerated on their site.
“The number of suspensions for the verification of new accounts shows that Amazon is becoming stricter on KYC - the process used by a business to verify the identity of their clients. The process is in place in order to prevent fraud, money laundering and identity theft, amongst others. Amazon strictly forbids Sellers from running multiple accounts as part of its terms and conditions. But that hasn't stopped companies and websites now producing step-by-step guides to getting around those, such can be the rewards for boosting sales and ratings. Amazon wants to end that practise too.
“Other statistics provide further insights. Late shipment suspensions have decreased, which suggests both that Amazon Sellers are improving their shipment operations, but also that a lot are using the FBA system, giving control to the site.
“We have seen fewer suspensions for review manipulations, which suggests this is under control. But last year Amazon was publicly slated for the level of fake reviews on its site, which was becoming a major problem for them.
“Perhaps their focus has moved away from this and more towards protecting brands. At Thompson and Holt we would say that fake reviews remains an absolute key issue for Amazon - they cannot take their eye off the ball on that front. Not only is it central to the integrity of the site, but it has a very real impact on consumer experience.
“The current coronavirus pandemic has understandably shifted focus. But it’s important that Amazon remains loyal to its core ethos, which means policing the major problem of fake reviews and thoroughly monitoring the registration of new accounts.
“Allowing those standards to slip will significantly damage their marketplace in the long term.”
* If you have had your Seller Account Suspended, contact Thompson and Holt for a free LiveChat to get your Amazon Seller business back online as quickly as possible.