Amazon Marketplace cutting off low-volume sellers

Discussion in 'Marketplace Discussions' started by fantailfan, May 9, 2017.

  1. fantailfan

    fantailfan formerly RIchardL Thread Starter

    Location:
    Belmont, MA, USA
    Received an email this morning:

    Please read this email carefully. The listing information described below may affect your ability to sell certain products on Amazon.com.

    As part of our ongoing efforts to provide a great customer experience, we are implementing additional selling qualifications for certain popular products in the Music category.

    What does this mean for me?

    Based on various performance metrics, effective immediately you will no longer be able to sell certain popular products in the Music category and your listings for these products have been removed.

    Why am I receiving this message?

    You are receiving this message because you have sold popular music products in the past.

    How do I seek approval to sell these products?

    We are currently not accepting applications to sell these products.

    Can I still use FBA?

    Effective immediately, only sellers approved to sell certain popular music products may send shipments of these products to fulfillment centers. You may continue to use FBA for other products you sell.

    How will this affect my existing FBA inventory?

    If you have remaining inventory of the affected products in Amazon fulfillment centers you will need to create a Removal Order for return or disposal of your remaining FBA inventory.

    We appreciate your cooperation in this important matter, and thank you for selling on Amazon.​

    Essentially it means my tiny store on Amazon Marketplace will close. It may not be a conscious business decision but reaction to discovery massive hacking last month.
     
    PhantomStranger and Bingo Bongo like this.
  2. fantailfan

    fantailfan formerly RIchardL Thread Starter

    Location:
    Belmont, MA, USA
    Edit title to read "a lot of." Seller who sells 2000 CDs a month posted that he had been cut off too.
     
  3. bluesbro

    bluesbro Forum Hall of Shame

    Location:
    DC
    Wow. I wonder if this is tax related.
     
  4. R. Totale

    R. Totale The Voice of Reason

    Location:
    Bi-Regional
    I had an Amazon Seller Account from the day they were first issued. You know how with an amazon seller account you have to choose a little name for your shop? Mine was "books". I used it a fair amount for a few years, didn't keep stuff on it all the time. It's expensive to sell through Amazon. Haven't had anything listed in the last year, busy. But I ran across something that I thought would go there about a week ago, only to find I couldn't list it because my seller account had been closed. Whatever rep I talked to there, even when I insisted he go up a level, came back with, "Nope, it's closed, it will never reopen and don't open another one at this email address/Amazon account". Despite Bezos's public posturing of "If you have a problem with something on Amazon, write directly to me!" his email address is the bit bucket. I guess I'm not selling anything there anymore.
     
    klockwerk likes this.
  5. kwadguy

    kwadguy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cambridge, MA
    Yeah, Amazon started closing/limiting music sales a couple of days ago. It's the same thing they did to DVDs, although it's not yet entirely clear the extent of what items are covered. All CDs? Only in print CDs? Vinyl? But this message is going out to a ton of people (I haven't received it yet, but I figure it's a matter of time). If you get it, then you will not be able to list items that they have moved to the new "only with permission" category. And you won't get permission unless you are a legitimate retailer, since they will require you produce multiple invoices from recognized distributors before they will OK you.

    This isn't related to any obvious metrics, e.g. feedback or how long you've been selling.

    End of another era.
     
    PhantomStranger and The Beave like this.
  6. royzak2000

    royzak2000 Forum Resident

    Location:
    London,England
    The private buyers were pushing down Amazon's prices as they tried to match them. I have also thought that some of the private buyers were really Amazon themselves.
     
  7. kwadguy

    kwadguy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cambridge, MA
    You mean sellers, I imagine.

    No, I don't think Amazon sells though anyone except Amazon or Warehouse Deals. They do shift overstock brand new inventory to Warehouse Deals and sell that as "used" at a lower price.
     
  8. royzak2000

    royzak2000 Forum Resident

    Location:
    London,England
    Yes sellers.
     
  9. bluesbro

    bluesbro Forum Hall of Shame

    Location:
    DC
    Probably a good time to buy as many cheap CDs from my wish list as I can. Sellers may disappear tomorrow...
     
    Simon A likes this.
  10. puffyrock2

    puffyrock2 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Louisiana
    Amazon closed my seller account 2 days after I sold a $150.00 set of DVD's. Now I can't get into my account and it appears as though they simply took my money and ran. I've called them twice and have not gotten the issue resolved.
     
  11. fantailfan

    fantailfan formerly RIchardL Thread Starter

    Location:
    Belmont, MA, USA
    My stock (never very high) went from 102 to 21 overnight, with 81 listings inactivated. I can't see any rhyme or reason to it.
    The big sellers will never go away.
     
  12. Thank god for Discogs and Ebay..... :shrug:
     
  13. mesfen

    mesfen Well-Known Member

    Location:
    lawrence, ks usa
    check this out!!! From the seller forum posted by creative corners

    "Here's the official word from Amazon about this. READ VERY CAREFULLY... YOU WILL BE AMAZED.

    FROM AMAZON TO ME: "As we discussed during our phone conversation, the music category is currently implementing restrictions on the products where only rights owners or licensed distributors will be able to list the items.

    Rights owners are companies or individuals who own the legal copyright for the specific items (or intellectual property) - either because they purchased/acquired the rights, or because they produced the content themselves."

    SO, WHAT THAT MEANS IS THAT CHANCES ARE YOU MAY NOT SELL MUSIC CDS ON AMAZON. That's right, unless you own the copyright for any music CD that you are selling on Amazon, you are no longer allowed to do so, and your product will be removed.

    SO, WHAT THAT MEANS IS THAT 95% OF EVERY MUSIC PRODUCT MUST BE REMOVED FROM SALE THROUGH Amazon. That's right. Only the music publisher that owns the copyrights to the works are allowed to sell the product. All us dealers and distributors are no longer allowed to sell our products on Amazon. Even if we are a reputable company that has been selling music products for over 47 years, like my company, you many no longer sell your music products on Amazon.

    Sure, ok, you are an independent artist and sure, you can sell your CD on Amazon. BUT NO ONE ELSE CAN. You are dead in the water.

    I am the founder of a musicians cooperative and we distribute all our members' CDs, now, we no longer can, and all of our CDs are already being removed by Amazon on Amazon.

    Like us, this also means CD BABY CAN NO LONGER SELL THEIR CDS ON AMAZON. A lot of artists will be harmed by this.

    I won't waste more of your time, I will say, this has drastic and harmful implications for the music industry.

    AND WORSE, Amazon is asking us to police each other.

    FROM AMAZON TO ME: "If you consider that other sellers could be in violation and you want to submit a report you can report them with our Seller Performance Team at seller-performance@amazon.com and/or by following the steps below:

    Please select "Report a violation" on the Contact Us form: ...."

    THIS MEANS THAT I SHOULD REPORT YOU AND HAVE AMAZON REMOVE ALL YOUR MUSIC PRODUCTS TOO. Yes, that's right, I'm suppose to report to Amazon all of you that don't own the copyrights for the CDs that you are selling. That's surely most all of you. I could keep busy doing nothing else than screwing every single music store or distributor, that don't own the copyright for the CDs you are selling. That's you, but of course, I would never do that.

    FORGET ABOUT HOW THIS POLICY WILL HURT AND HARM SUCH A GREAT NUMBER OF MUSIC MARKETERS, BUT THINK FOR A SECOND HOW AMAZON IS SHOOTING THEMSELF IN THE FOOT. This policy means that 99% of all CDs being sold now on Amazon MUST BE REMOVED. I'd love amazon to provide sales figures for CDs that have been and are being sold now on Amazon and to do a quick calculation of the number of dollars they will lose. I'm sure it is substantial.

    And, what is good for the goose is good for the gander. AMAZON, I PROMISE YOU, YOU DO NOT OWN THE COPYRIGHT FOR ANY OF THE CDS YOU SELLL ON YOUR SERVICE. This means, by your own policy, YOU MUST REMOVE ALL THE LISTINGS FOR THE CDS YOU ARE SELLING, now and immediately.

    IN SUMMARY, if you are selling CDs on Amazon, and do not own the copyright for those CDs, you may no longer sell those on CDs on Amazon. No questions asked. No discussion. So, you better start removing them now yourself, or Amazon will be coming after you as they have us.

    For us, as a musicians cooperative, we will fight for our members and their livelyhood.

    I encourage your input and comments. We will be blogging and sharing about this in great detail. "

    Ron Wallace, Founder
    Creative Musicians Coalition (dedicated To Helping New Music Thrive
    and Independent Musicians Survive ~ since 1984!)
    and Music Discovery Network
     
  14. Dubmart

    Dubmart Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    I take it this is only on .com, it's crazy and must be going to hit Amazon's bottom line as their fees are pretty high, I can see a lot of titles disappearing from Amazon or prices rising sending trade to Discogs etc., it's not like CDs and DVDs are growth areas for sales. I gave up selling on Amazon.co.uk, a shame as if they try it here I'd be able to make myself the only authorised seller of our releases and have a near monopoly. Have Amazon hired some former eBay employees, it's the kind of nonsensical sales destroying idea they'd have come up with although axing Tubolister shows that eBay still have the same calibre of staff.
     
    Gumboo likes this.
  15. BluesOvertookMe

    BluesOvertookMe Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seabrook, TX, USA
    This is very odd. This will need to be watched in the coming days. I buy lots of CDs from 3rd party sellers on Amazon. I usually only use eBay for earlier masterings.
     
    klockwerk likes this.
  16. mesfen

    mesfen Well-Known Member

    Location:
    lawrence, ks usa
    Once the 3 rd party sellers go, that's it for me. Likewise I purchase most of my stuff thru 3rd parties. Talking about the proverbial shooting ones foot in a huge way
     
    zen archer and bluesbro like this.
  17. RSharpe

    RSharpe Active Member

    Location:
    Currently south
    Hey, maybe Garth Brooks bought out Bezos? ;) Didn't Garth want to stop all secondary market selling of cds?
     
    melstapler likes this.
  18. InStepWithTheStars

    InStepWithTheStars Forum Resident

    What a boneheaded move. It's like making ripping/burning CDs illegal to combat piracy. You're punishing innocent people in an attempt to stop people who don't care.

    I've got a rare used disc lined up right now, I'll have to cancel a Discogs order and grab that now on the off chance that I never see it again. What a horrible idea.
     
  19. kwadguy

    kwadguy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cambridge, MA

    It sucks, but so far Amazon has NOT revealed to anyone information that states that the new restrictions apply across the board to the music category. It appears they apply to SOME listings, but not others. Until this shakes out, I would say hold tight to see what really happens.

    But as both a buyer and a seller on Amazon, I see nothing GOOD coming from this--except entities like SuperD and Amazon itself.
     
  20. lv70smusic

    lv70smusic Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    I think your interpretation is a bit more broad than Amazon intends. Amazon wrote that both copyright holders and "licensed distributors" can still list cds on Amazon. I assume that means that an independent label that distributes its own cds can continue to sell on Amazon just as a large distribution company that carries products from many larger music companies can still sell on Amazon. It does appear, however, that individuals who don't fall into either category will be prevented from selling.

    FWIW, I've sold probably fewer than 10 cds and maybe 20 dvds in total on Amazon over the past decade or so. I just tried to log into my seller account and got an error message that I was unable to do so, so I assume Amazon deleted my seller account. Interestingly I didn't receive an email from Amazon about this policy or about the removal of my account. They seem to really like me as a customer since I always get exemplary customer service from them when I have problems with orders, but it seems like they don't grasp that many of their customers are also sellers, albeit only occasionally. This won't cause me to stop shopping on Amazon in general, but it does seem likely that I will do more used cd shopping on other websites (Ebay, half.com, etc).
     
    Steve Martin likes this.
  21. royzak2000

    royzak2000 Forum Resident

    Location:
    London,England
    Amazon have been inundated with fake accounts, rip off merchants,that they have to answer to and cover, to unload the smaller sellers seems, to them, to be the only answer.
     
  22. kwadguy

    kwadguy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cambridge, MA
    So far...None of my listings have been inactivated, and I can still create new listings for many titles that people are indicating they're restricted from listing in the discussion forum on this at Amazon.

    No idea why--so far--I'm chosen. I'm not a big volume seller by the standards of Amazon. But the stuff I've listed has focused on A) New condition and B) Catalog (vs. best seller) listings. I also have excellent metrics. But I am not sure if any of these is the magic bullet, or if the bullet is aimed at me and just hasn't hit me yet.
     
  23. bluesbro

    bluesbro Forum Hall of Shame

    Location:
    DC
    I'm in the same boat. I assumed it was because I've been an amazon customer close to 20 years and prime member, so they know I'm not fake.
     
  24. zen archer

    zen archer Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Boston Ma.usa
  25. kwadguy

    kwadguy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cambridge, MA
    From that article:

    The RIAA launched an investigation in August to determine how big this problem truly is. They placed 194 CD orders based on top search results for each album type. 44 CDs were counterfeit. That’s approximately 1 in 4. What’s worse is that Amazon fulfilled 18 counterfeit CDs, and not individual sellers.
    If that's true, either Amazon is sourcing CDs from entities that sell fakes, or Amazon is intermingling inventory with FBA sellers that are shipping fakes. My guess is the latter. In the early days of Amazon, they would allow intermingling--inventory you sent in would be pooled with other supposedly identical inventory (e.g. new copies of a particular CD) and any purchase might get the CD from the seller that was listed, or it might be the CD that someone else sent in. The idea was supposedly that this would allow Amazon to ship more quickly from the warehouse closest to the purchaser. It controlled Amazon's costs and gave the buyer a (possibly) better experience. In the era of Prime that doesn't seem so exciting for the seller, but some sellers were grandfathered in under the intermingle program, and more recently they have started to do it again.

    The problem is, and you see this coming, if a third party seller sends in fake merchandise and Amazon is intermingling with their own inventory, then something sold by Amazon might well be a fake sent in by a third party.

    Intermingled inventory can often (but not always) be identified by a third party barcode sticker over the original barcode from the manufacturer. Amazon doesn't do this for their own inventory, but it is done for most/all inventory sent in by third parties.

    This is a HUGE problem in categories like flash memory, where the majority of third party sellers are selling counterfeits.
     

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