Friday, December 21, 2018

Amazon Lawyers

Weirdly fascinating story about “lawyers” who help sellers who have been banned from the Amazon marketplace. Apparently the process of appealing a ban is so convoluted that you need a $2500 expert to help you, and so many sellers depend absolutely on access to Amazon that they support a whole industry of such consultants. A sample:
In a way, Plansky had it easy. He at least knew what he had to confess to, even if he hadn’t done it. Many sellers can’t even figure out what Amazon is accusing them of. A suspension message will typically list an item along with a broad and tangentially related category of an infraction, like “used sold as new.” Understandably, sellers respond by sending invoices that show that the items are, in fact, new. Actually, Stine says, the suspension usually has nothing to do with the item being used, but with something like a peeling label on the box. “The thing Amazon wants you to fix is the buyer perception,” Stine says. “Just proving to Amazon that your goods are new is not good enough because Amazon wants you to address why the buyers thought they were used.” One seller described the typical process as Amazon saying, “I’m putting you in jail but not telling you what you did, now give me a justification for why I should let you out and you won’t do it again.”

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