Are Rebates within Amazon TOS?


Anthony Lee is with us talking about rebates, the protocol behind it and whether they are against ToS or not. We talk through the dictionary definition and how Sellers have stretched it. Plus why Anthony believes it is a positive for Amazon, Sellers and of course Buyers.

  • Been raging across Facebook for the last year or so
  • The Rebate system is Anthony’s favourite way to rank now
  • Anecdotally have lots of stories of full priced purchases through a rebate flow that have ranked quicker and sayed stronger

Promotions

  • People have been getting super creative
  • Gift cards were used for a while as Amazon didn’t track that – they do now
  • People started experimenting with rebates
  • Rebate in dictionary is a reimbursement for over-charge and a partial reimbursement
  • Marketers took it and redefined it
  • When you give some or all of the money back at a later point after they have purchased it
  • Last Dell laptop Anthony bought had a $100 rebate
  • The companies do it knowing full well many won’t claim it
  • Amazon Sellers saw this rebate model as the answer to many Amazon problems
  • Some crafty Sellers are just issuing the rebate digitally with an almost immediate reimbursement
  • So it’s been stretched by Sellers a lot

Contacted Amazon Seller Support

  • Anthony knows how to decrypt the info that Seller Support give us…has a good track record
  • Asked if he can do rebates
  • Immediate response was okay – yes of course
  • Then Anthony sent another ask in – can I reimburse the rebate portion electronically or Paypal
  • NO was the answer you cannot reimburse buyers through Paypal but you can rebate but not 100% refund but refund through Amazon system which is allowed or use a coupon
  • Anthony figured they didn’t get it so he sent another one explaining how rebates worked
  • So Anthony flat-out asked: Can I reimburse partial or full payment from an off-Amazon platform
  • The last response felt like it had been escalated and he knew what he was talking about
  • He said You can’t reimburse anybody through digital means like Paypal, you can’t ask anybody for review that’s against the term. Rebates are not covered in our Selling Policy.
  • Anthony’s interpretation is: Amazon’s selling policy simply doesn’t actually define or cover rebates – it’s not prohibited but it’s also not sanctioned.
  • So if you run a rebate chances are that on the surface it won’t catch their attention but if by a fluke they find out you have reimbursed their customer the purchase price they will view that as violation that Sellers can’t compensate buyers to purchase or leave reviews. Seems pretty clear this is what they would do.

3rd Party Services

  • A service provided by a 3rd Party does not think they are an Amazon based rebate system they cover multiple marketplaces
  • This tool is owned by several 7-figure Amazon Sellers who have built a tool to benefit sellers
  • Be interested to get to the bottom of whether this tool is likely to get caught

Inconsistent Answers

  • The reason we get different answers from Seller Support is because they don’t quite understand the question
  • So they just search their Amazon wiki and cut&paste answers back
  • So you need to send a couple of questions in to try and triangulate

Marketplace Agnostic

  • Being marketplace agnostic is a good thing
  • Does not exempt you from Amazon suspending your Amazon account if they deem your activities to be in violation
  • Amazon won’t care if:
    • the length of time from sale to rebate is long enough (i.e. they won’t investigate if it’s over 15 days)
    • if it’s not a digital rebate
  • Anthony does his within 24hrs and digitally but does not offer these to people who have purchased from Anthony on Amazon and then approaching them on Amazon
  • Anthony runs ads and brings people that didn’t buy from Anthony on Amazon and bring them to Amazon
  • Allowing them allows them to use the ease and trust of Amazon’s platforms and bringing Amazon the customer
  • When Anthony chooses to rebate them to stimulate velocity, volume and feedback that is Anthony taking 100% of the risk
  • Anthony is taking on all the risk and bringing Amazon customers
  • Do not ask for positive reviews just honest feedback

Rebates In Summary

  • There is no real definition on rebates from Amazon
  • Until Amazon addresses that then it’s free game
  • Everybody benefits, the buyers gets a deal, Amazon get s an amazing deal out of it
  • Until Buzzfeed does an article on rebates ruining Amazon’s business they just won’t care

Seller Sessions Talk from Anthony

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