Do sellers pay the price of Amazon bad press?-RR003

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Rant & Rate is a new subshow to Seller Sessions.

With Chris McCabe, former Amazonian. Chris joins us to talk about Amazon bad press, was an Amazonian for 5-6 years on account performance evaluation and enforcement team. Now operating as a consultant on account suspensions and protecting from.

  • October last year was the report on fake reviews and a rush of suspensions.
  • Once this story got into the public realm it damaged Buyer’s confidence in the Amazon platform
  • There was another report this year showing a new batch of paid for reviews via PayPal and a new rush of Amazon suspensions
  • Amazon is taking it seriously and taking action

Sellers Taking out Sellers

  • It’s not just people manipulating for reviews – you also have Sellers leaving fake 5 star reviews on other competitor products to get them suspended
  • This is a con and should be avoided and causes Amazon bad press
  • If it sounds too good to be true then it very likely is

A Seller with a $400k Loss hits CNBC

  • A leveraged client that has blown up with around $400k in loss of sales
  • Reporters in general are interested in hearing Amazon bad press and these kind of stories from Sellers
  • An attacking Seller had sent a lot of messages on WhatsApp and these had been screenshot and sent to a reporter
  • The reporters love these kind of stories
  • There are consequences if you’re going to take the black-hat path
  • This story went into the press and was magnified because Amazon did nothing about a Seller abusing another Seller and impacted his livelihood
  • Amazon do not want Amazon bad press and so now they are noticing
  • Seems like there’s a lot more negative stories out there – seems like Sellers are using the media to jolt Amazon into action where they have not been taking action
  • It helped that Amazon Media Relations were contacted for a quote – this team then goes inside Amazon and chases the teams that are not taking action
  • CNBC taking interest really helped get Amazon to take action

Hoverboards and Fidget Spinners

  • Fidget Spinners and Hoverboards
  • Hoverboards got Amazon to take action of Safety – this all exploded and a safety complaint had a big impact on Sellers
  • A lot of auto-granted claims happened around this Hoverboard issue which Sellers were not expecting
  • This technology problem with fires and falling off your Hoverboard left sellers open to personal injury and fire risk
  • This kind of rapid response reaction happened in Amazon when Chris was there too
  • Amazon will take a lot of action to avoid bad-press

Steps to Take

  • What steps can people take if they feel Amazon is ignoring their needs
  • We spend a lot of time with active sellers to prevent suspensions by improving their communications with Amazon – as you cannot control how Amazon communicates with you
  • When Sellers are confused they message Amazon more – auto responses are not helpful
  • Most Sellers want telephone contact with Amazon but this is not sclable
  • When you write to Amazon make sure you give them an easy to review message with bullets, numbered points and well written clear concise and direct.
  • Work to get and keep Amazon’s attention with facts and data – presentation, style goes a long way
  • Be careful when sourcing and do due-diligence especially around risks such as injury and fire risks
  • Most sellers have integrity and want to serve Amazon customers in the correct manner
  • Sometimes there will be gaps in knowledge that can introduce risks

Talking to Reporters or the Press

  • Talking to reporters
  • They need information they can use – not fluff
  • Stick to the facts, things you can prove
  • What can you show them not just tell them things
  • Hopefully the reporters are doing their due-diligence too to make sure you’re a genuine story and not just trying to take out a competitor

Is it Getting Better?

  • Direct contact on a 1-2-1 basis with Amazon is not scalable
  • Chris is seeing improvements with Amazon – the Notice Dispute Team in Amazon did not exist
  • You can now dispute a notice claim which Sellers could not do previously
  • They do take notice and react, not always quickly but they are working on it
  • Amazon are doing something about it – we can debate if it’s enough but they are taking action

Contact Chris


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