Account Suspended


#1

I received this notice on October 3rd

Hello from Amazon.

We are contacting you today to advise that your listings have been suspended and are currently unavailable for sale. You may not sell on Amazon.com until further notice.

The following of your Product Detail Pages have been removed from our catalog:

B009T89O4M .925 Sterling Silver Quinceanera Diamond Heart Ring-Necklace Set
B009RA2FPW Sterling Silver Sweet 16 Necklace LB
B009LA1VXU .925 Sterling Silver Diamond Heart Sweet 16 Necklace
B00ES3QPLS Sterling Silver Air Force Mom Necklace CR
B009RA2F7K Sterling Silver Sweet 16 Necklace CLO
B009SVL5O2 .925 Sterling Silver Diamond Heart Quinceanera Necklace
B009RA2J8A Sterling Silver Sweet 16 XVI Necklace PH
B009SVLWRW Sterling Silver Quinceanera Necklace PH
B00ESQQ0EM Sterling Silver Army Girlfriend Necklace HS
B009SVNQTY XV Quinceanera Sterling Silver Bracelet DNCX

We took this action because a review of your account indicates your detail pages do not exactly match your items. This is a violation of our policies.

As stated in our policies, sellers must list the exact same item, in the same format, as the item represented on the detail page. Please note this includes brand, manufacturer, UPC, quantity, packaging, color, etc.

You may wish to review information about listing in the Jewelry category; please search “Jewelry” in Seller Central’s Help files.

Before we can consider reinstatement of your selling privileges, you must provide us with your detailed plan to ensure compliance with our policies. We will then review your plan and determine whether to reinstate your privileges.

On October 4th I wrote to Amazon the following:
Please provide me with information regarding the suspension of my account. When I attempt to review the examples Amazon has listed as policy violation items, I am not able to open the item and review for problems.

In response, on Amazon then asked for my phone number which I provided. They then asked for my email of record which I provided. On October 30th they said they would contact me within 2 business days. They have not. I’m worried that because I asked them for more information regarding detailed info about the violations that they will shut me down because I failed to provide some boiler-plate corrective action plan.

Any advice would be helpful.

Thanks,
Mike


#2

Mike, the Jewelry category is under heavy review for all. This is not about a boiler plate response. This is about Quality Assurance from what I understand from the letter. You claim Sterling Silver and therefore your products must adhere to the following including having stamps. Any precious metal must adhere to the following and also be patient; if they said they would call you, they will

Jewelry Quality Assurance Standards

Product Information and Specifications

1.1 Indication Marks/ Trademarks/Hallmark/ Country of Origin Stamping
    All jewelry products manufactured from any precious metal must meet or exceed the legal requirements established by all applicable laws, ordinances, rules, regulations, orders, licenses, permits and other requirements, now or hereafter in effect, including but not limited to Federal Trade Commission rules and regulations and the National Gold and Silver Stamping Act. It is your responsibility to understand and comply with these requirements. (Please see section1.5 for further clarification and examples).
    All jewelry products must meet the standards outlined in ASTM F2999-13.
    All precious metals jewelry and related products must be stamped or engraved with the required precious metal stamp and the manufacturer's Registered Trademarks. These marks must be adjacent to, or as close as possible to each other. Each individual piece of merchandise must be stamped or engraved with clear and legible markings as required or exceeding requirements established by the U.S. Federal Government. All components that are not permanently attached to each other are required to be individually stamped. For example, earrings need to be stamped on the back component and the post or earring assembly. A pair of dangle earrings that has components attached via an unsoldered jump ring requires the stamp to be on both components. If a pendant is able to be removed from a chain, the hallmark and metal stamp need to be on both the pendant and the chain. If the stamp/engraving will damage the item or if the item is too small, a hangtag with stamp can be attached to the item.
    When possible, the country of origin (for both domestic and import merchandise) should be stamped into the metal of the piece. It should be in close proximity to the hallmark and/or metal stamp. The lettering should be of equal size to any other stamping on the item. In the instance when the item is too small to be stamped, a tag of a size no more than ¼ by ½ inch may be attached with the English language name for country of origin only printed on it. It must be printed large enough so that it is legible without the use of magnification. The label, when reasonably possible, should be made and attached in a manner to prevent anyone, other than the purchaser, from removing, altering, or destroying the label. To determine whether an item can be labeled as Made in the USA, consult the FTC's labeling standard and guidance. Section 7 includes links to this FTC guidance, as well as the U.S. Customs and Border Protection general country of origin labeling guidance.
    Stamping or engraving of rings should be done under the shoulders or as high up inside the shank as possible to avoid the sizing area, if possible.
    For earrings, stamping or engraving must be located on the earring or post itself (it is not to detract from the finish or design of the earring) as well as the earring back/nut.
    If an item contains more than 1 precious metal, (e.g., sterling silver/14 karat, 18 kt/Plat), both stamps must be on the item using the lowest karatage of each metal.

1.2 Gold
    Amazon.com adheres to the FTC guidelines for acceptable tolerance for gold fineness. For normal gold items, the tolerance is +/- 0.003 of the stamped fineness. For items constructed with solder (bracelets, for example), the overall tolerance is 0.007.
    Gold fineness (e.g. 10K, 14K, 24K) must be clearly disclosed when listing a product as "gold." Products with a gold fineness of less than 10K may not be referred to as "gold," even if the fineness is disclosed. For example, listing a product as being made from "9K gold" is not acceptable.

1.3 Sterling Silver
    All Sterling Silver items must assay at 92.5% sterling. For normal sterling silver items (without solder), the tolerance is +/- 0.004. With solder, the tolerance is +/- 0.010.
    As per FTC guidelines, certain findings on silver jewelry are exempt from assay considerations: pin stems, clasp safety tongues, etc. Nickel pin stems are acceptable.
    Any gemstones used in sterling silver pieces are to meet the standards listed under Gemstone Standards, Section 3.

1.4 Platinum
    Products labeled "PLAT" or "PLATINUM" and presented as pure platinum must assay at 950 parts per thousand.
    If the platinum content falls below 950/1000, the platinum content must be disclosed in the quality mark, such as 900 PLAT, or 900 PT.
    Bracelet and necklace snap tongues as part of the clasp are exempt from platinum assay.

1.5 Stamping examples
    Precious Metals: An accurate stamp is required on all precious metal products.
    Example: Common Gold Stamps: 10k, 14k, 18k, 22k, 24k
    Common Silver Stamps: Sterling Silver, .925, .999
    Common Platinum Stamps: Plat, Pt, 950Plat, 900Pt
    Plated Precious Metals/Vermeil: An accurate stamp is required for all products that are plated with precious metals. Note that the FTC requires a minimum plating thickness (which varies based on the plating method used) and fineness of the precious metal for a product to be called plated. If the item has a precious metal base, the stamp should reflect the precious metal base.
    Example: Gold-Plated Sterling Silver = .925
    Rhodium-Plated Gold = 14k
    *If you are unclear about what Vermeil is, the definition according to FTC regulation is: An industry product may be described or marked as "vermeil" if it consists of a base of sterling silver coated or plated on all significant surfaces with gold, or gold alloy of not less than 10 karat fineness, that is of substantial thickness and a minimum thickness throughout equivalent to two and one half (2 ½) microns (or approximately 100/1,000,000ths of an inch) of fine gold.
    Plated Base Metals/Gold-Filled Metal - Base metals that are plated with a precious metal do not need to be stamped.
    Example: Gold-Plated Copper = no-metal-stamp; Silver-Plated Base = no-metal-stamp
    Example: The product description can say 10k, but it needs to say "with 10k ear wires."

Design Requirements

2.1 General
    All units within an Amazon.com style/reference number must be uniform with regard to design, construction, color and surface finish, and gemstones must meet the standards set forth in the gemstone guidelines (see Section 3).
    Ring shanks must be thick enough to withstand a moderate amount of hand-applied pressure. A suggested minimum thickness is .8mm thick, and 1.4mm side, but must be proportionate to the styling of the piece.
    All jewelry items should have a well-finished appearance, including functional parts (clasps, earring backs, etc.). They should not be missing any removable components, such as earring backs, and should be fully and easily operational.

2.2 Measurement
    Tolerance for ring size is 1/4 size over or 1/8 size under stated ring size on detail page. For narrow rings, the size will be measured at the leading edge, and for wider rings, at the center of the shank.
    Tolerance for chain and bracelet length is + ¼ inch as stated on packing slip/invoice, and is based on usable length when clasped, with a zero tolerance for under-measurement. This is due to online customers’ expectations that the chain not be LESS than the length ordered. The width must match the millimeter measurement on packing slip/invoice. Bangles are measured by inside circumference, and the tolerance is also + ¼ inch, with zero tolerance for under measurement. To ensure measuring accuracy, we recommend using a flexible plastic ruler, such as those used as accessories with Franklin Planners and Filofax organizers.

2.3 Casting and Construction
    Eye-visible porosity or holes, when viewed from a “bent elbow” distance of 12”, in any amount or location is a critical defect.
    Castings must be free of flashing and excess metal from air bubbles.
    All soldered jewelry must be of like karat with no discoloration. There can be no open seams or joints, unfilled areas, cracks, or excessive solder.
    Solder must not freeze any parts that should be moveable, i.e. chain links.
    Ring heads must be straight and plumb when viewed from top or side profile.
    Gallery work must be symmetrical and clean.

2.4 Polishing and Finishing
    If ordered as polished, metal surfaces should be of high polish and free of eye-visible scratches or tool marks. Design details must be clean and distinct.
    If item ordered with special finish such as satin, brushed, matte, etc., the finish must be uniformly applied , and if combined with another finish must not overlap adjacent areas where not intended.
    All items must be clean and dry with no fingerprints, oils, or polishing rouge remaining.
    Lint left under prongs from the polishing wheels/cloths is unacceptable.
    Plated surfaces, such as 18 karat white gold with rhodium plating, should be uniform in color and show no signs of peeling, cracking or tarnishing.

2.5 Stone Setting
    Loose stones of any kind are considered a defect. Stones will be tested with a set-testing machine to test tightness, as well as tweezers to test security.
    Stones must be set level and consistent in height with respect to design.
    Prongs must be even in shape, length, and placement. There should be no gaps between prongs and the stones.
    Bezels must be smooth and even in thickness, and in proportion to the size of the stone they secure, with no gaps between the bezel and the stone.
    In channel settings, stone tables must be set in the same plane, or follow a curve consistent with the design. The channel walls should be even and smooth, with a consistent seat cut for the girdle of the stones. Stones should be set girdle to girdle.
    Stones should be set so that the culet is not exposed. Some designs may call for exposed culets, but the culet should not be felt during wear or taking item on or off.
    Pearl jewelry such as earrings, rings, brooches, clasps, etc. must incorporate a cup and post for each pearl (or at least a post, depending on design/placement), with the pearl half-drilled and epoxied onto the cup and post.
    Epoxy or glue may be used for pearls, inlay, and some cabochon opaque stones such as onyx, jade, etc. It may not be used for semi-precious or precious gemstones.

2.6 Findings
    Findings with moveable parts must be fully functional, without significant binding during operation, and durable enough to withstand repeated operation.
    Findings must be an appropriate size and weight for the item.
    Pendant bales must be large enough to allow the pendant to swing freely on the chain. If pendants are sold without a chain, bales must be large enough to accommodate a normal variety of customer chains.
    Earring posts must be strong enough to withstand normal use, and the ends of posts should be rounded and smooth. Ear wires and leverbacks should operate smoothly and close securely. Posts should have a usable length of approximately 9.5mm or 3/8 of an inch, and should have a thickness of approximately .70mm (+/- .04mm), depending on design/type.
    Bracelets with a barrel or box clasp must have at least one figure-8 safety.

Colored Gemstone Standards

3.1 General
    Color ranges for gemstones cannot exceed two tones of saturation.
    If a new gemstone, organic material, or treatment is being supplied, vendors will be required to supply an identification report to support its authenticity from GIA and/or AGTA.
    Only stable, permanent treatments and enhancements will be accepted. All treatments and enhancements must be completely and fully disclosed, and independent verification of stability of treatment may be required. Glass-filled or other nonpermanent treatments or enhancements are not accepted and will be rejected.
    If origin of the stone is to be defined (i.e., Ceylon Sapphire), or the absence of treatment (i.e., unheated sapphire), we will require the vendor to sign a document verifying origin or absence of treatment, and may require a GIA or AGTA lab report for a sample as proof.
    Gemstones will be evaluated with eye-visible criteria. Loupes will be used for defect clarification purposes only.
    For all quartz gemstones (amethyst, citrine, smoky quartz, etc.), and for jadeite, Amazon.com may require a GIA or AGTA lab certification proving that the stones are genuine to be included with the QA sample.
    Gemstones must be free of scratches, polishing lines, chips, cracks and abrasions. No obvious defects will be acceptable.
    Gemstones must be symmetrical and properly cut. Faceting and depth must be appropriate to the diameter, shape, and type of material, and must be consistent throughout shipment. Stone girdles must be polished.

Diamond Standards

4.1 General
    Amazon.com supports a policy of not purchasing stones from any sources connected with civil conflict, criminal or terrorist activities. We will ask our vendors to sign additional paperwork stating that they do not knowingly buy or sell any gemstones with links to such activities.
    Any treatments such as laser drilling, fracture-filling or any other treatments are unacceptable and will be rejected.
    Diamond color will be determined by direct comparison against GIA Master Stones.
    Diamond weights will be verified, by direct weighing and/or weight estimation formulas. For diamond weights expressed as decimals, the weight should be accurate to the last stated decimal place (e.g., .47 carat means the weight is at least .465 carats), provided that, when weight is stated to only one decimal place, the weight must be accurate to the second decimal place (e.g., .4 carat means the weight at least .395 carats). For diamond weights expressed as fractions, carat weight tolerance is as follows:

    Carat Weight 	Minimum Required Actual Carat Weight
    1/10 	0.09
    1/5 	0.18
    ¼ 	0.23
    1/3 	0.30
    3/8 	0.37
    ½ 	0.46
    5/8 	0.59
    ¾ 	0.71
    1 	0.96
    1 ¼ 	1.22
    1 ½ 	1.45
    1 ¾ 	1.70
    2 	1.95
    2 ½ 	2.45
    3 	2.95

    If a jewelry product you list on Amazon.com incorporates a diamond with less than 17 symmetrical facets, you must clearly disclose this fact in the feature bullets or the product description when creating the product detail page. Extremely thick or thin girdles will not be accepted.
    Large culets will not be accepted.
    Diamonds containing open-cavity inclusions will not be accepted.
    Naturals that affect the outline of the girdle or are assessed to be a setting risk will not be accepted.
    Diamonds that contain inclusions that may make the diamond structurally unsound for mounting or wearing due to the size, nature and location of the inclusion will not be accepted.
    Scratches, chips, burned facets or polish lines that are easily visible under 10X magnification will not be accepted.
    Major symmetry defects will not be accepted.

Certificates of Authenticity

A Certificate of Authenticity is required for diamonds that states that the fineness of metal and gem carat weight and quality that meets or exceeds the representation of that item. We only accept certificates of authenticity from IGI, GIA or AGS. Certs are required for white diamonds only based on the following;
    Diamond Stud Earrings: Total stated carat weight of ¾ or greater (any color, any clarity).
    Rings: Cert is required if center stone’s stated weight is ¾ carat or larger (any color, any clarity). If there are side stones, they need to be included on the cert.
    Pendants: Solitaires: Cert is required if center stone’s stated weight is ¾ carat or larger (any color, any clarity).

Independent Laboratory Testing
    From time to time, jewelry samples will be provided to an accredited jewelry testing laboratory for thorough quality testing. The laboratory will test for conformance with the Amazon product description, as well as for compliance with FTC jewelry standards.
    Amazon will contact you if your jewelry fails laboratory testing. Depending on the number of pieces that fail testing and the severity and type of failures, Amazon may take further actions ranging from working with you on a remedial plan to address the underlying cause to discontinuing the relationship with you.

Helpful Links

http://www.ftc.gov/

http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/guides/jewel-gd.shtm

http://cbp.gov/linkhandler/cgov/newsroom/publications/trade/co_origin.ctt/markingo.pdf

http://business.ftc.gov/documents/bus03-complying-made-usa-standard

#3

As a jewelry seller, I can tell you that everyone is getting reviewed even if they’re not suspended:-) There are sweeping changes that have been implemented during the past 30 days and it’s not been pretty for most.

Everyone received a letter about the Quality Assurance program, however some did not follow up or did not really think it applied to their listings.

I actually cleaned out 5,000 fine jewelry listings as I was told if there were any in my catalog, (JUST ONE) they would revoke the selling privilege in that category.

However, many have not been able to even get information after emailing the QA team to find out the next step in compliance. It’s not just about following the listing guidelines as there is also a “product review” process in place as well but, I have not yet heard back as to what that review requires.

One can only hope they take a real close look at jewelry sellers out of China as they describe everything as silver even if its plated.


#4

Mike, one more thing…

In your plan for reinstatement, tell them (upfront) you have/will scrub your catalog of all fine jewelry products before uploading any new products in the system. Whatever you do, don’t put ONE item in that’s is not described properly as they will not let you back on. They are no loner allowing new jewelry sellers so try to appeal to them quickly so you’re nor forgotten.

Good luck to you and if you need any help let me know.


#5

That was extraordinarily helpful, but would links not have sufficed? I need to go splint my scrolling thumb.

Barb

P.S. Good luck to the OP.


#6

I hope you have recovered, Barb.


#7

Thanks to each of you who responded. It helps to know I’m not the only one. Would it look better if I deleted all of my listings at this point or should I not take any action and await contact from the QA team?

Mike


#8

Hey there New York 925 & Co,

It looks like we already removed those listings from our catalog. Whether you leave them in or not, you will just want to make sure that you address the fact that you understand that they are a violation in your plan of action.


#9

Thank you NelsonD,
At this time I am not able to determine what violations have been made with respect to these items. I am hoping that Amazon will let me know so that I can create a corrective action plan to address the infractions. Would you agree that the best course of action at this point is to sit tight and wait for specific details regarding the violations and then create a corrective action plan.
Mike


#10

Mike, they already told you why and asked you for a corrective plan. It’s in the letter. You need to clean up your listings. If it’s not plated and it’s precious metal as the claim on the title you need to include stamps, certifications, if you have none of those you need to correct the listings or remove them.


#11

Barbe, I apologize for the long post. I have an aversion to links.


#12

I received notice that some of my jewelry pieces were tested by Amazon and found not to be .925 sterling. I had the jewelry manufactured in China and stamped 925, paid for 925 and looks like I did not receive .925 silver. I want to have the jewelry tested myself. What test is considered the acceptable industry standard process (i.e. x-ray fluorescence analysis). I would like to use the same testing method that Amazon uses so that future testing by Amazon result in similar findings that I generate with my testing. Also, is anyone aware of avenues of recourse available when dealing with a reputable Chinese jewelry manufacturer who creates such a problem as fraud?

Thanks,
Mike


#13

No idea. How reputable can they be if they are sending you substandard merchandise? Have you never had it tested? I would never trust an overseas manufacturer, our even a domestic one, for precious metals without having spot checks and independent analysis run. When it comes to business I trust no one.

I also wouldn’t order from China without some idea of what legal recourse I had in case of problems. Do you know someone who speaks Chinese that could write an email or call?

Sorry to say it sounds like you very likely got taken. How did you find this manufacturer? Hopefully not alibaba.


#14

Btw apparently 925 has no legal standing in the usa, which may be part of your problem. Sterling has to be marked sterling or silver.

[http://community.ebay.com/t5/Fine-Jewelry-Gems-Precious/Sterling-Silver-vs-the-magnet-test/td-p/2625455]


#15

23.6 Misrepresentation as to silver content.(a) It is unfair or deceptive to misrepresent that an industry product contains silver, or to misrepresent an industry product as having a silver content, plating, electroplating, or coating.(b) It is unfair or deceptive to mark, describe, or otherwise represent all or part of an industry product as “silver,” “solid silver,” “Sterling Silver,” “Sterling,” or the abbreviation “Ster.” unless it is at least 925/1,000ths pure silver.© It is unfair or deceptive to mark, describe, or otherwise represent all or part of an industry product as “coin” or “coin silver” unless it is at least 900/1,000ths pure silver.(d) It is unfair or deceptive to mark, describe, or otherwise represent all or part of an industry product as being plated or coated with silver unless all significant surfaces of the product or part contain a plating or coating of silver that is of substantial thickness.(e) The provisions of this section relating to markings and descriptions of industry products and parts thereof are subject to the applicable tolerances of the National Stamping Act or any amendment thereof.Note 1 to § 23.6: The National Stamping Act provides that silver plated articles shall not “be stamped, branded, engraved or imprinted with the word ‘sterling’ or the word ‘coin,’ either alone or in conjunction with other words or marks.” Exemptions recognized in the industry and not to be considered in any assay for quality of a silver industry product include screws, rivets, springs, spring pins for wrist watch straps; posts and separable backs of lapel buttons; wire pegs, posts, and nuts used for applying mountings or other ornaments, which mountings or ornaments shall be of the quality marked; pin stems (e.g., of badges, brooches, emblem pins, hat pins, and scarf pins, etc.); levers for belt buckles; blades and skeletons of pocket knives; field pieces and bezels for lockets; bracelet and necklace snap tongues; any other joints, catches, or screws; and metallic parts completely and permanently encased in a nonmetallic covering.”


#16

From InStore Magazine (for the Jewelry Industry) in the June 2012 issue:"Q:I have received a few sterling silver pieces over the counter and even some from vendors recently that were attracted to a magnet. That’s not supposed to happen, is it? Should I be worried? What should I do?A:You’re not alone in seeing this. We recently asked our Brain Squad panel if they were having similar experiences, and about one in five of the 145 jewelers who answered the question said they were regularly seeing low-purity silver being offered as sterling. Robert Truhe, manager of Dillon Gage Refinery in Dallas, TX, said his company had also noticed a decline in the overall purity of silver lots over the past 18 months. Truhe attributed this in part to the influx of silver goods from overseas, where standards are not as stringent as in the U.S. (the National Stamping Act of 1906 states the variance can only be “a divergence in the fineness of four one-thousandth points” from the required .925.)“Also, our research shows that some jewelers make the mistake of assuming something is sterling silver (.925) when it is marked nickel silver or German silver. This is not the case,” he says. Another factor muddying the issue is the use by manufacturers of various magnetic metals in the plating of silver goods.“There is plenty of that going on,” said Jo-Ann Sperano, a mediation specialist at the Jewelers Vigilance Committee. “We just did some nondestructive assays on silver product that some retail jewelers felt was not 92.5 percent pure. The non-destructive tests came back as under .925 and were attracted to magnets."However, when the pieces were sent for fire assay, the jewelry did turn out to be .925 silver, Sperano says. Truhe advises jewelers to do an acid test of all sterling silver pieces, in addition to looking for markings. “The absolute most important point in all of this is to make sure the staff who are buying material over the counter are properly trained and that strict procedures are in place for testing all gold and silver products. If shortcuts are taken, the jewelry store will suffer the losses,” he says. Sperano encouraged jewelers who think they have identified pieces from manufacturers that are of less purity than marked to contact the JVC. “We must be notified since we have found loads of product that had little or no silver. Stay in close touch so we have a chance to do prevention rather than damage control,” she says, adding that the JVC handles such cases in a confidential manner.


#17

Mike, I read the whole thread. Sounds like China is even worse than I thought for faking silver. I’m sorry. I wouldn’t buy any jewelry from China.


#18

In addition to the fake silver aspect, of larger concern to me, personally, would be the real possibility of the toxic metal, cadmium, as a component. Google it for a real eye-opener on jewelery from foreign countries (some of which was ultimately found for sale in high-end stores in the USA…)

Edited by: Pacific Scentworks on Nov 23, 2013 2:05 AM


#19

Amazon FBA “lost” two of my plush animal critters. Those were also made in China, for the manufacturer and I got them from the manufacturer directly. Perhaps Amazon is now looking for silver in those little critters too.


#20

Thanks so much for that post, Marilyn.
I wish that, BEFORE the crackdown Amazon did on all the hapless jewelry people, there had been some sort of article like this posted in Seller Central!

I carry very little sterling, bought only from highly rated US vendors, and made sure NONE of it was made in China! Learned my lesson on some I bought on eBay a few years back. Even in my just-fell-off-the haywagon years over there, I could see that, one, it wasn’t pliable like real silver, heavier than my other 925 and weighed more. Yet, all stamped 925!

And, thankfully, the 10 pieces Amazon “bought” from my FBA inventory and tested came out OK. So I’ve lived to sell another day.

However, that’s the best article I’ve seen on the subject in a long time. Thanks again!