Amazon not enforcing its product restrictions policy


#1

We received notice that all 35% hydrogen peroxide listings had been closed and that we (and all sellers) had 48 hours to close the listings or possibly be banned, stating Amazon has a new policy that no higher concentration than 12% will be allowed. We has sold way over 100,000 orders and over half a million bottles of 35% - with a huge collection of positive reviews. Of course, we complied, knowing it would send our sales thru the floor at least until we could get up 12% listings.

This cost us all our reviews and sales records - could not even advertise without reviews - but at least it would be a new fair playing field with all sellers losing their reviews and sales history - or so we thought.

Since then, we have learned complying was apparently a terrible mistake as Amazon did not impose this rule on all sellers, did not close all sellers listings with over 12% and will not enforce the stated new policy.

One seller kept his listings for 35% so kept his 35% reviews and doing a switch-and-bait (Blubonic Industries Inc) for an unspecified concentration, with Amazon rewards this apparently by having that seller bannered across the top for key word searches. This was reported twice to Amazon as a policy violation and misleading listing - but it remains up.

There are many 35%, 34%, 32% and 29% hydrogen peroxide listings on Amazon. All those have been reported as violations - twice - and all have been left up by Amazon. So either Amazon does not have a 12% limitation - or has a policy of not enforcing product restriction policies - and we apparently made a terribly mistake following the policy notice from Amazon. As a result of this, we have laid off people for the first time in 30 years of business.

Strangely, the only 35% concentration hydrogen peroxide listings removed were listing by top sellers who advertised, with all our reviews erased as well. Now sellers with little sales history are dominating with 35% listing review pages and 35%, 34%, 32% and 29% listings by simply ignoring Amazon’s stated policy. It is as if Amazon decided to shut down us merchants with high advertising budgets and high sales with a policy change - but only applying to merchants who advertised on Amazon and had high sales numbers.

In the future should we ignore Amazon policy notices as just optional suggestions? Since Amazon does not have or is not enforcing the policy of concentration no higher than 12%, should we relist 35%?

Open for suggestions and comments. We always try to follow all Amazon rules in the strictest and quickest sense - but by doing so it has smashed our sales on behalf of merchants who outright defy and ignore the policy notice of no hydrogen peroxide with a higher concentration than 12%. Does Amazon enforce its restricted products policies? It enforcement just random and selective?


#2

Ignoring anything from Amazon is a very bad idea. Very bad and a great way to get suspended.

Re those still selling 35% stuff, they just havent been caught yet. Rest assured that when they are caught, it will be at the worst possible point in your sales cycle. Such as Toy’s at Christmas.


#3

You left out the more likely reason. Reports about sellers by other sellers are usually ignored.

Amazon has its preferred way of finding violations and that is not it. Only intellectual property violations are acted on and then only when the complaining selelr follows all required Amazon procedures perfectly.


#4

I have notice this too with regards to so called FDA restricted products. We were given 30 days to remove the listings. So we quickly lowered the price to get rid of all stock and closed our listings and see others still selling the product after the 30 days.

I am happy to comply as there is no way a seller can know about all FDA Restricted products.

Or I have been told not to sell a product like a toy gaming accessory like a gun and yet others were able to sell the exact same item.

Many many times I have seen this happen.


#5

It is unfortunate if Amazon ignores seller reports. While they should be highly scrutinized, they should be considered. Who else is going to report restricted products violations? Shoppers do not even know what those restrictions are generally.

In our instance, we have sold the same products on Amazon for so long that we know the person violating the policy now has likely been making about an extra $2,000 to $4,000 per day from the violation - and now for a month. We also know that our largest legitimate competitor has likely been slammed as hard as we have been. It is not so much due to the policy change as it is due to lack of enforcement of the policy. If only 1 or 2 sellers suddenly are the only ones selling a popular product, their sales will of course skyrocket, literally able to pick up hundreds of thousands of dollars by the ignoring the new policy - and may be at the expense of those who complied.

There are many ways we see other sellers using to avoid a BOT spotting rules and restriction violations, though won’t post them on the forum.

We have sold millions on Amazon and paid much to Amazon out of that over the years. It is a good selling platform. What is more challenging is that there is increasing unpredictability not just from policy changes, but more from lack of universal enforcement of the new policies. If new rules apply to everyone, then there would be consistency as all sellers are equally affected.

Of course we will continue to follow Amazon’s policies and rules, even if others are realizing huge profits by not doing so - profits that otherwise would be ours or used to be. We’ve been in business far too long to play games with rules. It is one of the reasons we’ve been in business so long - consistency and no game playing.

Thank you for taking your time to reply. It is informative.


#6

Amazon believes in Artificial Intelligence as the only cost-effective means of policing this site.

IMO the state of AI is such that that is foolish, but I am unlikely to become the World’s Richest Man.


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