Amazon Seller Newsletter: COVID-19 Update (April 2020)


#1

Many of you have reached out and told us about the significant challenges you are facing in maintaining inventory levels, coordinating operations, logistics, and fulfillment capabilities, and in managing your day-to-day business and employees. This is an incredibly difficult time to run a business. Many of you have also shared how you are having to balance this along with changes in your personal lives – including working from home, becoming a full-time educator for your children, and most importantly, ensuring your loved ones are safe and healthy. I have felt these changes first-hand as well, both personally and professionally. This is definitely not business as usual. These are challenging and unprecedented times, but our team is working hard to serve you, our customers, and the community. I wanted to share some of the key decisions that we have made, and some of the things that you can expect from us in the future as we get through this together.

For two decades, we have been fortunate to have the partnership of a vibrant community of sellers in our stores. You have helped provide amazing selection, great prices, and valuable convenience for customers, and this has led to inspiring stories of many businesses that have flourished as a result. Many people around the world are counting on our continued partnership to help provide a vital service for customers worldwide.

In our fulfillment centers, we have updated our processes to ensure the health and safety of our employees, expanded benefits, raised wages, and are hiring rapidly to add additional capacity to our network. For example, in the US, we have hired an additional 100,000 fulfillment center employees and plan to hire 75,000 more.

As a result of these efforts, we are allowing more products into our fulfillment centers. We continue to focus on ensuring our ability to fulfill the highest priority products that customers need at this time. While we are allowing a broader set of products to be sent to our fulfillment centers, some may have limits on the quantity you can send to Amazon. You can find the latest on what products you can inbound on the Restock Inventory page in Seller Central.

As we work to get our fulfillment capabilities back to regular operations, we expect that many of you are also facing challenges in running your businesses. To protect your account and ensure these difficulties do not affect your account health, we stopped suspension of selling accounts for high order defect, high cancellation, and high late shipment rates. These changes will stay in effect through at least May 15, and we will extend these as appropriate. Making reliable promises for customers is particularly important at this time, and we encourage you to put your account on vacation mode if you are not able to fulfill products.

For those who fulfill and ship your own products directly to customers, we have created the following content as a reminder of our policies and best practices. This includes information from our team as well as tips we have heard from experienced sellers in our store. If you have additional questions, please go to our forums – our moderators and a number of experienced sellers can answer any questions you may have.

We have also made several adjustments to fees and other programs to support you during this time, including:

1. Paused repayment of all Amazon Lending loans for sellers in the United States and the United Kingdom until April 30.

2. Waived two weeks of inventory storage fees for products stored in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Poland, and the Czech Republic.

3. Waived the April 15 long-term storage fees for inventory stored in those same countries.

We will continue to make changes as we learn more and adapt to meet your needs and those of our customers and communities. We are doing our best to communicate with you regularly in this dynamic environment, and we created a page in Seller Central that will stay up to date with relevant news related to the COVID-19 situation. In the coming weeks, we will be launching new ways for experts to share what they have learned and are doing to help businesses manage through this difficult time.

We want you to know that many of us at Amazon are working tirelessly to find new ways to support you and your business, and that as always, we are listening when you tell us about your challenges through our support team, the seller forums, or the emails you have sent over the past few weeks. We value you and your honest and open feedback to help us focus on what is most important to you right now.

We appreciate your continued partnership, and above all else, we hope that you and your loved ones are staying safe and healthy.

Thank you,

Dharmesh Mehta

Vice President, Customer Trust and Partner Support


Horrible customer service, didn't get any help for over 2 weeks
#2

Thank you. Can you also expedite the process for getting incorrect information changed? I have had to refund customers because of incorrect titles and bullet points. Support tells me the brand owner controls the page and I can’t get the information changed. I doubt the brand owner put “single unit” in one place and “pack of 6” in another!


#3

Thank you so much for all the assistance its seems you have your finger on the heart of the difficulties we amazon sellers are facing. I am hoping to bring your attention to account health issues from suspected property violations to listing restricted items.

I dont know about other sellers but the product listing changes you promised for April are resulting in suspected intellectual property violations on items that we have had inacticve for 9 months, Items that at the time we bought directly from the seller that amazon allowed us to sell.

Then there are updates on restricted policy product violations that did not before exist and we had been allowed to add and the product violations sit hurting our account when we would willingly remove items you have made policy changes to that we were previously allowed to sell. Yet we are punished with product violations that we did nothing wrong with.

The product page changes for April that were promised and we do not object too are hurting us when weve done nothing wrong as I am sure other sellers have not and would gladly remove items taht no longer meet your requirements please put a hold on the bots crawling and hitting us with performance notifications for issues like this a simple please remove the item would do. I jhope you understand there are many sellers suffering this now on top of everything else.


#4

I am glad to read that Amazon is with us during this difficult time. Thank You for Your support.


#5

Thank you. I hope the next step in support for sellers is an intense effort to ship backlogged pending orders. I recognize that shipping orders has been prioritized in favor of essential goods - which is understandable. Now that there is a greater work force and as they gain some experience, can you please put a greater priority on getting the rest of our orders shipped in a more timely manner. Thanks again.


#6

You are restricting what we can send in to FBA locations. This dramatically impacts Amazon sales and makes it very difficult to make Amazon lending payments. Please consider extending Amazon lending payment due dates at least 1 more month. It will take some time for customers to have confidence purchasing non-emergency type items as well.


#8

Restricted Product Policy Violations are a huge issue. We have had many products removed erroneously removed and our account is at risk. Seller support is not helpful, any suggestions?


#9

Thanks,I cannot see how to change the handling time on 169 FBM listings in bulk.Only by editing each individually.


#10

Please fix the false positive in the updated price bot that is triggered when it thinks a seller is selling an item grossly higher than others.
109 listings and growing, I have items priced at MAP / retail pricing and the bot is blocking those listings claiming i am violating the fair pricing policy and not a single price violates the WRITTEN POLICY


#11

Wow - I have never seem that much overt lies and BS crammed into one newsletter.
Where to start

our team is working hard to serve you, our customers

Hqahahahahaha oh wait you are trying to be serious. You treat us sellers like garbage. I can give a clear example… What Amazon is doing to Ed Yu. His mistreatment is clear evidence that Amazon is using Pandemic to harass sellers.

For two decades, we have been fortunate to have the partnership of a vibrant community of sellers in our stores.

We are not partners, we are just another group of independent contractors that you abuse and cheat. Our margins are your opportunity.


#12

What about those that have huge swings like father’s day. Our sales triple during June. Will inventory restrictions be lifted by then?


#13

Wow! So much self praise.

Although Amazon has been better than expected in this crisis however the expectations were very low to begin with.

If you are really reading this, please add another half month of free storage since more and more orders are getting late. Our orders have grown from 3 days delayed to 7-8 days now.

Based on many FBA restrictions still in place, Amazon lending should at least reduce installments to 50% till FBA is restored back to normal. Interest rate during this time should be reduced by 50%

Max shipment quantity allowed to Amazon should not include customer orders or FC processing. In addition the algorithm should incorporate a 1 week lead time to the calculation as well.

Oversize items should have a larger initial quantity allowed (if BSR permits) rather than just 50. Most oversize items need to be sent LTL and once a 50 item shipment is split, it does not justify an LTL shipment.

Last but not the least, maybe Amazon FBA services should take a 3-5 day break from taking new orders and clear out their backlog. That’s a lot better than frustrated customers.


#14

With respect to Amazon Lending, by now, it is clear that the COVID-19 crisis is not abating anytime soon. While I appreciate Amazon’s efforts to appropriately staff for the increase volume of FBA orders, in order for Lending customers to take advantage of Amazon’s increased staffing, they must have appropriate cash flow from their sales to be able to seize opportunities offered by their sourcing partners.

It is currently April 23rd, and the grace period for Amazon Lending is set to expire in a week’s time. Please provide clarity immediately on plans for May and the coming months so that Lending customers can plan appropriately. As a courtesy and suggestion, Amazon should be offering all Lending customers the opportunity for a one-time 12 month refinance of their present balance at their current interest rate, with the option for three months of interest-only payments (the terms many of us accepted originally). This would free sellers’ cash flow to continue to send items into Amazon warehouses, so that the marketplace can provide the products that buyers are seeking to purchase.

Again, given the economic and biological realities of COVID-19, this seems like the best approach going forward to ensure clarity for all parties.


#15

hey thats all fine and good but mostly useless if you continue to cheat sellers out of sales by not having all products in the same category have the same ship date. Thats great that youre pretending to care and all but if you could actually care and create a fair selling environment for all sellers that would be great.


#16

What about waving the monthly seller fee for small sellers like us as a courtesy? Do you really need our $40


#17

This for the press, the stocks, and glutton of customers. I feel like the sellers and warehouse staff are always going to get the short end of the stick


#18

Thank you, as a seller I feel supported by Amazon, I can’t complaint.

“changes in your personal lives – including working from home, becoming a full-time educator for your children, and most importantly, ensuring your loved ones are safe and healthy. I have felt these changes first-hand as well”

glad to realize once in a while that is humanity behind Amazon computers.

As a seller I want to say something, something that I need to spill it out.

Lately I thinking on all the weekly challenges running the Amazon business during this Pandemic, one easy option is stop the business, relax, nothing we can do…
But now as the GM now I have to drive 200 miles a day to replenish inventories since the closest warehouse is close and driver is gone, be in the front line helping packing, producing shipping labels, placing orders, doing lost prevention, working on daily orders to replenish inventories, responding e-mails, sanitizing outgoing packages, talking with providers, ordering shipping materials, help home schooling for my children’s, do the market, etc. etc. ending working 18 hours a day. Why I decide to continue? I can’t see my Amazon customers looking for many things I sale out of stock, I can’t see Amazon w/o many things I sale because I decide the easy way, thank’s to Amazon I grow as a business and as a person, thanks to Amazon I supported my family and others for so many years.
I decided to stay open and keep inventory active providing service when people and Amazon need it. For the first time I am looking to provide other than stay just because is a business.
No, I don’t try to get any credit for what I said, I don’t need it, but I just want to let Amazon know that the same way they are trying to help us are many sellers that are loyal and stay at Amazon so people can still find everything they need at the platform. I want to say one day… the Pandemic is gone and I am an Amazon survivor. It is hard, very very hard but we will make it together.


#19

Warehouse workers are “heroes” and Sellers are “partners” in this new age of “heartfelt” Amazon public relations. Headlines News today: “Amazon may have misled Congress House Judiciary Chair says” “Amazon’s antitrust problems deepened in Washington on Thursday as lawmakers and advocacy groups alleged that the online retailing giant may have lied to Congress about the tactics it employs against rival sellers on its platform.”…Amazon workers stage new protests over Coronavirus Safety.

And for the Sheriff warehouse inspectors, Congress Judiciary Committee, Congressional Antitrust investigators, and so on… yesterday it was so bad that Jeff Bezos took back the wheel at Amazon. I wasn’t aware that his hands ever left the wheel but apparently he is needed at Amazon now more than ever…


#20

So far, what Amazon has done for sellers is the absolute minimum they could have done and just barely more than doing nothing at all.

Waiving two weeks of storage fees when you are taking an extra month to ship orders while still charging storage fees on the item does not even make sellers whole. You owe us credit on every dollar of storage fees charged on every order you failed to ship on a timely basis.

Pushing lending payments out until April 30th is again a token effort that does not move the repayment out to a point where the seller is making the money on FBA orders they should be. You blocked inbound shipments and did not open them back up as promised. Even if a seller could generate enough revenue with the current inventory restrictions, they cannot do it in time to make the next payment due on their loan. With at least two weeks to get the products processed into inventory, then another month to ship to the customer, then another one to fourteen days to get paid, payments should not be due again until June. Anything less is an insult.

And, while nobody was watching you took away the ability to message a customer that opens a return? This takes away the ability to support the customer and answer any problems they may have using the item and instead opens up potential problems when it is user error that could have been solved and instead ends up being a Safe-T-Claim.


#21

I appreciate your sentiment, but it would help to cut the storage costs when you keep our orders on hold for 4+ weeks. And, with Mother’s Day coming up, it would be nice to appreciate that people stuck at home need more than masks, they need more items for kids, for the kitchen, for Moms and soon Dads, etc. and those kinds of items should deliver faster too. People need some fun along with vitals, so lets get the new crew producing and shipping quick.