BIG problem with Amazon Japan


#1

I am currently at my wits end. Does anyone intelligent exist over at Amazon Japan? I thought it might be a cultural difference, but if you think Amazon.com is bad, you should try open an account over on Amazon Japan!

A few weeks ago, after repeated encouragement from Amazon, I tried to open a new account over on Amazon.co.jp
We already sell successfully on Amazon UK, Australia, all over Europe, US and Canada for a few years, so we thought it might be a good idea to try Japan. I really wish I hadn’t.

Opened a new account, submitted our credit card details, set up our new Japanese bank account and 10 minutes in from opening the account, got to work creating a new listing. All of a sudden… Suspended account. Really??

So for the last three weeks, I have been trying desperately to get to the bottom of why our account was suspended. Afterall, it seemed like a technical glitch.

But no, apparently, it’s a performance problem. I explained everything above in detail and in Japanese. I explained my new account was open for 10 minutes before being suspended. Finally after three weeks, I get the following response:

– ご利用のアカウントが Amazon のポリシーに準拠していることを示す証拠または実例の詳細な説明。

Which roughly translates to, we are required to send them a detailed explanation of evidence or examples that show that our account complies with Amazon’s policy. We have 14 days to do this or our account will be closed permanently.

What the heck??!! In respect to what? We haven’t actually done anything on Amazon Japan!

This is so bizarre. Can anyone shed any light on this?


#2

I had a similar issue with Amazon EU - forget which, it was probably all, who were insisting I supply a safety data sheet for an item that clearly presented no threats. This kept being placed in stranded items until I was told it was hazardous at which point it took weeks to discover that the item had been incorrectly flagged as containing HAZMAT after which they relented and allowed the item back on sale.

Is it possible a similar issue is presenting a false flag to the fine minds at amazon.co.jp ?


#3

You explained everything perfectly that I’m experiencing. I’m glad I’m not the only one. I too am at wits end. I repeatedly asked for an English translation as their emails make no sense after Google Translation.

I asked for them to refund my subscription fee. I will wait and see what happens.

We sent over proof of company, i.e. utility bills, articles of incorporation, etc. I think someone there is making it hard for US based companies to sell.

Is there any way to get USA management involved?


#4

I sold for two weeks, shipped a few books in Amazon UK and suddenly dead silence, account was closed. I never pursued though.

They said they could. Don’t know I never try. I think Amazon themselves don’t know. Try to get an agent. There are many certified agents for Amazon JP. They told us before we opened our account.


#5

Did you have any luck getting the account open? They suspended my account, reviewed our docs and then decided to keep it closed without an explanation. This is the most frustrating experience ever. They should at least refund the subscription fee.


#6

Did you register using a valid credit/debit card, not a pre-paid card? Was it fully activated, were there enough funds? How did you obtain a Japanese bank account?

I can imagine that Amazon found it suspicious that you got a new bank account just for the purpose of opening the Seller Account.

You will be normally asked to provide a bank account statement and yours showing no transaction history may have raised concerns.


#7

This is exactly what has happened to us, we were suspended almost immediately, certainly before we got any products onto the Japanese site. We have supplied Bank Statements, Utility Bills, Company Registration information (front page of partnership tax return since “Company Registration” is not available to sole traders and partnerships in UK), and a product invoice.

Now they are asking for – ご利用のアカウントが Amazon のポリシーに準拠していることを示す証拠または実例の詳細な説明。
which Google Translate says means “A detailed explanation of evidence or examples that show that your account complies with Amazon’s policy”


#8

So far I’ve replied
"I have no idea what this means, but I have been selling new and second-hand books on Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com for 18 years and, more recently, on Amazon.ca, Amazon.de, Amazon.fr, Amazon.it, and Amazon.es.

I have been invited by Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk to start selling on Amazon.co.jp - I have no idea why Amazon.co.jp is making it so difficult for me to start selling there. Please explain. You have quite happily taken my money, but you are obstructing me starting to list products by constantly asking for new things which should be completely unnecessary given that my Seller Account with Amazon.co.jp is linked in “Global Selling” with my accounts in Europe and North America."

I’ve also sent them links to my excellent feedback on both UK and US sites “as evidence that we are responsible sellers who comply with Amazon policies”.


#9

Hi there,

Yes, the card has to be valid because they took payment immediately on account opening and still shows up on our business bank statement as debited… More than enough funds in there, yes! The debit has not been refunded, despite us requesting it in recent weeks for it to be refunded as they suspended us immediately.

The Japanese bank account can’t be the problem as we added that after suspension in case it had been an issue. Our company uses World First, so we have bank accounts in many different currencies. Those bank accounts reside in their respective currency countries.Honestly, I don’t think the bank account is the problem.

I opened a case on Amazon.com (USA) also. They say my concern is valid and has been passed on to the “relevant team” who will contact me… However that is also now two weeks ago. Nothing yet. I re-opened that case, but they closed it again with the explanation that they can’t help me, I have to wait for the ‘relevant team’ to contact me.

Think I’m going to have to throw this one into the Bermuda Triangle. They’ve taken my money, won’t give it back, won’t give me any reason why account was suspended within 10 minute, no team in any country has got back to us.

This just gets more and more bizarre,


#10

Yes, sounds like the exact same story as us.

At least it can’t be the categories we work in that’s the issue. Ours is a far cry away from books and DVDs.

I agree - It’s part of the Global Selling account, they’re all linked, so I have no idea why they asked for company registration information etc. I mean we sent all that a couple of months ago, but no response from it.

They really need to sort this out, it’s very unprofessional of Amazon to carry out business this way. Especially with no explanation.


#11

How much money do you plan on making via this site, and is it worth bothering with Japan complications for that? Just asking.


#12

For us? We have no idea. We’ve been bugged with emails of encouragement from Amazon to sign up to Japan for months, so we’re just adopting another country to try selling in. Honestly, if we knew we’d be having this hassle, we wouldn’t have bothered.


#13

Oh right got you. Yes sounds like a bait and switch type strategy. It’s bizarre how Amazon expends so much effort signing up sellers, then appears to promptly shutter most of them. If not immediately then down the road. Why? Who knows, seems they just want to make it intentionally unstable. Other internet companies definitely not as unstable.


#14

Well there would be no need to ‘shutter’ us as we have sold successfully in just about every other Amazon marketplace for years, no problems with performance or anything. This problem appears to be isolated to the Japanese marketplace.

Seems likely the Japanese Amazon staff either don’t know what they’re doing, or possibly they can’t cope at all with the volume of work. Either way, Amazon HQ need to come down hard on them.


#15

All these comments sound like us. We supplied documents. They charged our card. We were invited from Amazon EU as part of their one subscription fee for all marketplace emails. I want my fee back, However, they just ignore emails. I had contacted a Japanese company to assist. They cannot get a response as well.

Has anyone tried to get help from Amazon EU by any chance. Amazon.com will not help as stated by others.

I wish there was a way to sue for hijacking our subscription fee. Perhaps if there is a Japanese law firm that could take up a class action type of lawsuit.


#16

I tried emailing Jeff. No response.

How do we get this on HQ radar?


#17

This is the latest email from them, now a month from being shut down (suspended) 10 minutes into linking our global seller account to amazon.co.jp (translation from Google follows)

[Our company name]様 平素はAmazon.co.jpをご利用いただき、誠にありがとうございます。

ご利用のAmazon出品用アカウントは閉鎖されたままとなっています。出品者様の出品情報は削除されました。 出品者様への振込みが90日以上保留される場合があります。 ご利用のアカウントにこれ以上影響が生じないようにするために、受注済みの商品については発送をお願いいたします。

この措置がとられた理由

この決定は、ご利用のアカウントとご提供いただいた情報の両方を精査したうえで行われております。

この件に関してEメールをさらに送信いただきましても、返信を差し上げられない場合がありますのでご了承ください。
アカウントスペシャリスト

Broadly, this translates as follows:

[Our company name] Thank you very much for using Amazon.co.jp.

Your Amazon listing account remains closed. The seller’s exhibition information has been deleted. The seller’s transfer may be suspended for more than 90 days. In order to ensure that your account is no longer affected, please ship the ordered products.

The reason why this measure was taken

This decision is made after reviewing both your account and the information you provided.

Please note that you may not be able to receive a reply if you send further emails on this matter.
Account Specialist

This response is complete nonsense. For a start, it was explained the account was only open for 10 minutes before being suspended, so what product orders do they want us to ship? We don’t even have a listing on their marketplace!

Secondly, there is no way our account information was reviewed inside that first 10 minutes before they suspended it. It takes them two weeks to reply to an email!!!

I’ve tried everything I can think of now. They’ve taken our money and suspended the account. Credit card charge back, maybe? Trouble is, I don’t want this affecting our other global seller accounts.

Wish Amazon rep would see this thread and respond with some common sense.


Calling all Selling Professionals - Has Godzilla taken over AMZ Japan?
#18

I received the exact same email.


#19

Of course a foreign seller who has never sold on the site before has no transaction history, either in their local bank account or on Amazon.co.jp itself. This is not exactly a surprise.

More importantly, they were invited to sell there: “A few weeks ago, after repeated encouragement from Amazon, I tried to open a new account over on Amazon.co.jp.” If they are being asked to sell on the site, this sort of nonsense should not happen.

bunga bunga!


#20

They are expecting to see transaction history on the bank account or credit card statement document, which is being requested to be provided at the time of Seller Account registration.

Submitting a statement of a bank account or card which was only opened for the purpose of registering the Seller Account, with no transactions ever processed is viewed as suspicious.

Whenever I or any of my friends register a new Seller Account on Amazon, I advise them to register using their regular established card and local bank account, which they have been using for years, instead of getting brand new ones just for the purpose of opening the account.