Help, Promotion Gone Wrong


All input (helpful) welcomed.
I have set up promotions before when I have a new item and put a code on it and share only with friends to help get a review. It has worked in the past. This week I set up another one for a couple of new items and did the code again, but something went wrong. I clicked on something that allowed it to be seen and bought.
Over night, over 40 items were bought at the huge discount and now it’s costing me A LOT of money in product and shipping. These are my thoughts:

  1. Contact the customer and let them know of the error and cancel the order. I assume this choice puts me at risk for bad feedback.
  2. Chalk it up as a big business error, suck it up and ship the products. Write it off as advertising dollars.
  3. Suck it up, ship it, write it off and then contact the customers and ask/beg for product feedback to help drive traffic.
    What would you do and is there an Amazon policy on this? I didn’t see one.
    Thank you!


Send the items and hope that karma kicks in …
Any other action will have this linger - and why would you want that?


This is the third recent thread on this sort of thing:

I’m starting to wonder why it is so easy for people to make this mistake.

bunga bunga!


Thank you so much for your guidance. I plan on shipping and also contact customers for feedback. I know Amazon sends emails, but I want the personal touch. Plus sometimes the emails Amazon sends are weeks later.


If you use this option there is no need to contact the customer.
You just use the reason of “Pricing Error”
Ask yourself if your account can handle this many cancellations without affecting your ODR and possible causing an account suspension.
> 2) Chalk it up as a big business error, suck it up and ship the products. Write it off as advertising dollars.
This is probably the best solution unless you have enough sales to cover the large number of cancellations in your ODR.
> 3) Suck it up, ship it, write it off and then contact the customers and ask/beg for product feedback to help drive traffic.
You could place a note in the package asking for a product review but Amazon will already send an email asking for this very thing anyway.
> What would you do and is there an Amazon policy on this? I didn’t see one.
The policy is less than 2.5% pre-shipment cancellations.
Anything over this number puts your account at risk for suspension.
> Thank you!


It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Why not cancel as many of them as your metrics will allow and then ship the rest. You will reduce your loss and increase your chance that the reviews you generate can offset the loss with increased sales. Cancel the ones that cost the most to ship.

Those I cancelled I would write a brief message of apology and explaining that there was a pricing error and give them an a one time discount in compensation if they want to repurchase.


I guess that if it were me I would send 1 polite message with a link to the review page of the item and also place a note in the package explaining the mistake and asking for a review of the item.
Do not send more than 1 email because Amazon may start to consider that as harassment of the customers.
I know that Amazon does allow at least 1 message but I have seen threads here about warnings from Amazon for sending to many messages to customers.


Amazon does not have your best interests at heart when they send those emails urging you to do promotions.


Choice THREE sounds about right.

Good thinking, at least you came here to ask first.

Many other sellers did not, only after they made the wrong decision and it was too late.


There were many more than three threads. For FBA items, sellers cannot even cancel easily or at all.

Either the promotion code shows up on the catalog page, or the nice potential reviewers email it around or post it on a web site as it is not properly set up as single use.

Try to type in a Disney code a second time. It is simply acknowledged as already used up.


I assume you have already remedied the promotion issue to prevent further sales on it? If not, that is the first thing I would do - disable the promotion.

Personally, I would go with Option 2. Ship the orders as promised. Cancelling 40 orders, unless you have 1,600 other orders in the past 7, 30 and 90 days, you will go over the 2.5% allowed in the ‘Pre-fulfillment Cancel Rate’ metric. The suspension should be brief if your appeal is worded well since they all are related to a promotion code error. However, I would not want to chance it and just ship.

Also, every one of those you cancel can result in negative feedback which will effect your ODR (Order Defect Rate) which you need to remain below 1%. Some of the buyers may be driven to leave bad feedback should you choose to cancel.

Since the error is on your side, there is no protections provided by Amazon. Amazon will expect the orders to ship as promised.

Keep in mind that if you do decide to ship, you will likely get a higher rate of positive feedback because of the great deal they got. This would justify the advertising write-off you mentioned.



From friends?

and I the o it one who see the op as getting what he deserved?


I don’t know if you already figured out your mistake, but I did the same thing with my first promotion last year. I created a $1 promotion for a friend as gift for her son on a $65 product. I made 2 mistakes in step 3 (Additional Options): I forgot to check off “One redemption per customer” and I didn’t uncheck “Detail page display text”. This caused my promotion to be visible on my listing for every customer to see.
I made 12 sales in 24 hrs and 2 customers ordered 5 items at the time :-(. Since it was FBA I could not see the orders until after they shipped when it was too late to cancel.
I actually believe that the display page should not be prechecked since we can check that off if choose, but I would prefer to have “one per customer” checked off as most sellers would probably prefer that.
Either way those 2 settings are hidden and you need to click on “claim code” and “customize messaging” to see them.
Good luck to you!


I agree with Frank
The way this is used by most sellers this is an unethical practice.

If using Amazon Vine reviewers then it is OK and I for one think that Amazon should post a list of accepted reviewers for sellers to use and if they use any other than someone on that list then the review should be removed.


suck it up and ship the products ,
you can earn it back .


I totally agree. The comment about “begging” for feedback was more a laughing joke on my end. I would never beg. It’s my error and I learned. Thanks so much for your guidance and feedback :slight_smile:


I really haven’t figured out my mistake on this one. At 5:30 am this morning when I woke to all the sales I thought WOW, my sponsor ads made a huge difference this morning.
Nope…lol. The promotions tool still confuses me quite a bit and now a little gun shy. I’m going to do a lot more education and research on this one so I can use it more effectively and without error.
Thanks for your guidance and input. :slight_smile:


This is really good specific information…I will definitely research thoroughly before using this feature, and I appreciate how you mentioned exactly what to do. I try to frequent the forums as much as possible to learn more about what everyone runs into.

Thank you!


Yes, I was going to do both a nice note and one email. I totally agree.
Thank you


Thank you for input. It is common practice and even helpful to offer products at a discount in exchange for an honest feedback. It’s when you try to cheat the system do you get burned. My friends pay for the item (and some people I don’t even know). I then ask them to make sure they post it in their feedback that they got it at a discount. Amazon even has professional product reviewers they allow to access the sellers to help them as well. In life we always get what we deserve, even in positive ways. In this case. I plan to turn lemons into lemonade and am truly grateful for helpful sellers coming onto this thread as support and guidance. We are here to be of support, not be nasty. Thanks.