Exactly. We don’t have access to the data that Amazon wants us to utilize to make the decisions they’re asking us to make. This is a system error, in my opinion. The beauty of the Amazon marketplace is that it removes barriers to entry for anyone trying to sell anything ethical and safe. I want to be ethical and don’t want to price gouge, but I also am a small-time seller without many resources to go back to all of my 700+ items to make sure that the price doesn’t increase more than 10% during an emergency. Maybe I should freeze my prices during such an emergency, but I usually set my min and max prices much higher and lower than 10% because prices normally fluctuate more than that. We need Amazon’s help to be more efficient at identifying the problem products and putting a stop to it. Send me a list of all the stuff that seems to be higher than you would expect, and I’ll rapidly go through it and make all required changes. Amazon makes it possible for people without lots of resources to make this business model work. But we need help with tasks like this too and it’s a service that Amazon should provide. They regularly make products inactive due to high pricing errors. Why was this not implemented that way? Amazon tried to “help” prevent me from price gouging, but effectively shut my account down for an entire week during this crisis because my pricing software increased the price of Baby Brezza Cleaning Cloths from $6.99 to $16.99. I’m sorry, but the price range for that product was way more than that on average recently. It seems that because it had the word “Cleaning” in it, that it triggered some sort of hastily thrown together computer system trigger, and then Amazon didn’t have the resources to figure out how to get the unfairly triggered accounts turned back on, and so customers had to suffer without being able to buy items that were “Out of Stock” but were actually in stock sitting in Amazon warehouses. I had over 10k units sitting there unsellable for a week. I bet that didn’t help prices go down! It contributed to the price gouging. If anything, Amazon was complicit (although not purposely) in price gouging because all of the items that suddenly were taken off the market that I was selling and all of the other sellers that this happened to destabilized prices even more, and caused prices to rocket upward when the vacuum was created with thousands of items being removed from the Amazon marketplace. This is basic economics. Of course during an emergency you cannot price gouge, and any appearance of it whether intentional or not needs to be corrected. I wanted to do that, and knew I needed to, but it was spring break, and my kids were home, and then they stayed home, and they’re still home! I was BUSY! I am busy, and I need money! C’mon Amazon! I know that most repricing algorithms and bounds were designed without malicious intent, hoping only to stay competetive with multiple sellers with the intent of not wanting to spend a lot of time tracking prices, and without much regard to the max price because nobody ever expects an item with 30 sellers to run out and suddenly be the only seller and head to the max price. Of course prices are going to go up!!! Amazon violated the fundamental laws of economics. They removed vast amounts of supply, and then freaked out when the computer programs caused prices to rocket upwards, and then shut down more accounts. One or two bad apples ruined this for everyone. My account should not been shut down because of that. I’ve been a trusted seller on Amazon for over 10 years and that’s how you’re going to treat me? You better believe that I’m looking for other alternatives because this was an eye opening experience that Amazon has too much power and control over my life, and my eggs are in one basket, and I can’t allow Amazon to destroy me financially because they are incompetent or careless.
On top of that, after turning my account back on Amazon STILL took out over $4k for a loan that they offered me, leaving me with only $1k in income for that two week period, when I would normally expect to receive about $14k. with the way sales have been. That’s a huge difference. Not all of it was due to the account shutdown, I realize, but still… I sent Amazon Lending a request to defer the next loan payment, and they blew me off. Then they took out the loan payment, and then sent a mass email saying that as of March 26th through about a month, they wouldn’t take out Amazon Lending payments. Well, they took mine out on March 25th, leaving me with only $1000 to pay employees, bills, and keep revenue flowing. I immediately sent an email asking for specific accomadations, considering the circumstances, but haven’t received a response over a week later. Thanks for the $1000 Amazon, but it isn’t enough. I’d like to pay my employees, but I can’t. I wanted to provide a service to customers who could have had access to the items I sell, but they could not. The prices I had set would have stabilized the market, but you removed my products for over a week, which sent prices even higher. Also, I caught Amazon itself price gouging, but probably not on purpose. Look up the keepa history for “VicTsing 2.4G Wireless Vertical Mouse Ergonomic High Precision Optical Mouse”. I bought that mouse a long time ago on Amazon for $16.99. Look at what Amazon is selling it for right now! I just checked and it’s sold by Amazon for $750.44. I sold that very same mouse on Amazon two days ago for $16.99. The representative who had no authority in the Account Health team laughed along with me at that, and wanted to suspend Amazon’s selling priveleges, and make them write an action plan. In fact, I think Amazon should do just that.
I know I repeated a few things there, but this is enough and needs to stop.