The "Revised" DVD Approval Process


#1

I had previously made a thread sharing my experience with the DVD approval process. I will attempt to condense my experience and share what has unfolded since then. In 2014, I sold 20,000+ media items(83% DVD category) with 99% positive feedback and seller metrics well within specified ranges. When the DVD approval process began, I fit the qualifications and was approved to sell in the $25.00 MSRP DVD category. On December 26, I received a message stating that I was still approved for the $25.00 MSRP category must be only within the ASINs that my provided invoices covered. After receiving this message I was barred from posting in the entirety of the DVD category(including the DVD ASINs that my invoices covered), although all live DVD listings are still active.

Not having heard of any other sellers’ experiences with this problem thus far, I assumed this to simply be a glitch in the system where my entire DVD approval was wiped from my account records. Under this circumstance I decided to wait out the hold they had put on the DVD category approval and submit once it became available again. On January 13 the DVD approval process became available again. The form has been completely revised to contain sections such as, “How many units do you intend to sell?” This section offers varying ranges of 1-9, 10-29, 30-69, 70-100, and over 100. You also have to verify that the products you intend to sell come directly from distributors or liquidators and that your invoices meet their requirements. I sent updated invoices that fit the requirements of the form on January 13. On January 14, I received the following response:

"Greeting From Amazon Seller Support.

Thank you for your interest in selling on Amazon.com.

I have reviewed the invoices sent by you. I would like to inform you as per the revised policy of Amazon we are not accepting “******”(edited source name) invoices, you can request for approval again. So, I encourage you to please get back to us as quickly as you can with the requested documents we will gladly assist you regarding the same issue.

As per the revised policy we don’t accept online receipts, email invoices, or purchase order even from Amazon.com itself.

I’ll be happy to assist you further once we receive information regarding Invoices(DVD Listing).

Invoices should include following:

• Invoices dated within the last 180 days, or showing item delivery or purchase within the last 180 days
• Your name and Physical Address, Phone Number, Email Address, or Website or your company’s name
• The name and physical address, phone number of the company that provided your billing statements, vendor invoices or packing slips
• The names of the products you purchased

We will respond to you within 48 hours after you provide this information.

We want you to be successful seller on Amazon.com and we will always do our best to help you with your concerns.

Have a nice day!

Thank you for selling with Amazon,

V Laxmi S.
Amazon.com Seller Support”

Going through this process further solidifies my hunch that invoices will be required for each specific ASIN that a seller intends to sell, at least within the DVD category. The very small ranges in the “How many units do you intend to sell” section foreshadows such a requirement. Used DVD sellers wouldn’t be able to survive under these conditions. With 100s of thousands of DVDs left on hand and continuous inflow I am trying to decide my next course of action. A) Hold out on the inventory in hopes of Amazon back peddling on their decision B) Take the inventory to an unfortunately less booming marketplace

I don’t want to be the person who comes on the forums and threatens to sue Amazon, but I am curious if there are any options for legal recourse in this situation. Between September 30 and December 26 many business decisions revolved around the expectation of being able to sell within the DVD category, including $50,000+ in media-related purchases and 3 new full-time workers. I have had all of my communication efforts ignored by Amazon, beyond canned responses linking me to the DVD category approval page.

Edited by: Must Have Media on Jan 14, 2015 9:13 AM


#2

do you deal mainly in used DVDs? that might be who they are going after now…


#3

I don’t see much hope for the future if they are playing games with you … and write off reliable sources randomly!

Someone else mentioned 90 days for the reopened application process, not 180 days - that might depend on the stages of approval that sellers / you went through earlier since the middle of September.


#4

Then it sounds like it’s game over for used DVD sellers in that category, unless you can consistently get the same titles or somehow can justify the costs & headaches of getting approved for almost every ASIN of DVD with MSRP over $25.
I made a note to check up on the ASINs worth selling that I got sent back and their rank & availability is drying up fast. The buyers quickly started going over to Ebay & other competing sites for the titles. The titles actually worth some money that are gated often are no longer available from “approved” distributors, so it’s near impossible to get a legit invoice for them.
I highly doubt no one at Amazon upper management had an idea of these implications, whatever the real issue is it must be worth losing the sales and reputation with the buyers.
My advice is to either tighten up your buying criteria and/or start using other sales channels. I recently passed on buying some used Blue-Rays, told my buddy to just sell them at $3 per at his flea market.


#5

We deal predominantly in used media products.


#6

My initial approval message was worded as a blanket approval for the >$25.00 MSRP DVD category. The permissions that followed this approval acted as a blanket for the entirety of the category. The message I received on December 26, specified that I would be able to continue selling $25.00 MSRP category. After receiving that message I lost all posting permissions within the DVD category.


#7

I sell a lot of used media, so I have been monitoring this issue since the beginning and am glad I did not waste time and money trying to get together invoices from “approved” distributors.

I would like either Amazon or a very experienced seller to finalize EXACTLY what the situation is. From what I have gathered so far you need an invoice line item for EVERY ASIN that falls into in the $25.00+ MSRP DVD. Or is there a way to get a blanket approval for all $25.00+ MSRP DVDs?

As a side note, most of the $25.00+ MSRP DVDs are nearly worthless so this did not affect me much and just caused me to send select DVD media items to Ebay. Ironically this yielded better results for those select items, and I hate Ebay.
This definitely sucks for sellers like the OP, but it barely affected me.
I certainly do not see this being a winning situation for Amazon, it’s just lost sales sent over to competition while hurting its own established 3P sellers.

Edited by: AuctionHuntersTreasureChest on Jan 14, 2015 10:18 AM


closed #8