Why does Amazon hate its sellers?


We too sell textbooks with product codes. We also sell software and have the same issue. Buyers who simply do not like the software return it as ‘Defective’ since that is the only reason allowed for open software returns.

However, we do not lose anything. We refund the buyer in full, and then have our supplier/manufacturer/publisher supply a free replacement or account credit and they deactivate the code (mark it as stolen) to ensure no one can use it.

Sounds like you do not have these type of relationships with your suppliers. If so, then yes, selling items like this can be difficult when having to follow Amazon’s return policies.


You have rights, but when you do not adhere to policy nor follow the rules, you cannot complain about Amazon not treating sellers fairly.

A seller, regardless of being on ‘vacation’ or not, are required to respond to messages within 24 hours. When a claim is filed, a seller has 3 days to provide a response to it. Failure to respond to a claim, even if Amazon agreed with you, they are forced to follow policy and find for the buyer.

If I purchased from a seller and was told that my return would be processed when they come back from Africa, I would not be happy either. I am not going to comment on the fact of selling ‘Access Codes’ because your post does not provide enough information to know whether you are or not allowed to sell it since Amazon does have strict requirements about selling such items.

Also, the statement “listing states that I can’t accept returns on access codes” is a violation since you cannot set your own return conditions. When you agreed to sell on Amazon, you agreed to meet or exceed Amazon’s return policies. Simply ignoring that fact and violating policy by stating a return policy on listings that violate Amazon’s policy is not acceptable.

I agree that Amazon can act unfair at times, but I have little sympathy when a seller that does not follow the rules complains about it.

If you cannot be available once a day to check your account and respond to messages on a consistent basis. If you are not going to follow listing policy and adhere to Amazon’s required return policies, then Amazon is not a good platform for you to sell on.


No, unfortunately, I buy from students at the end of each semester and resell on Amazon. I did think about getting someone to handle things for me while I was gone, but I couldn’t think of anyone who could do that. I actually waited for the customer to respond to me so that I could work out a plan, but she never did answer me. She claimed that I had not responded to her in over 4 days, when I actually responded on the same day. She was the one who didn’t respond to me. I did reply to my messages, but they weren’t all in less than 24 hours. And I’m not saying that Amazon didn’t send me a message. I am saying that i looked back through all the messages that I received from Amazon, and the only one that I got was the one telling me that they had granted her A-Z refund. I did NOTHING wrong, but my account is now at risk. And she doesn’t even have to return the $100 access code. She gets to keep it.

Edited by: cjg662 on Jul 21, 2017 6:16 AM


Regarding the A-Z claim that I am referring to: I DID respond to her immediately. SHE didn’t respond to me. She filed the claim and I never received any messages from Amazon until it was all over with. There were a couple of messages that came in while I was gone, but those have nothing to do with this. So if I am obligated to accept all returns, that makes it very risky for me, since I can lose hundreds of dollars on textbooks and access codes. And yes, the codes are allowed.


Let me give another example. I sold a brand new textbook with access code. The customer removed the access code, damaged the book and then returned it and demanded a full refund. The book had to be thrown away because it was not in sellable condition. If I had not issued a refund, they could have filed an A-Z claim.


Amazon does not hate its third party sellers. However, we are highly dispensable.
As a result, they know that if you leaving the platform there are probably several other new sellers that will take your place.

Buyers on the other hand are not. There are many corporations devising strategies to knock Amazon out as its competition. Consumer loyalty becomes very valuable as a result.

When there are other 3rd party selling avenue’s that are as competitive as Amazon and begin to lure sellers away with more benefits, lower risks and more profitability, you will notice a change in Amazon treatment of third party sellers.

You should have had a back up plan to handle customer service while you were away.
Being in vacation mode prevents new orders from coming in but you are still expected to provide customer service.

Since you were unable to do so, Amazon took care of it for you.


Amazon manages on a MACRO scale, and smaller sellers live in a MICRO scale.

While most people realize Amazon doesn’t care about a particular seller, a particular item, a particular transaction, or a particular problem…

What Amazon does have is a system to scale sellers, items, transactions, and eliminate problems.

We might disagree with the way they eliminate problems, but they do it from a MACRO standpoint and not a MICRO standpoint.


This sounds like you did not answer the A to Z.
When that happens…you lose.
Also, many buyers never see the notes that you email them.


Basically, Amazon doesn’t hate us. It’s just that our happiness is not important to them. It’s far more important that customers remain happy, because +they+ have choices. We, realistically, don’t have anywhere else to go. If/when another marketplace rises up that rivals Amazon’s market share, they’ll become vastly more interested in keeping us happy in order to keep us here. Because … capitalism.


She told me that she changed her mind. She told Amazon that she no longer needed it. I was planning to authorize a return, but I wanted to make sure she understood that I wouldn’t be able to do it right away. She didn’t answer my message. A lot of times, people send me return requests, but they change their minds after talking to me. Is there something fishy about that? I am not a big business, so I don’t handle thousands of orders, nor do I have employees to handle my orders for me. I am most certainly honest and fair. Sometimes I may not understand all the policies, as in this case. I’m learning. It doesn’t mean I’m dishonest.


I’m having a hard time understanding…the customer requested a return. You messaged them to let them know that you would honor the return in good faith, but that they would have to wait? You haven’t stated the reason for return but I’m guessing it was discretionary? Why would you have enough time to send them a message but not enough time to click a few buttons to authorize a return? And if it was NOT discretionary…then you would have zero reason to even consider not honoring the return. And again, you said you had to leave for Africa the following day…you had no time in between there to send them a prepaid label? Something isn’t adding up.


In the future, process the return immediately. Period. That’s the only way to do it.

Doing things immediately trumps “honest and fair”. People don’t like to wait. People refuse to wait. That’s the environment we’re selling in.


Amazon does not hate its sellers but it does not design its site to accommodate sellers with your business model.

It has designed this site for itself, and it can do what MAV-DAK does with unsaleable returns. And it has the volume for very liberal customer service policies.

This is the fundamental reason that sellers feel they are hated.

It is not that you have to be a big seller to fit in, it is that you have to behave as if you were a big seller.


MAV-DAK The real question is does Amazon want the small to medium sellers anymore? The manner in which it is treating sellers NOW is pitiful. There is NO alibi that will suffice for their actions. If you do not understand what I am stating and the reasons for it, then you are completely out of touch with what Amazon is doing to its sellers.


I have to disagree. They don’t hate us, they do not dislike us, they do not treat us unfairly. Since I have started selling on Amazon in 1997 I have not had a single issue with Amazon. I credit that partially to knowing and adhering strictly to all of the rules for selling on Amazon and reading any changes to policy and analyzing how they will affect my business going forward. I then make any changes to my processes required to ensure I am in complete compliance.


So you’ve never had anyone keep a textbook and then want to return it after the semester is over? You’ve never had a customer go through and add highlighting and writing on every page and then try to return it for a full refund? You’re pretty lucky.


Actually amazon treats sellers as its employees .Amazon wants all do their best as they can
some employees considers really the stressful place, with long hours and longest project especially in Amazon’s Fullfillment centers, some employees feel OK and has no complaint
The same for amazon sellers - someone may feel stressed somebody may not with new amazon’s policy imposed
In general , all must bring profit to amazon as much as possible
That’s why amazon stock continues going up and up


I don’t see how these examples you provided were orchestrated by Amazon. Good customer service could have defused either situation in your favor, with the buyers saying “Thank You”.

Those of who do get get unusual requests blame the person making it, not the third-party who let us sell to them.


Buyers have 30 days from date of delivery to return an item. They 90 days to file an A2Z. I f they wait until after the 30 days and it is a discretionary return, deny it. You will win that A2Z. It’s not super hard on here. It’s not as easy other platforms, but it’s not the worst.


Decisively and patently untrue. I have only lost claims for Item Not Received, because I do not buy shipping from Amazon. If you are regularly losing claims, you are at least partially at fault (thinking Amazon is the problem and blaming buyers for all the problems is a start for things you can fix).

One forum poster has a made a career of disproving that notion. Bunga Bunga should be well known to anyone who truly believes that claims are 100% in the buyer’s favor. My belief that claims +can+ be arbitrarily decided might disagree with their belief that they +are never+ arbitrarily decided, but I will be the first to admit their knowledge in this area is invaluable.