Amazon’s Terms of Service for Sellers: Paragraph 2: Service Fee Payments
TOS Explained: the 2nd paragraph in the new business solutions agreement -which most sellers don’t realize is their contract with AMZ.
Service Fee Payments: Receipt of Sales Proceeds.
When it comes to the 2nd paragraph in the new business solutions agreement, what is ‘velocity limits’ and what is your concern with this new contract? The second paragraph of the BSA basically allows Amazon to hold your money for any reason at all (without explanation). Now, this has always been the case. Some of the reasons that Amazon will require you to verify your information are if you’re successful too quickly, like if you didn’t have many sales and then you suddenly got an influx of sales.
Sellers who do well quickly will raise alarms for Amazon
It’s absurd that Amazon is strengthening the business solutions agreement strikes in the contract. It doesn’t take into account Amazon advertising. It doesn’t take into account things that you’re specifically allowed to do. It just gives Amazon the ability to ding you. If you launch a promotion, suddenly they’ll suspect that you’re gaming the system in some way.
These have been big issues for plans of action when we win an appeal. Sometimes you have to go to escalations, but we win these things.. I think what sellers need to know is that the new BSA is leading the door even more open for Amazon to come down on you simply for being successful.
Other ways Amazon shuts sellers down without having to explain why.
One thing we see commonly is a violation of seller code of conduct, which basically means that the seller is somehow gaming the system just like with velocity, but they give no explanation why and they don’t even give an option to appeal.
What I like about the changes in this paragraph is that it creates, I think, more ambiguity and therefore, it gives us a lot more creative ways of crafting winning arguments to get sellers reinstated.
Amazon and your credit card, bank account & all the things AMZ is asking for in terms of identification.
They basically require a certain amount of information. They require you to demonstrate that it’s valid at any point in time. As long as you’re authorized to use that information and it matches, you have documentation to prove it, it shouldn’t be a problem.
We commonly see sellers who are authorized to use another brand name / company’s name and operate as that company on Amazon because they’re an authorized representative. Maintaining multiple accounts and things like that. You’ve got to really be able to prove that you’re authorized.
This might be really good for people who are operating related accounts / multiple accounts. Later on in the BSA, it says you can only have one account. I think that if you get caught with related accounts, you can argue what’s in paragraph two of the business solutions agreement. And again, many people, companies, consultants, and sellers don’t even know what this document is. This is the backbone of every plan of action in every appeal. So if a seller gets caught having more than one account, I think some persuasive arguments could be made that they’re following the new business solutions agreement. Paragraph two specifically says that you can operate accounts that you’ve been authorized to by other people and entities.
Amazon is reserving the right to get updated credit reports.
So in other businesses like banking and finance, if you’re a broker and your credit tanked because of a divorce or a death in the family, you know, your job is at risk. I’m a little concerned that Amazon may do this to sellers as a weeding out process.
We see a lot of new sellers who try to sell on Amazon and they just shut them. They just say no and they don’t say why. Amazon will say that they want more utility bills and stuff. After reviewing the new BSA in paragraph two, maybe it’s because your credit just took a nose dive after a life event. In this paragraph, Amazon has reinforced again, it’s sole discretion, to take action. When Amazon keeps so much power to itself, it’s better at the arbitration level because we can say that the contract is unfair / unenforceable because Amazon reserves the right to hold money.
Paragraph two now says that the breach has to be substantial or material – how can we use that in a plan of action?
We have to argue that the seller has followed the policies specifically to the seller code of conduct and the policies that they’re accused of violating. You can demonstrate that your history is good, or that you haven’t been manipulating the sales rank or the system at all. They should have to give some proof that you’ve made a material violation.
Also, in a great persuasive plan of action, you can argue that if there was some violation, such as the picture was slightly off, not exactly a white background, the keywords were slightly off, a misspelling, or the listing wasn’t perfect, you can argue, “Hey Amazon, look at paragraph two of the new BSA. If there was any issue, it was not material, and it was not substantial. I think that’s what makes the difference in us writing the plan of action versus somebody else writing a plan of action – we can legally identify what is material, what is substantial, and what is not.
Use paragraph two of the new BSA to help sellers get reinstated.
You cannot write a great plan of action these days unless you can read Amazon’s contract. It’s certainly not the most complex contract in the world, but it helps having lawyers on board to explain.
Screenshots of Amazon’s own language in the plan of action. Here is your language, here are how we comply, here’s your language, here’s why the issue was insignificant. I think that this particular paragraph is just absolutely great for sellers because it gives you so many arguments to make that if you did have a problem, it was insignificant, not substantial, and not material.
Keep on watching these videos. You need to know what your contract with Amazon says. If anyone is creating a plan of action for you and they cannot read and interpret a contract, do not use them. If you need any more assistance or have a question about service fee payments, contact us.
If you’ve been suspended on Amazon or have questions about the new TOS, call us today for a free consultation: 1-877-9-SELLER.
Make sure you watch all of our videos regarding the loopholes Amazon created in the new TOS.