Amazon Sellers News 11/15/19 with CJ Rosenbaum: Business Verification, IP Complaints for Drop Shippers & Related Accounts
Related Amazon Accounts
We’ve been talking about this all week and they continue to skyrocket. Sellers are getting caught with related accounts. Stop using shared WiFi. Don’t log in when you are on business trips unless you have your own hot spot. Protect your account like crazy now that we’re in Q4 because Amazon has certainly done something to try and catch more sellers with related accounts and you have to be careful. If you are a larger business or you have partners working from different physical locations, make sure the account is up and running first. Don’t create the account from different entities or different places geographically. Amazon seems to be able to identify where the different steps of being taken. Make sure all the addresses match. If you have a partner in New York and a partner in California, pick one location for your account so that you will not get accused of having related accounts. Also, when it comes to related accounts, you must vet your staff. You need to make sure your staff hasn’t had their own account, and if they have had their own account, new phones, new computers, new hot spots, new WiFi, everything’s got to be brand new so that your employees don’t trigger a related account suspension.
Seller vs. Seller IP Complaints against Drop Shippers
Drop shippers seem to be making complaints against other drop shippers and they’re making false allegations of counterfeit sales. Every single seller out there, if you never delivered a counterfeit product, you have leverage against whoever made that complaint. I don’t care if it’s another seller, I don’t care if it’s a brand. If you have been falsely accused of delivering a counterfeit product, that person has committed you of a federal crime that could put you in prison and that gives you leverage. You have defamation per se in your back pocket to negotiate for a retraction of that complaint. And if you’re a larger seller who’s gone down because of a false counterfeit complaint, you really should consider making a claim against whoever made that baseless complaint.
Now, business verifications are a significant topic these days because, under the new TOS, Amazon will continually ask experienced sellers for documentation, so have your lease ready, have utility bills ready, have documentation and bank records ready. Don’t Photoshop and change anything at all, Amazon has the ability to identify Photoshop changes. I don’t know how they do it, but they do. So don’t change anything. Submit the full documents when you get a business verification request. And also, business verification requests need to have a short, concise plan of action to accompany the documents that Amazon is asking you for.
Suspected IP complaints being Enforced by Amazon
These are IP issues that Amazon is claiming it may be or might be inauthentic, suspected IP violations. Be prepared to provide Amazon with proof that your products are 100% genuine, that you can trace your distributor all the way back to the manufacturer, you can document your sourcing, you can do test buys on yourself, you can compare your products to the products in brick and mortar stores. This is Amazon going after sellers more, and more, and more, so be prepared to justify and to show that your products are 100% genuine. And also be on the lookout for Amazon vendors hijacking your listings to create the impression that your products are not genuine.