Prime Day is here! This means three things to Amazon sellers, and it means one main thing to me writing here; I need to keep this short since you’re focused on keeping the ship steady while you sell multiples of what you normally sell on a Monday or Tuesday.
Prime Day is great for a lot of reasons. You’ll have more buyers looking at your listings and looking for deals, so sales go up and it’s not even Christmas! Nothing wrong with that. Prime Day is something of a national shopping holiday, right? At least Amazon says it is, and buyers typically follow along whenever they have a shot at chances to shop and save.
You know you had to get your house in order ahead of Prime Day to make sure that you don’t have any listing violations or unresolved item quality complaints. What last minute tips can we offer? I’ll focus on three main points for sellers to keep an eye on during Prime Day.
1. Don’t add seller-specific information to your listings.
I know everyone is always looking for that edge, no more so than on Prime Day. But here’s a tip that you can use to correct any errant listings and keep performance notifications away that could completely ruin your day! If you try to make your product detail page exclusive to you and keep out any potential competition with unique details, you’ll end up paying for it on the policy enforcement side.
Someone’s selling a counterfeit version of your product? Of course, follow proper procedure and make a test buy before you submit claims to Notice teams. Brand Registry will help as well, even if they’re backed up these days. You’ll need to escalate it in all likelihood to get them to act, but they will when it’s properly executed.
2– Prime Day means you can expect an increase in anti-competitive behavior.
What kinds of competition attack a listing, or tries to ruin you with sabotage?
Whenever there’s more cash on the line, consider that many sellers and black hat services will come after successful products even more than usual. Identify the strategies likely to be used now, not after they happen, and be ready for them! Don’t just sit and pray they won’t attack. If you prepare, you’ll be ready to counter any safety or counterfeit complaint that comes your way.
We know that they know how to get listings pulled overnight. Fake negative reviews indicate health hazards, injuries, difficult to use or cheap or fake products that resulted in a terrible buyer experience. The next step is an automated script that runs on the Amazon side to capture all of these ugly words and create an investigation for policy teams to comb through. How do they get away with all of this? They understand that Amazon’s investigation teams react to automated flags or keywords by taking a quick run through buyer comments and past problems on that particular ASIN (which could easily have originated from the same abusive seller), then suspending the listing immediately. Lots of sellers and black hat services know you’ll eventually get the listing back but they need to keep you down for Prime Day to score more sales of their own competitor products.
Don’t let them win! Follow these tips and prepare BEFORE anything ugly happens.
Have your documentation in order
Make sure you have all safety or testing documentation ready, depending on what kinds of products you sell. Don’t scramble to put together information about your supplier or manufacturer and if possible, have a letter all set to describe your relationship with that company. How long have you done business with them, and what do they supply to you? Have the letter signed by the owner or someone other than a low-level employee. Make sure they have a website and look like an established business or manufacturer.
Have Plan of Action-style language ready to go to cover for any surprise item condition or item quality complaints.
Be ready to explain the “root causes” that you’d expect to receive in a fake attack, which could mean anything around unsafe items (personal injury, health problems, problems from misusing a poorly described product, for example) or fake counterfeit claims, even if you’re the manufacturer of your own products.
The way Amazon Product quality and Notice teams behave these days, any Private Label seller of their own branded products needs to be ready to defend the legitimacy of their own products. Automated scripts work this way, for some reason. They’re unable to differentiate between resellers of other brands and sellers of their own brands. So be ready for that “buzzword” style attack and have appeals ready to go.
Understand how to escalate stuck appeals quickly.
This is something I’m covering in depth at our Seller Velocity Conference in Seattle July 24th, but for the purposes of Prime Day let’s make things simple. Don’t keep calling Seller Support or emailing Seller Performance to complain, knowing full well it’ll take days or even weeks to get a responsible, meaningful answer.
At the first sign of a generic, canned and unreliable response, or worse when there’s no reply at all after a handful of hours, you’ll need to push past the teams that took action against your ASIN. You can’t rely on teams that don’t necessarily read nor properly review appeals during normal times when Prime Day squeezes out their attention even more. Take it higher and get another team, above the team that took the action, looking at your appeals faster. If that means writing to Jeff and Executive Seller Relations, then so be it. Push other escalation paths within policy teams as well, and don’t rely on one exclusive method. Push Brand Registry, too.
What Are Sellers doing to rectify Catalog abuse and Listing Sabotage?
Speaking of Brand Registry, Amazon sold the concept of this brand protection team to private label sellers to give them the confidence they needed to launch new products. Instead of offering more protection and helping sellers avoid the nuisance (or worse) of listing attacks, brands keep contacting us to say they’ve lost all control of their listings. Another seller, another catalog abuser, or an extremely well-connected Black Hat service sabotages them by deleting their images, bulleted content on the product detail page or they simply see their listings erased into Dog Pages.
In nearly every instance, people waste time going to Seller Support or general email queues for relief, but many get “stall” replies that put them off while things are reviewed. Brand Registry has taken to sending these out during peak periods as well. Where does it all end? If you can’t get immediate action that removes improper ASIN contributions stemming from sabotage, go straight to the escalation queues with immediate demands. Escalate via BR, and escalate via policy teams, too. Not sure where to send each new escalation? Take it to Jeff, and Executive Seller Relations, laying out a timeline of all the places you’ve been with good info and no relief. Force them to act when others won’t.
Have you confirmed from current or past experience who your attacker is? Gather up all that intel and get ready to report them while you appeal for reinstatement. Listing sabotage is well-known by Amazon internal teams now, and the solutions do not present themselves readily to most. If anything, they’ll transfer your contacts all over the place trying to send you off into another team’s queues. Even if abuse teams or catalog teams are the right ones to resolve your issue, they may punt you away yet again or form an excuse not to act. This is how the majority of these cases are handled now. Don’t let them get away with avoiding you. Email asking for management-level Amazonians to conduct an actual review so that you don’t waste Prime Day simply trying to be heard. By escalating to abuse teams, brand registry, Jeff and other policy managers all at once, you’re increasing the chance that Amazon takes real action to help you.