Product safety concerns regarding items on Amazon are at the forefront of Amazon’s and their customer’s minds right now. A Wall Street Journal investigation found more than 4,000 “unsafe” items for sale on the Amazon platform! This has once again put the spotlight on third-party sellers since Amazon punted responsibility to the merchants that generate more than half of the sales of product on the platform.
Even though Amazon places responsibility on the seller, a federal appeals court has recently ruled that Amazon can be held liable for products sold on the marketplace. Because of the heightened attention to product safety and compliance, enforcement teams at Amazon are going to be sensitive to safety complaints. We’re already starting to see the crackdown.
Now, more than ever, it’s important to build trust in your seller account and your products
One way of doing that is to address product safety in your Amazon product detail page. Amazon’s product detail page rules state that “all products listed on Amazon must meet North America product safety standards.” But the two problems with that are 1) sellers don’t necessarily know what the product safety standards are and 2) there are plenty of sellers who just don’t follow that rule. Plus, there are buyers who might complain to Amazon about the safety of your item, even if it is totally safe. Perhaps they didn’t follow the product instructions, or the product did not meet the customer’s expectations in one way or another.
To make the situation even more complicated, “bad actors” might submit false safety claims that can wreak havoc on a seller’s listing. It’s vitally important, as I said in my statement to Forbes, that you have all paperwork related to safety and compliance ready to submit to Amazon. That way, if you get a complaint, you can submit the appropriate documentation to get your listing/account reinstated.
First, however, you have to know for sure that your product is safe.
What questions should you be asking yourself about each of your ASINS?
- Where did you get this product? Do you trust the supplier or manufacturer? Are you the manufacturer?
- Have you properly tested the product, and do you have documentation of safety and compliance testing?
- Does the product have an expiration date? If so, are you well within the range of safety?
- Are appropriate warning labels affixed to your products?
- Are your products in perfect condition and shipped to maintain that condition? Are you packaging your items in a way they are protected from damage that can occur in shipping?
- Does your listing appropriately describe your item and list all pertinent safety information?
If the answer to all these questions is a resounding yes, it’s in your best interest to tackle that last bullet point and make sure product safety information is included in your Amazon product detail page.
Communicating Product Safety Information On Your Amazon Product Detail Page
There are a few ways to communicate relevant product safety information on your Amazon product detail page. You can certainly work safety information into the actual product description, provided that you do it in a way that makes sense for the product. It may be better to do that than include information in a bullet – not all buyers read the bullet points for that type of information. We talked to Emma Schermer Tamir, wordsmith and listing copy expert at Marketing By Emma, and she said that in addition to putting any safety information in the disclaimer area of your product listing, it’s also important to publicly (when possible) address any questions or concerns in the Q&A section and in the product reviews. If you sell a product that requires safety goggles, is a choking hazard or should be used outside, make sure you make that clear.
Make your language clear and concise, and include any information a potential buyer might need to know about your product, including the fact that it’s been tested and passed safety inspections. Warning labels need to be affixed to your product, and you may want to include a photo of the warning label in your product photos.
What Happens If I Get A Safety Warning?
Amazon will always ask for a root cause for the safety complaint, as outlined in this article. Your Plan of Action must communicate to Amazon what you have done to make sure that the situation will never occur again. It will take documentation, understanding of the complaint, and a well-crafted POA to get a listing or an account reinstated.
Review your inventory and make sure that all your products meet North America safety standards, Amazon’s safety standards and condition guidelines, and that you have that you have the documentation to prove it. And, make sure that the product detail page tells all potential buyers what they need to know to have the correct expectations when ordering from you!