Several Amazon sellers who sell textbooks just got the following email from seller support today.
Please read this email carefully. The listing information described below may affect your ability to sell certain products on Amazon.
As part of our ongoing efforts to provide the best possible customer experience, we are implementing selling qualifications for certain popular products in the Textbook category.
Please reply to this email within 3 weeks with the following:
— Copies of up to 3 invoices or receipts from your primary supplier(s) issued in the last 180 days for your popular Textbook products. These should reflect your sales volume during that time.
— Contact information for your supplier, including name, phone number, address, and website.
You can send .pdf, .jpg, .png, or .gif files. These documents must be authentic and unaltered. We may call your supplier(s) to verify the documents. You may remove pricing information, but the rest of the document must be visible. We will maintain the confidentiality of your supplier contact information.
If we do not hear from you within 3 weeks, or we are unable to confirm the information you provide, we will remove your listings.
To learn more about our policies, search for these topics in Seller Central Help:
— Prohibited Seller Activities and Actions
— Product Detail Page Rules
— Condition Guidelines
Seller Performance Team”
Thankfully this seems like it will be a limited restriction for “certain popular products” but the ambiguity in that statement doesn’t exactly inspire confidence either.
Several book sellers have also reported this morning that they are showing that they are NOT eligible for the buy box on a large amount of the used books that they have listed, I can’t help but feel like the two situations might be related.
Amazon is rolling out more and more restrictions on products, last week it was Nike, this week it’s books. The bottom line I’m seeing in all this is that sourcing inventory in a more “Amazon approved” method like wholesale or private label appear to be VERY wise choices to make moving forward. Arbitrage is far from dead, but it seems that there are going to be more and more roadblocks like this as time goes on. Adapt, improvise and overcome – or be left behind!
UPDATE: It appears that some sellers got a similar message last week and were able to get the restriction lifted simply by opening a ticket with Seller Support. If you have similar success please post a comment to let us know!
Go Ship Some Stuff!