I created an account with Amazon some years back to make purchases here and there, nothing too dramatic. A few years ago, I started getting into buying and selling rare antiques because my aunt owns a shop and I wanted to increase her yearly revenue.
She agreed to pay me a percentage of the sales for my work so I started categorizing and listing items from her store on Amazon.com. She has a substantial collection that she has grown over many years and I would list items here and there. After a little time, things were going very well and we started to make substantial money. In fact, the business grew to be so profitable that I resigned from my full time job and began selling items on Amazon.com as my only source of income.
I guess it was too good to be true. I know that when things go extremely well, there are bound to be bumps in the road. Since I am a worry wart, I always had a little voice in the back of my mind saying things like “what would happen if Amazon suspended your account.
Maybe it was a self-fulfilling prophecy because, wouldn’t you know it, Amazon suspended my account. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me go back and explain why I lost the privilege of using Amazon to sell my products.
My newfound fortune online was working so well because I was able to find an automated program that helped me get items listed online at a very decent rate. I was listing about 120 items a day. It was a wonderful find because it freed up a lot of my time to ensure that I took care in wrapping and shipping the items I was selling. I didn’t want to get bad ratings due to poor packaging. I didn’t want to take the chance that a piece would be broken in transit. After all, these are antiques I was handling so they are hard, if not impossible, to replace if they are damaged or broken. And in the world of Amazon, your seller rating is your best asset because when you work online your reputation means everything.
To my utter dismay, my account was flagged and then Amazon banned me citing suspicious activity as the reason. Once your account is locked there isn’t much you can do but damage control. First, all off the loyal antique lovers that I had been dealing with in the past months refused to even respond to me because they assumed that since I had been suspended from Amazon that I had to be working an illegal angle. And since Amazon is an extremely trusted brand and the only source of information my buyers had access to, my customer pull went from a few hundred to zero in very little time.
To top it all off, after Amazon suspension my account I was charged all the listing fees from the auctions that Amazon ended, per the Terms of Service agreement.
Of course this is the document that you electronically agree to when you create a seller’s account on Amazon.
Basically, you have to agree to the Terms of Service or else you cannot sell on Amazon. It makes sense but it was a real kick in the pants. Here I was, jobless. And now I had no way to regain a positive reputation online since Amazon suspended my account. I should have listened to that little voice in the back of my head and done some more research regarding that automated listing program that I used.
So, of course, in desperation I tried to appeal to Amazon via email, tried to pick up the pieces of my broken dream of earning a great income online, working for myself (or, for my aunt), and making my own hours. But it was not to be had. I wrote a very long letter explaining the circumstances. I begged and I pleaded and I made my case. But it wasn’t convincing enough because they just returned a canned response explaining that Amazon suspended me due to suspicious activity. Tell me something I don’t know!
Needless to say, I literally lost everything. It has been a downward spiral since my account on Amazon was suspended. I tried to get my old job back, but the position has been filled. I tried to start a website to sell the items online myself, but it takes money to promote that kind of site. Please heed this warning – if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.