Amazon Seller Nightmare
I was on top of my yoga mat at 3:30pm on a Saturday. I had just finished my warrior 3 pose going into a downward dog almost ready to finish my yoga session. It had been a stressful week but it would all improve after I finish my last pose.
As I was rolling up my mat started to tear. Not a slight rip either. It completely tore in half. Not a great start to my Saturday. So in my search for a new mat I checked the usual websites and found Amazon to be the best bet. The way I see it, a lot of people start a fitness regimen only to give up on it too quickly. This leads to them dumping their exercise equipment like yesterday’s trash. And that means a great bargain out there for me.
I didn’t find many bargains during my search on Amazon however. The majority of quality mats are going for sale at $14.99 to $29.99. This seemed high for me as I would still need to pay for some shipping on top of that. My search then continued down the rabbit hole until I found a Chinese supplier named Shanghai Pisces Sporting and Leisure.
They manufacture yoga mats that would sell for $1 if I was able to buy 500 units. Well, I definitely wanted a yoga mat for only $1. And if Amazon has yoga mats selling on average for $20, then there is clearly a profit opportunity here. I was able to locate the manufacturer off of the website AliBaba.
So just to start I invested $500 in the minimum order of 500 units. I received them in 28 days with a shipping charge of $49.99 to freight them over into the country. So far I’m in the hole for $550.00. I decided to list the yoga mats on Amazon for $15.99 with free shipping. With an average shipping cost around $6, I would average a profit of $9 per unit sold. It only took me 2 months to sell the entire lot on Amazon netting me a profit over $4000. But I couldn’t imagine why no one else was doing this. All I was doing was being a middle man. I purchased a product from one territory and sold it in another. It seemed too easy. So I decided to do it again. Only this time I made an order for 1000 yoga mats. Since the prior 500 orders netted me a lot of positive feedback I had a lot of credibility. I was a top seller on Amazon and out of all the names that you saw when you searched for “yoga mat”, mine was at the top of the list. It only took me a few short months to make over $12,000 on Amazon. I knew that I was onto something.
As I woke up one morning I was going through my email. Many of my buyers had questions. I answered the usual feedback of people pleased with my product. A couple of them claimed that they never received the yoga mat. There were even a few instances where people asked me to upload more exercise products and yoga accessories. But as I started to research other products that I could import and sell here in the states I received an email from Amazon administration. My account was being suspended. As I continued to read through the fine print it said a word that I didn’t want to believe that I was seeing. I was suspended from Amazon indefinitely. My account was no longer valid and all the open listings that I had ceased to exist. My account was as if it never existed. I had lost it all. I lost everything. There was no reasoning. There was no warning. There was not even a notice of what it was exactly that I did wrong. I was baffled.
I called up to customer service and they had pulled up my account. The representative over the phone stated “Your account is suspended indefinitely due to violating the Amazon terms and conditions.” I couldn’t get a more specific reasoning other than that. Basically, what I had interpreted from that conversation is that I somehow found a way to make money on Amazon and that isn’t allowed. I found the arbitrage. I found the system to make a good living by buying and selling goods and that is not what you are supposed to do. I didn’t think I would get suspended for that.
I have one last bigger question for you. Why does Amazon care? Why would they care how I source my goods that I wish to sell? If I paid for the goods legally, I should be able to sell them legally. I responsibly used the service and my punishment is a lifetime ban. No thank you Amazon. All I wanted to do was make more than a few pennies from selling what was in my garage.
I was operating a legitimate business before getting my accounts suspended. But I don’t know what is worse, being shut down, or Amazon not even acknowledging a reason why.