E125: The Sound of Panic – Why You Should NEVER, EVER Violate Amazon Terms of Service

Monday, March 5th, 2018 in Podcast

This episode is dedicated to Bobby, our beloved German Shepherd who passed away last week. He had been with us for 12 years and if you have a pet you know how difficult this is. He gave us companionship, protection, and joy from the day we adopted him to the day he passed away.
To Bobby, this is for you buddy.

Amazon sellers’ forums and groups were alive with the sound of panic last week.

On February 26th, Amazon sent emails to hundreds and maybe even thousands of sellers containing the following:


We are contacting you because you appear to have violated the policies of “Misuse of ratings, feedback, or reviews”, “Misuse of sales rank”, “Misuse of Search and Browse” on our site… If this conduct continues, you will not be eligible to sell on Amazon.com.

It’s needless to say that when you rely on Amazon for 50%+ of your revenue, you need to follow their rules, or face serious consequences–the most serious being getting suspended and losing 50%+ of your revenue. As basic as that sounds, it’s very surprising to see so many sellers try to game Amazon’s system for a bump in ranking and sales, praying to never get caught.

While we see some posts claiming that the email is just due to a glitch on Amazon’s side (since it seems to have been sent en masse), it was still enough to give those playing with fire a pretty good scare. Forums exploded with people not knowing what to do, fearing they could lose their accounts at any moment.

This is a situation I go out of my way to avoid. Lessons with Google’s SEO have made me realize that I am dependent on these big platforms to succeed, and that it’s a no-brainer that I have to follow their policy. We have recently adopted a successful product launch process that will get us on Amazon’s good side and cater to what they ultimately want: truly good products and service that customers will enjoy.

Thankfully, we did not get the email. I hope you didn’t, too.

Resources mentioned:

2018 Amazon Product Launch Strategy
How I Develop and Launch Dozens of New Products a Year
Amazon Policy Change for Reviews
How to Get Amazon Product Reviews in 2018
Amazon Horror Stories from Real Sellers
Million Dollar Sellers Group

Thanks for listening! Until the next episode, happy selling.

Michael started his first business when he was 18 and is a serial entrepreneur. He got his start in the online world way back in 2004 as an affiliate marketer. From there he grew as an SEO expert and has transitioned into ecommerce, running several sites that bring in a total of 7-figures of revenue each year.

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