Amazon Profits Exceed 400 Million in Liquidation Sales with Mass Sales of Confiscated, Alleged Count
Amazon Profits Exceed 900 Million in Liquidation Sales with Mass Sales of Confiscated, Alleged Counterfeit FBA Goods. My investigation details how Amazon seller performance uses corrupt internal policies to confiscate seller inventory, and profit off of these items, over and over again!
Most Amazon FBA sellers receive buyer inauthentic complaints, suspended counterfeit item notifications or allegations from infringement on a weekly if not daily basis. Most performance notifications notifying sellers of these complaints are vague, and uninformative leaving sellers with no plausible method to proactively or retroactively investigate these matters. With no viable way to vet complaints, or identify customers or rights owners making such allegations, many of these sellers find themselves suspended, or temporarily deactivated.
My name is Mark Landis, a private investigator at YoungLanes Amazon Appeal Services, I see these cases on a daily basis. Although we have assisted many Amazon sellers in getting reinstated from such suspension definitions, my long term goal has always been to identify how and why these complaints are initiated, and why is Amazon FBA so quick to prevent banned sellers from placing removal orders to retrieve inventory from suspended or banned Amazon seller accounts. The results of my investigation will shock you, and give you a clearer picture into why Amazon seller performance allows so many suspensions, and why Amazon FBA is so unrelenting and so willing to confiscate your Amazon inventory at the first sign of counterfeit complaint related suspensions, bans, or account deactivation whether true or false.
SHADOW CUSTOMER COMPLAINTS
In comparing inauthentic buyer complaints from both rights owners and buyers within one thousand (1000) Suspended Amazon FBA Sellers we found the following:
49% Buyer Inauthentic Complaints Submitted by Amazon Automated Bots. These bots simply review messages between buyers and sellers seeking words or phrases that Amazon feels may indicate an counterfeit order concerns. Words or phrases like "false, "fake", "does not fit", or even "wrong color" along with over 500,000 other programmed words and phrases are used to flag counterfeit complaints. Amazon sellers understand that customers make the most outlandish allegations within messages to buyers. Additionally, many of the used phrases do not related to counterfeit item complaints. Amazon bots scan over 3 million messages between buyers and sellers per day primarily focus on sellers with the highest seller velocities (aka premium inventory).
79% Buyer Inauthentic Complaints had not traceable date that could be link to a customer order, or actual buying experience.
2% Buyer Inauthentic Complaints stemmed from verifiable information that could be re-traced to an actual customer, or an existing/active rights owner.
Time and time again as I investigated inauthentic claims that resulted in suspensions, bans or temporary account deactivation's, I found clear and concise evidence that the claims were manufactured, categorized incorrectly, or non-existent within seller account annotations at a scaled rate of 87.5% for FBA sellers. In all identified cases Amazon FBA refused to accept removal orders, citing that until inventory can be verified as authentic with authorization letters or supplier invoices. Additionally it is Amazon policy to confiscate all alleged counterfeit items, and destroy said items at a date TBD if the suspension is not resolved with three (3) appeal attempts. 987 of 1000 Amazon sellers being studied provided receipts, authorization letters, authorized retail certificates, and or supplier invoices. Documentation was accepted that allowed for the immediate reinstatement in only 64 of 987 sellers who submitted documentation. To confirm my gut feeling of shady practices by Amazon Seller Performance, I spent two (2) weeks to verifying the legitimacy of ALL documentation submitted documentation. In only seven (7) cases did I find that supplier documentation, or receipts were either forged or manipulated. In all, I concluded that over 97% of the 1000 suspended sellers' were suspended without show-able cause, and that Amazon openly rejected documentation that was found to be overwhelming proof of authenticity by a legal and civil standard as deemed by federal courts.
My next question was WHY? Amazon confiscates inventory alleged to be inauthentic, suspends the seller, and refuses to return the inventory, withhold seller payments, and rejects valid documentation of authenticity. Amazon FBA by-laws deem that all confiscated inventory is to be destroyed. I was confused at this notion as that destroying literally tons of confiscated inventory mostly electronics or health care products would cost Amazon millions upon millions in disposal fees. Simply did not seem feasible when you could simply allow customers to pay removal order fee's and allow the sellers themselves to absorb those cost. I needed insider information on this particular matter. I reached out to a contact that we frequently use within an Amazon FBA center in Plainfield, IN.
I will elaborate on the investigation details in my eBook on this matter so I will get straight to the point for the sake of this blog. My Amazon Insider indicated that they do not dispose of any inventory, and that all confiscated inventory in FBA warehouses are repacked by category and auctioned out to liquidation companies. These liquidations are primarily sold to Liquidation.com, which is conveniently located within 1 mile of the Amazon FBA center in Plainfield, IN. In the Indiana location alone confiscated inventory in 2018 was sold to liquidation.com totaling $127,900,460 for the year. This is not counting the withheld funds not disbursed to Amazon sellers suspended due to these fraudulent inauthentic claims. As a private investigator I decided to double down on this information and investigate this allegation. I was provided transparency codes for confiscated inventory, and serial number from various electronic ASIN(s) from multiple suspended sellers participating in this investigation. A quick check of all transparency codes and serial number all clearly were recently scanned and repacked by various liquidation companies across the US, and in China. Liquidated inventory sales for Amazon solely related to confiscated inventory in 2018 totaled over 400 million. Wealth that could be evenly distributed across America's hard working middle class was simply being diverted back to big corporations. With an algorithm based automated bot doing the dirty work, Amazon has implemented a system to exploit Amazon sellers, and profit off of deceptive suspension practices.
The original founding ideals and principles of Amazon and the Amazon marketplace are gone. Amazon is now a money devouring conglomerate using the very life blood of its existence to steal from and manipulate. If you are an Amazon FBA seller, please sell with caution. Amazon FBA centers offer the lure of order processing, inventory management, and even customer service automation. However, the allegations selling counterfeit items can initiate a downward spiral that can cripple any Amazon seller.
I will be releasing an eBook in April 2019 with more details related to this investigation, and the sellers who participated. I would like to thank all of the suspended Amazon sellers for participating in this study. Me and my team at YoungLanes feel that educating Amazon sellers, and dispelling the myths surrounding the Amazon Seller community are key to helping Amazon seller succeed in the long term. As we reiterate time and time again, please DO NOT provide Amazon seller performance with your supplier invoices, receipts, or authorization letters. If there documents were not a requirement to sell in the category then they are not required by LAW if problems arise. Please call me directly if you have question or concerns about your Amazon FBA account and or suspension.
If you have been suspended for an counterfeit item allegation, then please call and speak with a representative at YoungLanes Amazon Appeal Services. Simply providing invoices and or receipts in most cases will not resolve these matters, especially if you are an Amazon FBA seller.
Private Investigator/ YoungLanes Amazon Appeal Services Mike Landis Tel:(623) 233-4105
YoungLanes Amazon Appeal Services
Office: (317) 728-6789
Amazon Suspension Forum: www.facebook.com/groups/121533495081177/