Amazon sends bizarre email in Chinese to suspended sellers – CNBC

When put through Google translate from Chinese to English, with a little cleaning up, the e-mail reads:

Hello:

Your account information you provided was reviewed and we decided to allow you to re-sell on Amazon.com.

That was followed by a line telling the merchant where to find a list of best practices.

A seller of mobile phone accessories forwarded the email Amazon sent to him on Aug. 18, to CNBC.com, on the condition that he and his company not be named. His account was suspended in late July after a few buyers of phone chargers complained the products were defective.

Amazon, which now counts on outside sellers for almost half of its retail volume, routinely shuts accounts after mounting customer complaints without giving sellers a chance to fight the claims. To get reinstated, merchants have to take restorative measures, which can often take weeks.

Suspensions can be tied to slow delivery times, alleged rights infringements or selling potentially unsafe products or expired items.

The phone accessories seller, based on the East Coast, dreads the punitive e-mails from Amazon, but he’s grown used to them. He was in the process of putting together his plan of action asking for reinstatment when the Chinese e-mail arrived.

Indeed, his account was turned back on after the e-mail, but only for six days. It was then suddenly closed again, forcing the seller to restart the process of getting back in Amazon’s favor. He sent in his formal appeal on Wednesday night.

An Amazon spokesperson declined to comment.

Chris McCabe, a former merchant risk investigator at Amazon, has seen about a half dozen such cases in recent days involving the exact same Chinese e-mail. Since 2014, McCabe has worked as an independent consultant helping sellers get and stay compliant. Most of his clients have either lost a product listing or had their account restricted in some way.

But the Chinese e-mail is a new one. And the problem was compounded when the sellers were again shut down after being reinstated.

“This is a colossal blunder, whether it’s human or technical,” said McCabe. “And making all of these sellers re-appeal and go through this all again is a nightmare for them.”

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