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  • Posted on: 09/11/2019

    Counterfeit books vex Amazon

    "It claims to have stopped over one million “bad actors” from opening selling accounts in 2018 and blocked more than three billion suspected bad listings before they were listed on the site." This is a bunch of hogwash! As a bookseller, we still see new sellers popping up from all parts of the world, thanks to Amazon's Global Selling program, thereby still risking sales of counterfeits. In the last 18 months, Amazon has developed into a hostile environment of fear even for honest, genuine longtime booksellers. We are perhaps one of the biggest victims of their recent actions. We have been selling on the marketplace for last 6 years. We have had almost 90% all of our listings "gated" (a term Amazon uses for restricting third-party sellers from selling items/categories) since March 2019. They gave no valid reason or mechanism to even appeal this decision. What's worse, the decision is imposed immediately, which means that there is no due time for us to even liquidate our inventory. This also means countless lost potential selling and replenishment opportunities. From doing $4.5 million worth of sales in 2018, our projection has come down to $1.25m by end of 2019 (which too is only possible because of a fairly good season we had in January, 2019). This, despite our performance metrics being far better than almost any booksellers on the platform. Not even a single IP Violation, therefore any subsequent unresolved publisher complaint, since the inception of our seller account. The seller forums on Amazon are full of such horror stories. The only ones who have benefited from these actions are Amazon, it's subsidiaries (Book Depository, apex_media) and some of the very large international booksellers like SuperBookDeals, PaperbackShop UK, AwesomeBooks. And I can tell you the publishers had no role in targeting or deciding which sellers to restrict, since neither did we nor any other bookseller on the marketplace received any complaint or notice of the brand/imprint being gated.
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