A group of third-party sellers temporarily suspended from Amazon’s e-commerce platform have reportedly been unable to get reinstated because of a glitch that is causing concern with the crucial holiday shopping season on the horizon.
Sellers get suspended temporarily from Amazon for several reasons, including infringement claims from fellow retailers. To get back online, those sellers have to go through a reinstatement process. CNBC reports that suspended sellers are unable to complete the reinstatement process right now.
Sellers who contacted Amazon about reinstatement via email received a message telling them to submit their appeals to Amazon’s Account Health site within the Seller Central portal. However, that method isn’t working either, per CNBC, and sellers are receiving the same message directing them back to the Seller Central site.
Amazon said in a statement “there is no technical error,” and the company directs suspended sellers to seek reinstatement through the Seller Central platform. Amazon has looked into the reported issue and hasn’t identified any issues.
Here is Amazon’s full statement:
There is no technical error. Some sellers whose accounts have been deactivated due to policy violations have tried to appeal their suspension by sending information to an Amazon email address rather than following instructions that we have communicated that they should submit their appeal through Seller Central, our web portal for selling on Amazon. If sellers send appeals via email, we are providing an email response redirecting sellers to make these appeals via Seller Central.
A third-party seller told CNBC that he spoke with an Amazon employee who confirmed the email was a bug that first appeared on Wednesday. An ex-Amazon merchant risk investigator told CNBC that the bug could affect thousands of sellers.
Amazon said sellers having individual issues should contact seller support.
This is the latest issue facing Amazon’s third-party marketplace, which accounts for the majority of the tech giant’s e-commerce sales. Amazon has in recent years attempted to crack down on fraudulent products and help sellers protect their intellectual property.
The five-day period between Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday last year broke sales records for the retailer, with Monday itself becoming the single biggest shopping day in Amazon’s history based on the total number of products ordered worldwide. That five-day period kicks off the busy holiday shopping season that brings many retailers into the black for the year.
CNBC reports that sellers are worried about losing business during this crucial time of year, inundating experts with messages and discussing the matter on private Facebook groups.