Amazon mistakenly kicks off Samsung sellers before holidays – CNBC

“How could sellers be so badly misdirected to the wrong agent?” said Kelly Johnston, a former risk investigations manager at Amazon who now helps sellers with compliance issues on the site. “From an operational perspective, this is a massive failure.”

An Amazon spokesperson declined to comment, and a representative for MarkMonitor didn’t respond to a request for comment. An e-mail to Nelson requesting comment was forwarded to Samsung. The company never provided an explanation.

Johnston said her firm, Cascadia Seller Solutions, represents several clients who were suspended from Amazon because of the Samsung issue and not all of them have been reinstated. One merchant, who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of retribution from Amazon, said he was shut down until after Cyber Monday, and knows of other Samsung sellers who were just readmitted last week.

While this particular matter only affected a small number of sellers out of the millions on the platform, it further illustrates the chaos that merchants are experiencing trying to navigate Amazon’s rapidly growing marketplace. In response to an influx of counterfeit products and the negative publicity that followed, Amazon has aggressively clamped down on infringers by responding to complaints and shutting down accounts.

Another way Amazon has tried to clean up the site is by expanding its use of so-called brand gating — forcing third-party sellers to pay a fee to sell big brands after first proving the inventory was properly sourced. In August, sellers of brands including Nike, Adidas and Hasbro had to start providing invoices from manufacturers or distributors showing the purchase of 30 items within the last 90 days.

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