Do you know what reddit is? It's basically an extremely popular (free) online discussion board divided up into tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of topics where anyone can join in a discussion about virtually anything. Many celebrities/executives/leaders from around the world conduct an "Ask Me Anything" (AMA) session where they directly answer questions posted by common folk like you and me.
Well a former Amazon Seller Support Rep just conducted an AMA session in the popular-among-FBA-sellers FulfillmentByAmazon reddit.
And it was glorious, revealing, scary and reassuring all at once.
You can read the entire Q&A here (ed. note - the former Amazon seller support rep, username 'formersesu', has since stopped taking questions) but I summarized what I thought was the 10 most interesting/critical pieces of advice for Amazon sellers. (I've included direct links to the original question/answers after every takeaway, too):
1.) Many (not all) sellers don't want to listen to Amazon with regards to their policies and procedures. Many (not all) Amazon sellers (a proportion big enough to make it a little bit of a pandemic) think it's their "fundamental human right" to sell on Amazon. I've heard about this problem before but never thought it was a major gripe with Amazon Seller Support reps until now. (Link)
2.) Many seller suspensions are done by 'bot's (software), so this confirms (as I've said before) many suspended accounts can be remedied/reinstated. (Link). Also seller support reps agree that the suspension process needs 'much improvement. ' (Link)
3.) Data and money drive Amazon's decisions. Amazon prioritize revenue and customer experience above all else (not 3rd party seller politics nor their emotions.) (Link)
4.) Being polite goes a long way when you are corresponding with Amazon support reps. Anger, rudeness, and impatience will result in
Amazon Seller reps "avoid[ing] your call." (Link)
5.) Amazon seller support reps have nothing to do with suspensions. Suspensions are handled (and thus correspondence should be directed to) Amazon Seller Performance. "Seller Support does not have the ability to reinstate an account." (Link)
6.) Want to "win the buy box?". There are no special tricks other than keep your account health in good shape, use FBA and set competitive prices [Link] (ed. note: let me repeat that: There. Are. No. Special. Tricks)
7.) Amazon doesn't notice or care when sellers are running petitions or campaigns to change the way they do business. (I'm sad about this one because I helped support this one.) Again, data/revenue drive their decisions, not emotions nor pleas. (Link)
8.) Amazon's changes to their own seller tools/dashboard are so fast, even the support reps don't know about said changes many times, and frequently it's the sellers themselves who make them aware of it (See #4 above). (Link)
9.) Seller Performance doesn't have/doesn't plan to have phone support, and [that's a good thing because] "Sellers whose accounts are suspended are extremely emotional. [Phone conversations with those sellers] isn't helpful and would waste a lot of time. It's best to have written responses that provide more helpful information." (Link)
10.) To minimize your chance of suspension: "Adhere to your metrics; Don't sell fake crap. Don't get in a turf war with another seller; Proactively email Seller Performance if you get an alert, even if the message doesn't ask." (Link)