Used Book Listing Restrictions - Inauthentic Complaint

I sell used books through Amazon FBA. I received an authenticity complaint for one item, and now I can’t list an estimated 85% of books.

Amazon wants an itemized invoice/receipt for the book, but I do not have this type of invoice available because I buy books at thrift stores, library sales, and estate sales. It is generally accepted that used book purchases do not come with the type of supply chain documentation standard for new products. Amazon’s seller training materials encourage sellers to source used books from these sources (How to Sell Books Online in 2024: Step-by-Step Guide)

I have been sending appeals clarifying the unique nature of used book sales and the concept of fair use, but I keep receiving the same (likely automated) performance notifications. Nothing is listed on my Account Health page, and my Account Health has not gone down. I am trying to escalate to a human. At this point it seems a non-existent itemized invoice is the only answer.

I see this problem affecting more used booksellers every day. Amazon understands the nature of used book sales, so what are they doing? Do they want to get rid of third-party booksellers? Did a major publisher sue Amazon? I don’t understand the reason behind what’s happening.

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:wave: Hi @Inquinate_Trading and welcome! Yes, this is happening more and more, though it seems that Amazon might eventually realize (on an individual basis) that it makes no sense.

See @DBB 's very recent experience here:

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The available evidence seemingly suggests that Amazon has been quite skittish - and, often enough, @ least in my book, overly skittish - on that front ever since the EPEG-sponsored litigation(s) reached fruition quite a few years back.

In any event, @Inquinate_Trading, I’d like to welcome you to the SAS (“SellersAskSellers”) forum, which I believe you’ll find, as so many or us have, to be THE BEST Seller Forums Experience.

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I’m providing an update for my situation. I finally got a human response in the Seller Central Forum, and it doesn’t sound good to me. Check out the picture if you’re curious.

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Used booksellers who include text books in their offerings need to be skilled in detecting counterfeits.

If there was reason to suspect you were selling counterfeits, you get this impossible to reverse inauthentic complaint. And you may find that major publishers of text books are not open for you to sell.

It is uncommon to get inauthentic complaints on other than textbooks, but that could have changed or be changing.

I believe Amazon knows exactly how impossible the situation is, and has for years. I cannot say anything to suggest things will get better for you. You bear the mark of Cain now.

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It wasn’t a textbook.

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Was it other non-fiction from a publisher of textbooks? Amazon does not know the difference.

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I don’t think so. It’s a crafting book about making cloth dolls. It seems to be a niche publisher.

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I sent another reply, but I doubt I will get a response at this point:

"Dear Amazon Seller Support,

While we understand and respect the need for stringent policies to ensure the integrity of the marketplace, we must assert that the application of these policies, as communicated in your response, does not align with Amazon’s long-standing history and commitment to being a diverse marketplace that includes sellers of second-hand books.

Amazon has built its reputation on new retail and as a pivotal platform for second-hand booksellers. This diversity has been integral to Amazon’s success, providing customers with access to rare, out-of-print, and collectible books that are not available through traditional retail channels. The insistence on documentation that does not account for the unique nature of second-hand book sourcing is inconsistent with Amazon’s historical practices and undermines the foundation of what has allowed Amazon’s marketplace to thrive.

We at Inquinate Trading have always taken our responsibility to comply with Amazon’s policies seriously, ensuring that our business practices align with the marketplace’s standards. However, the current rigid stance on documentation disregards the reality of second-hand book selling, where sourcing often comes from auctions, estate sales, and individual collections, and traditional invoices might not always be available.

Therefore, we firmly request Amazon to revisit its position, taking into account the following:

• The historical role and value of second-hand booksellers in Amazon’s marketplace.

• The unique sourcing challenges faced by businesses like ours and the existing practices we have in place to ensure the authenticity and legality of our inventory.

• The need for a more nuanced and flexible approach to documentation that acknowledges the diversity of seller backgrounds and business models.

We urge Amazon to consider the broader implications of its current policies on the second-hand book market and the diversity of the marketplace. A collaborative approach to resolving this issue, one that respects the nuances of different business models, is essential for a marketplace that prides itself on diversity and accessibility.

We are ready to engage in dialogue and work closely with Amazon to find a practical solution that meets your compliance standards without compromising our ability to operate within the marketplace."

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Well written.

And by posting it in here, it will at least be read.

I cannot imagine anyone at Amazon reading it though.

But maybe.

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