Amazon has long since grown weary of receiving complaints from customers about fake goods, safety issues, and item quality or condition. Whether you’re a private label merchant or a reseller of other brands, they claim to have an “obsession with the customer” and hold their marketplace vendors to the greatest standards. Validating that each seller keeps appropriate supply chain paperwork is one aspect of this focus. Over the years, they’ve put in place increasingly stringent protocols and instruments to police this, and in 2022, it will all come to a head: regardless of whether an item has been sold, All vendors must produce, upon request, appropriate invoices and independently verifiable supplier information.
Poor methods include hoping for the best with retail receipts or sourcing products as soon as an order is received (much like a dropshipper would). Anyone selling on Amazon who wants to succeed in the long run needs to have a business plan that can withstand more than one or two account investigations. If you don’t have verified suppliers and acknowledged bills, you run the possibility of a fresh intellectual property claim from a brand or an “out of nowhere” request for invoices from Amazon. Because they have been trending in this manner for a while, you can’t expect things to change very soon.
Amazon also rejects requests from private label firms that supply invoices for goods they produce at facilities without verifiable website information or if they are unable to get in touch with a contact to validate the information. It will be rejected if your supplier information does not exactly match what they require.
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What supporting documents are required by Amazon private label sellers?
Each vendor must be ready and in a position to offer a number of specifics that speak to how and where their items are acquired. Amazon doesn’t distinguish between Private Label Sellers and Resellers when it comes to paperwork. The same rigorous standards are applied to all.
Even if you produce your own goods, you may still receive complaints from clients and rival businesses. Within Amazon policy teams, the term “inauthentic” might indicate several different things. It is advisable to be ready to respond to potential complaints about the quality of your items.
Sadly, you must be ready for Amazon to reject an invoice or dispute the veracity of your source without providing a justification. They provide general, ambiguous information that raises more questions than it does solutions. This isn’t likely to change any time soon.
How Can You Get Ready to Protect Your Amazon Account from False Claims?
There are some things you need to know (and have) to avoid difficulties, regardless of whether you’re a private label brand, reselling, or a combination of the two.
Understanding how to cope with Seller Performance and the demands placed on the current policy enforcement teams are essential. You can receive requests for invoices for goods that you haven’t even sold yet or for goods that have received few, if any, customer complaints. Now, it’s merely a standard aspect of running the Amazon game. Invoices, websites, and occasionally phone calls are all utilised as proof to determine whether your supply chain validates properly. Stay away from their sights, then! The public has been informed that they aim for zero counterfeit sales, and they must also stop stolen inventory from turning up in seller accounts. They’ve raised the bar.
What do auditors look for when they examine invoices, and how are they verified?
When checking a supplier’s credentials and activities, what does Amazon want to see?
On their side, very specific activities are in play, and you must make decisions in response.
Amazon internal teams must be able to quickly verify suppliers online. Otherwise, trouble lurks in the shape of repeated appeal denials or warnings that “we could not authenticate your source.” Please be aware that a bill they approved last year may not be paid this year. Although it is wildly uneven, this is how Amazon wants it.
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Requirements for Amazon Invoice Verification:
Amazon will ask for letters of authorization from the brand if the legitimacy or dependability of the source are in doubt (LOAs for short). Amazon might also occasionally ask for documents of licencing agreements if you’re reselling a brand that commonly files intellectual property complaints.
Even if you solely sell goods under your own name, Amazon has started to make your job as a seller more challenging. An initial request for invoices and supplier information may follow any complaint regarding the reliability, condition, or general quality of an item. Even though the listing is still live today, if you can’t provide them what they want, it could not be there tomorrow.
1. All firm names and address information in Seller Central must exactly match the invoices from your suppliers. If you don’t check to make sure your supplier’s invoices match the information on your seller account, it could result in the listing being taken down or worse. You do not wish to assign this task to a worker at a lower level. Make sure the document review procedure will be “owned” by a responsible manager who answers to the company’s owners.
2. The data on the invoice must be clear, correct, and comprehensive. A link to the supplier’s website, their address, a phone number, and a contact name—preferably a vice president of sales or a sales manager—should all be listed on the invoice. The person in question must pick up the phone and satisfactorily validate the details on the invoice for Amazon. Get them ready to briefly discuss the details of their working connection with you.
3. Does the invoice’s quantity make sense? Does it correspond to the amount you sold on Amazon during the last 365 days? Are part numbers or other identifiers easy to locate, and are the product descriptions clear? Despite the fact that many Chinese suppliers choose to use pictures or images to replace written information on invoices, images of the products are insufficient as product IDs. That won’t be sufficient.
4. Keep in mind that Amazon won’t care whether the things sold if you don’t have ANY invoices. You’re completely screwed if you don’t have any supplier information to present to them or any invoices. Account investigators will instantly reject the invoice and reject your appeal.
5. Invoice dates. Will they accept actually?
According to Amazon, invoices must be dated within the previous 365 days or show that the products were delivered or bought during the previous 180 days. All documentation must be current and not out of date. Every document must be readable and clear. The only information that may be withheld is the price.
How does Amazon validate a vendor?
In order to confirm invoice data, Amazon frequently calls suppliers, therefore please give direct-dial phone numbers as often as you can. Avoid taking a chance on a single call going unanswered or on the manufacturer’s team member not taking it seriously.
To ensure that nothing on the invoice has been changed or falsified, Amazon must validate the content of the invoice. Amazon will immediately recognise that you have faked a document if your supplier acts as though they have never heard of you. Such a merchant cannot be trusted with their customers.
What happens if they are unable to confirm your supplier? They mark a box that says the supplier isn’t confirmed whenever they are unable to verify the specifics of your supplier information. If they haven’t already, they can use that as justification to reject your appeal and suspend a listing.
How would one handle this in an appeal? Display vendors for Amazon who may be contacted via phone, located online, and recognized using the URL you provided. They are checking to make sure you are using reputable, established suppliers of genuine goods.
Any provider you work with must keep a working, operational website with proof that they are a reputable source for the products you sourced. Any seller that sources from a supplier without a website won’t be trusted by Amazon. No exceptions.
What do they do if they are unable to confirm the information on your invoice?
For certain specific ASINs, they previously just sent a denial of reinstatement. Nowadays, they frequently suspend the entire account right away. Investigators frequently draw unfavourable conclusions about your other inventory and suppliers if they phone a supplier and are unable to obtain the information they require. In order to be reinstated, you must demonstrate that your behaviour has changed.
How Does Your Sourcing Decision Affect Your Amazon Business’s Viability?
We are aware of what the Dropshipping policy states, and we also keep in mind that over the course of the previous year, Amazon’s enforcement teams suspended thousands, if not tens of thousands, of dropshipping accounts. All indications point to Amazon happily rejecting any requests for reinstatement until the seller provides proof of their intention to permanently stop dropshipping. Failure to identify yourself as the “seller of record” on any invoices is a serious violation of that policy.
Dropshipping has developed into a high-risk business model for account suspensions, while Amazon won’t always automatically suspend a dropshipper’s account for selling an item that they didn’t source until an order was received. Dropshipping has been said to be profitable for many vendors, although it seldom lasts for very long. You can only anticipate a brief play from it.
We are aware that dropshipping on Amazon is being promoted by organisations, courses, services, and experts. However, if you don’t have supply chain paperwork unless there is an actual order and you can’t check the product quality before it is transported to the client, your sourcing strategy is dead or dying. Time to proceed.
Sellers that engage in retail arbitrage or online arbitrage (RA/OA) only have retail receipts as documentation of their in-store purchases. Additionally, it demonstrates that such sellers have no direct affiliation with the company and supports Amazon’s assumption that the brands you sell will commit IP infringement against you. Without even requiring a test purchase, brands are increasingly reporting RA vendors for selling counterfeit goods. Investigators from Amazon may not reach anyone who can verify the information if they call a retail location. When you rely on retail arbitrage sources to confirm that you are a customer of theirs, you run a significant chance of having your appeals rejected. Retailers might not be able to do much more than admit that they don’t recognise you.
Resellers sourcing Wholesale
In order to protect product authenticity in the harsh enforcement environment of today, resellers need acquire authorization letters to sell major brands on Amazon. We receive feedback from sellers who continue to purchase pallets from liquidators but are perplexed by requests for LOAs because they have nothing Amazon will accept. Due to the frequent account suspensions for IP claims and counterfeit concerns, there are significantly less of them than in previous years. Amazon has also started to accept complaints about counterfeit products from companies who don’t even have to provide evidence of a “test buy.”
You MUST at this time be able to demonstrate a connection to the brand owner. Ideally, you should buy directly from the company that makes the product or from a distributor that has been approved by the company to sell to Amazon resellers. Amazon needs vendors who receive low IP infringement or counterfeit complaint reports for internal legal reasons. They defend their standing as a marketplace that forbids the selling of counterfeit goods by using the invoice and supplier rejection procedure. Additionally, they must ensure that inventory stolen in connection with retail crimes doesn’t surface on the market.
Are you going to make it simple for Amazon to review your account by supplying them with the appropriate paperwork? Or will your provider merely provide you with basic invoices and not have a website?
Do Private Label Sellers need links to their manufacturer’s website and supplier invoices to demonstrate their authenticity to Amazon?
Yes, they must work with suppliers who are aware of Amazon’s requirements. How should manufacturers get ready for Amazon’s process? Inform the personnel at your supplier of what to do in the event that an Amazon team calls. Make sure there is a strategy in place to reach out to someone who can verify everything on an invoice, right down to the least nuance. Anything less indicates that you are engaging in unsafe activities. Also, make sure they have a professional website that serves as both a business card and proof that they produce goods similar to yours.
How do I offer documentation if I produce my own goods?
We’ve observed merchants in this situation being turned down because they submitted “self-issued” invoices. So what do you need to do?
You must structure your company so that you, the manufacturer, and you, the seller, are somewhat independent from one another. Make a separate entity, then bill yourself for it. Don’t think that just because you are your own manufacturer, you can completely avoid this process. Many manufacturers who contact us and sell their own brands on Amazon continue to think they won’t require invoices as proof that they do it legally. Everyone needs to do this on Amazon.
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Keep in mind that complaints about product conditions frequently indicate a problem with the product’s quality.
What about ASIN suspensions for new products you sell that are delivered with wear or damage? Amazon may not be concerned about your inability to prove authenticity, but they may think that you sell products that buyers will claim are “less than new” in condition.
You are required to include invoices with your reinstatement appeal in order to prove your assertion that the “new” items in your Plan of Action come from a certain supplier.
1. Why are invoice dates so important? Because you have to show that the products are not what they refer to as “ageing inventory”—found more than a year ago—with perhaps worn packaging or out-of-date contents inside.
2. You must demonstrate that you purchased from a reputable seller. Resealed returns that result in “open box” products that no longer meet Amazon’s definition of new are one that would not have sold you.
Any POA should be able to justify why buyers believed that your new products weren’t in brand-new condition. Consider giving someone a present throughout the holiday season. What would people think if they believed you gave them something that had been handled, passed about, or re-boxed by someone else?
So Prepare yourself with valid documents!
Amazon frequently can’t tell the difference between legitimate “inauthentic” complaints and those from rival businesses attempting to remove you from a shared listing. In either case, item quality teams follow SOPs and checklists that require all sellers to provide evidence of the origin and legitimacy of their stock. Do not wait till notifications begin to arrive before beginning troubleshooting and wishing for the best. Before Amazon asks, be prepared to demonstrate that you are the type of seller they want.
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