Depending on the amount in controversy, the cost of an arbitration, which includes AAA filing fees, arbitrator hearing fees, and your own attorney’s fees, can be anywhere from $7500 to $10,000, and, in some cases, even more. The arbitration is typically set within a few months of the arbitrator’s appointment which means, in a relatively short time compared to a lawsuit, which can take years, your controversy will be decided.
What kind of relief can you expect to receive from Amazon in an arbitration? This is also something determined by the agreement. Some third-party sellers on Amazon feel they have been genuinely wronged, and their account should be reinstated. However, Amazon’s business solutions agreement has been adjudicated by Washington State Courts to be an “at-will” contract, which means that, if Amazon wants to terminate the contract with a seller, it can do so at any time, for any reason, or no reason at all. But what about Amazon’s internal appeal system? Doesn’t that mean they have to determine your appeal in good faith? Again, Washington courts disagree and have failed to apply the doctrine of good faith and fair dealing to the at-will contract in these cases.
What about losses for the time your store was down? Again, the business solutions agreement has a clause that provides that Amazon will not be liable for any loss of profit, revenue, business or data or punitive or consequential damages arising out of or relating to the agreement. And, again, Washington courts have held such agreements to be enforceable, although not specifically in the case of Amazon.
So why even sue Amazon at all? Many clients sue for outstanding sales proceeds which, in certain cases, Amazon claims the right to withhold permanently, which is also in the business solutions agreement. However, this time, the law is not on their side. Amazon says that it needs to hold proceeds indefinitely, for example, in cases where buyers seek refunds or could sue Amazon for counterfeit products. Case law distinctly holds that, as between Amazon and the third-party seller, the seller, and not Amazon, is the seller of the goods, which means that they cannot be held liable by companies claiming the seller sold counterfeits. Recent changes in the Copyright Act (the DMCA) provides immunity for Amazon with regard to copyright claims, and equity demands that Amazon cannot be the holder of the seller’s funds forever. It holds them as a constructive trustee, with the duty to turn over the funds to the seller, unless there is a court order compelling them to do otherwise. Sellers also arbitrate for lost or damaged inventory claims that have been denied by Amazon.
So, it is possible to sue Amazon, but, as with everything, prevention is always better than the cure. Although Amazon’s systems are fallible, and may result in unjust discipline against some third-party sellers, a good compliance program to educate third-party sellers and their employees on Amazon’s selling policies, and to put systems into practice to ensure compliance with those policies; whether it be sourcing, listing, packaging, order fulfillment, or shipping, can keep you out of court.
Speak to your audience
You know your audience better than anyone else, so keep them in mind as you write your blog posts. Write about things they care about. If you have a company Facebook page, look here to find topics to write about.
Take a few moments to plan your post
Once you have a great idea for a post, write the first draft. Some people like to start with the title and then work on the paragraphs. Other people like to start with subtitles and go from there. Choose the method that works for you.
Don’t forget to add images
Be sure to include a few high-quality images in your blog. Images break up the text and make it more readable. They can also convey emotions or ideas that are hard to put into words.
Edit carefully before posting
Once you’re happy with the text, put it aside for a day or two, and then re-read it. You’ll probably find a few things you want to add, and a couple more that you want to remove. Have a friend or colleague look it over to make sure there are no mistakes. When your post is error-free, set it up in your blog and publish.
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Inauthentic Item Suspensions
Multiple/ Related Account Suspensions
Amazon Verification Suspensions
Forged or Manipulated Documentation
Defending Buyer Complaints
Plan to Prevent Suspension
Intellectual Property (IP) Law
Fraud or Illegal Activity
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