Don’t let Amazon keep your money…. Learn how to get it back ($10k or less)
If you want to compel Amazon to release your money to you, you need to take them to arbitration. The process is relatively simple and inexpensive.
The process starts by writing a Demand of Arbitration, a letter to the American Arbitration Association (AAA) that spells out your case and explains why Amazon should be compelled to release your money. It should not only include the $10k that Amazon owes you, but also a demand for the entire cost of the arbitration.
WHEN YOU ARE SEEKING 10K OR LESS, AMAZON CAN BE FORCED TO PAY THE AAA FEES.
Demands for Arbitration can be filed electronically (online) or by US mail. You also need to send a copy of your Demand for Arbitration to a specific address at Amazon. Once filed, you must pay a filing fee and you will get a list of potential list of arbitrators from the AAA.
If you are handling the arbitration yourself, you should know that the team at Rosenbaum Famularo, PC, law firm behind AmazonSellersLawyer.com, are here to help. We will help you pick the arbitrator. We have done research on dozens of potential arbitrators in these cases and if we have the data, we are happy to share it with you.
You get a list of five potential arbitrators, you can strike out one of them, and then put the rest in numerical order from first to fourth choice. Amazon will do the same and once there is a match, you have your arbitrator. You are entitled to your hearing within 30 days of the date your arbitrator is appointed.
The next step is a telephone conference between you, Amazon’s attorney, and the arbitrator where you set a schedule. Amazon lawyers will almost always try to slow cases down; insist on holding them to the thirty days. Remember, you ARE ENTITLED to have your hearing within the thirty day timeline.
You are also entitled to documents from Amazon that they will use against you; be sure to ask the arbitrator to order Amazon to provide them to you. Documents that are vital to your arbitration provide information regarding why you were suspended, why Amazon thought your products were inauthentic, etc. You should get an order directing Amazon to reveal all of the reasons it feels it can keep your money. There is no formal discovery in these cases, so do not let Amazon lawyers bully you. We can provide you with the rules and information regarding Amazon lawyers.
At this point, you get your hearing date. Hearings can be done via phone or video link. We suggest to all sellers to never agree to a hearing on paper; you will always be more persuasive in person and you want to get the sympathy factor. The hearing itself is rather informal; you basically tell your story and show your invoices. ‘We purchased from a reputable place, we were selling genuine products, and Amazon refuses to release our money.’
Point out that Amazon profited from you. ‘We sold thousands of dollars of goods per month, Amazon made a lot of money and now, by not releasing our money, they are stealing from us.’