Arbitration is an important process for Amazon sellers that can aid you in putting your business back on track. Whether you have had your funds frozen by Amazon, you have an inventory dispute, or if you have had your account suspended by Amazon, arbitration can help you recover what you need. You are not alone in this fight.
Amazon Sellers’ Lawyer has some crucial tips to help you get through your arbitration process successfully.
Imagine this: you are a legitimate seller and owner of an Amazon seller’s account. One day, you awake to a message that Amazon has frozen all of the funds in your account, effective immediately. Amazon notes that it has suspicions that you sold a counterfeit product worth a couple hundred bucks. As a result, you have lost access to the thousands of dollars you have accrued in your recent sales.
Luckily, there is a solution to this sticky situation: arbitration. By taking Amazon to arbitration, you can use the legal system to force Amazon to release your funds back to you. Arbitration involves the client – a seller – and Amazon, each arguing their case in front of an arbitrator. Since it’s a person who will be deciding the client’s fate, there are strategies that the client and their lawyers can use to give themselves an edge.
Playing to the Arbitrator
“You have to get a read on who the arbitrator is,” says CJ Rosenbaum, founder and CEO of Rosenbaum Famularo, P.C., law firm behind Amazon Sellers’ Lawyer. “You do that in the initial research before you select the arbitrator. If it’s a really corporate, straight-laced person, you want to speak with them constantly in a professional manner and play to who they are. If it’s an arbitrator who’s more in the trenches, then you want to adjust yourself accordingly. You certainly have to adjust yourself to who your audience is and to who you have to persuade. That’s the arbitrator.”
Hopefully, you have a competent lawyer alongside you who can help you in the arbitration process. Amazon Sellers’ Lawyer helps clients in arbitration cases against Amazon every day. CJ Rosenbaum, who has decades of experience in the field, works with a team of talented lawyers who know how to approach and appeal to different personalities of arbitrators.
Choosing the Arbitrator
Luckily, the client and their lawyer have some influence on which arbitrator will be trying their case. The client has the ability to rank which arbitrators they would prefer prior to the trial.
Before the trial begins, the client and their team of lawyers will receive a list of potential arbitrators. The team conducts its research to determine which arbitrators will be the best fit for the client’s particular case, and then ranks their preferences.
Ranking properly can be very important because each arbitrator has different tendencies. Those patterns and personalities can have a big influence on how the case plays out.
“If we represent a seller who is taking Amazon to arbitration because Amazon won’t pay them or won’t return their inventory, or are fighting for reinstatement, I’m looking for an arbitrator who has, during his or her career, fought for the underdog,” Rosenbaum says. “I’m looking for someone who has donated time. Someone that belongs to charities, that is in the trenches trying to help people. So I’m really looking for someone who is sort of a people person as opposed to a historically corporate lawyer.”
On the flip side, Amazon also gets to rank which arbitrators they would prefer in the case. The two sides are unlikely to agree on their top choices, but oftentimes, the client still ends up with an arbitrator they can work with.
“It’s very rare that we get our first choice [of arbitrators],” Rosenbaum says. [Amazon’s] lawyers are really good lawyers and they are also looking for an arbitrator that they can manipulate to find in their favor. Do we also get our second or third choice? All the time. Our third is usually the one that we’ll get. Sometimes we’ll get the second.”
Researching the Arbitrator
It’s very important to do your homework when you go to select an arbitrator. As mentioned earlier, there are certain properties and tendencies that a lawyer looks for in an arbitrator’s history in determining a good fit for the client.
“There’s a lot of strategy involved [in selecting the arbitrator],” Rosenbaum says. “So when we’re selecting the arbitrators, we’re looking at who they are, where they have worked, documents they have written, what bar associations or charities they belong to. We’re looking at their websites. We try to get a feel for who they are and then we make our best guess as to which ones we think will be good for that particular case.”
Amazon Sellers’ Lawyer keeps a library of information on every arbitrator they have ever researched for a case. ASL also keeps notes on arbitrators every time they are involved in a trial. The vast library of information can give a lot of guidance to clients who find themselves in a bind.
Since the case will involve people, it’s crucial to consider the human element. Some arbitrators are more likely to play better with one personality type of client than another.
“I think that my hundreds of trials that I was involved in have really given me a good training to try to figure out which arbitrators we want,” Rosenbaum says. “Then once we get an arbitrator, how to play that arbitrator to see things our way.”
If you have had your funds frozen by Amazon, are looking to recover inventory, or are dealing with an Amazon suspension, call 1-877-9-SELLER or email CJ@AmazonSellersLawyer.com for a free consultation.
Anders is a content creator for Rosenbaum Famularo, P.C. Anders recently earned his degree in journalism from Hofstra and has six years of professional journalism experience. He has written for numerous online and print publications including SB Nation and The Hofstra Chronicle.