Amazon is now allowing buyers to “opt out” of unsolicited messages from the Amazon platform.
While this may seem like an improvement, this new option could create issues for Amazon Sellers. If a seller violates the new policy and receives too many Amazon Seller Complaints, an account suspension is likely. This article will tell you what you need to know about this new “buyer opt out.”
What Happens When Buyers Opt Out of Unsolicited Messages
If a buyer opts out of unsolicited messages, it means that they will only receive messages regarding information that is critical to their order. This includes:
- Product Customization Questions;
- Delivery Scheduling;
- Issues with a shipping address.
This can change the way Amazon Sellers do business. Sellers can no longer contact buyers to request seller feedback or customer reviews, give shipping updates, or to offer customer service without first receiving a request.
How Do I Send a Message with “Critical” Information?
To send a critical message, Amazon Sellers must log-in to their Seller Central account, navigate to “Manual Orders,” and then find the buyer’s name, they wish to contact. When the Seller clicks the buyer’s name, they will be redirected to the “Buyer-Seller Messaging” page. Next, click “Additional Information Required” as the subject field and type your message.
Remember, sending an email that is considered “non-critical” using this method can result in Amazon Seller Complaints, and ultimately a suspension and/or Amazon holding Seller funds. In recent emails from Amazon, Sellers have seen the following:
How Can I Tell If a Buyer Has Opted Out?
Currently, there is no way to determine if a buyer has chosen to opt out of unsolicited emails from Amazon. However, the good news for sellers is that no penalty will be imposed on Sellers who attempt to send unsolicited emails using the traditional method on the platform. In these situations, Amazon will merely bounce the email back to the Seller, and send the Seller a notification that the buyer has opted out. Sellers are only at risk of a suspension if they use the “Additional Information Required” method (see above) to directly contact buyers who have opted out.
Unknowns for Sellers
With this new option available to buyers, many questions remain for Amazon Sellers. We know that many Sellers will try to get around these new restrictions, but we do not know what lengths Amazon is willing to go to enforce their new policy. Amazon might loosely enforce the policy, or we may see a rise in suspensions as Sellers attempt to beat the new system.
Further, almost all Intellectual Property disputes on the Amazon platform begin with a buyer-seller message. Typically, the rights owner will contact the alleged infringer using the buyer-seller messaging system. However, with this new policy in place, we may find brand owners making formal complaints rather than informal contact with sellers to avoid any issues with Amazon.
Amazon Sellers Lawyer Conclusion
This new policy is great for Buyers who have been wanting to opt out of unsolicited emails for years. Many buyers do not want to receive any non-critical information from Amazon, regardless of how helpful it may or may not be. However, due to the unknowns about how Amazon will enforce this policy, Sellers may not feel the same way. For now, Sellers should follow the advice above to avoid Amazon Buyer Complaints, suspensions, and keep their businesses running strong.
Robert is a paralegal with AmazonSellersLawyer.com
He has a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a focus in finance. Robert is currently pursuing his Juris Doctor as a third year student at Maurice A. Deane School of Law and will graduate with a concentration in Intellectual Property Law. Robert’s financial background and experience provide him with unique insight into the needs of Amazon Sellers and allow him to efficiently identify and serve client’s needs.