Defamation, Libel and Slander

Using the law to persuade people and companies to remove their complaints and when appropriate, seek your lost profits.

Amazon marketplace sellers and Amazon marketplace resellers are often victims of false complaints. If someone makes a complaint about your listing, you fear receiving a violation, an Amazon suspension or being banned.  Your income and your business is threatened.

You may be banned by Amazon or suspended by Amazon due to complaints about your listings whether they are true or not.  The complaints themselves are looked at by Amazon to be policy violations. While your only remedy with Amazon may be to address the violation or submit a Plan of Action to get your listing or account reinstated, you maybe able to recoup your lost profits against the person or company that made the false complaint.


CopyrightDefamation is a civil wrong. You can sue or you can use the law to help you get the complaint retracted. Using a lawyer familiar with anti-defamation laws, we can help you get reinstatement of your Amazon seller account and prevent future harm by addressing it at the source: the person or company that made the complaint.

C.J.’S Point:  If your lawyer let the person or company that made the complaint know that they could be liable for tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars for their complaint, don’t you think they would retract it?

C.J.’S Point: Amazon resellers should obtain retractions of all complaints because Amazon doesn’t tell you what they are holding against you or when it might result in an Amazon suspension.

 Defamation is an all-encompassing term. It covers any false statement that hurts or damages a person’s reputation.

If the damaging statement is made in writing and published, it is called libel.

If the damaging statement is verbally spoken, it’s slander.

Why would someone want to defame me?

A competitor or a disgruntled consumer could make wrongful A-Z claims to sabotage your business. They may accuse you of dishonest practices such as selling forbidden/restricted products, expired products or even copyright or trademark infringement.

Someone may post negative feedback online. They may claim that they found your products not matching listings on Amazon. They may say you sell products not as described, counterfeit products or selling used instead of new merchandise. It could be your service, such as contact response time, self-cancelled orders, late shipments or lost packages.

 C.J.’s Point: Do your competitors want your Buy Box?

Where can I look for these statements?

False and damaging comments on your business’ website or on Amazon

Internet forum postings about your business

Facebook comments on your business’ official Facebook page

Personal “protest” websites dedicated to making false claims about your business

Mass e-mails about your business

 How do I know if I’ve been defamed?

There is a fine line between the right of freedom of speech and the right to avoid defamation.

On one hand, people are free to talk about their experiences in a truthful manner without fearing a lawsuit. On the other hand, Amazon resellers have a right to not have false statements made that damage their reputation.

What is defamation?

Someone made a statement;

The statement was published;

The statement caused you injury;

The statement was false; and

The statement was not privileged.


Each element of defamation is discussed below.

Defamation statement: A defamatory statement can be verbally spoken, which is slander. Statements that are published, making them available to be seen by others, is libel.

Publication: If another person besides you can see, hear or read the statement, it is considered “published.” Negative feedback or anything written online, printed anyplace newspaper or on television or even in an email could man it was “published” under the law.

Injury: A statement injures your reputation or business if it results in lost sales. A single suspended listing could be enough.

 Privileged: A privileged statement includes specially protected claims like when a police officer or public official accuses someone of breaking the law.

The Impact of Social Media

keyboardWith the incredible rise of social media, it is now easier than ever to make defamatory statements online. In addition to posting negative feedback on Amazon, Twitter and Facebook allow someone to instantly publish defamatory statements to thousands of people.

Negative feedback statements that attempt to divert transactions or buyers can be published in a disparaging blog post, Facebook status update or YouTube video. You can take legal action if statements are published this way.

Defamatory statements may be posted:

On your Amazon seller account page or other online marketplaces you use

Internet forum postings about your business

Facebook comments on your business’ official Facebook page

Personal “protest” websites which dedicate themselves to making false claims about your business


So, how can a business protect itself against defamation?

C.J.’S Point: Actively Prevent Suspensions (“APS”)

1) Read every negative feedback;

2) Respond to every negative feedback;

3) Try and get each and every negative feedback retracted;

Prepare for Amazon Suspension by having a bullet point for every single negative feedback or problem that arises so that if you need it, your Plan of Action can be completed and submitted immediately after any suspension.

C.J.’S Point: Unlike non-lawyers, we can use the law to Actively Prevent Suspensions and address suspensions at the source: the person or company that complained about you.

When you discover that your Amazon account has been defamed, obtain legal counsel as soon as possible.