We sell about 2/3 of our parts via Amazon.com these days. It seems to be the place that people go to look for things, and the low shipping cost is advantageous to customers. But Amazon.com is not without its problems.
Competition: Amazon.com actually advertises with Google to steal business from our website to our products on their website.
Feedback: The feedback system on Amazon.com is just broken. Happy customers rarely leave positive feedback but people with a bad experience often do, leading to a skewed feedback rating.
No-questions asked return policy: People often use negative feedback to justify returns, in response to their own failure to check product details. We see a lot of “it didn’t fit” which to us clearly means they didn’t bother to check the copious details we have for our products to avoid wrong purchases.
It is that last one that really gets us. We get enough returns by people that just don’t bother to check the details that about once a month, one of our products on Amazon.com gets suspended due to and “abnormally high” return rate. We then have to go through a rigamarole to get the listing activated again.
One time, we decided just to leave a couple of listings inactive for a while because they constantly had this problem. Eventually, someone tried to hijack the relatively good ratings on the product by submitting changes to the listing name and description, and listing some totally unrelated product in its place.
And then there are the nightmare stories we’ve read about
- Amazon.com suspends a seller account for some unknown reason they won’t disclose. Game over.
- Competitors will leave feedback that claims a product exploded on them, causing Amazon.com to suspend the listing indefinitely with no recourse.
- People actually hijack entire seller accounts and then start listing far inferior products under the same listings.
So, even thought it might make sense to simply close sales on our own website, as our cost per shipped item is much higher than on Amazon.com, we keep it going as a stop-gap against issues with Amazon.com.
You can help support the continuity of independent sellers like us by purchasing from our website, even thought it might cost a bit more due to higher shipping costs.