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Amazon Just Made it REALLY Difficult for 99.9% of UK Businesses

First there was the price parity warnings, then there was the policy warnings for buyer response times, then Amazon started to get aggressive with 3rd party businesses by throwing them off and now… They’re bulking in all the really expensive places in the UK to ship to as mainland UK.

I’m going to start this article with a direct and open message to Amazon.

Open Message to Amazon

Dear “Amazon”,

It’s crystal clear that you care deeply about your customers, this also happens to be the same people we, as 3rd party merchants, care very much about too.

As much as this will be distasteful to you, on behalf of every business that uses the Amazon UK marketplace, please… take a lesson from eBay on communicating messages to your 3rd party merchants.

eBay just released a set of updates for their their marketplaces in a structured, well considered approach, taking the time to bundle several changes together into a single update and added excellent communications around this, this included a dedicated section of their website to the updates, video content and 3rd parties were informed.

We, [plural, as I am speaking for the businesses that I work with and the 11 frantic emails I received so far this evening from other concerned business owners (I’m sure more will follow tomorrow)] would like it very much if you could try and bulk up changes that are going to come out very close to each other, so that as multi-channel business owners we can react to them in one go.

Sometimes we may not like the updates you make, but we also understand that you are looking out for the best interests of our customers too.

While we may not like that the new change to the shipping, because it’s going to cost us an absolute fortune for certain product verticals, we do understand why you would like to make such a change, as it has the best interests for those customers in the outskirts of the UK mainland.

However, this is the 3rd update in as many weeks and it would not take much effort you bundle these together into a single update.

We’re not asking for the level of communication that eBay provides, just to slow down and give us chance to digest and react to the changes, rather than hitting us with three consecutive blows.

Thank you

Take a read of this, if you haven’t seen your’s yet, it’ll be in the email spam folder:

Subject: Important information about the UK Shipping Settings in your seller account

Dear Seller,

We are writing to let you know about a change to the UK shipping regions in your Amazon.co.uk seller account. As of 21st March 2012, deliveries to the Isle of Man, Guernsey and Jersey, as well as other off-mainland locations, will be included in the main “UK Street” shipping region.

We are making this change in order to ensure a consistent delivery experience for buyers on our site. Customers can now shop in confidence knowing that they will be charged the same rates for delivery to addresses throughout the UK, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

Your “UK Mainland Street” delivery rates will be automatically applied to the new “UK Street” region. If you wish to modify your current pricing, click the “Shipping Settings” link on the Settings tab in your Seller Central account, and then click the Edit button at the top of the Shipping Model section.

To find out more about changing your shipping settings, enter “Shipping Settings” in the Search box in the upper-right corner of the main seller Help page, or click “Configure My Shipping Settings” under the Configure Account Settings heading.

Thank you for selling on Amazon.

Amazon Services Europe

What Do You Think?

You can’t even block these locations now, if you start refunding orders from these locations, you’ll get policy warnings and jeopardise your account, if you make no changes then we’ll take a hit to your margins and not all our products are suitable for FBA.

So the only thing that gives, is to increase the shipping values used to even out the excessive courier & shipping rates to these locations.

Am I wrong? Was the message fair? What do you think?

Let me know in the comments box below.