Amazon in controversial forum move
Updated: Nov 25
Amazon is facing significant criticism for a move that will see displaying business names on their new Seller forums.
The proposal has been met with widespread dismay on current forums, with some suggesting that it will lead to huge numbers refusing to post and others saying that they want all past posts that they have made deleted. Many have said that they expected participation on the seller discussion boards to plummet.
Amazon has tried to defend the move in a statement by saying that Sellers they spoke to backed the change. Amazon said: “Seller feedback played a direct role in helping our product teams determine which features are most relevant to you.
“We surveyed sellers, conducting hundreds of virtual interviews to better understand how to improve Seller Forums. Sellers also took part in research studies and worked with forums prototypes, providing real-time feedback that played a key role in developing a more intuitive experience.
“In addition, Amazon community managers engaged with sellers in the forums directly to ask their opinions.”
Thompson and Holt managing partner Craig Gedey can understand the stance of disgruntled Sellers. He explained: “The Amazon Seller Forums have long been an insightful platform for what is really going on at Amazon - and much of that is down to the fact that posters could be completed
“If Sellers have an issue with Amazon it is often the first place that they will go to, allowing them to compare notes with businesses that have been in similar situations. Only this week when at Thompson and Holt we’ve been monitoring the forums over this issue, one poster described them as a “gold mine” of information.
“The fact that Amazon failed to mention this particular move when it initially announced changes to its forum use suggests they knew there would be a backlash. Their early statement talked about simplifying navigation, highlighting trustworthy information and allowing Sellers to personalise their experience.
“Some Sellers believe that the move could actually provide a safety issue, saying that other posters keep records of posts and will now be able to trace those directly to specific businesses.
“There doesn’t really seem to be any genuinely positive aspects to the move and it will be interesting to see whether there is any reaction to the backlash.”
Among the posts that Thompson and Holt have seen were: This is about the WORST OF THE WORST IDEAS AMAZON HAS HAD. My opinion - 90% of Forum top 100 contributors will opt-out or never again be seen.”
Another read: “I want my account, my posts, and my likes deleted. No trace. Some very specific Forum users be crazy. They have doxxed on social media and will dox again. THIS IS A SAFETY ISSUE.”
A third read: “Do you people have ANY idea how dangerous and IMMORAL what you're trying to do? Do you realize there are plenty of "buyers" and "rival sellers" out there who are capable of literally anything? Do you CARE?”
One Amazon moderator actually responded to a post by writing: “As the selling community grows, we believe that showing business names will help increase trust and mutual respect amongst sellers. It's also another great way to network and learn more about the other sellers you engage with in the forums. Let me share the feedback about the profile experience you described and see if I can gather additional details.”
If you have found yourself suspended while selling on Amazon, contact Thompson and Holt for a free LiveChat to get your Seller business back online as quickly as possible.