Why are Amazon sending postcards to Sellers to verify their address?
Amazon’s desire to ensure that Sellers are exactly who they say they are has led to a new scheme that verifies addresses.
After requiring third-party American sellers to make their business names and addresses public in September, Amazon is now mailing postcards to merchants who sell on its US marketplace to verify their addresses.
The move was reported by CNBC in America, quoting an email sent by Amazon that states: “As part of our commitment to provide a safe and trustworthy shopping experience for our customers and selling partners, we need to verify the business address displayed on your Amazon.com seller profile page.”
The postcard is sent with a verification code that Sellers then have to enter on Seller Central within 60 days. If they fail to do so, Amazon can withhold funds from the Seller’s account. Any accounts that prove to have an illegitimate address will be banned. Should the postcard be lost in the mail, Amazon allows one new one to be re-sent.
Testing on the programme started last year and there are now plans in place to expand it further. An Amazon spokesperson was quoted by CNBC as saying: “We leverage a combination of advanced machine learning capabilities, robust vetting, and expert human investigators to protect our customers and selling partners from bad actors and bad products.
“Once a seller is allowed to sell in our store, we continue to monitor their account and its behaviours for new risks. We are constantly innovating in this space to stay ahead of bad actors and their attempts to circumvent our controls.”
Local laws mean that Sellers in Europe, Mexico and Japan had to display their addresses long before the US, and this is the latest step to ensure that information in America is correct.
Thompson and Holt managing partner Stuart White, who has extensive experience in Amazon’s processes surrounding suspensions, has welcomed the move. He said: “We fully support any measures being put in place that protect Sellers who abide by Amazon’s terms and conditions, and prevent those that don’t from operating.
“Hiding somebody’s real address can be used to cover all manner of other Amazon sins, such as counterfeit goods, unsafe and expired products. It may be that those Sellers have already been suspended or excluded permanently for those issues, but operating with multiple, fake addresses allows them to consider selling through one of their other accounts.
“This is bad for everybody - bad for Amazon and its reputation and therefore the Sellers operating by the rules who want to be associated with a reliable site. This move should help put an end to the practise of multiple accounts, which Thompson and Holt has seen first hand is often used to cover other black hat tactics.
“Because it is being trialled and expanded in the USA we wouldn’t be surprised to see it rolled out elsewhere, and it shouldn’t be an issue for any Amazon Seller operating within the terms and conditions of the site.”
Worried about an Amazon suspension?
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.
Thompson and Holt are also offering a free month’s trial of their Monitor and Protect service to help sellers prevent a suspension of ASINs or an their account during the COVID pandemic. In April 2021 over 3,000 suspensions were prevented by Amazon Sellers using the software. More information on how to protect your Amazon seller account from a suspension can be found here.