Amazon Delists Us AGAIN! This time for a “defective product” — with only 6 complaints out of 5164 Amazon sales in January & February, 2021.
We received over 22k views on my previous Medium article about how a competitor got us delisted from Amazon by reporting our no-buckle belts as containing drugs.
You might have also read my first Medium article about a copycat on Amazon that stole my product, images and branding.
A bit of background: I’m the inventor of BeltBro, a patented no buckle belt that uses 2 belt loops to secure pants. We started selling in February 2020, during the pandemic. Although we’ve had enormous success on our website, with over 100,000+ customers, we’ve faced a near-constant struggle selling on Amazon.
After I wrote the last Medium article about the competitor who got us delisted for claiming our belts contain drugs, we received enormous support. Our article trended, and even Ev Williams, co-founder of Medium and Twitter, commented “That’s very frustrating, Josh. Best of luck.” I was also interviewed by two national media organizations.
I was surprised to finally receive a phone call from Amazon “apologizing” for their mistake. Amazon also confirmed over the phone that the previous issue was indeed filed by a competitor. We’ve sent a legal letter to Amazon requesting they reveal the identity of this competitor to pursue further action.
Amazon said they reinstated us and we will need to re-parent all our listings. Unfortunately, when our product was delisted, we lost all our top 10 category rankings, which we estimate as over $57,368.55 in lost revenue.
Almost as soon as we got back up and running, we received another email on February 24th, 2021:
“Action Required: Listing Removed from Amazon.com”
The email says “We removed some of your listings because of buyer complaints that these items are defective or do not function as expected from the description on the product detail page.. Amazon has several product detail and listing policies to ensure customers have a consistent buying experience and receive items in the condition they expect.”
First of all, our return rate across all our products on Amazon is very low. We’ve received a total of 95 returns out of 5164 units sold in January and February 2021, which is a total return rate of 1.84%. We sell multiple sizes, so refunds related to “apparel style” and “item too small” and “item too large” make up 50% of the reasons our product was returned. Only 6 people out of 5164 sales returned it with the reason “defective” — which is 0.1% of all our Amazon sales!
This does appear like it could be the result of another coordinated attack by a competitor. I really have no other explanation at this time, and Amazon confirming the last delisting was caused by a competitor makes it a lot more likely it happened again.
It’s completely frustrating to deal with Amazon. It takes enormous time away from actually running my business, my products are being constantly attacked and delisted on their platform, with limited Amazon phone or human support, and I have to pay an expert Amazon consultant to help me deal with these issues.
We’ve lost nearly all our top category and sales rankings. We were previously in the Top 10 in both the best selling Men’s Belts and Women’s Belts categories.
My competitors seemed to have figured out how to exploit a company run by algorithms..
We’ve filed an appeal to the delisting. I have not yet heard back, but when I do, I will keep everyone posted.
** UPDATE AS OF 3/2/21 ** Amazon re-instated our listing. We do not know anything about what caused this. It’s very confusing, difficult and non-transparent to deal with Amazon’s algorithmic enforcement.