Switched to FBA & Alliance Canceled Our Seller Account - NIGHTMARE!

When we converted to FBA, Amazon Alliance thought we were trying to open a second seller account, because Alliance & FBA apparently don't communicate with each other. As a result, we lost 3 weeks of income, additional actual damages, and $1,000 in funds got frozen.

This is a recount of our first days on FBA:

  • Wednesday 31st - We signed up, were told that our inventory would be "converted" to FBA and Seller Central within 24-48 hours. We shipped a box of inventory on Wednesday afternoon - cost to us was $19.50.
  • Thursday 1st - Seller Central was up, but inventory disappeared. So was our balance (about $1,000). Were promised it would be up and running soon.
  • Friday 2nd - Inventory still down, 24 hours and counting. No income during this period, and our $1,000 was still inaccessible.
  • Saturday & Sunday - ditto. No income for 4 days and counting.
  • Monday 5th - We were contacted by Amazon Alliance. Our conversion to FBA was perceived as an attempt to open a second seller account, which was against Amazon policy. Were told our seller account was permanently canceled, we're NEVER allowed to sell on Amazon again. We were told not to bother calling or emailing - this decision was final.
  • Tuesday 6th - We decided to email & call anyway. FBA knew nothing about this. No phone number for Alliance. We emailed Alliance, and received an automated response, saying not to send any more emails, and don't expect a response.
  • Friday 9th - No response, FBA doesn't know what's going on. No income for 11 consecutive days, $1,000 still missing. Meanwhile we are paying storage fees. Decided to give up on Amazon. Instructed FBA to throw out/discard less valuable inventory (at $1.50 per item) and ship the rest back to us, at our expense. Total cost to us $127 + $19.50 initial cost to ship to FBA + $5 in FBA storage fees + cost of items thrown away (approximately $300 retail value).
  • Friday 23rd - Received email from Alliance. Without admitting their mistake, they reinstated our account, apologized for any "confusion". $1,000 was finally released.
Summary: We lost 3 weeks of income, lost access to our account ($1,000) for almost 4 weeks, & spent $151.50 on shipping costs and FBA fees.

FBA - Problems with support

In order to save costs, FBA has discontinued all phone and email support. The only way to contact them is by creating a support ticket.

This may seem like no big deal...until you have an emergency situation. Factor into that, there are very few (if any) FBA staffers available on weekends. Once, for example, ALL our inventory disappeared on Friday afternoon - we had to wait until Monday to have someone figure it out for us. That's not just 3 days of lost income.... since 50% of our sales happen on the weekends, we lost 50% of a week's salary because of their mistake, and nobody was around to help us.

Also, once our deposit didn't come through - again, we had to wait 3 days before even getting a response.

To make things even more complicated, some issues require generating a support ticket with Amazon, and some require generating a ticket with FBA. How do you know which is which? Bottom line is, you don't. It's very confusing using the "Seller Central", because you're not technically on the Amazon site.

So sometimes you will contact Seller Central support, and they will tell you instead to generate a ticket with Amazon, or vice-versa. And God forbid you ever have a problem with Alliance - there's a completely different process, and another group of people who don't want to talk to you.