T'was the night before Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring except for Amazon deciding what our return policy was, what fees they would tack on, what our warranty would be, what we could charge for shipping, what they would decide a refund would be, what funds they would withold, what our lead time would be, what type of peanut butter we could buy and so on and, so on and, so... Oh Oh! And the best of all, we were not allowed to communicate directly with our customers, we had to communicate through the Amazon Gestapo or as Margerine Trailer Queen would say the Amazon Gazpacho.
Then, once we eclipsed $10,000 in sales for the month of May, 2022, they decided that we were required to buy liability insurance from them or from one of their approved providers. Why? If our product injured someone due to our negligence, we would have to deal with the legalities, not Amazon. Amazon was demanding a ransom for us to continue to sell on their platform. Let me be honest... we only listed on Amazon because it had become a search engine, a default go to for eager shoppers. We listed our Pullerbear Pro XL321 for $269.99 USD ($100 more than on our website) and customers had to pay a nominal shipping fee on top of that, State taxes and numerous other fees for a total of over $300 USD. Our price including shipping was $199.99 USD (no taxes, no fees, no nothin'). We even put our website link in our product description to direct our Amazon customers to our website.
It's hard to tell if the strategy worked or not, because we had no way of telling where our website customers came from. Even with the obvious re-direction to save customers over $100, many, many did not pick up on the tactic or they still preferred to give Bezo's their hard earned cash. Like I mentioned earlier, we had over $10,000 in sales for the month of May, 2022. After the ransom demand of "purchase our liability insurance or else", we decided we couldn't care less if we were on Amazon or not. To show our complete irreverance to the Amazon "rules", we changed our product description title to $169.99 Pullerbear Pro XL321 at pullerbear.com even though the list price of $269.99 USD was right there, in plain sight. Customers still bought their Pullerbear through Amazon. We were supplying them directly to the customers so, we let the "inventory" run out and now we are tough to find on either the Canadian or American Amazon sites. We're still getting the "buy our liability insurance or else" emails and they go directly to the Trash folder.
Before we faded into the Amazon abyss, we took the liberty of screen grabbing our 4.5 Star review history, and they are posted below for your reading enjoyment. If you want to see the two reviews that knocked us down a peg to 4.5 from 5 stars, read the last two reviews. Jennifer B. isn't a customer or even a person, she is either my evil twin or one of our competitors, and Gooshlem is a customer, but his beef is that the plants break off. That's nothing we can control. Herein lies one of the problems with Amazon. Anyone can leave a review on any item they want to on Amazon. You don't have to have bought a certain product from a vendor on Amazon to leave a review. You can under-rate products or over-rate products as often as you want. My advice when reading reviews, don't believe the best or the worst ones. Somewhere in the middle lies the truth.
To summarize, we think Amazon is a decent buyer platform, but the sellers on the platform are at the mercy of this capitalistic behemoth that will crush a business without a second thought. Consider what we've devulged here before you return, complain, write a bad review or disparage a vendor on the Amazon platform. There are a lot of one income stream businesses and, unfortunately, they need Amazon more than Amazon needs them. Be kind.