Be sure to mark your Amazon sales as despatched every day

We get most of our best stories from readers. So it was interesting to receive an email from a disgruntled Amazon seller today who has been suspended from selling on the site.

It seems that her crime was not marking her despatches as despatched until the day after they left the building. So they were sent on time but not marked as sent in time. Seemingly, it wasn’t a regular occurrence. It was just an oversight on three different days since last July.

Amazon’s policy is quite clear and came into force last summer. You can read it here: Late Dispatch Rate Metric. Amazon stresses the reason why they have such a metric: late despatch “raises customer anxiety and results in increased negative feedback and claims.” A 4% late despatch metric is permitted.

But the penalty does seem rather stiff and the policy may not necessarily be having the desired effect on seller behaviour. Our correspondent suggests that some sellers may well not be despatching items on time and yet not falling foul of the performance metric because they do mark sold items as despatched on time.

Who knows? But there is one clear moral of the story. You need to be marking every single item that you’ve sold on Amazon as despatched on the day it goes out. Otherwise you may find yourself in trouble.

It also reinforces that fear that any marketplace seller has lingering in their mind all of the time: they have the power to cut you off whenever they like and that could spell the end of your business.