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Amazon sellers woes for not shipping on Christmas bank holidays

By Dan Wilson January 11, 2017 - 6:48 pm

We’ve had several readers get in contact to tell us that they have been suspended from selling on Amazon because Amazon has not taken into account some of the seasonal bank holidays when calculating a seller’s Late Dispatch Rate metric. The cases we’ve heard about have typically involved sellers shipping to the EU, specifically France and Germany. Have you had a similar experience?

One seller wrote to tell us that his Amazon France account was now marked as ‘At risk’ after he sold an item on the 23rd of December. This was supposed to have a shipped by date of the 26th/27th. Needless to say, both of these dates were UK bank holidays.

Another seller from Scotland says that over the New year period, because the country has an additional bank holiday for the day after New Year’s Day, that he was unable to ship with Royal Mail until Wednesday 4th of January.

He has subsequently been reinstated but Amazon have said they are reviewing his account and in the meantime he will not receive any disbursements until that is complete.

In both cases, the correspondents noted that their experience with Amazon seller support had been poor.

It shouldn’t be too hard to factor in the various bank holidays into the despatch metric calculations but it does seem quite a number of sellers have been impacted. Have you had a similar experience?

  • Toby
    2 months ago

    We completely forget about December trading & close up & go on a holiday to Mexico for 3 weeks.

    No worries about logistics, strikes , customers making last minute purchases or late delivery markdowns.

    The staff only had to book in10 days holidays for a nice relaxing 3 week break

  • Craig
    2 months ago

    We’re also in Scotland and had changed all of our inventory to a 5 day lead time for shipping on Dec 23. We then dispatched all orders on Dec 28 and again on Jan 3 when we returned in the New Year.

    However, when changing the 5 day lead time back to 1 day on Jan 3 the change negatively effected 138 existing orders in our Amazon account.

    After numerous emails and calls to Amazon they have been unable to rectify our seller metrics. Unfortunately we were removed from the BuyBox for 5 days.

    We continue to liaise with Amazon over this but alas we will not be reimbursed in any way for the circa £15k worth of sales we lost.

  • Andy
    2 months ago

    Is it that hard to put your account ‘on holiday’ for a couple of days to avoid this?

    If you sell on marketplaces other than your own you should be aware of holidays or otherwise on the sites in countries you sell on.

    It’s not Amazon’s fault you are useless at working this out. Do you for example expect Amazon Japan to cut you slack when the U.K. shuts down for 4 days at Easter and you don’t ship orders when you say you would, based on their working days?

    Give me strength.

    • Sam O'levski
      2 months ago

      Not everyone has so much money they can afford to reject sales for a few days, and I think we’re talking mostly about selling to foreign countries but on a UK marketplace rather than a foreign one – aren’t we ?

    • Andy
      2 months ago

      Sales on Amazon UK would have delivery and dispatch expectations based on UK working days and holidays.

      These are people selling on Amazon.fr or other Amazon country sites.

      Amazon doesn’t ever expect me to ship an order on Boxing Day because it’s a Monday or any other working day. It’s a holiday in the UK and is treated as such by them.

      I’m afraid I have no sympathy for people wanting to sell on sites but not being aware of local expectations of them on those sites or managing them.

      Would you have sympathy with a US seller who listed on Amazon UK, but didn’t ship an order when you expected it to be based on what Amazon UK told you because it was Thanksgiving in the US?

    • 1 month ago

      Agree with you Andy. As a seller you know the rules and if you can’t stick to them then switch on your ‘Holiday Settings’.

      Every seller is different, but we didn’t close down at all over Christmas, aside from Christmas Day, we worked all the way through and take 2 weeks off in January instead when not much happens and cheaper holidays! :0 But appreciate that this arrangement may not suit all.

      The problem I’ve had this year is Royal Mail; they’ve has been so unreliable, quite a few items posted between 19th – 4th January either lost or delayed.

      Claimed for 72 delayed Special Delivery items alone.

    • Rob
      1 month ago

      Which ever site you sell on, surly that site should be able to get holidays settings correct and know if in that country has a holiday or not on a certain day.

      The more rules these sites create then the more sells will break them. If you have less rules then there will be less problems.

    • Derek Duval
      1 month ago

      Sorry Mr Bezos we wont do it again. We promise we will work 24/7. 365 days a year for 0 profits and umpteen returns.

  • Simon E
    2 months ago

    We shut up a week before Chrimbo to avoid the “It didn’t get here for Christmas” scenarios.
    BUT
    The it’s the PENDING items that you have to be careful of in Amazon and Awaiting Payment on Ebay.

    They can clear at any time and you better be ready for it!!!
    You better answer those queries on Christmas day and woe betied you if you don’t.
    And they say online sellers have it easy over the high street!!!

  • Neil
    2 months ago

    This isn’t difficult to sidestep.

    Any day you can’t post, just print all the dispatch notes (I did it to a pdf) and mark them all shipped.

    Mark all messages as no response needed.

    Deal with it all the next day or even the day after. You might even find it easier to pick from paperwork in a batch rather one by one from screen – we do.

    You get no late scores for messages.

    You get none for dispatch unless you go back and upload tracking, so don’t bother.

    Metrics all 100%.

  • Sophie
    2 months ago

    We upload a leadtime of a few extra days in all our Amazon accounts. This pushed expected ship dates to take into account UK holidays.

    We then delete them when we are back in and working normally.

    We still had issues with lates caused by a few pending orders and a couple of countries were at risk but these have now cleared out.

    We experience these issues years ago and learnt from this. Maybe Tamebay could have an article towards the end of Christmas trading 2017 reminding people of the woes they experienced in 2016 :)

    If you are nervous just turn your account to vacation mode.

  • 2 months ago

    Amazon sure likes to remind people who they are actually working for, you are an employee of Amazon who don’t need to pay holiday to and get you off their site by fault, mistake or any reason they wish. After selling on marketplaces for over 10 years I would suggest anyone selling on these marketplaces don’t rely on them to pay your mortgage and income to look after your family. It’s not fair on your family.

  • Simon Mott
    1 month ago

    As an aside, is anyone else seeing strange figures in the Amazon Account Health page for “Delivered on time”?

    We’re seeing figures of between 60 – 80% in big red letters, and yet nothing has changed with our shipping, nor have we received any negative feedback.

    Is Amazon UK also switching to a “must be sent using tracking” policy?

    S.

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