At 3:00 a.m., Amazon seller Tian Wei sent feedback: "I was banned from 12 accounts today. The platform may block me, and I will not be allowed to be an Amazon in the future."
After going through the wave of bans last year, Tian Wei returned to the pre-liberation overnight. More than 200 accounts were banned, and more than 200 million funds were frozen. So far, the accounts and funds have not been returned. After being banned, he was depressed for a while, but soon changed categories and re-entered Amazon. A year later, Tian Wei's account was suspended again by Amazon because it was suspected to be related to the previously banned account.
This time, Tian Wei thought about it for a long time and decided that he was on Amazon's blacklist, and he didn't know what to do in the future.
12 accounts were blocked overnight , and the seller lost 700,000
On the afternoon of October 19, Tian Wei found out that he had an account blocked by Amazon. Then he found out that all 9 accounts were hung up. Until after 8 pm that day, Tian Wei saw that a total of 12 accounts had been blocked by the platform.
Of the 12 blocked accounts, 9 are new accounts, and these accounts are all test accounts bought two months ago. According to Tian Wei, at that time he bought a total of 10 new accounts, each of which cost 1,000 yuan, thinking about slowly raising the products and putting them on the shelves. As a result, 9 of these 10 accounts died.
In addition to the new account, Tian Wei has 3 old accounts that have been suspended by Amazon. These three accounts were purchased at the end of last year, and it was only four months after the official launch of the product.
The email from Amazon generally mentioned that your account has been suspended, mainly related to product policy compliance. Amazon policies ensure a safe store environment for buyers and equal treatment for sellers, and violations of these policies may result in removal of content or account suspension.
The three blocked old accounts have been frozen with a total of about 100,000 US dollars (equivalent to about 700,000 yuan at the current exchange rate), and one of the accounts has a balance of more than 60,000 US dollars. Ranging from $2000 to $4000.
After discovering that the account was blocked, Tian Wei became anxious.
First, he repeatedly checked the emails sent by Amazon to analyze the reasons; secondly, he asked his peers if they were recruited; finally, he consulted with service providers to see if there was a solution.
Busy in the middle of the night, at 3:00 a.m. on the 20th, Tian Wei was helpless: "12 accounts have been blocked, and they can't be saved."
Maybe this is the norm for Amazonians, sleepless and highly stressed when there is a problem with the account.
After analyzing the reasons for the account being blocked, Tian Wei was relatively relieved that 9 new accounts were blocked. He said: "Amazon will scan a batch of new accounts from time to time to conduct regular audits. When they are scanned, they will need to carry out relevant certification and submit various materials for appeal. I just encountered regular audits."
Regarding the question of whether to appeal to get the account back, Tian Wei believes that these new accounts were bought and cannot be submitted with the relevant information, so there is no help. And he is also sure that he will not appeal, because appealing takes time and money, and an account of 1,000 yuan is not worth investing in.
However, Tian Wei was very distressed about the sudden suspension of the three old accounts, not only because the accounts had balances, but more importantly, these accounts just had sales results.
After discovering that the account was blocked, Tian Wei's first reaction was: "It shouldn't be, I didn't do any illegal operations, why did I block my account?"
Upon closer inspection, Tian Wei seemed to have found the answer. Perhaps his account information was associated with the previously blocked account.
In the 2021 wave of bans, Tian Wei has more than 200 accounts banned by Amazon due to illegal brushing, and the funds in the accounts are as high as more than 200 million yuan. After experiencing the wave of bans, Tian Wei continued to operate on Amazon, and the collection information of the newly opened account overlapped with the information of the previously banned account.
"It should be the information link of the receiving account, which was caught by Amazon. From this point of view, I have been blacklisted on the platform, and Amazon will not let me sell it. Even if I no longer operate illegally, it will not give me a chance." Tian Wei said Somewhat lost.
He further introduced: "Maybe Amazon has a sanction list, which will catch sellers who have violated the rules before, record you through various data analysis, and then directly block you and sanction you. For example, a legal person of a company can do business on Amazon If you violate the platform's sales principles, Amazon will mark it, and you may be the focus of the platform's supervision in the future."
Obviously, this has become Tian Wei's biggest concern. If this is the case, how will the business on the Amazon platform continue in the future?
Multiple sellers recruited for adult purpose
Without exception, Tian Wei's blocked old accounts are all in the category of adult products, and the accounts are all bought.
According to Tian Wei's analysis, the account being blocked this time may be because Amazon has focused on reviewing this special category.
"There is a friend who makes adult products, and his account was blocked last week; some friends were also blocked last week. These blocked accounts are basically new accounts. So I think Amazon is a requirement for this category. stricter."
Tian Wei's guess corresponds exactly to what happened to some sellers in the industry.
According to an industry seller, most of the accounts of a company with more than 100 people have been blocked this year. This company is in the category of adult products. The company still has some illegal operations, but the accounts that do not violate the regulations have also been closed by the platform.
Another seller of adult products said that this category is easy to be banned, and it was only after dozens of trumpets died that they found a way.
Some sellers bluntly said that adult products are actually a crazy test on the edge of contraband.
According to an industry insider, since July this year, Amazon seems to have stepped up its review of new accounts in the adult product category. What he knows is that the platform scans at least 2,000 accounts every day, and the new accounts are basically blocked from the last one. A person familiar with the matter also said that there have always been permanent bans for adult product violations, and it has been more frequent recently than before.
Tian Wei started his business with adult products on Amazon. The more than 200 accounts he had previously blocked were all selling adult products. In 2019, the peak sales volume once exceeded 800 million. He has his own adult products factory. as a stable supply chain.
Because of the pitfalls in adult products, early this year, Tianwei wanted to give up this category completely. At that time, he sold out all the adult product accounts that he was operating. The main reasons were as follows: 1. The price of raw materials for adult products has risen sharply, and the supply cost has risen sharply; 2. Operations such as swiping orders and reviews cannot be performed, and the platform is not suitable for adults. There are certain restrictions on advertising, and it is difficult to obtain traffic.
These two reasons made Tian Wei reluctant to change to another category, and moved the company from Shenzhen to Humen, Dongguan. The number of employees in the Shenzhen company was also reduced from more than 300 people at most to 5 people.
After escaping from Shenzhen, Tian Wei tried to take advantage of Dongguan's supply chain to reopen another category, and the new category was selected as daily necessities.
This time, Tian Wei learned from the previous experience and lessons, and stopped illegal operations such as brushing orders and reviews. After operating the new category for a period of time, Tian Wei felt a lot of pressure. This year, the market environment has changed suddenly. The price war between sellers of similar categories is fierce. In addition, advertising costs and shipping costs have soared. It is not easy for Tian Wei to operate in new categories.
"It's all selling at a low price. If you don't follow it, you won't get an order. If you sell it at a low price, there will be no profit, no profit at all!" Tian Wei sighed.
In June of this year, Tian Wei picked up the adult product category that he had the advantage of in the supply chain again. He believed that as long as he didn't pay the bills and did not conduct illegal operations, he should be able to continue to operate, and this category is a category he is familiar with. , and it has its own factory, the relative profit will be better, and the company can survive smoothly.
After only 4 months of operation, Tian Wei's account for adult products was closed again. All 12 accounts were killed overnight, and the 3 old accounts that had just recovered were gone, which became a lingering shadow for him.
"Adult categories will be supervised by the platform, and there will be more relevant audits and requirements. Even if you don't brush the bill and don't violate the rules, it is more difficult to do than other categories." The seller in the industry said.
The account was blocked again. Tian Wei communicated with the service provider and came to the conclusion that the account may never be recovered. There are three reasons: 1. The account association itself has little chance of successful appeal; 2. Amazon is easy to find out The information of an illegal account, and compared with the previous illegal account, the platform technology is undoubtedly advanced; 3 or 3 old accounts were bought, and the purchased account itself is at risk, and now there is a problem and it cannot be found. The legal person cooperates with the relevant audit.
Tian Wei’s experience also reminds cross-border sellers that buying an account on Amazon is not allowed by the platform. Once caught, there is basically no possibility of recovery, especially for accounts with a certain sales foundation. Once a problem occurs, it may cause a lot of losses. , reminding Amazon sellers to be careful.
Amazon cleans up a batch of illegal accounts
Some of the accounts banned by Tianben this time received a notice of "violating the restricted product policy", which is the latest account ban initiated by Amazon.
Last Wednesday, eight out of 10 accounts of a seller were suddenly blocked. These are old stores that have been in business for two or three years, adopting a non-distribution FBA model, and the brands and products in the stores are different. The main products sold are toys, masks, etc.
Amazon said in the email that according to Article 3 of the Amazon Business Solutions Agreement , the seller's account has been permanently deactivated and the listing has been deleted. Funds are not transferred to the seller, but remain in their account. The reason for the suspension is that the items listed by the seller are not allowed to be sold on Amazon, and items sold on Amazon must comply with all applicable laws and Amazon policies.
To reactivate an account, sellers need to submit evidence or documents that the account does not violate the platform's "restricted products" policy, and accounts that fail to provide this information will continue to be deactivated. Sellers are not optimistic about whether the blocked account can be recovered this time. Under normal circumstances, when there is a product violation problem, Amazon will mention the violation or infringing ASIN in the email, but these emails do not mention it, so it is regarded by the seller as a "no solution" situation.
This may not be a disaster. According to informed sellers, some of these designated stores sell Pop It-related toy products, which cannot be ruled out as stepping on the minefield of infringement.
Another analysis believes that there may be a problem with the category of one of the stores, which was not solved in time. After being discovered by the platform, the stores were connected, causing group injuries. "My store is a boutique FBA. This time, all the accounts have been suspended, and the whole number has been lost." A seller said.
Misjudgments are also possible. Another seller said that the company's store also follows the boutique FBA route, selling regular home office products. It has never sold any illegal products, and has not received any performance notices for restricted products before. Now it suddenly receives restricted products. The performance notification account hangs up, which is very confusing.
"If it is a misjudgment of contraband, you can appeal back in a few words. I appealed to a friend in May, because it was a misjudgment that the appeal passed in seconds. If it wasn't for a misjudgment, it would be difficult to do it." If the account is believed to have been manslaughtered, sellers can also appeal, proving how the account did not violate the "restricted products" policy and provide relevant evidence, but if Amazon confirms that the account violated the policy, the account will continue to be suspended.
Judging from the feedback from sellers, most of the products Amazon has rectified this time are suspected of violating regulations or rubbing edges. Once it is monitored and confirmed to sell restricted products, the account will face a permanent ban and heavy fines, and it is difficult to turn over. This is a self-inspection and cleanup by Amazon before the peak season this year, and Tian Wei and others hit the muzzle.
5 years, the ups and downs of the cross-border business after 95
Nearly 1 billion waist sellers have fallen, and they have become the focus of Amazon once again. Amazon is an avenue in the cross-border e-commerce industry. Does Tian Wei still have a chance on this road?
As an e-commerce entrepreneur who has not graduated from primary school, his experience is very rare in the industry.
In 1995, Tian Wei was born in a remote small mountain village in Xiangxi Tujia and Miao Autonomous Prefecture, Hunan. His parents were farmers. In 2003, due to family changes, his mother took Tian Wei and his younger brother to study in Shantou, Guangdong. In order to reduce the burden on the family, he dropped out of school in 2009.
Tian Wei's first job was sorting plastics in a company in Chaozhou, Shantou, where he worked 12 hours a day and earned 60 yuan. The next year, he came to Xili, Nanshan, Shenzhen, and started his second job. In this company that makes LED light strips, he came into contact with online shopping. At that time, he didn't know there was Taobao, and only saw that many colleagues often received pack. One day he couldn't help but curiously asked the supervisor who had just received the Samsung mobile phone memory card: "Where did you buy this?" The other party told him that it was Taobao.
This is a new thing for him. In 2011, Tian Wei learned how to open an online store through a colleague. In order to better understand e-commerce, he bought his first smartphone.
In 2012, he picked up a budgerigar on his way from get off work and wanted to find a companion for it. After searching on Taobao, he found it. He had an idea – why not sell parrots himself? In July of this year, Tian Wei opened his first Taobao store. He learned basic knowledge from Taobao colleagues while working, learned to draw and decorate the store, and earned his first 1 million yuan in a short period of time.
But in December of this year, Taobao removed the live parrot category, and Tian Wei's store could only be closed. After that, he tried several small stores such as Bluetooth headsets and maternal and child products, but they were all unsatisfactory.
After careful inspection, Tian Wei found that the category of adult products is relatively new, and the products are also suitable for online shopping. The most important thing is that the competition is small. So he turned around, and in 2013, he made a profit of 2 million in adult products.
In order to expand his business, in 2014, he founded an online sales company that produces such products, which has grown rapidly from 4 people to 90 people at the beginning, opened three Taobao stores, and made a monthly profit of 2.4 million. In 2015, the company added two more flagship stores on Tmall and three flagship stores on JD.com. In 2016, a large number of merchants poured in, and Tian Wei's company's order volume began to decline. He studied in many ways, and the company's profit was maintained at more than 40 million yuan.
At this time, cross-border e-commerce has gradually become a new topic in Shenzhen. In 2017, Tian Wei learned about Amazon, AliExpress and Independent Station, and settled in Amazon to start his cross-border e-commerce career. The first stop was the US market. In order to better understand the market, Tian Wei went to the United States in August this year to inspect the local customs. After some consideration, he registered a company in the United States, applied for trademarks and patents, opened a bank account in the United States, and set up overseas warehouses in Washington.
After returning to China in November, Tian Wei accelerated his operations on Amazon. At the same time, he also deployed the AliExpress platform, invested 20 million in self-built factories in Ningbo and Dongguan, and established 6 exclusive cooperative supply chains. This year, Tian Wei bought a property and a Mercedes-Benz in Shenzhen, and made a profit of more than 60 million.
From this, the company entered the fast lane, and Tian Wei also ushered in the "peak of life". In 2018, the company's Amazon business has grown to 89 accounts, and it has deployed five sites in the United States, Japan, Germany, Singapore and Brazil, and the average orders of several sites are relatively stable. So far, the company has more than 500 employees in China and more than 100 employees in overseas warehouses. The company's annual sales are more than 600 million, and the total number of accounts has reached more than 200.
2019 was the busiest year. Tian Wei has added a new Pinduoduo channel and opened 39 official flagship stores. This is the only platform that can place advertisements for adult products. The traffic is considerable, and Tian Wei attaches great importance to it. During the same period, he went to Southeast Asia to set up a live broadcast system of an independent station. It took two months to complete the system construction in Malaysia, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and Kenya, and cooperated with local Internet celebrities and websites to promote it. There are no restrictions on the sales of supplies, and this category has also become a sales trend for independent stations.
In this year, Tianwei Company sold an average of more than 15,000 orders per day in the domestic market, of which JD.com and Taobao accounted for 20%, and Pinduoduo accounted for 80%; in terms of overseas channels, there were a total of 216 accounts on Amazon, with an average daily sales of about 2 10,000 orders, 2 AliExpress accounts sell more than 400 orders per day, independent stations sell more than 5,000 orders per day, 6 factories work overtime to supply, the company's total annual sales amount to more than 800 million yuan.
With the outbreak of the epidemic in 2020, many e-commerce sellers received unexpected dividends this year, but Tian Wei was not among them. After experiencing the difficulty of starting construction at the beginning of the year, the company is facing many problems such as shortage of raw materials and skyrocketing shipping costs. Factors such as serious shortages have led to basically no orders in the overseas market, and orders in the domestic market have also dropped to half of the previous ones, which can be described as a straight decline. . Tian Wei said that this year was a loss-making year. The company lost more than 200 million yuan on Amazon, and the domestic market also lost more than 30 million yuan.
In 2021, the company's operations have not eased, but it has ushered in a wave of Amazon titles. "On June 7th, the nightmare hit, Amazon accounts were wiped out, the total funds of 218 stores reached more than 200 million and could not be withdrawn, and the company was in an unprecedented crisis; it tried to appeal to unblock the account, but to no avail. The company has been very It was difficult to persist, but I still gritted my teeth and persisted for a year. In the end, the cross-border e-commerce lost more than 600 million yuan, and the domestic loss was more than 90 million.” Tian Wei said.
He hopes 2022 will turn things around. He plans to quit Amazon's adult product category and start with other, more stable categories. In April, Tian Wei ended his 8-year start-up in the Shenzhen company and moved the few remaining teams to Humen, Dongguan. There is a supply chain he is familiar with, and he can start again. The company's business focus has also shifted to an independent station. and Tik Tok.
On the Amazon channel, he chose the new business in the daily necessities category, but the level of competition can be imagined. Taking into account the advantages of the original business, Tian Wei began to try to sell adult products again, but no longer crossed the line to do prohibited behaviors such as brushing. However, not long after the new account was launched, last week's account ban occurred, and all 12 adult product accounts were destroyed.
He speculated that it was his previous experience with the title that made him into Amazon's blacklist. Although a little at a loss, he was unwilling to give up. In terms of adult products, the company has production advantages, and the category profit is high, so it cannot be abandoned. In the future, he will continue to try how to sell within the scope permitted by the platform.
Tian Wei's experience made many insiders feel embarrassed. Between the ups and downs of the business sea, the high-speed development of the e-commerce era blew a gust of east wind to him, soaring up and then falling from a height. Beside him, hundreds of thousands of cross-border merchants are shuttled in the information flow, hoping to seize the fleeting opportunity, and whether the wealth bestowed by the era can be properly placed depends on the seller's personal cultivation.