The reality of living with Amazon seller metrics

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Amazon require all seller to answer questions from buyers within 24 hours. If you fail to do so then your seller metrics will start to suffer in which case you risk being restricted from selling on the site.

I’ve heard a number of sellers with the complaint that this is one of the most difficult parts of trading on Amazon to handle. It’s fine during the week, everyone is working but for small companies who often only have one person to answer questions it becomes a regular Saturday and Sunday chore meaning you can never escape from your business and have a day off.

Small business owners need time away from the business and if you go for a weekend away you don’t really want to suspend all of your Amazon listings just in case a potential buyer asks a question. Equally you don’t want your weekend to be ruined by coming back to find your metrics are shot to pieces because you missed a couple of questions.

Last night at the London eBay Seller Meetup group a marketplaces seller shared his solution. Once a day on Saturday and Sunday he logs into his Amazon account and marks every single outstanding question as “Does not require an answer”. It takes a few minutes and whilst he’d prefer not to do it at all it does keep his metrics in order. Then on Monday morning the first task of the day is to go to the gmail account where all his Amazon questions arrive and send replies to those customers who need one.

If you mark a question as not needing a reply don’t forget that question will disappear from Amazon so you need the back up of email so that you can respond to your customers.

This isn’t a solution I’d want to recommend, ideally you’ll have staff working 7 days a week. Alternatively Amazon could give a little leeway at weekends to allow sole traders and small businesses a day off. However if you really do want to escape so long as someone in the company can mark questions as dealt with it is one way of taking some time out from your business without finding your account suffers because you needed a break.

8 Responses

  1. As Chris says, this is not really recommended.

    While its a workaround which ticks a sellers boxes, I don’t think it will take Amazon too long to spot the strange pattern of weekend emails never requiring replies, yet weekday ones do.

    Would Amazon kick up even more of a stink if they found a seller doing it? Who knows, but I don’t think they’d take it lightly and its a risk.

    I can’t see Amazon changing it – they have staff answering queries all the time, and one thing they’ve always said is ‘if you want to come and sell under our Amazon name, you have to provide excellent service like us’. They won’t change that just so someone can have a day off.

    The tricky thing is managing it the proper way….hmmm….

  2. I did use that method of ticking the “Does not require an answer” box, but did not like the risk encase i loose the email.

    Unfortunately while you can complain all you want to Amazon (and I have tried) there is no way around this. While I do log on when I have the chance at weekends, I find the questions I answer within the week seem to compensate to the weekend messages and have not dipped blow the 90& target (although bank holidays do not help).

    Over the past couple of years, I have not had one complaint from a customer saying their question was not answered in time and I feel they would assume the delayed reply is because of the weekend (at least that is what I assume).

  3. I agree this is a real PITA – esp week-ends or bank holidays, its not good to see the metrics go down. Our staff only work Mon-Friday – so when on holiday we had to still log in to answer questions – should work on business hours, or working week time

  4. Does anyone else have problems with customers not receiving your reply to their email and instead it ending up in the Spam inbox?

  5. I’ve been experimenting using autorespond emails with time-limits set for the evenings, weekends and bank holidays but no joy yet. I’ll let you know if I find a solution.

    Did the Jubilee weekend destroy anybody elses metrics?


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