demand to see invoices from music sellers

No primary category set have started targeting sellers of music to ensure that they’re legitimate. They’re “additional selling qualifications for certain popular products in the Music category” and asking their merchants to supply recent invoices from their primary supplier.

Naturally sellers are a bit irate at this, Amazon say that you can mask your buy prices, but obviously you can’t mask your supplier for whom they’re demanding to see name, phone number, address, and website. Amazon are giving sellers 30 days to submit the required information otherwise your listings for Music product may be removed from sale.

It’s easy to see why Amazon want to check that sellers have legitimate stock – music is one of the easiest categories to create counterfeits for, all you need is a CD burner and decent printer. It’s also easy to see why sellers might be wary of submitting their supplier information – they question what they can do to stop Amazon using their suppliers to cut them out of the loop. Amazon do claim a ‘Chinese wall’ between Amazon Retail and their marketplace and it’s unlikely that they would go to your supplier (or if the supplier is that good they probably already do!).

It’s nothing new for a marketplace to ask for supplier invoices to prove that you have legitimate stock, but it’s not something that sellers take kindly to. The alternative however is the marketplace simply to be barred from listing certain items effectively cutting the merchant’s income. If you get a request then there’s probably very little choice other than to comply.

6 Responses

  1. What about used stock sellers? They’ll get stock from the general public so there would be no regular suppliers as such. Certainly nobody they would get an invoice from.

  2. You’re lucky if yu’re being asked for invoices. Some including us have had thousands of listings thrown off with no opportunity to provide invoices at all.

  3. water-thin excuse for needing invoices i say.

    if you advertise a retail boxed CD, and send a self-burned CD-RW with the label sharpied on there, you wont get away with that, at all.
    if you advertise a CD-RW, amazon dont need your invoices, they know you’re selling CD-RW’s and remove any copyrighted listings.

    amazon do music on demand via prime now, you’re un-required competition if you’re in the music market. if they get hold of the cheapest CD supplier too then you’re done.

  4. I believe that this is a more sinister development.
    It would seem that Amazon and the Major Recording Labels are working together to shut out independent UK merchants selling music and DVD on Amazom.
    The labels are now doing a lot of advertising on Amazon UK. It would seem that the labels and Amazon are working together to ensure that the majority of music sales are processed by Amazon Prime.
    Before Christmas Sony UK suspended our account with them because we were selling a lot of Sony Music products on Amazon. We were asked to email invoices to Amazon. They claimed we were selling “counterfeit” products and our account with Sony was suspended until they could verify that we were selling genuine products even though we had purchased all Sony Products from Sony UK.We were told if you “upset Amazon you upset everyone ( in Sony Music Management)”. You can only imagine what this could have done to our business and our stress levels if we were unable to fulfil our orders to our customers on Amazon UK.
    It left the non UK and EU sellers selling the products on Amazon UK without coming under the same suspension. I queried why this was the case. I was told that Sony UK was in a position to close/suspend our account because we have a Sony UK account whereas they could not take any action against those non UK merchants.I have no issue with these non merchants as I can freely sell in there marketplaces. Our business with Sony UK has been reduced to a very small level.
    Universal Music UK (UMG)has increased our cost prices twice since December. Our account again was also suspended. We were asked to provide invoices to Amazon and the recoding label.We appealed the suspension and Amazon totally ignored our emails and plans to get reinstated. When we contacted the label our account was reinstated with no explanation from Amazon Seller Performance.

    In a lot of cases Amazon are selling music cheaper that we can purchase from the Recording Labels. Here are few examples. Many of Sony UK products are selling at £9.99 on Amazon prime and our cost price is £7.00. The new Dolly Paton CD is on Amazon prime at £6.85 and our cost price from Sony is £7.UMG products are similar. Justin Beiber is selling on Amazon Prime price at £4.89 and our cost price from UMG is £6.93. The labels tell us they have no control over what Amazon sell something.This is only a smoke screen of a very cosy relationship that has developed. It seems to me that the labels are working very closely with Amazon to ensure that the majority of music is sold by Amazon Prime.
    One sales rep said he could not offer us any better prices and that we should buy their products from the cheapest supplier. They were encouraging us to buy their products from third party distributors or wholesales. This is an amazing development.
    Basically , there is no point listing music products on Amazon if you are a merchant seller on Amazon UK and purchasing your products from the UK based Recording Labels / Studios.
    I am told they are now going to target EBAY UK .
    Amazon and the Record Labels claim to be the champions of the free market and competition , but it is clear to me that they want to shut down competition from small independent traders who employee many people with full time contracts and pay all their taxes and VAT to the UK government. The politicians in this country need to know the true nature of these corporate companies. I intend to do my best to bring this to the attention of my local politicians.
    Your Sincerely,
    Small Business Owner. .I wish to remain anonymous for obvious reasons but would be happy to expand on my comments at the appropriate time and platform. I am fearful that my comment may be used to have a negative impact on my business.


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