I had an interesting discussion today with an Amazon seller who is trying to stop selling to EU sites and has discovered that it’s nigh on impossible to turn overseas sales off once you’ve signed up to them.
There’s no real reason to dig into the reasons which are many and varied as you’ll be familiar with them all – items going to Italy getting lost, buyers in Spain who didn’t receive their items being prompted by Amazon to leave feedback and doing so (negative of course) with no contact with the seller, item descriptions on overseas sites suddenly changing so that an ASIN for selling a quantity of 1 is suddenly displaying a larger quantity or totally different product.
What’s important are the two key problems that have arisen which are common across all the day to day issues.
The first problem is that whilst Amazon have unified selling accounts and make it super easy for UK sellers to sell to France, Germany, Spain and Italy (and to other EU customers who purchase through these Amazon country sites), when there’s an issue internationalisation flies out of the window and suddenly you have to deal with Amazon support in a foreign country and a foreign language.
Forget accessing support in English, how good is your Spanish or Italian not to mention that you could also suddenly need to communicate in French or German the next day. In the UK, it’s not uncommon if there’s an issue with your Amazon account to have to write a short essay explaining how you’ve updated your business processes to ensure the problems never arise again. Imagine having to do that in Spanish which is the situation our retailer found themselves in.
Turning international sales off
The second issue which has come to light is that whilst Amazon make it incredibly easy to sign up to sell overseas, it appears just about impossible to step back and only sell in the UK. There is no universal button to turn off selling overseas on Amazon.
You can mark individual products not to be available on other EU sites, but even this doesn’t seem to be reliable and a month down the line suddenly you find you’re selling overseas again. The only way we can see which ensures you won’t sell anything outside the UK appears to be to downgrade your account from a ‘Pro’ account to a ‘Basic’ account, but that will seriously impact the fees that you’re charged for selling within the UK.
Have you managed to successfully turned off your international Amazon sales? If so we’d love to hear the best way to do it.