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Reproduced with kind permission from
From an article published August 2007
  Steve Weber is a full-time online bookseller and writer. He has operated an online used-book business since 2001 from his home in Northern Virginia, specializing in niche nonfiction. In 2005, he wrote a bookselling how-to guide, The Home-Based Bookstore and began publishing a blog on the topic of online bookselling, "Selling Books."
E-mail him at and visit his blog at Find a list of his recent articles on BookThink.


A Survival Guide

Selling on Amazon Series

by Steve Weber

#100, 6 August 2007

Do you remember that handy device known as the Rolodex? In the old days, whenever you needed some contact information, you simply thumbed through your Rolodex to find the phone number or name you needed. Now we're all working with computers, and whenever you need that phone number, name or Web site address, it never seems to be handy.

This article includes all those odd bits of information you need to survive selling books on Amazon - all the things you already knew you need to know, and some of the things you didn't know you needed.

Keep reading, and you'll even discover the secret email address for Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. It's a very handy last resort in case you're unable to get your Amazon problem solved.

Contacting Amazon Seller Support:

It's ironic that the Internet, an invention that has all but broken down communication barriers, is now being used as a hiding place by certain big companies - especially when it comes to customer service and support.

Let's face it, every once in a while, a problem crops up that requires a conversation with a human being. But many fine companies with good reputations like don't post their email addresses or phone numbers on their Web site. Now you've got them:

Seller support:

Phone: 1-877-251-0696 (Phones are manned seven day a week from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. EST.)

Seller Support Online:

Amazon no longer uses an email address, but you can contact the department via email by signing in and using this form.

Phone: 1-800-201-7575

Contacting Other Sellers:

To find a seller's profile page, search by seller nickname.

Type the nickname in the box labeled "Search for a Member by Nickname." This will take you to the seller's profile page, where you can, among other things, click "Contact this member."

Amazon Marketplace Seller Discussion Boards:

Though not always the friendliest forum online, this is a good place to ask questions - don't forget to duck! - offer opinions, and otherwise mingle with your fellow booksellers.

Reporting Other Sellers:

After being flamed in the forum, you'll of course want to investigate your new buddy for Marketplace violations and get him reported (just kidding):

Or email directly at

Contacting Buyers:

Amazon is making it harder and harder for sellers and buyers to contact one another. It's possible to use a contact form to reach your buyer, and, with a bit more digging, it's still possible to obtain the buyer's email address.

To contact a buyer through a contact form: Go to your Seller Account page, Get Paid, View Amazon Payments Account, and Search Transactions. Click on the order ID. In the top left corner of the transaction page, the buyer's name is hyperlinked. Click on the link and you'll be taken to a contact form.

There are two remaining mechanisms for obtaining buyer email addresses. First, using Amazon Services Order Notifier - - while viewing an order history, double-click on an order to view the transaction details. In the middle box labeled "Shipping Information" the buyer's email address is displayed. Clicking on the address will launch your PC's default email program.

Also, Pro-Merchants can retrieve buyer email addresses by downloading an Order Fulfillment Report. Go to your Seller Account, Reports, Get Listing and Fulfillment Reports. Click "Generate Reports Now" then the radio button "Yes" for Order Fulfillment Report. Click "Preview" at the bottom of the page, then click the "Generate Report Now" button under the heading "Order Fulfillment Report."

Several third-party software products also provide handy methods of searching and retrieving customer contact information.

Fulfillment by Amazon:

In this program, sellers ship their items to an Amazon warehouse and Amazon handles fulfillment and customer service. Sellers are charged additional fees for service and storage.

FBA Message board

FBA Contact:

Tino Romero, Account Executive Phone: 206-266-4434 Email:

Submitting Suggestions for Website and Policies:

Report Phishing Messages and Other Fraud

Removing Negative Feedback:

Often, customers leave negative feedback for the wrong seller or make some other mistake that results in undeserved negative feedback. These customers will usually delete the inappropriate feedback if it's brought to their attention in a diplomatic way and you provide clear instructions for the process.

Here are the standard instructions enabling a buyer to remove feedback:

1. Go to

2. Find the pull-down menu next to "View by Order." Select "Orders placed in the past 6 months," and hit the "go" button.

3. After you sign in, you'll find a listing of your recent orders. Select the relevant order and click the "View order" button.

4. You will find a feedback section 2/3 of the way down the page. To remove feedback, click on the "Remove" link in the feedback section of the order summary.

5. You may only remove feedback if it is 60 days or less since you left it.

There's an alternate way of doing this which takes a bit more time but helps ensure the customer finds the correct feedback. Here are the instructions:

Please follow this link, where you can delete the feedback. About halfway down the page you'll see your feedback comment and a link to "remove". I'd greatly appreciate it."

(Replace the series of Xs on the end of the above URL with the customer's order number.)

The difference with my technique is that the customer isn't looking at a list of orders; they only see their order with you. You might want to test out both techniques and see which one you think is best. You can take a look at the screens yourself if you've left feedback for a Marketplace seller within the past 60 days. After that point, buyers can't delete feedback.

Additionally, here are the primary feedback links for Marketplace and Auction transactions:

For Marketplace Sales

For Auction Sales

Viewing Another Seller's Inventory:

Add the seller nickname at the end of this URL:[seller nickname]

Or, from a book's listings offer page, click on the seller nickname, then on the next page click "[seller name] Storefront."

View the Quantity of Items in Another Seller's Listings:

1. Add the item to your Amazon cart.

2. Click "Cart" at the top of the next page.

3. Enter 999 in the Quantity box and press return. The error message at the top of the next page will indicate the quantity in the listing.

Filing an A-Z Claim:

Filing an A to Z claim

Responding to an A-Z Claim:

Download Buyers Waiting List (available to Pro-Merchants only):

Download Buyers Waiting List (available to Pro-Merchants only)

Amazon Rebate Center:


Snail Mail Address for Customer Service:, Inc. Customer Service PO Box 81226 Seattle, WA 98108-1226 Fax: (206) 622-2405

Corporate and Legal Department:

Corporate Offices, Seattle (206) 622-2335 Fax for Amazon's legal Department: 206-266-7010

In the UK:

UK Customer Service Phone: +44.208.636.9200 UK Mailing address: Ltd Patriot Court 1-9 The Grove Slough SL1 1QP

Amazon Guide to Online Selling

Amazon Guide to Online Selling

Tracking Links for USPS Delivery Confirmation:

Replace the characters "CONFIRMATION" on the right with your tracking number.

Velocity Limits:

Velocity limits are a fraud-prevention measure, which helps ensure the seller is actually filling orders. Amazon locks your account periodically when you bump up against a monthly limit. It's probably based on the same type of software that credit card companies use to monitor accounts for unusual spending - and hence an alert for a stolen card.

You should receive an automated email from Amazon when you reach your limit with instructions on how to raise your limit. Sometimes, these messages don't make it through, however, and you've got to phone Seller Support yourself. Here's the FAQ.

Canceling a Pro-Merchant Account:

From your Seller Account, under the heading "Settings," click on "Edit your seller settings." Scroll down to "Pro Merchant Subscription" and click "Cancel subscription." When you cancel, you have the option of closing all your listings or keeping them active and continue selling as a non-Pro-Merchant.

Vacation Settings:

At the bottom of your Seller Account page is a link for "Update Your Vacation Settings." Going on vacation makes your listings invisible to customers until you return from vacation.

Amazon Alliance:

Amazon Alliance polices Marketplace by kicking off unethical sellers - those caught selling pirated products or those with excessive refunds or A to Z claims. It's extremely hard to communicate with the Alliance folks. It's a "don't call us, we'll call you" deal. But their email address is:

Create a Detail Page:

Pro-Merchants can create catalog pages for pre-ISBN books. Go to your seller account page and under the heading "Manage Your Product Detail Pages," click "Create a product detail page in our catalog."

Also, Amazon has an enhanced version of its Bookloader bulk-listing tool that will enable Pro-Merchants to automatically create book detail pages for older books without ISBNs:

What Is "Amazon Sales Rank"?

Amazon ranks each book according to how fast it's selling compared to the other 4-million odd titles in its catalog. The top bestseller has an Amazon Sales Rank of 1 and is currently outselling every other book on Amazon. The slowest-selling book has a rank of 4,000,000 and change. Books with no recorded Marketplace sales have ranks of "None." Sales of used books as well as new items sold by Amazon are counted in the rankings.

It's ironic that books with high Amazon Sales Ranks or even a rank of "None" tend to be valuable, since it's often a seller's market. These are the books that are hard to find and competition among sellers is low. The only problem is waiting for that one-in-a-million buyer.

Why Some Sellers List at Inflated Prices:

It's possible the seller made a typo when listing their book for sale or while editing their listing. Perhaps they meant to enter a price of $13.46 and instead entered $1,346.00.

There are also several Amazon sellers who price books at 10 to 20 times their market price. They do this on all their listings, so it's no accident. They're counting on one dopey buyer out of a million who figures the highest-priced book must be best. These high-ballers most likely won't have any books in inventory; they just have a file of ISBNs they upload to Amazon Marketplace after jacking up the prices. When they get a sale, they probably drop-ship through another bookseller.

Why Some Sellers List Books for a Penny:

They're crazy. Seriously, a few years ago it was possible to make about 40 cents by selling a lightweight paperback in a cheap bubble mailer. But nowadays shipping costs eat up all of Amazon's shipping allowances and then some. Plus, buyers of penny books tend to be your worst customers.

More FAQs:

Visit this page for Amazon's FAQs on payments, fulfillment and returns, listing and relisting items, and feedback:

Secret Weapon when All Else Fails:

Whether this email address is really assigned to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is a mystery. But it's abundantly clear that messages sent to this address are monitored closely and that complaints from sellers are followed up on promptly. If you're having a problem on Amazon that seems impossible to solve, emailing can break the logjam.

E-mail Steve at and visit his blog at Find a list of his recent articles on BookThink.

Questions or comments?
Contact the editor, Craig Stark

Copyright 2003-2007 by BookThink LLC

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