In a recent conversation with a client, I was asking him questions about a notification he had received.

He mentioned that another notification had come through previously but he didn’t do anything about it because it said DoNotReply.

Then, it dawned on me that this ONE ISSUE could be the cause of a lot of seller confusion.

When an email from ANY source including Amazon has an email address like this: “[email protected],” that only means the entity does not monitor incoming email to that address.  For Amazon in particular, it does NOT mean that you shouldn’t reply.  My guess is there is the same disconnect when it comes to receiving Notifications.  A large segment of the Amazon Seller population mistakenly interprets a Notification as something more like an FYI.  If you receive a notification via email or your Performance Notifications dashboard, it usually means Amazon expects you to take ACTION.  Most of those types of communications are not usually not just for your reference.

If you get an email from Amazon that says: “DoNotReply,” do NOT assume that means you should not take action.

You will want to take IMMEDIATE action to rectify a situation.  You need to take proactive steps with almost every Performance Notification you receive.  If you want to learn what to monitor and where to monitor your account metrics so you can proactively avoid issues, we can show you that here.  If you need help responding to a Performance Notification or need help with a Plan of Action for a blocked asin or fixing some other sort of obscure issue, feel free to reach out to us here to schedule an appointment or here to start your asin reinstatement.


What does Amazon expect from you?

I was on my way to the post office to drop off some packages. I spied a postman pulled over in his vehicle. I pulled up and asked him if he could take them. His look was one that was somewhere between bewilderment, anger, resentment, astonishment, you get the picture. In a somewhat gruff, “I guess I can take them,” he accepted the parcels. I didn’t give that incident too much more thought because I was excited that he took my packages at all and saved me a trip to the post office. 
About four days later I had a package that needed to go out 2nd day air. I chose UPS as the carrier, prepared the package and headed to the drop box. I had forgotten that this box size would not fit in the drop box. I then called my UPS man (he had previously given me his cell number). He said he was a few blocks away and told me where he was heading so I could meet him in about 5 minutes. I drove to meet him and pulled over. He actually got out of the truck to accept the package before I could even get out of my seat. It seemed he was almost eager to take the box. He told me he appreciated the extra shipment and to have a great weekend. 
The interesting difference here in the whole customer service philosophy is that the UPS man appreciated receiving the package and was sure to let me know that I was saving him a trip. He was actually grateful and very friendly. 
Go the extra mile for your customer and treat them the very best. This is what Amazon expects of its sellers. We have to have the same standards and commitments.
Market Cap of UPS: over $90 billion
USPS: For the first time in almost five years, they reported a U.S. Postal Service quarterly net profit. The $307 million in net income for the first quarter of fiscal year 2016, which ended Dec. 31, is a $1.1 billion turnaround from the $754 million net loss during the same period a year earlier.Feb 14, 2016

Absorb this advice

This is REALLY top shelf content in this article and very well worth the read. It is some of the best information you will see on these subjects and you should absolutely sit down and very very carefully assess how any / all of these topics apply to you and your business. You can absolutely use this as a guidepost to set the long term strategy of your relationship with Amazon and how you will plan to diversify, grow and protect yourself.

Here is what my colleague and friend Cynthia Stine wrote:


If you find yourself a guilty party or victim of any of the areas Cynthia mentions, feel free to reach out to me and I’ll see if I can help you design a plan to pivot and adjust.


Don’t Drop Ship on

Here’s the caveat:  there are *some* sellers who can get away with it.

They are in the minority.  When is the last time you saw a narwhal in the wild?

If you have seen one in your lifetime, you may be able to get away with dropshipping without damaging your account.

MOST sellers simply can’t make it work the way it needs to.


Is dropshipping lucrative?  It absolutely can be.  Can it be a great way to get started without having to tie up a ton of capital?  Without a doubt.  From an account health perspective and for the sake of the sustainability of your Amazon account, I’m telling you to skip dropshipping.  If you want to use that strategy on about every other ecommerce platform, including your own sites, that’s fine.


Keep in mind, if you drop ship and you get suspended and you come to me for help, I charge $2,500 to get your account reinstated.  It is CLEARLY not in my best interest as a service provider to tell you not to do something that would almost certainly result in more business for me.  But, I’d rather help you with strategies to grow your account than have to bail you out because you weren’t aware of how tenuous these practices are.


Here is a link to a screenshot of evidence of the beginning of some very serious issues with an actual client’s account:


My advice to deal with this situation was to put the store on vacation immediately until the issues can be resolved.  They simply could not afford to make any more sales and risk further issues.  With dropshipping, your account is not well protected because you aren’t FBA and because you aren’t using Amazon’s negotiated shipping with automatic tracking uploads.  You can’t afford to cancel orders when the dropshipper is out of stock.  You are likely selling products you have never seen and tested or compared to the product detail page for exact match.  You have to rely on the systems of another business to be bulletproof for uploading of tracking and for timely shipping, even during busy times like Q4.  The data feeds you are provided by dropshippers are often fraught with issues.  It just isn’t worth the risk to your Amazon account.

Everyone knows Amazon’s catalog, while good, is still a big mess and matching by UPC only is not adequate.  Pictures, colors, sizes, and products can change even though UPC’s match.  You open yourself to Item Not as Described claims and Counterfeit claims which lead right to suspension.  Your invoices won’t be good enough to show that you had authorization from the manufacturer or brand owner.  I could go on, but you get the picture.

If you need help transitioning to another model, feel free to reach out and schedule a consultation.