“You do that!?” It’s a question I’ve been hearing a lot lately, so I thought I’d talk a little about eGrowth Partners for a change. While our story has evolved over time as our services expand, at heart the story has always been the same: Get Amazon sellers out of trouble. Help them grow. As much as things have changed for sellers, they are still treated as second-class citizens.
In 2014, I was a full-time seller on Amazon and a part-time consultant. I started getting clients whose accounts were suspended. They were afraid and ashamed to talk about their Amazon suspensions. There were none of the amazing Facebook, Reddit and other Amazon seller support groups that exist today.
As someone who had actually read our heinous contract with Amazon and Seller Central Help (it was so much smaller then!) I thought I could help. I got a handful of sellers reinstated, and I put out a blog in 2015 that said, “I can help if you are suspended,” and I talked about what some of those cryptic Amazon notifications actually meant.
My phone blew up, and I started recruiting help as fast as I could. I wrote a book called Suspension Prevention, and I went from a seller consultant to a thirty-person company in about nine months. It was hectic. As a seller myself, I was deeply moved by the unfairness of what was happening to the seller community.
The pace since then has been unrelenting. Amazon is a totally different platform from 2010 when I started selling and now. Our focus has always been on helping sellers comply with Amazon’s many policies because there is no other way. You either comply or get banned.
About 2016-2017 we began to encounter bad actor sellers who were getting away with everything. At that point I began to research what I call Dirty Seller Tricks in earnest. My clients were being horribly abused and repeatedly suspended. We learned the tricks and helped our clients fight back. I began working as an expert witness in disputes to help reveal bad actors.
But it still wasn’t enough. Amazon wasn’t listening or acting on what they knew about bad actors – not for years, despite sellers after seller telling them what was happening. Reinstatements were much tougher. Honest sellers were having the stuffing – and the heart beat out of them.
I went public and talked to the media about it. I showed them how to spot fake reviews and spot unethical tactics. Congress started holding hearings, and I encouraged sellers to speak up. Sellers with nothing more to lose did. I began sending letters and approaching members of Congress to educate them on the plight of sellers – millions of small business owners nationwide who have no rights on Amazon and who could and often did lose their livelihoods on a whim or a poorly executed algorithm. Some of that worked although Congress was and still is overly focused on Amazon stealing product ideas. Sellers don’t like that either, but it isn’t what keeps them awake at night.
Through all this, we built a business in the Philippines to support our clients. We expanded beyond compliance issues to marketing support and building highly trained support teams for our clients. We helped companies buy brands on the platform and avoid the dreaded linked accounts that often occurred after an acquisition.
It’s been the hardest, most interesting and most rewarding work I’ve ever done. My motivations today are the same as in 2015. Help sellers. The challenges are never-ending.
Today I’m not alone. Besides my team of 50+, I have worthy competitors and colleagues. Sellers have a lot more choices. We are constantly changing to meet the needs of sellers today.
If you are interested, I have a PowerPoint here about our retainer services. I’m also still an expert witness and, of course, we still do reinstatements for your listings and accounts. We have an extensive training program of 200+ hours that all our employees go through, and it keeps growing as Amazon keeps adding/changing things.
When someone asks me, “do you guys do…?” The answer is mostly yes. We are Amazon veterans. Trouble is our specialty.
If you ask me, “Are things better for sellers now,” the answer is, “No.” We are more vocal, and we support each other better but the fundamental problem remains. Amazon doesn’t value us as partners or listen to us. We are primarily a cash machine. Change comes from media pressure and Congress, not us.
The bad actors are taking over the platform and the good guys are leaving. Sellers put up with a lot in hopes of making money on Amazon, and they probably will continue until the fees are untenable or the bad actors drive us away.
Until then, we at EGP will keep fighting for Amazon brands and sellers.
We provide affordable, full-time, trained Amazon workers for both compliance issues and account maintenance as well as PPC and marketing programs on Amazon.
We act as our clients’ “arms and legs” for the many tedious and time-consuming tasks required of a brand or reseller on Amazon.
We work with our brand clients’ internal marketing teams and/or their outside agencies to execute their strategies.
We combine the best of off shore with in-house support while reducing the headaches of management, time differences, technology problems, and flaky freelancers. Our people are employees with benefits, contracts, and local management.
Our background and reputation in compliance and reinstatements means we keep our clients out of trouble. Our senior consultants (available to our retainer clients as needed) are ready to help if something bad or tricky happens.
Our clients range from start-ups to four of the biggest aggregators in the Amazon space, as well as some of the largest sellers on the platform in their categories.