Under the name BadCatRecords I've listed used albums on Amazon.com. I only have a couple of hundred items showing in my online inventory since the Amazon upload process is a major pain (they seemingly understand selling books better than record albums), so I don't have massive sales off of the Amazon platform. Another problem is that I don't sell to foreign customers since Amazon won't cover my overseas shipping costs. I recently had an overseas customer try to order an item off of my Amazon site. When I figured out the costs, it would have cost me $8.00 to sell him the album. Clearly not a smart strategy on my part ... As dumb as those shortcomings are, my real frustration with Amazon has to do with their review policy.
Most of the albums I list on Amazon are pretty obscure and many of them only have cursory reviews, or nothing at all. When I started listing on Amazon I started to upload my own brief reviews - the good, the bad, or the indifferent. At one point in time I had about 500 reviews on the site. All of a sudden about half were gone - no notice, no explanation, nothing. Just gone. I sent Amazon a couple of emails asking for an explanation of what had happened and as far as I can understand it, Amazon has a policy where if you're selling an item, you're not allowed to review it. I guess their concern is that as the seller they don't want you to hype the product. Well, my reviews ranged from "this LP is wonderful", to "this LP is worthless" so I don't think I could be accused of hyping my inventory. Anyone who took a moment to read the reviews would have seen that I wasn't praising old albums simply to sell them. Needless to say, Amazon could care less ... in their corporate eyes a policy (no matter how mindless), is a policy that must be enforced.
Adding to irony, when I sign in to my seller account I am repeated asked if I would like to review albums that I have for sale on Amazon. In essence they're asking me to review stuff that they won't post ... Simply brilliant there guys. I'm also subjected to a constant string of emails offering me Amazon sales tips; one of their 'criticisms' being that I don't provide enough information on my inventory.
What can I say ? A perfect example of large equates to mindless.