In retail, earning customer trust is paramount. Nowhere is this more true than in the jewelry category, where unscrupulous merchants may try to pass off a cheap cubic zirconia stone as a diamond, or a plated brass setting as solid gold.
Amazon understands that customer trust is key to building loyalty among shoppers. The retail leader has recently received press coverage for investing in quality assurance and anti-counterfeit programs, efforts aimed at building its reputation as a dependable destination for high-quality products online.
Because jewelry is a category where it is easy for merchants to make inflated claims about quality, Amazon takes jewelry product quality assurance extremely seriously. In addition to cracking down on counterfeit products, Amazon takes steps to ensure the quality of all jewelry sold on its U.S. and Canada websites is represented accurately in product listings, in compliance with U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulations. They have also developed their own set of Jewelry Quality Assurance Guidelines that provide further quality criteria for products sold, even beyond the FTC rules.
Consumers may be surprised to learn that before any third-party (3P) seller is allowed to offer fine jewelry on Amazon.com, they must apply for the privilege and submit a sampling of their merchandise for a quality assurance review. Sellers are only allowed to sell fine jewelry once these samples pass a rigorous gemological assessment. Many would-be sellers don’t make it past this point.
For those jewelry sellers who have passed the application hurdle, their #1 business risk is inconsistent product quality. Amazon’s Fine Jewelry Terms and Conditions state the company reserves the right to compare product quality against jewelry listings at any time. These reviews often uncover discrepancies that are a surprise even to the most scrupulous sellers. Every year, Amazon revokes a significant number of fine jewelry sellers’ listing privileges due to product quality violations.
Even long-time, successful merchants can lose their selling privileges if Amazon finds a discrepancy between their listing specifications and the actual quality of their merchandise. This applies to both 3P sellers and Retail vendors, and fashion jewelry sellers and fine jewelry sellers alike.
If a fine jewelry seller’s listing privileges are revoked, they must pay a $5,000 application fee if they wish to re-apply for reinstatement, losing weeks if not months of sales in the meantime.
Additionally, many sellers are shocked when they fail Amazon’s application process (which now includes a quiz on Amazon’s quality assurance standards), losing the $5,000 non-refundable fee and having to start this expensive and time-consuming process all over again.
How can sellers prevent this from happening?
In my role as a consultant at 21C Jewelry Solutions, I can help jewelry merchants navigate these issues. I recently left Amazon after three years overseeing Amazon’s U.S. third-party jewelry business as a Sr. Category Merchant Manager. I offer consulting advisory services to help current and prospective Amazon third-party retailers learn how to…
- Navigate the fine jewelry application (or re-application) process
- Identify potentially non-compliant listings
- Avoid issues that commonly lead to account suspensions
- Establish best practice processes that uncover product quality surprises before Amazon does
- Boost customer traffic through advanced listing techniques
I’m happy to lend my expertise to sellers interested to learn about Amazon’s fine jewelry product quality program, how to stay in Amazon’s good graces, and how to avoid the risk of account suspension. Get in touch with our team at ecommerce@21CJewelrySolutions.com.