Recently, Amazon reached a settlement with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to protect the public from "hazards posed by unregistered and misbranded pesticide products". This settlement included an administrative penalty of $1,215,700 as well as implementation of an online training course for all entities planning to sell pesticides on Amazon.
Getting stung in the pocketbook like that has resulted in Amazon tweaking its bots for words that might be related to pesticide products. Of course, those bots only identify the words; they don't discern the context that they're being used in. As a result, there has been a glut of Amazon sellers who have discovered that their completely non-pesticide-related product listings have been blocked. Products like bamboo cutting boards, athletic socks and biology books, just to name a few.
"What were their violations," you ask? Their listing, their product packaging and / or their back-end keywords contained words like "antimicrobial", "pesticide-free", "anti-fungal" and more. Sellers have reported that getting their listings reactivated has taken weeks, or in some cases not at all. Because the aforementioned online training is available only to sellers who are based within the United States, 3P merchants selling on the US platform from outside the country cannot complete the training, leaving them to pull back their inventory with no resolution.
We’ve compiled a list of words that have been problematic for sellers. If you want to avoid falling victim to this bot, we recommend that you be proactive and remove these terms from your listing:
- Cross contamination
- Eco friendly
- Environmentally friendly
We also recommend, if you’ve not already done so, that you take the online pesticide training course to avoid getting hung-up by these words in the future. Once you’ve completed this course, use of these terms can help reduce the likelihood of having your listings blocked.
To learn more about selling pesticides and pesticide devices, visit Pesticides and Pesticide Devices on Amazon Seller Central.
If you’d like our help to re-tool your listings and remove pesticide claims, select one of our listing packages. We’re always happy to help!