Amazon required third-party sellers on its platform to acquire approval before listing Nintendo products such as used consoles and games, then withdrew the restriction as it was supposedly an error.
Several third-party sellers on Amazon reported receiving an e-mail on November 1 regarding the requirement, which supposedly went into effect on October 31.
“As part of our ongoing efforts to provide the best possible customer experience, we are implementing approval requirements for Nintendo products,” the e-mail said. Listings without approval were to be removed immediately, which gave the sellers no time to react to the sudden change.
The e-mail did not provide any further details, so it was unclear which Nintendo products were affected. Some sellers were not able to list Nintendo consoles and games under “used” or “collectible” condition, but they were able to do so as long as the items were in “new” condition.
It appeared that Amazon made the move to fight against counterfeit products, such as bootleg retro Nintendo cartridges that have been prevalent on the marketplace platform. There were concerns, however, that the ruling would significantly hurt the business of many third-party sellers, especially since they were not given any chance to prepare for it.
Fortunately for the affected third-party sellers, Amazon withdrew the approval requirement for Nintendo products, as the company claimed that the e-mail to the stores was “sent in error” and that all affected listings have been reinstated.
After about 24 hours of confusion over the new requirement, third-party sellers are now able to breathe a sigh of relief and continue their business. Amazon’s response did not explain the cause for the error, and whether Nintendo has been involved in any such discussions.
It also remains unclear if the approval requirement for Nintendo products listed by third-party sellers will never happen, or if it will return in some form in the future, especially with Amazon’s recent issues over the matter.
A federal appeals court ruled in July that Amazon may be held liable for defective or counterfeit items that were sold on its platform by third-party sellers. An investigation by the Wall Street Journal in August then discovered over 4,000 products that should not have been for sale on Amazon’s website.
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