Amazon is hosting an Ask Amazon session about the new Account Health Rating system in the Amazon seller forums today until 5 PM Pacific.
Welcome to our Ask Amazon focused on the recently launched Account Health Rating! Today, the AHR team will answer questions posted on the thread.
How does the new Account Health Rating help sellers?
The AHR indicates your selling account’s risk of deactivation due to non-compliance with certain Amazon selling policies. It is displayed on the seller’s Account Health page for each store in which they sell worldwide. Check out the AHR FAQ page here.
To learn more about the policies included in AHR, go to Policies included in Account Health Rating. To see a list of all of Amazon’s program policies, go to Program policies.
We’ll leave this topic open today until 5 pm PST. You can post any questions you have as a reply; we ask you to keep it to one question per reply. If a question you have has already been posted, give it a like and we’ll make sure to prioritize the most popular questions first.
We have community managers and the product team closely watching this thread throughout the day, and they may merge posts with similar questions so we can answer them all in one place.
In the meantime, the AHR team is reviewing your questions and we’ll respond to them by 5 pm PST tomorrow (Oct. 19th).
**Please note that the team cannot provide legal advice or otherwise interpret regulatory requirements on situations that are specific to individual sellers.
So far most questions have been from sellers with concerns that the rating unfairly favors large sellers over small sellers and that it's too complex and not transparent.
Why was this system devised specifically to benefit high-volume sellers and provide them a larger buffer against violations than smaller sellers?
Why create a health rating system that is far more complex than necessary, confusing, strikes fear into sellers, and far from intuitive?
21 years of selling on Amazon and I have an AHR of 206. Why? Because I am not a mega seller is why. So I end up with no buffer and 2-3 strikes will take me out. Whereas the mega seller can just shrug it off and go on as it is nothing.
This is not right for the smaller sellers like myself and many others. This needs to be adjusted to reflect evenly based on sales amounts. The more sales you make the more a metrics hit affects your AHR. I should not have to sell on Amazon in a constant state of just waiting for the hammer to come down on me and other sellers shouldn’t have to either.
I try my best to be customer centric and provide a positive sales environment, 20+ years on here and I must have done something right. Please lighten up some on your low volume sellers so we do not have to live in a constant state of worrying if our account will be active when we get up the next day.
The issue with the “Low 200” score that I have is that, like every metric for sellers on AMZ, there is a lack of “transparency” and therefore, unease, in the perceived low number. I have had one metrics ding in a decade, and that was a long time ago. I still have that one negative feedback, from a customer who clearly did not follow the use instructions supplied with the product. The issue is that smaller Sellers always feel they are one mistake / irate customer away from a major business disruption.
My initial reaction was that there was some mistake… But I read the metric explanation and accept it. But I am not comforted by it.
AMZ has quantified Account Health but there is no quantification of violations.
“…we assign a certain number of points to each policy violation based on the severity of the violation.”
Without further (i.e. concrete) examples of how many points a type of violation subtracts, sellers are left with yet another black box metric where we can see the input and output, but are not given insight into the algorithm used to do the calculation.
This is why the “Low 200” score is so unsettling to me despite perfect metrics for years. I am a small manufacturer and seller. There is no way my score will ever hit 225 probably, and yet I have a very nice comfortable business that is fulfilling to run and meets my and my customers’ needs.
Having this calculation based strictly on the number of orders, and not their dollar volume, is just one (more) way in which this number is disconnected from actual consumer satisfaction, which is all Amazon cares about (no matter how often they tell 3PS they love us). So, the metric should better reflect what buyers want.
No single measure is going to work for every type of seller (an inherent limitation is the use of bots, automation and metrics which Amazon relies too heavily on, given that their human oversight of real-world issues – in the form of untrained, underpaid and improperly incentivized support – sucks), so I expect no help with my dissatisfaction with this measure as a seller. But saying “you can improve this number by appealing cases” is SOP BS … it ignores the fact that the appeals process doesn’t typically result in getting what Amazon promises in writing, and is a huge time sink and blood pressure inflator.
If you're an Amazon seller, let us know what you think of the new Account Health Rating system in the comments below!