Report: #307465

Complaint Review:

  • Submitted: Fri, February 08, 2008
  • Updated: Sun, July 13, 2008
  • Reported By: WH California
    Seattle, Washington
    U.S.A. Growing Small Business and Employees Devistated by the Wrath of Seattle Washington

*Consumer Comment: Amazon is making millions on holding merchant's accounts at bay for extended periods

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I am a hard working entrepreneur that has recently been wronged by Amazon. Here is my story:

I started as a successful eBay seller and began to look for ways to expand. I quickly found Amazon and through a vendor of ours got in contact with a rep. Shortly after they gladly approved us as a Merchant and encouraged us to add as many products as we could. From this point on we were an Amazon Merchant. Amazon constantly constantly sent us e-mails providing tips and new ways to increase sales and continually encouraged us to add inventory. So we did and we were successful. Our Amazon business grew from $1,000/month to $30,000/month in just 6 months. Based on this success, I focused more company resources toward amazon and hired an additional employee to handle the increase in sales volume. Amazon quickly began to become our most valuable sales channel and continued to steadily grew for over 2 years. In the second year, our average sales grew to $40,000/month and broke $100,000 during the December holiday season in 06 & 07. This is success was based on countless hours of hard work my a number of individuals in our organization and our entire organization evolved because of it.

Then one day out of the blue, the worst thing imaginable happened. I came in on a Monday morning, logged in to our Amazon account and saw the following message, "Your Amazon account has been Suspended for policy violations...". I quickly checked my e-mail to see if they sent details for why they did this. The vague e-mail stated no facts and stated that this was a permanent action and they will be holding all my funds for 90 days. My balance was over $12,000. The worst part was that there was nobody to call, nobody to talk to, and nobody that cared that an entire organization had be crushed for no good reason. They only provide an e-mail address to the "Amazon Alliance", which is useless and only sends generic, pre-written responses reiterating that your account is suspended forever and they will never change their mind.

Needless to say, as our business was cut almost in half, I had to fire 2 people with kids and families to support and I had to reorganize the entire operation. And keep in mind, we did absolutely nothing wrong, and we showed steady growth and continued success. Our feedback rating was also well within their standards and we made it a point to even lose money if it meant keeping a customer satisfied. I still do not understand why they did this to us? Here I am, a successful entrepreneur who has built a successful e-commerce business from scratch, crushed for no reason at all by a "Hitler-Like Organization". After doing a bit of research online, i discovered I am not the only person who this has happened to.

I have spoken with an attorney and have began to pursue legal action. Their actions and their contract are in violation of several laws and statutes and I will not rest until this is brought to a judge. Anybody interested in joining this fight in a class action suit is welcome.

WH, California

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#1 Consumer Comment

Amazon is making millions on holding merchant's accounts at bay for extended periods

AUTHOR: Johannah - (U.S.A.)

Here is a copy of my recent correspondence with Amazon's Seller Performance Team. Amazon is now holding over $5,000 of mine for 2 months and I have done nothing wrong. I would be very interested in media attention and a class action suit. If the $1,496,000,000 that Amazon shows in their corporate balance sheet under "Cash and Equivalents" has my $5,000 in it and they are collecting interest on it while I am paying interest on my overdue balance with my credit card, I want justice. It should be criminal, and those involved should be held accountable. Email me. I'll talk. I have proof. I keep good records. I've blown the whistle before and don't mind one bit doing it on Amazon.

July 13, 2008

Dear Seller Performance Team:

This has become ridiculous. Here we are AGAIN. I already responded to this form letter. Please re-activate my account immediately and send my funds immediately to my bank account or I will pursue legal action against Amazon and Jeff Bezos. Enough is enough. You are withholding my money, and keeping me from making money on Amazon, have violated your own 14-day payout policies, and if I find out that the interest on the THOUSANDS of dollars that you continue to withhold from me are being used in any way by Amazon to make money, there WILL be a class action criminal lawsuit. Take me OFF your automated list for seller performance. My performance has been top-notch. Yours has been irreprehensible at this point. And don't think that there aren't hundreds of unhappy Amazon merchants just waiting for me to kick off the campaign. In fact, I am aware of several suits in process. But I don't want to do that. I just want to do business with Amazon.

I have been nice. I explained myself to you four days ago. I have taken time out of my day to help Amazon with their data integrity issues. I have spent money on private programmers to correct YOUR data problems to avoid customer service issues. I have solved my own inventory problems and am rebuilding my inventory now. I have come out of pocket personally to make sure that my customers are happy. And to this day, Amazon has not given me a penny for the work that I have done to help them, or to reimburse me for the charges I incurred as a result of selling and buying these products. You have received money on behalf of my store purchases and are continuing to find some irrelevant reason to withhold from me. The cancellation rate that I experienced was due to the fact that you received duplicate UPCs from your merchants (not just me), who are getting them from their suppliers, and Amazon should be the ones checking the data integrity to be sure that only one product is matched up with one UPC. This is in no way a reflection on my business. In fact, it makes MY business look bad. I have four websites and yours is the only one that I have had these problems with. I have documented everything along the way with your "Seller Performance Team" and have a long history of fighting for what I believe in. You need to take this email seriously.

I have not had a single cancellation since my account was unblocked before. Get me off your automated system of blocking merchants immediately. This was resolved and now I am losing money every day I am blocked. Let's just make nice now and get on with business.

Jo Hannah Afton, Director of ECommerce
Tupelo Home Services, Inc.
Tallahassee, FL

July 9, 2008

Amazon Seller Performance:

Ok. You asked! Here it all is... I believe I covered this in several previous emails, but I will tell you exactly what occurred on my end and what I have done (and continue to do) to remedy the problems, step by step, to give you the best understanding I can. I hope you will read this letter, and the level of frustration that I have about these issues, with an open ear and a head for making progress your goal, not punishment for a situation gone awry temporarily..

My first download to Amazon was a disaster. I uploaded several thousand products, and many of them ended up on the wrong product page that Amazon made. For instance, there were plasma tvs that ended up being sold for the price of a plasma tv accessory. At the time, I didn't know what to do, or why it happened so I just followed Amazon's instructions to purge the file. While the file was purging, I got a bunch of orders for these incorrect listings. I cancelled them with a note saying that I was having inventory problems. You will see this during the June 1-4 cancellation phase when those items were being ordered and immediately cancelled.

This is the text of the note that was sent:

I am canceling this order from Amazon as there was a bug in the system yesterday and caused all my product descriptions and prices to get mixed up! Needless to say, you are not the only person who found "a great deal" at my store yesterday. I deleted my inventory yesterday afternoon, so I'm not sure how this order got through, but please accept my apologies for the mistake. I would be happy to arrange a discount for you on any of my products once I get them back up on line. For the product you ordered here, my best price is $349 plus shipping (and tax since you are in Florida ). Let me know if you are interested in that, or the discount and I'll be happy to oblige. Sorry for the inconvenience!

Jo Hannah Afton

Tupelo Home Services, Inc.

Most people I called on the phone directly and explained the same thing to them and offered discounts and apologies. I continued to get straggler orders from feeds that Amazon must have sent out to places like PriceGrabber and so forth, even though the information in my inventory had been fixed for some time.

On July 6th, this notice appeared on my seller central account for all the merchants as a notice to everyone:


Jul 6, 2008

We are currently experiencing an issue in our back end feed processing system that is impacting the processing and publishing of product, inventory and pricing feeds. Submitted feeds will continue to queue for processing and will resume flowing through the system once this issue has been resolved, however, Browse and Search indexing is currently affected by the processing backlog. The Manage your Inventory and Add an Item features in Seller Central are impacted. Engineers are actively engaged on resolving this issue, but there is currently no ETA on resolution. We will continue to provide updates until service has been restored. Thank You, Charles, H

I contacted technical support several times to have them help me with my inventory, and one of the personnel confirmed for me that there was a problem with Amazon's feed process that resulted from merchants uploading the wrong UPC code or the same SKU for similar but different products or the wrong model number. I assumed that some of what I was experiencing with my inventory was a data integrity issue with Amazon. I continue to hold this belief. I was also told that Microsoft Excel changes the UPC code when the file is made on my end, so I tested that and noticed that this was true, and I was using Excel to make my files ready for the Amazon Consumer Electronics Template and then I was saving them as tab delimited files (as instructed), which is where the conversion from the right 12-digit number became the wrong number (I was losing leading zeros I think), and I had to purge my inventory file again. Fortunately, with the help of technical support, nobody ordered any products during that time, and while we were looking at the problem, I shut off my active status.

Being a new merchant (I just began doing Ecommerce in May), I also was unaware of how quickly inventory changes for some of these suppliers, Petra being my main source of products. They change their inventory file 3 times a day. So, I tried re-uploading products, just not fast enough apparently, because I ended up with a bunch of backorders with Petra . I worked with all these customers to do what they wanted me to do. If they wanted me to cancel their order so they could shop elsewhere I did so. If they decided to wait for the item because nobody else had it either, they waited, and many of them got their products, just later than anticipated. And some of them I was able to find the product elsewhere, and get it shipped to them after I paid retail for it and lost money. I went to all of the Amazon merchants first when looking for backordered items and in most cases, they did not have the item. I had to look for retail brick and mortar stores to find the item. I believe I went well above and beyond in my attempts to remedy the backorder issues, when I could have just hit the cancel button. I even spent a considerable amount of time on the phone with one of my customers that ordered an amplifier that was on backorder and finally after lots of work on my end, he decided to buy a BOSS Amplifier directly from Amazon, at my suggestion.. I could have sold him that amplifier at a reduced price directly through my own merchant account because you all froze my ability to sell products on my Amazon site, but I didn't do that because I knew it was against policy. Even when I knew I wasn't going to get the sale, I helped the customer find the item he wanted and Amazon benefited from that. I was penalized for it because I cancelled the order he had with me so he could buy the BOSS from Amazon. That should make a strong statement about my level of integrity. It is very high.

The refunds I have had were in one case directly related to the SKU/UPC feed mix up (he got the wrong product and was mad and didn't want to exchange it for the right product). Another was a defective product, which is in the process of being replaced, and the other was an order that the customer got and then changed his mind once he got the product and saw that the handle of the stun baton was not rubber (he is a park ranger in CA and he uses stun batons to protect himself from black bears, not unlike another customer of mine that lives in Alaska and needs this item to protect himself from grizzly bears I swear to thisyou can call them and get testimony about it!). I am now working with him to find the right product for his needs. I feel confident that I can help him, whether he ends up buying the product from me or not.

I don't think my refund activity has been excessive or unjustified. Products get damaged in shipping sometimes, and people change their minds or are unclear about what they are ordering sometimes. I had very few of these refund issues.. It was clearly my cancellation rate that raised the red flag for your team, which was almost entirely due to the inventory processing problem described above. The other factor was this.

On the cancellation issue, another reason that there were additional cancellations was because of the stun baton laws. I cannot legally sell stun batons to certain states.. I will attach that document for you to see. I put a comment in my product condition box that stated that the buyers should call me first before making their purchase to determine their eligibility. None of them did. They just ordered and I then was forced to cancel the order if they lived in the wrong state. I noticed that you sent me to the policies that Amazon has about prohibited items, and you should note that it is not illegal for me to sell a stun baton to someone that lives in a state where this item is legal. It is a completely legal transaction, and as you can see from the two examples above, it is, in some cases, a necessary piece of self defense equipment. And, as I stated before, I would be happy to take the item off my Amazon site, if it's a big deal to you guys. Of course, it will leave you with the merchants that you do have on your site that ARE illegally shipping these items to states where they are illegal (two of your customers confessed to me that they got items from Amazon that were illegal with no problems, one of these men was from NY and the other from the UK). So, I essentially got penalized by your group for doing the right thing!

In reviewing my own cancellation orders screen, I also found out that there were several customers that cancelled their orders and I never even saw the order up on my order screen. I can't help that. I don't even know why that happened.

I also had a customer the other day call me because she had the same problem ordering a product off my website from one of my Associate partners. The product she ordered and the photograph and description on Amazon's site, did not match the product she received, so she returned it. This is another reason that I know the problem Amazon is having with the integrity of duplicate SKUs and improper UPC codes is not my fault. That is something your engineers and IT team must fix because it is creating bad responses from customers and merchants. Allowing the merchants to directly upload their products has it's risks, and this is one of them. Your data integrity is compromised. I understand the ASIN solution and I am not a programmer so I have no suggestions for you about how to make sure that all your products from all your merchants have the correct model numbers, UPCs, and photographs. *shrugging shoulders* But please don't penalize me for it!

Now, as for resolution on these issues, I have since hired Inventory Source to handle my inventory. I am uploading their file to Amazon RIGHT NOW and will be checking the integrity of that data as soon as the upload has completed. If the integrity of that upload is good, then I can't see any reason why we shouldn't re-open the store and sell the dang products. They (Inventory Source) will update my inventory on a daily basis in Amazon. They will send me the file with all my products with price or quantity changes and I will upload that every morning into seller central, without it ever seeing Microsoft Excel. So, I think the problem is solved. Oh yeah, except my account is suspended.

This programmer did mention to me that Amazon Seller Central is one of the few online sellers that they have trouble with they are unable to create seamless inventory updates because merchants signed up with Seller Central may be using different versions of their program (1.7 vs. 1.9) and this makes it difficult for them to create programs for you. He also complained that the templates get changed too often for them and that this confuses and disrupts their operation. I had to pay custom charges just to get them to work with me because I have a Seller Central account and not a Marketplace account. My Yahoo! store was much easier, and they are able to create a bridge program that just automatically updates my Yahoo! inventory every day without me having to do anything, and the cost for this is much much lower than what I have to pay to have this company create a Seller Central file for me EVERY DAY and email it to me for manual upload. But, I am already paying them to program that for me right now anyway because I get good traffic on Amazon and hopefully the front end expense will pay off with increased orders, daily updated inventory, less cancellations and backorders and so on. But, if Seller Performance plans to shut down my account, then I will have wasted hundreds of dollars creating Amazon-specific programs just to remedy this problem for nothing.

Working with Amazon Seller Central has been a frustrating experience for me. I am doing all that I can to work inside of your complicated system and provide outstanding customer service. I've checked some Amazon merchant boards and blogs, and I am not the only merchant with the same complaints. I believe I am doing all I can to help fix a problem that is partially Amazon's fault. I have paid out thousands of dollars to deliver products to Amazon customers, and have yet to see a single penny in my bank account from Amazon, even though your policy states a 14 day waiting period after ship for the funds to be released. I am paying interest on that balance EVERY DAY, which cuts into my profit with Amazon. All of my profit is going to paying Amazon's commission, and now my credit card interest. In my very first two months of selling on Amazon, Ebay and Yahoo!, I have grossed over $10,000 in sales. I am the kind of merchant you probably want to KEEP, not let go of, trust me. I might be a bit more blunt than the rest, but I get things done. I get them done right and when I make mistakes, I fix them. I am an exceptional business person, a quick learner and a great problem solver. Dealing with Amazon has only reinforced this belief I hold. And dealing with a Seller Performance Team that has no names, won't call me, and sends out vague emails is insulting. Not only do I believe that I can fix the inventory problem for my own account, but I am probably helping Amazon make their process better by complaining about it and insisting on solutions. I am working hard today on my custom Amazon file. You can watch it happening on my account as it happens. Presto! Problems fixed.

So, that's it. I don't feel totally responsible for this mess. Some of it is mine and some of it is yours. I'm cleaning up my end by deleting all my inventory feeds and hiring a third party programming company to help me create real-time inventory quantity and price status for your finicky Seller Central upload system. I have moved my inventory over to Yahoo! for now. If you decide that a person as determined as myself might make a good addition to your selling team, then give me the chance to put my solutions in place and see if they work to your standards. For now, there is not much else I can do. I expect excellence from myself and am working hard (and spending a lot of money) to achieve this, but I also expect excellence from my business partners. Perhaps we can work together to make it better for both merchants and customers at Amazon. It does not take much in the world of internet popularity to shift attention from one site to another (just ask MySpace! how Facebook is (will) ruin them), and the online shopping world will clearly be dominated by those organizations that can provide large quality inventories for low prices and offer exceptional customer service and convenience. My mis-step was in not being able to provide convenience on my site immediately and not being experienced enough to understand what the problem was. But I figured it out. And now I have a new inventory on your site I want to sell, so let's sell it.

If you would like a recent customer reference for a transaction that I handled for one of my 'Amazon Associates' from my website, you may call: xxxxxxx at xxx-xxx-xxxx. She was one of the unlucky customers just yesterday that got caught up in the Amazon product confusion. I give you her number because she was not even my customer, and I still spent considerable time answering her questions and helping her get to the right merchant for her refund and navigating the Amazon return process.

Most Sincerely,

Jo Hannah Afton, President, Tupelo Home Services, Inc.



As for my feed back ratings, here they are for both Amazon and Ebay (I have 100% positive feedback at both places for the last two months that I have been selling online, not a single negative feedback, and not even any neutral feedback in either place).

Ebay: Tupelo Home Services is the store name for my Ebay account

Recent Feedback Ratings (last 12 months)

1 month
6 months
12 months




9 Feedback received

From / Price
Date / Time

arrived as stated new!!!!!!

elkharttmac ( 106 )
Jul-02-08 17:11

Lorex 15"Network 8-CHNL COLOR DualQuad Surveillance Sys (#250259116480)
US $549.99
View Item

As described. Fast delivery. Well packaged. AAAAAAAAAAA+A+A+A+

eugenedebh ( 239 )
Jun-29-08 20:56

Audiovox 15 mile 2-way radios with race car scanner (#250261696270)
US $24.99
View Item

major yum! fabulous honey, & a swell seller, whom i highly recommend.

maplebog ( 676 )
Jun-25-08 09:38

100% Pure Tupelo Honey 12 lb. Gallon jug: gourmet honey (#250262108492)
US $49.99
View Item

fast shipping great ebayer

toppnut ( 123 )
Jun-21-08 07:36


Prompt shipping! Great Honey!! A++

lilyjimmy ( 145 )
Jun-17-08 06:20

100% Pure Tupelo Honey 1 lb. glass jar: gourmet honey! (#250244572361)
US $3.50
View Item

Best honey ever!! Fast shipping. Thank you!

joniemidd ( 1127 )
Jun-05-08 05:52

100% Pure Tupelo Honey 2 lb. glass jar: gourmet honey! (#250253361530)
US $9.99
View Item

Outstanding Seller - Top Notch - Super fast shipping and communication excellent

iwasa_warrior ( 453 )
Jun-03-08 11:59

Voice Alert Security System-6 Wireless Alarm (#250252268372)
US $109.99
View Item

A+ seller Best quality Tupelo Honey I have found yet Will buy from seller again

gmbeau ( 57 )
Jun-02-08 10:31

100% Pure Tupelo Honey 5 lb. glass jar: gourmet honey! (#250251427629)
US $21.00
View Item

As advertised. Fast shipping.

bobonaps ( 526 )
May-28-08 17:31

Amazon Feedback:

Feedback Rating: 5.0 stars over the past 12 months (8 ratings).

30 days
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365 days





This feedback information is available to buyers: See how your feedback displays on Amazon.

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Haven't tried the mp3 player yet.But it shipped fast and in good condition



good service will try again in future



Everything was top notch service and the order

Your Response: You betcha! *happy face* Thanks..



Very smooth transaction.



prompt seller



great item




Your Response: *big happy grin*






Stun Gun Laws and Restrictions


INDIANA (no Tasers)



DENSION / CRAWFORD COUNTY , IA (*According to Sheriff Tom Hogan*)








District of Columbia Law. DC Code Ann. Title 6, Chapter 23. Firearms Control. Subchapter I. General Provisions 6-2302.

(7) "Destructive device" means:

(B) "Any device by whatever name known which will, or is designed, or may be readily converted or restored, to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive or other propellant through a smooth bore barrel, except a shotgun."

(D) Any device designed or redesigned, made or remade, or readily converted or restored, and intended to stun or disable a person by means of electric shock.

Subchapter II. Firearms and Destructive Devices. General Provision 6-2311. Registration requirements:

(a) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, no person or organization in the District of Columbia ("District") shall receive, possess, control, transfer, offer for sale, sell, give, or deliver any destructive device, and no person or organization in the District shall possess or control any firearm, unless that person or organization holds a valid registration certificate for the firearm.

Subchapter V. Sales and Transfer of Firearms, Destructive Devices, and Ammunition. General Provision 6-2351. Sales and transfers prohibited. No person or organization shall sell, transfer or otherwise dispose of any firearm, destructive device or ammunition in the District except as provided in *** 6-2352, or 6-2375.

SUMMARY: Possession and sales of Stunning Devices are banned in Washington , DC .


HAWAII : Illegal

Hawaii State Law. Rev. Stats. Title 10, Chapter 134. Firearms, Ammunition and Dangerous Weapons. Part 1. General Regulations. Chapter 134-1 Definitions.

"Electric gun" means any portable device that is electrically operated to project a missile or electromotive force.

Chapter 134-16 Restriction on possession, sale, gift or delivery of electric guns.

(a) It shall be unlawful for any person, including a licensed manufacturer, licensed importer or licensed dealer, to possess, offer for sale, hold for sale, sell, give, lend or deliver any electric gun.

(b) Any electric gun in violation of subsection (a) shall be confiscated and disposed of by the chief of police.

SUMMARY: Possession and sales of Stunning Devices are banned in Hawaii .



Massachusetts State Law. Ann. Laws of Massachusetts . Chapter 140. Sale of Firearms. Section 131J: Sale or possession of electrical weapons; penalties. Section 131J. No person shall sell, offer for sale or possess a portable device or weapon from which an electric current, impulse, wave or beam may be directed, which current, impulse, wave or beam is designed to incapacitate temporarily, injure or kill. Whoever violates this provision of this section shall be punished by a fine of not less than five hundred nor more than one thousand dollars or by imprisonment for not less than six months nor more than two years in a jail or house of correction, or both.

SUMMARY: Possession and sales of Stunning Devices are banned in Massachusetts .


MICHIGAN : Illegal

The Michigan Penal Code Act 328 of 1931. Chapter 750.224a Portable device or weapon directing electrical current, impulse, wave, or beam; sale or possession prohibited; testing.

(1) A person shall not sell, offer for sale, or possess in this state a portable device or weapon from which an electric current, impulse, wave or beam is designed to incapacitate temporarily, injure, or kill.

(3) A person who violates this section is guilty of a felony.

SUMMARY: Possession and sales of Stunning Devices are banned in Michigan .


NEW JERSEY : Illegal

New Jersey State Law. New Jersey Stat. Ann. Title 2C. New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice. Chapter 39-1. Prohibited weapons and devices.

(Section "r" summarized from Chapter 2C:39-1) "Weapon" means anything readily capable of lethal use or of inflicting serious bodily injury. The term includes, but is not limited to all (4) stun guns; and any weapon or (this section refers to tear gas and has been updated in 1995) other device which projects, releases, or emits tear gas or any other substance intended to produce temporary physical discomfort or permanent injury through being vaporized or otherwise dispensed in the air.

(t) "Stun gun" means any weapon or other device which emits an electrical charge or current intended to temporarily or permanently disable a person..

Senate, No. 2871 -- L.1985, c. 360

Senate Bill No. 2781, as amended by the Senate Law, Public Safety and Defense Committee, prohibits as a crime of the fourth degree the possession of a stun gun by any person, including a law enforcement officer. A crime of the fourth degree carries a penalty of imprisonment for up to 18 months, a fine of up to $7,500, or both. Prior to being amended the bill classified possession of a crime in the third degree. {Editor's Note: According to Len Lawson of NJ Legislative Council, (609) 292-4625) NJ does not classify crimes in felonies versus misdemeanors. The highest crimes are in first degree on down to fourth degree. A fourth degree penalty is a serious charge and is generally considered a misdemeanor in common terms. It is however an indictable offense. A fourth degree crime does contain "a presumption of non-custodial sentencing," meaning that there is not imprisonment if there are no prior convictions. In some cases the sentencing is obviated from one's record if there is a period of good behavior following the charge.}

The committee amended the bill to include a provision authorizing the Attorney General, at his discretion, to exempt law enforcement officers from the prohibition against possession stun guns.

The bill also was amended by the committee to include stun guns in the definition of "weapon" in paragraph r. N.J.S. 2C:39-1.

(Chapter 2C:39-1)

(h) Stun guns. Any person who knowingly has in his possession any stun gun is guilty of a crime in the fourth degree.

SUMMARY: Possession is banned of Stunning Devices in New Jersey .


NEW YORK : Illegal

New York Consolidated Law ( McKinney 's) Book 39. Penal Law.

Article 265. Firearms and Other Dangerous Weapons 265.00

15-a. "Electronic dart gun" means any device designed primarily as a weapon, the purpose of which is to momentarily stun, knock out or paralyze a person by passing an electrical shock to such person by means of a dart or projectile.

15-c. "Electronic stun gun" means any device designed primarily as a weapon, the purpose of which is to momentarily stun, cause mental disorientation, knock out or paralyze a person by passing a high voltage electrical shock to such person.

Article 265.01 Criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree. A person is guilty of criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree when: (1) He possesses any firearm, electronic dart gun, electronic stun gun ***; or ***

SUMMARY: Possession is banned of Stunning Devices in New York .



General Laws of Rhode Island . Title 11, Chapter 47. Statute Subsection 11-47-42. Weapons other than firearms prohibited. - (A) No person shall carry or possess or attempt to use against another, any instrument or weapon of the kind commonly known as a *** stun gun ***. Any person violating the provisions of this subsection, shall be punished by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500), or by imprisonment for not more than one (1) year, or both such fine and imprisonment, and the weapon so found shall be confiscated.

SUMMARY: Possession and use of Stunning Devices are banned.



Wisconsin Sta. Ann. Chapter 939. Crimes - General Provisions. Chapter 939.22 Words and phrases defined. (10) Dangerous weapon" means any firearm, whether loaded or unloaded ***; any device designed as a weapon and capable of producing great harm ***; any electric weapon, as defined in s. 941.295(4); or any other device or instrumentality which, in the manner it is used or intended to be used, is calculated or likely to produce death or great bodily harm.

Chapter 941.295 Possession of electric weapon. Subsection (1) On or after July 1, 1982, whoever sells, transports, manufactures, possesses or goes armed with any electric weapon is guilty of a Class E felony. Subsection (4) In this section, "electric weapon" means any device which is designed, redesigned, used or intended to be used, offensively or defensively, to immobilize or incapacitate persons by the use electric current.

SUMMARY: Possession and sales of Stunning Devices are banned.



CHICAGO : Illegal

Publisher's Note: The following jurisdictions require waiting periods or notifications to law enforcement officials before weapons may be delivered to purchasers:

Chicago - application approval/denial for:

(1) Registration : 120 days

(2) Re-registration: e.g., by an heir, 365 days)

SUMMARY: Possession and sales of Stunning Devices are banned in Chicago . (More information required on City of Chicago Ordinance )




BALTIMORE : Illegal (Including Baltimore County )

Baltimore City Code 115. Stun guns and similar devices. (e) It shall be unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation to sell, give away, lend, rent or transfer to any individual, firm or corporation a stun gun or other electronic device by whatever name or description which discharges a non-projectile electric current within the limits of the City of Baltimore. It further shall be unlawful for any person to possess, fire or discharge any such stun gun or electronic device within the City. Nothing in this subsection shall be held to apply to any member of the Baltimore City Police Department or any other law enforcement officer while in the performance of his or her official duty (Ord. 385. 1985).



Sec. 8.404. Sale or possession of electronic weapons prohibited. It shall be unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation to sell, give away, lend, rent or transfer to any individual, firm or corporation an electronic weapon within the limits of Howard County . It further shall be unlawful for any person to possess, fire, discharge or activate any electronic weapon within the limits of Howard County . (C.B. 38 1985).



Philadelphia City Ordinance. Statute 10-825 Stun Guns. (1) Definitions. (a) Stun Gun. Any device which expels or projects a projectile which, upon coming in contact with a person, is capable of inflicting injury or an electric shock to such person. (2) Prohibited conduct. Nor person shall own, use, possess, sell or otherwise transfer any "stun gun." (3) Penalty. Any person violating any provision of this section shall be subject to a fine or not more than three hundred (300) dollars and /or imprisonment for not more than ninety (90 days..)



Administrative Code of the City of New York 10-135 Prohibition on sale and possession of electronic stun guns.

a. As used in this section, "electronic stun gun" shall mean any device designed primarily as a weapon, the purpose of which is to stun, render unconscious or paralyze a person by passing an electronic shock to such person, but shall not include an "electronic dart gun" as such term is defined in section 265.00 of the penal law.

b. It shall be unlawful for any person to sell or offer for sale or to have in his or her possession within the jurisdiction of the city any electronic gun.

c. Violation of this section shall be a class A misdemeanor. [Exemptions under this section are provided for police officers operating under regular department procedures or guidelines and for manufacturers of electronic stun guns scheduled for bulk shipment. NOTE: The electronic stun gun is not a "firearm" under the Federal Gun Control Act of 1968 because it does not "...expel a projectile by the action of an explosive..."]

SUMMARY: Possession and sales of Stunning Devices are banned in New York City


ILLINOIS : Restricted

a. In order to possess a Taser or stun gun, an individual must have a valid FOID card, as is currently required for firearms.

b. Sellers of Taser or stun guns must check the buyers FOID card and keep the record of sale for ten years, the same requirements for firearms sales.

c. When a licensed firearms dealer sells a Taser or stun gun, they must request a background check of the buyer.

d. The 24-hour waiting period required for long guns, shotguns, and rifles, will also apply to taser and stun gun purchases.

SUMMARY: Possession and sales of stunning devices are banned in the state of Illinois without the proper licensing.

----- Original Message ----
To: ""
Sent: Wednesday, July 9, 2008 12:10:59 PM
Subject: RE:Update

Hello from

Thank you for writing regarding your selling account that was recently

As you know, your account was suspended because it has come to our
attention that your seller performance is below our standards. Keep in
mind that this decision was based on your account's rates of negative
feedback, claims, and/or refunds. reserves the right to close accounts that fall
significantly below our Merchant Performance Standards.

If you wish to be reconsidered for reinstatement, please provide a
detailed account of why your performance indicated unsatisfactory
buying experiences, and what steps you will take to remedy this from

We look forward to hearing from you.

Best regards, Customer Service
Check your order and more:


> Date: Tue Jul 08 20:42:50 UTC 2008
> Subject: Update
> To: Amazon Seller Performance
> From:
> I just talked to a rep in customer service who helped me figure out
why my emails were getting "form" letter responses from you guys (I
sent them to seller-evaluation, not seller-performance), so I am going
to forward the information that I just sent previously to you and also
give you an update on my activities so that my store can be restored
to active status as soon as possible.
> Here is my email from July 6th:
> July 6, 2008
> Seller Performance Team:
> This is just to let you know that I have been working all morning
with the Amazon technical team on my inventory issues, and it appears
that it is not only my inventory file that was the problem, but
duplicate Merchant SKUs (note: the customer rep I just talked to said
it was a problem with model numbers, not SKUs, so who really knows...
not me) causing problems in Amazon's database that is playing a part
of the problem. I also found out that this morning merchants have
been unable to delete items or change prices due to a technical
problem at Amazon that is now being worked on.. (NOTE: my seller
central inventory is still listing all the incorrect items even though
I have tried to both purge through batch and delete manually). I am
purging my inventory now and would like to re-upload my inventory with
the help of the technical team to be sure that any mistakes are avoided.
> If there is another reason that my account has been suspended, I
would appreciate more specific information and instruction on what I
can do to alleviate the problem so I can begin selling as soon as
possible. If there is a specific policy I am violating, other than
having the high cancellation rate, I need to know, or I cannot fix the
problem. The email response below is far too general for me to get
the information I need to address any issues you have with my account.
> And, I certainly don't feel it is fair to me to suspend my account
when part of the problem appears to be Amazon's data management. And,
the issues that are mine to deal with (having a distributor that does
not keep enough inventory in stock to satisfy their demand, and
learning how to submit the correct file for the Amazon upload in a
timely way), I am dealing with as best I can, as you already know. I
spent my evening last night uploading a new vendor's inventory so I
can let go of the vendor that I am having problems with, so that
problem is already fixed on my end. However, the file I submitted had
problems that were Amazon's fault, not mine, so we are working as a
team to straighten it out. I can't think of anything more I could
possibly be doing to satisfy your policies, and would appreciate it if
you could communicate with me about this suspension of my selling
priviledges and how long you anticipate this will be in effect and
what I need
> to do to change my status.
> _________________________________________
> July 8, 2008
> That was the other day and here are the updates for today:
> I read the policies that you sent in the form letter. If the policy
I was violating had to do with selling stun batons, you should know
that it is not illegal for me to sell stun batons in Florida to anyone
who lives in a state where these devices are legal. In fact, I just
sent one out to an older man that lives in Alaska who needs protection
from grizzly bears! I never sell these items to anyone living in a
state where they are restricted (some states require a license and I
have them fax me a copy of their license before I ship, which can also
cause 'shipping delays'). I did not notice anywhere in the policies
that stun batons in particular were a banned item, only that selling
illegal items was against policy, and in searching Amazon, I saw quite
a few vendors selling stun batons and they are not being restricted it
appears. I would be happy to take them off my site, but I would
expect seller central to actively and not selectively
> enforce this restriction on me. It is one of my best selling
items. You can go here to read stun device laws, if it will help: .
> I can only assume it is just the cancellation rate right now that is
worrisome to you, and that will be change very soon (it will go up
momentarily as a percentage because I can't sell anything right now to
offset the cancellation rate, and if I can't sell, all I can do is
cancel!) as the backordered products get taken care of (I am mostly
finding alternate items for the customers, cancelling my order and
helping them find a replacement product. Each of the items that is on
backorder I have been in touch with the customer and done exactly what
he or she wanted me to do (wait or cancel). And today, I will have to
cancel another order because I helped the customer find an amplifier
that suits his needs, since the one he ordered is not due in until
late July, and I'm even having him order it directly from Amazon! And
it was more expensive! So, Amazon will profit from all my hard work
with this customer, and I will be penalized for increasing my
> 'cancellation rate'? This seems silly.
> I have also taken Petra off my list of distributors because even
when I do upload inventory, there are times that they become 'out of
stock' very quickly. This could just be related to dropship volume, I
don't know. I don't care. I took them off my list and have a new
list of suppliers I would like to begin working with.
> At some point there needs to be a real conversation between real
people so I can express the degree to which I am working to solve any
and all problems associated with my account, but so far, all I have
received from seller performance is vague language, form letters, and
an account suspension, all over email.
> So, please take advantage of the phone number below, or send an
email with specific instructions on exactly what it is that I need to
do beyond what I am currently doing so I can get this website back up
and running as soon as possible. I appreciate your prompt and
understanding response to my frustration and requests.
> Thanks in advance,
> Jo Hannah Afton, Director of ECommerce
> Tupelo Home Services, Inc.
> Tallahassee, FL

----- Original Message ----
From: Seller Performance Team
To: ""
Cc: ""
Sent: Sunday, July 13, 2008 8:10:47 PM
Subject: Notice: Your Merchant Account

Hello from

We are writing to let you know that your listings have been suspended and are currently unavailable for sale. You may not sell on until further notice.

We took this action because it has come to our attention that you may not be completing transactions. A review of our records reflects that you have an excessive rate of order cancellation of 24.32 for the past 30 days.

Please read the FAQ for Charge When Ship located in Seller Central using the following path:

Seller Central Help > Troubleshoot Problems > Frequently Asked Questions > Orders, Sales, and Customer Service > Charge When Ship

If you would like your selling privileges reinstated, please write to us with a detailed account of why your order cancellation rate is excessive, as well as what steps you will undertake to prevent this in the future.

We look forward to hearing from you.


Seller Performance Team
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