In March 2017, Amazon.com introduced a new opt out feature to their buyer-seller messaging system that facilitates communication between buyers and sellers. If a buyer has chosen to “opt out of unsolicited messages”, Amazon will block messages to that buyer.

[Update: As of January 2018, this policy also applies to Amazon UK and Japan customers)

Those buyers who have opted out will only receive messages critical to their order (delivery scheduling, product customisation information or problems with the shipping address).

If you do message a buyer who has opted out, you’ll receive a bounceback email from Amazon similar to the one below along with instructions of how to contact the buyer in the case of critical issues.

“Dear Seller,

We were unable to deliver the message you sent for

[order number] because the buyer has chosen to opt out of receiving unsolicited messages from sellers.

…….

Sincerely,

Amazon Seller Support

We feel it’s important for all sellers (and particularly FeedbackExpress customers) to understand exactly what this new feature means—so, we’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions around the new opt out feature based on information from Amazon.

Can buyers opt out of messages from a seller?

Yes, Amazon allows buyers to opt out of receiving unsolicited messages from all sellers. However, if a buyer initiates contact with you, they can’t opt out of responses from you.

Buyers also can’t opt out of messages pertaining to Handmade, Wine or Custom orders.

How does a buyer opt out of unsolicited messages?

Buyers currently have to call Amazon Customer Support to opt out.

[Update: It appears that buyers can now also opt out through their account communication preferences.]

What happens if I email buyers who have opted out?

Currently, there is no penalty if you try to contact these buyers. Amazon will just block the message and you’ll receive a bounceback email similar to the one above.

This opt out doesn’t apply to responses to the buyer as long as you reply on the same message thread. If your response is blocked, try responding to the buyer on the original message thread, instead of starting a new thread and make sure that their original message is included in your reply.

How do I know if a buyer has opted out?

At the moment, there doesn’t appear to be a way to be able to easily identify if a buyer has opted out. The only way to find out is to email them and wait for the notification email from Amazon.

We will keep you updated if this changes in the future.

How do I send messages that are critical to completing the order if my message was blocked?

If you have critical information relating to their order, then you can message the buyer directly through Amazon’s buyer-seller messaging system with the subject “Additional Information Required” word “[Important]” anywhere in the subject line including brackets.

[Update: 17 May 2017: It appears Amazon now want you to include the word [Important] anywhere in the subject line. See image below from.]

Buyer seller messagin update

You can send critical messages using Buyer-Seller Messaging:

  1. Click the buyer’s name on the Manage Orders page, which will take you to Buyer-Seller Messaging.
  2. Select “Additional Information Required” as your subject Include the word [Important] anywhere in the subject line, write your message, and click Send. [Updated: 17 May 2017]

Please bear in mind that using subjects other than “Additional Information Required” ones which include the word [Important] with brackets, will result in the message bouncing back (if the buyer opted out).

Buyers can also flag messages as inappropriate. Therefore, the content of your “Additional Information Required” messages should be “limited to requesting only the information you absolutely need to complete the order”.

IMPORTANT: If you attempt to contact a buyer this way with information not considered critical by Amazon, you could face a penalty or account suspension!

[Update: Amazon has updated the opt out policy to remove references to suspension]

What are examples of critical information?

  • Product customization questions
  • Delivery scheduling
  • Issues with a shipping address

What are examples of non-critical information?

  • Feedback requests
  • Product review requests
  • Shipment confirmations
  • Product manuals
  • Out-of-stock notices

Is our account in jeopardy for requesting feedback?

No, your account is not in jeopardy for requesting feedback from customers.

However, providing incentives with an intention to receive feedback is prohibited.

How to avoid sending messages to buyers who have opted out?

If you’re a FeedbackExpress customer, you can use the blacklist functionality to add opted out buyers.

Just follow the steps below:

  1. Sign into FeedbackExpress
  2. Click Settings from the drop-down menu on the top right of the screen.
  3. Select Blacklist.
  4. Add the opted out email address to the list of people you don’t wish to contact for feedback or product reviews.

Blacklist screen

Here’s the link to take you straight to the Blacklist screen.

Additional information from FeedbackExpress

We’re working on a global opt out function that will allow you to forward these emails directly into FeedbackExpress.

Once they’re added to our global list, we will no longer send emails to that buyer from FeedbackExpress. You’ll benefit from other sellers adding buyers who have opted out too.

FeedbackExpress will respect buyers’ wishes according to Amazon’s new guideline on this matter.

Where’s Amazon’s help file on this?

You can visit this page for more information on buyer-seller messaging and the new feature (last three questions).

Or if have any queries, feel free to get in touch with the FeedbackExpress support team via Live Chat or email.

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