{Replica} Anti-Amazon initiative founded: Az guarantee - when are private sellers subject to recourse?


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Yesterday I reported here in the first part about my problems with the Amazon Az guarantee as seller at Amazon-Marketplace. The thing I then went to the law legally. And the legal construction is unfortunately very tricky.

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Simone Janson Simone JansonSimone Janson is publisherGerman Top20 blogger and Consultant for HR communication.

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Different contractual conditions

First of all, one has to distinguish between the legal and the essential: there is a contractual relationship between Amazon.de and buyer - and one between Amazon.de and seller. Amazon.de can offer the buyer as his contractual partner every guarantee possible and which can look as Amazon.de would like.

This alone would have had no further impact for me as a seller, because the contractual partner of the buyer is in this case Amazon.de. And Amazon.de and the buyer can not negotiate a contract, which the seller as a third party without his consent to something committed. The conclusion of a contract at the expense of third parties is ineffective.

No influence on what guarantees Amazon gives

Conversely, the seller also has no way to influence whether and under which conditions Amazon.de gives buyers an independent guarantee, after all, this guarantee is not granted by the seller.

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Since the buyer with the application for Az-guarantee all claims against the seller to Amazon.de, Amazon.de enters in this regard in the legal status of the buyer. Amazon.de can then reclaim from the seller as recourse the money that the buyer has received back.

No recourse against Amazon

The decision of Amazon.de for or against the granting of a guarantee to the buyer is legally not necessarily binding for the seller, he has indeed entered into no contractually enforceable recourse or indemnification obligation to Amazon.

This means that the guaranty of the guaranty does not have to be a legal requirement for the recovery of the guarantee. However, Amazon.de reserves the right to recourse in its terms of participation expressly:

The terms and conditions of Amazon

"Amazon.de reserves the right to demand compensation from the seller if the respective buyer of the item is compensated by Amazon.de due to inadequate fulfillment of the purchase contract in accordance with the rules of the A to Z guarantee."

And exactly because of these conditions, Amazon.de made me regressful!

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What happens when items are lost during shipping?

If you sell books at Amazon Marketplace, you may experience difficulties, even as a private seller, if items are lost during shipping, for example. Because Amazon then refunds the buyer the costs - and then keeps them from the buyer simply. Unauthorized or legally correct?

Since the 18. June 2007 Amazon.de is apparently no longer willing to stay on the cost of the A-to-Z-Guarantee applications, because since then it is on Amazon.de according to fixed specifications that apply to products not received. The question of how binding these specifications are, I will pick up again below.

Is the seller liable for recourse?

I started nevertheless complaining to Amazon.de, with all objections, which would have existed also against the buyer, if this had not claimed the guarantee performance of Amazon.de and its rights had not assigned to Amazon.de.

However, I had now exclusively deal with Amazon.de and no longer deal with the buyer - which has hardly simplified the matter.

What are the arguments?

An argument from me: Amazon.de has already given the buyer the guarantee “on first call”, without checking in detail whether there is a legal claim at all.

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Therefore, I was given no opportunity to the post-fulfillment (eg by sending it again), although I offered it several times to the buyer and then Amazon.de and the procedure provided for in the law for the assertion of deficiency claims has not been complied with.

What does Amazon say?

The counter-argument of Amazon.de in one eMail the press office read: "In this case, the A-to-z guarantee applies and, unfortunately, we cannot offer subsequent delivery if the customer insists on the guarantee being fulfilled."

Who must pay the shipping costs?

Another argument: I relied on § 447 BGB according to which the buyer under certain conditions - and the goods were according to information from a lawyer certainly given - carries the shipping risk.

The Civil Code does not provide any obligation for non-commercial providers to bear the shipping risk, ie, without regard for their own fault, for non-arriving consignments. I would simply have to prove that I have packed the package properly and sent it.

Is insured shipping necessary?

For Amazon.de, however, this proof is only then provided if the shipment was sent insured - told me an employee by phone. And only if I had thereby proved that I have really sent my book (and wrote this when Amazon.de asked me for an opinion), you would have talked at Amazon.de with him.

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However, legally insured shipping would not be required to prove that the book was actually sent. It would also be possible to prove this by means of testimonies or documents from the transport companies involved.


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  1. Wolf

    The communication with Amazon seems to be similarly one-sided, as the communication with ebay and paypal, the allegedly lost goods likewise the buyer unproven. For this reason I use paypal no longer and send (at the expense of the buyer) basically insured.
    This must be described in the offer as well.

    • Simone Janson

      Yes. Amazon is also sitting abroad. Good method you have. At Ebay is also good. The problem with Amazon: You have to automatically specify a higher price, but since the overview is not specifically indicated at Amazon. That is, Amazon forcing its volume vendors to virtually uninsured shipping, because otherwise you sold nothing. The differentiation shipping costs / price can not be made at Amazon simply, because the simply flat three euro for the dispatch but do not cover the insured shipment. Writing it into the article description brings nothing, which reads yes none. And in the end, the buyers, who do not understand it in the majority, are simply sour.
      Be the first.
      Just as written: For books, Amazon is simply the better marketplace.

  2. Liane Wolffgang

    Anti-Amazon initiative founded: Are private sellers liable to recourse ?: Who sells books on Amazon Marketplace

  3. Simone Janson

    #Blogpost Anti-Amazon-Initiative established: Are retailers liable for recourse?

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