Introduction to suing Amazon in Small Claims Court
Amazon can be sued for $10,000 in their home state of Washington in small claims court. In other states, it can be as much as $20,000.
People often sue the company for:
- Failure to deliver a package
- Failure to give a refund
- Failure to pay sellers and account suspension
The first step of suing Amazon in Small Claims Court
The first and most important thing to do when suing Amazon is to make sure that you sue the right legal entity. Big companies often own lots of smaller companies that are very interconnected, so be sure to review the contracts you’ve signed with Amazon for any legal entities they mention in your contract with them. By suing the wrong company, even if owned by the same parent company, you can have your case dismissed and you’ll have to file another small claims lawsuit.
Finding Amazon's Registered Agent
The registered agent of Amazon in the state of incorporation can be found at the bottom of this page.
See below to find the registered agent for Amazon in your state.
How to write a Demand Letter to Amazon
- On the top, in the address block, put in the company name and address:
410 Terry Ave N Seattle, WA 98109
- Next, put the subject line as 'Re: Demand for Payment'
- In one sentence, tell them how much Amazon owes you which you will claim in your small claims lawsuit.
- Then, in two to three sentences describe your issue. (ex: why you are owed for Failure to deliver package)
- Finally, state in plain language that you will go to small claims court if necessary. Don't say that you will do anything else, such as speaking poorly about them.
- On the bottom, include your name and address
How to send a demand letter to Amazon
After you write the demand letter to Amazon, you’ll want to send it to their registered agent so that it’s guaranteed to go to the legal department. Make sure that you get a tracking number for the mail you send them. It can become important evidence in your case.
Consider using Dispute to easily write and mail a demand letter on our professional letterhead. Skip the hassle of going to the post office or finding envelopes and stamps.
File your small claims forms against Amazon
You’ll need to find and prepare your small claims form based on where you decide to sue. Usually, people sue where the defendant lives or does business.
Then, wherever you decide to sue, look up the county small claims system. They’ll provide details on their website about what small claims forms are necessary.
Serve your small claims paperwork to Amazon
One of the last steps before your trial will be to physically give the small claims paperwork to Amazon. In order to keep your court date, you should hire a professional process server so that you can be sure all legal guidelines are appropriately followed.
Go to your small claims trial against Amazon
On the date of your small claims trial, be sure to arrive early and well-prepared. Bring at least three copies of all evidence you intend to present, and if your hearing is remote be sure to have provided copies in advance to the other party and to the court. Failure to follow the strict local guidelines can result in your case being dismissed, but if you’ve followed the rules then you can often win by default when the other party doesn’t show up.
FAQ - Suing Amazon
Can a Seller Sue Amazon for Closing an Account?
Sellers aren't able to sue Amazon for closing an account, and neither are buyers. That's because of the language in Amazon's terms of service, which states that the company can close accounts for any reason or no reason at all, at will. If you feel you've had an account closed wrongly, or in retaliation for something, and you want to try to get it reopened, you can seek out arbitration. In some cases, Amazon may reopen the account. But because it's "at will," they aren't under any obligation to do so.
Sellers who sue to have accounts reopened aren't often successful, as Amazon generally closes accounts that they feel are in violation of their terms of service. They may also close accounts with a lot of complaints or poor ratings. You can always ask for reconsideration, but don't have legal recourse to sue for a closed account.
Also, Amazon Sellers may be able to sue Amazon for holding money. You will want to check with your state's local laws. But you may find that the court will hear your case if you feel that Amazon is illegally holding onto what is rightfully yours.
Can I Use Arbitration?
You may have an arbitration agreement already in place with Amazon. This method of conflict resolution can be conducted over the phone, because Amazon's headquarters is in King County, Washington. For third-party sellers who aren't in the local area, having arbitration over the phone saves them significant time and travel expenses. But arbitration isn't free, and you could end up paying $7,500 to $10,000 or even more to make your case.
There are additional differences between arbitration and small claims court if you do have questions.
I'm an Employee. Can I sue Amazon?
If you're an employee, you can sue Amazon for injuries the company caused in the course of your employment, or for something like wrongful termination. Because labor laws aren't protected by Amazon's terms of service, the company can't avoid treating you fairly or being liable for failing to do so. You'll need to be able to prove the issue you're suing about and the harm it caused, of course, but that's not specific to Amazon. You would need to do that with any type of employment lawsuit for an injury. That may be emotional distress or a physical injury.
As for suing for injury as a buyer or seller, there are some very select, specific times when you may be able to do that. As a seller, you may have the option to sue Amazon if they hold profits you've already made and won't give them to you. If you're a buyer, and you've been seriously injured by a product, you could have some legal recourse, even if the product was through a third-party seller. The reasoning behind this is that Amazon was the company that brought you and the seller of the product together.
Do I Need a Lawyer to Sue Amazon?
That's up to you to decide. If you decide to sue Amazon in small claims court, many of them don't allow you to bring a lawyer to represent you. You will have to represent yourself. But if you sue them in another courthouse, you may consider hiring a lawyer as those processes get more complicated.
Can I Sue Amazon for Not Delivering?
If you paid amazon for a good or service, and they said it was delivered but you never received it, you may be able to sue them in small claims (or another) court for your money back. You may also be able to sue them for false advertising if they claimed it was going to reach you in a specific amount of time.
What is Amazon's Legal Department's Address?
Here is the address for Amazon's legal department:
Amazon.com Legal Department
410 Terry Avenue North
Seattle, WA 98109-5210