09 Mar Amazon Seller Account Suspended & Appeal: Complete Guide
An Amazon account suspension can be a nightmare for any seller. When selling on Amazon, one of your priorities should be to always keep your account details accurate and safe. It’s important to monitor not only your sales but your store performance and account health as well.
When Amazon suspends your selling account, it means you have been suspected of violating one or more rules as outlined in their terms of service.
By enrolling in Brand Registry using a valid trademark, providing high-quality products, excellent customer service, and optimized product listings, you will be able to stay safe on the platform.
Stages of Amazon Account Suspension
There are three levels of suspensions imposed by Amazon.
You receive a performance notification stating the reason and ASIN(s) that Amazon has removed from sales on their catalog. However, as a seller, you still have the right to file an appeal, which is called an Amazon suspension appeal. It is extremely important to take the time to understand exactly why you may have been suspended. Amazon, at times, can be vague, which is why the onus is on the seller to build an appeal.
Send your appeal with as much detail as possible, especially if Amazon has provided guidance for a Plan of Action (“POA”) and request to get your appeal accepted. If not, you can still submit a revised appeal and try again. You should also call Account Health for updates if you do not hear back from Amazon in a timely manner.
This is the last and worst stage. It means that you have submitted multiple appeals unsuccessfully, and Amazon has decided to terminate your account. Although much harder at this stage, it is still possible to be reinstated, but it can take months at this point. There are specialized law firms that can help at this stage. Every seller should ensure they are in compliance with Amazon’s Terms of Service at all times to avoid this stage at all costs.
How to Make an Appeal
After you’ve reviewed your suspension notice and identified areas of improvement, you should come up with your Amazon suspension appeal – or plan of action (POA).
A POA should show that:
- You’ve identified the problem along with what caused it
- You understand what needs to be done to stop this from happening again.
- You have a plan in place to make sure it never happens again.
Your goal is to give Amazon the information they need to lift the suspension on your account.
Getting in Touch With Amazon
State who you are (including seller name), a brief description of your business, and why your account was suspended. It will help to also mention how long you have been selling on Amazon.
Clearly describe the problem (or problems) that led to your account suspension. Explain the process you used to identify the problem and a detailed explanation of why it occurred. Be sure to include data and specifics about what you found. Take full responsibility for mistakes and acknowledge where the issues lie.
You should describe the steps you’ve already taken to correct the issue since you’ve been suspended. Clearly describe the changes you have made to correct the problem. Identify any tools, processes, or procedures you are and will use to prevent the issue from recurring.
Include a summary of the action steps taken to resolve the issue, as well as a clear request to have your selling privileges reinstated.
Make sure to read your appeal carefully before sending it. You will also want to make sure that all the details and attachments (if there are any) are correct and complete.
Next, you just need to wait for Amazon’s response. You should expect to hear from them within 48 hours, but there are cases where you might need to wait much longer, potentially up to 1-2 months or even more.
Amazon may also get back to you and say that they’re not satisfied with your initial response. This is a rare opportunity. Make sure to take advantage and fix any problems with your initial appeal.
Preventing Amazon Suspension
Whatever the reason behind your suspension might be, the fact remains that prevention is key. There are some things you need to take into account to avoid the Amazon seller suspension problem.
What you sell
A common reason for suspension comes from what you’re selling. Make sure you’re only listing products and brands that are approved by Amazon and that all your paperwork is in order and at the ready. This can include Spec Sheets, MSDS Reports, Certificate of Analysis, etc.
Understandably, Amazon can be very particular about the quality of its products. To meet their standards, your product must be supplied from an authentic supplier. It must not be an imitation or copy of another seller’s product listing. Selling imitated products with cheap quality will lead to an eventual account suspension.
Optimize listing, inventory, and fulfillment
What your listings say, how much product you have in stock, and when a customer gets their order all factor into your overall account health.
If a listing is inaccurate, a buyer is more likely to make a return the product or leave a negative review. Returns not only impact your Amazon standing, but they hurt your bottom line.
On the inventory side, if you experience a stockout, you risk losing sales, and it can also affect the standing of your account.
If there’s a shipping delay or damage due to poor packaging, your customer won’t be happy, and you will get returns and negative reviews.
Preventing all of these issues will help limit the chances of an account suspension. Amazon reviews your seller account and evaluates your seller performance constantly.
Understand Amazon’s policies
Amazon follows strict seller and customer policies. They are there to help you understand how sellers should communicate. The principles that stand out are customer obsession, ownership, high standards, and trust.
Even if you’re not new to selling on Amazon, you should always keep yourself familiar with Amazon’s seller policies. Please note that these policies sometimes change with very little warning.
Boost Your Capital
When you have healthier cash flow, you can be more agile. So when things like an account suspension happen, you’re better prepared to make the necessary business improvements.
If you’re suspended for shipping issues, think about signing up for Amazon FBA. If you’re suspended for stocking out, you can place an inventory order and look into demand forecasting tools. If you’re suspended for inauthentic products, you can find better suppliers. And so on.