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How to deal with an Amazon account suspension

Discussion in 'E-Commerce and Online Selling' started by RepricerExpress Team, Mar 13, 2015.

  1. RepricerExpress Team

    RepricerExpress Team

    Aug 19, 2013
    As an Amazon seller, you’re fairly used to things going in a linear fashion: set up an account, upload your listings, draw in customers and their orders, and then package and ship items to them. Until, one day it doesn’t — you log on to find out your Amazon account has been suspended. It’s a message no merchant wants to see, and yet it happens regularly. RepricerExpress takes an up-to-date look at why your account has been suspended and what you can do to get it back.

    Reasons for Suspension

    Amazon is far from being a perfect system, as it’s so big that occasionally mistakes slip through the cracks. But for the most part, they use algorithms to notify them when the following has taken place:

    • Performance: When you first start out selling on Amazon, there are certain benchmarks you have to meet. If they feel you’ve been lagging, then they may suspend your account. This is to keep the marketplace competitive and not full of names who say they sell but don’t actually use the site.
    • Violation: Any time you join any organisation you yourself didn’t start, there are always going to be certain rules and regulations you have to abide by. Amazon has theirs, and you showed an understanding of this when you signed up. If you broke these rules (either once or repeatedly, depending on the rule and severity), Amazon will suspend your account.
    • Restricted Products: As an example, it’s a bit of a no-no to sell things like ivory or prescription medication on Amazon. They tend to frown on those sorts of items in their marketplaces, and you can guess that your account will be suspended if they’re linked back to you.

    When your account’s been suspended, Amazon will tell you why. You can find this information in the Performance Notifications section of your account, as they’ll outline which of the three aforementioned categories you fall into.

    What Steps to Take Next

    The great thing about Amazon is they understand what it’s like to be an everyday merchant. They may not have the time nor the staff to sit down and chat with you over a coffee, but there are many steps you can take depending on which infraction has gotten your account suspended.

    If it’s a violation-based suspension…then your obvious first step will be to take those items out of your inventory, post-haste. They can’t have you shipping ivory across country and continental lines, so make sure to take a look at what Amazon’s selling policies are and what you can and can’t sell.

    If it’s a performance-based suspension…then you’ll need to examine why you’ve been lagging in this department. Do your packages regularly arrive after the date you said they’d be there? It may be time to re-examine your shipping process or go with Fulfilment by Amazon if you truly can’t handle both growing your business and taking care of the shipping side of it. Do your orders have a high defect rate? A good place to start sniffing around would be how you handle your inventory.
    Show Amazon What You’re Capable of With an Action Plan

    As we mentioned before, Amazon’s pretty good about hearing you out if you want to appeal your suspension, but you have to show them you really mean business. You’ll need to assemble an action plan that outlines you not only understand why your account was suspended, but what steps you’ll be taking to make sure it doesn’t happen again. It’s a good time to be as specific as possible and include some of the following general examples.

    If it’s a matter of not being able to get to your deliveries on time, tell Amazon how you have staff specially designated for orders alone and how your orders will all get taken care of each day. And because Amazon has a tier of shipping options, you’ll also want to mention how you’ll be triaging the orders to make sure expedited or Prime orders get out on time.
    • If customers have repeatedly said you ignore their questions or complaints, Amazon will want to know how you’ll rectify this. They have customer support services available that can do this for you if you want to avail yourself of them, or you can just tell Amazon the details of how you’ll be getting back to customers (e.g. what time-frame, how you’ll handle different languages, etc.)
    • If your order defect rate is high, it’s because you had a high pre-fulfilment cancellation rate that precipitated it. One of the biggest issues surrounding this is how you manage your stock, so be explicit in telling Amazon the steps you’ve taken to better control your inventory.
    If you’re selling items that are on Amazon’s do-not-sell list, then take them off right away. This is a non-negotiable and not open to any grey area, as they have to abide by many different laws, the likes of which trump what you may want to do as a merchant. If your supplier is giving you shady goods, like bootleg DVDs or counterfeit material, it’s a good time to start looking for another supplier (and also telling that to Amazon).

    And then the waiting begins. You’ve put together a solid, awesome action plan that outlines all the steps you’ll be taking, but now the ball’s in Amazon’s court. Waiting will be the hardest part of it and while we don’t like to promise that a really hard effort won’t go unrewarded, it’s definitely something you can hope for. Just keep in mind that from now on, you’ll have to be a different, more improved Amazon merchant.
    Depo and vzw2021 like this.
  2. kinsorted


    Dec 26, 2013
    Good piece, well written.

    We had our account suspended on a policy violation due to some mishaps with a known supplier. Unfortunately we had our account permanently suspended and are not allowed to open another sellers account.

    In the process to detailing out an even more robust plan to try and demonstrate that we mean business and the c**k up previously was a one-off error.

    Fingers crossed.
    RepricerExpress Team likes this.
  3. RepricerExpress Team

    RepricerExpress Team

    Aug 19, 2013
    Thanks for the kind words kinsorted. Hopefully we've given you some useful advice.

    Good luck with your appeal.
  4. ULAK


    Apr 30, 2015
    Great advice, and this is stuff that will deffo help people who run afoul of Amazon Policy! A worthy sticky!

    To reiterate what was very well stated above, Amazon can, will, and does suspend accounts if you do not follow their policies. If you are a 3PS you may get away with bad performance or policy violations for a while, but it can and will catch up to you. Know your Amazon metrics and work to improve them.
  5. RepricerExpress Team

    RepricerExpress Team

    Aug 19, 2013
    Thanks ULAK.
  6. Virtual Phone Numbers

    Virtual Phone Numbers

    Dec 19, 2009
    Nice piece, although very frustrating when you get suspended for having an issue with 4 different orders, out of thousands. Been a week now and no response from the seller performance team either.
  7. Low Cost Sourcing

    Low Cost Sourcing

    Aug 30, 2015
    Good article, should help a few people. Another thing to remember is that when you write your action plan, take your time and do not rush it as sometimes you might miss something off which could be the difference from getting your account back or being suspended permanently.

    Also check out the Seller Forums, these have some really good advice on getting your account reinstated or the other sellers are usually very good at giving advice on certain situations.

    If all else fails and you think that your account should be reinstated, especially if you have only had an issue with a few orders out of thousands as like Virtual Phone Numbers has said, try sending the full details, action plan etc.. over to the Managing Director's team as this sometimes helps.
  8. Lucas24


    Apr 13, 2016
    Thanks for your advices!
    My Amazon account have been also closed. Fortunately, I still have my activity in Cdiscount, the leader of e-commerce in France (I am french) thanks to my contact in the marketplace who give me good advises and help me every day. His name is thibault tassain. I don't think that he will be angry if I give his contact: ******************************
  9. SaleHoo


    Feb 28, 2006
  10. Anders Jorgensen

    Anders Jorgensen

    Feb 5, 2018
    Well Amazon or Ebay really does not work with my desired business model so I go with my own online shop where I am the CEO and have no limits to what I want to do and no competition as such. No rules, policies or charges for me to build my business.

    Still I would say Amazon or Ebay could be a good start but you would need to invest in a good training course showing you the best way to get results so you do have a working strategy.
  11. The TelecomShop

    The TelecomShop

    Aug 16, 2018
    Well Great stuff you shared with us. Amazon suspend the accounts if the supplier do not follow the policy of Amazon. First things that every supplier to do is read carefully the instructions of amazon Policy so that you can familiar with it.
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