Is your Amazon Seller Account Suspended? Here’s How to Bounce Back

December 6, 2021
Written by Jayce Broda
amazon-seller-account-suspended

One of the worst things to happen to you as an Amazon seller and entrepreneur is to have your Amazon Seller Account Suspended. With the e-commerce sector growing faster than ever before, you just can’t afford to have downtime that lasts for hours or even, in some cases, days. 

Sure, you can get your Amazon suspended account reinstated, but only once the damage has been done by following a specific set of instructions. Alternatively, you can implement a suspension protection program to prevent this from happening again in the future.

This article will help you better understand account suspensions and how to handle them. But before jumping in, let’s figure out how you got into this issue in the first place.

Why is my amazon seller account suspended?

There are many ways a seller can lose access to their account. Below we've covered some of the more common reasons why sellers get suspended on Amazon. 

You Created Multiple Accounts

With over 2.5 million active sellers and with over 200 million monthly visitors in the U.S. alone, it's no wonder why Amazon imposes strict regulations on this platform. That said, to better control the marketplace, Amazon makes sure to preserve a one-seller, one-account rule. Amazon sellers are prohibited from operating multiple seller accounts without prior approval. 

Sellers who ignore this regulation can face suspension of their accounts. Amazon can trace violators by comparing IP addresses, email, bank information, physical address, and even Tax ID - Amazon can even trace URLs. That said, even if you're not running multiple accounts, it's safer to prevent other sellers from accessing their accounts from your computer or network to prevent mistaken association through IP addresses.

You Were Reported for Counterfeit Listings

You can receive a counterfeit report for either of the two reasons:

The buyer is unsatisfied with your product and wants to be refunded or compensated by reporting the product as fake despite being authentic.

Or, you might have fallen victim to hijacking. With Amazon's high population of sellers, it can't be helped that there would be bad apples mixed into the fray. These people are called hijackers and counterfeiters who replicate your product/listings and entice buyers by undercutting your original price. 

While these events are both out of the seller's hands, in attempts to protect the integrity of their marketplace, Amazon will tackle the situation immediately and, in some circumstances, suspend the account after a single report. 

You have Poor Seller Performance Metrics

How is seller performance related to Amazon suspension? More so than not, the fate of your seller accounts heavily relies on Amazon’s customers. So with a vast customer base to maintain, Amazon will spend the time and effort ensuring that customer satisfaction is a priority. The e-commerce giant accomplishes this by encouraging, if not compelling, third-party sellers to follow a strict standard. 

Here are three metrics Amazon imposes on you and millions of other sellers using their platform.

  • Order Defect Rate: This metric pertains to the number of orders with negative ratings (usually indicated by one or two-star rating), an A-to-Z Guarantee Claim (or when a buyer reports a defect on their issue), or a credit card chargeback (when a buyer files a dispute against your order as a credit card purchase).

Amazon requires that each seller maintains an ODR just south of 1% to prevent suspension of accounts.

  • Pre-fulfillment Cancellation Rate: This metric indicates the quotient when the total number of canceled orders made by the seller before the confirming shipment is divided by the total number of orders within a given timeframe of interest. 

If your rate falls below the 2.5% that Amazon requires, your account will be suspended. This event indicates that you need to improve your inventory management if ever you recover your account.

  • Late Shipment Rate: This metric is implied by the number of orders confirmed for shipment after the ship date over the total number of orders within a given period. A higher number means that you are frequently dissatisfying customers as they can’t track shipments that aren’t confirmed by their order’s ship date. 

Amazon requires its sellers to keep below the late shipment rate of 4% to avoid getting suspended.

You Were Reported for Copyright Infringement

Stealing intellectual property is generally considered an offense worldwide, and Amazon is not an exception. Copyright infringement is one of the most abysmal offenses against Amazon. This is also one of the most difficult to settle as Amazon will require you to resolve the dispute with a third-party service. 

You are Selling Restricted Items

Lastly, Amazon maintains a strict list of prohibited and highly regulated products to sell on its platform. Amazon is also very critical of how these products are labeled and listed. Rules will vary depending on the country and marketplace you are selling in. 

This is because the e-commerce giant actively protects its customers from harmful or fraudulent products. Keep in mind that Amazon updates these lists repeatedly, so it’s best to keep a tab on Amazon’s policies regularly. 

Tips to Prevent Suspension

Protecting your account from Amazon suspensions is a proactive measure to avoid issues in the future. It's easier to prevent a suspension than to conduct an Amazon suspension appeal.

Respond to Product Quality-Related Queries

If the item you are selling generates frequent returns and complaints, take immediate action! Thoroughly review the process from sourcing, inspecting, and listing content. Take note of any issues you can address to avoid problems in the future.

Being proactive with these matters will indicate that you are a hands-on seller willing to improve your customers' overall experience.

Stay Updated 

One of the worst things you can do is isolate yourself and refuse advice or suggestions from the many available resources to guide your decision-making and even provide warnings of possible threats. 

Often, sellers are shocked when their accounts get suspended when the signs are visible for weeks. However, the sellers who noticed the signs in advance changed their course, saving their account from suspension.

The bottom line is, Amazon is frequently updating its rules and TOS when selling on their marketplace. Therefore, it's advised to stay updated with the current news to avoid possible mishaps. 

Recall and Re-evaluate Problematic Products

If you often receive “inauthentic” warnings, take them seriously and try to address them to the best of your ability. Avoid mindlessly responding to these notices and find the root cause. 

Another measure is to stop selling items that often lead to dissatisfaction for your customers that may result in removing your listings, serving of warnings, and even casting further scrutiny of your Amazon Seller Account. 

If this product happens to be your top-seller, make sure to address why customers are continuously unsatisfied with your product. 

Manage Your Metrics

While maintaining a close eye on your Seller Central Dashboard doesn’t equate to customer service etiquette, the customer feedback you receive is correlated to a positive metric rating. 

These metrics are good indicators of your customer’s overall experience. Take note that this is crucial, especially during high-volume occasions like the Christmas season when activities in Amazon reach their peak. 

Review Amazon’s Seller Regulations

Amazon’s guidelines are constantly changing. They typically send you an email about these changes, which are easily overlooked. Stay ahead of these alerts and be aware of notifications to avoid missing an important notice which could affect your seller's health.

Suppose you violate Amazon’s safety infringement guidelines and safety policies. In that case, you might as well say goodbye (albeit this is only temporarily) to your account as the chances of it being suspended just rose tremendously. The product safety team is stringent. They are quick to suspend your account and demand your plan of action. 

How to Recover Your Seller Privileges

After receiving an email informing you that your selling privileges have been retracted, take the following steps to start your Amazon suspension appeal.

  1. Study the content of the email and take note of Amazon's explanation as to why your account is suspended. 
  2. If Amazon brought the suspension due to bad performance metrics, it's your responsibility to make every possible effort to improve your performance in the future. This includes revamping your practices, customer correspondence, regulations, and overall behavior between you and your customers. 
  3. Once you've honed in on the particular issues, necessary steps should be planned and executed to attain a higher performance rating.
  4. Directly submit this plan to Amazon by sending an appeal notice to the department. You can do this by clicking on "Appeal" within the email you received regarding your selling privileges.
  5. If your account is suspended due to a listing issue, address it and notify Amazon of the changes. If, for example, an item was reported as misrepresented due to inaccurate descriptions, make the changes to your listing immediately.
  6. Wait for Amazon's response but don't neglect to adopt these practices as soon as possible to bring your customer performance metrics to a positive level.

It's easy to get impatient and take immediate action once your account is suspended, however, it's best to maintain a level head and take careful, deliberate steps to avoid digging a deeper hole.

Don’ts

  1. Don't waste your appeal button without a well-thought-out Plan of Action (POA).
  2. Don't open a new account, as Amazon will eventually find out and link it back to your original account.
  3. Don't submit fabricated invoices to Seller Performance to look like you're abiding by Amazon's guidelines.
  4. Don't lash out at the Seller Performance team and instead take accountability for your actions even though it's not entirely your fault.
  5. Don't spam multiple follow-up letters and admonish Amazon for their processes.

What to do with your Plan of Action

  1. Be professional and do not rebuke Amazon’s processes, their manner of handling your dispute.
  2. Keep it plain, straightforward, and factual; focus on policy matters instead of performance metrics.
  3. Use bullets or numbers instead of long, flowing paragraphs to effectively convey your message.
  4. Come up with a short introduction to quickly show the reader your grasp of the situation and how you fixed it.
  5. Do not include unnecessary information or commentary about the account review process or Amazon in general. Make it a clear goal to provide as much information as possible related to your fixes.
  6. Ensure that the Plan of Action includes all elements that led to the Amazon suspension appeal explicitly addressed.

Need additional assistance with account suspensions? Contact Seller Interactive. Our experts understand how to best address the issue and implement effective strategies to resolve a suspension case. We understand the urgency to reinstate your account, assigning our team members to handle matters quickly and efficiently. Get in touch to find out how Seller Interactive can help your Amazon seller account today! 

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