Amazon is currently the world's leading online market, which hosts millions of sellers and caters to a multitude of buyers. Every day is a chance to make a sale, and even just a day of suspension can easily paralyze your business. Although no seller would want to lose sales and a whole day of business operations, there are things that sellers unintentionally do that get their Amazon seller account suspended.
Below are the most common reasons for suspension and how to appeal an amazon seller suspension.
Amazon strictly implements a “one seller account per person” policy. They can trace and compare account details through bank information, tax details, and addresses. Amazon can even determine computer URLs, so sellers should be cautious of making other sellers log in through their computers. However, there can be instances where a seller would need a separate seller account. In these cases, Amazon would allow multiple seller accounts under one person, given that that person has followed the process and has submitted enough justification for the need for another account.
A counterfeit report can happen due to two reasons. First, the buyer was unhappy with the product and wanted a refund. The said buyer would report the product as fake even though he received a genuine one.
The second case is due to hijacking. Hijackers and counterfeiters are, unfortunately, all over the Amazon marketplace. They would copy your listings, including the photo, text, and bullet points, and lure buyers through lower prices. Buyers would be tempted to purchase the product because of the price and will be surprised when they receive a fake product. Even though you are innocent, the buyer may mistakenly report your authentic listing as counterfeit.
Although these two situations are out of the seller's control, Amazon takes selling of inauthentic products seriously and would take down your account without any second thought once they receive a report.
While the hijacking of listings can't be avoided, there are tools and services that you can use to take down fake listings immediately, even before they can create any damage. There are also tools available to prove your products' authenticity so that buyers will automatically know whether the product they bought was from a legitimate source.
Amazon focuses on giving the best service to its customers. This is why the e-commerce site tries its best to encourage third-party sellers to adhere to a specific standard. Underperformers will receive sanctions like suspension. Fortunately, excellent seller performance isn't that hard to maintain. You just have to make sure that you religiously abide by Amazon's guidelines, respond to queries promptly, ship orders on time, and maintain a good reputation through reviews and ratings.
Stealing of intellectual property is punishable by law, and not just by Amazon. When putting up listings, it is best to use photos that you have personally taken, or use royalty-free photos. Text and bullet points should also be original. Should you want to quote from others, make sure to credit the source appropriately to avoid plagiarism issues.
Copyright infringement is one of the heaviest violations on Amazon and is also one of the hardest to settle. This is because Amazon would require you to resolve the issue with the external party. This process is beyond Amazon's control, so whether your seller account will be reinstated or not is uncertain.
Amazon has a strict policy regarding which items can be sold on the platform. Amazon is also very keen on properly labeling these products. You can sell used or preloved items on the website, but be sure to specify so the buyers can manage their expectations, or else, the products could be reported as fake. The list of prohibited items may be updated from time to time, so it is best to go through Amazon's policies regularly.
To give you an overview of what to expect, let’s go through the suspension and reinstatement process. You will first be given a 30-day notice before your seller account gets suspended. Take note that the exact reason for the suspension will not always be disclosed. You can still use the time to consult an Amazon lawyer or other Amazon experts to create a comprehensive plan of action.
You will have to send the suspension appeal letter to Amazon within the 30-day period. During this time, some of your seller privileges would be suspended. After submitting the appeal, you must wait for the decision whether you get reinstated or not. In case you get rejected, you can try to send another appeal. The worst-case scenario is you'll get permanently banned from the Amazon marketplace.
There is only one way to get a suspended Amazon seller account reinstated: write a concrete plan of action. Amazon will be able to detect if you ignore the suspension notice and create another account. Remember that one of the grounds for suspension is creating multiple accounts. If you try to address the reason for suspension by committing another violation, you'll be on your way to being permanently banned from Amazon.
Going back, a plan of action is something that you need to submit immediately, but is also something that you cannot write haphazardly. In writing your suspension appeal letter, the following points should be included:
When writing your appeal, make sure that you acknowledge the problem. Denying the problem or putting the blame on others does not sound like something that would come from a promising, stable business, and could lower your chances of getting reinstated.
After acknowledging the cause, explain the initiative you have taken to fix and address the problem. You can give proof that you are a legitimate and responsible seller. Citing your good record will give you more credibility and would better convince Amazon that the reason for the suspension is an isolated case.
Lastly, explain how you plan to prevent the same thing from happening. Note that Amazon receives thousands of letters every day, so it's best to keep it as short as possible. The use of bullet points and keywords can help make your appeal easier to read.
There are multiple reasons for your Amazon seller account to get suspended, most of which have been stated above. Some of them, unfortunately, can be because of reasons out of your control.
Although seller account suspension can, in a way, be typical in the Amazon marketplace, it shouldn't necessarily be your own normal. Amazon experts are ready to ensure that your account is protected from suspension and are prepared to get you reinstated should the inevitable occur. Send a message to Likitha at [email protected] today so you can get started in protecting your business.
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