Amazon seller account suspension: What you need to know

October 3, 2020
Written by Ken Zhou

Heard of the Amazon seller account suspension? Let’s say you are an Amazon seller who is performing fairly well. You log in to check your emails that morning and suddenly are greeted with a particular message which gives you a shock. In a few short paragraphs, the email body simply conveys this message: Your Amazon account has been suspended. 

An account suspension is bound to give Amazon sellers tremendous stress and frustration as it does result in a loss of money. Instead of panicking and looking for Amazon suspension help, read the following article to find out the reasons for an Amazon account to be suspended, how to prevent it, and how to reinstate your account in the right manner. Preparing for an unexpected Amazon seller account suspension is important in a seller’s online marketing strategy of Amazon. If you are quickly looking for help from an Amazon suspension expert, click on this link, Amazon Account Suspension Appeal service, to get the best advice on how to reinstate your account successfully.

What is an Amazon seller account suspension?

An Amazon account suspension occurs when Amazon removes an Amazon seller’s selling privileges if the company believes that he/she has violated its policies. There are mainly two types of account suspensions

  • Listing suspension – This occurs when certain product listings present in a seller’s account get suspended for a particular reason.
  • Account suspension – This is a more drastic suspension; it means your entire Amazon account has been shut down, forcing such vendors to lose seller privileges across this e-commerce platform.

One depressing consequence of account suspension is that you are still paying storage fees, supplier fees, and your employees. Even though you are not allowed to sell during this period, and you are utilizing Fulfillment by Amazon, you will still have incurred all the associated warehouse costs until the issue is resolved. 

Reasons for Account suspension

Here’s a list of reasons that could result in an account suspension:

  • Poor performance: Amazon sellers can be penalized for failing to meet Amazon's own performance targets. The performance metrics in question are Order Defect Rate (ODR), Pre-fulfillment cancel rate, and late shipment rate. We won't dive into full details about the definitions of these metrics, but if you are interested in knowing more, they can be found here. It is vital to keep a tab on these metrics as Amazon wants to ensure the existence of a fairly competitive marketplace that values respectable customer service.
  • Policy violations: Amazon has its own set of policies kept in place for its customers to experience a safe and fair environment while shopping. Any violation of these rules would result in an account suspension. These community rules include representing yourself properly, honoring your commitment to buy or sell, not having multiple seller accounts, violating another seller’s IP rights, and many more similar rules. It is thus important to be aware of the rules kept in place so that you avoid unintentionally breaking them.
  • Type of product listing: If you are selling counterfeit products, selling products described as "new" but are actually old or used, or even selling restricted products, you have reasonable grounds to have your account suspended. It doesn’t matter if you are not selling such products or you believe that you are innocent, the reason your account could get suspended is if Amazon thinks you are selling fake products or so. Check out this list of restricted products so that you are aware of not selling the wrong items beforehand.

What to do when your Amazon seller account is suspended?

When and if you do get that dreaded mail from Amazon saying that your account has been suspended, your first step would be to submit what Amazon defines as a Plan of Action (POA). This is an appeal letter that is submitted to Amazon Seller Performance by email. Amazon gives sellers 90 days to reply with an appeal. In your Plan of Action, you should mention:

  • The root cause of the problem that led to complaints of your product listings
  • What your immediate rectification plan is to resolve the issue
  • What long term steps you plan on taking to prevent future problems from arising

After the submission of your POA, Amazon could revert back to you, either asking for more information or the same info you had already sent. As it does sound like a frustrating process, some believe that an automated AI system filters all such appeals based on certain key phrases before passing it on to an actual Amazon staff member. Hence, if they do ask for the same information, you need to most likely reword and provide additional supporting documents to help prove your case.

There is no guarantee that your first appeal would be accepted by Amazon, and this does not mean you hire an Amazon suspension lawyer to fight your case. In fact, that might just slow down your process as the Amazon Seller Performance team is interested in communicating with you alone and won’t respond kindly to criticism of their processes. Check out this page to know in depth how to write an effective Plan of Action. Here are guidelines to follow when drafting a POA:

  • Be specific:  Get straight to the point; in your appeal, cover the issues in a concise and precise manner with all the important details. Write an action plan with clear specific steps of how you plan on solving it. 
  • Be brief: Follow the KISS (Keep It Short and Simple) principle when drafting the appeal. The Seller Performance team suspends thousands of accounts on a daily basis and have very little time to review each and every appeal. Hence, it would be wise to spend some time writing down the most effective appeal.
  • Keep emotions aside: It may seem difficult to not write a heartfelt POA as it surely is frustrating to receive an account suspension email. We recommend, however, to put emotions aside; a well-written appeal should be objective and factual in the actionable steps you plan on taking.
  • Don’t get defensive: You would be better off taking responsibility for the mistakes Amazon has accused you of making instead of trying to prove that you have been falsely accused. The faster way of reinstating your account is to highlight the issue and key steps you plan on taking in your POA.

Be prepared to wait for their response after you have submitted your POA. Amazon claims they will respond to sellers within 48 hours of their decision, but there are cases where it could take 2 months or maybe more to get feedback. Wait patiently till they respond and avoid sending them several emails as it may just harm your case. 

Key Take-away

Amazon requires great sellers, so even if they have suspended you once and your Plan of Action shows conviction in rectifying the faults you’ve made, you most likely won't get suspended again. Just make sure to regularly check your Amazon reports, double-check product listing descriptions, review Amazon's rules, and have a well-performing inventory management system in place. These are a few general practices to avoid getting your account suspended.

Having your Amazon account suspended is a nightmare, so it is important to understand Amazon's strict policies and steer clear of unethical practices. In such delicate situations, it would be wise to consult an Amazon seller account suspension expert who would be better experienced in drafting the right Plan of Action and get your account reinstated as soon as possible.

If you wish to know more about Amazon Account suspension appeal service or other Amazon-related services, you could talk to an Amazon seller account specialist at Seller Interactive. Schedule a quick call with one of our experts by contacting us at [email protected] to get all your queries addressed instantly.

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