Amazon Seller Suspension: How Did I Get Suspended?

October 11, 2020
Written by Nicasio Co III

There is no denying that the Amazon Marketplace has proven to be the hallmark e-commerce platform that most customers go to for their shopping needs. 2020 statistics show that over 206 million people visit the Amazon Marketplace every month, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that the platform is jam-packed with retail businesses trying to make a decent profit. 

As a thriving e-commerce merchant, one of the most unsettling things to encounter is the possibility of Amazon Seller Suspension. Of the 2.5 million sellers that make a living off of Amazon, thousands are faced with suspension every day. Most of the time, it’s quick and permanent, so it derails your online business ventures and suddenly threatens your way of living. Sometimes, Amazon even gives these suspensions out of the blue and with no compelling reasons. As a result, sellers on the platform develop a reasonable sense of fear that they’d lose their hard-earned money and reputation on Amazon.  

This article talks about the most common reasons why Amazon sellers get suspended. It may be daunting at first, but predicting the trends related to Amazon Seller Suspension is possible, and therefore preventable. 

What is Amazon Seller Suspension?

The concept of Amazon Seller Suspension is relatively simple: it prohibits an Amazon seller from selling on the Marketplace or selling a specific product that has been labeled as “suspended.” Amazon indeed gives out a short notice with a list of reasons for possible suspension. When ignored by sellers, they will immediately be given a suspension.

There are three phases of Amazon Seller Suspension:       

  • Amazon Suspension Phase - In this stage, sellers are notified by Amazon about the products that will no longer be allowed to be sold on the platform. They will first state their reasons for the suspension. Once received, the seller has the right to file a formal appeal.
  • Amazon Denial Phase - Sellers attempt to revert Amazon’s decision for a suspension by filing an appeal. In Amazon terms, they are called Plans of Action. Some are fortunate enough to get their appeals accepted, but others are faced with the hard fact that their appeals are denied.  
  • Amazon Ban Phase - Once the appeal has been denied, the Amazon Ban will immediately be in place. Some sellers try to send forced appeals and additional letters, but only end up worsening their situation. Amazon senses when someone is desperate, so they stop reading any further requests from denied sellers.    

Now that you know what an Amazon Seller Suspension will be like for sellers, you realize how dreadful the experience can be. But is there a way to dissect Amazon’s customer-centered motto, to avoid these suspensions from happening?

Decoding the Amazon Platform’s Philosophy of “Putting Customers First”

The Amazon platform prides itself on putting its customers’ needs first. This formula is the exact reason why 89% of online shoppers reportedly trust Amazon over any other e-commerce platform, and why these customers are most likely to make return purchases on the Marketplace.

Every time a customer is unsatisfied with a purchase or has encountered any problems before or after a sale, Amazon can quickly punish the sellers through suspension. Amazon’s ultimate goal is customer satisfaction: it wants to ensure long-term customer loyalty and maintain a high standard for Amazon sellers at the same time.

But where exactly do sellers come into the picture? Simple. Amazon has set up the Order Defect Rate (ODR) feature for sellers to measure and analyze where they are on the Amazon safety scale. The ODR is measured through several factors, including negative feedback rates, guarantee claim rates, or credit card cashback rates. When combined, the ODR ends up as an essential metric scale for sellers to look at from time to time. The higher your ODR is, the higher your chances will be for suspension.   

Since Amazon was able to set up a measurement tool for maintaining a seller’s integrity on the platform, the reasons for suspension can probably be estimated similarly. We have compiled a list of the most common reasons why Amazon Seller Suspension occurs:

Reason #1: Your Sales Performance Wasn’t Great

The most common reason for Amazon Seller Suspension is poor performance.

Now and then, Amazon analyzes and evaluates all merchants who sell products on its platform. Those who do not do well in terms of sales and feedback become candidates for suspension, which is the hard truth. According to Amazon’s legal team, this evaluation process is made to maintain the company’s image and avoid further negative reviews from customers.

After all, sellers are on the Amazon platform to take advantage of its ability to reach a broad customer base. As such, Amazon cannot risk putting its name in jeopardy because some sellers did not do their jobs well. 

Below are some essential criteria that sellers should meet to be able to stay as an Amazon seller:

  • Reviews should be 99% positive;
  • Delivery should be 99% on time;
  • Cancellation and defect rates should be kept individually at 1%, and
  • Merchant response should be quick.

If a seller meets all these evaluation requirements set by Amazon, his/her account will most likely stay safe. 

Reason #2: You Didn’t Follow Amazon’s Policies

Amazon decided to create rules and regulations on its platform, expecting it to be thoroughly reviewed by its sellers. However, some merchants continue to skip reading through this part and end up being surprised that their Amazon accounts have been suspended. Little do they know that Amazon’s policies are essential documents that any Amazon seller should know by heart.

The Amazon Code of Conduct is a comprehensive rulebook that lays down several rules for selling products on its platform. There are policies on all aspects of Amazon selling, from ratings and reviews to communication, customer information, and drop shipping. There are likewise certain restrictions on product listing restrictions, photos, and ad launch campaigns that sellers should read about.

Failure to read through these crucial policies will damage your product sales and even get you an Amazon Seller Suspension.

Reason #3: You Sold Counterfeit Goods

All online sellers on the Amazon platform are expected to sell products with integrity and provide the best possible. Therefore, any attempt to sell counterfeit products is a big no-no in Amazon’s eyes.

Amazon counterfeiting has already been a recurring problem on the platform ever since it started becoming popular. In general, Amazon counterfeiters sell fake versions of products and try to convince the seller that they are original. Amazon hijackers, on the other hand, produce counterfeit versions of existing Amazon products and try to steal profits off of well-established businesses. These copycats attempt to take the Amazon Buy Box from original manufacturers and trick customers into buying their products instead. They gain all the profit, and the original manufacturers get all the bad rep from the online shoppers. 

It’s only natural for Amazon to go hard on these counterfeiters and ensure that its platform delivers the products that customers want and expect. It even launched an Amazon Counterfeit Crimes Unit this year to aid in suspending counterfeiters’ accounts and filing civil cases against them. 

Reason #4: You Weren’t 100% Honest With Your Products

While it is a less common reason for Amazon Seller Suspension, some online sellers try scamming their customers into buying their products. Some sellers think they are slick enough to fool shoppers and convince them to purchase subpar products. It may work at first, but they don’t know that Amazon is lurking in the background, awaiting the perfect moment to hand out a sweet suspension.

Some frequent practices that are considered malicious include storming a competitor’s product page and bombarding it with negative reviews, faking a trademark, and copying product photos without consent. Others even go as far as copying another seller’s entire listing and Amazon Seller Identification Number (ASIN).

These techniques are a way to make money early on in your e-commerce career. Still, Amazon can eventually catch up to a seller trying to sabotage customers or other sellers to make more money. 

Conclusion: Can Amazon Seller Suspension Be Avoided?

The Amazon platform certainly has valid reasons to suspend any seller on its platform. It strives to maintain the brand image built over the years and try to keep customers coming to its Marketplace, so there should be no place for sellers against this philosophy. 

While these reasons exist to help you predict a potential Amazon Seller Suspension in the future, it’s still best to try and avoid these problems altogether. By providing high-quality products and excellent customer service, trademarking your brand name, and improving your product listings every day, you will be able to stay safe on the platform.

If you need additional Amazon suspension help, we at Seller Interactive have a team of professionals who can provide you with top-notch Amazon reinstatement services. You may schedule a call with us by sending an email to [email protected]. Book an appointment today!

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