Amazon Suspension Guide: How to Avoid and Reinstate a Suspended Account

January 27, 2021
Written by Ken Zhou
amazon suspension

Amazon suspension shouldn't be taken lightly because the Earth's customer-centric company will do anything to make its customers happy. We are not referring to you, the seller, but the buyers who are among the most important assets of Amazon. As a matter of fact, Amazon set strict rules and regulations that you must comply with to provide optimal buying experience in the marketplace.  

In this article, you will read tips on how to avoid the dreaded Amazon suspension email and how to write an Amazon suspension appeal letter.

What is Amazon seller account suspension

It means you have violated one or more rules in Amazon's terms of service, whether intentionally or not. Below is the sample of Amazon suspension email you may receive from the Seller Performance Team:

Amazon removes your selling privileges or bans you from selling a particular product. Your funds may be held as well. As you experience this, you are still required to deliver any pending orders to avoid adding affect to your account.  

This is how nerve-wracking an Amazon suspension can be. It isn't fun to be in a situation where you need to search for "how to get my Amazon account reinstated" with cold sweaty hands. You are like walking on a tightrope, and in one wrong move, your Seller account is dead.

3 Stages of Amazon suspension

On rare occasions, Amazon won’t be that harsh when it comes to account suspension. You will go through three stages as follows:

1st Stage: Suspension 

If you are lucky, or if your offense isn't severe, you will get a warning first indicating the affected ASIN(s) and reason for the warning. Fortunately, you can redeem yourself by sending an Amazon suspension appeal letter at this point (more on this later).

2nd Stage: Denied

It will be the response if Amazon isn't satisfied with your appeal. You may try again, but make sure your Plan of Action (POA) is indicated in the email.

3rd Stage: Banned

If your POA is the one that Amazon denied, you are forever banned in the marketplace. Moreover, you may also get banned when you send threatening emails to Amazon or use emotive language in the appeal letter.

5 Ways to Prevent Amazon suspension

What are the typical reasons for an Amazon seller account suspension? Perhaps you opened multiple accounts under your name to sell the same products. Or you're selling a prohibited or restricted product on Amazon. It could also be due to your poor Seller Performance metrics.

Whatever the reason might be, the fact remains that prevention is better than spending sleepless nights trying to getyour account reinstated. So, here's how can you avoid Amazon seller suspension problem:

Tip no. 1: Sell the right products

How would you know you’re selling the right product? First and foremost, it should reflect what is stated in their rules and regulations. For instance, no matter how in-demand or high-quality your product is, if it is included in Amazon's restricted products, you are out.

You must also describe the condition of the product AS IS. No flowery words. No superlative definitions. Amazon has general condition guidelines, as listed below:

  • New =  a brand-new item that hasn’t been t taken out of its original packaging, and the warranty is still intact.
  • Renewed = is a "pre-loved" product that has minimal to no signs of wear or visible imperfections when held 12 inches away. The product must undergo an inspection to check if it works well and looks  new.
  • Rental = is a product inspected by an authorized person to check if it is in good condition and still functioning properly. 
  • Used - Like New or Open Box = is a product where its original packaging is intact with minor imperfections. It must be in perfect working condition even though the protective wrapping is missing.
  • Used - Very Good = is an item that was slightly used but is in excellent condition. It may show little signs of wear, scratches, or cosmetic blemishes.
  • Used - Good = is a product that shows wear from consistent use but still functions properly. Its packaging might be damaged, or has been repackaged.
  • Used - Acceptable = is an item that is fairly used and shows signs of scratches, dents, and wear. It may be missing some parts or accessories.

Hence, it is crucial that you must conduct thorough product research during the first stages of setting up an Amazon business. Also, ensure that you are getting your products from a trustworthy supplier to avoid selling counterfeits.

Tip no. 2: Optimize and audit your product listings

No rule prohibits sellers from offering the same product. If Amazon detects duplicate or identical product pages, it merges them into one product listing. Here are the factors to consider when merging product pages:

  • Product brand
  • Quantity of the package
  • Product's UPC, EAN, or ISBN
  • Product's color, size, or fragrance

It also means that anyone (Amazon or another seller) can modify the information in the listing page. Even black hat sellers whose mission is to vandalize your listing or steal your Buy Box to sell wrong items.

Take control of your online store by regularly auditing and monitoring your listings. Make sure that there are no changes made in the images, bullets, or descriptions. Once Amazon receives a "wrong item sent" complaint from the customer, they will not hesitate to suspend your account.

Optimize your product listings as well every time Amazon announces new features regarding its marketing or advertising products. 

Tip no. 3: Don't try to hack the system

The competition on Amazon is undeniably fierce. Imagine competing with more than 2.2 million Amazon sellers worldwide. The thought of it could make you sweat  buckets and tempt you to hack your success. 

Never attempt it, though.

Amazon is obsessed with pleasing their customers that they can even detect a minor glitch, also known as black hat techniques. The most rampant is the review solicitation or buying customer reviews.

They could also sniff out those who rely on giving free products in exchange for stellar reviews to improve their ranking. Other than that, piggybacking on a high-converting listing may get you into trouble and maybe accused of selling fake products.

Your online business should be operating based on Amazon's leadership principles, such as customer obsession, earning trust, delivering results, ownership, and insisting on the highest standards. In this way, you can sell in harmony with the largest online marketplace in the world.

Tip no. 4: Provide exceptional customer service

We will never get tired of reminding you that Amazon is customer-obsessed, and you should be, as well. Whether you encounter a new, loyal, or angry customer, you must treat them well and find ways to provide them the best shopping experience.

The best place to start is the customer review section of your listings. Make sure that you respond promptly to receive positive feedback. Amazon is on the lookout for snobbish sellers who ignore customers' pleas.

Besides managing the shipment and returns of your orders, you must achieve Amazon's performance targets, as stated below:

  • Late shipment rate is less than 4%
  • Order defect rate is less than 1%
  • Pre-fulfillment cancel rate is less than 2.5%

Customers don't only want high-quality products but also fast delivery service. If you fail to deliver on time, don't argue with them when they give you negative reviews. Instead, personally reach out to them to apologize and provide a discount on their next purchase.

However, sometimes, the problem isn't you but the third-party services and systems that you currently use. For this reason, you must establish open and healthy communication with your couriers and developers to prevent delays and technical problems, respectively.

Tip no. 5: Protect your brand

You know that you are following Amazon's house rules by the book. However, for some reason, Amazon keeps sending warnings to your Seller Central account.

Why is this happening?!

Maybe you are a victim of black hat sellers. We've mentioned above that someone can hijack your product listings or vandalize its contents.

Aside from that, crooked third-party sellers can falsely accuse you of I.P. (intellectual property) infringement to destroy your reputation and brand in the Amazon marketplace.

One of the solutions to fight this is by registering in Amazon Brand Registry. It is a brand protection service that gives you full control over your listings and content. Moreover, it reassures customers that the information in the listing is accurate.

But first, you must have an active registered trademark to join. Trademark application is a time-consuming process, so we suggest signing up on Amazon I.P. Accelerator. It can help you obtain a trademark, and at the same time, enjoy Brand Registry benefits.

For future reference: How to appeal an Amazon seller suspension

Since various scenarios could get your Seller account into trouble, we will also teach you how to write an Amazon seller suspension appeal letter.

Before we give you the short guide to compose an Amazon suspension appeal letter, here are the tips on how to deal with Amazon seller account suspension:

  • Be calm and don't rush to reply.
  • Don't use foul language when replying to the Amazon suspension email.
  • Wait for their reply, and don't send status requests.
  • Don't play the blame game against Amazon or the customer.
  • Always be polite and be professional.
  • Own up to mistakes (even if they aren’t yours).

Now, let us discuss how you can get reinstated by following the steps below:

1. Analyze and read the Amazon suspension email carefully before writing the POA or Plan of Action. Identify the root cause of the issue by reviewing your Seller Performance and Account Health. You may access it by clicking the Performance menu and choosing Account Health.

You may also go through your Performance Notifications, which is also under the same menu, and review each warning you have received. Be specific and straight to the point when doing this part.

2. The second part of a POA is stating the actions you have taken to resolve the issue. These are immediate fixes to appease the affected customer. 

Before sending an Amazon suspension appeal letter, you must first resolve the issue at hand. This way, you are showing Amazon that you are sincere in making up for your mistakes that caused your suspension.

3. The third to last section of a POA is the steps you have taken to prevent the issue going forward

Think of ways to avoid repeating the same problem in the future. Also, state that you will read and study again the Amazon policy you violated.

4. If Amazon requires you to send invoices, receipts, screenshots, or other documentation, make sure you don’t forge them. 

5. Read your appeal carefully before sending it. Ensure all the details and attachments (if there any) are correct and complete.

6. Patiently wait for Amazon's response. How long does Amazon appeal take? Sad to say, it could take several weeks or months. 

Amazon may also get back to you if they're not satisfied with your initial response, and this may go back and forth until they get the answer they want from you. So, don't waste the chance Amazon gives  you, as this is rare.

Key takeaways

When it comes to Amazon suspension, you must get it right the first time. Amazon will not always allow you to send multiple appeals. If you want to avoid this nightmarish situation, follow the tips above so you will never experience an Amazon seller account suspension. More importantly, don't ever bypass or disobey Amazon's rules and regulations if you want to continue selling in one of the world's popular online marketplaces.

Do you have any questions about Amazon suspension? Seller Interactive has a team of experienced Amazon consultants who are willing to teach you the ins and outs of Amazon seller account suspension. Email us at [email protected] or [email protected].com today.

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