A Comprehensive Amazon Suspension Appeal Guide For Beginners and Seasoned Sellers

Amazon Suspension

Last updated on July 17th, 2023

Written by Ken Zhou

Imagine you're doing your best selling on Amazon. Everything's going great until you receive an email from Amazon suspending your selling privileges. You’re in shock, especially since selling on Amazon is your primary source of income. You feel panic creeping up on you, and you don't know where to direct that pent-up energy.

Appealing an account suspension requires a lot of planning if you expect your account to be reinstated. Instead of relying on multiple sources, you can rely on this complete guide, whether you’re a beginner or seasoned seller, so you can be sure your Amazon suspension appeal goes smoothly. Here we go!

The Ins and Outs of Amazon Account Suspension

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

amazon suspension letter

Section 3 of Amazon’s Business Agreement

If Amazon believes that your account should be suspended or terminated, they will do so promptly, especially in these situations:

  1. There is a breach of agreement, and sellers failed to respond to the suspension notice and correct the mistakes cited within seven days upon notice receipt. Amazon may allow a longer response time if a third party is involved, such as in Intellectual Property cases.
  2. Your account was hacked and being used to mislead customers and enact illegal and fraudulent actions.
  3. Your account and selling actions harmed other sellers, customers, and even Amazon.

In these cases, there is a high chance that Amazon will remove your selling privileges or ban you from selling a particular product. Your funds may be held as well. As you experience this, you must still deliver any pending orders to avoid adding effect to your account.  

3 Stages of Amazon Suspension

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

  • 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 face the hard fact that their appeals are denied.  
  • Amazon Ban Phase - Once the appeal has been denied, you’ll be banned from selling on Amazon. Some sellers try to send forced appeals and additional letters, but there is a slim chance for reinstatement in these cases.
2 amazon boxes

Consequences of Having an Amazon Suspended Account

Having your Amazon account suspended can be a real pain. Not only can it negatively impact your business, but it can also be grueling to get your account reinstated. Whatever the reason, having an Amazon seller account suspended can have significant consequences for your business, including the following:

  • You will no longer be able to sell on the platform. This may be disastrous for businesses that depend on Amazon for income.
  • Your account will be locked, so your data won't be accessible to you at all. This can make it very difficult to communicate with your customers or resolve any issues that may have led to your suspension.
  • Amazon will delete any reviews or ratings you had on your account, which could make re-establishing your business on Amazon difficult once your account is reinstated.
  • It will damage your reputation. Customers will see that you can no longer sell on Amazon and may not trust you with their business. Because of this, growing your business and finding long-term success on the platform may be challenging.

Getting your seller account suspended can have far-reaching consequences. It would be best to be a champion in suspension prevention and have a clean track record. But if your account has been suspended due to unfortunate circumstances, don't worry! There are ways to get your business back up and running on Amazon.

A Step-by-Step Plan to Appeal Your Amazon Account’s Suspension

This step-by-step guide shows you how to develop an effective plan to appeal for your account suspension.

amazon step by step plan for account suspension recovery

Tips to Prevent Amazon Suspension

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

Tip No. 1: Sell the Right Products and Describe Them Right

Conduct thorough product research as you set up your Amazon business to ensure you get your products from a trustworthy supplier to avoid selling counterfeits and products from Amazon’s restricted list.

Set the right expectations for customers by using Amazon's general condition guidelines in your product description:

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

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 listing. This means that anyone, Amazon or another seller, or even black hat sellers whose mission is to vandalize your listing or steal your Buy Box to sell the wrong items, can modify the information on the listing page.

Take control of your online store by regularly auditing and monitoring your listings. Ensure no changes are 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.

screen shot from Amazon

Tip No. 3: Don’t Try to Hack the System

The competition on Amazon is undeniably fierce, with more than 6.3 million Amazon sellers worldwide. Despite the competition, never hack your way to success. Amazon is obsessed with pleasing its customers so that they can even detect a minor glitch, also known as the black hat technique.

Your online business should operate 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: Protect Your Brand

You know that you are following Amazon's house rules by the book. However, Amazon keeps sending warnings to your Seller Central account for some reason. Crooked third-party sellers can falsely accuse you of intellectual property infringement to destroy your reputation and brand in the Amazon marketplace. In this case, you may be a victim of black hat sellers.

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

Trademark application is time-consuming, so we suggest signing up on Amazon IP Accelerator. To sign-up for the service, have an active registered trademark. It can help you obtain a trademark and, at the same time, enjoy Brand Registry benefits.

Tip No. 5: Be On Top of Your Seller Performance

Ensure that your business complies with the standards that Amazon gives. Continuously monitor your Amazon account health through the Customer Metrics tool in Seller Central and hit the goals for the following metrics:

Late Shipment Rate: This is the frequency of delayed shipments and should not exceed 4%.

Pre-Fulfillment Cancel Rate: These are the out-of-stock orders you cancel after a customer places an order. Canceled orders from the customer won’t affect your cancellation rate. Pre-fulfillment cancel rate should be less than 2.5%

Order Defect Rate: This pertains to the percentage of orders that yielded negative feedback, service credit card chargebacks, or even resulted in an A-Z Guarantee claim. Ensure that your order defect rate does not exceed 1%.

Conversion Rate: Sales your Amazon business is getting. You won't get suspended for this, but it lowers your ranking, making it an important metric.

Inventory Performance Index (IPI): Your FBA inventory performance over time.

Valid Tracking Rate (VTR): Customers can track their orders from shipping to delivery. Your VTR should be below 5%.

When you fail to achieve these performance standards, Amazon notifies you about your poor performance. A suspended account may follow if you fail to improve within the given timeframe.

Tip No. 6: Do Not Open a New Seller Account

If you are a first-time seller, you’re probably considering creating a new seller account under a new name or email. Don't do this. Amazon has ways of linking accounts together, and they can also trace if you have a second account.

Tip No. 7: Do Not Falsify Documents

If the reason for your suspension is “inauthentic inventory,” you might think of modifying invoices or receipts to make your products pass Amazon’s standards. But under no circumstances would this work. 

Amazon reviews thousands, if not millions, of invoices every day and can spot an authentic from a fake document in a second. If you do this, you will give Amazon a reason to prolong your suspension or ban you from the platform altogether.

Tip No. 8: Do Not Send Seller Support Multiple Emails After Sending Your Appeal

Sending multiple emails after submitting your appeal is a waste not only of your time but also theirs. Amazon Seller Support reviews thousands of appeals, and flooding them only increases their pile of work. 

After sending in your request, trust that Amazon Seller Support will read your appeal as soon as possible and promptly contact you. 

Tip No. 9: Do Not Pursue Legal Action Against Amazon and Seller Support

Frustrated, you might be tempted to threaten legal action against Amazon for a simple suspension complaint. Involving an Amazon attorney into the mix will hurt your chances of getting your account back.

Tip No. 10: Most Importantly, Do Not Panic

If this is your first time getting your account suspended, do not fret. This problem happens even to established sellers. All you need is a good plan of action and an effective appeal letter. Trust the process, and trust your appeal strategy will work.

What to Do if You’re Unable to Sell on Amazon Anymore

If you're now experiencing the consequences of an Amazon suspension, it can feel like everything you built while selling on Amazon has gone down the drain. It can devastate you to suddenly find that you can no longer sell on Amazon. But don't despair! Here are some of the things you should remember:

Not All Suspensions Are Permanent

Just because you've been suspended doesn't mean you can't reinstate your account. Amazon is a huge company, and they understand that mistakes happen. If you take the time to reach out to them and explain what went wrong, you'll have a good chance of getting your account reinstated.

You can also seek help from a professional Amazon appeal service, as they have the expertise and experience to reinstate suspended accounts and create Amazon appeals.

All Is Not Lost Even if Your Account Is Not Reinstated

There are other platforms out there where you can sell your products. Ecommerce sites such as Etsy, eBay, or Walmart have a large base of potential customers, and they don't require you to have your website. However, they may charge listing fees or take a percentage of your sales, so research these hidden fees before you decide to list your products on one of these sites.

You can also build your website and sell your products without the risk of getting suspended. Although you may have a different reach than you did on Amazon, plenty of customers are still willing to buy what you're selling.

An Amazon Suspension Doesn’t Have to Be the End of Your Business

Amazon is a great platform to start selling online. But being unable to access that platform doesn't mean your e-commerce business journey is over. Plenty of successful businesses out there got their start after being suspended from Amazon. The bonus is that starting your business again elsewhere, you now know what to do and what not to do next time. 

You can find success elsewhere if you're willing to put in the work. So don't give up hope and keep moving forward, and you'll find success despite being suspended from Amazon.

Seller Interactive Offers Amazon Account Suspension Appeal and Reinstatement Services

There you have it! Our complete guide on Amazon suspension and reinstatement. The Amazon appeal process takes a lot of work, but when you receive an email like the one below, you'll know the efforts are worth it! We hope that the information we shared can help you regain your account. To help you get that dream email quickly, partner with us here at Seller Interactive. Our team of experts is well-versed in the Amazon suspension appeal and reinstatement process. Talk to you soon!

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