My Account Got Suspended: Is Amazon Deactivating Accounts for No Reason?

March 5, 2021
Written by Nicasio Co III
amazon deactivating account

You may find it hard to believe, but Amazon values its sellers as much as its buyers. In 2019 alone, the third-party seller earnings for Amazon reached $53.76 billion. Now, that’s not inconsequential. In fact, it could be the GDP of a small country. With that much money third-party sellers are contributing to Amazon’s coffers, it’s in the company’s best interest to allow its sellers to generate as much revenue as possible, “legally,” of course. I think it’s safe to say that Amazon deactivating accounts for no reason is ultimately counterproductive.

A seller will usually be informed of his Amazon account suspension by email, through Seller Central, or other similar means. The seller will then be notified of the reason for the suspension and the options for an appeal, except in cases when providing such information could hinder their investigation. The most likely scenario is, the seller was probably violating one or more of Amazon’s rules and wasn’t aware of it. I think it’s safe to say that no sellers in their right mind would want to break the rules and jeopardize their ability to sell their products in the most successful ecommerce platform in the world. Let’s look at the most likely scenarios.

Multiple Seller Accounts

Sellers aren’t allowed to operate multiple seller accounts for each region. You might be allowed to have more than one if there is a legitimate business need and all of your accounts are in good standing. This information can be found in Amazon’s Terms and Conditions. It might surprise you to know that only 11% of users actually click the link for a website’s terms of service. That’s about one in a thousand, and it’s one of the reasons why many people overlook this little detail.

Opening a new account while your old one is suspended will also lead to account suspension. The important thing to remember is, don’t do anything if your account is being investigated. If you want to appeal your suspension, give all the information Amazon needs and wait for the result. Any premature action on your part will only make it worse.

Poor Seller Performance

Amazon prides itself in providing quality products and services. Poor seller performance directly affects their credibility as the top choice for online shopping. Therefore, it’s in their best interest to make sure their sellers are meeting the minimum standards for delivery time, defect rate, answering customer queries, and cancellation rate. To be a top performer, you need satisfy these requirements:

  • 99% positive reviews
  • 99% on-time delivery
  • 1% defect rate
  • <1% cancellation rate
  • You consistently answer customer queries

Besides, it’s also in your best interest to keep your account in good standing. Poor seller performance ultimately leads to less sales.

Selling Restricted Products or Products in Restricted Categories

As a seller, you can’t just sell anything in your inventory. Amazon has strict rules when it comes to products that sellers can easily misuse or misrepresent. If you’re caught selling these goods without permission, it could result in an Amazon suspended account or a permanent deactivation. These products can be broken down into three basic types:

  1. Collectibles with specific condition requirements
  2. High-quality export items
  3. Products regulated by state and/or federal law.

Getting permission from Amazon to sell these products might be tough because of the different rules governing the categories they belong to. The approval might include paying an additional fee, submitting to performance checks, or any action deemed necessary by Amazon. Some of these products are:

  • Alcohol
  • Animal or animal-related products
  • Automotive and Powersports
  • Composite Wood Products
  • Cosmetics and Skin/Hair Care
  • Currency, Coins, Cash Equivalents, and Gift Cards
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Drugs and Drug Paraphernalia
  • Electronics
  • Explosives, Weapons, and Related Items
  • Export Controls
  • Fine art
  • Food & Beverage
  • Gambling & Lottery
  • Hazardous and Dangerous Items
  • Home Decor
  • Human Parts and Burial Artifacts
  • Ink & Toner Cartridges
  • Jewelry & Precious Gems
  • Laser Products
  • Lighting
  • Lock Picking and Theft Devices
  • Medical Devices and Accessories
  • Offensive and Controversial Materials
  • Pesticides and Pesticide Devices
  • Plant and Seed Products
  • Postage Meters & Stamps
  • Recalled Products
  • Recycled Electronics
  • Software
  • Subscriptions & Periodicals
  • Surveillance Equipment
  • Textbooks
  • Tobacco and Tobacco-Related Products
  • Warranties, Service Plans, Contracts, and Guarantees
  • Refrigerants: Ozone-Depleting Substances and Substitutes

Providing False Information in Your Product Listings

As sellers, we have complete control over our products. However, Amazon decides what kind of information the customers see on our product listings. Selling counterfeit products and passing them off as genuine is totally against Amazon’s policies. Making absurd claims (e.g., saying something can cure cancer, claiming a product is FDA-approved when it’s not, etc.) about your products is also not allowed. 

There are even some cases when unscrupulous sellers use photos that don’t actually look like the products in real life. Amazon has a way of dealing with these types of people and it usually involves Amazon deactivating accounts, or worse, legal action.

Reports of Copyright Infringement.

Amazon respects the intellectual property of others. This is why any report of copyright infringement is taken seriously. When this happens, your account will be suspended pending an investigation. As a seller, this could make a big dent on your earning potential. Amazon usually gives you 90 days after the suspension to make an appeal. If you haven’t appealed the suspension within 90 days, you will be instructed to withdraw your funds and the suspension becomes permanent. The whole process could take a few days to a few months. It’s better to get on top of the situation as soon as possible.

Sometimes, a direct competitor may report you for copyright infringement just to get your account cancelled. This has happened so many times recently that Amazon now deactivates the reporting party’s account if their actions are deemed malicious and baseless. 

You’re a Victim of Black Hat Tactics

It’s not unheard of for other sellers to resort to black hat tactics to take out their main competitors. Though it’s sometimes difficult to prove that you’re a victim, we have to believe that Amazon is doing everything it can to prevent these actions. Certain black hat tactics that have been done in the past are: giving competitors false positive reviews, hijacking product listings, selling counterfeit versions of your product, opening a new account and making it look like it’s yours, etc.

There are specialists working on these problems ‘round-the-clock. If these nefarious characters are coming up with new ways to earn money illegally, Amazon fraud experts are continually coming up with methods to catch them. You can be sure that they won’t be shown an ounce of leniency when they’re caught. You just have to trust the system, and follow the appeals process as best as you can.

How Can Amazon Deactivating Accounts Be Prevented?

Sellers need to be smarter. I’m sure you’ve heard of the saying, “Prevention is better than a cure.” Getting experts in Amazon account reinstatement service to analyze your listings and give you advice on how to keep your account from being suspended is the best thing to do. However, there are times when it’s out of your control. When this happens, contact us at [email protected] or [email protected], so we can help you. Our Amazon experts can help you formulate a plan of action and guide you through the appeals process.

Go from surviving to thriving on Amazon.

Use the power and influence of advertising to increase sales. Learn more about how you can benefit from our management expertise.
Talk to us

Read More

Amazon Refund Policy: A Guide on How to Refund on Amazon

Being the largest and most popular eCommerce website globally, Amazon has been the best place for buyers to shop for their needs without leaving the safety of their home or office. With over $233 billion in revenue and 288 million square feet of stores and warehouses, Amazon, like any other business, has had their ups […]

7 Signs You Seriously Need an Amazon Ad Agency, and How to Find "The One"

Is your conversion rate as dry as the Sahara desert? Are you running a one-man show where you are responsible for Amazon SEO, PPC campaigns, listing optimization, marketing, etc.? Is your ACoS too high? Are your customers giving you more hate than love? It only means one thing. You, my friend, badly need an Amazon […]

Beginner's Guide: ASIN Basics and Amazon ASIN Suspension Appeal

As a new seller, you might get overwhelmed with the Amazon policies and guidelines when creating ASINs. It is too overwhelming that you're, well, tempted to skip reading it all together because you still have a business to run. You will just go with the flow, read the tutorials on the web, and follow your […]

crossmenuchevron-down