One of the main aspects that propelled Amazon to become the largest online retail marketplace is what CEO, Jeff Bezos, calls “customer obsession”.
Saying that the platform prioritizes customer experience would be an understatement and that’s why it cracks down hard on sellers that could jeopardize it.
In this post, we will discuss:
- The different stages of account suspension on Amazon
- What your options are at each stage
- How you can prevent being banned from Amazon
Let’s get started.
Account Suspension vs Account Being Banned
Before we get started, it’s important that you’re aware of the difference between your account being suspended and it being banned.
Your course of action is entirely different depending on what state your account is in, hence, you should be aware of the differences.
You’ll know that your account is suspended when you receive an email from Amazon stating so.
The email will detail why your account was suspended and will clearly state that “Your Amazon.com selling privileges have been removed.”
There can be a number of reasons as to why your Amazon seller account may be suspended. Some of these are:
- Failure to address copyright infringement and intellectual property complaints on your products.
- Operating more than one Amazon seller account.
- Your Amazon seller account is being hacked.
- The sale of illegal, unsafe, or restricted products on the platform.
- Selling counterfeit or inauthentic products.
- Using images or text without permission; This is a variation of the first type of claim in this list.
- You have been identified as an unauthorized seller of a product you’re selling on the platform.
Of course, account suspension can occur due to a number of other reasons that aren’t as clear such as increasing negative feedback or unaddressed customer complaints.
In general, you should keep an eye on your account health.
If it is “Good”, you’re in the clear.
However, if it is “At-risk” or “Critical”, then your account is at risk of being suspended. In this case, it can be a good idea to do some digging to find the root of the problem and address it.
To view your account health, go to the Amazon Seller Central home page and click on Account Health under the Performance tab.
Don’t panic if your account gets suspended. If it’s suspended, you can still make an appeal to get your seller account reinstated.
Your account gets banned if your appeal after your account was suspended gets denied as well.
Getting banned is an Amazon seller’s worst nightmare because Amazon is clear in its policy that once you’re banned, you will not be allowed to sell on the platform anymore.
This includes creating a new account as well.
Hence, you need to be very careful about how you make your appeal once your account gets suspended because if you do it wrong, you could end up with nowhere to go.
How to Make an Appeal to Amazon After Account Suspension?
It can be a very daunting situation receiving that email from Amazon which states that you can no longer sell on the platform.
That being said, all hope is not lost yet. As long as you keep a level head and identify the issue that led to your account being suspended, you may still have a chance.
So, here’s how you do it:
Start with Some Spring Cleaning
Before you contact Amazon regarding account suspension, it’s a good idea to dig into your account and identify why this happened.
Start by resolving any pending support tickets that may be associated with your account.
Not only will this improve your account’s health but it may also help you identify what caused the suspension.
Improving your account health is crucial because you want to leave a good impression on the team that reviews your appeal.
Amazon requires you to fulfill the following performance metrics as a seller on the platform:
- Order defect rate: < 1%
- Pre-fulfillment cancel rate: < 2.5%
- Late shipment rate: < 4%
Once all of your seller account’s pending issues such as refunds, replacements, shipments, etc. have been taken care of, you can start thinking about contacting Amazon.
Create a Plan of Action
Once you have identified the issue that caused your account to be suspended, you need to ask yourself the following questions:
- Why did these issues happen?
- What can you do to fix them?
For example, if you had a high order defect rate, you could identify the cause of this as having a sub-par distributor.
You can rectify this by changing your distributor.
Ensure that you have a reasonable justification as to why issues occurred with your account and that you have an actionable plan to fix them.
Otherwise, Amazon isn’t going to be reinstating your account anytime soon.
Based on this plan of action, write your letter of appeal.
Submit Your Letter of Appeal
Once you have composed your appeal letter, you can send it over to Amazon for review.
How do you do that?
It’s simple. Just open the account suspension email that you received from Amazon, scroll down and click on the Appeal Decision button at the bottom.
Copy and paste your appeal letter in the form along with all other essential details that it requires and click Submit Appeal.
Wait for Amazon’s Reply
Once you’ve sent the email, all you can do is wait.
This is arguably the hardest part of the entire appeal process since there’s really nothing you can actively do at this point besides wait.
Resist the temptation of sending multiple appeal letters or emails to Amazon. This will not do anything to speed up the process.
In fact, it may hurt your case and cause you to be banned from the platform permanently.
Most sellers typically receive a reply to their Amazon appeal letter within 48 hours.
Once you receive a reply from Amazon, hopefully, it’ll be the one you want.
Otherwise, it means that your account has been permanently banned and that you cannot sell on the platform anymore.
How to Avoid Being Banned
We’ve thoroughly established in this post that there’s not a lot you can do once you get banned from Amazon.
Hence, it’s a good idea to identify why sellers get suspended or banned and take measures to ensure it does not happen to you.
Here are some things Amazon sellers can do to avoid being banned:
Make Sure You’re Not Selling Counterfeit Products
If you’re selling cheap, counterfeit products on purpose, then we’re sorry to say that you deserve to be banned from the platform.
However, that’s typically not the case with most sellers that get banned due to this reason.
In many cases, the sellers themselves are not aware that the products they’re selling are not genuine.
Before you create a listing for your product, check the platform for similar products. If you’re importing the product from a mass-manufacturing plant, make sure to check its origin and quality.
Also, take note of copyrights and trademarks.
In short, ensure the authenticity of your product before selling it on Amazon.
Check Packaging, Shipping, and Quality Control
Delayed shipping and sub-par packaging can very easily lead to your account being suspended.
Naturally, this is not applicable if you’re an FBA (Fulfilled by Amazon) seller but if you’re an FBM (Fulfilled by Merchant) seller, then this is something you need to pay attention to.
Constantly Monitor Feedback and Customer Messages
As mentioned earlier, Amazon prioritizes customers a lot. Hence, not paying attention to them can easily lead to you getting suspended from the platform.
Please note that customer issues, feedback, and messages are not something you can ignore.
Make sure that you’re frequently checking messages and addressing any issues that your customers may have.
For quickly checking and replying to customer messages, consider downloading the Amazon Seller app.
Keep Your Product Listing Up-to-Date
This applies to both FBA as well as FBM seller accounts.
If you’re an FBA seller, ensure that you are closing listings that you no longer sell.
Similarly, FBM sellers should delete products that they no longer offer.
Having active listings for products that you no longer sell can cause seller performance to go down.
Track Your Inventory Regularly
It is crucial to be aware of what product is in stock and what’s about to run out if you’re going to be a successful seller on Amazon.
When an order is placed by a customer, the product should be ready to ship out as soon as possible.
Any delays that could occur due to the product being out of stock will not only lead to bad customer reviews but will also lead to your account’s metrics to go down.
That’s definitely a recipe for suspension.
Wrapping Things Up…
So, these are your options for when your Amazon account gets banned or suspended.
We hope we were able to clear some things out about how you can contact Amazon support and write a letter of appeal to them.
Remember to be patient and don’t bombard them with appeals and emails. It will only lead to you being banned rather than your account being reinstated.
Were you ever suspended from selling on Amazon? Tell us about your experience in the comments.