One of the biggest fears that new Amazon sellers have is having their account suspended. If you’ve been in Amazon seller circles for very long, you have likely heard horror stories about sellers who have had their accounts suspended. As sellers, we’re at the mercy of Amazon. And when you’re building a business that is your livelihood, it’s a scary thought that Amazon could shut it down overnight.
The good news is that Amazon provides guidelines and a step-by-step process for appealing an account suspension. If you’re wondering what to do when your Amazon seller account gets suspended, read on.
Why was my Amazon seller account suspended?
The first thing you’re probably wondering is “why.” If you’ve received the dreaded suspension notice, you’re probably feeling afraid, defensive, and frustrated. Your gut reaction may be to reply right away, but it’s important to take a breather and give yourself time to figure out what is wrong.
It’s vital for you to figure this out before you go any further, as you won’t be able to write a plan of action without knowing why you were suspended. The email you receive from Amazon will provide you with some information, but you may need to do some additional investigation to determine the specific cause of your account suspension.
Reasons for an account suspension come down to three things: performance, policies, or products.
1. Does your account meet seller performance targets?
Amazon wants to protect its brand and positive reputation with customers, so it holds its sellers accountable for maintaining a high standard of customer service as well.
Currently, all sellers must meet these targets:
- Order defect rate: <1%
- Pre-fulfilment cancel rate: < 2.5%
- Late shipment rate: < 4%
2. Have you violated any seller policies?
This can get a little trickier because without very specific information from Amazon, it can be hard to determine which policy violation Amazon has flagged your account for.
Policy violations include unauthorized business names, having multiple seller accounts, misuse of search and browse, or violating product bundling policy—to name just a few. Review Amazon’s Selling Policies to see if you can determine why they flagged your account.
This is one of many reasons it’s important to be careful who you are getting information from, as some people may advise using various “black hat” techniques that can result in account suspension.
3. Have you sold any restricted products?
Review the list of restricted products here to ensure that you have not sold any.
If it’s not immediately obvious, go on a Google hunt for other Amazon seller suspension stories to see if you can figure out where you went wrong in Amazon’s eyes.
How can I get my suspended Amazon seller account reinstated?
Once you have determined why Amazon suspended your account, you can move onto the appeal process. You have a deadline of 17 days from receiving the notice to submit your appeal.
1. Create a plan of action.
Before sending an appeal to get your Amazon seller account reinstated, you need to create a detailed plan of action outlining the steps you have already taken or process you will put in place to resolve the issue moving forward.
Don’t rush this step. It’s important to be precise and not let your own emotions come into play.
I know that there’s a perception that Amazon is looking to shut you down or work against you as a seller. But when I visited Amazon’s headquarters, I saw that that’s really not the case. I can say from personally meeting many members of their corporate team, they really are trying to work with us. At the same time, they need to protect their brand and their customers, and they want to make sure all sellers meet those high standards.
While you may feel frustrated, don’t respond out of anger or emotion. Provide detailed yet succinct information that shows them that providing an excellent customer experience is your priority as well.
2. Send an appeal to Amazon.
Send your plan of action to Seller Performance with a request for reinstatement.
- Go to the Performance tab in your selling account, and click “Performance Notifications.”
- Locate the notice you received, click “Appeal,” and then click “Appeal Decision.”
- Enter your Plan of Action in the next step, along with all details (such as phone number) that are requested.
- Click “Submit Appeal.”
- Keep an eye out in your email and watch your phone for further communication from Amazon.
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