You know what keeps many Amazon sellers up at night?
The thought of one day, out of nowhere, losing their Amazon Seller account. It happens a little bit more than you might think, and although there are tons of good reasons for Amazon to suspend accounts, sometimes they miss the bar.
So, even if your seller account hasn’t been suspended, it’s still good to know how to avoid landing in Amazon Jail and what you need to do should you make a mistake.
Accounts Are Suspended for Three Primary Reasons
If you get the dreaded suspension notice, don’t panic! You’ll understandably feel afraid, defensive, and frustrated.
Many sellers will immediately reply, but it’s best to take a deep breath and take the time to figure out where you went wrong.
If you don’t know why your account was suspended, it’s virtually impossible to create a successful plan of action. 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.
The three most common reasons for account suspension come down to the Three P’s:
Performance: Make Sure You Meet Your 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. If you treat your customers well, that means that Amazon is treating its customers right too.
Currently, all sellers must meet these targets:
Order defect rate: 1%
Pre-fulfilment cancel rate: 2.5%
Late shipment rate: 4%
Policies: You Must Follow the Rules!
With so many policies for Amazon sellers, it can be challenging to figure out exactly which rule you broke without Amazon telling you directly.
Policy violations include unauthorized business names, having multiple seller accounts, misuse of search and browse, or violating product bundling policy. Review Amazon’s Selling Policies to see if you can determine why they flagged your account and find where you went wrong.
For these reasons, this is why we harp on the dangers of following advice from random people online following & black hat techniques. Yes, you could see some return in the short-run by gaming the system, but sooner or later it will catch up to you.
Products: Only Sell Approved Products!
You can’t just sell anything on Amazon, and they have a list of restricted products that you can view here. Review the entire list and try and think if anything in your inventory is restricted. If it is, stop selling it NOW!
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.
If You Do Get Suspended, Do These Two Things
So, you’ve figured out where you went wrong; now it’s time to get your seller account back so you can start making money again! You can’t just do this on the fly, so the first step is to create a plan of action.
While creating this plan, it is crucial that you remain calm and precise. You can’t rush through your plan, and you can’t do anything drastic—your seller account may be at stake here!
It can be easy to look at Amazon as your enemy and competitor, but in reality, they genuinely want to work with you.
After all, sellers are the backbone of their business, so if they start shutting down accounts, they will go under too!
Amazon offers examples of plans of actions for different scenarios here. You may also want to search some forums or ask in an Amazon sellers group (like our free Facebook group) for examples.
Filing Your Appeal
With your new plan of action, it’s time to send Amazon a message telling them there’s either been a mistake or that you’re sorry and won’t slip up again. Here’s how to file the appeal:
- 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.
The best way to avoid getting suspended is to make sure you’re following all of the rules! Look at the lists and policies I’ve linked above, and you should be good to go!
To your success!
~ Your AMZinsiders team