Have you broken Amazon’s Products can only be listed on Amazon if... More guidelines? Whether this is your first offence or your account has been suspended, we may be able to offer some solutions, or at least point you in the right direction.
To see what can be done to reinstate your account or avoid a suspension, continue reading.
Our approach to dealing with the issue of non-compliance looks at the past, present and future of the business. In other words, we believe that in order to maximize your chances of reinstating your account and avoiding future suspensions, you should first find the warning triggers, then address them, then find ways to prevent a recurrence, and only then write to Amazon.
A. Find out what lead to you receiving a warning, keeping in mind that Amazon bots check the following:
- negative A performance rating on a scale of 1 to ... More and product reviews,
- the claims a customer makes when an A-to-Z complaint is submitted, and
- buyer-seller communication, focusing on the contact reason the buyer selected from the drop-down list (“Received damaged, defective, etc”).
B. Check the number of complaints for the item in question. Figure out the reason. It could be that:
- your product is fragile and subject to damage in transit;
- the wrapping materials you use are too flimsy;
- It’s a slow-selling item, prone to shelfwear, and needs to have its condition downgraded;
- the error was a one-time event.
C. Extend your check-up to the rest of the batch, to similar items or, if at all possible, to your whole inventory. If you see a pattern, you may need to change the supplier altogether, rather than stop buying a product. If you use FBA fulfillment, then creating removal orders for all your returns may help clarify the issue.
Customers are likely to complain unless you comply with the guidelines, and you only need 2-3 official complaints inside a month to get suspended. To minimize your chances of having your account suspended again, you could try the following:
- Get familiar with the Amazon guidelines for every category and condition;
- When in doubt, discard; if you’re not sure an item complies with the guidelines, don’t list it;
- Don’t list something as ’New’, but mention in seller comments that it’s shelf-worn or otherwise imperfect;
- Don’t put a removed item back up for sale until Amazon gives you the all clear;
- Dispose of unfulfillable inventory, to avoid having it returned again in the future;
- Constantly check all perishable goods in stock;
- Keep perishable items separate from the ones with long shelf-life;
- Open a case with Amazon and check the rest of your FBA inventory whenever there’s a complaint;
- Ask for samples from your suppliers before you buy anything, test them, and keep them for reference;
- Keep bundles in boxes on your shelves, so that pickers don’t lose or overlook any supplements;
- Dust-prone items should be polybagged before they leave for the FBA fulfilment warehouse;
- Offer a warranty on your products, and make sure the customers are aware of it before they buy;
- Erase pencil marks, straighten up bent pages or parts, check inside boxes, and shrink wrap what you can;
- Double-check everything before it goes out the door;
- Monitor recurrent complaints and single out those items;
- Use the Imperfect Orders report in your Amazon Seller Central is a portal or a h... More account;
- Work on existing and future feedback to identify preventable problems;
- Opt for Labeled Inventory rather than Commingled, so that you’re not responsible for other sellers’ non-compliance issues.
When you write to Amazon, you should first make it clear that you have looked into why you were suspended, and have come with ways to avoid breaching the guidelines in the future (i.e. points A and B above). Then you should focus on long-term solutions to help maximize your performance and keep the customers happy.
Your plan of action should include reasonable targets and simple solutions, such as:
- improving packing and handling procedures;
- finding wrapping material that’s more suitable for your products (like bubble-wrap for bottles);
- assigning more quality control staff;
- running regular inventory purges;
- changing supplier.
Next in this series, we’ll be discussing prohibited and counterfeit items, so stay tuned for some more of our insights into coping with Amazon warnings and account suspensions. Meanwhile, we’re here to help, and we’ll be standing by in case you’d like to share your suspension story.
Irina is part of the Business Development Team at SellerEngine Software. She’s an expert in bringing back to life Amazon Selling Accounts. Her motto is: everything will be alright in the end, and if it’s not alright, then it’s not the end.