Some New Year’s resolutions are made to be broken. For instance, I’ve already had two donuts today; and I regret nothing. But when it comes to the health of your business, it pays to take things seriously. Amazon is not playing around. We’ve put together a list of things to review going into the New Year to help keep your Amazon account safe and healthy.
Account Health Metrics
This might seem like the most obvious one. There’s a good reason Amazon has taken time to calculate ODR, Valid Tracking Rates, Cancellation Rate, and Buyer Message Response times. They want you to know what’s important to both them and your customers. Not only will you be in danger of Amazon account suspension if your metrics venture into the red zone, you’ll also be less likely to be able to successfully argue your case if something else goes wrong. Amazon looks at your overall account health when considering whether to reinstate a suspended listing or ungate you to sell in a specific brand or category. If you’ve got stellar account health, then you’re also more likely to successfully appeal a suspension for a different issue.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but Amazon has made the Retail Arbitrage model increasingly difficult on their platform. Between brand/category gating and the fact that Amazon refuses to accept retail receipts as proof of authenticity, any business model that is unable to provide you with authentic, quality products, and itemized invoices is risky. If you receive an authenticity complaint, safety complaint, or if you simply want to be ungated to sell an item then you’re going to have to provide invoices. The reinstatement process moves much quicker if you’ve got the right paperwork from the get-go.
Cleaning out problematic inventory can hurt. But, like ripping off a Band-Aid, it’s better to do it quickly. You may have come across the phrase ‘high level of customer dissatisfaction’ in one of Amazon’s disheartening Performance Notifications. Well, any product with a ‘high level of customer dissatisfaction’ should be pulled and examined. If you’ve got perishable items that are set to expire within a short period of time, then it’s best to be safe and pull them as well. Check your feedback and reviews regularly. Are you receiving similar complaints on any particular item? Chances are that if you’ve noticed it, then Amazon has noticed it too. It’s better to lose a little money eliminating problematic inventory, then to lose out entirely due to suspension.
Do you have a cache of unanswered Performance Notifications lurking like skeletons in the closet? Even if you’ve managed to skate by under the radar until now, it’s best to drag those suckers out and deal with them. Go back a full year and see if you have any notifications that require a response. Take note of the ones that seem more innocuous too. Each notification is part of the bigger picture.
Stay Up To Date
Amazon is constantly changing their rules and policies. It can be hard to stay on top of all the new regulations, but knowing about these changes in advance can give you a big competitive edge. Read up on Seller Policies from time to time, and talk with other Amazon sellers. Or, better yet, let us do the work for you! We will always do our best to keep our readers abreast of the latest changes to the Amazon selling platform.
- Don’t open up a second seller account, unless you have explicit permission from Amazon first. No doubt certain people will tell you there are safe ways to do this. They are wrong. When you get caught, the suspension will be nearly impossible to fight.
- Don’t badger Seller Performance. Much like when dealing with an actual badger, it’s best to tread lightly and be polite. If you pester, harass, bully, or try to intimidate them, then your fight is likely to be over very quickly.
- Don’t escalate unless you’ve exhausted all your other options first. Jeff Bezos’ word is final.
- Don’t give up. Amazon can be frustrating, but we are here to help. We offer free consultations and are more than happy to help even after it seems like all hope is lost.
If all of this seems daunting, then never fear. We offer a thorough Account Audit package that will go over all these points and more. Staying on top of day to day tasks can be difficult, so our experts are always here to help. We hope you have a happy and prosperous 2018!
Vanessa is part of the Services Department and is one of the first employees at SellerEngine. She enjoys reading and cats, and goes by the saying “A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men.”