Nothing makes a seller’s skin crawl quite like an Amazon account suspension notification. You dreaded this moment, and did your best not to get there, yet here you are. Whatever the suspension reason, all hope is not lost. Here is some advice on how you can assess your situation and create a strategy to resolve the suspension.
REALLY read the Amazon Account Suspension notification.
We can’t stress this enough. Don’t hurry to reply and makeup just any plan of action in the heat of the moment, you really need to think things through. A suspension notification generally contains important information regarding what you need to do next.
Make sure you understand everything the notification mentions. The grounds for suspension, plan of action, requested documentation. As well as if they’ve given you a deadline to reply. Some notifications even contain clues as to what they expect you to implement in your plan of action. They sometimes ask you to find the complaint that led to the suspension and develop steps to prevent future issues.
Understand the stated reason for the suspension and identify the cause.
This is the first and most important clue. It tells you what triggered the suspension. There are a number of suspension reasons, but most common are: selling inauthentic items, poor performance, or intellectual property infringement.
To identify the root cause of your suspension, you’ll have to perform a close inspection of the issues facing your account.
- Inauthentic item suspensions: make sure you do a thorough analysis of all your orders in the past 365 days of the mentioned ASIN(s). You’ll need to find out how many of the total orders registered a negative event (refund or return request). Check to see if the customers that filed those requests gave any input on what went wrong: emails, feedback*, product reviews**
- If the issue is poor performance: take an in-depth look at your selling activity to see where things went wrong. It could be an issue with customer support that amounts to a high percentage of negative feedback or A to Z claims. Or you might be shipping items late and not uploading tracking numbers on time.
- In the case of an intellectual property infringement suspension: your best bet is to contact the rights owner. Sometimes the complainant is not the same as the rights owner, so I would recommend doing some research on the rights owner and giving them a call or, better yet, have your lawyer sort things out with them.
* Feedback:one issue with feedback, especially for FBA, is that Amazon deletes removed feedback. This is why we recommend keeping a document with relevant feedback where customers pointed out issues with your product.
** Look at all critical product reviews: even at those that you are sure weren’t left by your customers. In some instances, the “bots” will suspend you for a review that is not actually for a product you sold. Use the information when building your plan, but don’t take the “wasn’t me” approach. Amazon won’t listen to excuses; they want proof. Their thinking is more along the lines of “it may be the case that your item didn’t catch fire, but can you prove that it won’t?”
Make sure your documentation is in line with Amazon requirements.
Make sure your invoices are in a format accepted by Amazon (don’t worry, they usually mention exactly what formats are not acceptable). Also make sure that:
- Your supplier is verifiable online.
- Ideally, that the items on your invoice are also visible on the supplier’s website.
- The ‘bill to’ fields have the address and name registered under your amazon account.
- The product name is similar to the product title on the amazon page.
- The date of the invoice is right (respects the time frame given by Amazon).
- Highlight the item in question on invoices that display different items. It will help you and the Amazon representative that is working on your case go through them faster.
- The quantities on the invoice match your stock (both what you sold and what inventory remained).
Don’t over do it.
Make sure the information and documentation you gather for your appeal is relevant to the suspension. For example, if you get suspended for selling inauthentic items, sending them your SDS (Safety Data Sheet) for the item won’t help your case. If you don’t have the invoices/reselling authorizations they’re asking for, just sending them any bit of paper you have at hand won’t work. The best way to go about it is to change your business model and find a supplier that can offer you legit invoices for the stock you buy.
If they reject your appeal, take a breather and retrace your steps.
This is not uncommon. Go back through all your original steps and make sure you didn’t miss anything. Look carefully at their response for other clues such as customer comments or details in your plan of action that you might have missed. Make sure it is concise and to the point and that it covers all the issues that caused the suspension.
You can do it! And we can help!
To sum it up, things can be pretty straightforward when it comes to account suspensions. With patience and attention to detail, you can get over this event and improve your activity in the process. However, if this seems like more than you want to manage yourself, our Services experts can help you anytime the need arises. Contact us and we can perform a full account assessment at no cost.
Adriana is one of SellerEngine’s Amazon Business Development team members. Her main focus is helping sellers understand Amazon’s intricacies and helping them get things rolling on the platform. She believes that approaching things with calm and honesty solves 50% of the issues you may be facing with Amazon.