Has your Amazon seller account been suspended? Write a strong appeal and detailed plan of action to get your Amazon account reinstated!
With so many new sellers joining Amazon third-party selling, one of the most common and frequent issues appearing is the suspension of Amazon seller accounts. Many of these suspended sellers rely on the sales and income from Amazon selling to support their livelihood, leading to very stressful scenarios trying to reinstate their accounts. If you are reading this article, it is very possible that your Amazon seller account is currently suspended and you are looking for a solution to get your account back. If this is the case, we’re here to help!
In this blog, we’ll be describing what you can do if your account is currently suspended by Amazon. To get your account reinstated, we will need to determine why your account was suspended in the first place and the best actions you can take to try to appeal your suspension.
Types of Actions Taken by Amazon
Before we identify a solution, we need to break down the different phases of Amazon suspensions. If your account is currently suspended, it is most likely at one of these stages:
Phase 1: Suspension. You are in phase 1 of suspensions if you were just notified of your account being locked by Amazon. At this stage, it is still very early on and you should be eligible to submit an appeal. Phase 2: Denied. If you have already submitted an appeal but your account was not reinstated, you are most likely here is phase 2 where your appeal was denied. Don’t panic, this just means you can submit a revised appeal and try again. Phase 3: Banned. This is the last and worst stage of suspensions. This phase means you have submitted multiple appeals unsuccessfully and Amazon has decided to terminate your account.
By this point, we hope you are either in phase 1 or phase 2 and still have the opportunity to save your Amazon account. If this applies to you, keep reading to see what the next move is!
Why Was My Amazon Account Suspended?
Now that we know your account is still salvageable, the next step is to identify why your account was suspended in the first place so we can come up with a solution to reinstate your account. Amazon usually suspends accounts for 3 particular reasons:
Violating Amazon Selling Policies
The first reason is simply that you violated Amazon’s selling policies. This includes their Terms of Service, Privacy Policies, Community Rules, or Seller Guidelines. In your suspension notification, Amazon will explicitly state why your account is being suspended and include which of their policies you triggered.
If this is the case, make sure to identify which policy was broken and what actions led to that suspension. Remember, you’re selling on their platform. They have every right to protect their company and their customers and will take action if it protects their stakeholders.
Violating Amazon Restricted Product Rules
The second reason for your suspension could be due to product violations, or particularly Amazon’s restricted or “gated” products and brands. We discussed this issue and Amazon’s policies around gated products in our blog: Amazon Restricted Products and How to Get Ungated on Amazon in 2021. Essentially, Amazon has a list of product categories, brands, and specific products that require prior authorization to sell. This involves providing invoices, finding authorized manufacturers, and supply genuine, authentic goods.
If your account was suspended for violating one of Amazon’s product rules, it means there was something wrong with your products or how you handled, packaged, or shipped your products. This includes if your products are counterfeit or fake, or if your supplier is unauthorized to produce a brand or product, Like before, Amazon should provide you with an in-depth description of your violation. Make sure to write it down and identify which product(s) led to this violation so we can include it in your appeal.
Poor Performance Metrics
The last reason your account could be suspended is due to poor performance metrics. In this situation, we referring to your order defect, pre-fulfillment cancellation, and late shipment rates on your Amazon seller account. Amazon is very serious about their suppliers having good performance metrics because it reflects poorly on them if their third-party sellers are unreliable. Amazon has clear minimum standards that they suggest to every seller including:
Order defect rates: <1%
Pre-fulfillment cancel rates: <2.5%
Late shipment rates: <4%
Amazon won’t suspend your account automatically if your performance numbers fall beneath these recommended rates. But, accounts with poor performance metrics will be more likely to get suspended if they happen to violate the selling or product rules we mentioned above. To be safe, you should always try to keep these rates within the acceptable standards listed by Amazon.
Appeal Suspended Account
By this step, you should be in phase 1 or phase 2 of your suspension and you should know why your account was suspended. The next step is to submit an appeal and a plan of action to Amazon to reinstate your account.
Before we begin writing your appeal, here are some key “Do’s” and “Do Not’s” that will help make or break your appeal. Be sure to read each of these carefully and keep them in mind during your writing process.
What Not To Do
- Do not rush to submit an appeal. Take your time. Amazon usually provides 17 days for you to submit an appeal. Therefore, it is vital to take your time, read through your violations, and come up with a strong appeal to reinstate your account.
- Do not, I repeat, do not create a new account. Not only is making a new account a violation of Amazon’s policies, but it also makes it harder for you to get your first account back. Be safe and do not make a new account.
- Do not try to modify or fabricate invoices or proof of authorization. This mainly is for suspended accounts that violated Amazon’s products policies. Do not try to make a fake invoice or authorization if you are accused of selling counterfeit or unauthorized goods.
- Do not be rude to Amazon customer service or Seller Support: Amazon Seller Support or customer service cannot help you at this point. All you can do is submit an appeal. Being rude or contacting Amazon through other means is not a solution to anything.
- Do not threaten legal action. This is pretty straightforward, but remember that Amazon has every right to suspend or ban any seller who threatens their company, brand, business, or customers.
- Do not blame the buyers. Think back to the saying, “The Customer’s Always Right.” We’re not saying this is always the case, but to Amazon, that’s all that matters. Buyers have the power to freely report sellers without any hesitation. If they accuse your products of being counterfeit, Amazon will more likely believe the buyer than you, the seller.
- Do not panic. This is the most important rule. We understand this may be a stressful situation, but it is vital to approach the next steps with a level head. Stay calm, and continue with the process.
What To Do
- Be professional and respectful. When submitting your appeal, be kind. Show that you are a true professional seller and you proactively want to solve this issue. Don’t throw blame at the buyer or Amazon.
- Be responsible. Even if you are were unaware of your violations, be willing to take responsibility if something is wrong. At the end of the day, it is your products, your account, and your business. If there is an issue, you need to be responsible and hold yourself accountable for any potential mistakes.
- Be direct. When submitting your appeal, directly address the violations. Explain what may have occurred to trigger the suspension.
- Be a problem solver. We will get into more detail about this, but it is important to solve the area of concern. We will break this down in the next second on Plans of Action (POAs), but if there is a violation, what actions are you going to take to solve it.
- Be proactive. Use this suspension as a learning experience to be a better seller in the future. If your account is reinstated, keep these lessons in mind as you continue to sell and grow your business.
Creating a Plan of Action
Now that you know how to approach your appeal, the next step is to develop a plan of action (POA) with clear and concise procedures you are going to take to fix any issues or violations. We want to remind you about the Do’s and Do Not’s we mentioned previously and to keep them on hand when writing your plan of action. Here is a simple template you can use when writing your POA:
1. Address the Seller Performance Team
“Dear Amazon Seller Performance Team,
Thank you for allowing me to appeal the suspension of my Amazon seller account. Below, you can find my appeal alongside my Plan of Action to resolve any existing or future violations/issues.”
2. Explicitly identify and address the issue
“From my violations report, I was notified about my violations regarding Issue A, Issue B, …”
3. Explicitly state what actions you have taken or will take to resolve the issues
“To solve each of these issues, I have (or am planning to) done Action A, Action B, …:”
4. Conclude your appeal with graciousness and gratitude
“Thank you again for your time to review my appeal. Please let me know if there is any other information or details I can provide you. I look forward to hearing from you
This template is only a baseline for your plan of action. You should use it as a reference to build your own that specifically and directly addresses the issues and the steps taken to fix any violations. All sellers will need to develop their unique POA based on their suspension.
Amazon Suspended Account Reinstated
Within 48 business hours, you can expect a response from the Seller Performance team on their decision. Looking back at the types of actions they can take, the Seller Performance team will either reinstate your account, deny your appeal so you can submit a new and improved POA, or if you have submitted multiple POAs beforehand, your account may be banned permanently.
We hope that it is the first result which reinstates your account so you can get back to selling. If your appeal is denied, take this as an opportunity to submit a new and improved appeal with a more clear and more detailed POA to directly address your prior violations. Unfortunately, if your appeals have been denied repeatedly and your account is permanently banned, there is not much more you can do.
How To Prevent Amazon Suspensions in the Future
Whether you’re currently suspended, had your account reinstated, or just being precautious, here are some tips to prevent and avoid any future suspensions.
Frequently Checking Amazon Seller Central Accounts
We highly encourage all sellers of any size to regularly and consistently check their Amazon Seller accounts. Many times, you’ll have messages from Amazon and from buyers who need to get in contact with you. The more frequently you check, the more organized your account will be, and the faster you can resolve any potential issues. Remember, communication is key!
Be Proactive with Your Amazon Product Listings
Sellers should try to be proactive with all their products and their listings. Make sure to check if any of your products have restrictions to their brands or categories and ensure you are following any of Amazon’s guidelines for sourcing and shipping. If you have old listings, make sure to take them down promptly to prevent any mistaken orders from being shipped out. Your listing descriptions should go through a strict editing process to fix misinformation or prevent mistakes that can trigger a policy violation.
Buyer Knows Best
As the saying goes, “the customer is always right.” If a customer claims there is a defect in your products, it would be best to take these matters seriously. Inspect all of your products when possible to ensure only the best products are being sent to customers. Buyers may also want a refund from you for a defective product, which you should take into consideration and refund the customer if possible. Some customers will be extremely thankful for your cooperation and will leave positive reviews and ratings on your seller account. Its also important to stay on top of the seller’s performance metrics to ensure low defect rates, low cancellation rates, and low late shipment rates. Prioritize the customer’s needs first and your metrics will follow.
Product Sourcing Done Right
Lastly and most importantly, make sure you are sourcing ethically from proven, reliable suppliers who are authorized to produce your products. We discuss this in great detail in our blogs on 15 Questions You Need to Ask Your Amazon Wholesale Supplier. Make sure to read through those questions and come up with others to make sure you can validate that your manufacturer is trustworthy. You never want to source products if you cannot guarantee their authenticity because the last thing you want is to be accused of selling counterfeit products.
These tools can help you break down supplier catalogs instantly and locate profitable products with proven sales performances that you can source and sell on your Amazon account. Not only will you increase your earnings, but you can be more confident in your products being from trustworthy, authorized manufacturers.
Protect Your Amazon Seller Account Before Its Too Late
It is always better to be proactive than reactive. You never want to put your Amazon seller account in jeopardy by violating Amazon’s selling and product policies or having poor performance metrics. If you need help to source reliable and trustworthy products or improve your seller metrics, you should consider utilizing proven FBA tools to help grow your business.
Head over to Sellgo.com where we have a ton of resources and tools to help you grow a successful Amazon business while avoiding all possible violations that can ruin your Amazon seller account.