Your Amazon selling privileges have been removed.
For somebody running a business through Amazon and relying on it for a big chunk of their income, there is perhaps no scarier notice to read.
Suspended Amazon seller accounts are far from uncommon and are generally for good reason, but mistakes have been made and even if you stick to the rules you aren’t necessarily 100% safe!
In fact, Amazon has openly admitted that there are automatic triggers that will get your Amazon account suspended without a staff member ever getting involved, so you may well get your Amazon seller account suspended for no reason, at least to your knowledge.
In this guide, we will teach you how best to appeal a suspended Amazon account and share some secret tips to increase your chances.
Before that, however, for those who haven’t had their Amazon account suspended yet, let’s take a look at a couple of ways to prevent this from ever happening in the first place:
How to Prevent an Amazon Account Suspension
1. Don’t sell fake or counterfeit products, or used products as “new”
This is perhaps the most obvious way of avoiding getting your Amazon seller account deactivated, but needs to be said regardless. The sale of counterfeit products on Amazon is strictly prohibited and if you’re caught selling something that isn’t what you claim it is, you may well never get another chance. If it’s a cut and dry case and your products were proven fake, you will likely never get the chance to appeal Amazon suspension.
2. Be sure to delete or close and archive any outdated listings
If you have any old listings that you have no intention of using again, you should get rid of them.
If your account is FBM (Fulfilled by Merchant), you should simply delete them, or if your products are FBA (Fulfilled by Amazon), then you should close and archive them.
There have been several cases of Amazon suspending seller’s accounts for having incorrect or inaccurate listings that aren’t live, haven’t been live, and had no plans to ever be live.
This isn’t something you should have to worry about, but unfortunately you do, so we recommend deleting old listings immediately on taking them out of use, and not letting any experimental or unused listings hang around either.
3. Give your listings and account a little health check up once in a while
Things change and it’s easy to let things slip us by so that product listings that were once accurate no longer reflect reality.
We recommend checking all of your listings every month or two to avoid this. You will likely do this anyway while looking for optimizations, so why not look for outdated information or things that need corrections too?
For example, never sell generic products as private label. If you’re selling private label products, clarify what makes them different in your description to avoid any confusion.
Amazon also provides you with an Account Health page, so check that regularly too:
4. Respond to queries and messages immediately and focus on the customer
Customers that aren’t satisfied can lead to trouble over time. Downloading the Amazon Seller App is a great way to make sure you can reply to queries immediately, keep customers happy and avoid this happening.
Also, occasionally it might be worth refunding a product or allowing a customer to return, even when they’re in the wrong. Buyers have all the power on Amazon and the lost of one sale is often preferable to a negative review or a counterfeit claim which could easily lead to an unjust suspension.
In this situation, you will need to appeal the suspension and prove your products aren’t real, whereas the customer will need to prove absolutely nothing – so avoid getting in the situation in the first place if at all possible.
5. Ask for a note to be put on your account to prevent any future issues
If somebody has made a counterfeit claim against you and you’ve managed to overcome it, ask Amazon’s team to put a note about this on your account.
If this isn’t done, and something occurs again, you will start from scratch and Amazon will have little interest in digging into previous events to validate your claims. Having a note on your account from a team member saying that you have had false counterfeit claims in the past can head this off and make them take your claims more seriously.
6. Regularly check your Amazon reports for any red flags
Along with keeping on top of your messages, you should also regularly check your Returns, Negative Feedback and Imperfect Order reports and your A-Z claims.
Amazon doesn’t want sellers on their platform that don’t keep customers happy, and for good reason. Regular returns, large amounts of negative feedback or even too many late deliveries can lead to an account being suspended from Amazon.
That’s all good if you are still in a position to prevent a suspension, but what if the worst has already happened?
What’s the best way to appeal an Amazon suspension?
Not to worry, we have a complete plan for an effective Amazon account suspended appeal, right here:
How to Appeal an Amazon Suspension and Reinstate your Amazon Seller Account
The first thing you need to do when planning an Amazon suspension appeal is fully auditing your account, checking any previous warnings that you may have missed or not corrected adequately.
Also, be sure to read your Amazon suspension notice in full to be 100% sure which rule you have violated (or they think you have).
It’s worth noting that even if you are fully aware that you’ve broken a specific rule and been suspended for it, you should still do this audit as getting an Amazon seller account suspended is not always for one lone reason, and you could well be missing some other reason too – which will make your appeal unsuccessful.
First things first, keep these pointers in mind when planning your appeal and even when writing any communication between yourself and Amazon:
- Don’t be annoyed or short-tempered. It’s a privilege to sell on Amazon and they don’t have to allow you. If you come across rude or abusive, they may well suspend you for good for that reason alone.
- Don’t criticise their way of going about things or blame them for your suspension, even if it is their fault. They have every right to run their business how they wish, and they generally don’t care.
- Do take full responsibility, including apologising for the inconvenience or harm done to the customer. Also, make it clear you are dedicated to great customer service and detail exactly how you will avoid this happening again – instead of just saying “it won’t happen again”.
This last point is crucial.
Think of it from Amazon’s point of view. If you have been suspended for too many late shipments, and you say “it won’t happen again”, do they have any reason to believe you?
Probably not, but if you say “we are moving to FBA to prevent this happening again” or “we are opening a contract with a new courier due to the late deliveries from our existing one” then this shows a willingness to change your processes to make things work and is much more convincing.
Amazon Suspension Help: Creating the Perfect Amazon Appeal Plan of Action
If there is one single tip we would give you for building the plan of action for your Amazon seller suspension appeal, it would be to take some real time to make sure the plan is as comprehensive and accurate as possible.
In can be very tempting to rush it, especially if you are stressed about the suspension, potentially angry if you believe it is for no reason, and losing money daily.
But, if you miss some details or get something wrong, your appeal may be denied and you might not get another chance – so take the time to do it properly.
Here are some pointers to keep in mind:
- Make sure your plan of action refers to every single thing that led to your suspension and addresses each point and how you will resolve it specifically. If they have suspended you for 3 reasons and you respond to 2, no matter how good those 2 points are, you don’t really stand a chance.
- Don’t blame customers or criticise Amazon’s seller policy, even if you genuinely believe it is their fault. Even if they are in the wrong, it is their platform and they are allowed to be. Address each point and work your way through their issues.
- Don’t write paragraphs or rant with tons of extra/irrelevant points. Bullet points concisely and accurately breaking down what happened is all that is needed.
- Keep it strictly formal and factual – emotional appeals about how the suspension is ruining your life will convince nobody
Here is an ideal Amazon appeal letter template courtesy of Amazon themselves that makes use of all of these tips:
Amazon Suspended my Account – Any Secret Tips?
When starting your Amazon seller appeal process, we highly recommend also sending a professionally written letter on company headed paper to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is the contact for Amazon’s Transaction Risk Management Team, who may well overturn your appeal even if it’s originally denied. (They may well refuse to do this too, but it’s a second chance that many Amazon sellers aren’t aware of.)
This is another effective way to appeal the removal of selling privileges on Amazon because these are the people responsible for analysing the risk of certain transactions and protecting Amazon.
Most Common Causes of Amazon Account Suspensions
Even though Amazon usually explains why they have suspended your account, there are times when you will need to contact them for a real explanation as the notes they leave are generally very vague and technical.
If you are struggling to understand the cause of your suspension but want to look into it before contacting them in case you can figure it out yourself, we have listed the most common reasons for a suspension below (outside of counterfeit products which we have already covered) which may clarify the problem:
Bad Seller Performance
Amazon wants to sell as many products to as many customers as they can, so that they can make more profits. Just like most businesses, this is their reason for existing.
Because of this, they will always prioritise sellers that convert users into customers and keep those customers happy.
This is also why you are at risk of a suspension if you advertise your products inaccurately or deliver things late.
You should keep the below activities to an absolute minimum, only doing them when absolutely necessary and all other options have been exhausted:
- Deliver items late
- Cancel orders before delivery
- Deliver defected, damaged or faulty items (strict inspection and quality packaging is the only solution to this one)
Selling Restricted/Illegal Products
From guns and ammunition to live animals and pornography, Amazon has a full list of restricted products.
If you are planning to sell something that you’re uncertain of, check the list first.
In fact, check it first anyway.
Amazon has been known to ban products for being restricted by mistake when they aren’t, so if you get a suspension for this reason, be sure to go through the list in detail, know what you did or didn’t do wrong and appeal using word for word quotes from the rules.
Did you genuinely try to sell a restricted product?
Don’t even bother trying to appeal, you don’t stand a chance.
Violation of Amazon Seller Policy
This one is obvious and all suspensions are technically due to violation of policy, but checking your product listings against the policies once in a while and learning the rules in general make this a pretty difficult mistake to make.
It’s also worth keeping up to date with Amazon-related news and making sure you are aware of any changes to the policy that come about and adjust your listings accordingly.
We hope this guide has helped you to understand how Amazon suspensions happen and how best to appeal them.
The tips here are up to date best practices on appealing an Amazon suspension in 2019 and taking your time to write an accurate appeal and plan of action based on the tips here is your best possible chance of getting it removed.
However, none of these tips is a magic wand and if you have genuinely broken the rules, you are still going to have a hard time.