Amazon is the world’s most customer-centric eCommerce platform. Amazon policies gear towards excellent buying experiences. That’s how Amazon values its consumers. Thus, if you are planning to sell on Amazon or are already an Amazon seller, make sure that you strictly adhere to prevent Amazon account suspension. Which means that you have to care for your customers. How do you do that? Read on to find out more…
What Leads to Amazon Account Suspension
You can avoid losses and prevent Amazon account suspension. You just have to be diligent in monitoring your account from the listings to the reviews and even your inventory and shipping.
Some people say that their account gets suspended for no reason. This causes shock and frustration. However, these “shocking” instances may not be a surprise at all.
Here are possible reasons for your Amazon account suspension:
- Products are Not Authentic – Make sure you sell original items only. Also, see if the packaging looks authentic. No matter how authentic your product is, if customers see your packaging as fake, they may report you to Amazon.
- Product is Not As Described – Do not fool your buyers with extravagant words and “too good to be true” descriptions. Stick to the features and benefits of your products. Include the measurements, colors, variety, and other important information about your product. Make sure that the items that you sell are brand new. Otherwise, be honest about the condition of your product. Here is a list of Amazon’s marketplace items condition guidelines:
- New: a brand-new item not taken out of its original packaging with the warranty is still intact.
- Renewed: a “pre-loved” product that has minimal to no signs of wear or visible imperfections when held 12 inches away. Must have undergone inspection to see if it works.
- Rental: Must have been inspected by an authorized person to check if it is in good condition and still functioning properly.
- Used – Like New or Open Box: a product where its original packaging is intact with minor imperfections. It must be in perfect working condition even though the protective wrapping is missing.
- Used – Very Good: an item that was slightly used but in excellent condition. May show some signs of wear, scratches, or cosmetic blemishes.
- Used – Good: a product that shows wear from consistent use but still functions properly. Packaging might be damaged, or has been repackaged.
- Used – Acceptable: an item that is fairly used and shows signs of scratches, dents, and wear. May be missing some parts or accessories.
- Buyer Complaints – This part may be unfair to sellers. Some buyers complain just so they can get the product for free or get another product in place of the supposedly damaged one. However, there are Amazon lawyers who investigate these complaints and make sure that they are valid so the seller can be compensated.
- Drop Shipping – Amazon has very strict policies against drop shipping from non-Amazon places. Customers complain that the item they ordered from Amazon has non-Amazon packaging so be careful not to ship your product from elsewhere.
- Selling Restricted Products – Make sure that the products that you sell are not included in Amazon’s restricted products. You should also check if the products you are selling are not restricted in the country that you’re selling in such as CBD or car radar detectors. Your listing/ account may also be suspended if your description contains medical terms.
- Related Accounts – Amazon requires that all sellers have only ONE Amazon account. Thus, if you run into problems with business verification, resolve the problem rather than creating another account. If you are an experienced seller, use different bank accounts, email addresses, even a VPN to avoid the risk of suspension.
- Trademark and Copyright Complaints – Make sure your images, videos, and content are all original. Be careful with your products, too. If your product has the same name or design as another seller’s, you may face a copyright complaint.
- Feedback or Reviews Manipulation – Never offer discounts, coupons, or freebies in exchange for a positive review or feedback. You cannot get away with it on product inserts, too. It is okay to ask for feedback or reviews in product inserts but never with the same place as coupons or freebies. Here are some tips on how to create a product insert.
- Hacked Accounts and Hijacked Listings – Other sellers do everything to minimize competition on Amazon. Your accounts may get hacked and the funds diverted to another account in another country. Or, others may hijack your listings and vandalize your content. Some sellers have become victims of black hat sellers that even though they have diligently followed Amazon’s policies, they still get suspended.
- Changes to Your Account – Basic account changes such as changing your bank account information and email addresses, or switching from a personal to a business account may lead to suspension.
How to Avoid and Deal with Amazon Account Suspension
As mentioned earlier, you can avoid getting suspended. You just have to be vigilant of your account and avoid the above. However, if you do get suspended, there is a way to get reinstated provided that you have the necessary proof and you did not violate any policies.
Here are some tips to help you avoid Amazon account suspension:
- Get brand registered – Amazon brand registry offers a lot of benefits, and one of them is account security. Read this blog to find out the benefits of being brand registered on Amazon.
- Coordinate with your supplier – Keep tabs with your supplier and make sure you have their updated contact numbers, address, and email. This will allow you to follow through with your inventory and make sure that they are handled properly to avoid damaged packaging and products. In addition, keep all receipts and invoices from your suppliers.
- Avail of an Amazon-approved 3PL – If you choose not to use Amazon FBA, make sure your third-party logistics is approved by Amazon. Here’s a guide to other fulfillment options. On the other hand, it is better to utilize Amazon FBA due to their faster shipping and handling process. Plus, it would be easier to reach out since they are already on Amazon.
- Provide Exceptional Customer Service – Respond to reviews and feedback, especially when they are negative. Respond appropriately and professionally. Have your message templates so you and your team can respond to customer’s messages or reviews depending on the issue. Customers should also know how to reach you whenever they have complaints. Be visible online and respond to questions so buyers will know that there will be someone who can readily address their concerns.
- Monitor Your Account Health – Monitor your account health regularly, every day if possible. This will allow you to check for any issues and address them right away. Your metrics are very crucial and will cause suspension if not addressed ASAP.
- Do Not Trick the System – Avoid black hat techniques, over-using keywords on your listings and A+ content, or going around the system. Amazon will catch you.
Now, the first thing you do when you get suspended is to remain calm. When you let your emotions take over, you won’t be able to think clearly. Investigate the matter then come up with a plan of action and put that into writing. This will help you file for an appeal.
When filing for an appeal, your letter should contain the following:
- An introductory paragraph – this is where you introduce your name, brand, and a brief description of what your appeal is all about.
- Description of Issue – it is best to list this in bullet points. Be clear, concise, and professional. Using harassment and violent words will cause more damage.
- Plan of Action – If you did violate any policies, what will you do about it? Create a specific action plan to solve the account suspension. Even if it was not your fault, one of your action plans would be “to monitor the account every day even during weekends and holidays.”
- Closing Statement – Summarize the issues and your plan of action. Explain why you would like to have your account reinstated.
Here is a sample outline:
Why we got suspended: (the policy or metric that was breached)
Based on our investigation:
We will solve the issue by:
To ensure that this won’t happen again, our plan/s is/ are:
Selling online, especially on Amazon, is a big responsibility. There have been complaints that Amazon unjustly suspends seller accounts. While there may be unavoidable incidents, sellers can do their part and avoid suspension. If you need help managing your brand on Amazon, connect with us and we will be glad to lend a hand.
“A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well.”— Jeff Bezos