How To Appeal And Reinstate A Suspended Amazon Seller Account

Selling on Amazon offers immense opportunities, but a suspended seller account can bring your business to a halt. Whether it’s due to performance issues, policy violations, or product-related issues, reinstating your account is crucial. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to appeal and reinstate a suspended Amazon seller account.

Amazon’s Customer Metrics are targets put in place to make sure sellers adhere to Amazon’s policies to make sure Amazon continues to be a marketplace where buyers and sellers interact well and all have a positive experience. If buyers get burned by poor-performing sellers, it will only take one or two such experiences before they stop shopping on Amazon. The more people who stop shopping on Amazon the harder it will be for them to get more sellers as well.

Understanding the Suspension

Amazon takes its reputation very seriously, which means it holds its sellers to very high standards. If you fail to reach some important benchmarks or violate their policies they won’t hesitate to suspend you.

Poor Selling Metrics

Amazon tracks all your statistics, including order defect rate, late deliveries, and customer complaints. If they start to see too many issues your account will be in danger of getting suspended.

Here are the benchmarks you need to hit to keep your account safe:

  • Order Defect Rate: Below 1%
  • Pre-Fulfillment Cancellation Rate: Below 2.5%
  • Late Shipment Rate: Below 4%
  • Buyer-Seller Response Time: Within 24 hours

If you sell a good quality product, use a reliable fulfillment solution, and stay on top of your customer inquiries these marks should be easy to maintain.

Selling Restricted or Counterfeit Products

Amazon has strict rules about what you can and can’t sell. They have a wide array of restrictions on items like weapons, hazardous items, and tobacco products. They also have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to counterfeit goods.

In most cases, if your item violates their policies it will be flagged during the listing process. But if it somehow slips through Amazon’s filters and they discover it later on you might get suspended, even if it was an honest mistake.

Violating Amazon’s Policies

Violating Amazon Policies

There are some policies you need to follow to keep your account in good standing. If you violate any of them it could lead to a suspension.

Some of the policies you should be aware of are:

  • Don’t misrepresent yourself.
  • Act in a manner that ensures a trustworthy experience for sellers.
  • Never list products that might cause harm to customers.
  • Don’t manipulate customer reviews.
  • Don’t attempt to manipulate Amazon’s search results or sales rankings.

Steps for Appealing an Amazon Seller Suspension

Determine the Reason for Suspension

Review any notices in your Amazon Seller Central account under Performance > Performance Notifications. They should also have sent you notice details via email, but this will help you learn if your suspension was due to performance issues or for a potential violation of Amazon Selling Policies and Agreements.

Evaluate Selling Practices and Inventory

In Amazon Seller Central, review your customer metrics and identify those that do not meet the Amazon performance targets. Evaluate your selling practices and review your inventory for items that violate their policies. Even if you have filtered violations that they have reported in the past this does not mean Amazon has identified all of your potential violations at once. Amazon (or any business) is not going to give you policies to follow and then expect that they can be ignored as long as every time a violation is reported you resolve it…they expect you to be familiar with the policies and work to prevent any violations before they need to review your listings in more detail.

Amazon Seller Performance Targets

All Amazon sellers should be working toward achieving and maintaining a level of customer service that meets the following seller performance targets:

  • Order defect rate: < 1%
  • Pre-fulfillment cancel rate: < 2.5%
  • Late shipment rate: < 4%

Draft a Plan of Action and Appeal Letter

In your plan detail the steps you will take to correct the problem(s) that Amazon identified in the suspension notice or that you identified in the above step. Providing a precise Plan of Action that covers the problems improves your chance that your Amazon selling privileges will be reinstated.

Detail Understanding of the Issue

  • A detailed understanding of what happened to cause the issue. If the Amazon suspension was a result of repeated warnings, be sure to speak specifically to the most recent warnings and let them know that any violations you missed in the past were always removed by you the same day (and filter them so they don’t come back)
  • What was done to resolve the issue(s) that caused the suspension?
  • What will be done to avoid the issue moving forward?

Steps Taken to Resolve the Issue and Preventive Measures for the Future

  • Be as specific as possible. Broad messaging like “I will be more careful” might show you don’t really understand the issue or have not taken the needed steps.
  • Quantify everything possible. Don’t say “many,” “a few,” ”several,” “occasionally,” etc. Use numbers and time frames where possible.
  • To address the specific policy that led to the issue, demonstrate understanding and compliance by referencing it in your appeal. You can also showcase proactive measures such as excluding problematic sections of your catalog by category or brand. Amazon’s alerts may not cover every item at issue, so filtering and reporting to support is essential. By demonstrating awareness of policies and taking proactive steps to comply, sellers can strengthen their appeal and improve their chances of reinstatement.
  • Amazon expects sellers who have previously failed to comply with policies to invest time, money, or resources to ensure future compliance. For example, if you previously neglected to use filters in your Inventory Source account, inform Amazon that you now utilize an inventory management system with built-in controls, automated updates, and dedicated support. This demonstrates your commitment to maintaining compliance and addresses any past shortcomings.

Submission of the Appeal to Amazon

Appeal Amazon Policies

Submission of an appeal, even one following these best practices, does not guarantee reinstatement. They are oddly secretive about how it is reviewed or evaluated but as long as you do some homework and prep your response, and you don’t just demand reinstatement the same day or the next day you have the issue, you can improve your chances by showing you have thought through the issue and your approach.

Once you’ve determined the reason you’re suspended you can submit your appeal to Amazon. To do this, go to the Performance Notification section of your account, find your suspension, and click “Appeal.”

Here are some tips for creating a quality appeal:

  • Take responsibility for the issue that caused you to get suspended, even if you don’t feel that it’s your fault.
  • Don’t criticize Amazon or argue your suspension.
  • Don’t blame customers or Amazon for your suspension.
  • Include an action plan that details all the steps you’re going to take to resolve the problem.

You can find additional information on your Amazon Seller Central page under “Appeals for Suspended or Blocked Accounts.

How to Prevent a Suspension

Here are a few tips to make sure your account doesn’t get suspended

  • Answer Customer Questions Quickly – An easy way to keep customers happy is to respond to their inquiries as quickly as possible. If you want to speed up your response time download the Amazon Seller App so you can respond to messages on your phone.
  • Close, Archive, Or Delete Old Listings – Don’t leave old listings up if you’re no longer selling them, as it may lead to bad feedback. Make sure they’re closed so they’re no longer appearing in Amazon searches.
  • Don’t Argue with Customers – If someone wants to return an item or requests a refund you should probably just give it to them. Buyers hold the power on Amazon and getting into a fight with a customer usually isn’t worth it.
  • Sell Quality Products – If you sell high-quality products you won’t have to worry about complaints or defects. AMZScout offers some of the best Amazon product research tools to help you find great products that your customers will love.
  • Use FBA – By letting Amazon fulfill your orders you’ll put them in charge of your shipping. That means late deliveries aren’t your responsibility anymore.
  • Don’t Sell Restricted or Counterfeit Goods – Review Amazon’s list of restricted products to make sure what you’re selling is allowed. And never sell anything counterfeit.

It’s very upsetting to have your Amazon account suspended, but it’s possible to get it reinstated. By doing your research and submitting a proper appeal you should be able to get the matter cleared up and eventually return to selling. By following these steps and best practices, sellers can navigate the appeals process effectively and work towards reinstating their Amazon seller accounts. Remember, perseverance and compliance are key to overcoming account suspensions and ensuring long-term success on the platform.

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