“My Amazon seller account has just been closed because I have another Amazon seller account.
A friend asked me how to open an Amazon seller account.
I opened one for him with the pc I use for my own seller account.
He needed a credit card for his merchant account and I let him use my own credit card.
How can I reactivate my account?”
Jason | Amazon seller
A totally innocent mistake led Jason to receive an e-commerce store suspension. Thrown out of Eden, the road back to reactivating his account was long and arduous and cost Jason thousands of dollars in lost revenue, wasted warehouse space, shipment fees, and employee wages.
Did something similar happen to you?
Don’t worry. Take a deep breath and let us guide you through the steps to getting your online account back up and running in no time.
We’ll explain how in three stages:
And how to prevent it.
WHO: THE ONLINE SELLER AND THE GOLDEN RULE
Amazon, like any other online selling platform, has rules that all users should follow to keep their business sailing smooth. Adhering to their policies is their golden rule. Any mistake, innocent or not, can be costly.
The reason suspensions are hard to avoid – is because Amazon’s rules are fluid. They are constantly updated and if not monitored on a regular basis, sellers might be listing products that, according to Amazon’s updated terms and conditions, can no longer be sold.
How do these suspensions go?
Once the Amazon line is crossed, the email every seller dreads arrives:
The seller must then send a PoA (Plan of Action,) aka an Amazon suspension appeal. It takes between 48 hours to sometimes 60 days for Amazon to either deny or approve your appeal. During this waiting period, all sales are halted.
Why these seemingly “Machiavellian” suspensions?
Since Amazon opened their retail doors, “third-party sellers are kicking our first-party butt,” Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos wrote in his 2019 annual shareholder letter.
But Amazon’s joy was short-lived. Millions of new sellers flooded the marketplace with counterfeit products and items they sourced from unvetted manufacturers, all of which produced a slew of infringement claims.
So Amazon, going straight for the jugular, started sending out suspensions, shutting down any offending stores. But the net they cast was so big, it caught, and still catches, many honest sellers within it. Since then, Amazon is hardly keeping up with the deluge of complaints pouring in.
YOU HAVE BEEN SERVED. 5 REASONS WHY.
1. POOR PERFORMANCE
Any negative review or evaluation you get from a customer not only reflects on your business but also on Amazon’s own image and credibility. Strategizing a way to increase sales and beat your competition is important. You must have:
Any negative evaluation is a red flag for suspension. Make sure to monitor your account health rating on a daily basis.
2. Violating Amazon’s policies
Amazon has installed a strict set of rules in order to prevent fraudulent sales, and safeguard quality service and safety. This is why they take any violation very seriously.
For example: “All toys intended for use by children 12 years of age and under must meet federal safety standards.” Let’s say you sell kites, dolls or any item under the category of “children’s toys.” You need special permission from Amazon or you will be suspended.
3. Review manipulation
Because Amazon can’t try every product on their marketplace, reviews are their eyes to their quality. Also, 84% of buyers see reviews just like “a friend’s recommendation.” Reviews matter.
Online sellers have taken advantage of this, and now fake reviews have become a real thorn in Amazon’s paw. By using powerful graphs and timeline data visualization tools, Amazon is now sifting out the fake from the real and handing out suspension letters.
4. Owning Multiple Seller Accounts
Creating multiple accounts without Amazon’s consent is a violation of Amazon’s terms and conditions. Like Jason, if you don’t have special permission for more than one account, Amazon will not let this fly – and you will be suspended.
5. Selling dangerous, counterfeit or recalled products.
If you fall under one of the following categories, you may find yourself “seized and destroyed:”
- Illegal or unsafe products
- Counterfeit items
Any sale of counterfeit or fake items will be immediately shut down by Amazon. If your business is accused of such a violation, you will have to prove that you are legitimately sourcing the items under inspection, and provide the paperwork to back up your claim. Amazon will flag any items accused of being fake and/or counterfeit and will investigate the issue right away.
Check out Amazon’s Anti-Counterfeiting Policy.
- Offensive or controversial materials
Sounds reasonable, right? And you didn’t think your product was offensive? Well, this is a gray area, as Amazon gets to decide whether your product falls under these categories or not. (This criterion excludes books, DVDs, music, and video.)
Any of these violations can reach Amazon through negative feedback, A-to-Z comments or buyer-seller communication.
It’s important to do due diligence and stay updated with Amazon’s full terms and conditions. They may get even stricter as time goes by, so keep your finger on the pulse, or have a professional do so for you, to avoid an online store suspension.
SUSPENDED? HERE’S THE SOLUTION:
OPTION #1: DIY
Once you get an Amazon suspension, it is crucial to immediately take steps to amend the situation. However, many sellers pounce on the appeal button straight away – which does them more harm than good. There’s a method to this madness. And we have the recipe for this method:
- In the words of Douglas Adams – “Don’t panic.” First of all, don’t press the “appeal” button, or even “ask for more details.” Not many know this, but asking for more details is basically the beginning of an appeal. Of course there are those that respond emotionally, especially if they did nothing wrong and the suspension was mistakenly given. But hold it in, don’t say anything you will only regret later…
- Do your own “CSI suspension” and try to do some inhouse investigating. Go over your records, speak with your employees, check your account health and examine your reviews and customer feedback. Talk to an Amazon account health representative and see if they have any insights as to why you have been suspended.
- Only then – do you appeal. But make sure your appeal is sent correctly. Know exactly what documentation is needed and what will appease Amazon.
Since appeals can no longer be sent by email to Amazon, resolving suspensions have become a little more complicated. You can either through the suspension notice in the performance notifications dropdown menu, through the appeal button in account health, or through the “contact us” feature in Seller Central, followed by going through Amazon Seller Support.
These are the steps to take once you have chosen the appeal channel:
- Go to your Seller Account.
- Go to your Performance and click Account Health.
- Click Reactivate your account on the top of the page and follow the instructions, including your PoA (plan of action) attaching any supporting documents.
- Click Submit to send your completed appeal to Amazon.
After submitting the appeal, check daily for Amazon’s decision. If they ask for more information, go to View Appeal from Account Health to submit additional documentation required in your next submission.
…then begins “the wait.”
Amazon’s reply can be a few days – or a few months!
There are faster ways to get out of this complex, mammoth of a process. Remember our recipe for this method? We’ve been reviewing and investigating the ins-n-outs of suspensions with the goal of making it as easy as possible for the seller to just focus on his product marketing and getting from Q1 to Q4 in the best way possible, without the stress and panic of a debilitating suspension. Here’s how:
OPTION #2: Faster Appeals
From the second you are hit with a surprise suspension, Spott has your back. We know how to resolve appeals rapidly, and to make sure your listing is back online as quickly as possible – so all you need to focus on is your bottom line.
OPTION #3: Prevention via Automated Audits
Prevent falling into the pit of Amazon suspension by letting us provide you with automated auditing so you are constantly in line with the small print of Amazon’s ever-changing, ever-evolving terms and conditions. We are on it 24/7. This way you can work without worry and never be threatened by suspension.
We track Amazon’s enforcement activity and identify potential problems with your listings before they’re classified as a violation, and provide real-time suggestions for quick fixes.
To stay ahead of the pack, you need to be constantly updated and ready for changes. And that is exactly what we offer – to guard your Amazon account from Amazon suspensions so you can just focus – solely – on getting to that profitable Q4.