October 28, 2020

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What If Your Amazon Account Has Been Suspended?

What If Your Amazon Account Has Been Suspended?

Suspending your Amazon seller account? Nothing is lost. You will find some tips that will help you regain your sales privileges.

Amazon becomes the main e-commerce platform. The sales volume increases significantly, as well as the number of sellers in the marketplace.

This success prompts Amazon not to give any freebies to sellers. Account suspensions are increasing exponentially and all excuses are good.

Why does Amazon put so many barriers to sellers? Why are there so many account suspensions and so complex appeals especially those who eagerly want to Amazon ungating services?

Amazon has a virtual monopoly on online sales and cares about the seller’s war: they know that commerce = Amazon.

It’s up to you, as a seller, to prove that you have the motivation to “obey” the rules of the marketplace.

First, we will give some information on the reasons for the suspension, and then we will give you 11 tips to maximize your chances of success.

A) The current situation

This article describes how to avoid having your account closed or banned; it also describes the essential elements that should be included in your action plan.

Every day, hundreds of honest sellers have their accounts suspended or banned. The problem stems from the automation of the process by Amazon. Account reviews (and the suspensions that follow) are often carried out by robots. This causes complicated situations, with human contact close to 0.

In addition, the rules are opaque. Amazon will often not say the precise reason for the suspension let alone what to indicate in the action plan. Be careful not to rely on forums and other internet resources from non-experts. The advice given will most of the time make the situation even more difficult via unnecessary actions that will slow down the process of unlocking the account? The way Amazon handles account suspensions is changing every week. Without knowledge of the dos and don’ts, it is impossible to unblock an account optimally.

B) What is the difference between the types of suspension?

Suspended: You can no longer sell and the funds are blocked. You have to provide an action plan. There is the possibility of appealing if the action plan is rejected the first time. Be careful not to send too many action plans. You can make as many action plans as you need, but they must be relevant, useful, and have something to do with it. The risk in sending unsuitable action plans is to no longer have a response from seller performance … or extended deadlines.

Banned: all action plans are rejected. In the worst case scenario you won’t

Will no longer be able to log into your account, nor recover blocked funds.

If your account is permanently suspended, you will no longer be able to create a new account. 

All information provided (name, bank account, etc.) and connection information (IP address) can no longer be used at the risk of seeing the new account immediately suspended. This is the most complex situation, but which fortunately only appears in rare cases. For example, if you mass-sell branded items, with many customer complaints of counterfeiting.

The situation is often very frustrating, regardless of the type of suspension; because human contact is minimal (amazon uses automated responses) and amazon does not communicate by phone.

Every minute lost is a waste of money, and it can take several weeks / months for Amazon to agree to a course of action.

It is often preferable, if your turnover on Amazon is significant, to use a specialized company like ours. We see a lot of cases that could have been resolved easily, but due to a large number of action plans sent, situations can become complex to unblock.

C) 4 reasons for the suspension of sales privileges

1. Amazon feels like your performance is going down. The indicators (negative evaluation rate, etc.) turn red. In this case, it is a problem of “default rate”. You may also have listed “prohibited” (as defined) items from Amazon. It is a “preventive” type of suspension and seller performance asks you for an action plan within 24 or 72 hours.

2. You have violated Amazon’s rules. Keep in mind that Amazon considers the right to sell on the marketplace to be a “privilege”. You have to obey their rules. Amazon is very creative at this level and puts in place new “rules” on a regular basis. The problem is that these regulations are often not explicit and you will see them when the account is suspended. These concerns, for example, problems related to substances, prohibited products or even evaluation manipulation.

3. You have sold “counterfeits”. It is another type of “rule violation” but managed by a specialized department. This type of suspension is particularly complex to resolve. Amazon is adamant about suspensions related to the sale of non-genuine products. They have a very broad meaning of the term “inauthentic”. For example if you place your offer on the product page of a generic product (= available from hundreds of wholesalers on Alibaba) with an “X” mark, Amazon may suspend your account if the creator of the product page complains to them. ‘Amazon indicating that you are selling a counterfeit of its “X” mark. If you sell mainstream brands, like Apple or Nike, make sure you have solid suppliers who can give you certificates of

4. Your account has been linked to another account. Amazon only allows one seller account per person / business; with some exceptions (you must make a request to create a second account BEFORE the creation). Links can be made in 1000 ways, like IP address, CB and others.

5. Amazon thinks your account has been hacked. There are proven cases of hacking, and it is quite common. The hacker accesses your seller account and sells “iphone” type items at a discounted price. Obviously a lot of sales, and then he tries to change the bank account to transfer the funds. Amazon quickly detects this type of situation, and then it’s up to you to demonstrate that you have taken the necessary steps to stop the problem from occurring. There are also situations where Amazon bots make mistakes. For example: you signed in with a new computer, in a new location, and changed your bank account. Amazon may think this is a hacking attempt and suspend your account.

D) 11 tips to regain your “sales privileges” 

1. Don’t rush: the mistake many sellers make is to respond within minutes of receiving the suspension notification, with a few sentences. Please understand that each email sent is “an attempt”. Even if your response is only one line, it will be considered a call for Amazon. After 3 or 4 calls / action plan, response times get longer, in particular if each call does not provide a relevant response.

 

2. “Admit” you made a mistake: we know Amazon’s abuses. 1 in 160 orders arrived late and Amazon is suspending your account … is this normal? Yes for Amazon. When you become a seller you implicitly agree to abide by the rules. You must therefore comply with the sales policies. Even if the suspension is abusive (or even resulting from the manipulation of evaluation by a competitor), it is preferable to keep a “low profile”.

3. Make a solid call: We see advice on Amazon seller forums like: “make 3 lines to explain the situation”. People from Amazon Seller Support even give this kind of advice. It’s wrong. You have to make a complete “file” to hope to have the suspension lifted. The information should be detailed, but relevant.

4. Each type of suspension must be treated separately: unfortunately there is no general rule for carrying out an action plan or conducting an appeal. The process is complex and unique to each situation. The information to be transmitted will be totally different, if the “sales privileges” have been lifted due to a high defect rate or a problem with authenticity.

5. Do not send emails to seller performance every day: the breaking point is 3/4 sending an action plan or message. From there your case no longer becomes a priority, and the deadlines are longer. We are talking about irrelevant message here. If on each call you send relevant material, then more can be sent without penalty. Unfortunately we often see salespeople repeating the same things, getting angry, or giving “off topic” information.

6. Adopt a simple action plan format: your action plan should be within 1 to 2 pages maximum. Form is very important: make short bullet point sentences, skip lines, and keep text well ventilated. Remember that the review will be done in a few minutes (if human) and a few seconds (if robot).

7. Don’t be aggressive but factual: Needless to say, you are right and Amazon is wrong, that you are going to file a complaint, that you are the good one and that Amazon is the bad guy. It does not work. Be professional, i.e. factual and precise. Example: a competitor has denounced you for an unjustified infringement complaint. Show texts; take the tone of a lawyer … while making it clear that the goal is to comply with Amazon rules (which override common laws). Amazon has the best lawyers in the world, and their “third party seller agreement” that you accepted will always prove them right.

8. Be patient: response times to action plans and other procedures vary greatly. There are a lot of parameters that come into play. Allow at least 1 week for an answer. The most complicated cases can be resolved in 3 months, with 6 or 7 “go back”. It is sometimes very hard if you have blocked cash, but unfortunately Amazon does not have the same conception of time as you and us.

9. Don’t get emotional: again, be factual. For example, don’t say “if you don’t unblock my account quickly, I’m going to go bankrupt and fire 3 people”. We are dealing with a company, which has a virtual monopoly on e-commerce, with many sellers who are fighting to open an account or to keep it. These emotional elements do not come into play in the reactivation of the account.

10. Analyze the notifications received before responding: do not be “off topic”. The notifications received provide essential information that must be answered. The action plan must be well adapted to each situation, especially do not send an action plan of the “template” type that you could find on the internet or otherwise.

11. Call in a professional: our company specializes in restoring sales privileges. We have to be seen as a “lawyer” in the sense that we know Amazon’s “laws” perfectly. If you have a large amount of money stuck, and your sales on Amazon are significant, and then go ahead. Of course our service comes at a cost, but the return on investment can be significant.