As an Amazon seller, it can be incredibly stressful to receive a notification from Amazon telling you that your account has been temporarily suspended. Luckily, suspension is not the end of the world, sellers can have their privileges restored by submitting an appeal. Taking the time to craft the best appeal you can submit is the key to increase your chances of suspension removal. This post is going to share with you 6 common reasons why an Amazon account gets suspended and help you with preparing a Plan of Action (POA) to appeal your suspension.
6 Common Reasons for Amazon Seller Account suspension
- Inauthentic Complaints /Not as Advertised
One type of customer complaint that sellers will recurrently experience is inauthentic product complaints. This does not necessarily mean that the products are fake or counterfeit. They may be perfectly legitimate products. Buyers might file these complaints with the hopes to receive a refund on their purchase, or free shipping. However, they might be filed because of poor packaging, customers receiving a damaged product, a missing part or the absence of a warranty or instructions which leads a buyer to question a product’s authenticity.
- Intellectual Property Issues
Intellectual property (IP) complaints as one of the leading causes for seller suspensions seem to be increased more. IP law encompasses the enforcement of patents, copyrights and trade dress/ trademarks. IP complaints are made every day against sellers, mainly because they are an efficient and effective way to eliminate seller competition.
Generally, when an IP complaint is filed, the procedure is as follows: the rights owner makes the initial complaint, Amazon notifies the seller that an infringement complaint has been made, removes the listing, and instructs the seller to contact the complainant with the intent to have the complaint retracted.
IP complaints are not easily resolved, since the rights owner must be contacted directly and convinced to retract their infringement complaint with Amazon’s notice dispute team. This can often be a challenge for Amazon sellers. If working with the rights owner towards a resolution proves to be difficult, legal backing often helps get prompt positive results.
- Used Sold as New
A buyer is expecting a brand new, never opened, product in its original undamaged packaging. If they receive anything else they could assume that the item is not new. Items that are repackaged or rebundled face a much higher risk of this customer complaint being made. Selling last year’s, or out of date, products can trigger this complaint. Damaged packaging often leads to this complaint as the item does not appear to be new. Again, it is your burden to know where you are sourcing your goods and to know that you are selling exactly what you are listing. You need to take control over sourcing and delivery as best you can.
- Order Defect Rate
One thing all Amazon sellers should be concerned with, it’s the Order Defect Rate (ODR). Your Order Defect Rate is used by Amazon to measure your performance based on the percentage of orders that receive negative feedback. It’s calculated using three components:
- Your A-to-z claims, which are made by consumers when orders are unsatisfactory or delivery is too slow
- Any negative feedback, including comments and ratings
- Your credit card chargebacks, or the number of times you refund orders
Sellers have to maintain an ODR under 1%. If your ODR reaches 1%, Amazon can suspend or terminate your account straight away,
- Related or Multiple Accounts
Amazon Sellers often look to operate multiple accounts for many different reasons. Some may be trying to open a new account when they cannot get a suspended Amazon Seller account reinstated, while others may be trying to maximize their sales volume across the platform, or delineate different products they sell by separate accounts.
Be warned that opening multiple seller accounts requires prior approval from Amazon. Without that approval, sellers put themselves at risk of immediate suspension which Amazon detect that they are operating multiple accounts. Making matters worse, related account suspensions are some of the hardest to overcome on the Amazon platform.
- Restricted Product
Amazon does not allow all items to be sold. There are restricted items in each category to ensure that all products align with Amazon’s ideals and high quality for product information and inventory. You need to check what Amazon allows and what it does not. Although items might be authorized by a government (for example having FDA approval in the U.S.) does not mean that Amazon approves its sale on their platform. Sometimes Amazon is stricter than the law.
The easy way to avoid this is to be vigilant in reviewing your products and Amazon’s policies before listing any products. If you determine that something is not allowed by Amazon policies, it is not worth the risk and costs of listing an item that simply is not allowed to be listed.
How to create a Plan of Action?
Creating a plan of action to appeal your Amazon account suspension is a key element to resolve the issue. Amazon reviews this plan and uses the information you provide to decide whether or not to lift the suspension. So needless to say, it is critical to get this piece right.
A successful POA shows that you have clearly identified the issue and what caused it, that you recognize what needs to be done to prevent this from happening in the future, and you are taking the necessary steps to ensure the issue does not occur again. You’ll need to do more than just say that you are sorry and you’ll be more careful going forward — you need to explain to Amazon how you are changing your systems, tools, processes, or procedures to prevent the issue from occurring again. A successful POA includes specific data that shows you are intimately aware of exactly what the problem is. Avoid broad language such as “sometimes,” “numerous,” “few,” or other words that are nonspecific or vague. Instead, include numbers and timeframes whenever possible.
POA: An Outline
Your goal with your POA is to give Amazon all of the information they need to make an informed and confident decision to lift the suspension on your account. Here is a high-level outline you can follow when putting together your POA.
Part 1: Introductory Paragraph
State who you are (including seller name), a brief description of your business, why your account was suspended.
Part 2: Description of Issue
Clearly describe the issue (or issues) that led to your account suspension. Explain the research process you used to identify the issue and a detailed explanation of why the issue occurred. Be sure to include data and specifics regarding what you found. Take full responsibility and acknowledge where the issues lie.
Part 3: Action Steps
Here you can describe the steps you’ve already taken to correct the issue since you’ve been suspended. Clearly describe the changes you and your team have made to correct the problem as well as the changes to tools, processes, or procedures to prevent the issue from reoccurring.
Part 4: Closing Statement
Include a summary of the action steps taken to resolve the issue, as well as a clear request to have your selling privileges reinstated.
Send Your Appeal to Amazon
Once you have written your POA, you can send it off to Amazon for their review. To submit your POA you’ll need to take the following steps:
- From the Performance dropdown in Seller Central, select Performance Notifications.
- Find the suspension notice that you received, click the Appeal button, and then the Appeal Decision button.
- In the form provided, enter the details of your Plan of Action. Include a telephone number where you can be reached should there be any questions.
- Click on Submit Appeal and your appeal will be sent to Seller Performance for review.
Receive a Response From Amazon
Once you send your appeal to Amazon, you will receive a response to your appeal from Amazon via email, typically within 48 hours after you submit your appeal.
Hopefully, this post will be helpful for you to prepare a plan of action and get your account reinstated. If you have an account that is suspended and need help with drafting a successful plan of action to get your account reinstated, reach out to Amazoker to get professional help. We provide Appeal service to help you with successful appeal in the shortest time.