One of the biggest threats to a seller’s success on the Amazon platform is the threat of account suspension. There are many reasons why Amazon will suspend a seller account that we can normally figure out in Performance Notification in Seller central. Nevertheless, sellers can still be suspended immediately under various circumstances. This is going to be addressed in this post and what sellers should do when they are in this kind of situation. But before jumping into that part, let’s take a look into update suspension policy:
Amazon updates suspension policy for third-party sellers
Amazon signed a pledge on August 16 with its third-party sellers that it would give a 30-day suspension notice before permanently removing them from the platform. In the updated agreement shared with third-party sellers viewed by CNBC, Amazon included:
“We may terminate your use of any Services or terminate this Agreement for convenience with 30 days’ advance notice. We may suspend or terminate your use of any Services immediately if we determine that (a) you have materially breached the Agreement and failed to cure within 7 days of a cure notice unless your breach exposes us to liability toward a third party, in which case we are entitled to reduce, or waive, the aforementioned cure period at our reasonable discretion; (b) your account has been, or our controls identify that it may be used for deceptive or fraudulent, or illegal activity; or (c) your use of the Services has harmed, or our controls identify that it might harm, other sellers, customers, or Amazon’s legitimate interests. We will promptly notify you of any such termination or suspension via email or similar means including Seller Central, indicating the reason and any options to appeal, except where we have reason to believe that providing this information will hinder the investigation or prevention of deceptive, fraudulent, or illegal activity, or will enable you to circumvent our safeguards.”
Sellers expected the policy would protect them
Before the new policy went into effect, Amazon said in its seller agreement that it could “for any reason at any time by notice” remove sellers from the marketplace.
The new policy which gives sellers a 30-day notice before permanently removing them from the platform will give sellers more opportunity to respond to unfair suspensions and make their case. Sellers whose profiles were used for illegal or fraudulent activities, whose products harmed customers, or otherwise “materially breached” the sellers’ agreement could still be removed without that 30-day notice, but the rest of the language is vague and gives Amazon plenty of leeway.
Suspensions without any notice are on the rise
But a month after the new policy went into effect, on the Amazon Seller Forums, where scores of sellers have posted about their accounts getting suspended without notification, a lot of them believed they would get a 30-day notice. Their accounts, however, were suspended without any notice, any reasoning — no email, no explanation. Their money’s going to be held while Amazon does an investigation, and they have no idea why. There has been an increase in Amazon Suspensions without notification which can be devastating to sellers’ business. A lot of sellers who have encountered this kind of situation had no clue what’s going on and confused about what they could do the best to get their account back.
What to do when your account gets suspended without notice?
It is possible that many of the processes are automated and the system is overwhelmed. Slow response times and the lack of awareness that employees have about specific violations result in small businesses losing revenue at critical times of the year. Furthermore, Amazon’s suspension notices often don’t provide specific remedies, making it difficult for sellers to understand the corrective actions they need to take.
In fact, almost always the issue of getting suspended was the seller’s fault. Often they could not see the situations they were in until their errors were pointed out in comprehensive detail, instead preferring denial. As Amazon sellers, the way we should handle those is we write a very generic plan of action. The first important thing you need to do is try to identify the reason or the reasons for the suspension. Try to remember if you had any issues with your metrics, A-Z claims, etc… If you cannot figure out what caused a suspension, then you try and get a response from Amazon indicating what the issue is, and we usually successful. Also, follow Amazon’s leadership principles. Try and find out what issue Amazon has with you or what issues consumers might have with you, where they complain to Amazon and Amazon not letting you know. The next step is to write a plan of action to appeal account suspension and receive a response from Amazon.
As an Amazon seller, the best thing you can do is to avoid getting suspension in the first place, and that involves identifying any potential problems in fulfilling Amazon’s policies for sellers. But if you, unfortunately, encounter account suspension and need any advice or need help to appeal, Amazoker provide Appeal Service to help you with your issue