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Old 03-19-2015
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Default How to deal with an Amazon account suspension

As an Amazon seller, youíre fairly used to things going in a linear fashion: set up an account, upload your listings, draw in customers and their orders, and then package and ship items to them. Until, one day it doesnít ó you log on to find out your Amazon account has been suspended. Itís a message no merchant wants to see, and yet it happens regularly. RepricerExpress takes an up-to-date look at why your account has been suspended and what you can do to get it back.

Reasons for Suspension

Amazon is far from being a perfect system, as itís so big that occasionally mistakes slip through the cracks. But for the most part, they use algorithms to notify them when the following has taken place:

Performance: When you first start out selling on Amazon, there are certain benchmarks you have to meet. If they feel youíve been lagging, then they may suspend your account. This is to keep the marketplace competitive and not full of names who say they sell but donít actually use the site.

Violation: Any time you join any organisation you yourself didnít start, there are always going to be certain rules and regulations you have to abide by. Amazon has theirs, and you showed an understanding of this when you signed up. If you broke these rules (either once or repeatedly, depending on the rule and severity), Amazon will suspend your account.

Restricted Products: As an example, itís a bit of a no-no to sell things like ivory or prescription medication on Amazon. They tend to frown on those sorts of items in their marketplaces, and you can guess that your account will be suspended if theyíre linked back to you.

When your accountís been suspended, Amazon will tell you why. You can find this information in the Performance Notifications section of your account, as theyíll outline which of the three aforementioned categories you fall into.

What Steps to Take Next

The great thing about Amazon is they understand what itís like to be an everyday merchant. They may not have the time nor the staff to sit down and chat with you over a coffee, but there are many steps you can take depending on which infraction has gotten your account suspended.

If itís a violation-based suspensionÖthen your obvious first step will be to take those items out of your inventory, post-haste. They canít have you shipping ivory across country and continental lines, so make sure to take a look at what Amazonís selling policies are and what you can and canít sell.

If itís a performance-based suspensionÖthen youíll need to examine why youíve been lagging in this department. Do your packages regularly arrive after the date you said theyíd be there? It may be time to re-examine your shipping process or go with Fulfilment by Amazon if you truly canít handle both growing your business and taking care of the shipping side of it. Do your orders have a high defect rate? A good place to start sniffing around would be how you handle your inventory.

Show Amazon What Youíre Capable of With an Action Plan

As we mentioned before, Amazonís pretty good about hearing you out if you want to appeal your suspension, but you have to show them you really mean business. Youíll need to assemble an action plan that outlines you not only understand why your account was suspended, but what steps youíll be taking to make sure it doesnít happen again. Itís a good time to be as specific as possible and include some of the following general examples.

If itís a matter of not being able to get to your deliveries on time, tell Amazon how you have staff specially designated for orders alone and how your orders will all get taken care of each day. And because Amazon has a tier of shipping options, youíll also want to mention how youíll be triaging the orders to make sure expedited or Prime orders get out on time.

If customers have repeatedly said you ignore their questions or complaints, Amazon will want to know how youíll rectify this. They have customer support services available that can do this for you if you want to avail yourself of them, or you can just tell Amazon the details of how youíll be getting back to customers (e.g. what time-frame, how youíll handle different languages, etc.)

If your order defect rate is high, itís because you had a high pre-fulfilment cancellation rate that precipitated it. One of the biggest issues surrounding this is how you manage your stock, so be explicit in telling Amazon the steps youíve taken to better control your inventory.

If youíre selling items that are on Amazonís do-not-sell list, then take them off right away. This is a non-negotiable and not open to any grey area, as they have to abide by many different laws, the likes of which trump what you may want to do as a merchant. If your supplier is giving you shady goods, like bootleg DVDs or counterfeit material, itís a good time to start looking for another supplier (and also telling that to Amazon).

And then the waiting begins. Youíve put together a solid, awesome action plan that outlines all the steps youíll be taking, but now the ballís in Amazonís court. Waiting will be the hardest part of it and while we donít like to promise that a really hard effort wonít go unrewarded, itís definitely something you can hope for. Just keep in mind that from now on, youíll have to be a different, more improved Amazon merchant.
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Old 03-19-2015
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Default Re: How to deal with an Amazon account suspension

I agree with most of this EXCEPT for the following, line:

If your supplier is giving you shady goods, like bootleg DVDs or counterfeit material, it’s a good time to start looking for another supplier (and also telling that to Amazon).

I would instead tell Amazon that you had no idea the items were bootleg or counterfeit, and that you have stopped doing business with that supplier and will be much more careful of whom you buy from in the future.
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