- If Amazon suspends your seller account, it means that you no longer have selling privileges as you have violated either Amazon’s terms, conditions, or policies while selling. Consumers can no longer view your product listings.
- Your account may be suspended for numerous reasons, such as having multiple seller accounts, committing an infringement or violating a policy, displaying poor seller performance, or not observing Amazon’s product quality and standards.
- Key ways to avoid seller account suspension are by understanding all of Amazon’s policies, rules, and regulations, working to keep your performance quality and customer satisfaction high, utilising the Amazon seller dashboard, and keeping an eye on your emails and notifications from Amazon.
If you are an Amazon seller, there is a chance that account suspension could happen to you. It is a common issue for many sellers, but it can still feel overwhelming. It is not always an easy process to get your account reinstated. An account suspension can prove very costly to your business, so it is best to educate yourself about it and how to avoid it, so it doesn’t happen to you. Before we explore the potential reasons behind Amazon giving you an account suspension, let’s explain the basics.
What is an Amazon Account Suspension?
If Amazon decides to suspend your account, you no longer have selling privileges on the website. This decision is made when a seller has been seen to violate either Amazon’s terms, conditions, or policies while selling products. If this occurs, shoppers can no longer see your Amazon product listings. As you can see, it is far from an ideal scenario.
However, while your profile is invisible to the general public, it is still possible to have the suspension lifted through a successful appeal and then get your account reinstated. If you have been suspended, Amazon will notify you. There are four different types of account suspension on Amazon which escalate in severity:
Suspended Account: This means that you can no longer conduct business on your seller account. If this happens, you must contact Amazon to discover why this decision was made so that you can try to resolve the situation. Sometimes it can be a completely unintentional mistake, or Amazon may not even present an adequate explanation. A Plan of Action (POA) to Amazon must then be proposed so that you can work to get your account reinstated.
Deactivated Account: You cannot continue selling if your account gets deactivated. Like account suspension, you must get in touch with Amazon to ascertain the reasoning behind this so you can then file an appeal. A common reason for deactivation is an account associated with another that Amazon has previously restricted.
Denied Account: This happens when your filed appeal to Amazon for reinstatement is rejected. But all is not lost. Your POA can be resubmitted after you have rewritten it. There is no limit to how many times you can appeal.
Banned Account: Once you’ve reached this level, you can no longer appeal. You cannot sell on this online marketplace, and Amazon will no longer read any appeal emails that you may attempt to send.
Why Would Amazon Suspend a Seller Account?
There are numerous reasons why Amazon may decide to give a seller an account suspension. Let’s consider some of the more common explanations:
You Have Multiple Amazon Seller Accounts
Having more than one seller account while selling similar products is prohibited. This is seen as a violation of policy. You are allowed to contact Amazon and gain approval for this before you make multiple accounts, and this approval is the only way to stop your account from getting suspended swiftly. It is prudent to note that it is a bad idea to make a new account immediately following an account suspension, as this can affect the reinstatement of your original one. Furthermore, as soon as Amazon notices you have a new account, that will be suspended too.
You Have Committed an Infringement or Policy Violation
A key thing to remember is that you are not allowed to infringe on copyrights of other sellers, use counterfeit trademarks, list products as new when they are used, or sell fake items. This may sound obvious, but it is essential to remember all the same. You must make sure your advertising content does not infringe on another seller’s copyrights, trademarks, or other intellectual property. It is your responsibility to follow Amazon’s rules and policies, or they may punish you. A common pitfall is selling restricted products in certain countries, such as currency, tobacco, and alcohol. Apprise yourself of the relevant regulations because otherwise, Amazon will suspend your account.
You Have Poor Seller Performance
It is irrelevant if you are a new or seasoned seller; you must have a consistent performance. Amazon firmly stands behind its customers’ satisfaction, so you need to keep up with its performance target score. If you receive bad customer reviews and feedback, deliver your products late, or get numerous cancellations for orders, then your account is likely to be suspended due to poor performance.
This reasoning is usually due to an intentional act from the seller. Unfortunately, it is relatively common. Review manipulation is when a seller (or manufacturer) tries to gain an advantage by providing inauthentic or misleading feedback about a product or service. This means that Amazon believes that the seller did something to get positive reviews. This manipulation can be direct or indirect.
Direct review manipulation: This is when a seller presents false or misleading content to receive or change customer reviews and ratings.
Indirect review manipulation: This generally involves incentives. For example, when a seller offers discounted or free products to their buyers to get positive feedback on Amazon.
If you are found guilty of review manipulation, Amazon can suspend or terminate your Amazon privileges, remove reviews, delist related products, and may even withhold or forfeit payments and remittances.
When Your Claims Get Flagged
Your seller account can also be suspended if you make claims which can trigger Amazon’s algorithm, which flags you as a restricted product. This could be concerning a hazardous product, an adult product, or even a medical device. Therefore it is crucial to be conscientious of the language you use on your seller account so that your products aren’t mistakenly flagged and consequently removed.
How Can I Avoid Amazon Account Suspension?
As we have read, it is far better to avoid an Amazon account suspension entirely than have to try and appeal against one. So, what top tips are there to help you avoid the chances of this happening to your seller account? We offer some critical pointers below:
- Ensure that you are following Amazon’s policies at all times – this is perhaps the most fundamental point to remember.
- It is a great idea to utilise the Amazon Seller Central dashboard to gain insight into your seller account. Metrics are markers that link a customer’s experience to the success of your account. Ensure that you have: less than 5% negative feedback, less than 1% order defect rate, less than 2.5% pre-fulfilment cancel rate, and less than 4% late shipment rate. If your ratings do drop, take action straight away to avoid account suspension.
- Steer clear of using multiple accounts, and do not create a new account until your old one has been reinstated.
- Check your notifications regularly to keep informed about violations so you can resolve them straight away. Amazon will contact you 72 hours before the suspension, asking you to submit your POA if you wish to keep selling. The more attentive and responsive you are, the less chance you will get your account suspended.
- Ensure your product listings state your product’s features and conditions clearly and be conscientious of the language you use.
- Work to keep a high-performance quality by reviewing all customer feedback. Use this information to improve the customer experience and improve your products, and this should result in good ratings and give a positive impression to Amazon.
- Take the time to understand all of Amazon’s rules and regulations which are updated often. You should receive an email about any changes, so keep an eye on your email account, or you will be in danger of missing a substantial change and making a mistake.
- Make sure all your documentation is in order and is clear and accurate. It should be scanned clearly into your computer. Double-check the names and addresses across documents to confirm they are all correct. Any slight discrepancy can cause a suspension or denial of your application
- If you have products that appear to cause issues or generate negative feedback, don’t hesitate to remove them. It is always best to keep on a customer’s good side, so also ensure you notify them if there are any shipping delays or issues with stock. Ensure that if you have a second-hand item, it is not listed as new. Create positive buyer interactions by being helpful, honest, and proactive.
Getting your seller account suspended by Amazon is never a pleasant experience. And there are numerous reasons as to why this marketplace may deem you to have violated rules. Therefore it is always best to avoid a suspension from happening in the first place. Follow our top tips to ensure you stay on the right side of the line. If you would like help with an Amazon seller account suspension or are just looking for more general advice about running an Amazon business, book a free discovery call with one of our experts today and get the support you need.
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