A seller’s biggest fear is when his Amazon Seller Central account is rendered deactivated or suspended. This is usually because Amazon has stringent policies in place to protect both sellers and buyers. Why does this happen? Can it be reversed? How long does it take to revert your account back to normal?
You probably have a lot of questions in mind so this article will cover everything you need to know. We’ll guide you through the process of restoring your account and figuring out the best way to go about it. Let’s look at every single aspect of account suspension on Amazon so you’re all up to date.
- What does account suspension mean on Amazon?
- Reasons for Amazon seller account suspension
- How to recover/reactivate an Amazon seller account?
- Tips on avoiding Amazon account suspension
- Final thoughts
What does Amazon Seller Central account suspension mean?
In short, account suspension means that you will no longer have any selling privileges. This occurs when a seller has violated Amazon’s policies, terms, or conditions while carrying out his selling activities.
During this time, none of your amazon product listings will be visible to shoppers. Your presence on Amazon basically ceases to exist but fear not because you can appeal to have the suspension lifted and get your account reinstated. Amazon always notifies sellers on account suspension. Depending on the type of account suspension, you can plan your appeal accordingly.
There are different levels or kinds of account suspension on Amazon
1. Account suspended
If your Amazon Seller account is suspended, it means it is unserviceable. You will then need to get in touch with Amazon to ascertain the reasons behind it because you may have unintentionally done something wrong or sometimes there may not even be a substantial reason. However, once you find out the reasons, you must then propose a Plan of Action to Amazon to rectify the situation and have your account reinstated.
2. Account deactivated
If your Amazon Seller account is deactivated, you will be prohibited from continuing your selling activities. Here too, whether it’s a violation of policies or whether you think it’s a mistake on Amazon’s part, it is necessary to communicate with Amazon and you must ensure you file an appeal with them within 90 days. This usually occurs when one account is associated with another that has already been restricted from operating on Amazon.
Check out this guide to know how to communicate with Amazon customers.
3. Account denial
The Denial kind is a tough spot to be in because it’s when you have already filed an appeal to Amazon for reinstatement and it has been rejected. However, there is still some room for you to reform and resubmit your Plan of Action.
4. Account ban
This level of suspension doesn’t entail any provision for appeal. You will no longer be able to sell on Amazon and any appeal emails you send will also not even be read by Amazon.
Reasons for Amazon Seller account suspension
There is a host of reasons responsible for Amazon account suspension and you need to lay out an effective plan of action accordingly.
1. Seller performance
Your performance as a seller needs to consistently be up to the mark on Amazon whether you’re a new seller or an experienced, reputed one. Amazon is a hardcore believer in customer satisfaction and you need to keep up with the performance target score set by Amazon. This includes keeping a very low order defect rate of less than 1%.
Amazon detects poor performance sellers by looking at basic metrics related to selling and negative customer reviews and feedback, late shipments, and order cancellations. If your performance is deemed to be of poor quality, your account is bound to get suspended.
2. Product quality and standards
While selling on Amazon, you have to follow the guidelines and not indulge in selling restricted, illegal or counterfeit, or used products. It’s important to stay up to date with Amazon’s policies with respect to restricted products in different countries as well. Some of the restricted products are – alcohol, explosives, currency and coins, tobacco, etc. If Amazon finds that you’re indulging in the sale of any of these products, your account will be suspended.
3. Multiple accounts
As a seller, you are not allowed to have more than one seller account while selling the same kind of items as this is viewed as a policy violation. You can, however, seek prior approval for it by writing to Amazon, without which your account is bound to get suspended.
Another important thing to keep in mind is to refrain from creating a new Seller account right after you’ve faced account suspension. As a seller, it is understandable that you’re eager to get back to selling on Amazon but making a new account is detrimental to the reinstatement of your old primary account. Your new account will also be suspended as soon as it is brought to Amazon’s attention so it’s best to stay away from this practice.
4. Infringements and policy violations
Copyrights and trademarks are very important while selling on Amazon. You cannot use fake trademarks or sell counterfeit products or infringe on copyrights of other sellers because if it gets discovered, your account will be suspended. Your advertising content should not in any way infringe on another seller’s intellectual property.
It all comes down to following Amazon’s rules, terms and policies. As a seller, it is your duty to stay abreast with the policies. It covers everything from dropshipping to ratings to prohibiting paid positive product reviews. Ensure you go through all the policies and avoid getting your Amazon account suspended.
How to recover your Amazon Seller Central account
Now that you know all the reasons behind suspension, you’re in a better position to navigate. So if your Amazon account is suspended, how to get it back?
Once you see that your account has been suspended, you need to start the communication process with Amazon and there are important things to keep in mind while you do this. Remember, it pays to be patient and professional in the way that you conduct yourself
Take a good look at your suspension notice and understand the main reason behind your suspension. If Amazon says you violated a policy, understand which one and how you did so. This is important because you need to demonstrate to Amazon that you’re now aware of what you did wrong. You also need to chart out a clear Plan of Action so that Amazon trusts that you are going to take the right steps to rectify your mistakes. Lastly, you also need to show them that you will be vigilant enough not to commit the same errors or violations again in the future.
Here is an example of what your appeal should look like
You can follow the steps given below to send an appeal to Amazon
- Once you have formulated your POA, go to Seller Central and click on ‘Performance notifications’ from the ‘Performance’ dropdown menu.
- Open the suspension notice that Amazon sent you and click on Appeal. You will then see some options for Appeal decisions. Choose the desired one.
- Now, you will have to type out your Plan of Action and provide your contact information so that the concerned authorities can get in touch with you for any questions or information they need from you.
- Click on Submit. Your appeal will then be sent for review to Amazon Seller Performance.
Now that you have formally communicated your plan of action to Amazon, all you have to do is sit back and wait. Yes, it can sometimes be an excruciating wait, because it can take anywhere between a few weeks to even months to hear back from Amazon. But patience is of the essence here. You have to believe in the fact that Amazon is going to hear out your appeal as and reinstate your account in due time, as long as you have stated everything clearly.
How to avoid account suspension on Amazon?
If you’re wondering how to ensure your Amazon account doesn’t get suspended again, here are some things to keep in mind.
- By now, you’re already aware of the fact that following all of Amazon’s policies is key and will keep you away from deactivation and suspension.
- Constantly check all of your notifications so that when you’re informed about violations, you can rectify them immediately. Amazon notifies you 72 hours prior to suspension asking you to submit your POA if you want to continue selling. The only way to stay up to date is to keep monitoring your notifications efficiently.
- Comply with Amazon’s rules for your product listings. Your listings have to clearly state your product’s features and conditions and be optimized well. You can use SellerApp’s Listing Quality feature to help you analyze and improve the quality of your listings.
- Do not use multiple accounts and do not create a new account until your old one is reinstated.
- Work towards improving customer experience by taking into consideration all the customer feedback and improving your products accordingly as this will keep your ratings high and show Amazon that you’re a top-quality seller.
Now that you know everything about Amazon Seller account suspension, you are better equipped to deal with it effectively in case you are ever faced with this obstacle. Remember to be professional and never accusatory while formulating your appeals. Constantly monitor your account health and analyze your business reports and audits so that you continue selling as a successful Amazon seller.