In 2020, Amazon suspended a massive number of third-party seller accounts on their website. But what can you do if your account gets suspended? Here’s everything you need to know about Amazon suspensions and how you can appeal to lift a suspension from your account.
How Do Amazon Suspensions Happen?
There are quite a few reasons why your Amazon seller account can be suspended, but almost all of those reasons fall into two overarching infractions:
- Your sales performance has dropped significantly
- You violated Amazon’s selling policies
Amazon rates your performance according to metrics that can effectively measure customer satisfaction. It mainly uses three metrics to calculate performance problems.
- Late shipment rate: Amazon will calculate how many of your total orders were shipped after the customer’s initial ship date has passed. Companies shouldn’t have a late shipment rate of more than 4%.
- Order defect rate: The order defect rate is the percentage of a seller’s products that have elicited negative user experiences. This encompasses one- and two-star product ratings, reports of an issue with an order, and credit card chargebacks. Sellers must maintain an order defect rate of less than 1% if they hope to maintain their account.
- Pre-fulfillment cancellation rate: This metric involves the number of order cancellations that were initiated by you, the seller, before shipping was confirmed. Pre-fulfillment cancellations often occur when the seller fails to complete the order entirely. Amazon seller’s pre-fulfillment cancellation rate should be below 2.5% of their total orders.
Amazon Guideline Violation
Amazon has several community guidelines all sellers must follow if they want to maintain access to their accounts. These guidelines include the following restrictions:
- Your product information must be accurate (no irrelevant descriptions or keywords)
- You must act fairly in your pricing and marketing practices
- You cannot try to influence or inflate customer ratings and reviews
- You cannot send messages to customers regarding matters that do not relate to their order information
- You cannot distribute customer contact information to other third-party vendors
- You cannot divert customers to another website to circumvent the sales process
- You may not have multiple seller accounts for the same products
On top of those guidelines, Amazon also has a list of restricted products that sellers may not offer or attempt to sell. Additionally, some products require pre-approval or additional regulation from Amazon before you can officially start selling.
Different product categories have different restrictions, so make sure you are aware of these discrepancies and nuances before selling your products.
How Can You Avoid Amazon Suspensions?
Simply abiding by Amazon’s seller guidelines is easier said than done—with so much to keep track of, it’s easy to miss something that could get your account suspended. Here are essential items to consider so you can keep selling your products and avoid Amazon suspensions:
- Make sure your account information is correct. Check that the name on your Amazon account matches your bank statements, driver’s license, and other identifying documents. Any discrepancies could lead to your account getting suspended.
- Don’t overload on keywords. Sellers may try to stuff as many keywords as possible into their product listings and pages. Don’t do this. If you include keywords that aren’t completely relevant to your products, your listings will show up for irrelevant searches. Amazon will see this as a misuse of their search engine and suspend your account.
- Stay up-to-date on policy changes. Amazon updates its seller policies pretty regularly. While the updates are often minor, you should always be aware of their implications in case they directly affect your business.
- Remove problematic items from your inventory. If products seem to be underperforming or are getting a slew of negative reviews from your customers, it’s time to pull them from your inventory. This will help your business maintain a lower order defect rate.
How to Appeal an Amazon Suspension
If your seller account has been suspended, don’t panic—you can still get your account back with an appeal.
Take your time to find out exactly what caused your suspension. This will help you craft a well-written and informative appeal, which increases your chances of Amazon reopening your account.
Here’s exactly how to appeal an Amazon suspension so you can start selling again.
- Figure Out Why You Were Suspended
Amazon will give you a very general reason why they suspended your account, so it’s up to you to analyze your previous behavior and find out exactly why Amazon suspended you.
Remember, all suspensions are caused by either a performance issue or a guideline violation. Make some calculations to determine if a performance metric was the problem, and review Amazon’s current guidelines so you can zero in on the problem.
- Create Your Plan of Action
Once you’ve pinpointed the error that caused your suspension, it’s time to make a plan of action. A plan of action is your way to show Amazon that you are aware of the problem that caused your suspension and your company is working to resolve that issue.
The best plans of action are split into four paragraphs:
- Introduction: State who you are, the company you represent, and why your account was suspended.
- Describe the issue: Outline the problem that led to your suspension. Explain how you identified the issue and how the issue occurred in the first place. Be specific, and don’t be afraid to take full responsibility.
- Outline how you plan to improve: After identifying the issue, explain how you are going to solve the problem. Describe the changes your company will make to ensure similar issues don’t happen again.
- Conclusion: Give a quick summary of the actionable steps you will take to fix the issue. Request that Amazon reinstates your seller account.
- Submit Your Appeal and Await the Response
After you’ve written your plan of action, submit it with your appeal through Seller Central—you can find the Appeal button in Performance Notifications.
Amazon usually responds to your appeal through an email, which you will get within 48 hours. If you don’t hear a response within that time frame, wait at least a week before sending another appeal.
Get Your Amazon Account Back
If you’re worried about your seller account getting suspended by Amazon, consider working with Buy Box Experts. Our professionals will help ensure your product listings and selling practices operate within Amazon’s guidelines and offer a satisfying customer experience. Get in touch with us to learn more about your success on Amazon.