Satisfying Amazon’s high standards will keep you on top of the online selling marketplace. However, sometimes even after your best efforts, you could still receive a notification that states Amazon suspended orders from your Amazon Seller Account. To avoid a suspension, start by sourcing quality, authentic products to stay on top of performance metrics by using Tactical Arbitrage software.
Is your Amazon account suspended already? Once you receive a suspension notice, there is still a chance you will be reinstated. You will need to take the proper steps to fix things so you can continue selling on Amazon and receive payments in your bank account.
What Does A Suspension On Amazon Mean?
It’s always a pit-in-the-stomach panicked feeling when we discover that Amazon suspended my orders. Now what? What does this all mean, and can I do anything about it?First of all, know that you are not alone. Even some of the high-volume online sellers get suspended.
A suspension is not necessarily the end of the road for your online sales. Although, you will have to create a focused plan to be reinstated.
Until the suspension is removed, you will not be able to sell on Amazon.
The most important thing to remember when you see that dreaded suspension notice is to not panic and know that you still have options. No doubt, it is difficult to remain calm knowing that every second and every minute you are suspended, you lose money.
Being suspended means that you have a chance to appeal. You will, however, need to carefully work out a plan of action to take. If you have been denied or banned, on the other hand, that is a more dreadful strike against your Amazon seller privileges.
Being denied means that your appeal was rejected, but you still have a chance to revise your plan of action and resubmit it. Banned is the ultimate worst case scenario.
Being banned means that your appeal failed more than once. Essentially, Amazon no longer considers you eligible to sell on their platform.
Possible Amazon Suspension Reasons
Amazon suspends accounts for one of two reasons, or both. Your account may be suspended because you have failed to meet Amazon’s seller performance standards.
Or, it may be suspended because you have violated one of Amazon’s selling policies such as selling restricted or inauthentic products.
- Poor performance standards
- Violated Amazon policy
To find out why you have been suspended, check your Performance Notifications within Seller Central. If your account is suspended you will receive a notification entitled “Your Amazon.com selling privileges have been removed”.
This notice will include a list of ASINs that Amazon claims have violated their policies. You will now need to investigate a bit to determine the exact reason for getting suspended.
Amazon determines your performance rate according to your transactions:
- Order Defect Rate
- Number of orders that receive negative feedback
- Pre-fulfillment Cancellations
- Late Shipments
Don’t think that because you are a big-time seller that Amazon will cut you some slack. Amazon suspends huge volume online sellers too. Also, don’t be alarmed if you get suspended more than once. One or more suspension is not an end-of-the-road if you take action.
There are several reasons why your Amazon selling privileges may be suspended. Some of the most common reasons include:
- Amazon thinks your seller performance standards are not up to par with their high customer service standards
- You violated one or more of Amazon’s policies
- You are trying to sell a restricted product
Poor Customer Service Score
Amazon is all about superb customer service. They have a zero tolerance policy for poor customer experience numbers. So, even if you are the most honest third-party seller, if your customer service falls below the expected high mark, your account will be suspended.
As a seller, you need to be obsessed about maintaining a high-level of awesome customer service. Part of what makes up excellent customer service is order defect rate is less than 1%, your pre-fulfillment cancel rate is less than 2.5%, and your late shipment rate is less than 4%.
Order Defect Rate
High chargeback rates as well as negative seller feedback ratings are part of your Order Defect Rate. For high cancellation rates, you will need to show how you plan on monitoring your inventory more effectively.
What happens if an item goes out of stock? How can you make your customers happier?
Amazon prides itself in getting items to customers fast. If you are trying to keep up with shipping, you need to determine why the orders are not getting out or delivered on time.
Maybe you are selling products that take longer to send, and you need to switch your dispatch process to accommodate.
Disregarding Amazon Selling Policies
It may seem obvious, but if you violate an Amazon selling policy, you will be suspended. One of the main policy offenses is selling fake or inauthentic merchandise.
Sometimes, these items are referred to as knock-offs. Another policy violation is when you list a restricted products page.
Take policy notifications very seriously. Previous policy warnings that go unanswered is a major reason Amazon will issue suspensions for policy violations.
Amazon takes very seriously claims that a product is not authentic. Make sure you are selling only products that you know are authentic. This starts with sourcing.
Using state-of-the-art software like Tactical Arbitrage helps eliminate inauthentic claims since you know where the item originates. Most likely Walmart is not going to sell some inauthentic product to you, but you still need to do your won due diligence.
Failure to Respond
Some sellers have a fantastic record, but when they fail to respond to notifications for blocked listings, Amazon may suspend the account.
If Amazon sends you a warning that you have violated a policy or that your seller metrics, specifically your performance metrics or service to customer metrics are falling, take action immediately.
Respond to any and every notification you receive even if you no longer plan on selling that specific item.
Don't Set Up A New Account
Additionally, if you set up alternative accounts just in case you get suspended, this is a major no-no. It will signal a big red flag as a policy violation. If you haven’t already set up alternative accounts, don’t.
Especially don’t think that you can avoid dealing with a suspension by simply setting up a different account.
When the new account is discovered, you will likely not be able to be reinstated at all.
What to Do If Your Amazon Account Gets Suspended?
When you discover that your account has been suspended, you will be expected to create a Plan of Action to request to be reinstated as a seller.
This Plan of Action needs to be based on the information contained in the notification you received.
Prepare a Plan
Have a plan in place for just such an occasion that you wake up to find your Amazon account was suspended.
Leaving out any detail will most likely delay your reinstatement since the investigator will need to ask for more information.
First, read the suspension notification carefully so you can determine which policy you violated. Then, conduct a thorough investigation of your account, especially looking closely at ASINs with policy warnings. Check your Amazon Seller Central performance metrics.
Write Your Plan of Action
Your Plan of Action will need to be as complete and detailed as possible covering everything identified in the notification of suspension.
If you still have access to Support, and you need more information, open a ticket to get clarification.
The three most important things to address include:
- Acknowledge the issue that led to suspension
- Prove that you understand what the problem is
- Lay out the steps you have taken and plan to take
In your Plan of Action Appeal, identify the reason for your suspension, the reason a buyer complained, as well as solutions you plan on taking so that it does not happen again. Take full responsibility, and don’t try to make excuses even if you feel it was not your fault.
Take responsibility and acknowledge any possible harm you may have caused a customer. Communicate your understanding of what went wrong and how you plan on changing things to fix the problem.
Stay professional throughout the entire process. This is not the time to air your complaints about Amazon. It is also not the time to offer a sob story about how sad, disappointed, or even heartbroken you are that you have lost selling privileges.
Stick to the facts, and keep it simple and focused on policy instead of performance metrics.
Keep it Brief
Keep it brief, direct, and to the point. Use a format that is easy-to-read with a short introductory paragraph that gets to the point followed by bullet-points or numbered lists instead of lengthy paragraphs.
Your goal is to quickly show that you understand the complaint, and steps you plan on taking to resolve the issue.
Don’t ramble on with unnecessary information or a rant of any kind. Don’t shift the blame to Amazon’s policies or onto the buyer. Take responsibility, and stay focused on the specific information laid out in the suspension notice.
Acknowledge Selling Privilege
Tell Amazon that you are committed to providing excellent and exceptional customer service and that you realize selling on Amazon is a privilege. Show that you fully understand what the problem is and how you plan to address it.
Also list ways you have already solved the issue. Don’t just talk about what you will do. Be proactive.
Any action that you can take while your Amazon account is suspended should be tackled now.
Never Criticize Amazon
Whatever you do, do not criticize the process or any of Amazon’s policies.
Make sure you put some thought and detail into your Plan of Action. Resist the urge to slap back an immediate response.
Instead, take some time to carefully lay out your case in a way that will cause Amazon to consider your Amazon account reinstated.
One Final Step Before Submitting Plan of Action
Before you submit your Plan of Action, proofread it to make sure that it contains all of the elements that led to the suspension.
Be absolutely sure that you have made all of the changes to your business and to your processes to address the problems that led to your suspension. If some of your listings violate Amazon’s policies, you need to delete them.
Stay in communication with Amazon throughout the entire suspension process. Respond as quickly and accurately as possible.
Submit for Reinstatement Consideration
When you are ready to submit your appeal, go to the Performance Notification section within Amazon Seller Central. Locate the suspension notice, and click the “Appeal” button. When your Plan of Action is complete, submit it for review.
How Long Will it Take?
Amazon will usually respond to a Plan of Action within 48 hours. However, it can take weeks or even months for a suspended seller to get reinstated, so having a go-to plan already in place before you get suspended is important.
12 Tips To Prevent An Amazon Suspension
Preventing a suspension from happening is a lot easier than trying to create a Plan of Action to get seller privileges back after a suspension.
From the start, Jeff Bezos created 14 leadership principles that have remained part of Amazon. Anyone who sells on Amazon is expected to understand and accept these principles.
Of the 14 principles, the main ones to remember to keep your account from getting suspended are:
- Customer Obsession
- Insist on the Highest Seller Standards
- Earn Trust
- Dive Deep
- Deliver Results
Here are at least 12 tips to prevent an Amazon suspension:
1. Check Amazon Reports Regularly
Take performance metrics seriously. Look specifically for order defect rate, on-time delivery, and late shipment or late deliveries rates. Also make sure you keep your negative feedback rate to a minimum.
A high late delivery rate is a fast way to get bad product reviews.
2. Don’t Wait for Amazon To Catch An Error
If you identify an issue with your account, notify Amazon before they contact you. This earns trust as a seller. It is sometimes better to get clarification for any potential errors from customer support.
3. Monitor Your Account
Pay close attention to any returns, imperfect orders, A-Z claims, shipping, or negative feedback. Be aware of your metrics and be proactive in solving issues.
4. Have a Paper Trail
Ask Amazon to add an annotation on your account that states that the ASIN was not counterfeit. Documentation is always going to help you if you have any potential issues.
5. Maintain Excellent Customer Service
Make sure buyers are enjoying an exceptional customer experience. It is very important that you maintain excellent customer satisfaction levels with limited customer returns and an overall positive customer experiences rating.
6. Check Your Listings Frequently
Make sure they are labeled properly as a new or used product. Read your listings to make sure everything is accurate and truthful. It is not unheard of for a listing override to occur.
An override is when a detail page of one of your products displays information that you did not contribute yourself but has been updated by another seller or by Amazon.
This issue could result in missing items or wrong items being sent and will look bad on your performance.
7. Amazon Seller App For The Win
Download the Amazon Seller App for Android or Apple so you can respond quickly, as well as close and archive old listings.
You can also switch any potentially problematic ASINs to FBA to help address e-commerce fraud concerns.
8. Follow Amazon's Refund Policies
Accept returns and issue a refund. Make it your practice to uphold Amazon's refund policies. Merchant fulfilled Amazon sellers now have most returns auto approved according to their return policy.
9. Do Not Sell Counterfeit Goods
This advice really goes without saying.
Sell only quality products. Don’t buy cheap products from liquidators to sell on Amazon. These often lead to counterfeit claims.
10. Invest In The Right Tools
Use a quality software of Tactical Arbitrage to source authentic products. Having the right tools will help save you time. Sourcing your products from reputable suppliers helps to establish the supply chain.
11. Don’t Piggyback On Another Seller’s Listings
Some online sellers chose to avoid lengthy setup procedures by becoming an additional seller and using an original seller’s listing.
Amazon frowns on this and will look at you as a counterfeit. Make sure your product descriptions are up to par and original.
12. Treat Amazon As Your Top Customer
The main customer to please for your online Amazon listings is Amazon itself. Keep in mind that their platform allows you to reach millions of potential customers around the world for a small fee. Always consider it a privilege to be able to sell on Amazon.
Sometimes even after your best efforts, you may face an Amazon account suspension.
There are ways to fix this. If you are suspended from selling on Amazon, submit an effective Plan of Action so that you can get reinstated as quickly as possible. Make sure you create a detailed Action Plan that is a Plan of Action outlining not only what you did wrong but how you plan on fixing it going forward.
More importantly, learn from the process to take steps to make sure it never happens again. Of course, preventing it from happening in the first place is the best thing you can do.
Start by sourcing quality and authentic products to help you stay on top of performance metrics. One of the easiest ways to do this is to use Tactical Arbitrage software.
Know where the product is coming from, and get the best deals from online retailers. Make money, literally while you sleep and keep your customers satisfied to avoid any customer complaint or unhappy customers that could end with an Amazon suspension. Grab a free trial to Tactical Arbitrage here.
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