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Jumping over a few hurdles is part and parcel of running an Amazon business. Refund requests, negative reviews, and out-of-stock inventory are only a handful of issues FBA sellers have to overcome. Having your Seller Central account suspended, however, is an entirely different story. Justified or not, an account suspension can cause sleepless nights, especially for those of us who sell on Amazon full-time.

Despite the severity of the issue, remaining calm and collected is the first step in regaining control of the situation. We’ve dealt with plenty of suspension cases before and know how to go about reinstating Amazon accounts. 

In this blog, our experts will discuss the reasons behind account suspensions and how you can get your Amazon account successfully reinstated!

🤷Why Amazon Suspends an Account

Once you know why amazon suspends an account, it’s easier to identify the root cause of the problem. This isn’t to say that innocent sellers don’t fall prey to account suspensions; most of the time, it has to do with underperforming or violating any one of Amazon’s seller guidelines.

📧 Example of Amazon’s Account Deactivation Email

Amazon will provide a general explanation as to why they suspended your account. An account deactivation email goes something like this ✍️:

“Dear Seller

Your Amazon.com account has been temporarily deactivated. Your listings have been removed. Funds will not be transferred to you but will stay in your account while we work with you to address this issue. Please ship any open orders to avoid further impact to your account.”

Still, you should start your own investigation to determine the exact reason(s) your seller account was suspended. 🕵️That’s because once you file an appeal, you should let Amazon customer support know that you’re aware of the issue and are working towards fixing the problem

To make sure you have a tight understanding of Amazon’s seller guidelines, let’s look at some of the most common reasons your account could be cut-loose by the firm. ✂️

#1) Seller Performance Takes a Dive 

If you plan on selling on Amazon, you have to play by their rules. Poor seller performance is the most common reason behind account suspensions. Amazon expects nothing less than excellent customer support and does not hesitate to bring down the ban hammer on sellers that refuse to up their game.  

📈 Amazon’s Key Metrics for Seller Performance

When you Log into your Seller Central account, go to the Performance tab, and click on Account Health. You’ll be greeted with the following interface.

Account Health

The Account Health section is where you can find out more about your seller performance (not product ratings which are something entirely different). The key metrics to keep an eye on include:

✔ The Order defect rate must be below 1%

✔The Late Shipment Rate should be under 4%

✔The Pre-fulfillment Cancel Rate should not exceed 2.5%

When you don’t address the negative feedback

Should you fail to address negative feedback for an order defect rate below 1%, for example, you might receive an email like this:

An example of an email for an excessive order defect rate

Fulfillment by merchant (FBM) sellers should be more cautious since they’re held to a higher standard. Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) sellers, on the other hand, can get negative feedback related to fulfillment removed by contacting customer support. If seller performance is something you struggle with, we recommend switching over to FBA. 

#2: Not Adhering to Amazon’s Terms of Service (ToS)

Amazon’s Terms of Service and Seller Code of Conduct act as a leash for unruly sellers wanting to do things the wrong way. Here are some actions that could result in consequences ranging from temporary product listing suspensions to permanently banned accounts:

Selling Restricted or Unauthentic Items 

Selling restricted, illegal, counterfeit, or dangerous items is a sure-shot way to get your account terminated. You can visit Amazon’s restricted products page to help prevent this from happening to you. Similarly, misleading customers about the quality of your product or shipping an item that is drastically different from what your product page shows is seen as another severe offence. 

Buying Fake Reviews 

Visiting social media groups or websites to ‘buy’ positive reviews is another way you might feel Amazon’s wrath. Stay far away from these activities, especially when you could use safer options like ZonGuru’s Review Automator tool. With the click of a switch, this tool sends out Amazon TOS compliant review requests to satisfied customers. This way, you’ll increase your product reviews safely and with little to no effort. 💁‍♀️

Operating more than one Seller Central Account 

Unless you have a legit reason, operating two or more Seller Central accounts is a flat-out violation of Amazon’s Seller Code of Conduct. Here’s an extract from Amazon’s official seller policy page:

Operating Multiple Selling Accounts on Amazon

Intellectual Property Infringements

Duplicating material belonging to an already trademarked or brand registered seller without explicit permission is against the law. After a few warnings, Amazon will deactivate a listing. Failing to take corrective measures might result in an account suspension.

🙅How Not to Appeal an Amazon Suspension

Before we get into how to appeal an Amazon suspension, it’s essential first to clarify what not to do when appealing suspensions:

  • Don’t criticize Amazon.

💡Pro tip: To get in the good books with customer support, make a point of saying that selling on Amazon is a privilege that you recognize and appreciate. 

  • Don’t threaten Amazon with legal action.
  • Don’t send an email to jeff@amazon.com directly.

📝Note: There are three levels of suspension appeals. The first involves going to the Performance Tab, then to Account Health, and clicking on Reactivate your account. Follow the instructions and submit your Appeal along with any supporting documents. If that doesn’t work out, you can escalate the issue to resolution-seller@amazon.com with high-resolution images and additional supporting documents if possible. Finally, if all else fails, file an Appeal at jeff@amazon.com. 😉

Now, let’s take a look at what you should put your finite energy towards to convince Amazon to overturn your suspension.

👍How to Appeal Amazon Suspensions

Start by (being the bigger person) acknowledging your fault. Be professional, get straight to the point, and ensure that everything you present is factually based. Here’s an example of a format you can use to help you do this:

  1. Addressing the Seller Performance Team and acknowledge your mistake
  2. Outline the steps you’ve taken to resolve the issue and show evidence that complies with Amazon’s policies.
  3. Communicate your plan of action for preventing cases like this from happening again.

📧A Real Life Example of a Successful Appeal

We recently had the opportunity to assist an Amazon seller struggling to reclaim their account. Here’s what our email looked like:

Dear Seller Performance Team

We understand that you have deactivated our Amazon Seller account in accordance with Section 3 of Amazon’s Business Solutions Agreement.

The following are details pertaining to the exact timeline and root cause of the issue along with supporting documents to substantiate our appeal.

The root cause of the issue:

  • 10.48% NCX rate 
  • Incorrect product descriptions

We acknowledge the problem was on our end due to manual order processing which increased our shipment times. We were manually handwriting all of the labels which caused the delay. Also, some of our product descriptions did not accurately reflect our offerings.

Steps we took to resolve buyer issues:

We issued full refunds to buyers that complained of defective products. Below are the order numbers

  1. Order ID: 111-92XXXXX-
  2. Order ID: 111-92XXXXX-
  3. Order ID: 114-73XXXXX-
  4. Order ID: 114-15XXXXX-

Evidence of our actions:

  1. Further inspection into our orders and account activities will reveal that the concerned customers have been fully refunded
  2. Corrected errors within our product descriptions to accurately explain its functionality
  3. Attached the business license of our company “--------- Inc.”

Plan of action to prevent such an issue from ever happening again:

  1. We will now hold a monthly review of Amazon’s Business Solution Agreements found at https://sellercentral.amazon.com/gp/help/external/G1791. This includes keeping a track of the changes made to existing policies to ensure we operate as a 100% compliant Amazon selling partner
  2. We will update our listings to provide accurate and relevant product information
  3. We have switched over to a new courier service to ensure we fulfill orders within the stated timeframe and bring down our negative customer experience rate

We would like to reassure you of our commitment to adhere to Amazon’s seller policies going forward. Please let us know if there is anything else we can do to prevent such issues from taking place in the future. 

We understand that selling on Amazon is a privilege and would greatly appreciate it if you would consider overturning the account suspension.

--------- Inc.” 

Amazon’s Response to our email:

Account Reinstatement Email

The result? We received an email informing us that our account has been reinstated!

✅Amazon Suspension Appeals – The Takeaway

You have a limited number of appeals you can make before Amazon ghosts you (stops responding) and shuts down your account permanently. To avoid this from happening, here is a carefully crafted account appeal template that you can access for free.

In fact, to help prevent getting into this situation altogether, check out our holistic FBA seller toolkit. This has a total of 16 features to enhance your seller performance and keep your business operating within Amazon’s ToS!

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Account Appeal Template

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