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!
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.
Amazon will provide a general explanation as to why they suspended your account. An account deactivation email goes something like this ✍️:
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. ✂️
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.
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.
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%
Should you fail to address negative feedback for an order defect rate below 1%, for example, you might receive an email like this:
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.
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, 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.
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. 💁♀️
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:
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.
Before we get into how to appeal an Amazon suspension, it’s essential first to clarify what not to do when appealing suspensions:
💡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.
📝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 firstname.lastname@example.org with high-resolution images and additional supporting documents if possible. Finally, if all else fails, file an Appeal at email@example.com. 😉
Now, let’s take a look at what you should put your finite energy towards to convince Amazon to overturn your suspension.
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:
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:
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
Evidence of our actions:
Plan of action to prevent such an issue from ever happening again:
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.
Amazon’s Response to our email:
The result? We received an email informing us that our account has been reinstated!
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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