Has your Amazon account been suspended, and you’re not sure why? You’re not alone! A lot of account suspensions are done via bots that scan millions of listings. There’s bound to be some mistakes. Unlocking your account can be an incredibly time-consuming process. Finding an actual human being to speak to can take days.
Just ask our CEO, Jon! He worked together with a Seller who was recently banned to walk them through the process of unlocking it. Thankfully, he recorded his experience so you can learn from it!
Our CEO breaks down exactly what he did to get a “multiple related accounts” suspension lifted, and how you can apply his methods to get yours opened fast!
This article will explain to you the step-by-step process Jon used to get the account back up and running. Not only that, we’ll provide you with:
Account suspensions undo all the hard work you’ve put into running a successful FBA business and give your competitors all the advantage they need to outrank you. If you find yourself in this unfortunate position, you need to act fast. Every day you’re not selling is a day you’re losing customers and dropping in rank.
Before we get into what Jon did, though, let’s address some common questions sellers have surrounding account suspension.
NOTE: Please be aware that this blog is not intended to serve as legal advice. If you feel as though legal counsel is needed to resolve your situation, please contact a firm that can handle your case.
Amazon’s Terms of Service (TOS) clearly state what sellers can and can’t do. If they find you in violation, they will freeze your account. Many suspensions are handled via Amazon’s AI bots, as it would be impossible to monitor millions of accounts personally. This can result in mistaken suspensions.
Here is a list of common TOS violations.
While it is possible to operate more than one Seller Account, you have to clear it with Amazon first. If they suspect you of running multiple accounts without permission, they'll flag your account. Your account may also be flagged by Amazon for an account they believe is related to yours that is “not eligible to sell.” This is one of the first questions you need to ask Account Health: “What is the reason for the ‘related accounts suspension’ and what is the name of the related account?”.
The TOS explicitly outlines how sellers can communicate with their customers when following up after a purchase (i.e., asking for a review or product feedback). For example, you cannot send any message that provides customers incentives in exchange for a positive review. More information on customer communication do’s and don'ts can be found in this blog entry.
There are certain products you simply cannot sell on Amazon. If the A10 algorithm tags your listing as one of them, they will freeze your account and ask for more information. Sometimes, you may not even know you’re selling a restricted product! You may not even know you’re selling a restricted product. If you’re selling a product with several ingredients, you want to make sure none of them are restricted! For example, you may unwittingly sell a product that contains more than 5% of minoxidil, which is an Amazon no-no. Always make sure to check the label! You can find a list of restricted products here.
If Amazon believes you aren’t putting in the effort to scale your FBA business, they’ll give you the freeze. The reason is simple: they have millions of accounts to deal with. They don’t need sellers who aren’t doing anything clogging up their platform. Make sure you regularly maintain your account by optimizing your listings and tweaking your ad campaigns.
Amazon keeps track of how timely you ship your items. One of the metrics they use is the “Late Shipment Rate.” This rate is calculated by how many customers report receiving their product outside of the promised delivery date. Generally speaking, if your late shipment rate is above 4%, you may risk your account getting flagged. You can find more info about Amazon’s Late Shipment Rate policy here.
Users may not be satisfied with your product or feel it does not meet the description provided in the listing. When this happens, they report it to Amazon. They take reports like this very seriously and will ban you if they get enough. That’s why it’s always important to practice good customer service and respond to any customer grievances quickly before they escalate it to Amazon.
A lot of Amazon sellers are brand-registered, which means their content is copyrighted. A10 constantly scans listings looking for images or listing copy that’s copyrighted. If it flags your listing as using protected content, they’ll flag it.
Technically, Amazon account suspensions are permanent. You have to appeal it successfully. The process can take anywhere from 2 to 5 weeks. It’s crucial to appeal as soon as possible, as Amazon will withhold all of your funds until the issue is resolved and may destroy any unsold inventory you have in their warehouse.
No. You cannot request to open a new Seller Account after having a suspended Amazon account. You must go through the entire appeals process and get your original account unlocked. Amazon considers opening another account as circumventing the rules. Your new account request will be rejected and make your appeal that much more difficult.
Now, let’s say that your account has been flagged, even though you’re positive you followed all of Amazon’s rules to the T. Don’t worry! You have options.
Just recently, Jon, our CEO, helped a fellow Seller unlock their account after having it flagged for multiple related accounts. With a lot fo patience and perseverance, he was able to help this user get their account reinstated. Which brings us to the biggest question of all…
Amazon has an appeals process in place for users who feel like their account was unjustly suspended. This is a multi-step process where you submit an initial claim, send it to Amazon’s Internal Review Team, and update your claim with any additional material they may ask for. This is a timely process that can take anywhere from 2-5 weeks. Constant communication is your best chance of success.
Here is the step-by-step plan Jon followed to successfully re-open his account.
Once you receive an account suspension notice, you have to act fast. The appeals process is slow, and every day you’re not selling is a day your competition’s cruising right past you. It turns out that the account Jon worked on to unsuspend was flagged as a “Related Accounts Suspension.” This is a specific type of suspension where Amazon suspects you may run multiple Seller Accounts without having disclosed that info to them, which goes against their TOS.
After finding this out, Jon put together a detailed form spelling out 3 very important things:
Don’t be afraid to get as granular as possible when submitting your case. Unfortunately, Amazon does not initially provide a lot of information for why they suspended your account. This means the burden is on you to provide as straightforward a case as possible as to why you think Amazon should reinstate your account.
Here is a snippet of the template we used to communicate our case with Amazon Account Health. Please remember, though: this template is not intended to be taken as legal advice. It is provided in good faith based on our experience in Amazon sales.
After carefully crafting your response, submit it to Amazon Account Health. Are you not sure where to find the link to submit? You’re not alone! Amazon does not make it easy to get in touch with an actual human representative who can look at your case.
That’s why we went ahead and provided you the direct link to contact them in our template! Keep reading to find out how you can download it.
Merely submitting your case to Account Health isn’t enough. Unfortunately, Amazon is not proactive when it comes to updating you on your status’ appeal. They may not even inform you that your request has been rejected!
That means you have to continually contact Amazon daily using the Account Health phone number provided to you in an email to check in on your appeal’s status. Every time you call, ask a representative to look on their backend at your case. Often, there are notes on your account asking for more information. Promptly update your appeal with whatever information they request and resubmit it. Persistence is vital in this phase.
If, however, after three or four resubmissions without any results, it’s time to escalate.
You may find yourself hitting a wall even after checking in with Amazon Account Health daily. They may reject each of your resubmissions or simply come back, asking for more and more information. It may get frustrating, but have faith! There’s still more you can do to fight for your account.
Amazon keeps thorough notes on your contact with them. They track how many times you’ve contacted them, what new information you submit in your appeal, and what you talk to an Account Health rep about. If you’ve been thorough in your paperwork and persistent with your communication, they’ll see that you are a legitimate seller who wants to be on their platform. This is your opportunity to escalate your issues to Amazon’s Internal Review Team.
The Internal Review Team is a team independent from Account Health in charge of handling account suspensions they believe are worth reviewing. By this point in the process, you should have more than enough information to make your case. In Jon’s case, it was! After reviewing the case, the Internal Review Team reinstated the account.
Remember: this can be a lengthy process. That’s why you need to think about the health and future of your business while you wait!
Going back and forth with Account Health reps can be exhausting. Help take your mind off of it by attending to other areas of your business. It’s essential to have a plan in place for when your account gets unlocked so you can hit the ground running fast. There’s a lot of time to make up for.
For example, you may have a lot of stock just sitting in a warehouse while you wait for a decision. Remember how I mentioned earlier that Amazon may destroy excess inventory after 45 days? If you have any notion that it may take longer than that to resolve your issues, you need to arrange to have that inventory shipped elsewhere. Otherwise, they may destroy it all if you do not take action! If you need an easy way to manage your inventory, check out the Your Products tool.
Now, let’s say that you’ve gone through the process and successfully gotten your account back up and running. Be sure to go back and check that all your listings are active!
Simply log into your Seller Account. Once in, navigate to the Account Info page. There, you’ll see a section called Listing Status. This lists all your product listings. Click the edit button next to each listing, make sure the “active” option is selected, and you’re ready to rock! This is a small step a lot of sellers miss.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of ways your FBA account can get unjustly suspended. It’s merely the nature of the game. There’s no way Amazon has the manpower to manually check each account to make sure everything is up to TOS standards, which means they have to heavily rely on their BOTS which may ban you inaccurately. It’s an imperfect process that takes a lot of time, energy, perseverance, and patience to correct. However, it can be done!
We are dedicated to streamlining every aspect of your FBA business. That includes helping wherever we can to help you get your account unlocked as quickly as possible. That’s why Jon put together all his thoughts from his personal experience so that you can use it as a guideline to help submit a professional-looking appeal to Account Health that states your case in a clear, concise manner.
Learn how you can make it yours here, and happy selling!
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