Dealing with Amazon Account Suspensions

Dealing with Amazon Account Suspensions

Did you know Amazon can suspend your seller account without warning? It sucks, I know, but it's one of those things you should take on the chin to survive in the highly competitive world of e-commerce. 


But Amazon does it for a reason, right? Of course, it does. It would be imprudent to think otherwise. If Amazon suspends your account, it's because you failed to comply with its policy or meet its performance standards. 


In this article, we'll delve into the complexities of Amazon account suspensions, identify their driving factors, and determine how to appeal for reinstatement. We will also discuss methods for preventing account suspensions as you scale your Amazon business.


Why is my account suspended?


There are three possible reasons for an account suspension, and they all have to do with your account health. If you go to Performance > Account Health in your Amazon Seller Account, you'll see the metrics split into three sections: Customer Service Compliance, Policy Compliance, and Shipping Performance. 


A low score in any of these sections could result in a listing or account suspension. For example, Amazon might suspend your account if your Order Defect Rate exceeds 1%, if you receive several product authenticity claims, or if you violate the customer product review policy.


The problem is if your account is suspended, assessing its health may be tricky, especially if you don't remember any possible reasons for the suspension. But don't worry because Amazon will inform you via email about the suspension and provide reasons for their decision, allowing you to strategize your response accordingly.


Can I appeal for a reinstatement?


Amazon can suspend either an ASIN you're selling or your seller account. But don't panic yet, as suspensions can be lifted. There's a reason you only got a suspension and not a complete account deactivation. It's Amazon's way of saying, "You can still fix this."


You can appeal for an account reinstatement by providing Amazon with a Plan of Action (POA). This is a letter detailing what you propose or commit to do to fix the issues that led to the suspension. But this may not always be the case. Sometimes, Amazon won't request for a POA. 


That's why reading and understanding the suspension notification Amazon sends carefully is crucial. It gives you all the necessary fine points, including your violations and how to resolve them.


Important: If your account is suspended or banned, you can't create a new one. Amazon can quickly identify related accounts and ban them right away. Creating new accounts without addressing the suspension ruins any hope of getting your original account back.


What does a POA look like?


A Plan of Action is a simple letter addressed to Amazon explaining how you plan to fix whatever issues led to the suspension. You don't have to follow a particular format, but the letter should contain four elements.


  1. Acknowledgment of the issue: This is where you admit you made a mistake, specify what that mistake is according to Amazon's findings, and explain that you understand the suspension is valid.


  1. Break down the issue: Before drafting your POA, make sure that you've deconstructed the issue and understood the role you played in it. This section outlines factors that led to the problem, including negligence, accidents, and circumstances beyond your control. Amazon wants to ensure that you know exactly what happened and that you'll take full responsibility. 


  1. Plan of action: This is where you will explain in detail your strategy for solving the current issues in your account. Don't try to charm Amazon with flattery words. For them, that's a huge turn-off. Focus on presenting a solid and attainable solution.


  1. Prevention: Your plan should cover both solutions to your current account problems and well-defined preventive measures. You can even include recommendations for mitigating potential risks once you start scaling your business to show Amazon you're committed to improving.


Here's a tip: Be clear and concise. Amazon frowns upon lengthy but empty POAs. Present your plan in numbers or bullet points to make it readable. Lay off the adjectives. Amazon doesn't need your compliments. What Amazon needs is for you to fix your account issues and step up your game.   


A Step-by-Step Guide to Respond to a Suspension


Now that you know how Amazon account suspension works, it's time to plan your appeal. We can summarize everything we've discussed so far into these four steps. 


Step 1: Identify the reasons for suspension.


If you suddenly find yourself struggling to access your account's basic features, check your email immediately. Amazon probably sent you a suspension notification. Read it carefully to confirm if your account is suspended and understand why. Also, check your account health to see if there are other issues you need to address.


Step 2: Prepare a Plan of Action


Study the issues Amazon has pointed out in the email. Make sure you understand whether Amazon is requesting a Plan of Action. Sometimes, particularly if the problems that led to the suspension are not serious, they might suggest a quick solution. Take your time to draft your POA. Rushing will only result in bigger problems, especially if your POA gets declined over and over. 


Step 3: Submit the Plan of Action


Once you're confident that your POA will satisfy Amazon, send it to the email provided to you in the notification email. But before clicking send, reread it a couple of times to ensure all the information Amazon requires is there, and your ideas are substantial and well-structured.  


Step 4: Wait for Amazon's response 


The final step is to wait for Amazon's response. They might demand more information or reinstate your account straight away. It might take them hours or even days to respond, so be patient. If they require additional information, send it to them promptly to prevent further delays that cost money.


Remember: Amazon denies appeals for reinstatement of accounts for various reasons. The most common one is poor content. If your POA doesn't provide helpful information or solid solutions to current issues, they'll send it back with a note. If you resend your appeal without incorporating Amazon's notes, expect another rejection. If your appeal keeps getting denied, Amazon will stop responding, and your account will never be reinstated. 


How to Avoid Account Suspension


The secret to a lasting Amazon seller account is not a secret at all. Amazon's guidelines are comprehensive and clear. Staying compliant will keep your account off Amazon's radar. Do not try to create multiple accounts. That's a leading cause of both account suspensions and deactivations. 


If your business model requires multiple accounts under your name, contact Amazon seller support for guidance. They offer exceptions for legitimate businesses that branch out to different niches or categories. Furthermore, regularly monitor your Account Health to catch any issues that could lead to suspension early on.


Protect Your Amazon Account from Suspension 


Stay informed and follow Amazon's rules closely to avoid losing your account suddenly. Keeping up with their guidelines and algorithms can prevent problems. Always check Amazon's guidelines before expanding your business or making significant changes.


Open your notifications regularly, as they may have updates on rules affecting your account's legitimacy. Also, practice presenting ideas simply. This will help if you need to appeal a suspension in the future.

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