Your Amazon account is suspended, now what? Many sellers make common mistakes which end up damaging the appeal process, delaying reinstatement, and reducing the chance for positive replies from Seller Performance. Reinstatement is a process, and it is very important to start implementing the right practices as soon as the account is suspended.
Below are the 10 Don’ts once your Amazon Seller Account has been suspended.
#1: Don’t rush to submit your first appeal
Suspension is a process. Many sellers think that they need to submit something right away, and they waste their appeal button on an ineffective POA (plan of action). Amazon rarely reinstates an account after the first appeal is sent. Unless it’s a very minor violation, the process can take days, or even weeks. Most suspensions require multiple back and forth communications with Seller Performance.
Seller Performance suspends thousands of sellers on a daily basis, and Seller Performance investigators only take a few minutes to review each appeal. Make sure that you take your time to prepare the most effective appeal before submitting anything to Seller Performance.
#2: Don’t open a new account
Once a seller account is suspended, many sellers think that they can simply open a new account, and start over. Sellers use a different name and bank account, and think that they can fool Amazon, and start selling again. Unfortunately, this is not the case at all. Opening a new account after a suspension will damage the appeal process, and delay reinstatement.
Amazon has many ways of linking seller accounts, and the second account will be discovered, and linked to the original account. Once the second account is linked, there is ZERO chance of getting the second account reinstated. At this point, the seller has wasted time opening the new account, and reduced their chance of reinstatement on their original account.
Focus on preparing the best appeal for your account, and don’t waste time trying to create a new account.
#3: Don’t modify or fabricate invoices for any reason
Sellers are becoming more and more aware that Amazon doesn’t want them to obtain their inventory from unauthorized sources. Due to this, once an account is suspended for “inauthentic” inventory, many sellers modify their current invoices to “fit” what Amazon is asking for. If a seller only has a receipt or purchase order, they will create an invoice, and submit it to Amazon hoping that it will work. Most of the time, this method doesn’t work, and it damages the case significantly. Even the slightest modification can result in delays to reinstatement.
Amazon sees thousands of invoices on a daily basis, and it is very easy for Seller Performance agents to spot a fake or manipulated invoice. Submitting this kind of invoice can add on another violation called “forged and manipulated”; this type of suspension is very difficult to resolve. Therefore, even if you purchased the products from a supplier located in Asia, a retail location, or a liquidation company, submit the original proof of purchase to Seller Performance.
Also, if you drop-ship your merchandise, and you listed products which you never had in stock, it is best to admit your business practices to Seller Performance right away.
#4: Don’t threaten Amazon with legal action
Seller Performance likes to see that the seller is taking accountability for their actions, and they want to deal directly with the seller during the appeal process. Many sellers reach out to an attorney for assistance, and the attorney starts contacting Seller Performance on the sellers’ behalf.
As soon as an attorney is involved, the appeal process is significantly delayed. Sometimes Amazon becomes completely unresponsive until the seller starts personally contacting them regarding their suspension.
In the case of an infringement suspension, an attorney can reach out to the complaining party to reach a resolution, and request that the complaint be withdrawn. Once the complaint is withdrawn, the seller needs to communicate with Seller Performance about the results.
#5: Don’t contact Seller Support by email or through your seller account
Seller Performance is the ONLY department that can assist once an account is suspended. There is no direct phone number for Seller Performance. All communications must be handled through email.
Contrary to what most sellers think, Seller Support has absolutely no ability to impact the results of a suspension. It is quite confusing because many suspension notices instruct sellers to “Contact Seller Support” if they have any questions. Unfortunately, Seller Support only provides basic customer support, and they typically provide their advice based on generic templates.
Even though Seller Support cannot assist with the account reinstatement, they sometimes provide advice to the seller which can damage the appeal process. Since the advice is coming from a department within Amazon, most sellers believe it to be credible, and base their appeals on inaccurate information. Make sure to only communicate with Seller Performance once the account is suspended.
#6: Don’t be rude to Seller Performance, or use vulgar language
This is a no brainer, but many sellers are so upset after their account is suspended, that they will send a rant to Seller Performance with inappropriate language. Once a seller sends this type of message, the reinstatement process will most definitely be delayed.
The seller will need to explicitly apologize to Seller Performance regarding their behavior, and Seller Performance may not reply when they submit an effective appeal.
It is very important to understand that suspensions are part of doing business with Amazon. Once an account is suspended, keep a cool head, and start focusing on creating the best POA to get the account reinstated.
#7: Don’t send multiple letters after submitting the first appeal
Once the first appeal has been submitted, it is best to wait up to a week before submitting any additional letters. The days of “12-24 hour” response times are long gone due to the volume of appeals that Seller Performance receives on a daily basis. Also, the majority of the time, Seller Performance doesn’t send a confirmation that the appeal has been received, which can make many sellers nervous.
Many sellers panic and start thinking that Seller Performance hasn’t received their appeal, or is ignoring their appeal. Due to this, sellers start sending multiple appeals with different information in order to try to get a reply from Seller Performance. Submitting multiple appeals will delay the reinstatement.
Seller Performance has received the appeal, and they will reply once they have reviewed it on their end.
#8: Don’t blame buyers or Amazon processes for the suspension
Many sellers submit appeals which single out specific buyers and orders, blame their issues on the actions of a customer, or blame Amazon processes for their suspension.
Amazon is a very customer-centric company. All of their terms and policies favor the buyer, and any appeal which blames customers will not get a positive result. Also Amazon expects sellers to be familiar with all of their current policies and guidelines. Blaming Amazon processes will not result in reinstatement.
Focus on your own practices and procedures when creating your appeal. Ultimately, Amazon wants to know what changes you will make to keep their customers happy, and comply with their guidelines.
#9: Don’t immediately contact Jeff Bezos – this is a last resort
For many sellers, Amazon is their only source of income. Therefore, once an account is suspended, sellers are desperate to get reinstated right away. Due to this, sellers automatically contact Jeff Bezos if they don’t receive a quick reply from Seller Performance.
Due to the amount of emails that are sent to Jeff Bezos for a multitude of different reasons, this method usually does not provide any positive results. The emails are not read by Jeff Bezos; they are transferred to an escalation department that reviews all of the emails that are sent to Jeff Bezos.
Unfortunately, if a response is received from the escalation department, and it is negative, it is much harder to get the account reinstated moving forward. It is best to communicate with Seller Performance throughout the appeal process.
#10: Don’t panic!
If you are an established seller, most suspensions, even “final decision” suspensions, can be reversed. All you need is an effective appeal plan, and to be ready to change some of your business practices, if necessary.
Sometimes, you may need to make significant changes, but ultimately these changes will lead to a more stable business through your Amazon seller account.
Pro Tip: It is the best to consult a professional such as Seller Care once your account is suspended. In most cases, significant changes need to be made to seller account logistics, inventory, and sourcing before the appeal is prepared.
It is best to try to prevent suspensions in order to avoid this process entirely. In order to effectively prevent suspensions, it is crucial for sellers to monitor their account health page, and to proactively address all negative parameters. If you want a professional opinion, Seller Care also provides Risk Assessment Service and Suspension Prevention Service in addition to reinstatements.
All notices and warnings must be addressed immediately, and solutions need to be provided to Seller Performance to notate the account. These account notations will either prevent account suspensions, or in the case of an account suspension, these notations will speed up reinstatement after a follow up appeal plan is sent.
Evelin Goldin is the COO at Sellercare LLC. Sellercare LLC provides consulting and reinstatement services to Amazon sellers, and manages hundreds of sellers on a regular basis, including some of the top Amazon sellers worldwide. Sellercare LLC has assisted thousands of sellers with account reinstatement.She has over 18 years of experience dealing with Amazon. She worked for a company which was one of the first third party sellers on Amazon. She is an expert on Amazon practices, guidelines, policies, and suspensions. She works with sellers on a daily basis to assist with Amazon account notations, suspensions, and business practice optimization. Check out her company (www.sellercare.com).