Imagine this scenario. On a bright Monday morning, you wake up with a smile on your face because your business is growing on Amazon. The marketing strategy you applied has been a success, and it’s helped increase brand awareness. Walking to the kitchen, you brew your favorite black coffee and open your laptop to check some emails. While taking a sip of java, you scanned your email, and you see a suspension email from Amazon.
Hold on, a suspension email?!
Rubbing your eyes, you reread the email to make sure you aren’t hallucinating. But, it is indeed an Amazon account suspension letter. Suddenly, all your dreams and goals for your business come crashing down. How are you able to attract customers if you don’t have an account? Your heart’s beating erratically, and the only thing that comes to mind is “how?” How in the world did your account get suspended?
If this seems like you, then I want you to take a deep breath and relax. As much as you want to go all Hulk on Jeff Bezos, you can’t. It would be best if you cleared your mind to make an excellent and professional decision. So, grab your pen and paper because we’ll walk you through the steps to make an appeal to Amazon. Think about this as your easy-to-understand suspension guide.
What You Should Not Do to Your Amazon Account
I know you want to get your account working again, but rushing through without a plan isn’t advisable. So, before you take a step, we need to talk about the things you must not do. Yes, the things you should never do once you receive a suspension letter.
First and foremost, you must not panic. Don’t panic. It may be the first thing that comes to your mind, but never let your emotions rule over you.
There is a way to reinstate the Amazon seller account. It includes reading through the suspension letter, creating a plan of action, and writing an Amazon reinstatement letter. We’ll discuss this more in detail in the latter part of this article.
Don’t Contact Jeff Bezos
I know I said it earlier, but I need to reiterate it if you tried to call or email Jeff Bezos or anyone from the Amazon Seller Performance team. Jeff Bezos doesn’t read these emails; they go to an escalation department that reviews them.
Unfortunately, if the escalation receives a negative response, this may result in an even longer wait to reinstate your account. The best thing you can do is to wait for Seller Performance to reach out to you. So, relax and take a deep, deep breath.
Don’t Open Another Account
When you received your suspension letter, the first thing that may have entered your mind is to open another account. I have to stop you right there because opening a new account won’t solve your problem. You may even think of using a different name and bank account, but it’s not easy to trick Amazon.
Amazon has many ways of linking seller accounts. Once they link your second account to your first account, then there is zero chance for your second account can ever be reinstated. Moreover, it will be difficult for your first account also to be reinstated. So, don’t open a new account if you don’t want to be banned on Amazon.
Do Not Immediately Send an Amazon Seller Suspension Appeal Letter
Since we mentioned earlier that one of the steps to reinstate your account is to send an appeal letter, please send one once you have a plan. You may be thinking, “What are you talking about? I need to send this now!” I know, but without a well-thought-out appeal letter, you will waste your time and chances of reinstating your account.
The first thing you need to do is read the suspension letter and thoroughly create your action plan. It’s the same thing as planning a vacation. You wouldn’t just want to book a plane ticket and land there without an itinerary, and you need just as much direction when navigating a suspension of your Amazon seller account.
Do Not Send Multiple Letters After Sending the First Appeal Letter
It may be tempting to send numerous letters to Amazon but fight the urge. You may think that by spamming Amazon with hundreds of letters, they will prioritize you. They won’t. What you should do is wait for a week before submitting additional letters.
Also, know that Seller Performance does not send a confirmation email about their receipt of your appeal. This can be nerve-wracking since you don’t know if they have seen your appeal letter or not. But as long as you follow the steps, then you have nothing to worry about. So, refrain from sending multiple appeals.
Don’t Write an Appeal Based on Emotions
When you’re writing your appeal letter, it has to be objective. I know, and I understand that emotions can get in the way since you worked hard on your Amazon account, but you must not let your emotions rule you. Use a professional tone when writing your letter, or seek a consultant to help you write one.
Don’t Be Rude to Seller Performance
As we said earlier, yelling and smashing cars like Hulk won’t get your account reinstated. As human beings, we are taught to show respect and professionalism to the people around us. Hence, yelling profanities, throwing tantrums, or sending angry emails won’t expedite your account reinstatement.
It is frustrating and upsetting to receive a suspension letter, but it’s not an excuse for throwing an angry rant to Seller Performance. This will only make matters worse. Or else it will delay your appeal.
If you do lose your cool, you must immediately send an apology letter to Seller Performance. Be humble in your letter. Just remember that suspensions are part of doing business with Amazon. You must keep your cool and start focusing on the actions you must take to get your account reinstated.
Don’t Blame Buyers or Amazon for Your Account Suspension
Playing the victim and blaming your buyers or Amazon for your account suspension is not a good act as a seller. Even if you are not directly responsible for the negative reviews, your account is your responsibility, so you have to own up to it. Singling out Amazon’s process and your buyers won’t expedite your reinstatement process and will only hurt your credibility
Why Is Your Amazon Account Suspended?
After we have oriented you on the things you must NOT DO. We’ll discuss with you the possible reasons why your Amazon account has been suspended. Do read each item so you avoid it in the future.
You Have Multiple Amazon Seller Accounts
This is a common scenario for many sellers. They open another account to sell more of their products. But, this is against Amazon’s terms and conditions. When you’re selling on Amazon, you must only have one seller account.
You can open a second or third account if you plan to put up another business. Or it applies if you are part of an Amazon program that needs a separate seller account. If you are not, then only use one seller account.
You Received Complaints About Intellectual Property
You may have noticed that there are some infringed items on the platform. Once these businesses claim IP rights, other sellers are not allowed to sell them. If you do, they may file a claim against you.
Amazon will give you a warning, and this should be enough for you to stop. If you don’t, then this is a ground for suspension. Please avoid receiving multiple intellectual property claims because it will be harder for you to reinstate your account.
You Sell Counterfeit Items
Counterfeit products come from hijacked listings. A hijacked listing is a listing that was copied by another seller. The other seller copies the brand name, product, description and logo, selling it at a much lower price.
The materials used are also low-quality which leads a customer to leave negative reviews. You should know that Amazon is strict about counterfeit items. If they find you selling one, your account may not only be suspended but also banned.
You Sell Restricted and Prohibited Products
Amazon is strict when it comes to selling restricted products. They don’t allow sellers to sell unsafe, illegal, and restricted products. If you do sell one, you will receive a notification to remove it.
Some of the prohibited products are the following:
- Animals and other animal-related products
- Cosmetics and other personal care items
- Currency and gift cards
- Dietary supplements, especially those that are not FDA-approved
- Drugs and drug-related paraphernalia (including tobacco)
- Gambling-related items
- Laser-based items
- Pesticides and other compounds
- Plants and other organic things
- Service plans and warranties
You Have Poor Seller Performance
Amazon is a customer-centric company. They always want to offer the best for their customers. That’s why when Amazon finds out that you have poor seller performance and your products do not deliver their promise, you’ll be suspended from Amazon. However, there are other cases wherein a customer reports you to be selling counterfeit items even if you aren’t.
The best way to avoid this scenario is to be active in dealing with negative reviews.
Proven and Tested Way of Writing An Appeal Letter
Once you know the probable cause of your suspension, it’s time to write an appeal letter. An appeal letter is addressed to Seller Performance where you indicate your problem, possible solution, and appeals to reinstate your account. Follow our format below:
Acknowledge the problem
You can start your appeal by explaining what went wrong with your account or the root cause of your suspension. Make sure you concisely and professionally explain the situation. Check the tone you use for your letter.
Avoid becoming defensive when you write your letter. The goal is for you to show Amazon that you understand where they are coming from. Also, tell them that you are willing to take action to solve the problem.
Explain your action plans
Once you explained your problem, discuss the steps you have taken to solve it. These steps should address the problem, such as sending a refund to disappointed customers or setting up new policies to avoid future issues.
Most sellers don’t know how to write an appeal letter correctly. The content often only contains the problem. Hence, you should indicate within the letter the steps you can take to avoid the same situation in the future. Lastly, it’s a good move to offer solutions instead of waiting for Amazon to take matters into their hands.
Your next steps
Once you can state your action plans and implement them, inform Amazon that you will take extra care to avoid these mishaps. Assure them that you are doing your best to maintain a good profile. Also, you are taking the necessary steps to prevent the problem from happening ever again.
Receiving a suspension letter is a terrible experience for any Amazon seller. But, I assure you that it can be resolved. You have to be patient and read through the letter to know what areas you need to change.
Remember that when you’re writing the Amazon suspension letter, you need to acknowledge the problem, provide a solution, and then patiently wait for Seller Performance to give you their feedback. To provide more support to your appeal, prove to Amazon that you have a well-performing and credible account.
Guest Submission by Jayce Broda (Managing Director – Seller Interactive – An Amazon Marketing Platform).