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How Suspension Crashed My Amazon Sales From $50K To Zero

By James Fend

How Suspension Crashed My Amazon Sales From $50K To Zero

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Cynthia Stine

I wish I could say that this story of suspension/ban was unusual, but it is not. Glad you are back in the game, James! Thanks for the link. I’m glad the article helped you. A lot of sellers are getting caught up in Amazon’s new approach. I call it the “Rise of the Robots.” A lot of my clients don’t even know why they are suspended. There are good sellers who should have never gotten suspended who can’t get back on and then others who violated a lot of polices who get approved easily. It is crazy.
Cheers,
Cynthia

James Amazio

Replying to Cynthia Stine

Thanks Cynthia! Yeah, I agree 100%… pretty scary riding shotgun.

sam

Replying to James Amazio

James, do you offer coaching services?

sam

cam

Replying to Cynthia Stine

I have the same story . stay away from amazon . they close my business and life.

Jack Phillips

Thank you for sharing the information. However, you were very short on what happened that caused the suspension in the first place. You stated you played by all the rules, but Amazon thought you were doing something nefarious – did you ever find out what it was that caused the problem or was it just a random thing?

James Amazio

Replying to Jack Phillips

No, as stated in the article, I never found out the reason.

Sam Tan

Replying to James Amazio

Amazon is just trying to get your supplier so they can compete on your product from their end. They are basically competing with you. Because they see so much money from your product if they can sell it by themselves by buying them directly from your supplier.

Cynthia Stine

Replying to Sam Tan

Sam, While that could be true, my experience with suspended/banned sellers shows that the products in question are not necessarily that popular or selling fast. Amazon doesn’t need access to our suppliers – they can just go straight to the manufacturer who will gladly tell them how to buy their product 99% of the time. There is a huge problem with sellers trying to undermine other sellers by making false claims and policy violations to get their competitors suspended/banned. In addition, there are reasons for every suspension it is just that most sellers can’t figure out what they are on… Read more »

Dee Funked

Replying to Cynthia Stine

Yep, It’s called monopolizing the market and Americans have forgotten that there are laws protecting them from such actions. The government has not exercised the Clayton or Sherman act in decades and has let the large enterprise monopolies take over…

baz

Replying to Sam Tan

That is totally true, amazon has been currently buying manufactures and competing with name brand companies

jonas

Replying to Sam Tan

this is very true, amazon is all about amazon and uses dirty tricks to obtain supplier info and cut out any middle men..Faster and higher you rise more attention you bring to yourself and they will try their best to obtain the rights to sell your item directly themselves.

Katey

Replying to Sam Tan

That’s what I think it is. I have been shut down by Amazon exactly like James. Spent so much time appealing and they just left me hanging.It’s very frustrating thinking what wrong have I done to get suspended and eventually shut down. I have over 5,000 products listed and it’s going to take me forever to delete and relist if they ever let me have a new account.I loathe this company so much.

Gary

Are you using a USTPO registered trademark to sell the duplicated private label items? The words FAKE and counterfeit in any customer, AZ customer service messages, reviews or feedback will trigger the autobots, legit or not. EVERY one of these notifications must be appealed. I went thru this exact scenario this weekend. Customer claimed fake to CS agent on phone to get free return label. Third world CS agent types in all caps. I an the owner of the registered trademark. I immediately fired off to the executive office of Jeff Bezos. Took 12 hours to resolve. I am the… Read more »

James Amazio

Replying to Gary

Nope, all my stuff I own the sole rights to including any TM’s, etc. These are products/brands I built from scratch.

I agree completely about Amazon needing to do much better in treating 3P as a customer; hence why the survey polls on Seller Central have been very specific these past months.

Perry

James, you mentioned “DIVERSIFY YOUR CHANNELS AND INCOME. As soon as you possibly can” have you been able to do that yet? If you would like to work with me on a private label project to help diversify I would gladly pay you a fair fee.

James Amazio

Replying to Perry

Hey Perry,
I mean diversify away from Amazon in general. There’s levels of diversification, you can go after another niche, etc. but your eggs are still in Amazon’s basket.

Perry

Replying to James Amazio

Hey James, I already have a 7 figure AZ business just trying to grow it my thoughts would include a passive income on your side for royalty’s of sales as well as diversifying from your personal AZ account as we can take advantage of your knowledge of private label as I can increase my chances of being successful and you can keep on growing without the day to day of having more products. If I have a horse that is running fast I would never pull back the reins I am not interested in the coaching but I am interested… Read more »

James Amazio

Replying to Perry

Hey Perry,
Contact me at [email protected]

richard

Replying to James Amazio

What other channels would you recommend besides the obvious ebay?

James Amazio

Replying to richard

I think there’s levels of diversification. I wouldn’t waste time on eBay much to be honest, because Amazon FBA is the 800 lb gorilla. I would first diversify across other products in completely different niches, then either build an ecommerce website to sell your product and/or go after a completely different business than ecommerce.

randomseller

Replying to James Amazio

Its posts like this that make me glad I have made it big on eBay because you are only killing away any competition I would have in the future. eBay is a free for all with generally harshes rules than Amazon. Anyone who can get PayPal verified can entered it no problems and you can sell a lot more products you would be restricted in amazon. Seller support is much more better than Amazon and are willing to see it your way as long you can show proof and evidence. James is right – you should NOT be focusing on… Read more »

sueallen

Replying to Perry

Hey Perry I am about to start selling private label products on amazon, I like the idea to create my own brand and products,I would like to work with you on private label projects to help diversify and grow my business,please contact me as soon as you can my email is [email protected]

I hope to hear from you soon .

Amit

Hey James,

Great write up!

I wanted to ask you about the “DIVERSIFY YOUR CHANNELS AND INCOME.” statement you made also.

With this, do you mean create a website yourself selling your products, getting your own traffic etc? Meaning your not reliant on Amazon?

But wouldn’t this mean when a customer goes to the shopping cart on your site, they are simply being forwarded to Amazon as it holds all your inventory at their FBA warehouses?

Cheers
Amit

James Amazio

Replying to Amit

Thanks. Yes, making sales outside. As well as pursuing other non-Amazon related businesses.

DG

Hmmm, I did a seach for these types of suspensions and it’s only a few people who are getting suspended for obviously failing to list their products properly,misleading copies,promoting items which are featured in a different edition to prejudice sellers who are selling the exact product and selling counterfeit products (especially DVDs).I think Amazon made it pretty clear in their letter why they suspended you [As stated in our policies, sellers may not list items against detail pages for different products.] Basically,your description was not exact or specific and it seems you were trying to optimize the description for not… Read more »

Joe

Replying to DG

Only an idiot or inexperienced person would state these things. I have received two “does not match listings” on my own products the last 3 months. It happens all of the time. Amazon needs to overhaul their practices.

Cynthia Stine

Replying to DG

DG – it is not a “few” people. It is hundreds and hundreds of third-party sellers all at once. All of us who offer reinstatement services are swamped and working 12-15 days to handle the load of suspended and banned sellers. Amazon takes days to weeks to get back to you on your plan of action because they are overwhelmed.

Christine

Replying to Cynthia Stine

It makes you wonder with all these suspensions and with holding of thousands +? Dollars for a month or more, is this a shady move on Amazons part to gain interest while funds are in their bank accounts. There just seems to be more to it.

linda

I read a lot about this problem…….Why didn’t you create your own listings? Sorry to sound cynical, but you are hopping on other peoples listings and skimming off their hard work getting their ranking up, and you swoop in with your own brand? Clearly a violation, of not being an exact product as the listing, and is stated in Amazon rules. What is the point of having your own brand if you are listing on someone else’s product? Unless I am missing something, Amazon was correct in suspending you. I love the riding shotgun part…..describes our life perfectly. Thanks for… Read more »

James Amazio

Replying to linda

They are my own listings.

linda

Replying to James Amazio

Then you are not being clear enough in your post. If Amazon is sending you :

a review of your account indicates you have listed against detail pages that do not accurately describe your items or are not in accordance with our Condition Guidelines.

says you are listing on already established listings

James Amazio

Replying to linda

The articles clearly stated that these listings were created from scratch with new UPCs and my products are 100% my own brand. You cannot hi-jack a product listing that is your own.

It says it’s established because technically it is established after I created it and sold on it.

KH

Replying to linda

James did an outstanding job clearly explaining his situation in this article. I went through EXACT same thing last month… I, too, received exact same emails, same timeline, and reinstated about a month later. BTW, my account was suspended because a claimed she received a counterfeit product. EVERYTHING I SELL IS AUTHENTIC. I also believe another seller made the claim because I have most ‘buy’ boxes and my volume is fairly large. This experience left me utterly drained that I am now looking for another business that doesn’t require selling on Amazon.

James Amazio

Replying to KH

Wow KH, thanks and exactly! I had to fight so many fake negative reviews and claims, it’s crazy. It very well may have been a third strike type of deal..

Jack Phillips

Replying to linda

It seems like to me this is something more like keyword spamming. Saying that it is similar to product XYZ when it is not that product. “Esteben” got in trouble for saying his guitar picksups were similar to Fishmen, a trademarked item.

James Amazio

Replying to Jack Phillips

Hey, I agree you can get in trouble referencing or using other copyright/trademark/big brand names for sure. In my case, it wasn’t.. I used nothing but my own brand.

Katey

Replying to linda

This is what winds me up so much, I spent so much time and effort listing my thousands of products and other lazy sellers just jump on to my listing.

RRM

In your article you mention: “Amazon suspended one of my accounts”, how many accounts do you have? Do you have permission from Amazon to have multiple accounts?

James Amazio

Replying to RRM

I have two. Yes, I have permission for both.

Karleen

I do have one question. Did Amazon send you any previous warnings about your listings? They say “you have continued to list items which violate our Condition Guidelines and/or our policies regarding product authenticity.” It sounds like they maybe sent you warnings that you ignored? Thank you so much for sharing your ups and downs with FBA. My one and only private label product was doing pretty well until I received an email from someone saying they had a patent on the product and asked me to stop selling it. It may or may not have been legit, but I… Read more »

James Amazio

Replying to Karleen

Thanks.. honestly Amazon can kick you off for anything they want to. It’s their playground. Enjoy the ride while it’s hot and while you can but don’t depend on the income solely for putting food in front of your children.

Yes, they sent me warnings before. Not for the same thing, but after awhile; I think a warning in general falls in the same bucket as a number total instead of a specific issue.

Jack Phillips

James, I truly appreciate the information, it really seems that there is something missing here. If you were doing as much business as you say you were, and were working to get your listings back up or sell on Amazon again, I would have pursued it continuously to figure out what I did wrong and not just let it go. You want to avoid the same mistakes again. You just let it go? Are you sure you didn’t use something that referenced another product? Say if you were listing a guitar under your brand name and used Strat Style (or… Read more »

James Amazio

Replying to Jack Phillips

Thanks Jack! Yeah; I wish I could of done that. At that point, after all that back and forth.. cash flow is king here. It would of been months before and IF things even resolved. In months; I could create and sell more products, better value of time imo.

James Amazio

Replying to James Amazio

Forgot to answer your other questions.. if I knew what I did wrong then I could help show how to avoid lol but I don’t. None of the listings ever referenced any other product.

Dave

Replying to Jack Phillips

Part of the problem, is Amazon has scaled their business to the point that they really have not got the time or personnel to “finesse” problem solving, just based on the sheer volume of sellers, daily new listings, and the “disreputable” sellers who cheat and talk smack to Amazon about competitors. Amazon’s SOLE purpose, is to protect their buying customers. They DESPERATELY need to have a “time selling/seller performance” algorithm, that gives more consideration to folks who have proven they are trying to do right by the customers. If they can manage to provide pre-approved loans based on sales figures… Read more »

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