One of the most popular topics on Web Retailer is being banned from selling on Amazon. It’s an emotional experience. One seller described his state on the day he found out he was suspended as, “confused, destroyed, anger, sadness, extreme worry”.
Sadly, Amazon account suspensions are very common. Sellers often have misconceptions about suspensions and post incorrect advice on social media and seller forums. It is important to separate the facts from the myths in order to maximize your chances of being reinstated.
In this 2018 roundup we have pulled together articles covering everything you need to know about Amazon suspensions, categorized into the following areas:
- Suspension horror stories
- How to appeal your suspension
- Amazon is getting tougher
- How to protect your business
1. Suspension horror stories
In only eight months, James Fend built a $50,000 per month business selling private label products on Amazon. He lost it overnight, and never found out why. Read his story and find out how he got his account reinstated.
Mike Young is an online seller based in London, England. His business lost all of its Amazon sales, thanks to the black hat tactics of an “online marketing expert” hired by a competitor. It started with a false claim of trademark infringement, then turned into policy warnings, a stream of fake negative reviews, and finally suspension from selling on Amazon.
We all know that Amazon is a competitive marketplace. But some sellers will take things underground and try to shoot down their competitors using a range of dirty tricks. Tactics range from leaving negative reviews on competing products to switching genuine items with counterfeits, then making inauthentic item claims to Amazon.
2. How to appeal your suspension
Chris McCabe, a former Investigation Specialist for Amazon’s Seller Performance team, and founder of ecommerceChris.com, has written several pertinent and practical guides on how to deal with Amazon account suspension.
- Amazon Suspension Plan of Action (POA): Do’s and Don’ts
- How To Use Amazon Suspension Appeal Escalations The Right Way
- False Infringement Claims are Rife on Amazon
Connor Gillivan gives practical advice on how to decipher why you were suspended, how to structure your formal appeal letter and how to escalate your appeal letter to the next level if you aren’t getting a proper response from the Seller Performance team.
3. Amazon is getting tougher
There have been a lot of changes regarding how Amazon suspends accounts, and how they evaluate appeals for reinstatement. One such change is trialing a stricter policy on seller account suspension. The window for appeal and number of appeals can both be severely limited.
Helpful product reviews written by Amazon customers have been at the heart of the Amazon marketplace from the beginning. But some sellers abuse the reviews system to boost their own listings. Amazon has no interest in seeing their well-established product review system falling by the wayside and they’re cracking down on review manipulation.
Amazon are applying a stringent new invoice verification process. This article explains how it works so you can make sure you’ll pass.
4. How to protect your business
Many suspensions can be prevented by following key best practices. In this article, Peter Kearns looks at how businesses can manage and prevent suspensions.
Travis Stockman discusses five causes of suspension sellers are often unaware of, from account hacking to not complying with federal regulations.
In March 2017, Amazon suspension insurance was first introduced to the market. Surprisingly, many sellers have remained on the fence. In this article we explain the whole process, from applying for a policy through to making a claim when you have been suspended.
Under the Monitor & Protect service from Thompson & Holt, Amazon sellers can get protection of up $70,000 if they are suspended due to no fault of their own. This includes account health notifications to help sellers avoid suspension in the first place.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this roundup. What else should we cover on the topic of Amazon account suspension? Let me know in the comments below.