You’re an Amazon seller and you’ve just discovered your account or product has been suspended. You’re not alone. Surprisingly, this happens to nearly every Amazon seller at one point or another. So, what are the reasons for getting your Amazon account suspended?
Amazon is overly dedicated to providing the best possible shopping experience to its customers and will do anything to ensure the integrity of the platform. As Amazon regularly updates its policies, you can imagine how many sellers might fail to read those updates, consequently violating new policies.
As a seller, you come at a distant second to Amazon’s customers. Amazon will not hesitate to suspend or ban sellers’ accounts at the slightest hint of misbehavior. Likely, if you’ve ended up here, you’ve been suspended and want guidance on getting back up and running.
To learn how to get your account reinstated once it gets suspended you need to understand the most common reasons for suspensions.
Want to skip all this amazing information and just know how to get your suspended account reinstated? CLICK HERE – but if you get suspended again in the future, don’t say we didn’t try to warn you!
Stages of suspension
There are generally three stages of suspension depending on the severity of your infraction and the appeal process.
In most suspensions, you can appeal your suspension UNLESS Amazon has decided you’ve violated its policies beyond reprehension.
For example, the price-gouging scandal surrounding some of the essential items at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in immediate suspension without appeal.
Suspension – This is a formal notification that your account or a product listing has been suspended and gives the reasons why. You have the right to appeal and “fix the situation” by submitting an action plan.
Denied – This means that your suspension appeal was denied. You have the option to revise and resend your action plan for further review.
Banned – This notification indicates that Amazon is unwilling to consider your case/appeal further; your action plan has been found unsatisfactory and you just have to accept it.
The fast tracks to suspension:
Selling used items as new
Amazon is particular about product conditions. Wouldn’t you be? The guidelines are clear. Product condition pertains to how much use the item has endured when it is listed for sale.
Properly labeling the condition of your item(s) crucial. Here’s a simple breakdown to help you accurately label the condition of your products:
New – Unused, intact, and in original packaging with an active warranty.
Used/Like New/Open Box – This means the product is in perfect condition with potentially protective wrapping missing.
For example, a new product that might have been taken out of its box, never used, put back in, and returned would fall under this condition.
Used/Very Good – An item that has seen some limited use but is in perfect functioning condition with minimal visible wear.
Used/Good – A fully functioning item that has been used and might be missing accessories or other small parts, like an instruction manual.
Used/Acceptable – A well-used item that is still functioning but may come with obvious signs of wear such as scratches or aesthetic blemishes, chips, etc.
NOTE: Condition suspensions most frequently happen to retail arbitrage sellers. These sellers buy completely new items from outlets and then post them on the platform. They may believe an item is new; however, by Amazon’s standards, it is “Like New” or “Open Box.” A single customer complaint can land a seller in trouble.
Operating multiple seller accounts
This might come as a surprise to many sellers, but you are strictly prohibited from owning more than one seller account UNLESS acquire proper permission from Amazon to do so.
Here’s a good example. You have two or more stand-alone, legitimate businesses, and a real need for more than one account. Amazon requires that you properly explain the circumstances for acquiring every additional account.
Surprise, surprise – Amazon is extremely strict in enforcing this. Check out this case from the seller forum.
This seller’s accounts were suspended when her husband opened a seller account using some of the same information she used for her account. He never even added a listing or had any transactions on his account; he was simply curious about the prospect and was merely considering selling.
QUICK TIPS: To ensure you don’t violate this policy, unintentionally or otherwise, don’t allow any other seller to access their accounts from your network or IP.
If your spouse/partner/family member wants to sell, like in the scenario from the forum seller above, they should use a different bank account, TAX ID, and/or e-mail to create their account.
Intellectual property infringements and product authenticity
As mentioned before, Amazon cares more about the integrity of its platform and customer satisfaction than it does about you as an individual seller.
Amazon expects involved parties to resolve product ownership and intellectual property disputes amongst themselves, such as the use of listing images.
Potential Violations/Complaints of this Policy Leading to Suspension:
•Selling a product without permission
•Use of intellectual property without permission
It is possible, and not uncommon, to be wrongfully accused.
When this happens, you should submit all of the necessary information to Amazon to demonstrate a misunderstanding has occurred. This information will be reviewed and you will be cleared.
Another type of violation involves a customer claiming that the products or items you are selling are not authentic or as advertised.
This is something Amazon takes very seriously.
Unfortunately, this commonly occurs when a customer is unsatisfied with their purchase or has misunderstood the product they’ve ordered.
Dealing with this is extremely frustrating.
TAKE ACTION: To confirm that your items are authentic you must provide invoices. You may also be required to provide a manufacturer’s statement that proves the items you are selling are the exact items in your listing.
However, negligence here could be causing the suspension. For example, you might have several variations of a product, such as this one:
If a customer orders a 64oz bottle but receives a 32oz bottle in the same color/design, Amazon would consider this a legitimate case of “not as advertised.”
There is nothing Amazon takes more seriously than review manipulation.
In recent years, Amazon has cracked down on review manipulation. Even customers have not been spared.
The majority of the top 10,000 reviewers on the platform have been banned from shopping on Amazon after being accused of leaving reviews in exchange for some sort of compensation.
Like it or not, it makes sense. Illegitimate reviews, especially 5-star ones, present a false and biased image of your product.
This leads other customers to think your product is better than it may realistically be. In turn, the platform becomes wholly unreliable from the viewpoint of Amazon.
Amazon wants its shoppers to be able to find exactly what they are looking for, to find it easily, and to be satisfied with their purchase so that they continue using the platform.
The guidelines when it comes to reviews boil down to this:
•You cannot offer a discount or any other type of compensation in exchange for a review
•You cannot ask for a positive review (you can request reviews; however, you cannot “suggest or nudge” the customer make the review positive)
•You cannot “exchange reviews” with different sellers
•Family and friends cannot leave reviews
Violating this policy will land you in a heap of trouble; it is simply not worth it. Here’s a helpful article dedicated to just how reviews work and how you can get them without violating Amazon’s policies.
You can also read our article on the history of reviews and Amazon’s approach to managing them, as well as more details on what you can and can’t get away.
Bad Feedback or Seller Performance
This suspension is mostly caused by poor customer service. These are some of the influencing factors:
•Seller feedback – Needs to be 99% positive
•On-time delivery – Needs to be at 99% – this only affects FMB sellers
•Defect Rate – Needs to be under 1%
There are additional factors related to individual products.
For example, if your return rate is over 10%, Amazon may flag your account for review/suspension.
Product listings can also be suspended for a variety of reasons:
- •Not putting correct information on your listing
- •Using images or language not allowed by the guidelines
- •Not listing your product in its proper category/subcategory
Don’t panic. A suspension notification is not the end of the world. It happens all the time and it isn’t overly difficult to resolve. The vast majority of sellers that get suspended get their accounts reactivated within 5 days.
•Amazon sends out email notifications regarding updates to their policies. Read it! Sellers often get suspended for being unaware of new guidelines or policies.
•Follow Amazon guidelines and ensure that you are not doing anything nefarious.
•Do not to sell other sellers’ products.
•Do not buy reviews or abuse any other part of the platform.
•Keep your seller score high.
•Respond to customer questions.
•If you begin experiencing high rates-of-returns, correct/address them.
•Enforce quality control.
Once you’ve pinpointed the reason your seller account has been suspended, you can appeal Amazon’s decision. CLICK HERE for our blog containing advice on how to reverse getting your Amazon account suspended.