Listing products on the Amazon marketplace can be a lucrative endeavor for both independent sellers and small business owners. Things can quickly go awry, though, if your account gets suspended.
While it can be tempting to try and take immediate action, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind.
Not sure where to start? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about what not to do after an Amazon suspension.
1. Don’t Start a New Account
One of the worst ways to handle a suspension is to immediately open a new Amazon account.
While some people may do so as a result of not knowing their other options, others do so out of spite. They may even go as far as to use a different name, address, and bank account information.
Amazon is notably proactive about linking multiple accounts that are owned by the same or related sellers. So, there’s little chance that your second account will go undiscovered.
Afterward, the suspension process becomes even more complicated and you have a lesser chance of resolving your first account’s suspension.
2. Don’t Immediately Appeal
Once you receive the dreaded account suspension notice from Amazon, do not immediately appeal based on emotion. Take some time and approach the matter void of emotions.
This means that it’s imperative you gather as much information as possible before you draft your Plan of Action or Appeal. This means considering things like:
- The issue declared by Amazon;
- Investigating the intellectual property rights and the complainant (if applicable);
- Your own evidence that the issue did not occur as described (if applicable);
- Provide a plan to prevent recurrence of/rectify the issue; and
- Any other relevant info that defends your case
While there’s no guarantee that an appeal will definitively reinstate the account, it’s crucial to make your initial appeal count.
3. Don’t Threaten to Sue
Threatening a lawsuit against Amazon will not remedy your situation; also, according to Amazon’s Business Solutions Agreement you can seek arbitration or take Amazon to small claims court – neither are suggested initial steps in getting your Amazon account reinstated.
While Arbitration and SynArbTM can be effective escalation strategies for your account suspension, it is never recommended as a first step.
4. Don’t Modify Invoices
Sometimes, sellers who have had their accounts suspended decide to go back through their invoices and modify the information. This is especially true if a seller has been caught getting the products or materials in their inventory from unauthorized sources.
Although it may seem a good idea at the time to make your invoices look up to standard, it will significantly hurt your chances of ever getting your account reinstated.
Even editing minor information can result in a whole separate investigation into your account that could take months to resolve.
5. Be Courteous
Getting your account suspended can be a stressful incident. This is particularly true if Amazon sales are one of your primary sources of income.
But, you can’t let this high level of stress impact your reaction.
Sending a strongly-worded message (especially one with explicit language) may result in the Seller Performance department refusing to respond to further contact. Additionally, you may never hear back about an appeal you’ve already sent or will send in the future.
Before you contact anyone, take a moment to cool off to ensure that your communication is levelheaded.
6. Don’t Contact Seller Support
Despite the name, Seller Support isn’t the department that’s able to resolve your account suspension issue. As previously mentioned, Seller Performance is the department you’ll need to get in touch with.
To add to the confusion, suspension notices may sometimes tell the recipient to contact the Seller Support department if they have any questions. But, this will only lead them to solutions for generic customer support issues.
To avoid wasting time and becoming even more stressed, thoughtfully draft a Plan of Action or Appeal to submit to Seller Performance. It’s better to spend an extra day gathering all the information to present a strong case to Amazon rather than submitting a mediocre response based on urgency.
7. After Appealing, Be Patient
Since so many accounts are suspended and subsequently appealed on a daily basis, you can’t realistically expect to hear back within 24 hours. You may also never receive a confirmation that your appeal has been received by Seller Performance.
While it can be tempting to follow up after sending your appeal by sending another one, this will only serve to delay the time it takes for them to handle your situation.
For example, Seller Performance often only replies once they have reviewed all information regarding your suspension and account. If there are three total appeals submitted by you and they’ve only looked at one so far, it could be weeks or months before they review the remaining appeals, and respond to you.
In some instances, an escalation may be required; however, escalations should be done methodically and strategically.
8. Don’t Blame Your Buyers (Or Amazon)
Since Amazon’s stellar customer service policies are very buyer-centric, it’s unlikely that blaming a buyer (or specific group of buyers) for your suspension will benefit you.
Similarly, since Amazon assumes that all sellers are familiar with the company’s policies on using their marketplace to sell goods, the blame can’t fall an Amazon, either. Attempting to deflect the blame (especially to a blameless party) will only serve to make your suspension appeal less persuasiveness.
So, if you say anything at all regarding the mistake, acknowledge your fault and declare how you’re going to prevent it in the future.
Handling an Amazon Suspension Can Seem Difficult
But it doesn’t have to be.
With the above information about Amazon suspension in mind, you’ll be well on your way to taking the appropriate steps to get back on track.
Want to learn more about when you should hire an attorney who specializes in Amazon conflicts? This article has plenty of useful info.