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Seller’s Guide To Amazon Suspensions

Fri Sep 3, 2021 Amazon Tips

Are You An Amazon Seller? Here’s What You Need to Know About Account Suspensions

Amazon expects its selling partners to meet certain performance metrics targets and comply with all relevant program policies. Failure to do so can lead to the suspension of your account, thereby affecting your livelihood. This guide is intended to familiarize Amazon sellers with common reasons for continued suspension and terms that every Amazon seller should be familiar with to prevent suspension. 

Common Reasons for Continued Suspension

There are multiple reasons why a seller’s account may not be reinstated after suspension, including:

  • Failure to Reply: After receiving the suspension email from Amazon, some sellers do not take the matter seriously enough and either don’t reply at all or fail to reply in a timely manner. This can be a serious mistake as Amazon may permanently ban you as a seller. Therefore, even if the complaint seems harmless enough to you, treat it as a potential threat.
  • Inadequate Reply: A mistake that can be just as troublesome as a failure to reply is submitting an inadequate reply or Plan of Action. Remember, you need to show Amazon that you appreciate the ability to sell on their site and are willing to put in the work necessary to meet their criteria for sellers. 
  • Lengthy Reply: Amazon suspends hundreds of seller accounts per day. When looking at an account that is requesting reinstatement, no one at Amazon wants to read a lengthy plan that contains too much irrelevant content. Instead, the plan needs to hit the key points and not ramble or include information that is not necessary. A wordy appeal only gives an Amazon employee more reason to deny the request for reinstatement without even reading the entire content. 
  • Opening a New Account: Sometimes, sellers think they can be clever and open a second account, thereby circumventing Amazon’s suspension and reinstatement process. But Amazon is well aware of this common practice and they have multiple ways of ascertaining a seller’s attempt to avoid the original enforcement. When Amazon links both accounts together,  the new account will also be suspended for its relationship with the old one and the reinstatement process becomes lengthier and more complicated for the seller at that point. 
  • Handling it on Your Own: A common error made by sellers is assuming that  Amazon’s appeal process is simple and easy so they try to handle the situation without outside assistance. Unfortunately, this rarely ends well for the seller as they do not have the knowledge, skill, or time to resolve the matter to Amazon’s satisfaction.

Customer Metrics: Something Every Amazon Seller Should Understand

Customer metrics are a quality control measure put in place by Amazon to ensure sellers consistently remain in good standing. Knowing these metrics will be extremely helpful to you as you attempt to avoid complaints or seek account reinstatement. The customer metrics are:

  • Policy Violations: Policy violations occur when a seller does not adhere to the Selling Policies and Seller Code of Conduct. Any amount of these types of violations can place selling privileges at risk.
  • Order Defect Rate (ODR): A good customer experience is important to Amazon, and one way they track this is through the ODR. It is determined by tracking orders flagged with negative feedback over a 60-day period.
  • Cancellation Rate: A seller must maintain a cancellation rate of less than 2.5% to stay off Amazon’s suspension radar. It is calculated by using the number of canceled orders compared to the total number of orders placed
  • Late Shipment Rate (LSR): This represents orders ship confirmed after the expected ship date as a percentage of total orders, over both a 10-day or a 30-day period. An LSR above 4% may result in account deactivation.
  • Return Dissatisfaction Rate (RDR): The RDR consists of three key components, late responses, invalid rejections, and negative returns. The seller must retain an RDR under 10%. 
  • Inventory Performance Index (IPI): The IPI gauges how efficiently and productively a seller handles their inventory over time.  
  • Customer Service Dissatisfaction Rate: A Customer Service Dissatisfaction Rate is measured by the number of customers who reach out to a seller and afterward state their issue was not resolved. Sellers should strive to keep this below 25%.
  • Contact Response Time: Contact Response Time is used as a component of many different customer metrics. The best way for a seller to keep this in check is to respond to all inquiries within 24 hours.
  • Valid Tracking Rate (VTR): VTR measures how often a seller uses valid tracking information on the products it ships. Sellers should strive to keep this number above 95%.

Contact an Amazon Suspension Attorney for Sellers

At our firm, we focus our practice on representing online sellers, which results in our being at the top of our field. Contact us to schedule a free 30-minute consultation to find out how we can help your business reach its full potential.