Amazon is not infallible. Sometimes mistakes, or overzealous bots, incorrectly suspend Amazon seller accounts. Maybe yours is one?
In this article we are going to take a look at why you might be suspended, how you can try to fix it, and what you should be monitoring so that it doesn’t happen again!
It’s important to know what metrics you need to be on top of so you don’t get suspended. Every day you are suspended is a day you are not selling!
Why Am I Suspended?
The most common reason for an Amazon account getting suspended is violation of Amazon’s own Terms of Service (ToS) or Amazon’s Seller Code of Conduct (SCC).
Here’s some common ToS and SCC issues
1. Multiple Related Accounts
If Amazon thinks you are running multiple seller account without their permission (and yes, you can ask for permission first!) they will flag your account with a ‘Related Account Suspension’. You need to contact Seller Support for this, because they won’t tell you what the related account is! Even accounts that are not eligible to sell, but are related to yours, might cause this error.
2. Selling Restrict Products
Amazon has a list of products that cannot be sold on the platform. If any of your items are seen as being in violation of this your account will be frozen and a request for more information will be sent to you. Restricted products can include restricted ingredients! Know exactly what is in your product and on the label (especially important in Health and Beauty).
3. Poor Performance
This one is a bit nebulous, but, if you are not selling anything and not logging in and trying to update listings or sending inventory then your account can be flagged.
4. Consistent Late Shipment
A key performance metric for Amazon is when you ship (assuming you are not FBA, though we have heard of times this affects FBA accounts in error). Amazon promises a delivery window when a customer buys. If you are consistently (> 5% of the time) outside of that, you can get flagged.
5. Inappropriate Customer Communication
ToS clearly states what you can and cannot say and do in an email. This is being updated all the time. Luckily, if you send emails via Zonmaster, we are always updating our Compliance Checker to let you know. You can read more about that here.
6. Copyright Violation
The Amazon bot is constantly scanning listings for images or text that violates copyright. If they believe you are in violation of copyright they will flag your account.
7. Not Selling What You Describe
If you are getting frequent customer complaints or returns that site that the product you have sold is not what you described in the listing you can get flagged. Amazon takes this one very seriously!
How Long Will My Amazon Account Be Suspended?
If you do not appeal, then your Amazon Seller account will be suspended permanently. If you appeal it can take 2 to 5 weeks. Also, Amazon will withhold all future payments and may dispose of FBA inventory if too much time passes. This is why it is important that you appeal as soon as possible!
Can’t I Just Open a New Account?
No. If you have been suspended your request to open a new account will never be authorized. You must appeal and get your original account unlocked. There is also evidence to suggest that Amazon considers you trying to open up a new account while the old one is suspended as a red flag, making your chances of a successful appeal even slimmer.
Also, if you do manage to open up a new account by using different identification or other means and it is discovered by Amazon that account will be immediately suspended and both accounts locked for life, and you with no way to open a new one.
How To Appeal an Amazon Seller Account Suspension
There is an appeals process in place in Amazon for account suspensions. You will need to submit a claim to Amazon’s Internal Review Team, update that claim with any requested evidence they may ask for, and wait for a decision. All this can take 2 – 5 weeks, but staying in touch has been proven to keep you in their sights.
Here’s the process in detail:
1. Put Together Your Appeal Claim
As soon as possible after receiving notice of your suspension get together a detailed email to send to the Review Team. In particular, we here at Zonmaster suggest that you address these 3 key factors:
- Why YOU think Amazon suspended you. Amazon will have told you some basic info about your suspension, so if you think they are in error (which presumably you do, otherwise you wouldn’t appeal) give as much detail as possible about how the error could have happened. Be nice about it. It is possible Amazon missed some details.
- Your PLAN to prevent this happening in the future. This can be quite varied, anything from asserting credentials on virtual assistants if they are logging in to clarifying sourcing and shipping, clarifying your business name to ensuring that you use a secure wifi connection with Two Factor Authentication (2FA) when anyone logs into your Seller Central
- Your EVIDENCE that supports what you are saying. Anything is better than nothing. Emails, order receipts, screenshots highlighting points, screen recordings, etc etc. Better to give too much (as long as it is relevant) than too little!
The issue of course is that Amazon is notorious for not giving a lot of detail. So you are a little in the dark sometimes as to why your account has been suspended. But, this is not a court of law and the responsibility is yours to ‘prove your innocence’.
Put all this info together and email it at Amazon Account Health. Amazon Account Health is the layer of Amazon support BEFORE the Internal Review Team. It is a cryptic nightmare trying to find how to contact Amazon, so here is the link for you:
2. Stay in Touch with Amazon Internal Review Team
As we all know, Amazon is not the most pro-active in communicating with you about status updates. This is why it is vital, once you have submitted a claim, you contact Amazon daily (yes, daily) to check on the status of your appeal. Often there will be notes or comments on your case that the customer service rep can tell you about that will let you give them more info.
After several days of that, if you think things have stalled, it is time to try to escalate.
3. Ask to Submit to the Internal Review Team
If you have given enough evidence and been polite in your communications with Account Health, they will most likely be receptive to having your case pushed up to the Internal Review Team. Communicate clearly with your Account Health rep that you think you have the evidence to prove you are legitimate and serious seller. They can then push your claim, with all the notes attached, up to the IRT who will then have the last word.
Please be aware that this process does take time. Be patient, but thorough.
Have a Plan B
All of this back and forth with Account Health may have discouraged you, but, there are things you need to think about.
If you believe that your claim is going to take more than 45 days and you have inventory in Amazon warehouses, you have to arrange shipment of that inventory out of them. Otherwise Amazon may destroy it.
If (when! Let’s be positive!) your account is reinstated all of your listings will be inactive. Log into Seller Central and go to the Listing Status page. You will need to click each listing and make it active.
We hope this info helps you!