Why is My Amazon Seller Account Suspended?
With over $100 billion in expected annual sales and over 244 million customers, it is not new news that Amazon is the E-commerce king. It has built-in trust, buyers’ payment information is already saved and Amazon Prime members get free 2-day shipping. Amazon can’t be beaten when it comes to an eCommerce platform to sell on.
With millions of transactions occurring daily, an increasing number of Amazon accounts are being hit with Amazon seller account suspension.
Now you may be thinking, I’m not doing anything wrong; my product is good quality and my company is honest. Every day hundreds of honest third-party sellers get suspended, denied or even banned from Amazon.
So what does this mean?
If your Amazon Seller account is suspended, you still have the chance to appeal. This means you can take action with Amazon to get your seller account reinstated.
If you are denied, this means that your appeal for suspension was rejected. This does not mean that you are completely out of luck. You can attempt to change your course of action and submit your revised plan to Amazon.
The worst case scenario is that your Amazon Seller account gets banned. This means that your multiple appeals were rejected, and Amazon will no longer work with you to get your account reinstated.
There are three main reasons why Amazon will suspend a seller account:
- Poor Seller Performance
- Seller Policy Violation
- Selling Restricted Products
Poor Seller Performance
Amazon sees maintaining the trust of their millions of buyers as a top priority. Because of this, Amazon has established performance targets for sellers to enforce their high standards. These targets are based on order defect rate, pre-fulfillment cancel rate, and late shipment rate.
Order defect rate (ODR) is the percentage of your orders that have received negative feedback, an A-to-Z Guarantee claim, or a service credit card charge back.
Pre-fulfillment cancel rate is the number of orders canceled by a seller prior to shipment confirmation divided by the total number of orders.
Late shipment rate is calculated with the number of orders with shipments that are not confirmed by the expected shipping date.
Failure to meet any of these three targets could result in suspension, denial or banning of your seller account. Read more information on Amazon’s seller performance metrics.
Seller Policy Violation
As a seller on Amazon, you have agreed to the policies and agreements that Amazon establishes. Ideally, you have read through and understand all of them. Where it gets tricky is that as Amazon grows and changes, so does its policies.
Because of these constant policy updates, it is extremely important for you to regularly revisit them. You should always be auditing your product information to make sure it complies with Amazon’s most recent policies.
If you are utilizing Amazon FBA, regularly check out their news and updates section for new policy changes, fee adjustments and more.
Selling Restricted Products
Some categories on Amazon are restricted and some require pre-approval, in addition, product types that fall under an allowed category can also be restricted.
These restrictions are in place to ensure that all products align with Amazon’s ideals and high quality for product information and inventory.
Before selling on Amazon, you should be aware of these Amazon product restrictions. Just because you see another vendor selling an item or because you don’t see any reason why an item should be restricted does not mean you are able to sell it on Amazon.
Amazon’s policies are not always obvious or logical, and even trickier, they are always changing.
One day you could be selling hundreds of approved supplements, and the next an ingredient in one of your supplements could be newly restricted resulting in a suspension or ban of your seller account.
This is why is it imperative to regularly check Amazon notifications and work with them to rectify any issues immediately as well as proactively monitor any changes in these restrictions and regulations.
Categories that you will want to be especially diligent with checking are medical devices, jewelry, and health supplements, as these tend to be monitored more regularly by Amazon.
So how do I know if my Amazon account has been suspended?
You can check this through your Performance Notifications within Seller Central. Here, you will have a notification telling you that your selling privileges have been removed and a reason as to why.
Through this section, you can also appeal your suspension. When doing so, make sure you have a recovery plan with tangible steps outlined as to how you are going to fix the violation as well as how you will proactively prevent this from happening in the future.
As well as appealing your suspension, you can email Amazon Seller Support. Do this with caution and be brief, polite and apologetic.
In this email, you should formally outline your plan of action and request for your account to be reinstated assuring them that you will never repeat this violation. This is not a guaranteed solution to get your account reinstated, but many sellers have had success taking this approach.
At the end of the day, we have to remember, as sellers, that Amazon does not owe us anything, and that we have to abide by their rules to utilize and benefit from their eCommerce site.
Have you ever heard of the saying “Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket”? Although Amazon has amazing selling potential and opportunity, relying solely on Amazon for your business can be extremely risky.
Working with their guidelines and having the potential for your account being suspended at any moment is a very real concern. Working with Amazon to reinstate your account can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to months and all too often this means a complete stop in stream of income for sellers.
This is why along with utilizing Amazon, having your own eCommerce website to fall back on is important.