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How To Handle Suspended Amazon Seller Accounts


Amazon is committed to giving its customers an excellent shopping experience as it wants people to always visit the marketplace for all their shopping needs. When quality is a top priority, it is natural to enforce specific precautions to guarantee everything is in order. 

Amazon invests a significant amount in risk management since about 56% of the sales on the marketplace are by third-party sellers. Each year Amazon suspends numerous seller accounts for several reasons to ensure quality is not compromised.

This article outlines the primary reasons for Amazon seller account suspension, steps to take if suspended, how to appeal and get reinstated, and how to avoid a suspension.

Table of Contents
Reasons why Amazon suspends seller accounts
Tips for avoiding seller account suspension
Steps to take after Amazon seller account suspension
How to write an effective suspension appeal
Wrapping up

Reasons why Amazon suspends seller accounts

Woman staring at a phone screen while holding a pen

Unsatisfactory seller performance

Sellers must always maintain top-notch performance, whether new to the marketplace or already established.

However, sellers will show unsatisfactory performance if they showcase the following actions:

  • Respond slowly to inquiries
  • Send abrupt rude messages
  • Regularly ship orders late
  • Stay completely silent, especially with reviews
  • Experience too many order cancellations 

Amazon effortlessly spots such underperforming brands. If a seller account’s performance is subpar, a suspension may be inevitable.

Policy violations

Violating Amazon’s code of conduct is another reason for seller account suspension. Generally, Amazon’s set of policies is straightforward but may seem complicated to sellers unfamiliar with them. The following are some noteworthy policies to be aware of:

  • Do not sell goods owned by another company or use their trademark, logo, or other pertinent materials on their listing to drive sales without prior authorization.
  • Have only one seller account unless there is a compelling justification for more.
  • Interactions can only be conducted on the marketplace.
  • Incentives for reviews are strictly forbidden, whether deep discounts, rebates, free products, or any form.
  • Selling substandard, counterfeit goods attracts investigation and eventual suspension of the seller’s account.
  • Customers and Amazon’s quality control unit will not take kindly to any significant flaws in the product, regardless of whether they have to do with functionality or design.
  • The Amazon marketplace forbids the sale of several items, labeling some categories as restricted. As a result, sellers must obtain Amazon’s approval to sell such products before listing them.

Sellers who violate Amazon’s code of conduct will face severe repercussions like an account suspension.

Tips for avoiding seller account suspension

People working on a seller account’s layout

Maintain seller metrics

Metrics are essential indicators that link the success of brands’ accounts to the overall experience of their customers. For sellers, the dashboard in Amazon Seller Central is an excellent resource for understanding the status of their accounts. Paying close attention to the ratings ensures consistent satisfaction of the requirements for an Amazon seller account, such as the following:

  • Negative comments below 5%
  • Order defect rate below 1%
  • Pre-fulfillment cancellation rate below 2.5%
  • Late shipments below 4%

Sellers must take immediate action if ratings decline. Maintaining close watch over these metrics will help prevent account suspension and draw in more customers.

Do not use multiple accounts

Generally, sellers can only manage one selling account on Amazon. Attempting to create multiple accounts runs the risk of Amazon catching on and banning all the seller’s accounts, including the primary one. However, sellers can request prior authorization in writing from Amazon for more than one seller account.

A new seller account should also not be opened immediately after an account suspension. Sellers usually attempt to resume sales as soon as possible by creating new accounts. However, doing this prevents the old account from being restored, and it causes the suspension of the new account as soon as Amazon becomes aware of it.

Keep up with Amazon’s policies

The key is to adhere to Amazon’s policies, rules, and guidelines. These cover everything from ratings to the ban on paid positive product reviews to drop-shipping. Companies must know all these policies and follow them strictly to avoid having their Amazon accounts suspended. On top of this, Amazon regularly updates its policies, and sellers must stay informed of the updates.

Here are a few tips for staying up-to-date on Amazon’s policies:

  • Read the Amazon Seller Central Help Center: The Amazon Seller Central Help Center provides comprehensive information on Amazon’s policies. It includes articles, FAQs, and videos on various topics relating to product listing, pricing, and shipping.
  • Sign up for Amazon Seller Central notifications: Amazon Seller Central sends out regular email notifications about changes to its policies. It’s a great way to stay informed about the latest changes and avoid violating any policies accidentally.
  • Join an Amazon Seller Community: Amazon sellers have various online communities, providing a great resource for information on policies.

Authenticate all products

Businesses must authenticate all products, ensuring what they send out for delivery is exactly as advertised.

Here are some tips to help businesses authenticate all products before selling:

  • Check the product packaging, ensuring it shows all the necessary information like product name, brand, and model number.
  • Ensure the authenticity seal is intact, showing that no one has tampered with the product.
  • Inspect the serial number, ensuring it’s unique to that product to avoid coming off as fake.
  • Examine the product’s quality, ensuring it meets the standards before shipping.

Avoid paid reviews

Paid reviews are strictly forbidden. Sellers must never compensate for positive Amazon reviews or request positive reviews from friends, family, or co-workers. Neither should they grant discounts or giveaways in exchange for favorable reviews.

Amazon’s policies and procedures ensure that customer reviews and testimonials in the marketplace are sincere and truthful. Severe actions will be taken against sellers that try to manipulate reviews. To avoid this, adhere to the legal methods of obtaining Amazon reviews.

Don’t engage in foul practices

Avoiding foul practices will help businesses avoid suspension from Amazon, fines, and other legal actions. Some of the most common ones to avoid include:

  • Using deceptive pricing
  • Manipulating search results
  • Selling prohibited products

Steps to take after Amazon seller account suspension

Seller on a call while using her laptop

Suspensions can vary in complexity. For instance, after the seller submits a concise and clear Plan of Action, accounts suspended for late shipment or invalid tracking can be restored within hours or days. Suspensions for falsified or altered documents, counterfeiting, or transgressions of Amazon’s Code of Conduct are at the other end of the spectrum. These cases can take months to complete and frequently fail.

When Amazon suspends a seller, they give a justification for the suspension and ask for a plan of action. Only the suspended seller account is informed of what the Plan of Action must contain. Sellers must immediately initiate a communication process with Amazon in the incidence of an account suspension.

Here are the next steps to take after an Amazon seller account suspension:

  1. Consider the primary justification for the suspension carefully, as stated in the notice.
  2. Recognize which policy was broken and how based on Amazon’s claims.
  3. Lay out a precise Plan of Action to earn Amazon’s trust that corrective actions will be taken.
  4. Demonstrate to them that care will be taken to prevent the recurrence of the same mistakes or violations.
  5. Always conduct interactions with patience and professionalism.

How to write an effective suspension appeal

Seller writing a suspension appeal

Unfortunately, there’s no tried-and-true method for writing an appeal to resolve suspension issues. Usually, it depends on the unique problem, causing each appeal to vary.

However, suspended sellers can keep a few general points in mind to help craft their appeal in a favorable light. Here are some of them:

  • Be specific and concise: Sellers shouldn’t write only to impress Amazon. They must provide specific action points and keep them as detailed as possible. Stating clear steps will help fasten the process for account reinstatement.
  • Be brief: While the action points should have enough details, they shouldn’t be lengthy. Aim at sticking to less than a paragraph for each point (maximum of two paragraphs).
  • Avoid being emotional: Don’t make the appeal a heartfelt apology. Sellers don’t need to get emotional with Amazon to reinstate their privileges. All they need is to keep their points logical and objective.
  • Avoid defensive statements: A seller’s appeal shouldn’t be about how the suspension is unfair or try explaining why they’re innocent. Instead, it should identify the issue and accept the problem.

Amazon suspension appeal template

Here’s a template for sellers to help frame the identified issues and action points.

Dear Amazon Seller Performance Team,

I appreciate the chance you have given me to appeal my suspension from selling on Amazon. Below, I have outlined my Plan of Action to address the [state the issue identified in your suspension notice].

A) The issues in my [late shipment and invalid tracking]

[identified issue][identified issue][etc.]

B) The measures I have taken to fix the problem

[action step][action step][etc.]

Thank you for taking the time to consider my appeal. I am eagerly awaiting your response.

Best Regards,

[insert seller name]

Note: This template only serves as a reference point. Hence, sellers shouldn’t use it as a definitive format.

Remember that the Plan of Action must be brief and include responses to Amazon’s inquiries. Here are some other tips to remember:

  • The root cause analysis must acknowledge fault and adequately detail why the seller was suspended.
  • The seller must substantiate that it has made amends in the remediation section.
  • The preventative strategy must show how the underlying problems won’t reoccur.
  • Amazon has high standards and will only accept a well-crafted Plan of Action that addresses its specific data-driven concerns.

Wrapping up

Suspension can cost thousands of dollars in lost sales, employee wages, wasted storage costs, and supplier fees, in addition to giving sellers headaches. Whatever the cause of an Amazon account suspension, the seller’s reinstatement and return to business are top priorities.

However, preventing suspensions in the first place saves time, hassle, and money. Brands can remain secure if they play by the rules, maintain stellar selling performance, use single accounts, and avoid illegal practices like paying for reviews.

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