We imagine getting your Amazon seller account suspended isn’t something at the top of your to-do list. However, this is happening more than you think. Often due to your casual or accidental actions.
This article will be showing you how to avoid getting your seller accounts suspended on Amazon.
What does it mean to be suspended on Amazon?
This is caused by an internal investigation conducted by the Amazon team. Your account will become suspended if your store is not reliable. The only way to get your account back to normal and resume seller privileges is by contacting the support team.
Amazon can suspend your account for the following reasons:
- Too many customer complaints - this could be from a series of negative reviews on products or criticism directly to Amazon.
- Poor delivery record - this could be from multiple late or slow shipments.
- Not responding to customers - having a bad relationship with buyers can give you a bad reputation.
- And many other...
These can be caused by a variety of problems. This article will cover each of the top 3 reasons for suspending your account.
Relationship with customers
Amazon’s number one priority is making as much money as it can. One of the ways it makes sure this happens is by having happy and satisfied customers. Why would people shop at Amazon if it had negative reviews?
Amazon wants to keep all its customers happy so they can return and buy again. Any negative experiences your store has with customers reflects poorly on Amazon as brand.
You need to have great customer service in order to avoid account suspension.
Experience shows that often Amazon keeps silent on any potential issue that can hurt your seller account. Hence we suggest using preventive alerts which reveal treats.
Make sure you regularly check messages that customers leave you and reply to them promptly. If you can’t do this too often, find someone who can. The better your response to customer queries, the better reputation you will build. A good reputation creates authority meaning more likely you will get more traffic to your store and ultimately more sales.
If buyers identify a problem they will let you know, but remember, communication goes both ways. If you can spot that something is not right in the sale process, be sure to let the customer know as soon as possible. It’s better to be proactive in this case than reactive. If you communicate with customers quickly, it decreases the chance of them having complaints and actually boosts chances of a good review.
The more you can tell a customer and be transparent, the better the relationship becomes.
On the topic of feedback, it all needs to be legitimate. Amazon has put measures in place to ban accounts that have incentivised buyers to leave a positive review in exchange for promotional benefits such as discounts or free products.
If your store gets caught operating these practises, your account will get suspended. Considering Amazon has taken specific steps to stop nonorganic feedback, it may be difficult to get it back once banned.
The condition of each product must be described as best as possible. Advertising a product as brand new when it is clearly second hand will not be good for your brand and will ultimately lead to poor reviews and negative reviews.
There 6 different ways that a product’s quality can be described when listing it for sale:
These products should be sealed and in their original packaging. Products that are new will be available for sale at higher prices but then come with the highest quality expectation. New products must be clean, untampered and come with a full warranty.
Used - like new
This is a second hand product that has not been opened. The original packaging is still in place but the initial outer shipping packaging may have been removed. There will be little to no marks on the packaging and show no evidence of removing the product from its containment.
Used - very good
These products have been used by the original purchaser but little enough to remain in great condition. Again, the products must not be damaged in any way but where this differs to being ‘like new’ is that there may be some signs of usage; enough to make a purchaser know that the product was last touched by someone other than the manufacturer.
An item that has been refurbished has been cleaned or repaired to bring it back to its original state. Refurbished products do not have to be in their original packaging but must still have a warranty intact.
Used - good
Good items show identifying marks that show regular use from first buyer but even still, is in great condition and works as fully expected.
Used - acceptable
These products clearly show that they have been used by the original purchaser. There are obvious signs of wear and tear.
Failing to comply with these specifications when listing a product will result in very poor reviews and will end up getting your Amazon account suspended.
The tip here, clearly, is to be honest with your listings and describe them exactly how they are. Don’t lie just to try and get that extra sale.
Amazon also have regulations that prevent prohibited items from being sold. Stores that sell restricted items will get banned. Products are considered prohibited for sale of they are broken, missing parts that are integral to its function, passed its expiry date or breaches Amazon’s terms of service.
We think it’s pretty obvious what to do here… do not sell prohibited products in your store or you will get suspended.
A final point on product quality: Amazon doesn't like when orders are cancelled before products are delivered. They take it as a sign that the customer must have found something wrong with the product or the seller.
The more that orders are cancelled before being fulfilled increases the suggestion that you are not a reputable seller.
To combat this, make sure that the products you sell are inspected before they go out for delivery to show to a customer you take care of all your deliveries before they are in the customer’s hands.
Correct product prices
This is a big deal. Remember how we said earlier that Amazon wants customers to create the best shopping experience so it can make as much money as possible? Well, this plays a large role in that quest.
Listing your product at the appropriate price is key to avoid account suspension.
The greater the difference in price between you and your competitors, the less likely you will sell the product. mazon will notice this and decide that something must be wrong with the listing and will therefore ban your account.
The solution to this is simple: change your prices if they are considerably different to your competitors. Do some market research and find out what they are listing prices at to keep at a consistent level.
There is obviously nothing wrong with trying to undercut your competitors or charge that extra bit more for a better margin. However, the larger the price range, the more likely Amazon will remove your listing from search results.
Maintain high delivery standards
Amazon has a time window where it expects you to ship the product to the customer.
Late shipping is something that Amazon does not tolerate (setup automatic alerts on orders with upcoming shipping deadline). You will get your account suspended if you maintain poor delivery rates.
One method to make sure that your delivery rates are as high as possible is by extending the shipping window. For example, increasing the shipping rate from 2 days to 4 days gives you a bit extra freedom to get the product sent off in time. This is particularly effective during the busiest periods of the year.
Another benefit of having a longer described shipping window is that if you advertise as shipping within 4 days but actually send it to the customer the next day, the chances of getting a good review increase dramatically. But this is a short-term tactic to try to increase a review rates organically.
The better your reviews, the better your listing ranks and you become a more trusted seller.
There may also be times where even though you may ship within the described window, customers may not be entirely happy. They may expect it to be shipped the same day and end up leaving a negative review.
Just because this happens does not mean you did something wrong, and you can appeal this review with Amazon (we have a separate article that deals with appealing reviews which you should check out).
Amazon are always updating their policies and procedures to satisfy their customers. If you fail to comply, your account can get suspended and can be difficult to get back.
These tips should ensure that you remain a profitable business on Amazon and stay well away from being shut down for good.