So far 2020 and 2021 have been an incredibly unpredictable and chaotic year for the entire world (including Amazon.com world that was and is continuously beaten down with various seller account suspensions). From threats of World War III to the horrible fires in Australia to the global pandemic that stopped the world – it has been one heck of a year. It was the year that set in motion what is known these days as ‘the new normal’ and at the center of this new normal was (and still is) the internet. As the pandemic went ahead, full throttle, almost everything that used to be our reality had to make a shift from the real world to online. Schooling was done online. Work was done from home via the internet. Examinations and job interviews were conducted online as well. Even marriage ceremonies were conducted online on zoom! It didn’t take long for people to adapt to the fact that everything was moving online and as a result, Amazon saw a surge in people making their very own individual seller accounts. Amazon itself reported its sales had increased during the coronavirus pandemic.
Amazon Seller Account Suspension vs. Ban vs. Seller Application Denial
If you are one of the many sellers on Amazon, you probably know of the dark cloud that looms over your (and overall the sellers on Amazon) head – the dreaded suspension. For a lot of people, selling on Amazon has become the way they earn their bread and butter, and suspension of seller accounts can be a devastating reality for many people out there. Sadly, that does not stop many honest third-party sellers on Amazon from getting their accounts suspended, denied, or banned by Amazon. If you are part of this unfortunate community and have been stressing about how to retrieve your account again, we got you. You may stop worrying and just do what we say!
Before we get into the technical particularities of the matter, it is essential that we make the distinction between and understand the differences between suspension of a seller account, banning of a seller account, and a seller account being denied.
- A suspension of your Amazon seller account means that there is still hope – you do get your shot at an appeal! Here is where you will need to put work into an action plan. If your appeal gets rejected, then your Amazon seller account is categorized as denied. But don’t worry if your account is denied – you can submit a revised action plan and restore your seller account. There is hope!
- However, the worst of the three is when your account gets banned. This happens when your appeals and action plans have been rejected more than one time and now Amazon won’t even bother reading your emails. And if you’re wondering that as a backup, you can always open another Amazon seller’s account – we will have to stop you right there. Amazon will inform you that it is against company terms and conditions (the same lengthy terms and conditions nobody probably reads and signs up anyway) for you to open another Amazon seller account. However, as always — there are exceptions and you actually CAN HAVE MULTIPLE Amazon seller accounts and successfully sell on them (contact us for pricing). You’d be surprised that literally tens of thousands of sellers actually own more than 1 account, some 10, some serious people even 100s.
- 3rd one is the Seller Application Denied. This one happens quite often, especially in 2021. It seems like everything is okay, you go through all of the Amazon Seller Application processes, submit all data, send them your ID, bank statements, etc. just to find out a day later that your application was denied. Unfortunately, when this happens — you can no longer apply selling on Amazon with the same name. It’s a very pitiful situation, but there are options. You can always buy a new amazon account.
Why Do Amazon Seller Accounts Get Banned/Suspended In the First Place?
There could be a multitude of reasons why Amazon decides to suspend or ban your account. In a nutshell, they do it when the owner of the account deviates from company policy or terms and conditions. However primarily, the reasons fall mainly into three categories:
- Performance issues. Amazon is quite literally the symbol of modern-day capitalism – its owner Jeff Bezos is the richest man alive and the world saw his net worth take a boost amidst the pandemic. The company continues to make a crazy profit and Bezos keeps on getting richer and richer. If Amazon feels that your performance has not been up to the mark, it may not always be very lenient and accommodating. Amazon is at the top of the market and is constantly fending off competition. They can not afford anyone performing below what is expected of them because they have to earn more and more and more.
- Violation of Amazon’s policy. We know that the terms and conditions that appear on your browser right as you’re signing up for your account can seem very long and tedious and almost everyone never bothers to read them and agrees to them before confirming their account details. But since your personal seller’s account is on Amazon’s website, you have to play by their rules. There can be a plethora of ways that their company policies can be breached. Inappropriate behavior with customers or harassing on social forums are a few examples from a very rich pool. Amazon’s Code of Conduct for sellers clearly outlines certain expectations including the fact that sellers are expected to provide accurate information to Amazon and to its customers, they are to act fairly and not misuse Amazon’s features or services, they are expected not to attempt to damage or abuse another seller or their listing or ratings and they are clearly not allowed to influence customer feedback, ratings, and reviews.
- Selling of restricted products.
You can find out why Amazon has decided to suspend or ban your account by checking your Performance Notifications within Seller Central. The suspended seller will also receive a notification saying “Your Amazon.com selling privileges have been removed.“
How Do I Retrieve and Reactivate My Suspended Amazon Seller Account?
Let’s cut to the chase. If Amazon has suspended your account despite your best and honest efforts to prevent a suspension, you will have to conduct a very detailed review of your account and its information and especially be on the lookout for any previous policy warnings or notifications. You must thoroughly read through the reasons why Amazon has suspended your seller’s account and make a formal appeal.
How to Write a Good Appeal Letter?
In your appeal letter:
- You must identify the reasons why your account has been suspended.
- You must also take full responsibility for your actions and acknowledge any harms that have come as a consequence of them (especially if the harms have been to a customer) — this is very important to take full responsibility.
- You must lay out a well-written plan on how you intend to fix the situation
- You also have to write a plan on how you can guarantee that the same or similar situation will never happen again
We can not stress this enough! A majority of people will not accept their mistakes and instead take on a very arrogant stance – that will help nobody! Accepting your mistakes is the first step to forgiveness and account retrieval.
You must also ensure that Amazon knows this (whatever this is) won’t happen again and that you feel privileged and honored to be on their platform selling. Your appeal should be a reflection of the fact that you truly hold customer satisfaction in the highest regard. Lastly, make sure you are not critical of Amazon’s quality process. Remember it is their company and their platform. You play by their rules. Even if they’re wrong, they are still the ones that get to set the terms. You cannot complain, whine, or criticize them.
Be sure that your appeal has identified the reasons why issues took place and clearly outline how you intend to address those issues in the future. Remember to be as specific as you can be – these issues will be unique to your Amazon account and your measures to correct them have to be equally unique as well.
Once you are ready to submit your appeal and plan of action, go to the Performance Notifications section within Amazon Seller Central and find your notice of suspension and then click on the ‘Appeal’ button. Then submit your appeal and action plan. And wait!
Of course, the appeal process might be lengthy and not always smooth, you should be prepared for that.
If however, you don’t have time to wait or your account is completely ruined — you can always buy a new amazon seller account (even if they tell that you can’t).