Everything Sellers Need to Know About Amazon Account Reinstatement Appeals 

amazon reinstatement appeal

Every brand wants to build on their current success, but an account suspension and ensuing reinstatement appeal process for Amazon sellers will absolutely slow you down. If you want to capitalize on what they’re already doing right, they need to keep expanding. It’s that simple.

NEWS: “We’ll be talking with brands at our upcoming AMZ NYC Seller Meetup, and a lot of the questions I expect to hear from brands cover how they can make sure they avoid account problems, so that they can focus their efforts on growth. One good way to make sure you don’t spend all your time appealing listing restrictions and ASIN suspensions is to ensure your appeals are solidly built from the get-go.” – Keith Smith, CEO, Payability

That’s why it’s so important to know how to deal with Amazon account problems and reinstatement as an Amazon seller.

One of the biggest impediments to brand and Amazon business growth that we see center around a seller’s inability to appeal Account Health performance notifications effectively. Any lack of advance preparation for a reinstatement appeal means you’ll lose precious time scrambling to throw one together haphazardly. That would likely hurt your odds of success on at least the first appeal or two, and could lead to the unenviable situation where Amazon stops reading them entirely. Put the time in now to be ready for the need to appeal, instead of just hoping you won’t ever have to.

When sellers first contact us for help with an appeal, we ask them this: What is your checklist of action items, prior to writing an appeal? There’s no one set of Best Practices that Amazon promotes to sellers, but any responsible seller must design a comprehensive series of steps to ensure they confront the core issues that led to an account suspension. 

Seller Performance teams are well known these days for ignoring appeals, sometimes not replying to them at all. If your ASIN or account remains suspended post-appeal, it’s time to up your game. 

How to start your Amazon reinstatement appeal

Start by deciding how many cracks at reinstatement you’ll take before you seek help. If you’re dead-set on doing it in-house all the way through to the end, no matter what the outcome is, begin by leveling with yourself. We ask our clients to make sure they have solid answers to each of these questions, before they head too far down the wrong road. 

1. Did you familiarize yourself with the entire appeals process before you decided to write one?

Do you understand how Seller Performance teams review appeals, how they reply (or not) to sellers who appeal, and which other teams you will need to communicate with, if things go wrong? Hint: you cannot call Seller Performance investigation teams directly. Amazon built a barrier there for a reason. 

2. Do you have all related documents that may be required?

This may include supplier invoices and links to their active websites, certificates of analysis for your products, or letters of authorization and proof of authenticity, depending on the type of marketplace seller you are. Amazon loves to send vague denials if the documents expected aren’t 100% what they expect to see, so make sure you devote serious time to organizing this portion of your appeal. 

3. Have you examined all potential causes, including return reasons, direct buyer messages, A-Z claims or negative feedback/ reviews?

Are you assuming the buyers are the problem, and there are no problems on your end?

4. Have you thoroughly researched what suspension appeal resources are ready and available to help you in a pinch, or will you spend a lot of time hastily researching that? 

Do you know how to make changes to an appeal or revise a Plan of Action in order to give the next one a better chance to succeed? Any gridlock with the Seller Performance teams may require escalation knowledge and an ability to break through to higher level management.

Finding yourself unable to answer these big questions may mean that you need to reevaluate your intention to run your own appeals strategy. At the very least you may require professional advice, suggestions, or guidance, even if you stick with the plan to steer the ship yourself. 

Is my appeal ready to send to Amazon? What if my appeal to Amazon is/was denied?

First, get a fresh look at that appeal you’ve sent in, the one getting brushed aside by Amazon. Are the root causes behind the suspension clearly identified? Are you just parroting back to Amazon what happened or giving backstory, not analyzing how and why it happened, or why you didn’t catch it sooner to fix it? Any worthwhile appeal needs to start with a thorough “root cause” analysis, otherwise most of the time the Seller Performance investigators toss it away and move on. 

When presenting your improvements or remedies, are they already completed? Are they convincing, and do they demonstrate an actual solution to the suspension problem? Or will Seller Performance come away thinking you’ll be right back where you started a month or two from now, if they reinstate today? Cast a critical eye on the clarity of the writing and the strength of each bullet point. If you lack adequate details or fail to delineate a better operational strategy, you’re looking at another rejection. Possibly more than one, if you’re unwilling to revamp things after they deny your prior appeals. 

Should I continue my Amazon account reinstatement appeal?

I see a lot of appeals that show evidence of “stop and start” strategies, where sellers change directions frequently and lack a holistic approach. I understand the overpowering desire to take a crack at reinstating a top selling ASIN or to try to push through a Plan of Action for full account reinstatement soon after the suspension event occurs. But by the same token, sellers often keep trying, over and over, whether or not there’s any evidence they actually are making any progress. Before they know it, the show’s over, and they start grasping at straws in desperation. At that point, if they haven’t spoken to me previously, I sometimes hear from them late in the game. But there’s little left to do by then. 

Needless to say, that represents a high risk appeals strategy, unless you’re dealing with a listing you don’t really care much about. Even then, leaving an unresolved mark against your Account Health means you could add in multiple unresolved notifications that would push the entire account into the “at risk” category. You could spend a lot of time fending off threats to your Account Health instead of growing and scaling your business, or even launching new products. No Amazon seller wants that!

We encourage Amazon sellers to do everything possible to avoid wasting a lot of time and money on fruitless appeals that don’t go anywhere. You could be growing your brand by launching new SKUs or even building a new brand to pair with an already successful, established one. On Amazon, the sky’s the limit! But only if you manage to resolve incoming threats quickly, and center efforts on growth. If you need a pair of expert eyes on the appeal, BEFORE it’s sent, contact our team at Ecommerce Chris

To keep your business growing and protect yourself against suspensions and appeals, you’re going to need access to capital. Get Amazon daily payouts from Payability to ensure you get paid right away for your sales and have cash on hand to keep your business going.

Chris McCabe
Chris McCabe, also known as ecommerce Chris, worked for several years on Amazon’s performance and policy enforcement teams and in recent time he's helped compose appeals in the reinstatement of hundreds of sellers. His expertise as an ex-Amazonian positions him to complete successful reinstatement early and often.

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