Suspended from Selling on Amazon? Here’s What to Do Next
It’s a message that all Amazon sellers dread reading: “Your Amazon.com selling privileges have been removed…you may no longer sell on Amazon.com. We’ve removed your listings from our site.”
How will I pay my bills? What if my account is never reinstated? If your Amazon Seller account has been suspended, you’ve probably spent more than a few hours pondering these questions and searching for solutions.
Appeal the Removal of Your Selling Privileges
Fortunately, Amazon has an appeal process and with the right approach, your account may be reinstated quickly enough to avoid major profit losses.
There are four main steps to the Amazon appeal process:
- Find out the reason for your Amazon suspension;
- Create a plan of action that outlines the changes you’ve made to prevent the issue from happening again;
- Incorporate your plan of action into an appeal letter that addresses the specific issues mentioned in the original suspension email; and
- Submit your appeal to Amazon by contacting seller performance at email@example.com
The most crucial step of the appeal process is creating a plan of action that outlines the specific changes you’ve made that will prevent the issue from happening again. The importance of being detailed and taking responsibility for your actions cannot be overstated. It is critical that you are meticulous when creating your appeal letter, and that you are courteous and professional in all correspondence you have with Amazon.
Let’s take a closer look at the four steps you should take to appeal your suspension from Amazon:
1: Find out the Reason for Your Seller Suspension
You may feel like your livelihood and job security are in jeopardy after you’ve just learned that your Amazon Seller account has been suspended. Your instinct might be to respond immediately to get your account reinstated as quickly as possible—but don’t act on impulse. The last thing you want is for your appeal to be denied, and that’s exactly what will happen if you do not thoroughly address the specific reasons why you were suspended in the first place.
There are many reasons why an Amazon Seller account might be suspended. Common examples include customer service complaints, policy violations, and frequent order issues. Understanding why you were suspended is the first step in getting your account reinstated. You should be able to find that information in the suspension notification that you received from Amazon.
Important Note: If your seller account has been suspended, all of your funds from sales will be held for a minimum of 90 days. Amazon will release your funds when you are notified that the suspension has been lifted, unless you are permanently suspended.
2: Create a Plan of Action That Outlines the Changes You’ve Made to Prevent the Issue from Happening Again
Now that you know the reason for your suspension from Amazon, it’s time to resolve the issue and create a plan of action to prevent similar problems from happening in the future.
Your plan should be equal parts detailed, concise, and actionable. Here are four tips that will give your appeal a fighting chance at approval:
- Be Professional: Your plan of action is not an opportunity to complain or to express your frustration. You should hold yourself entirely accountable for the problem that caused your suspension. Be concise, use proper grammar, and structure your plan of action so the reviewer can easily extract its main points: the underlying cause of the problem, the improvements you’ve made, and how you will ensure that the issue will not happen again in the future.
- Discuss the Underlying Cause of the Issue: Identifying the reason for your Amazon suspension is only half the equation; you also have to investigate the flaws or weaknesses of your internal processes that led to your suspension. Do you wait too long to ship your goods? Did you have a high order defect rate? Are your products inauthentic or counterfeit? Are you using unreliable suppliers? The Amazon reviewer will want to know that you have corrected the underlying cause of your suspension.
- Identify Specific Improvements: This is the most important section of your plan. Outline the steps you’ve taken to resolve the problem, state when you took those steps, and explain how those actions will prevent similar issues from happening in the future.
- Mention Any New Regulatory Processes: Just because you’ve addressed the issue that caused your current suspension does not necessarily mean that the improvements you’ve made will last. Your account will not be reinstated unless the Amazon reviewer is convinced that the problem will not happen again. As such, it is a good idea to introduce new regulatory processes and explain them in your plan of action. For example, if your suppliers are providing counterfeit or inauthentic products, consider creating a new system of vetting suppliers before you sell their products, and attach an outline of that system to your appeal letter.
Pro Tip: The more frequently you write to the Amazon Seller Performance team, the further your email will get pushed to the bottom of the queue. It is best practice to wait for a response. You can see if the support team has opened your email in the messages inbox on Seller Central.
3: Incorporate Your Plan of Action into an Appeal Letter
At this point, you’ve investigated the cause of your suspension and created a plan of action to prevent similar issues from happening again. Now it’s time to draft the appeal letter that you will send to the Amazon Seller Performance team.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when writing your appeal letter:
- Use a formal greeting such as “Dear Amazon Seller Performance Team;”
- Remember to take full responsibility for the cause of your suspension;
- Insert your plan of action, and structure it so the reviewer can easily extract its main points;
- Mention that you are committed to providing exceptional service to Amazon customers and how you will do it—for example, by responding to all feedback and inquiries in less than 24 hours, sending notifications of shipments, and creating a flexible return policy;
- Include your name, phone number, email address, and Amazon Seller Name or ID at the end of the letter; and
- Before you submit your appeal letter, ask another person to review it and provide feedback.
4: Submit Your Appeal to Amazon
Go to the Performance > Performance Notification screen to send your appeal letter. Alternatively, you can email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You’ll be on pins and needles after submitting your Amazon appeal. Sadly, there’s no guarantee that your seller account will be reinstated—especially if you repeatedly sold restricted products or opened a new Amazon account after your first seller account was suspended.
You can and should submit a follow-up appeal if Amazon rejects your first appeal. If your account is eventually reinstated, be sure to stick to your plan of action, stay up-to-date on Amazon’s seller policies, and go out of your way to keep your customers happy.