As an Amazon seller, it is important to be aware that there have recently been more changes regarding how Amazon executes account suspensions and how they evaluate seller appeals for reinstatement, which of course is getting harder.
In this post, let me share with you the reason why it becomes harder to appeal a suspension and ways we need to prepare to get your account reinstated. Let’s start!
Why is it harder to appeal a suspension?
The answer is that because of Amazon policy. Along with the increase in the number of sellers on the Amazon market, selling on Amazon is more and more competitive and requires sellers to adapt fast. As a result, Amazon brings in new updates and changes to make their platforms more trustworthy and safe for their most loved customers. Amazon is incredibly stricter about these rules and has no qualms whatsoever about suspended your account for what may seem to you like the tiniest of violations.
Specifically, sellers who were suspended for inauthentic or counterfeit item complaints got messages from Amazon:
“If you do not send an acceptable plan within 17 days, or after two unsuccessful appeals (whichever occurs sooner), we may not allow you to sell on Amazon”.
If Amazon rolls this out across the board for all suspension types, it will be earth-shattering.
How to appeal a suspension?
Amazon asks that sellers appeal with a “Plan of Action” that details how they expect to improve the issues that led to their suspension. It’s very important for sellers to put a lot of time and effort into their initial submission because there’s no guarantee that Amazon will give you the opportunity to submit a second revised plan. Some sellers report being given a chance to provide further explanation after a rejected Plan of Action, but others have not been given another opportunity to appeal, leaving their accounts permanently banned.
#1: Determine why your account was suspended
Amazon will have sent you a notification of the suspension and the reason why—you’ll find this in your Performance Notifications which will outline whether it’s a performance-based suspension or a violation of Amazon’s Selling Policies and their rules around prohibited content or product restrictions.
When you have discovered why the suspension has been invoked, determine what part of your selling practices caused the poor performance or violation. It could be a case of removing items that are prohibited, or reviewing listings to ensure you comply with the selling policies. If it is a performance-based suspension, Amazon’s Customer Metrics will highlight what area is causing the issue. A high order defect or pre-fulfilment cancellation rate may indicate you need to focus on your inventory management. A high late dispatch rate shows you need to improve your picking and packing process.
#2: Build the right plan of action (POA)
This is a really important part of your appeal. If you’re taking your own shot at appealing, make sure your first appeal is the best it could possibly be. Amazon also instantly rejects the use of any POA you’ve used in the past to appeal account suspension.
First, build an outline of key root causes and potential remedies, laying out each method you’ll use to fulfill those. Then, determine the right format before you start writing, too. Use bullets or numbered points, and make sure they all include unique content.
Below is an example format that you may use to organize your suspension letter:
Introduction – State who you are, the name of your seller account, and the reason that you were suspended. Write a paragraph about your situation and what you’ve learned from the process of being suspended.
The Main Issues that Lead to Your Suspension – State the main reason that you were suspended from being an Amazon seller. Explain how you determined this to be the main issue and what actions led to this happening on your account. Take responsibility for your actions and express that you messed up.
The Action Steps You Have Taken Since Being Suspended – State the action steps that you have taken since being suspended to address the main issues that you outlined above. Go into the detail of what you and your team have done, to show how you understand what the issue was and how you are making changes so that it won’t happen again.
The Action Steps You Will Take When Unsuspended – State the action steps that you and your team will take once reinstated. Focus on how you will change your operations to ensure that this issue does not happen again.
Summary – Provide an overall summary of the action steps that you have taken and will take to ensure this problem does not happen again with your seller account.
The structure of your appeal letter is almost as important as the content within it. It is important that you make your appeal letter focused on the three main areas that I outlined above and that it is easy for someone to identify those core areas upon reading through.
If the Amazon employee reading your appeal letter has to search for the three core areas of content that they are looking for, there is a better chance that they will reject your appeal letter and ask for more information.
How to do after appeal got denied?
If you got rejected, it is not the end. It is still possible for getting reinstatement after your appeal got denied. Here are some things you should avoid in your upcoming appeal.
Deflecting blame or making excuses for what happened.
There might be something that is out of your control that happened, but in your appeal, you should take responsibility for the issue, and make it clear you know why it happened, and why it won’t happen again.
Writing too much.
Make sure that your appeal is as clear and concise as possible. Don’t include any unnecessary fluff in your appeal. Say what needs to be said, but not more.
Bringing up problems that weren’t in the suspension notification from Amazon.
Do not address any problems that Amazon did not bring up in your suspension notification. Even if you notice that there are additional problems that might exist with your account when you are doing your review, you shouldn’t bring them to Amazon’s attention. You should definitely solve any additional problems that you come across, just do not mention them in your appeal.
Do not try to make your response overly personal.
This is a very transactional process. You don’t need to go into great detail about how sorry you are for making this mistake. While a brief mention of these things might be alright in some cases, it’s best to stick to the facts and address the issue at hand as concisely as possible.
Because of these constant policy updates, it is extremely important for you to regularly revisit them. You should always be auditing your product information to make sure it complies with Amazon’s most recent policies.
It is essential to pay great attention and prepare a plan of action carefully for the first appeal, but it is always better to seek assistance when you encounter suspension and have trouble appealing your account. Feel free to contact AMZ.Today here to get free advice or appeal service.