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Amazon Suspension: What Is It and How to Avoid It

Amazon sellers have heard horror stories about what happens when an Amazon suspension occurs. None of them are good.

Product listings disappear. Buyers can no longer see your inventory. Money stops flowing.

It’s ugly.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. We’ll share some of the most common reasons accounts get suspended and the actions you can take to avoid Amazon suspension.

Key Takeaways

  • Why accounts get suspended and how to avoid Amazon suspension
  • How to monitor your Amazon account health
  • You can appeal a suspension and we’ll show you how

What Is an Amazon Suspension?

An Amazon Suspension means you will no longer be able to sell your items on the Amazon platform. When suspensions happen, your product listings will not be visible to shoppers.

While sellers will be notified, they don’t always get advance notice to try to correct things. Think of the suspension process as a progressive discipline with different levels of action, including:

  • Account Suspension

    Your account is in limbo. You won’t be able to sell without figuring out what you did wrong and fixing it. You’ll need to submit a formal action plan to Amazon for review.
  • Account Deactivation

    If action is not taken, you risk having your account deactivated completely. This means you will no longer have access to the account. You can still appeal.
  • Account Ban

    If your account is banned, you do not have any appeal rights. It’s game over.

Why Do Amazon Suspensions Occur?

Amazon suspensions occur for a variety of reasons. If you break any of the rules or terms of service on the eCommerce platform, you’re risking suspension. Here are some of the most common reasons accounts get suspended.

Seller Performance

Amazon keeps an eye on how you treat your customers. Negative reviews, poor quality products, late shipping, and chargeback all play a role in how your performance is measured.

If you list restricted products, knock-offs, counterfeits, or used products, it’s also a problem. The same standard applies to copyright infringement, such as using unauthorized images or copying product information from other websites.

Fake Reviews

Buying reviews, allowing fake reviews to be posted, or offering rebates or discounts in exchange for reviews can also lead to suspension. You can also get flagged for asking for reviews outside of the approved Amazon templates.

Multiple Accounts

You are only allowed to have one seller account. If you set up more than one to sell similar items, it will be seen as a violation of policies.

How Do You Avoid Suspension?

The easy answer to how you avoid suspension is to ensure you follow all of Amazon’s rules for sellers. In reality, it’s a little more nuanced. Besides the items above, here are some specific things to look out for to avoid account suspension.

Accurate Product Listings

You also need to make sure your item descriptions are accurate. If customers complain that the product they received doesn’t match the listing, it can be a big red flag.

Order Defect Rates

The same goes for order defect rates (ODRs). If the ODR goes above 1 percent, you may get restrictions on your ability to sell or outright suspension.

Order defect rates are measured by:

  • Negative feedback
  • A-to-Z guarantee claim rates
  • Credit card chargeback rates

Monitor Your Account

It’s important to keep an eye on your account. Fortunately, Amazon provides a way to do this through Seller Central. Under the Performance tab, click on Account Health. This lets you see how you are performing against the key metrics Amazon uses in assessing sellers.

While Amazon generally notifies sellers when they aren’t measuring up, there are many cases where Amazon will immediately deactivate accounts without any warning. This occurs mostly when there is a determination that there is a serious or willful violation or continued poor performance.

Can I Reverse an Amazon Suspension and Get Reinstated?

Sometimes, even good Amazon sellers make mistakes or break the rules. If you can fix your processes and clear up any miscues, there’s a good chance you can get reinstated.

There are also examples where Amazon just gets it wrong. Even high-quality sites have landed on the suspension list due to false positives, errors, or black hat attacks. These are often more difficult to challenge as it’s hard to prove you didn’t do something Amazon’s algorithm says you did.

To appeal a suspension, head to Seller’s Central > Performance > Account Health and click on the link to Reactive your account. You’ll want to follow the instructions carefully and submit your plan of action to correct the deficiencies and any supporting documents.

Amazon says your action plan needs to answer these specific questions:

  1. What was the root cause that led to the issue?
  2. What actions will you take to resolve the issue?
  3. What steps will you take to prevent future issues?

If Amazon accepts your plan and lets you start selling again, that’s good news! You’ll want to monitor your account health metrics carefully to make sure your numbers don’t fall into the danger zone again.

Most sellers have good intentions and unknowingly violate Amazon seller policies. If this applies to you and you get an Amazon suspension notice, stay calm and work diligently through the appeal process.

Avoid Amazon Suspension and Grow Your eCommerce Business

Hopefully, you will never have to deal with an Amazon suspension. You can spend your time instead focusing on growing revenue and becoming a top seller. SmartScout can help. We continuously analyze the top 10,000 sellers on Amazon to reveal what it takes to get to the top.

We can help you:

To learn more about how SmartScout can help grow your Amazon business, request a demo today and see SmartScout in action.

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