By Lauren Carter
What can you do if your seller account is suspended?
Amazon set very high standards for their marketplace sellers. Your performance is monitored against a range of customer metrics which you can read about here. If you are unable to meet these standards you run the risk of having your account suspended. A suspension can happen suddenly and it’s important you are prepared to deal with this. If you were to be taken ill tomorrow you could suddenly end up with a lot of late dispatches which might put your LDR (Late Dispatch Rate) metric into the red and leave you with a suspension. So what should you do if the worst happens?
The first thing to note is that a suspension isn’t the end of the world but it is to be taken seriously. When you log in to Seller Central you will receive a notification explaining the reasons for your suspension. Read this carefully and make sure you understand what it is that has led to the suspension. Read over Amazon’s terms and see which rules specifically you have broken. At the end of the notification you will see an option to appeal the decision and have your account reinstated. In order to do this you will need to submit a document to Seller Support outlining your plan to ensure you don’t make the same mistakes again.
Your plan should carefully explain what happened to cause the problems that have caused the suspension, for example you may have decided to try a new supplier whose goods were inferior quality, you were taken ill and your orders weren’t shipped etc. Explain what you have done to make it up to the customer (i.e. refunded, replaced the product, sent them a gift card). You also need to explain any steps you’ve taken or plans you’ve put in place to prevent this from happening again, for example, you’ve cut ties with the supplier and will do more thorough checks in future, you’ve trained a friend to take over in emergency situations etc.
You need to take your time writing out your plan of action for Amazon and make sure you show genuine concern for any distress you’ve caused to customers. You absolutely want to avoid deflecting blame or making excuses. Remain factual and try not to be too emotional in your response, keep it professional. This isn’t your opportunity to complain or air your frustration. Somebody is going to be reading this with the power to allow you to continue to sell or deny you that privilege. You want to show that you are a professional and the sort of seller Amazon would want to keep.
Try to keep the plan concise, the Seller Support staff do not want to have to scour pages and pages of information to find the point, they are busy people and you are more likely to be successful if you get through all the points they’ve asked for fairly quickly and simply. You don’t need to tell them when you started selling and how your business has grown, they simply won’t be interested.
Make sure to take any actions you can before submitting your appeal. If the reason for your suspension was a problem with a specific product, remove it from your inventory first. You want the staff to see that you are already taking action when they review your appeal. Do not suggest in any way that Amazon are in the wrong for suspending you. They will not accept this and you need to start from the assumption Amazon were correct to suspend you, you understand your mistakes and you are willing to do whatever it takes to improve your service. Look through your metrics and previous notifications to find any other issues you may have had and include those in your plan if you feel it would be appropriate. This shows Amazon you understand these are not acceptable and you are willing to do whatever is necessary to fix things.
Be specific; include numbers, dates and times when you are describing events. Amazon want to see you have a handle on this issue and that you know exactly what has happened in detail. This is not a good time to be vague.
The most important point is not to panic. If you write out a carefully planned response and show you are willing to put in the effort to improve there is no reason you shouldn’t be able to have your account reinstated. Once you’ve written your plan, ask a friend to have a read through it for you. You want to make sure it’s free of spelling and grammatical errors as these do not advertise a good attention to detail.