If you ever find yourself in the unfortunate situation of having your Amazon selling privileges removed, the good news is that they may be eligible for reinstatement. Better yet, everything you need to do is clearly mapped out in Seller Central.
However, knowing how to make a successful appeal is the tricky part.
That’s why we’re going to talk you through every step to regaining your rights, so that you can continue selling on Amazon, with a few tips of our own thrown in too.
Step 1: Find out the 'Why'
First of all, you need to understand why your selling privileges have been revoked. Read the suspension email to find the reason, which usually falls under one of these three categories:
- Poor performance, i.e. your customer metrics (order defect rate, cancellation rate, and/or late shipment rate) do not meet performance targets.
- Violation of Amazon Selling Policies.
- Violation of rules about Prohibited Content and/or product restrictions.
This may not be immediately apparent – anything as inconspicuous as an item made with a prohibited material can lead to your account suspension, so pay attention to the fine details. Equally, stay up to date with the ever-changing Selling Policies to make sure you’re not caught out by recent changes.
Step 2: Scrutinise Your Inventory and Your Selling Practices
Once you’re clear on the reason(s) for the removal of your selling privileges, delve deeper into every aspect of your online business to identify the exact policy that was infringed.
In the case of suspension due to poor performance metrics, a quick browse in the Customer Metrics should reveal the particular area of fault. It could be high order defect rate (ODR) due to a significant amount of returns or negative feedback from customers stating items received were “not as described" – or it could be both.
It may be related to high pre-fulfilment cancellation rate if you’ve been running out of stock or experiencing long delays in receiving new stock, either of which could result in customer delivery dates getting pushed back.
If the initial email indicates that you might have been selling a prohibited or unauthorised item, be sure to remove the listing in question immediately before proceeding to the next step.
Step 3: Create a Plan of Action
Now you should have all the information you need to create a Plan of Action. This is your opportunity to convince Amazon that you understand why your seller privileges have been revoked, and to assure them that you’re prepared to rectify the situation.
Make your plan as concise and comprehensive as possible for the staff in Seller Central – in other words, spare them the rambling and include only the key points. More importantly, outline the actions you’ll take to resolve the issue(s) at hand and to keep the possibility of a reoffence to the bare minimum. Refrain from making unrealistic promises – be honest if your proposed solutions will take time.
Quick tip: To leave a positive impression, drop a (short) paragraph at the end of your action plan to remind them how much of a valuable seller you are in the marketplace.
Step 4: Submit Your Appeal
Once you’ve put together the Plan of Action, send your appeal to Seller Performance with your request for reinstatement. To do this, go to the Notification page of the Customer Metrics section of your account, where you’ll find the selling privileges removal notice, and click the ‘Appeal’ button.
Step 5: Now We Wait
Submission of an appeal does not guarantee reinstatement of your selling privileges, so be prepared to provide additional details or clarification if required.
You can normally expect a reply within 48 hours, so keep an eye out for a decision in the next day or two. Whilst you await a response, the best thing to do is make a start on the actions you have promised.
What You Should Not Do
We understand that it can be frustrating to have your seller rights removed with no prior warning, but responding out of exasperation will not aid the situation – in fact, one thing Amazon has no time for is a defensive email, so keep a polite and apologetic tone at all times.
Similarly, pointing fingers towards other sellers who you believe have also fallen foul of the selling policies won’t get you any closer to retrieving your seller rights.
Finally, always stay on top of all notifications from Amazon, because any issues left unresolved can lead to account suspension too.
Need More Advice?
Call us on 01772 455052 to discuss your case, or fill out our contact form and we’ll be in touch as soon as we can.
by Gemma Tomlinson on 18/05/2017