This guest post has been written by our partners at InterCultural Elements.
An Amazon seller account suspension can be an expensive and difficult obstacle to overcome for any type of retailer, especially if you’re selling internationally. The marketplace is known for protecting customers with strict quality and content regulations. Failing to meet those rules, even by accident, may result in a significant loss for your business. According to a BVOH study, 23% of German third party sellers on Amazon had been suspended in 2020 and 66% didn’t receive a warning before the suspension! Each Amazon account needs consistent attention to ensure its health – having an occasional look isn’t enough.
Frequent Types of Amazon Account Suspensions
Retailers selling on multiple Amazon marketplaces are especially prone to suspensions simply because there are more accounts to take care of. Here are the most common reasons to be suspended on Amazon:
- Poor customer service, especially failing to respond within 24h and in the correct language
- High Order Defect Rate (ODR) of more than 1% which consists of your negative feedback rate, credit card chargeback rate, and a-z guarantee claim rate.
- Sale of counterfeit products
- Sale of broken or damaged items
- Used products sold as new
- Review manipulation through review groups on social media as well as reviews that were bought or incentivised
- Multiple seller accounts are only allowed for legitimate business reasons and have to be approved first. Amazon will otherwise suspend related accounts which share contact details, such as seller name, credit card details, address, and IP address.
Suspension Prevention with Account Health Checks
Check your account health each business day and make sure your customers are satisfied with your service. If time is an issue, consider delegating the health checks to a service provider who reviews your account health, checks performance notifications and suggests actions.
- Prioritise customer service: Respond to customer emails and claims as quickly as possible. Make sure the items arrive in time, be generous with return policies and offer free replacement.
- Beware of cultural differences: Your native speaking customer service team should know Amazon and its regulations inside-out and be aware of how to handle customers from different cultural backgrounds.
- Up your account performance: With customer satisfaction the overriding goal, Amazon monitors your account and evaluates its metrics. Low account health means a seller fails to meet one or multiple Amazon standards and can result in suspension. Pay attention to the following:
- Order defect rate < 1%
- Cancellation rate < 2.5%
- Late shipment rate < 4%
- Policy violations
- Valid tracking rate
- Upload your tracking numbers: Bear in mind that the valid tracking rate is one of the direct measures of your account health. In case of a suspension (especially when it’s caused by delivery issues), it’s best if the seller can provide a tracking number which has been uploaded to Amazon to back up your appeal.
What to do when you’re suspended
Do your research: What went wrong and why? How can you solve it? Could Amazon have made a mistake and how can you prove it? Look for warnings in your inbox, review your performance metrics, check your account health and revisit customer correspondence. Appealing on a previously denied appeal has a much lower rate of success, so better make the most of the first one and get help if you’re unsure!
Only when you’ve identified the real cause of the suspension can you create a plan of action that prevents the issue from happening again in the future. Amazon deals with a high volume of requests each day, so your appeal letter should be facts only:
- Use bullet points and the respective language of the marketplace
- Address the cause of the suspension head on, explain how you’ll fix the problem, and how you’ll ensure the same issue won’t happen again
- Create a plan which includes viable solutions to show you’ve got all aspects covered
- Assume that Amazon is going to check you’ve implemented the plan of action
As a trusted SimplyVAT.com partner, InterCultural Elements offers Amazon Account Reinstatement solutions in six languages and a new Amazon Account Health Check service to help you avoid suspensions in the first place. E-commerce specialised staff has been managing international accounts responsibly and with the highest quality standards since 2007. Located in Leipzig, Germany, your team and customers benefit from central European business hours and local native speakers. Additionally, InterCultural Elements supports your international e-commerce expansion goals with A-Z service solutions, multilingual customer service and translation. Get your free consultation.