There are few times in life when you feel like you’ve just been resurrected from the dead, today is one of those days for me because our company did the impossible… we were reinstated on Amazon today after having our account suspended. A lot of eCommerce professionals avoid selling on Amazon due to how difficult it is to maintain good standing on Amazon. Personally I love and hate Amazon at the same time. I love it because it it forces sellers to step up their game and only the strong will survive. I hate it because it’s hard to stay on Amazon’s good side when you run a larger operation that depends on multiple automated systems. Now I cannot go into details as to why our account was suspended or how we got reinstated, but I can give you a general guideline that will hopefully help you if you are also in the situation where your Amazon Seller Central account has been suspended:
- First, identify why your account was suspended, was it due to your order defect rate being above 1%, was it your Pre-fulfillment cancel rate going above 2.5%, or it your late shipment rate going above 4%? Make sure you file an appeal on your Amazon Seller Central account within 17 days of being suspended.
- Second, put together an ACTION PLAN that explains what caused your company to violate Amazon’s seller requirement(s) and exactly what processes/policies you have put in place to ensure that the issue has been dealt with so your company will not experience this again.
- Finally, send your appeal to Amazon by clicking the “Appeal” button which is on the suspension notice that you received. Enter your ACTION PLAN along with your contact information. I recommend that with the action plan you should include some background information about your company and why you bring value to Amazon by having you on their marketplace For example, if you do a ton of sales on other marketplaces you can leverage those stats in your favor. You can also email your ACTION PLAN to firstname.lastname@example.org, but make sure the email comes from the registered email account for your Amazon Seller Central account
If you use ChannelAdvisor, work with your account rep because ChannelAdvisor has helped other accounts to get back onto Amazon. Now I will say even with ChannelAdvisor’s help, there is no guarantee Amazon will let you back on. However, following the steps above and working with ChannelAdvisor (if you use them) will give you the best chance possible.
Once you’ve filed your appeal, all you can do it wait to hear back from Amazon. You should receive a decision via email within 48 hours of filing your appeal. Now I know I have a lot of work ahead of me to ensure our account stays in Amazon’s good graces, but for now I am just going to sit back and enjoy the sigh of coming back from the dead. I will worry about digging our account out of the grave tomorrow morning…
If your eCommerce business runs on automated systems (i.e. ERP system or a combination of Order Management System and Inventory Management System), make sure you put safe guard alerts in place to notify you the minute orders are not processing on time or when tracking numbers are not uploaded back into the marketplaces on time. Having an automated system is great for streamlining operations, but it also can cripple you if you reply on the automation system so much that you don’t notice when orders or tracking information are not processing on time.