At around midnight on June 23rd, I was brushing my teeth and just about to head to bed when I heard the notification ringtone on my phone. I picked up my phone to check it out, and it was a notification from the Amazon seller app — it said that my Amazon seller account was suspended.
Initially, I thought that this couldn’t be right. I immediately logged on to my Amazon seller account to see what was going on, and sure enough, my Amazon account was suspended. This is every seller’s worst nightmare, and any thoughts of me going to sleep were quickly gone.
The stress I felt in those first few moments were hard to describe, especially because I didn’t even understand what I could have done to warrant a suspension from Amazon.
In a frenzy, I began to research how to get my Amazon sellers account reinstated and what the reason for the suspension could be.
This post will go into detail about what I learned and how I got my Amazon account reinstated.
I used to offer the exact letter I used to get my account reinstated for sale for a small fee – I’ve since decided to make it available for free to subscribers of my weekly Insider’s newsletter. If you aren’t a subscriber yet or if you are and you haven’t got your copy, use the form below and I’ll send it to you.
Dealing with a suspended Amazon account?
Subscribers to my weekly eCommerce Insider’s newsletter get free access to the exact letter I used to get my account reinstated. Use the form below to get a copy.
Your Amazon.com selling privileges have been removed…
Here is the notification I received when I had my Amazon account suspended (click to enlarge, same goes for all screenshots included in the post):
The ASINs in question from this notification were: B00FARK5BM, B0070SZM62, B0038ALXZ0, and B001GF5F9E. The last ASIN was a dog nail grooming tool and is no longer available on Amazon.
Why My Amazon Account Was Suspended
The common theme on these items is that they were either returned and marked as “item not as described” or the customers feedback indicated the item was not as described on the Amazon listing. With the exception of the 4th ASIN on the above list, I only had 1 return of each item.
On the 4th ASIN, there were quite a few returns because I had bought a liquidation lot of this item. I had sold a significant number before I realized the issue with the item. Amazon had previously blocked my ability to sell on that ASIN due to the return issue.
Before we get into successful amazon appeals, I want to share a few other screenshots from my account to show what my account health looked like before I had my amazon seller account suspended. First, here is a screenshot of my customer satisfaction report. You can view this by logging into your seller account, hovering over performance in the top center of the screen, and clicking: “customer satisfaction.”
The 2 unread notifications are directly related to the suspension and didn’t go away until I submitted the appeal.
The policy warning that you see from 6/21/2015 was related to this item: B000N043DW, which is a Microderm Abrasion device that was purchased from woot.com to resell.
I didn’t actually have any in stock at the time of this warning, but it was in my inactive inventory. This is a good reason to delete items from your inactive inventory, and particularly that item if you ever sold it. Other than that, you can see that most of the metrics look pretty solid. Here’s the next tab over:
The refund rate is increasing due to my experimenting with the clothing and shoe categories, but nothing too alarming on this screen either. Next up is the seller rating tab, here’s the top half of the screen:
And here’s the remaining screenshot (I forgot to take this one while I was suspended, so here it is as of about 8PM on 6/27/2015):
Overall, you can see that my metrics were solid (in my opinion at least).
Over the past 2 years while my account has been open, I have received 4 other notifications for blocked listings, or to review my listings besides the ones that were outlined previously in the post.
My guess is that the number of these items played a large factor in the suspension. I did not respond to all of these to try to get the notifications removed from my account as the notification read to respond if you wish to continue carrying the item, and I did not intend to continue selling the item at the time.
I’ve included all these details to give you an idea of the standing of my account at the time of the suspension.
To help you get a better understanding of why your account may have been suspended, I interviewed a lawyer named CJ Rosenbaum who is very knowledgeable on the subject. It is definitely worth reading or listening to after you finish this post.
Submitting A Successful Amazon Appeal
Now, onto submitting successful amazon appeals.
I began researching how to submit an appeal shortly after finding out I had my amazon seller account suspended. I continued working on my plan until around 2:30AM, when I called it a night.
Before heading to bed I did a post in my mastermind group sharing my amazon suspension, the reasons, and asking for any guidance/insight they might be able to provide. I picked back up around 8AM, and went to my warehouse where I began to formulate a response with the help of one of the guys on my team who works on the business with me full time.
After reading through the information Amazon has shared on how to appeal, the Amazon seller forums, the input of my mastermind group, and searching through other websites with information on the topic, it appeared that the key components of the appeal were the following:
- Identify the exact reason for the Amazon account suspension.
- Take complete responsibility for the problem and acknowledge the harm done to the Amazon customer.
- Create an action plan to ensure that the things causing the suspension will not happen again.
- Identify that if given the opportunity, you will continue to provide excellent service to the customers of Amazon.
- Deflect any blame by making excuses, or by saying there are other sellers doing the same thing and getting away with it.
- Respond too quickly to the case without fully formulating a solid response.
- Respond in a manner that is not concise. The goal is to say everything that needs to be said in as few words as possible.
With those key ideas in mind, I had an outline for my appeal and began writing it at about 9AM. Writing it took a couple of hours, and then revision of what had been written took another hour.
Around 12:30PM, I shared the document with my mastermind group. They were able to provide a good deal of feedback, correct some grammatical issues, and provide tips for making it more professional. I made the vast majority of changes suggested by them, and I had my appeal in a finalized format by about 5PM.
I read through it a few more times and submitted it to Amazon for their decision at about 5:15PM.
That night I was checking my email very often, and nothing of any real value was accomplished. I called it a night around 11PM and hoped to wake up to some good news. Luckily, that is exactly what happened, I received this email just after midnight:
My Exact Amazon Suspension Appeal Letter
My Amazon suspension was a painful process and a good reminder of just how quickly things can change. There is a somewhat limited amount of information out there when you are suspended on the appeal process. To help, I am going to make a minimally edited version of my appeal letter available for download.
I have only removed personal information and have left the content of the letter the same. I believe this letter is very valuable as it gives an example of a successful appeal should you ever be in this position.
This letter used to be payment optional, but I’ve decided to go ahead and make it free for everyone.
Dealing with a suspended Amazon account?
Subscribers to my weekly eCommerce Insider’s newsletter get free access to the exact letter I used to get my account reinstated. Use the form below to get a copy.
I hope that everyone reading this never is in the position of having to submit an appeal, but I do believe seeing a successful appeal letter could be very beneficial, which is why I am making it available for free for anyone who wants to read it.
If you do not feel comfortable submitting your own appeal, I would recommend checking out Cynthia Stine’s Reinstatement Services. They are not cheap, but she gets excellent results for her clients.
She has also written an excellent guide on making sure you don’t get suspended in the first place. It is only $19.99 and covers an extensive list of processes to make sure you are doing everything you can to keep your account in good standing. Here is the link to the book: Suspension Prevention.
Avoiding Future Amazon Suspensions
Overall, this was a learning experience. Going forward, I will be responding to all notifications about inventory items that I receive from Amazon, regardless of if I plan to carry the item in my store in the future or not.
I am also going to change up the wording of the automated emails that Feedback Genius sends out on my behalf to make it abundantly clear that I will work to resolve any issue a customer may have.
In addition, I will be much more careful with the inventory I carry if I think there might be a higher level of risk of return. I really do value the opportunity to be a seller on Amazon, so I will do everything in my power to make sure that I continue to have that privilege.
With that said, it’s quite unnerving to have your account suspended when all of your metrics indicate that things are going well. Especially with sales of 118K in the first 24 days of June:
In reality though, the fees on this amount are hardly a rounding error when they have revenues approaching $100 Billion per year. This has been a reminder of just how quickly things can change, and another reminder to diversify income sources. Luckily, the suspension only lasted a little over a day and I was able to pick up where I left off.
Lastly, I have to give a big shoutout to my mastermind group, as they were very helpful in assisting me in the appeal process. They gave me ideas of things to include and helped me edit the final version to make sure it gave me the best possible chance of being reinstated. For all of your assistance, I am extremely grateful!
If you have questions or comments, please let me know below!
155 thoughts on “I Had My Amazon Seller Account Suspended (Here’s The Story & How I Fixed It)”
I put in my e-mail address but have not received the PDF. Can you please help ?
I just sent you an email with a link to it. Thanks for pointing out the issue. I will get this fixed.
I would like to thank for sharing such an informative blog. I got several ideas.
Your letter is no longer available for download. Can you please fix the link?
Would love to see what you wrote!
Thanks for the comment.
I just tested it and it should be working. If you use an ad blocker, disable it, refresh the page, and then the download button should work.
Thank you for this information. I just started with your program and have been eagerly reading and watching the course. Some of this can be overwhelming!
Thanks very much for sharing your experience.
I am currently in the middle of the nerve-racking process of appealing my suspension.
I downloaded your letter in haste last night as I was frantically searching for information. I didn’t pay a penny then but having had time to read and study it, it think it will be very helpful.
So here I am back to comment and make a contribution. I went through the download process again, this time paying a little something for it. Thank you.
Thanks Val, I appreciate it!
I don’t understand why there were issues with Shoes, Rubbermaid and a leap frog book.
Thanks for the comment. The main issue with those were that Amazon’s system thoughts something was off based on the return rate or customer feedback.
I have a problem regarding my shipment.. Before I have interest to work with AMAZON I try to sell a beauty product. I select it and add to my inventory and promote it through FBM. Then after a month I have an order. I click the shipment w/o a product on my hand. Because I know that AMAZON will ship my product listed on my inventory then after a month I earn $37.
After I received my commission I try to choose other product to sell. I add it on my inventory then promote it, then after 1 week I have 10 orders amounting $435. Same what I do on my last transaction I click the shipment command then the commission appear on my dashboard. after a month the customer send me an email regarding their order that they are not get the product based on delivery date. I was shock and stress, what happened? Until now I don’t know what to do. I am just do the same on my beauty product I sell.
Please help me, because this is the only way for me to earn for my family needs.
I’m going to need a bit more info to help with your comment. How is the item being shipped to the customer? Are you ordering from somewhere else and sending to the customer?
Hello Ryan, today I received a suspension mail from my account. Please could you help me. Then the suspension mail from amazon:
We reviewed your account, and we decided that you may no longer sell on Amazon.com. Your listings have been removed from our site and we are holding any funds available in your account. If you have FBA inventory of the items causing “inauthentic” complaints, they are currently ineligible for removal.
If you do not appeal this decision in 90 days, we will permanently withhold any payments to you, and any FBA inventory of the items that caused “inauthentic” complaints will be destroyed at your expense.
You can see your balance and settlement information in the Payments section of Central Seller. If you have questions about those, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you want to appeal this decision, click the Appeal button next to this message on the Performance Notifications page in the Central Seller (https://sellercentral.amazon.com/gp/customer-experience/perf-notifications.html).
The sale of counterfeit products on Amazon is strictly prohibited. If you can not provide valid invoices or receipts for the items that caused “inauthentic” complaints, funds will be withheld equivalent to the amount you earned from the sale of these items in the last 180 days. If the equivalent amount is greater than the total amount available in your account, then the total amount will be held.
Learn more about our policies in Seller Central Help:
–Amazon Anti-Counterfeiting Policy (https://sellercentral.amazon.com/gp/help/201165970)
–Politics and Agreements (https://sellercentral.amazon.com/gp/help/521)
Seller Performance Team
Sorry to hear you had this. I am unable to provide personalized help to suspensions. If you take the information in the post above I believe that you can apply similar steps to what I have outlined in this post to appeal your suspension.
If you need personalized help, I recommend reaching out to one of the providers linked to at the end of the post.
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I am Richard a new comer on amazon selling, i have been stressed in some days now because my selling account also have been removed. it is so hard time for me, i wrote an appeal to them but they refused.
Could you please give me some advices which could help me to regain my selling reinstated. thank you Ryan so much, Richard
Sorry to hear about your account suspension. Unfortunately, I am unable to provide personalized advice on suspensions. I’d recommend reaching out to one of the service providers linked to at the bottom of this post if you are looking for someone to assist with getting reinstated on Amazon.
i receive a letter from amazon EU that my account is suspended and not subject to appear because it failed verification. what to do in this case where you can not even appeal or know what was wrong?
I’m sorry to hear that. I don’t personally have any experience with that. I’d recommend reaching out to Cythnia Stine’s company who is linked above, or reaching out to CJ Rosenbaum: https://www.amazonsellerslawyer.com/
Do you have any advice for suspension for inauthenticity? Where I have 2 receipts that are from the manufacturer but I do not have the other 2 they are asking for.
My recommendation would be to if at all possible get those other invoices. If that’s not feasible, I’d explain to Amazon how they can be confident the inauthentic complaints will not persist in the future.
I’ve been selling on Amzon and Ebay for quite sometime now. I find Ebay much better because of Seller protection. Also, I’ve been defaulted more on Amazon than on Ebay. Because Amazon have no good seller protection, there are more buyer fraudsters in there than Ebay. I will recommend Ebay to Amazon.
One case scenario: I sold a laptop to customer who claimed he never received it(tracking number showed delivered). From the start, this buyer was behaving strangely even abusing – asking that his laptop should have been delivered the following day. I reported the buyer to Amazon and rep was so nice and said that if anything, Amazon will take care of it. The guy sent a claim and Amazon paid him. Fortunately, I got hold of the phone number of the apartments the buyer was staying in TX. I called and asked about a package that was delivered there and was told the guy picked it up. I was told that the guy is very fish. I called the guy and told him that I had talked to the Apartment rep. He told me that he will call me later. He called alter saying that he just picked the laptop and will ship it back to me. I paid him shipping cost through Amazon and he sent the laptop back.
Amazon had closed my appeal saying that i should have included signature and shut me off from communication. They never responded to my messages. Useless Amazon. There are other several cases similar to this. WILL NEVER NEVER RECOMMEND SELLING ON AMAZON.
Thanks for sharing your experience Zed.
I got suspended by Amazon 2 weeks ago. I tried to appeal with them, but Amazon didn’t bother to approve the appeal. Now they just told me that my suspension is indefinite. I need to get back on as Amazon makes up more than half of the income I make.
Would you think it be a good idea to create a new account or buy another account?
Sorry to hear that Lisa. I would not recommend creating a new account or trying to buy an account. My recommendation would to try to work out the current issue with Amazon and see what options you have there.
I can’t buy the letter, because there’s no option to pay for it on my PayPal. Could you, please, send it to me? My account has been suspended for offering items that may infringe intellectual property rights or may be inauthentic. I really need it 🙁
Sorry to hear that you were suspended. If you enter $0 as the price, there shouldn’t be any need to go through paypal.
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We just received a email stating our order defect rate is above 1%, as a result we are no longer able to sell on Amazon? We have a lot of items listed and do not have a lot of feedback, so I was not aware we had to respond to all the feedback comments we receive? We have a total of maybe 30 or so feedback comments and out of the 30 two of them are a rating of two, one is a rating of one and another is a three, all the others are four and five ratings. I have had a few A-Z claims, two valid one was from Puerto Rico so we just stopped any shipping to there, one was a mailing issue that a customer never received, the others we just a refund and did not put it through as a return or item defected just went right to A-Z claim so I have 3 of those.
I am at a loss, this is my job, also means a lot to our business. I just want to know the best way to approach them to get our business back? We dont have a lot of money to spend for paying someone to do so. But wanted to know your opinion.
Sorry to hear that you were suspended. My main recommendation for your appeal would be to make sure you clearly state your plan of action so that Amazon knows that the issues in the past won’t continue into the future.
Dear Ryan Grant . i got a mail from Amazon regarding suspension of my seller account and after that they offer me appeal option and i appeal in that link but i got again mail from Amazon they asked me to send again my plan of Action and i make some changes and resend the mail after that i got a mail from Amazon in this mail they said they are decided to not to reinstate my seller Account.
kindly suggest is their any hope to active my Account.
Sorry to hear that. I am unable to provide personal advice for suspensions. Cynthia Stine offers this service, and there is a link to it above.
Same here. I keep getting automated responses from Amazon. I did send my letter etc but have not heard back since 1 month. Why were u suspended and what documents did you submit? There are people who offer suspension services but I see no reason as they are too expensive. Unless they gaurentteee expediated from Amazon side which I think would be impossible
Hi, What is the current timeframe for processing suspension appeals. I got suspended last week and its almost 10 days and not heard anything back. The brand owner who did complain did withdraw his complain also and at the same time I have already sent all my paperwork. But have not heard anything from amazon.
My concern is I have a big PL shipment of 5000 units hitting amazon warehouse next week. Will this be a issue?
Sorry to hear about the suspension. I don’t have any info available at this time about how long the suspensions are taking at the present time. I also am not sure about the shipment you have in transit, that will likely have to be worked out with Amazon directly.
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Could you send me a copy of the letter please? Thank you for the information, very informative.
Please see the post above for an option to download the letter.
Your pdf download cannot be edited or name inserted – password protected – what is the point? You get an email address for your list, but don’t give anything back. Or am I missing something?
Thanks for the comment. This pdf is meant to be used as an example of a successful appeal, but it is not meant to be a template to be submitted directly to Amazon. Every suspension is likely unique, thus the reason for the format of the file.
Thanx for sharing the experience.
I think this is one of the cases where when you rely on some one else, you become vulnerable to the unpredictable. I just want to throw a thought, is it feasible to start a PLC, or LLC. for the purposes of this business, especially if you are in to Private Labeling side of things?
That way when some thing happens to your PLC, at least you as a person is not killed off. The company would be out of business, but … the individual would go on.
Your thought on this.
I think that would still be outside Amazon’s policies to just open up a new account in a different business name. However, I think having some sort of business entity setup is a wise move for some potential liability protection either way.
The same problem with me. 2013 one customer has opened an appeal to doubt the quality of the product. The buyer did not want contact with me. I wanted to solve a problem or make a full refund, but the buyer did not respond to my attempts to solve this problem.
After a short time, I received a message. Your trading privileges have been permanently removed, and the funds in the account will be retained for 90 days.
I contacted customer support in several times, but without success and with no explanation why my account was suspended.
Account had a good rating, but still is suspended.
Amazon is really sucks.
Sorry to hear about that Mile!
I was shut down as well and my biggest mistake was relying on them for 100% of the business I do.
However, I had hammered Amazon with calls and emails for a chance of reinstatement. Out of nowhere, I got an email from them that my account was reinstated. Was so happy! Now I will not make the mistake again.
For those that think it isn’t possible to get reinstated, it is. I read somewhere on Auction Essistance that they had a couple of clients constantly contact Amazon for appeals and reinstatement. Probably 60% of them exceeded which is still big.
You have to be persistent with it. This is your business that you have to fight for.
Thanks for sharing bbsmith!
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I built my entire business around Amazon. Out of the blue the shut me down. It’s a real nightmare.
Sorry to hear that Alan.
I urge everyone not to build a business on Amazon, even if you are successful enough to make some money, the bigger you get the greater is your chance of getting your account closed without a second notice.
Unless you’re willing to lose your house, and everything you own, do yourself a favor and stay away from them.
Thanks for your input FZ. If you properly manage the risk I think selling on Amazon is a great option. I do highly recommend not using too much leverage though, as there are some risks.
So if I understand correctly, you sent your appeal to Amazon through regular email? As opposed to going to SellerCentral.Amazon.com > Notifications and clicking on “Appeal Decision”?
I ask because I need to attach documents to my appeal, but there’s no option to upload attachments if you try and submit the appeal through the Amazon website.
I submitted my appeal directly through the Amazon website.
I just came across this link in the StartUp Bros FB group. A great post on a very scary situation. I enjoyed meeting you and appreciate your help at the Summit this weekend; best of luck in your business!
Glad to hear you enjoyed this post. It was great meeting you at the conference!
Reading your post I think Amazon is getting way too powerful and needs to be challanged by a few other marketparties. If parties get too powerful abuse is always on the horizon, reading some posts here that people depend with their entire income on amazon is really scary.
For example, if I am your competitor and I want to screw you this is very simple. Just buy your product, file a claim or some other neg feedback and I do this a few time and you are without ANY doubt out of business.
So there is a deseperate need for Plan B, other then Amazon. And my advise is never to fully depend on amazon ever!
It’s definitely a little concerning the amount of power they have, and I completely agree that people should not 100% rely on Amazon for their income.
I too have been through hell with Amazon ,but it is another hell and now I want to tell you.
I was selling about one month when i decided to upgrade my account to professional account and i think this was the hell.
After upgraded, all my listinings disappeared from my store and my balance has gone to unavailable balance.
After many cases and many calls from amazon support nothing changes.
I decided to do account for my wife to sell normal not like they did it for me,but they locked her with her money and my account too.
I am very sorry to hear that happened, and thank you for sharing here in the comments.
I am having a small issues with returns. I sell clothing through FBA and off late have got 2 returns due to the reason ‘ Product not as described’, within a span on 5 days although on 2 different listings. These two are popular products and other customers have liked them and never complained any such thing.
I am looking your advise for :
1. What shall I do in such cases ? Shall I delete the listing if I get a product not as described return ?
2. Am I in problem here as I have heard that AZ suspends accounts if 4-5 occurrences of this reason happens
PS: I have checked the listing multiple times and there is nothing we could find that is different from the product.
There’s really no secret formula for dealing with this type of issue. I would make sure you have proper invoices in the event you need to provide documentation that the items are exactly as they should be. The other thing I would consider if there is a high percentage of orders of this item that this is happening to, would be to stop selling that particular item.
Ultimately, if you are playing by the book you should get reinstated even in the event that you are suspended.
It is amazing how you acted so calmly in this dreaded situation.
I am looking for the changes that you mentioned in your feedback mails.Could you please give us the full text of your feedback solicitation mails that you send through feedback genius.
I will plan on sharing the wording I use in a future post.
Thanks a lot !
I received a performance notification for the condition of an item I don’t intend to source in the future. I don’t have a receipt showing that I bought it in New condition. What would you do in this case? It’s my first performance notification.
Some places don’t show the items name on the receipt. TJ Maxx is one, an item may just say “KIDS TOY” along with the price. Would you continue to source from such a place after all this?
Thanks for sharing this and for the blog in general, I’ve been following it for about seven months now.
Thanks for your comment. These types of stores present a very trick situation as there is no way to prove items are legitimate if you are ever challenged. I am not completely staying away from the liquidation type stores, but I am being VERY careful with which types of items I will buy from these stores. The short term profits that can be gained are not worth the risk of putting an Amazon account in jeopardy when it comes to some items.
Stupidly responded very quickly using the Amazon template, ended up sending in two follow-ups to the appeal, one with documentation (better but not great), now I’m waiting to hear back after using your letter as a guide, it’s been a week since I sent in my original appeal so hopefully this final appeal addendum says everything they needed to hear!
It’s given my team the chance (haha, more like forced us) to do more experimentation with ebay which will be a good additional channel.
Sorry to hear you were suspended. Glad the letter was helpful, and it’s good that it’s leading to expanding on additional channels as well.
Many thanks for all the valuable information you were sharing with us.
My account was suspended on July 31, I got the email at 1:30pm. By learning from your blog, I send the appear document in the morning of Aug 01,I was told to expect replay by Aug 2,2015, but I still didn’t get any word from Amazon. I am thinking to send the email to ask the reason or just wait.Can you please give me some advise. Thanks!
Sorry to hear you were suspended. I have been hearing that the responses to appeals have been very slow lately. I can imagine it is very hard to wait, but personally I would just wait for a response from Amazon. If it gets to be over a week from when you were supposed to hear something, then I would consider following up.
Hey Ryan, we got the dreaded suspension notice last night, barely got any sleep, and are now nearly to have our appeal letter reviewed by others. We have different complaints but are basically using your letter as a template. I was wondering whether I should use the same term “3 Point Inspection” as you did– did you create that term yourself? And did you submit your letter as a .pdf upload? THANK YOU– we could never thank you enough for so many ways your work has helped us!!
I know I responded to you via FB, but you are very welcome for any help I have provided! For any others who may have the same question, I would recommend changing up the wording a bit, and I did not submit as a PDF, I copied and pasted the info into the boxes amazon provides.
Hey Ryan, I never did tell you– they FINALLY reinstated us on Aug. 12th. Unfortunately, I really can’t say anything good about the whole 20-DAY ordeal. But, we are very thankful to be in biz again and we are going to change many things going forward. Thanks for your help.
Great to hear you got your account back! You are welcome for the help.
I literally got the same e-mail suspension word for word on June 28th. It appears from reading the blogs, that a good old Amazon Crawler Bot is searching past e-mails of product defects and or customer complaints. Many sellers have had this same issue and Amazon appears to be cleaning house. Thankfully, your appeal letter worked! Many thanks!
Sorry to hear that, and yeah it definitely appears that it’s automated bots doing the suspensions. Glad to hear you were able to get reinstated!
Hi Ryan, I signed up for the PDF, but do you have any sort of tips on replying to a performance notification that refers to not matching a listing? Also, if you received a notification a few weeks ago, would you bother replying today, or would the time lapse work against you?
I am unable to provide specific tips at this time, I will add this to my list of potential blog post ideas. If I had a notification from a few weeks ago, depending on the severity, I would still consider responding.
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Thanks for telling your story. This is a concern that I have thought about and wondered how I would respond. Thanks for sharing and being so honest. I would like a copy of the letter……the download doesn’t work. Also your numbers ROCK!
Thank you! You should receive a PDF emailed to you with the letter. If it doesn’t work send me an email to email@example.com and I will get you a copy.
Thanks for sharing the info. Ryan. God bless ya, and thankful your back in the biz 🙂 Your information is always encouraging, challenging and inspiring.
Very disheartening to hear you had to even go through this. But, as usual, much respect and appreciation for sharing your process!
I already feel pretty helpless as far as any kind of control when it comes to Amazon “looking out for sellers” and although I’m sure they have plenty of really bad sellers to deal with, they definitely seem to treat all sellers as an easily replaceable commodity (which is pretty much true) and it kind of sucks.
Every time I see one of the quick polls/surveys on seller central I try to be as honest as possible and hope that other sellers are as well. Especially the ones that ask things like “do you trust amazon to support you as a seller” (or similar to that) and usually answer the “definitely no” option hoping they will look into negative feedback some.
Feeling almost completely powerless in situations like this is not a good and fair position for Amazon to put “good” sellers. Yes, they should keep us on our toes, make sure we are following policy and selling good inventory and taking care of the customer but there should be more oversight and open communication from seller support and more protection for extremely positive sellers.
Of course none of that matters as they can and will do whatever they want but it definitely doesn’t help my faith in them.
Anyway, congrats on solving it Ryan and thanks again for sharing the invaluable process!
Thanks for the comment Ron, and you are welcome for sharing the process!
I have received an email from Amazon a few days ago stated that my account is suspended due to the same kind of activity Ryan– I have sent several appeals with my plans attached but Amazon keep asking to send a plan on how i will prevent that from happening again. After reviewing your appeal, i see now what i did wrong– I am going to take my time to do it and send it again–
Again, thank Ryan for sharing!
Sorry to hear that, and best of luck to you when resubmitting!
Haven’t received the PDF, checked all folders
Send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will get it over to you.
Ryan, thank you for posting this invaluable information. We have all heard the horror stories and now have some guidelines if the same happens to us.
You are welcome Mike!
As always, thank you for sharing your personal experiences and how you were able to get reinstated. The information is very useful for other sellers as it can get very confusing and lonely when there doesn’t seem to be a support system to ask questions or just bounce something off someone else. Great that you have the support of your mastermind group. Like others, we too are looking for a similar support group to participate in and to share experiences, thoughts, recommendations etc with each other.
Very best regards
You are welcome. I would encourage you to start a post in my facebook group stating you are looking for a mastermind, I know there are others who are looking for them, here’s a link to my group: http://www.facebook.com/groups/onlinesellingexperiment
When you buy liquidation pallets with customer returns does the items come in retail packaging? If not, how would you sell items on Amazon that are missing their retail packaging?
I only buy liquidation items in retail packaging. If they aren’t, then I don’t bother.
Thanks for sharing the story. For some reason, the download link does not work.
You should receive an email with the PDF. Let me know if that doesn’t work for you.
Hi,Ryan, I would like to have the
I like to have the PDF, please let me know how to get it , thanks!
Enter your email through the link above, and you will be emailed a copy.
Were any of the (4) ASINS ones that your received multiple performance warnings for the same ASIN? OR (4) ASINS and (4) warnings triggered the suspension?
There were not multiple warnings on any of the ASINs. The actual suspension was the first I heard from amazon on a couple of the ASINs. Let me know if that answers your question, or if you have further questions.
Thank you for sharing your story. It really goes to show when selling products that are not yours on a platform you do not own then nothing is guaranteed. I do understand Amazon’s position and I am grateful they do suspend quickly as the excellent customer experience they offer is what drives their high amount of traffic and allow sellers to charge a premium over other marketplaces. But I am equally as grateful they do offer an appeals process and it looks like they do respond timely in that process.
Will this change your private label process at all with regards to having your supplier ship directly to Amazon without you inspecting the items first? I do not imagine Amazon is in the business of giving third chances.
I currently do not have my supplier ship to directly to amazon, and it is unlikely I will in the future.
Thanks for sharing this. Sorry you had to go through this. Can you please tell me what the problem was with the Micro-Dermabrasion machine? I just sent one in darn it! And it allowed me to list it with no problem. Now I’m worried… What do you recommend I do about this? Should I have it sent back to my prep place and then to me?
Thanks for any advice.
The reason they gave on that item was this, “We have removed your listing because of a buyer complaint about the condition or description of an item they received from you. Your listing will remain inactive until we can work with you to resolve the concern.” I have heard of others having trouble with this ASIN as well, at this point I personally would just have it sent back and not try to sell it. But you could just as easily try to sell it quickly once it is live on amazon.
Regarding future notifications (should you receive any) are you thinking the appropriate group to acknowledge/contact is “Seller Performance” OR “Seller Support”?
I’d also be curious in your thoughts how you plan to respond/resolve these complaint notifications (condition/description)?
My plan would be to contact seller support initially. If I receive a notification relating to condition/description, I would likely who my invoices proving product is new, etc. If the description truly is accurate then I would submit whatever proof to show that it truly is the correct description, and the notification is not accurate. Ultimately, it’s going to be a case by case basis, but I am going to respond to every performance notification possible, with any evidence I have that is in my favor.
Scary stuff Ryan – it’s amazing to watch you calmly work through the issue and document it for the site the same way you have worked through and documented so many other things for your audience –
Question – can you elaborate on responding to performance notifications?
To date – I have received 2 notices letting me know that an item i and others were selling had been removed from the site for making claims not evaluated by the FDA –
There are technically called “Notification of Restricted Product Removal” –
And they state that the detail page for the item has been removed from the site – and that the address it is coming from is “notification only” and does not accept incoming email –
You are saying these need to be replied to?
Yes, I don’t make it 100% clear in the initial post, so I would be happy to elaborate. I plan to respond to every performance notification that indicates I have done something wrong. If it is a notification that an item has been deleted entirely from amazon, then I don’t believe I would submit anything.
So, if the notification says I did something wrong, or there is any part of it that I can respond to, I will. Hope that helps, and let me know if you have further questions on the issue.
Happened to me with ebay because I had too many duplicates. At least Amazon seems to actually care about the appeal process. As for issues I try to respond the same day I get a item not as described or any other problem. We make it clear in many ways to let us know if there is an issue.
Thanks for the comment Dan! I agree with the strategy of responding as quickly as possible when items are listed as not as described.
Yes, what everybody else said. It is so helpful to learn from other people the struggles they have had on Amazon. Thank-you and congratulations on your reinstatement.
Thank you Yvette!
Thank you. This is one of the most valuable posts I have read here.
Glad to hear it Greg!
how does deleting listing avoid complaints? At least that was what I inferred above. Also if something is returned and there is no listing for it, it gets stranded. I am in favor of deleting and I guess my volume is low enough that I can deal with a removal if by chance something is returned and the listing is no longer there
Deleting the listings avoids the issue I ran into with the Microderm Abrasion product listed above. I didn’t have it in stock, but had it inactive, at the time I received the performance notification. If I had deleted the ASIN from my inactive inventory, it is highly likely I wouldn’t have received the performance notification.
So once an item has sold, you recommend deleting the entire listing if its in an inactive status regardless of what the product is?
Yes, that is my plan for all items about 30 days after the return period closes.
Thanks for being so transparent and thorough in your documentation and giving us reminders to hopefully avoid this situation.
You are welcome Edith!
Thanks for posting. This is something that happens very often with Amazon as well as eBay. This is why I always have backup plans in place so I am prepared. I would say that Amazon is notorious for suspending accounts. I’ve had several friends go through the same thing you have and luckily a few of them appealed successfully as well. I’m glad you were able to get your account back and hope everything runs smoothly for you. But this is definitely a lesson to be learn.
Thanks for the comment. I do have a few other projects that provide some income, but having this happen provides more of a “jump start” to diversify further.
Thanks for sharing. This seems to be happening to a lot of people. I could not find your letter when I clicked on the link?
You should receive an email with a link to download the PDF. Let me know if you can’t find the email.
Ryan – can you share or suggest what exactly to add to the feedback genius emails to help with this? Item not as described can be a major problem because it’s one of the listed reasons customers can return an unwanted item to AZ without having to pay return shipping. They check that box even if the item is perfectly fine because they decided they didn’t want the item and to avoid paying to return it.
If AZ is going to use that metric for suspending sellers, it should not be one of the choices to get free return shipping. Even the most careful sellers with perfect listings are bound to have customers that change their mind on items sold via FBA and Prime is not free shipping for returns unless there is a problem. It hardly seems reasonable to penalize sellers for this…
Thanks in advance! Kate
I will consider sharing the exact template for it once I finalize it, but my plan is to ask them to contact me if they have absolutely any issue, and indicate I can help them through the return process if needed. I will also indicate that my seller metrics are very important to my livelihood, and that I will do my best to make any problem right.
I will make it sound more professional than the above, but those are the key ideas. Changing up the wording is on my to do list for tomorrow.
Thanks for sharing this valuable insight Ryan! I would 2nd what Kate said, it would be great to see your version of the Feedback Genius template. Thanks again!
Thanks Craig! I will most likely be doing a recap post of things I changed as a result of the suspension, and will plan to include it in there.
Wow Ryan! This gives me pause. I’ve been contacted a couple of times about items receiving complaints. I will definately start taking that very seriously and respond to amazon about them and delete the listings if necessary.
Thank you for sharing this valueable insight.
You are welcome Mark! I would highly recommend taking those actions you mentioned in your comment going forward.
Ryan, Appreciate very much the knowledge you share with us.
You are welcome Marie!
Ughh! I am happy to hear you got back so quickly. I can only imagine if you were on vacation at the time and couldn’t respond so quickly. It’s definitely an eye opener that someone with that many sales and high positive metrics can be suspended that easily. It’s also good to have that many people to help you out so quickly. Also, congratulations on your sales so far in June! Looking forward to reading the entire months results in July. Bill.
It definitely was scary, but luckily it was able to be straightened out pretty quickly.
Thanks for the info Ryan! I am interested in joining a Mastermind with other full time sellers, any idea where I should look for one?
I would look in online facebook groups or through attending a conference. You are welcome to start a thread looking for one in my facebook group: http://www.facebook.com/groups/onlinesellingexperiment
Personally, I have to share my gratitude for your continued transparency and completely unselfish sharing of the inner workings of your Amazon business.
It’s inspiring to see that even when faced with an incredibly shocking and difficult situation, you continued to do what you do, documenting, experimenting and sharing results with us. This is awesome.
My personal takeaway was in the handling of a nasty situation: going to your mastermind group, accepting responsibility, and continuing to drive on with the larger mission no matter what.
Thank you for what you do!!!!
Thank you for the kind words Eduardo! 🙂
Hi, thanks for this info but I cannot locate your reinstatement letter.
It should email you a link to download, have you checked all of your folders in your email?
I’m unable to see the response letter, even after filling in the pop up.
It should be emailed to you, have you checked all of your folders there? I just tested it and it appears to be working.
Thanks for sharing Ryan. I take this very seriously and dread the day it may happen to me. This information should help ease the stress if this occurs. I will surely be more proactive of any performance notifications after reading this post.
That sounds like a great plan, I would recommend (and personally will be) responding to all performance notifications going forward.
Also, were these all MF orders? I imagine Amazon FBA would catch any problems with products before sending out?
These were all FBA orders, unfortunately, these are things that unless it is caught at check in to the FBA warehouse, is unlikely to be caught by amazon.
Wow. Sorry to hear you had to go through that but to the surprise of no one you handled it remarkably well. Thanks for sharing this with us and also providing the appeal letter should we (hopefully not) ever need it. Is the mastermind group you are a part of open to new members?
No problem. The mastermind group I am a part of is not currently taking on any new members.
Thanks for sharing this amazing story.
I too have been through hell with Amazon and it is still not over.
My Amazon business is my main income and i’m the only provider in my home.
I’ve already appealed to Amazon and I was in contact with their Seller performance team. During that time they’ve consistently asked me to provide them with an action plan before they will reinstate my account, and i did so – i gave detailed action plans.
By the way, In their emails they always gave me the feeling like it’s going to be OK, until today when they wrote to me that they are not going to reinstate my account. I don’t understand what happend?
Here’s what they wrote:
Thank you for contacting us regarding your account. We have decided not to reinstate your selling privileges. After careful consideration and a review of your account by an account specialist, your account did not pass our review process. Due to the proprietary nature of our business, we are unable to provide detailed information about this process.
What happens next
We regret we are unable to provide further information on this situation. Further correspondence regarding the closure of your selling account may not be answered.
The funds in your account may be held for up to 90 days from the date your selling privileges were removed. Any amounts paid for A-to-z Guarantee claims and chargebacks on your orders may be deducted from these funds. After 90 days, any remaining funds will be disbursed. If you have questions about these funds, please write to email@example.com.
Seller Performance Team
FYI I don’t have any negative feedbacks and no A-Z claims.
Hope you can help me,
Thanks a lot
I am very sorry to hear about your experience. I don’t know right off hand what I would do in your case, but if you want to send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, I can see if I can do anything to help. I would seriously considering using the service offered by Cynthia Stine or one of the others as well for this situation, as they likely have more experience.