Let’s talk about what you should do if you get your Amazon account suspended.
Last episode we discussed some of the reasons your Amazon account might be suspended. Today we’re talking about the steps to prevent an Amazon account being suspended.
Keep track of webinars and interviews like this and forums to see where the hotspots are and avoid them. If you have an opportunity to buy a container of Nike Air Jordan’s, read up on them and see if other sellers are having issues. The more reputable the distributor, the less likely they will sell you something your buyers will complain about. If the packaging doesn’t match the current retail packaging, stay away.
To lower the order defect rate so you don’t get your Amazon account suspended, it comes down to selling a quality product. You need to make sure it is packaged well do it isn’t damaged during shipment. Amazon expects sellers to be almost perfect, so take the steps to deliver that. Make sure your submitting the tracking information on-time and make sure it ships on time. If you’re not able to do that on your own, use FBA. Let Amazon handle the shipping.
If you’re not doing private label, consider it. Retail arbitrage seems to be on the way out and private label is the future. On the Amazon food chain, consumers are on the very top followed by brands, and then sellers. Amazon is more concerned with brands than sellers because sellers are a dime a dozen. That means you need to build a brand to set yourself apart.
Amazon has become less trigger-happy when it comes to suspension. They sometime may have you submit a pre-suspension plan of action. If they notice an issue, they could get in touch and have you correct it before they suspend you. It’s still very rare, but CJ is expecting it to grow.
Amazon has a process that you need to follow. They’ll ask for your plan of action and maybe other information, give them what they want. Be concise, be persuasive, don’t admit you did anything wrong because that can hurt your case if it moves forward.
If you fail you move to a policy team. If that fails you go to Bezos’ escalation team. Then, if all those things fail, in the US you can file for arbitration with the American Arbitration Association and it takes the decision out of Amazon’s hand. It’s like court except that it’s quicker and cheaper. They have the power to direct Amazon to restore your account or release your inventory and money depending on the ruling of the arbitrator.
If you’re a UK seller, it may be possible to use arbitration. You’ll have to make the case that it’s American customers and the product is in America. The risk is that if they deem it an international dispute, the cost drastically increases and slows the process down.
They are changing the way they handle intellectual property claims. They have started to encourage brands and sellers to reach out to each other to resolve it rather than suspending an account. As soon as you get the notice you want to respond to it right away. Don’t blow it off. Then look and see if you are violating someone’s IP rights.
If you’re a private label seller, the big thing here is to check before you manufacture an item. The best way is to do some research and see if there is a similar item there and that you’re not copying somebody’s patent or mark.
The factories may say they own the design, but typically they don’t because they are designing these for others. You can do the research yourself or pay someone to do it. CJ’s firm generally charges around $750USD. It’s well worth the cost to avoid a situation where you have thousands of dollars tied up in inventory you can’t sell.
If you want additional information then be sure to check out CJ’s new book, Your Guide to Amazon Suspensions: 2017-2018 Edition. The goal of the book is to pay it forward. He wants sellers to be armed with the information to handle the situations themselves. It covers how to write a plan of action, how to avoid needing a plan of action, and so much more. He made it through Create Space, which is an Amazon company, and they limit how low you can price it. There were color images that CJ made black and white to get the price as low as possible. You can get it on Amazon for $6.20.