What is your Amazon Suspension Risk?
If you think you might be at risk of Amazon account suspension, we advise you to use the “Suspension calculator” on Joshua’s site right now. It might just help save your account!
To learn how to minimise Amazon suspension risk, the first thing is to read the main Amazon policies. Policies on suspension risks have changed over time.
If you’re doing something and you don’t know what the rules are, you’re bound to risk it!
What are the main areas of rules that you recommend reading about?
Selling policies and seller code of conduct.
They have bullet points that are the basis for all the other “spirit of the law” especially IP.
It comes down to intentions from Amazon rather than actually stated.
Never put a product out that could harm an Amazon customer.
Never misrepresent yourself.
Never engage in misleading behaviour.
Other specific areas:
Drop-shipping policy (Added more recently) You should read this is if you’re a drop-shipper!
ASIN creation policy
Product details page rules
Duplicate listings as well
It’s helpful for new sellers
Amazon has tried to break down the ways people can abuse the platform.
Policies are actually a useful way into learning about being a better seller.
A lot of it comes down to business model.
People doing less traditional methods generally run into more issues like:
“Dropshipping” – just finding someone else with the product on Amazon.
Listing items they don’t even intend to sell just to find out what will sell – is very risky.
When you hand the control off to someone else – whether sourcing products from someone else eg: Aliexpress or Dropshipping – you can run into conflict.
How risky is drop-shipping in Amazon?
There are two ways.
The first way is using a company that drop-ships properly , with a formal written agreement or written contract so you have evidence of authenticity.
RA doesn’t give you any of this, including evidence of being allowed to sell an authentic product.
Can one product take down an account?
It can. In one example Joshua dealt with, one customer complained about one product.
Amazon then investigated more products.
It then became a real issue.
Having a lack of processes, documents and agreements increases Amazon suspension risk
If you’re just building a hobby/side hustle, it’s not so critical.
When you’re building a serious business, even lifestyle business (ie: one for your own income that you don’t intend to build into a sellable asset), it’s much more important.
How does that work?
Eg: Getting into men’s T-shirts–you can only see the data if you offer a product.
Offer against popular products.
Get a couple in stock – cancel or refund them.
In a way, it’s a good idea, but you can run into a lot of trouble.
Disappointing the customer is always a bad idea!
What sort of business model is safer?
If done correctly, Private Label is the safest option.
Assuming your product is good – although Joshua had a case of the same product which 2 people branded – owner infringing on a patent.
There isn’t a formal protection on a lot of products – but you’re running the risk that you’ll run into issues. But this is less frequent than other models – it’s hard to infringe on a trademark if you have your own trademark.
A lot of the time, it just comes down to a piece of paper with a few signatures.
There was a period of suspensions for people using “velcro” which has to be called a hook and loop system – velcro is actually a trademarked name!
Tupperware is another one!
Professionalisation is a big trend in Amazon
That’s a big trend Joshua sees with suspensions and Amazon suspension risks.
Those who don’t do the business model in the way Amz want get a rougher time – even if it’s not an explicit violation.