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How to Avoid Amazon Seller Account Suspension: Causes, Prevention & Recovery

Seller Strategy

Account suspension is a threat looming above Amazon sellers’ heads, but do you know the four types of account suspension and how to avoid them? 

Being proactive is the best way to ensure your Amazon business runs smoothly, and most importantly, stays compliant. 

So, this article will answer your golden question: what can you do to ensure you avoid seller account suspension?

What Happens When Your Amazon Account is Suspended?

When Amazon suspends a seller account, it means your selling privileges have been restricted or halted altogether. If this happens, the suspension notification will be sent to you via email and will appear in your Seller Central dashboard.

Suspensions can be either temporary or permanent and are classified into one of four categories, based on how severe your policy violation is. A suspension can be appealed by submitting a plan of action. However, if your account is banned, your time on Amazon is up. They won’t engage with you any further and there is no appeals process.

So what are the four levels of account suspension?

Amazon classifies suspensions into four categories: suspension, deactivation, denial, and ban. Each type of suspension requires a specific approach to appeal and reinstatement.

Account Suspension

This is a temporary removal of your selling privileges. As a seller, you can appeal it by submitting a plan of action. Amazon provides reasons for the suspension and a timeframe within which you can appeal by submitting your plan of action. 

Your account remains in Amazon’s system but is inactive.

Account Deactivation

If your Amazon selling account is deactivated it means that all of your selling activities have been stopped and your listings made invisible. This usually occurs due to policy violations, issues associated with your account, or administrative reasons like incomplete verification. 

You have 90 days to file an appeal to reactivate your account

Account Denial

Account denial occurs when an appeal against account suspension has been rejected. It’s crucial that you understand why the appeal was rejected and resubmit your plan of action as soon as possible. 

Account Ban

An account ban is a permanent and irreversible removal from Amazon that typically results from repeated violations or failed appeals.

There’s nothing more you can do at this point as further communication or appeals won’t be accepted.

How Will You Know Amazon Has Suspended Your Account?

Amazon will notify you via email and through your Seller Central dashboard. The Account Health section of Seller Central will show your suspension status and any policy violations so it’s important to check your email and Seller Central regularly for updates.

For more on protecting your Amazon account health, read our guide: Amazon Account Health: The Ultimate Guide to Avoid Suspension & Thrive.

Amazon seller application on mobile device

Common Reasons for Seller Account Suspension

Understanding the common reasons that seller accounts are suspended can help you avoid falling into the same pitfalls. Here are some of the most common triggers:

Seller Performance

Consistently poor performance can lead to suspension.

Amazon expects sellers to maintain a certain level of service including low order defect rate, on-time shipments, low cancellation rates, and few customer complaints. This performance is monitored through the account health metrics in Seller Central.

If you regularly receive negative feedback or don’t hit key performance indicators then your account health will suffer, which in turn can lead to suspension.  

Product Quality and Standards

If you’re selling a high-quality, accurately described product that complies with safety standards then you shouldn’t have any product policy issues. However, seller accounts can and will be suspended for any of the following:

  • Selling restricted, counterfeit, or substandard products 
  • Misclassifying products 
  • Inaccurate or misleading product descriptions
  • Non-adherence to selling guidelines

Unauthorized Use of Multiple Accounts

Amazon’s policy restricts sellers to using a single account so sellers wishing to operate multiple accounts that sell similar items will require specific approval. 

If you go ahead and open multiple accounts without this approval, it can lead to the suspension of all related accounts. Creating a new account post-suspension without resolving the original issue is also a risk. 

So always seek Amazon’s approval before opening additional accounts.

Infringements and Policy Violations

Violations of intellectual property, copyright, or trademark laws can lead to account suspension. Just like selling low quality or below standard products, selling counterfeit goods or engaging in copyright infringement are serious offenses. Misuse of trademarked terms or logos, and failure to adhere to Amazon’s advertising policies can result in penalties. 

Changing Your Banking Information

An update to the banking information associated with your account can flag as suspicious activity and to prevent potential fraud, Amazon may suspend your account. 

However, there is a simple fix. 

Always take precautions by informing Amazon before updating your details to avoid being flagged and provide proper documentation when updating financial information.

What’s insurance got to do with it?

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How to Protect Your Account From Suspension

Prevention is always better than cure. Here are some proactive steps you can take to avoid your Amazon seller account being suspended:

Follow Amazon’s Policies to the Letter

This is easier said than done, but adhering strictly to Amazon’s selling policies and guidelines is crucially important. Regularly review the Seller Code of Conduct, avoid practices that manipulate product reviews or rankings, engage in fair competition, and respect intellectual property rights.

At the center of this is maintaining ethical business practices.

Stay Up to Date with Amazon’s ToS

Amazon communicates any Terms of Service to sellers via email and Seller Central, so don’t ignore seemingly boring emails. Stay informed about policy updates relevant to your products can be the difference between an active or suspended seller account. 

Maintain a Healthy IPI Score

Your Amazon Inventory Performance Index (IPI) score rates your account health monitoring changes and rectifying any issues that cause it to drop can save you from suspension and other penalties, particularly those related to inventory management and FBA storage capacity.

Even the most diligent sellers can unintentionally violate an Amazon policy and receive a suspension notice. So if that happens, what do you do next?

Boxes in an Amazon warehouse

Your Seller Account was Suspended: What Now?

Having your Amazon seller account suspended can be a stressful experience but it isn’t irreparable. 

Here’s what you can do to get your account reinstated:

Find the Root Cause

First, review the suspension notice from Amazon carefully. Identify the specific reasons for the suspension and ensure you understand what has gone wrong by considering factors like:

  • Any recent account changes or actions taken that might have triggered the issue
  • Customer feedback and performance metrics
  • Policy updates or terms that might have been overlooked

Create a Plan of Action Letter

Once you’ve identified the problem, it’s time to address it head-on. Your plan of action (POA) should directly address the issues mentioned in the suspension notice. Outline specific steps you’ve taken to resolve the issues and the preventive measures you’re taking to avoid future problems. 

Keep your POA concise, factual, and to the point. Attach evidence supporting the claims and changes made.

Submit Your Plan of Action for Review

Send your completed plan of action to Amazon for review. If it’s initially denied, refine it based on the feedback and resubmit. 

The review process can vary in length depending on the policy violation and extent of the action required so ensure you engage with Amazon Seller Support for clarification and guidance – and be patient.

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