Marketplaces Ben Hedrick By Ben Hedrick

‘Your Amazon Seller Privileges Have Been Removed’ — Don’t Worry, Amazon’s Appeal Process Just Got Easier!

A suspended third-party seller account on Amazon is every retailer or brand’s nightmare when trying to grow their business. A suspension can lead to days — even weeks — of lost sales, which can be detrimental for an Amazon business. Unfortunately, these account suspensions happen to plenty of sellers and getting an account back open ASAP is critical to reduce any potential revenue loss.

The good news? There is a new process in place to help sellers reduce friction in the appeals process and ultimately expedite reinstatement.

The new process

In the past, Amazon required sellers to draft a detailed appeal letter to send for review while the account was inactive. This process could be lengthy and frustrating. Recently, it appears that Amazon may be revising this process in the sellers’ favor. Below is a before-and-after snapshot of what the steps were to reactivate an account before the process was updated:

Old process of appealing an Amazon suspension:

  1. Receive a warning that your account is at risk
  2. Receive account suspension
  3. Create an appeal letter
  4. Wait for response
  5. Respond to feedback
  6. Obtain account reinstatement hours/days/weeks later

New process of appealing an Amazon suspension:

  1. Receive a warning that your account is at risk
  2. Receive account suspension
  3. Complete questionnaire
  4. Obtain account reinstatement, typically within 15 minutes

The appeal questionnaire example below from Amazon Seller Central, once completed, immediately reinstated a seller account on Amazon.

What we do know about this new process:

  • We have only seen this occur for first-time offenders of a Late Shipment Rate metric thus far
  • Completing the form reactivated an account within 15 minutes
  • The process was very fast (four questions) with no interaction with seller performance

What we do not know about this new process:

  • Is this in beta?
  • Is this only for Late Shipment Rate defects?
  • Is this only for first offenders? Or certain sellers?
  • What does the second offense look like?

We are reaching out to Amazon to help provide more info into our questions, and we will update this blog when we have more information.

We hope you experience this same process and find it as refreshing as we did, but if you do not, here are some additional steps that can help you get your Amazon seller account reinstated.

Tips for how to communicate with Amazon’s seller performance department when you do have to write an appeal

Communicating with Amazon’s seller performance team can sometimes be complicated. And when your business is on the line, the stakes and stress levels can get high. For example, we’ve seen some sellers grow impatient after not receiving all of the information they anticipated in a reply. Or sometimes not receiving an immediate (remember: it’s high stakes for the seller).

While we can’t alleviate all of those specific issues, we can help you build a detailed action plan to provide enough info from the start that could get your account reinstated sooner. Here are some additional tips for communicating to their team:

1. Include the customer

We spend plenty of time working with Amazon and we have experience understanding what they look for from an appeal standpoint. Amazon always has its customers top of mind; therefore, including the customer in your response is very important. Here is an example of how you can add that piece into your plan:

We understand that Amazon customers expect a certain level of service when shopping at Amazon.com and by not meeting that we are directly accountable…

[After listing detailed action plan correcting the issue]

…We find these improvements are proactive measures that bolster the ability of our account to meet Amazon’s customer expectations.

2. Do not undervalue formatting

Know your audience. Amazon is vetting plenty of these appeals per day and making your appeal easily legible helps its team quickly find your explanation and plan of action. We suggest formatting your appeal to include the sections noted below in bold (and use plenty of spacing):

What this appeal is about

– Why this happened

– Bulleted plan of action that includes proactive measures and safety checks

– Why reinstate us

3. You cannot be too detailed enough

They are truly looking for a response that clearly indicates how you are fixing the problem(s), and how that fix would correct the issue(s) next time. Amazon’s performance team has been known to respond with a request for a stronger action plan. We definitely suggest taking the time up front to write this plan out and include input from different teams, as doing so could reduce your total down time.

Ultimately, Amazon feels you control your own customer experience. And when that experience isn’t up to par with its performance criteria, its seller performance team will take immediate action. If you happen to find yourself in a situation with Amazon Performance, we hope you will find the process of getting back open for business has been streamlined.

To monitor your seller metrics and understand what KPIs count toward your seller account status, please visit this Amazon Seller Central link for more info (sign in required).

For more information on how ChannelAdvisor can help you navigate the Amazon marketplace, feel free to reach out for a quick overview.

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