For a lot of businesses who operate online, using Amazon to sell their products can be an excellent way to promote their business, be found by consumers and offer a security to customers which wouldn`t necessarily be the case for businesses who only sell through their websites or lesser known listings sites.
There are a strict set of standards for people who run their business on Amazon, meaning that Amazon can keep up their good reputation, thus consumers can trust them and keep coming back. And of course, your business success on Amazon depends on you being able to trade there.
One of the ways that Amazon manage to keep high levels of trust and customer service is through suspension and the threat of suspension for businesses who don`t stick to the rules. However, this does mean that you as an Amazon business owner, need to understand what is required from you, and comply with the rules.
Sometimes businesses can find themselves suspended without really knowing what is happening. And for this reason it is important to understand about Amazon suspensions, how to avoid them, suspension appeal on Amazon and protecting your Amazon business.Understanding your Amazon Suspension
Some people will find themselves suspended by Amazon, and will know exactly for what reason. For other businesses, it may be a little less obvious, and so it is important to be able to understand why you have been suspended.
When you are suspended, you are sent a performance notification from the Amazon Seller Performance team who will notify you that your selling permissions have been suspended temporarily.
The majority of Amazon suspensions come from two areas:
- The failure to comply with certain rules that you agreed to when you opened your account, and
- The passing of certain limits which have been set by Amazon, such as late delivery rates or order defect rates.
So let`s look at each of these in a little more detail, as the better that you understand the common mistakes, the less likely you are to make them as well and you can learn how to avoid Amazon suspensions:
- Inauthentic products is a common reason given by Amazon for suspending accounts. It occurs when Amazon get a complaint that someone received a product which they don`t believe that matches the description, is damaged or used condition when they bought it new, or they believe the product to be counterfeit. You should go to your performance notifications to look for notifications of these problems, or search in your emails. From here you can see how you reacted and start to think about how you can reply or appeal.
- You might also get a notice of infringement from the rights owner. This means that there is a complaint which came directly from the owner of the brand which you are selling – more often than not, than you are selling their brand without permission. In this case, Amazon will ask you to submit invoices from your supplier as well as their contact information.
The issue with regards to passing the rate limits are usually due to:
- Your Order Defect Rate – Max. 1.0% within the past 30 or 90 days – Can be found in your Account Health section. If you have a negative feedback, this counts as a defect. The order defect rate is calculated by dividing the number of defects received by the total number of orders in any time period. You can appeal this by showing how you dealt with the problems, and by ensuring that you get more positive feedback.
- Your Late Shipment Rate – Max. 4.0% - You need to ensure that your products are shipped on the right date to keep this level to a minimum. Remember that you must mark the item as shipped, and with the tracking information when it is sent to avoid the product coming up as a late shipment. You should look into why each order was sent out late, and try to put in place a process which will ensure that it won`t happen again. This might include adjusting the timelines that you are offering so that (even if they have to wait longer), customers aren`t disappointed.
- Your Cancellation Rate – Max. 2.5% - This is the rate of the number of times that you have had to cancel an order because you are out of stock. Amazon don`t like this because it is offering a bad customer experience. It is important to look into each case and determine why you had to cancel, and then put a system in place that will help you with your stock control. Once that you have improved this side of things, you can go to appeal your Amazon suspension.
Of course, the ideal situation would be avoiding Amazon suspension all together, but if you are suspended, the first thing that you should do is find out the problem, try to fix the problem and then appeal the suspension, and hopefully you should be on your way to reinstating your Amazon account.Appealing your Amazon Suspension
When you write your letter of appeal you need to detail three things:
- Acknowledge that mistakes were made
- Show how you have tried to put right the problems which have occurred
- Show how you intend to stop the same issues happening in the future
Think before you write, and don`t just click on the `appeal` button. Consider carefully how you intend to make right the problems which occurred and don`t waste time criticising Amazon`s processes. Keep your letter as short and to the point as possible, and definitely don`t blame the buyers!
Being suspended from Amazon can seem like it is catastrophic to businesses, and whilst it can cause a serious problem, it is wise not to be solely relying on Amazon. However, by reacting in the proper way it is possible for businesses to get back in.
Try to imagine that you are in Amazon`s shoes, wanting the best customer experience, and get to know the rules and regulations around your account, and you will be well on your way to avoiding suspensions or at least conducting an effective appeal.
If you have any questions about how to use Amazon for your business, Amazon suspensions, and how to appeal them, or need help with your business`s web design and digital marketing, get in touch with Studioworx either via email (firstname.lastname@example.org), telephone +44 (0)1482 659362 or the website (https://www.studioworx.co.uk).