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How to Avoid an Amazon Suspension

By John DiGiacomo

For obvious reasons, it is crucial to the success of your online retail business to avoid having your Amazon seller account suspended. Even a temporary suspension can be financially devastating. Aside from the loss of pending and future sales listings, if your seller account is suspended, Amazon will freeze your account and refuse to release your existing funds. There are many reasons that Amazon will suspend a seller account. Thus, it pays to know the reasons and avoid breaching the rules. Here are some tips on how to avoid an Amazon suspension.

Watch your performance metrics and target

Amazon has several performance metrics that measure performance and customer satisfaction. Amazon has set targets for the metrics, and with respect to three of them, failure to hit the targets can result in account suspension. These are:

  • Order Defect Rate (“ODR”) — these include negative feedback, guarantees not honored and credit card chargebacks; sellers with an ODR above 1% can have their account suspended and/or deactivated
  • Cancellation Rate (“CR”) — this metric measures all seller-canceled orders during a seven-day time frame — sellers must maintain a CR under 2.5% or face account deactivation
  • Late Shipment Rate (“LSR”) — sellers must maintain an LSR under 4% or face deactivation

Amazon has a couple of other metrics — such as their “Valid Tracking Rate” and “On-Time Delivery Rate” metrics. But, as of now, account deactivation is not a punishment for sellers failing to meet the targets set for these metrics. That being said, sellers should be aware of these and should watch them carefully.

Provide good customer service

Aside from meeting Amazon targets and metrics for delivery, good customer service is essential to avoiding an Amazon suspension. This often involves quick and effective communication if there is negative buyer feedback.

Do not violate intellectual property laws

For various practical, financial and legal reasons, Amazon is focused on policing intellectual property law violations like trademark and copyright infringement. Being the target of an infringement notice is dangerous and, if not properly addressed, will lead to account suspension. Some practical steps that can be taken include:

  • Avoid copyright infringement by writing your own product descriptions and using your own product photos (or by ensuring that the ones you use are public domain or are authorized for use by the copyright owner)
  • Use the most up-to-date photos since packaging may change from time to time — customers receiving a product that looks different from the posted photo can lead to negative buyer feedback and mistaken claims of selling counterfeit products
  • Avoid trademark infringement by never listing a generic product as a trademarked or branded product
  • Be careful about mistakes when cutting and pasting from old listings — ensure the product and description are the correct product/description for the listing title — accidentally listing a generic handbag as “Gucci” is still trademark infringement
  • Avoid trademark infringement by using reputable and trusted sources — this helps avoid pirated and counterfeit goods

Contact Revision Legal For more information about how we can help with Amazon-related issues, or if you have other questions related to internet law, contact the trusted internet lawyers and seller account restoration attorney at Revision Legal at 231-714-0100.

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