Amazon is a tremendously large and lucrative online sales platform. Having a seller account suspended can be financially devastating, particularly if it occurs during a busy shopping season. Suspension can also be puzzling, since the owner may have thought that they were following all of the rules. But it IS possible to have your account reinstated. It takes time, but it is worth the effort if you have built up a successful online business.
Getting your account reinstated depends on many factors, including the reason for the suspension. Top reasons why an account may be suspended include:
- Performance metrics — such as low customer feedback, too many canceled orders, failure to ship in a timely fashion
- Listing content violations — copyright and/or trademark violations with respect to photos, titles, text of product descriptions, etc.
- Selling counterfeit products — knowingly or unknowingly
- Selling restricted products
- Violating other Amazon rules and policies
Understanding the reason for the account suspension will help you tailor a remediation plan (which is the key to getting your account reinstated). Here are three ways to recover your suspended account:
Appeal the Suspension and Offer a Remediation Plan
Many Amazon sellers assume that appealing a suspension is a waste of time. However, that is a myth. Indeed, Amazon encourages appeals. They are, after all, a business that thrives when its seller accounts are successful. The key is to provide Amazon with a remediation plan — what Amazon calls a “Plan of Action” — that FULLY addresses the issues that caused the suspension. Appeals should be formal and in writing. It is recommended that account holders:
- Use letterhead
- Write in a professional, non-accusatory tone
- Highlight positive aspects of the account and existing quality control measures
- Identify all steps that have already been taken to remedy the problem and
- Identify actions that will avoid the problem in the future
If, for example, your account was flagged for using copyrighted photos in your listing, identify the error and explain how you plan to correct the problem. You might undertake a commitment to taking your own photos and initiating a verification process.
Retraction Notices and Seeking Customer Complaint Withdrawals
Depending on the reason for suspension, another key to reinstatement is sending retraction notices and/or seeking the withdrawals of complaints by complainants and/or customers. In many cases, suspension is triggered by a complaint or notice sent by a third party. Successful reinstatement often involves an action plan with respect to that third party. For example, if the problem was a trademark violation, the seller should notify the trademark holder, seek to resolve the violation and ask for a retraction of the complaint sent to Amazon. The notice and request for retraction should be done before the POA is sent to Amazon. Often, having a complaint withdrawn or resolved can make the difference between a successful appeal and an unsuccessful one.
Seek Professional Help
Obtaining help from professionals is another key to success. Experienced internet law attorneys — like those at Revision Legal — know how to draft a persuasive and effective Plan of Action (“POA”) and know what sorts of documentation should be provided to support the POA. Likewise, experienced attorneys can effectively approach third parties that might have sent the complaint to Amazon that triggered the suspension.
There are other advantages to retaining proven and effective attorneys. Retaining experienced attorneys signals to Amazon that you are serious about your POA and serious about avoiding violations when your account is reinstated. Experienced attorneys also provide you with an ally in your reinstatement efforts and offer an emotion buffer. Your attorneys handle the difficult emails and phone calls. Good attorneys will also know the law and can provide sound advice. And, experienced attorneys will know what NOT to do. For example, there is no point in contacting Customer Support since only Amazon Seller Performance can reinstate an account.
For more information about how we can help reinstate your Amazon account, or if you have other legal issues related to internet law, contact the trusted internet lawyers at Revision Legal at 231-714-0100