What can you do during unpredictable times that threaten your health, the health of those you care about, and the health of your business? The most responsible thing you can do to keep your business stable is to prevent Amazon from taking action against your account.
If Amazon sends some warning shots your way, don’t pretend it never happened. Review them, and act. Amazon isn’t known for going easy on sellers during difficult periods like this.
We offer custom account review services
If they have already sent you policy warnings, have you replied to them? Did they acknowledge receipt of your response? If you get a generic reply asking for “greater details” then make sure that you provide additional info they’ll accept. Protect what you have, and don’t ignore threats at a time when sellers are already facing tough challenges.
What do I Need to Look for Right Now, to Avoid an account Suspension?
1. Examine all unresolved performance notifications.
Make sure you’re not leaving anything behind that can and should be addressed. Waiting for 6 months for potential threats to fall off the Account Health dashboard isn’t an option. That’s way too long in Amazon time. You need to evaluate and respond, the right way.
2. Keep your metrics well within range.
Amazon needs to know you can manage your operations efficiently enough to keep up with orders during this critical period. You can’t cancel orders due to lack of inventory, ship late, or fail to get products delivered within a reasonable timeframe. Amazon may become lenient for a certain amount of time on certain metrics, but that’s only a guess right now. You can’t count on it.
3. Study ASIN-level data around buyer complaints
If you’re getting alerts after buyers have complained about item quality or condition, confront those complaints head-on. Don’t assume they’re from buyers looking for free return shipping, or buyers who just “don’t get” your products. Provide proof of authenticity, as asked, and supplier info to prove reliable sourcing as needed.
4. Resolve any rights owner issues or IP complaints
Whether you’re Private Label or reselling other brands, you need to run a tight ship in regards to rights ownership. Yours, and everyone else’s. If you set everything up yourself for your own brand, make sure you resolve any new trademark, patent or copyright allegations as they come in. Brands seem to be getting more accusations of inauthentic items or counterfeit products than ever before.
If you’re reselling other brands, make sure you’re not vulnerable to IP claims that accumulate quickly without resolution. Those could take the entire account down if ignored. Only expert-level legal help can assist you with this. Not knowing where to find that can mean the difference between survival or a long suspension. And hiring just any attorney isn’t enough if that person fails to grasp how Amazon Notice teams work. Hiring one with no IP background won’t help either. Know how to locate good help, or ask someone like me who knows which attorneys aren’t faking competence.
5. Counter performance notifications with acceptable appeal content
If you’re “winging it” when you appeal or simply copying and pasting content from other appeals (whether they’re yours, or someone else’s) don’t expect Amazon performance and policy teams to take that seriously. Remember that you’re not filling in blanks with basic info, you need a Plan of Action that will convince them to reinstate your ASIN. They’re looking for credible statements with the details about how you’ll implement the fixes. Nothing less.
Follow these five, and you’ll find that you greatly reduce the odds of a suspension that would worsen an already troubling Q1-Q2.
Also, make sure you read What Amazon Sellers Need to Know About Price Gouging
If I DO get Suspended, what do I do First?
Make a decision early on if you plan to hire out help, or if you want to take this task on for the duration. Don’t waver back and forth, reading various group posts, Forum threads, or mix and match between seller stories to decide the best course of action. Unless you’re certain that yours is an “Easy one” that can be resolved in one appeal over the course of a few days, embrace the idea that your account is not worth risking with reckless, hasty Plans of Action.
If you’re taking it on without outside help, understand the pressing need to present clear, concise root cause examples. Then give them undeniably proactive solutions that will be acceptable to ANY investigator that reads it. Anything less, and you’re risking an appeal denial.
Good points from the compliance perspective