Don’t believe that appealing immediately means you get back to selling faster…
I’ve seen suspended Amazon sellers dive straight into writing convoluted appeals that no one at Amazon will read. Many were difficult, if not impossible, to understand. And I knew full well Seller Performance wouldn’t bother reviewing them at all. No one would reinstate the account based on the appeal’s content. Terrible punctuation and grammar make a Plan Of Action difficult to follow just at the moment you really need a captive audience. Don’t make that mistake! It just lengthens the suspension.
Acceptable Plan of Action content needs to include specifics behind the root causes of your suspension, your immediate corrective actions, and your improvements that eliminate the chance of a recurrence.
Hastily written POAs rarely if ever lead to reinstatement. Do motivate Amazon to reinstate your account and think things through before appealing a suspension!
Do include a short introductory paragraph
Demonstrate your overall diagnosis of what went wrong, then state directly how you already resolved each problem identified. Confirm that you located the origins of past errors or failings and proactively put together the right kinds of solutions.
Lashing out at Amazon for suspending you based on a few flimsy buyer complaints or criticizing overly aggressive policy enforcement teams won’t pay off, trust me.
Get direct and concise early in your POA, and stay that way. Do be practical.
Don’t waste their time offering endless background comments about your business, or your entire Amazon history
Don’t begin a POA by bashing the slowness of their teams, or telling them how disappointed and heartbroken you are to have a closed account. That’s just giving the investigator an excuse to skip reading the rest of your POA.
Vent your anger about a lack of fairness to me privately, but don’t include that language in your appeal. Do show Amazon how seriously you take this deactivation. You take it so seriously, in fact, you’ve taken time and care to provide them with a Plan of Action they consider strong enough to reinstate you.
As Seller Performance annotates an account while denying reinstatement, a “Non-viable POA” means they cannot justify letting those sellers back up based on the merits of the POA. So what do they mean by “viable” you may ask? Convince them you’ve clearly identified the original complaints or policy violations, the gaps that led to those deficiencies, and the effective, credible solutions you’ve rolled out to prevent future problems. If they’re not sufficiently impressed by your POA, they won’t take it.
Don’t waste time or space playing the blame game. Seller Performance doesn’t want to see lots of finger pointing
Seller Performance’s time is precious because they only have X number of POAs to review and reinstatement decisions to make, per hour. They have metrics, just like sellers and anyone in the Amazon ecosystem.
Why does Amazon suspend so many sellers? They want to force them to take detailed steps that will improve their account operations. Amazon promises every buyer a positive experience. They’re willing to suspend you if there’s any doubt around your ability to provide that to their customers. Arguing or debating the validity of a suspension, unless it’s an obvious error, won’t do anything beyond burning through your appeals. You only get so many!
Amazon tasks their investigators with protecting the integrity of the marketplace in order to protect buyers. If they think you’re throwing those same buyers under the bus in your Plan of Action, they’ll toss it aside and move on to the next appeal. Given what is known about Seller Performance, there’s really no excuse for sabotaging yourself that way. Don’t do it!
Many sellers who receive suspensions after too many “Not as advertised” warnings, different item condition warnings, inauthentic items, or “used sold as new” policy warnings go straight to pointing fingers. The usual reason given, either “the buyer made it up!” to get free shipping on the return or “this is from a competitor!” typically falls on deaf ears.
I recommend looking deeper into what could have potentially caused the complaints. Start by assuming that there must be a legitimate buyer reason behind the complaint and work your way backwards, as Jeff always says.
Don’t give Amazon generic info you found in Seller Forums or on Facebook groups
Don’t use valuable page space to talk around the point or address account matters that do not speak to the reasons you’ve been suspended. That’s a one-way ticket to a denial or endless requests for “greater details.” Get into the specifics that address the core reason(s) you’re deactivated. A POA is “viable” if every concern Amazon has about reinstating you is answered to their satisfaction.
Do use bullets and numbers, not long paragraphs, to lay out your Plan of Action
Communicate to Seller Performance teams that you understand the root causes of “what went wrong” along with all of the wonderfully efficient steps you’ve taken to correct each, and do it with one or two line bulleted points. Using paragraphs is great, when you’re writing a novel. If you send performance teams long-winded sentences, they’ll stop reading.
Stick to using paragraph form when you’re writing a short introduction to the POA, and at the very end, when you wrap it up with a brief conclusion. For all three core POA sections, use numbered points and don’t repeat yourself, or their eyes will roll as they deny reinstatement. Nobody needs to face numerous denials simply because of basic errors like using the wrong format.
Do ask yourself: How much do you really know About the Health of your Amazon Account?
I understand that the Account Health dashboard is rarely 100% accurate. Some ASIN notifications that you’ve successfully appealed will likely still show up there, and others drop off on their own, magically and without reason. The only way to know the answer to this question about your true account health is to do real research and delve into what’s resolved and what isn’t.
Taking too long to reply to pertinent notifications may equal ignoring them, to the Amazon algorithms at least. Account reviews trigger as soon as you cross over a certain threshold. Once you’re under review, anything is possible, including a full account suspension.
Don’t delegate management of the account to staff who don’t understand strict adherence to standards
Stay on top of all account notifications and determine which ones you need to counter with written responses, especially for policy violations and blocked listings. Remember, managing an Amazon account isn’t an ordinary job. Amazon expects and demands the best from each seller, every time. Handing this off to someone who lacks an understanding of the gravity of situations like an account review is similar to hiring poorly vetted professional help.
Do make sure that the POA has each Root Cause addressed specifically, adding ASIN-level examples
Use a systemic approach. Don’t list a handful of buyer complaints or policy violations in your Root Causes section and then neglect to speak to each one later on in the second and third sections of your POA.
You don’t necessarily need to add a root cause for every ASIN cited in the suspension notification. But address each original problem that led to Amazon’s review of your account in the first place. Your POA needs to show what you’ve actually implemented to fix core problems. The ASINs Amazon cites in the suspension notification are just examples to guide you.
Do remember to keep a POA concise and to the point
1. Don’t fill your POA with long generic content that you could have found anywhere. If you’re copying and pasting canned POA language from another seller’s well-worn template, Amazon won’t take you seriously. Put a match to that appeal and try again.
2. Several page POAs are ignored. Anyone who tells you they submitted a POA of 7 pages to Seller Performance and got reinstated resides in a distinct minority. “Too long didn’t read” is a common problem with account investigators. Based on all of the longer POAs we’ve seen, most of them could have been shortened to 1 or 2 pages anyway.
3. What do you say? Use a good solid first paragraph of a few sentences to set them up for what they’re about to read. Get into your Root Causes quickly, and show them that you’re already resolving each complaint. If they don’t find your analysis of the root causes compelling, they’ll never make it down to the POA you spent so much time agonizing over.
Imagine having the POA ignored completely! Too horrible to think about it, I know. Want to maximize your chances of success? Be specific, give them details on the improvements you’ve put into place to reassure Amazon that they can trust you with their buyers. Vague promises or general content heads straight to the rubbish bin, so don’t bother sending anything that will not convince them that they won’t have to review you again for the same reasons.