If you’ve fallen victim of an Amazon Suspension for the very first time, it can be a daunting period for your online business.
But there are straight forward steps that you can take to help get your business selling again quickly. Craig Gedey is the managing partner of Thompson and Holt, a company that successfully specialises in doing exactly that. Gedey – a previous Amazon Seller himself – has vast experience of what to do in the aftermath of an Amazon Suspension, from the moment it happens through to the day your deactivation is overturned, including crucial advice when writing your Amazon Appeal.
Here Gedey provides his five-step process if you have been the victim of an Amazon Suspension.
1. Don’t panic
“I can still recall the first time I had an Amazon Suspension and it was certainly a scary moment initially,” Gedey explains. “It was something I’d never been through before, I didn’t have any knowledge of the processes involved, and if I’m being totally honest my initial reaction was to get angry. But I’ve since learned that is probably the worst thing you can do, so definitely don’t fire off a panicked response after an Amazon Suspension that could end up doing more damage to your prospects of getting back online. It’s also worth understanding that you can have an Amazon Suspension even when you believe you’ve been operating correctly – it can be a genuine mistake that can be rectified.”
2. Collate your information
“If you’ve experienced an Amazon Suspension, you need to gather all the relevant information possible about why it has happened ahead of writing an Amazon Appeal. Accept that you have made a mistake in Amazon’s eyes and begin to think of ways to remedy that moving forward. Amazon want to hear exactly how you’re going to avoid the same situation happening in the future, so it’s very important to understand the reason why you’ve become the victim of an Amazon Suspension.”
3. Put together a Plan of Action for your Amazon Appeal
“This is the most important step when trying to get back online. At Thompson and Holt we specialise in helping businesses write their Plan of Action once they’ve had an Amazon Suspension because especially if it’s their first time, it can be difficult to understand exactly what they are looking for in that vital response. The first thing we always say is never copy and paste a generic Plan of Action from the internet for your Amazon Appeal – that is the worst thing you can do. The experienced Amazon teams are well versed in these and it will actually work against you rather than in your favour. Instead, make sure you refer to specific details of your Amazon Suspension and outline clearly how you’re going to ensure they won’t be repeated again.”
4. Use the correct structure
“Poorly constructed Plans of Actions could hinder your case after having an Amazon Suspension. As a basic outline, it should include an introductory paragraph, the description of the issue, your action steps to avoid repeat and a closing statement. Keep it concise and to the point without feeling the urge to use long-winded, descriptive paragraphs. There’s plenty of material online that goes into great depth about the best structures involved in an Amazon Appeal, but that straight-forward approach will serve you well.”
5. Send it to the right place
“Finally – and importantly – you need to make sure your Amazon Appeal goes to the right place as you appeal your Amazon Suspension. From the ‘Performance’ dropdown in Seller Central, select ‘Performance Notifications’. Find the suspension notice that you received, click the ‘Appeal’ button, and then the ‘Appeal Decision’ button. In the form that’s provided, enter the details of your Plan of Action, and include a telephone number where you can be reached in case there are any questions. Then click on ‘Submit Appeal’ and your Amazon Appeal will be sent to Seller Performance for review. You should receive a response to your appeal of your Amazon Suspension within 48 hours.”
“Selling on Amazon is a privilege, not a right, and because of that you have to play by their rules, especially so when you have an Amazon Suspension and you’re looking to get back online,” Thompson and Holt’s Gedey concludes.
“In our years appealing suspensions, we have seen countless Amazon Appeals that have been written and sent in haste and often in anger. Expressing frustration about your situation isn’t going to impress the relevant Amazon teams on any level, and can lead to poor spelling, punctuation and grammar. Others that I’ve seen have simply been desperate pleas for help when sympathy is going to be in short supply. Take a step back after an Amazon Suspension and take a more measured approach.
“Within your Amazon Appeal, they want to hear clear aims to change whatever it is they’ve highlighted and has resulted in your Amazon Suspension, not vague excuses about what you think might have gone wrong.
“More than anything you need to make clear what you are going to change to ensure you don’t suffer from having an Amazon Suspension again in the future. This is when it’s important to look at it from a customer point of view because ultimately it’s their experience that Amazon is most interested in – they are an extremely customer-focused operation.
“You have to take responsibility for and accept the reasons for your Amazon Suspension. Then clearly and concisely – without ever using generic online templates – outline why this is not going to happen again in the future. Put together detailed information that is specific to your own business and case. When writing your Amazon Appeal follow the structure outlined above and hopefully, your Amazon Suspension will be lifted.”
* If you have had your Seller Account Suspended, contact Thompson and Holt for a free LiveChat to get your Amazon Seller business back online as quickly as possible.