The definitive guide to avoid suspension or termination of your Amazon seller acount
Here’s a useful insight from Chris McCabe, who bills himself as Ecommerce Chris.
Chris is an Amazon insider and a former member of Seller Performance, Amazon’s team that monitors and regulates the Amazon third-party marketplace. He says he has seen many sellers run their businesses without a proper understanding of the rules and procedures needed to maintain a highly-disciplined, clean operation.
So that’s why he had published this infographic:
We have been selling on Amazon UK, DE, and FR for a number of years and have tried to keep up to date with all the rules and regs. It is really frustrating seeing competitors seemingly breaking every rule. We do constantly report these sellers but rarely is anything done. Links to sellers own website, illegal ingredients in products, selling on other sellers own branded product listings all have gone unpunished.
I do wonder sometimes if seller support/performance actually read emails/case messages. Many a time we have been asked to provide documentation that we had already sent many days before. Can there be anything more frustrating than having someone reading from a script in reply to everything you tell them?
Now we are seeing Chinese sellers becoming more prevalent on Amazon like on EBay. They are not registered for VAT even though they are selling thousands of ££ of product a month. This means they are able to undercut most other sellers giving an unfair advantage.
I have to say my experience has been the opposite. A competitor of mine was repeatedly putting his telephone number and website in the product details.
I provided Seller Support with about 10 example ASINs, and as far as I can tell, he’s been kicked off.
Hmmm, I’ll pass on Amazon, thanks. Don’t like their business model, don’t like their fees and don’t like the hoop jumping you are forced to go through.
I agree with you on all 3 counts, but as 50% of my revenue originates from their marketplace, I’m perfectly happy to overlook them!
If you’re serious about your business you are literally shooting yourself in the foot by not selling on Amazon. The exposure is unmatched.
Amazon is a cruel mistress, but she also provides the biggest teet to suckle from. Imo worrying about fees is a moot-point because you’ll only pay fees on the items you sell.
We have been suspended twice, once for starting our seller account around October time and Amazon found our early success suspicious being a new seller. So we were nixed until late november, basically a validation process. Fair enough.
The second was due to a single customer complaining they had received an incorrect item. Being a small team run by humans, yes human beings, the fleshy-doughy people that we are; we may mixup the wrong item during a busy period.
There’s no real excuse for it, none at all, but it happens. So a single customer finds a magical complain button which takes us down right away. We were listing against detail policies.
Detail policies/detail pages?? Basically, Amazon assumed the item the buyer purchased would be incorrect for any future customers buying the same item. (Picture a listing for a Playstation, but the buyer gets Xbox)
So we had an excruciating back and forth with Amazon; Action-plans on how we will renovate all of our listings, removing any images with text on, making sure punctuation was no where to be found in descriptions and bullet points, super accurate browsing nodes on all of our listings. Literally everything in the policies was matched. Baring in mind we have thousands of listings, very thankless but we didn’t want to give Amazon any excuse.
We sent off around 3-4 appeals; I personally believe all of our listing revisions were worthless, and all Amazon cared about was us taking more care on packing the right items. The last [and successful] appeal was a basic plan mentioning we would double-check order sheets when packing. I’ve never felt so relieved when were allowed back on.
So there you have it folks, be sure to pack the right items. Else your customers who can’t supply a right email or phone number, figure out how to reply to multiple emailed messages WILL find out how to take your business down with no warning.
They can use their brains when they want to, just not when it’s in your favour most of the time.
I will say, I absolutely find it disgusting that Amazon UK does not have a UK based call centre. For a lot of business that rely on AMA for their income, firing off messages to anonymous receivers and dealing with the philipino call centres is just not good enough.
A good way to wangle your way to Amazon’s Dublin based call centre is to say you have a technical issue you need to speak with the tech team, and they’ll patch you through. Works lovely and you get the wonderfully helpful Dublin based team like eBay.
A lot of the time they are good for dealing with basic stuff (feedback issues, etc) but anything slightly off script is just a total disaster.
Of course for #5 if Amazon ask you for your “sourcing information” you can expect your supplier to get a nice phone call from Amazon, and their products to soon be available at a lower price then you’ve selling them for.