(Even your friend and humble narrator bunga bunga has been suspended . . .)
So you’ve been suspended, and you’ve received that email from Amazon telling you that you need to tell them how you’re going to fix the problems. Maybe you’ve even sent in a plan, and gotten back the enigmatic “Your plan is not complete” email. Here are some tips as to how to formulate a Plan of Action and get back on Amazon. This is not a cure-all list by any means. You are in hot water, and you may or may not be able to get out of it, depending on how serious your infraction was.
I will admit to some hesitancy in even posting this list, as I have no interest in helping bad sellers get back on Amazon. But we’ve been suspended, and others have been suspended who perhaps didn’t deserve it, or who committed only minor infractions. It is those people that I hope will be helped by this post.
1) How to format your plan of action
The format for your plan of action should be:
A) What went wrong
B) What we have done to fix the problems
C) What we have done to prevent the problems from happening again in the future
(explain that what you did in “B” will keep the problems from recurring)
Now when I say “the format should be”, I mean you really should use those lettered headings “A) What went wrong” and so forth.
When I say that in section C you should basically only say “The actions we took under #B will keep the problems from recurring,” I mean it. Use your own words of course, but all action items should be in B. C, preventing issues from happening in the future, should be a result of what you have done in B, and you should simply say that it will be.
2) What to include
Make sure that you address any and all issues Amazon had with your account. Make sure that your plan solves the problems they mention.
3) What not to include
This is even more important than #2. Don’t include a bunch of extraneous verbiage. Don’t talk about how wonderful you are, how wonderful Amazon is, or how sorry you are. Don’t address problems that Amazon did not bring up. Stick to the facts – here’s what went wrong regarding what Amazon is asking about, here’s how we have fixed the problems, and here’s how we will keep those problems from recurring in the future.
4) Serious issues
With some Amazon infractions, it may not be possible to recover. An incomplete list of examples of such things might include opening a second seller account when your first one is suspended, rampant counterfeiting, obvious lies about having shipped product, and the ever-popular large-scale shipping of things that aren’t what the customer ordered. If you’ve done things like that, the formatting of your Plan of Action probably won’t matter.
5) Other things to do and not to do
Be patient. Amazon is in no hurry to reinstate you.
Do not bombard Amazon with status requests.
Do not make things worse than they already are, e.g. by refusing to ship open orders until Amazon reinstates you.
Do not make things worse than they already are, e.g. by writing your customers and complaining about your suspension, or writing JeffB and doing so.
Make real changes in how you operate so that you are not suspended again. If you were being a sleazeball, stop. If you are a one man shop and, say, "didn’t ship because I went into the hospital and " blah blah yes we’ve heard it all before, create a contingency plan that gets your product shipped and your storefront on vacation when such things happen. If you were sourcing your “new” product from hinky distributors, knock it off with the knock-offs.
And if you get reinstated – congratulations – but don’t just say “Hey, I got back on, no need to change anything” . . . or one day you will be back here reading this post again.