user profile
Sign in
user profile

[Informative] Suspended by Amazon. What should I do ? Help with Suspension and Appeals ... by Oneida Books

by Seller_cu1Lr54OxusWw

Suspended … now what should you do ? Help with appeals

by Oneida Books

NOTE 1: FOR NEW ACCOUNT SUSPENSIONS … See this thread : My new account was suspended shortly after registration … Help by Oneida Books

NOTE 2: Do NOT rush into anything. If you haven’t already hastily sent in an appeal, or even 2, take the time to RESEARCH and write the best appeal possible.

NEW MOTTO, "Address … Don’t Guess !**


First let me say that there are many posts/threads already with great help. I mention several other frequent posters in here besides myself (@Oneida_Books) . @bunga_bunga @Style and @Lake

Next, every suspension is unique and you have to write you own POA (Appeal) instead of just copying someone elses. Use what you find as a basis but make it your own.

Amazon provides some “Help” pages for you to reference :

Then I recommend reading over these threads/posts :

NOTE : Click the Summary’s I’ve included to read the posts (or comments) without leaving this thread !!

  • My own appeal template which I’ve used to get multiple sellers reinstated
    This is the format that I use for suspended sellers …
    This is a very basic template !!
    .
    Oneida's Summary with my Appeal Example

    This is a very general format. Different suspensions need different formats.
    USE the format Amazon gave in the suspension notice

    Dear Amazon;

    I am the principle of StoreName I am to responding to my recent suspension concerning ___________.

    (opening BRIEF statement with 1 or 2 sentences.) NEVER blame Amazon or a buyer and don’t put a bunch of unimportant fluff in here about your metrics !

    ** If an ASIN was removed you need to state whether you are appealing to have it reinstated or not.

    A. The root cause(s) of (whatever it is … “the complaints about the authenticity” - “the infringement” - “related to an account …”)
    State each offense BRIEFLY.DO NOT restate the obvious like "I was suspended because of Complaints about inauthentic products

    After a full investigation I found that:
    Examples …

    1. I listed items that I did not have Brand Approval to sell on Amazon.com;
    2. I purchased products retail instead of through authorized distributors;
    3. Some customers stated they received their product missing essential pieces;
    4. I incorrectly listed generic items on a branded page;

    Then give Amazon a “why” these issues happened. That is the true root cause.

    Add then a statement that you accept responsibility for the violation(s)

    B. The actions you have taken to resolve the issue(s)
    This is where you incorporate the areas they advised you on …

    1. I have made sure all buyers having issues have been fully refunded
    2. (Something about reviewing specific policies related to the suspension)
    3. I did this …
    4. I did this…
    5. (Sourcing: Are you sourcing the product from a trusted supplier?)
    6. (Listing: Is the product accurately described on Amazon? Have you ensured that there is no ambiguity and the customer is well informed?)
    7. (Packaging: Is the product in its original packaging as listed on Amazon?)
    8. (Storage and Shipping: Have you taken all appropriate steps and quality checks to ensure that the product is stored, packed, and shipped appropriately?

    Yes it should take more than 3 or 4 steps here for MOST suspensions …

    C. Details on how you will prevent future complaints
    bunga bunga and I disagree a little here. I have rarely ever gotten just 1 line to work here.

    (Some examples, but it depends on your issue)

    1. I studied these policy pages so that I know what Amazon policy is and can follow it. (This depends somewhat on what the violation was, but some examples …)
    1. I did this
    2. I did this
    3. I did this

    Closing statement … BRIEF !! Again 1 or 2 sentences.

    IF you need more separate as new paragraph. Readability is KEY

    I ask you to please reinstate my selling privileges.

    Sincerely,
    Name
    Storename
    email addy
    phone number

Then there’s bunga bunga’s template

    Summary of bunga bunga's post

    (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

    (explain)

    B) What we have done to fix the problems

    (explain)

    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.

    1. 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.

    1. 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.

    1. 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.

    1. 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.

    Good luck!

    bunga bunga!

Next is styles thread …

    Summary

    My friend Bunga Bunga has written a most excellent suspension tips thread, which I am referencing here:

    [How To Write a Plan of Action When You’ve Been Suspended] https://sellercentral.amazon.com/forums/thread.jspa?messageID=377281220
    However, every day I see appeals, where the OP is claiming to have read Bunga’s thread, where he does mention this, but it just does not compute somehow, because there are nearly always two fatal errors. So I’m probably not saying anything different than B.B. but just doing it in my blunt signature fashion.

    Here it is (drum roll, please)

    Although bunga said it, and I say it on every critique I write, and it’s in every suspension notification, 99 percent of you either parrot back what they said or

      Section I - what caused the problem is either omitted entirely or is just parroting back the notification. What was your sin, exactly, precisely? And why is it vital that you clearly state this:
    a. So Performance won’t have to dig through the appeal, or look at your account to make sure your “solution” matches the problem. They don’t have time. You are not the only seller who got the boot today.

    b. When you ask us on forum, we can’t help, not being psychic ourselves. And we don’t want to take the time to dig it out of you by playing 20 questions either.

    c. Amazon needs to know that YOU know what you did wrong, so you won’t do it again. So if you do not say, you get the “plan is incomplete” thrown back at you.

    Which brings us to a brief mention of Part 2 of your appeal, which is what I have ALREADY DONE (policies in place) to ensure Part 1 never happens again.

    Past tense, not what we promise to do. Plan in place. For example: Replacement/backup person trained. Phone Apps installed to check messages or turn on vacation settings while you are in the ambulance en route to the hospital. New shipping flow in place and tested, with all materials in place and assembled. Shelves reorganized and stock counted. Catalog downloaded via category report feed, corrected and reuploaded.

    What is more important than rushing to get back online to get those sales is making sure you now have a business plan that works and no longer is in violation of Amazon’s policy, and that your priority is making sure customers receive what they’ve ordered and in a timely manner, not putting your wallet ahead of them.

    And there’s other stuff we always mention, like cutting the term paper-ese filler/fluff. If you don’t use outline form and your appeal is a page long, it gets flushed immediately. There’s a middle ground there someplace where you are complete, but your solution doesn’t get lost in a wall of text.

    They won’t read it and most of the time forum members won’t either. We’re working for free.

    Paragraphs matter. Take the time to make it readable.

    Style

And in Style’s thread

    Summary

    IMO most of the appeals posted which claim to be based on Bunga’s template turn out to be too long.

    IMO most appeals which are not based on Bunga’s template are too long.

    Often they are too long and lack adequate content.

    I think that using Bunga’s template helps you write an appeal which includes adequate content, but should be followed by an edit, to reduce the number of words required to communicate the information.

Then after you’ve read those …

  • Read over your Feedback through Seller Central … checking closely the “Item as Described” column as well as the comments

  • Read over any old Buyer Messages … Amazon does

  • For Authenticity Complaints also check Product Reviews

  • Check your Returns … especially if you are using FBA. You need to read closely over your FBA Returns (link to the current page in Seller Central) and pay attention to the “Customer Return Reason” column and the buyers comments, if any

  • Inventory : If possible pull an ‘All Listings’ Inventory Report and check it line by line. It will sometimes show more listings than Seller Central will. I have found MANY times a report contained +problem+ listings that did not appear under Manage Inventory in Seller Central. One seller had 40 listings in the report and only 6 in Manage Inventory ! Often these could not be deleted and support had to get them deleted.

  • Invoices : If you submit invoices but Amazon repeatedly asks for them it means they are not accepting you invoice. Accept that, address it and move on with your plan …
    NOTE: Sometimes … Amazon will accept receipts on Inauthentic Complaints

    Summary on Valid Invoices
    1. After repeated requests for invoices performance stops asking almost always because the invoices are not acceptable and they are tired of asking. I’ve worked on lots of suspensions and seen this over and over …

    2. Many sellers don’t really know what Amazons definition of an invoice is.

    3. Valid Invoices require:
      Supplier information (name, phone number, address, website)
      Buyer information (name, phone number, address, website) MUST MATCH AMAZON INFO
      Invoice date (typically must be issued in the last 365 days)
      Item descriptions … Full description of each item
      Item quantities and Shipped Quantities
      Total value of all goods covered by the invoice
      NOTE - Amazon supports documents in Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, and Spanish. If your documents are in another language, you can submit notarized translations in a supported language.

    4. Just some of the unacceptable types are:
      Links or screen shots
      Order Confirmations / Sales Orders
      Retail Receipts (typically)
      PayPal Invoices
      Packing Slips
      Invoices from liquidators or online retailers
      Pro-forma invoices (Pro-forma invoices are invoices sent in advance of a shipment or delivery of goods. Lack of pricing or shipping information indicates a pro-forma invoice)
      Auctions
      Invoices from any liquidator or online retailers … Walmart.com, Overstock.com, etc. … who only supply used goods
      Handwritten
      Commercial(customs)
      Purchase Order/Purchasing list/contract document/delivery report
      English-language invoices from suppliers in mainland China.
      Invoices from taobao.com, tmall.com, aliexpress.com, 1688.com or Alibaba.com

    5. Many sellers just don’t realize their source is not an acceptable distributor of the Brand to convey resale rights (clearance wholesalers and such)

    TYPES of Invoices

    Just having an invoice is not enough. Sometimes certain ones will pass … but other times they wont !

    There are different types of invoices … Examples are :

    1. Proforma invoices (Pro-forma invoices are invoices sent in advance of a shipment or delivery of goods. Lack of any pricing or shipping information indicates a pro-forma invoice)
    2. Sale invoices (Invoices that show you need to pay)
    3. Final Invoices you get with the shipment or after showing paid, shipped, etc.

    Knowing which kind you are submitting is important.

Then when done reading and you are asking for help :

  • Post the suspension Notice/s and any previous responses
  • Post your appeal for opinions.

There’s no magic formula for an appeal but here’s basically what it takes …

  • A good understanding of the rules
  • A good understanding of where you failed
  • The ability to communicate to Amazon your understanding of the failures
  • The ability to convince them that you will prevent future ones
    … and the most overlooked one of all …
  • Inventory that Amazon will see as not being an issue. By this I mean things like not having :
    – Listings with condition notes stating missing parts
    – Listings for top Brands but no acceptable invoices

Here are some Summaries … (Click Summary to read)

    Summary from Seller Performance .... and is the basic template of what they expect

    Please reply to this email with a plan that explains:
    – The issue that caused the complaint
    – Steps you have taken to resolve the complaint
    – Details how you will prevent similar complaints

    Here are a few things to consider as you work on resolving this:
    – Sourcing: Are you sourcing the product from a trusted supplier?
    – Listing: Is the product accurately described on Amazon? Have you ensured that there is no ambiguity and the customer is well informed?
    – Packaging: Is the product in its original packaging as listed on Amazon?
    – Shipping: Have you taken all appropriate steps and quality checks to ensure that the product is stored, packed, and shipped appropriately?

    Summary from Seller Support about what your plan needs

    Your appeal should always include a plan of action that:

    1. Identify the root cause of the issue. ( In your own words restate and own “we received complaints about the authenticity of the items”)
    2. Explain what actions you have taken to remedy the root cause.
    3. Outline what actions you will take to ensure the issue does not recur.
    4. Provide a plan for evaluating the success of your remedy actions.
    5. Provide your contact phone number so we can follow up if necessary.

So far my format has worked for over 60 sellers that I am directly aware of and have communicated with me. It should only be used though after spending time really looking into/at/for your issues.

You can address the suspension but yet when performance looks at your account they find other issues … and you get denied. So check everything !

Oneida Books
Rob

Tags: FBA, INR (item not received), Lost shipment, Packaging, Shipping, USPS, Vacation settings
930
6634 views
92 replies
Reply
92 replies
Quick filters
Sort by
user profile
Seller_03oEF7XMwht5S
In reply to: Seller_cu1Lr54OxusWw's post

The Mods should seriously consider pinning this to the top of the boards. Placing it there would be a major asset to the recently suspended.

Reply
100
user profile
Seller_cu1Lr54OxusWw
In reply to: Seller_cu1Lr54OxusWw's post

I want to add this about Authenticity Complaints … [Updated Feb 2019]

I have worked on many of these and this is just how it is with Amazon. You have to understand :

  1. That authenticity is not about whether the product is really authentic and made by the brand or not. It is only if you can prove a valid supply chain.

  2. Valid supply chain means someone who can convey to you the rights to resell for the brand.

This is the sequence …

  • You get 1 complaint and don’t get it cleared up

  • You get a 2nd - Suspension

  • Request made for Invoices

  • You either have acceptable invoices (commercial) or not

    • Retail receipts are generally not acceptable
    • Auction invoice/receipt is not acceptable, even if itemized
    • HSN is not acceptable
    • Alibaba/AliExpress is not acceptable for this
    • Some wholesale distributors are not accepted
  • Start the loop
    • You submit non-acceptable paperwork (receipts or even invoices from wherever)
    • Amazon sends another request for invoices
    • Back to top of this loop ^^^^^
  • End loop when Amazon gives up and moves on to asking for a plan
  • Start new loop
    • You submit plan
    • Your plan does not sufficiently address the complaints we received about your listings
    • Back to top of this loop ^^^^^
  • End loop when Amazon gives up OR you have a decent plan.

  • NOW Amazon asks about 2 - 3 other ASINs Thankfully I am seeing little of this anymore (2019)

How can you save your account ? You have to delete, not 0 out, ALL inventory that you can not prove the supply chain.

Many sellers think their source is OK when it is not … They MUST be recognized as having the right to give you the right to resell.

Reply
200
user profile
Seller_ook3Z3cA2zLOb
In reply to: Seller_cu1Lr54OxusWw's post

Way to go Oneida, and thank you Amazon, many of the forum regulars, whether we posted or just lurked, have asked for this information to be readily available to those who need it. Great news, very nice to see.

Just one comment, at the bottom it still says that this thread will be closed 6 months after the last reply. I know there will be updates as policy changes, it would be nice if it could it be taken off.

Again Yea!

Reply
20
user profile
Seller_ook3Z3cA2zLOb
In reply to: Seller_cu1Lr54OxusWw's post

Well, I guess I spoke too soon, this topic has now become “unpinned”, so now it will “display in regular order”. Amazon must have changed their mind, thanks for trying.

Reply
00
user profile
Seller_cu1Lr54OxusWw
In reply to: Seller_cu1Lr54OxusWw's post

2 posts were split to a new topic: We are still reviewing your account

Reply
00
user profile
Seller_cu1Lr54OxusWw
In reply to: Seller_cu1Lr54OxusWw's post

A post was split to a new topic: Why is Amazon asking for invoices yet again?

Reply
00
user profile
Seller_cu1Lr54OxusWw
In reply to: Seller_cu1Lr54OxusWw's post

A post was split to a new topic: Suspended for policy violation

Reply
00
user profile
Seller_Vn7vgRlZGjKqN
In reply to: Seller_cu1Lr54OxusWw's post

my account suspended, I need you help and I was new seller.

Reply
00
user profile
Seller_ujScHTwvcsrwf
In reply to: Seller_cu1Lr54OxusWw's post

bump

Reply
10
user profile
Seller_zL09Ygu6JPhUV
In reply to: Seller_cu1Lr54OxusWw's post

Hi could you help me to remove suspension of my account?

Reply
10
Go to original post

Similar Discussions