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Worried about removal from Amazon? That can be a costly event for any seller on the platform. Here’s how to avoid having it happen to you.
Back in September, Business Insider reported that Amazon had signed a pledge in mid-2019 promising to give third-party sellers a 30-day suspension notice before permanently removing them from the platform.
But after it went into effect, many sellers reported on seller forums and elsewhere that they were still being suspended from the platform without notice. Adding to this vexing situation, sellers also were learning that sometimes account suspensions are the result of algorithmic decisions made by Amazon’s internal machine-learning software. This results in some sellers getting booted even if they have done nothing wrong.
Often these notifications from Amazon are vaguely worded, and it’s hard to tell the precise reason for a suspension.
As part of a German antitrust settlement, Amazon amended its Business Services Agreement. That new version gives sellers in and out of Germany a clearly stated 30-day notice before permanent removal from Amazon. Some sellers could still be removed without that 30-day notice if the violations were especially egregious, rather than just, say, inadequacies in customer service.
To avoid removal from Amazon, you must play by all of Amazon’s rules.
Technically, violating any part of your Seller Agreement or the Selling Services terms noted below can result in suspension and temporary removal from Amazon.
Selling Services Terms
This is a summary of their longer document. Basically, you must
• follow all of their terms, formats, and data entry requirements for listing products
• perform all services in a “competent, workmanlike manner”
• maintain industry standards and certifications and display them in your Seller Central account
• maintain drug and alcohol testing policies for all employees
• protect customers’ personal data
• refrain from using Amazon to solicit for any additional services and products – you can only sell listed products, not hawk others in your listings.
• conduct employee background checks and carry insurance (general liability for $1M limit, plus workers’ comp and auto, if applicable).
The biggest reason for removal from Amazon is if you make Amazon look bad to customers through poor performance. Customer service issues like poor handling of inquiries, fulfillment, complaints, and returns will flag your account for review and/or suspension.
Other common reasons for suspension or removal from amazon
1. Putting too many product variations into a single listing
2. Failing to address intellectual property complaints from owners of patents, trademarks, and copyrights
3. Operating multiple seller accounts without Amazon’s prior approval. Amazon
4. Your account was hacked, and Amazon suspends it until the issue is resolved. Sometimes the seller discovers the hacking first, or Amazon itself will notice suspicious activity. In either case, this is the one instance where suspension works in your interest.
5. Selling restricted or prohibited products like prescription drugs, gift cards, defective or expired items, alcoholic beverages, or items made from endangered species and otherwise prohibited by law. If you get a notice that the products you’re selling fell into this category, you must immediately remove them from your listings and tell Amazon in your appeal how you will prevent the situation from recurring.
6. Selling counterfeit products. Do we really need to tell you why this is grounds for removal? If a customer lodges this kind of complaint, you need to jump on it immediately.
7. Committing copyright infringement: Using images or text without permission is grounds for suspension.
8. Buying Reviews is always a no-no. You also can’t ask customers for “good” reviews. You have to earn those with great products and good customer service.
9. Posting inaccurate listings: If your product descriptions don’t match the product, this generates customer complaints and can lead to suspension.
Avoid inaccurate listings by using a product feed service that guards against those kinds of mistakes. As a longtime Amazon selling partner, Shoppingfeed will correctly apply all the required product attributes, enrich them with optimal SEO, and send your product feed out to Amazon and any other channels you select, with guaranteed accuracy. The secret is how we apply Quality Data. You can read about it in our white paper, Six Secrets to Amazon Success.
My mission at Shoppingfeed is explaining how to leverage e-commerce platforms and SaaS technology to e-merchants who just want to run their business and make more money.
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