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How to Avoid Suspensions on Amazon, Part II

To keep growing your Amazon business, you must pay attention to your account health. This requires discipline and intention, as Seller Performance is constantly monitoring all sellers. As a successful Amazon seller and adviser in this game, I want to give you the best possible advice I can from my experience so you can avoid interruptions and setbacks.

Here are a few quick tips when it comes to INVOICES that will help you avoid suspension:

Make certain the information on your invoices matches the information on your seller account. Attention to detail is key here. If your address on file in your seller dashboard does not exactly match your invoices, Amazon could reject your invoices when you use them to appeal. What does this mean? Do not use your warehouse address with sourcing vendors if your office address is what is listed in Seller Central. This also means every period, dash, abbreviation, and even your middle name (or lack thereof) should match exactly between the two. A little extra effort to make certain every jot and tittle is accounted for could save you hours of hassle later on down the road! If you need more help with invoices or you aren’t sure if you’re doing it right, I created a helpful tip sheet you can find here. It walks you through what to do and how to do it. You have to be systematic in your approach to invoices.

When purchasing, use the card on file in your seller account whenever possible. Many sellers have employees who make purchases on behalf of the business. While this isn’t a problem in and of itself, it can be a source of problems when you aren’t using the card that is on file in your Amazon account. It's a lot easier on sellers to use one card for all purchases because attempting to explain to Seller Performance that your employee used a card that is not on file (or easily traced back to you) can be a headache.

Develop a system to quickly locate invoices. This may seem obvious, but I’ve seen many sellers with account issues who have never taken the time do this. The likelihood of Amazon asking for invoices at some point in the future is high, so you should plan for it. Keep invoices dating back at least one calendar year, and keep them in an organized file where you can quickly and easily find them. I remember one call in particular when a seller received a Performance Notification while he was on vacation. He didn’t have anybody left behind in the office and he was really the only one who could find a receipt or invoice in his disorganized system anyway. He had no way to comply by providing a response within 48 hours because he couldn’t supply the invoice they were requesting. Don’t get stuck in this type of situation.

If Amazon asks to see your invoices, notate them by hand. Never digitally alter an invoice, as it is one of the surest ways to get them rejected. Circle your business address and clearly mark this as your company. With your supplier information, clearly identify it as well. Note the ASIN in question, circle it, then write the ASIN next to it. Use a legible pen.

A little planning can save you hours of time, and potentially, hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars in lost revenue. The healthiest Amazon accounts practice prevention with intention! If you need assistance with your Plan of Action or any other account health related issues, please contact me. We have a ninety-five percent success rate with POA submissions!

How to Avoid Suspensions on Amazon, Part I

The fact is, many Amazon suspensions ARE AVOIDABLE. Here are a few quick tips when it comes to ACCOUNT HEALTH CASES to help you keep a healthy seller account:

Address every case, and quickly. Many sellers ignore the cases in their account health dashboard, but what they do not realize is that the cases count against them. Seller Performance keeps a tally of every issue in your account. This means each time you fail to address a problem, the stack of marks against you grows, inching you closer to suspension. Just because you don’t know how to deal with a problem doesn’t mean you shouldn’t address it. Make it a policy to address every single case!

Always communicate with a humble tone which puts the buyer. I can’t tell you how many times I have witnessed sellers who put themselves in a bad situation with Amazon because they communicated with anger or defensiveness, either toward Amazon themselves or a customer. File this under Appeals 101-ALWAYS humbly apologize for the problem and NEVER blame a customer.

Give Amazon the exact information they are asking for. If Seller Performance asks for the root cause of the buyer complaint, it is your job to do the research necessary to determine why they complained. You must convince the representative who reads your case that you understand why the problem occurred, and demonstrate how it will not happen again. You must be as specific as possible. I always advise clients to look at the issue from every angle, then address every variable in the equation. If your issue is product condition, address the source, the sourcing methodology, your quality controls, your software, your research methods, and even your employee training. Most of the time, appeals are lost because the seller does not give the information Amazon is asking for, and this is wholly avoidable with just a little effort.

Don’t just delete the listing and remove your inventory. Many sellers believe this fixes the problem, but it actually does nothing to resolve the underlying cause of the problem or give Amazon a reason to believe it won’t happen in the future. You must make verifiable changes to the way you do business, then explain how you did so in simple terms. This will give you the best chance of avoiding the same problems moving forward, and hopefully, help you avoid suspension as well.

Selling on Amazon can be a puzzle at times, but you are not alone! Ecomsellertools is here to help your business thrive. We have won 98% percent of the appeals for our clients over the past six years, and we can help YOU reinstate your ASINs and your account selling privileges. Don’t hesitate to contact us, as the small investment could very well mean the difference between a beautiful future of profits or time on the sidelines.

What To Do When You Are Suspended

I have seen it countless times. One minute an Amazon business is thriving and making great profits. Then, BOOM! Amazon suspends the account.

It can be both terrifying and maddening.

It causes incredible anxiety, and in their panic, sellers start making desperate decisions.

Losing your head when Amazon suspends you is natural, but acting out of emotion can only make things worse.

Hundreds of clients have come to me in this heightened state of emotion, convinced they are going to lose their businesses. Yet, I have been able to help nearly every single one of them get reinstated, so long as they were willing to follow one, simple piece of advice: adjust your mindset before taking action.

Reacting to a suspension with fear, anger, or desperation is the most surefire way to lose an appeal.

Approaching the situation with the proper perspective goes a long way toward guaranteeing reinstatement.

Here is the basic advice I give every seller who comes to me with a suspension:

First, STEP AWAY and give yourself some time to catch your breath. Don't write your Plan of Action when you are upset or angry. Do whatever is necessary to get your emotions under control. Distract yourself. Go for a run. Hit the gym. Engage in a healthy activity that will reset your brain. In doing so, you will be able to adopt a positive mindset. Use this an an opportunity to affirm yourself that you can solve this dilemma one way or another.

Secondly: Once your emotions are under control, you are ready to be proactive. Use the downtime away from selling for contemplate the reasons for the suspension. Evaluate your operation from top to bottom. Physically investigate your inventory. Look at your budget, and analyze your finances.

Third, Formulate a plan on how to fix what is broken before even thinking about responding to Seller Performance. Develop alternate strategies in the event your selling privileges are lost for a month or more. Begin your Plan of Action by thoroughly researching the root causes, as this is the most important step in the process. Be exhaustive in your digging. Look at your feedback, returns, account health cases, messaging, and sales reports. ONLY write your POA after determining the root cause, after having looked through every area of your account.

Although it may seem like it, an Amazon suspension is NOT the end of the world. You can recover from it. In most cases, as long as sellers adopt the proper attitude, not only will they be reinstated, but their businesses will thrive like never before.

You simply need to view your suspension as an opportunity, rather than a crisis. This is the perspective you must adopt for long-term success.

If this is your second or third suspension, keep in mind that all suspensions are different. Don't assume you will be reinstated a second time if you were successful on your own the first time. Second and third suspensions can be much more challenging to resolve.

If your first POA is denied on the first attempt, consider the help of a professional. Keep in mind, not all suspension service providers are equally proficient or successful. We have achieved reinstatements in 98% of cases.

If you are dealing with a suspension, feel free to schedule a time to review your situation at any stage by contacting us here.

Also, check out my new book Amazon Plans of Action: Proven Tactics for Winning Appeals here.

Interview with Quincy Lin of Qiklists for the New Book AMAZON PLANS OF ACTION: PROVEN TACTICS FOR WINNING APPEALS

Great interview where Scott discusses Plans of Action and Account Health. Scott has just released his new book AMAZON PLANS OF ACTION: PROVEN TACTICS FOR WINNING APPEALS. If you are in need of help with an appeal, please see our services page for special deals on Plans of Action and more. To purchase the new book on Amazon, please visit here.

The NEW BOOK, Amazon Plans of Action: Proven Tactics for Winning Appeals from Scott Margolius is NOW AVAILABLE exclusively on Amazon