It’s every Amazon Sellers’ worst nightmare: account suspension. With Amazon cracking down on things like counterfeit goods and sellers offering discounted or free products in exchange for reviews, it’s not surprising that Amazon Sellers would worry about getting suspended. Even those sellers who are selling genuine items and otherwise following Amazon’s guidelines can still sometimes run the risk of getting suspended. But don’t worry: here are some ways to avoid suspension on Amazon!
Monitor Your Metrics to Avoid Suspension on Amazon
Being familiar with your metrics is important, no matter if you’re a new seller just starting out or a larger seller raking in hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales every month. The most important metrics that Amazon focuses on are:
- Order Defect Rate
- Cancellation Rate
- Late Shipment Rate
- Policy Violations
- On-Time Delivery
- Valid Tracking Rate
- Contact Response Time
You can find these metrics by clicking ‘Account Health’ in the ‘Performance’ section of your Amazon Seller Dashboard. The goal is to see big green check marks in the box. If you don’t see the check marks, you’ll need to discern where the problems are and fix them quickly.
Amazon wants to see the following metrics:
Pro Tip: Use Amazon FBA to get perfect metrics in Order Defect Rate, Cancellation Rate, Late Shipment Rate, On-Time Delivery and Valid Tracking! Then you only have to monitor two of the seven metrics!
As far as violations of policies goes, you can check out this article by Amazon to get more information. There are many policies and guidelines you need to follow in order to avoid suspension on Amazon, so make sure you read this article carefully and understand its contents.
You should keep your Perfect Order Score above 95% (out of 100%). This is a culmination of the metrics listed above. If this falls below 95%, a couple easy ways to help it rise is to convert your inventory to FBA and/or look at your worst-performing products. Look at products that are being returned frequently or are causing other issues. After identifying these products, double check your product listing to see if there may be something causing confusion, i.e. inaccurate or a lack of information. You can update the listing to see if that helps improve the products’ performance.
Returns are something that will happen to everyone, and Amazon is aware of that. But the problem lies with excessive returns, signaling that there is an issue with the inventory or listing. You want to minimize returns and keep your 90-day Refund Rate under 5%. The less refunds, the better. This is obviously good for many reasons including more profit and decreased risk of getting your account suspended.
Be Proactive to Avoid Suspension on Amazon
There are many ways you can be proactive to keep from getting suspended on Amazon. First, keep an eye on your listings. Make sure that nothing wacky has happened within your listings that is causing issues. If Amazon finds feedback from customers like ‘missing items’ or ‘wrong item sent’ your account could be temporarily suspended. To avoid this, routinely check over your listings and ensure all the information is correct. You also want to avoid letting your listings go inactive. If you’ve run out of stock and won’t be getting any new inventory, go into your account and delete the listing. You don’t want to run into the issue of someone placing an order for a product you no longer sell.
In the event that you do encounter issues, it’s best to contact Amazon to let them know you are working to correct them. This signals to Amazon that you are a trustworthy, proactive seller who wants to do well. Plus, by starting a dialogue with Amazon, you’ll end up getting a point-of-contact at Amazon so if you need help in the future you have someone to email directly.
You also want to make sure you are being communicative with your customers. If they write to you with issues or questions, respond to them as quickly as possible. Make sure you are reviewing your Amazon Policy notifications and address them as soon as you can. This is not only beneficial to your relationship to your customers, but it’s beneficial to your relationship with the Amazon Policy Team. You can also try to get your negative reviews removed to help raise your review rating.
Avoid Suspension on Amazon by NOT Doing These Things
While it’s obvious that Amazon Sellers want reviews, there are things sellers cannot do in order to get more reviews. Amazon has been cracking down hard on sellers who solicit reviews from customers by offering free or discounted products. This kind of review manipulation is a BIG no-no and your account will be shut down if you’re caught doing so. There are legitimate ways to get reviews, so don’t let fake reviews cause you to lose your selling privileges.
You can also avoid suspension on Amazon by keeping to one seller account. Amazon prohibits sellers from having more than one account. It wouldn’t be hard for Amazon to figure out that you have signed up for multiple accounts and you’ll get suspended. Although if you do have a specific situation that requires you needing more than one account, just reach out to Amazon and explain the situation to see if you qualify for a second account. An example of an applicable situation that would warrant a second account would be if you have an LLC for a private label product.
Another big no-no is to create duplicate listings. This may get done by accident but it’s vital that you delete any duplicates that get created, by accident or otherwise. Some sellers may do this to try and control the Buy Box, but Amazon will call you out if you attempt to create a duplicate listing. It’s best to heed their warnings and not follow through with creating it.
If you weren’t aware, Amazon forbids sellers from listing the products they sell on Amazon for a lower price on any other platform. This is called the Amazon Price Parity. To give you an example, if you offer a product on Amazon for $25 with Free Shipping, you cannot sell the same product on eBay for $20 with Free Shipping. This goes along with the policy of not driving customers away from Amazon. While you cannot drive customers to other websites or sales platforms through links, videos or images or anything else, you also cannot cut your own Amazon product prices on other sales channels. Amazon wants to keep customers on Amazon and drive them to buy from you there, obviously. So don’t risk it by tempting customers with lower prices elsewhere or links to other sites.
In order to avoid suspension on Amazon, use your common sense and make sure you’re familiar with the Amazon guidelines and policies. If you need advice or are unclear about something that’s causing your account problems, our Product Specialists can try to help. They are experienced Amazon Sellers themselves, with years of selling experience. You can schedule a time to chat with one of them here.