amazon seller suspension reasons

It’s the kiss of death: suspension of your Amazon Seller account. Your entire product range taken down. Locked out of the most fertile ecommerce market there is. Sure, you can appeal, but that can take weeks or months of lost profits, and appeals get denied all the time anyway.

So how can an honest, law-abiding Amazon seller avoid suspension? An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The best way to not get suspended is to learn what Amazon frowns upon and, well, don’t do it.

That’s why we collected the 7 deadliest sins sellers can commit in the eyes of Amazon. As long as you’re not guilty of these, you can sleep easy at night.

 

1. Ignoring Price Parity

Amazon is a jealous partner. If you’re listing your products on another site, it’s in your Amazon contract that the total price cannotbe lower than the Amazon price. And if you think you won’t get caught, think again — Amazon runs periodic checks to catch their sellers in the act.

How to Avoid It

  • Inform all of your staff about this policy so they don’t unwittingly break this rule.
  • Create automatic price limits using repricing software, so you can set your Amazon price to be the lowest once and never worry about it again.

 

2. Directing Shoppers Away from Amazon

Trying to stay on Amazon’s good side? Then don’t lose them business! It’s prohibited to even mention your outside sales channels, so don’t risk it just for a bit of extra press. Unfortunately, though, there are less obvious ways you may be breaking this rule, particularly what you put into your images and descriptions, outlined below.

How to Avoid It

Be careful you’re not guilty of:

  • Watermarking your product images
  • Using promotional text within pictures.
  • Adding .com, .net, .org, or any other domain suffixes in your seller name.
  • Talking about yourself or your business in product descriptions or featured bullets.
  • Including logos with outside links.

 

3. Duplicating Product Detail Pages

You can only create a new product detail page as long as one already doesn’t exist. This is a common mistake for new Amazon sellers, who tend to get so hyped up they start pumping out product detail pages without checking first… a mistake they likely don’t make twice.

How to Avoid It

  • Always, always, always search for the ASIN or UPC of a product before you create a product detail page. If your search turns up anything, then the product page already exists.
  • Double-check that you’re using the correct UPC by cross-referencing it with other product identifiers like title or brand.
  • Double-check that your UPC is valid in the first place. You can purchase UPCs or apply for brand registry with Amazon, especially if you manufacture your own products. Otherwise, you can purchase one through GS1 US.
  • Be aware that UPCs for single products are different from those in bundles.
  • Be wary of item condition differences. Make sure item conditions match.

 

4. Consistent Bad Reviews

In your attempts to satisfy Amazon, don’t forget about satisfying your customers as well. Regularly receiving bad reviews is one of the fastest ways to get kicked off of Amazon, and one of the hardest to justify. But sometimes it’s not the product quality or the brand policies that are the problem, and all it takes are a few strategic tweaks to get your rating back on top. Check out our Dos and Don’ts below.

How to Avoid It

Don’t…

  • Even with the most crowd-pleasing products, if you run out of stock and have to cancel orders, you’ll still get bad reviews. Inventory management software like ecomdash automatically prevents overselling, even syncing up your stock levels on all your channels, so you never have to worry about it again.
  • Mislead customers with ambiguous descriptions. Negative reviews often come from disappointment, but if the buyer has a better idea of what to expect, they won’t feel so cheated later.

Do…

  • Include a thoughtful thank-you in your packing slip and politely ask for feedback. This will increase your positive reviews to counteract the negative ones, and also mitigate otherwise scathing reviews.
  • Integrate email campaigns to thank customers and elicit feedback that way (only one email per transaction).
  • You are allowed to offer a free item in exchange for a review, as long as you don’t stipulate it has to be positive. You must leave it up to the customer whether the review is good or bad.

 

5. Abusing Ratings and Reviews

It’s not just reviews from your customers that you have to worry about — it’s also your own! Amazon has specific rules in place on how sellers can and cannot use ratings and reviews, and not all of them are obvious. Take a look at these rules below to make sure you’re not accidentally culpable.

How to Avoid It

These are Amazon’s laws for seller on reviewing and rating, so make sure you DON’T

  • Post abusive, insulting, or otherwise inappropriate responses to feedback from your buyers.
  • Post feedback to your own account.
  • Pay directly for positive feedback or removing negative comments.
  • Write reviews for competitors.

 

6. Disobeying FBA Inventory Regulations

If you’re not using FBA, you can skip ahead to #7. But if you are, you have a whole other set of rules to learn and follow. To keep their busy fulfillment centers running smoothly, Amazon tries to standardize product labels and barcodes across all of their sellers. Failing to meet these standards not only slows shipments and risks sending out the wrong products, it’s always grounds for suspension.

How to Avoid It

  • Print FBA labels directly from your Seller Central account.
  • Thoroughlycover all other barcodes, including the original manufacturer’s barcode. Only your FBA barcode should be visible and scannable.
  • Label all of your products before sending them to the fulfillment centers.
  • Use only removable white labels.

 

7. Breaking the Seller Code of Conduct

Amazon’s Seller Code of Conduct may seem simple enough, but it’s worth reviewing in case you accidentally break one of their rules. We’ve already covered some of the offenses earlier (like responding poorly to customer feedback), but we’ll list out the other relevant guidelines below just to be sure:

How to Avoid It

  • Tell the truth. Using inaccurate information (READ: “lying”) about your products or your business is enough to get you kicked off Amazon.
  • Don’t list dangerous products. Any product that could potentially harm a buyer (or create a lawsuit for Amazon) is forbidden.
  • Don’t “manipulate” customers at any point of the shopping process. Amazon will review communications if they get wind of something suspicious.

 

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