The potential for expansion and the ability to reach millions of customers are game-changing benefits of operating a successful business on Amazon. Despite the enormous potential, sellers must adhere seriously to Amazon’s policies and guidelines to prevent problems. If you violate any of Amazon’s policies or guidelines, you run a risk of having your account suspended.
If the Amazon seller account is suspended, it may potentially affect sales and the reputation of the seller’s business. Any Amazon seller hoping to succeed in this competitive marketplace must be aware of the suspension types and the best ways to avoid and recover from them.
We will delve into the world of Amazon account suspensions in this blog, examining the many sorts of suspensions and illuminating the preventative measures sellers can take.
MAJOR REASON FOR ACCOUNT SUSPENSION:
I. ACCOUNT HEALTH:
1. LATE DISPATCH RATE:
The delayed dispatch date means that orders are being shipped late via merchant fulfilment. Each seller is required to adhere to a service level agreement (SLA) of two days or as per your shipping settings. If you are a prime seller, the expectation is to ship the order within one day. Failure to meet these requirements results in a late dispatch rate exceeding 4%, leading to the suspension of your account due to the high late dispatch rate. The late dispatch rate (LDR) can occur due to issues on your end or with the courier partner.
What steps can be taken to ensure timely shipment of products?
Ensure prompt shipment:
When an order is received, prioritize shipping it on time. Avoid delays and strive to meet the designated shipping timeframe.
Adjust shipping time for certain products:
Some products may require sourcing from local suppliers or additional preparation. In such cases, consider increasing the shipping time for these specific products. Update the shipping time information in your product listings accordingly. This adjustment will help in reducing the late dispatch rate.
Maintain adequate manpower:
To avoid postponing packing tasks to the next day due to a lack of staff, ensure you have sufficient personnel available for packaging and shipping operations. Having an appropriate team in place will prevent an increase in the late dispatch rate.
Manage inventory effectively:
Keep track of your inventory levels and ensure you have the necessary stock available to fulfil orders promptly. Maintaining proper inventory management helps in scheduling parcels on time.
Evaluate courier partners:
If you encounter delays caused by your current courier partners, consider exploring alternative options. Look for more reliable and efficient courier services to partner with, ensuring smoother and timelier deliveries.
2. CANCELLATION RATE:
While it is important to fulfil orders as per policy, there are situations where cancellations become necessary due to factors such as low stock or other reasons. Insufficient stock is a major contributing factor to cancellations. To mitigate this issue, it is crucial to maintain an adequate inventory and ensure proper inventory management. When you have ten pieces of a product in your warehouse, accurately reflect this quantity in your Amazon listing, avoiding the mention of a higher quantity like 20. This prevents complications if the product goes out of stock physically. Additionally, it is essential to promptly update the inventory on Amazon to reflect any changes. Non-deliverable pin codes and price errors can also contribute to cancellations.
What steps should be followed to prevent cancellation rate?
Regularly monitor inventory:
Make it a practice to regularly check your inventory levels. Utilize software solutions like Brown Tape, OMS Guru, or any other inventory management system that can help you keep track of your stock. If you don’t have access to such software, ensure manual updates are made at least every two days.
Address non-deliverable pin codes:
If you come across a non-deliverable pin code, promptly raise a Seller Support ticket and provide the reason for the non-deliverable status. By reporting this issue, you can take proactive steps to prevent cancellations related to non-deliverable pin codes in case of self-ship orders.
3.ORDER DISPATCH RATE(ODR):
The ODR can be attributed to poor product quality or inadequate shipping methods. If you are selling low-quality products, there is a higher risk of them being damaged during shipping. Conversely, even if your products are of good quality, if the packing is inadequate or insufficient, it can result in damages during transit. When customers receive broken products or perceive them as fake or used, it contributes to the ODR. Another significant factor leading to ODR is when customers report discrepancies such as ordering two products but receiving only one.
What steps should be followed to prevent ODR?
Ship quality products:
Ensure that the products you sell are of good quality. Avoid using low-quality materials that may break during transit. Couriers handle shipments in various conditions, so it’s crucial to choose products that can withstand such situations. Conduct quality checks before shipping to minimize the risk of sending defective or damaged items.
Provide comprehensive product listings:
List your products with complete details, including descriptions, usage instructions, model numbers, sizes, colour charts, and other relevant information. Avoid vague or misleading information. Mention the size of the product, even if it’s labelled as “small,” providing the exact dimensions in centimetres or inches. For electronic items, include usage details to guide customers on proper product use, such as specifying that a watch battery is suitable for watches only.
Avoid listing assorted colours or colour variations:
Refrain from listing products with ambiguous colour options, such as “assorted colours” or “colours may vary.” Instead, provide specific colour options with corresponding images. Customers often make purchasing decisions based on product images, so ensure the colour depicted matches the colour they will receive.
Respond promptly to customer queries:
Address customer inquiries and concerns on time. Be proactive in providing accurate and helpful information, and resolving any doubts or issues they may have. Prompt and effective communication with customers helps build trust and reduce the likelihood of negative experiences.
Process returns and refunds efficiently:
If a customer is unsatisfied with a product and requests a return or refund, handle the process promptly. Approve returns and process refunds promptly to prevent customers from escalating the issue by filing A-to-Z claims. Resolving customer concerns swiftly helps maintain positive metrics and customer satisfaction.
Conduct quality checks before shipping:
Before shipping any products, perform thorough quality checks to ensure that they meet the required standards. Test battery-operated items to verify their functionality and confirm that all components are in working order. Avoid shipping defective products to customers.
Use appropriate packing materials:
Invest in good-quality packing materials suitable for shipping your products. Proper packaging ensures that items are protected during transit and minimizes the risk of damage. Choose packaging materials that are sturdy, secure, and suitable for the specific nature of your products.
II. POLICY VIOLATION:
Inauthentic Violation is the most significant reason for account suspension. It is indeed a concerning situation when your account is suspended due to this issue. Why does it happen? The primary reason is the failure to validate suppliers. Often, products are purchased from local suppliers, which can refer to anyone from the wholesale market. Merely having a GST number does not guarantee authenticity. To ensure authenticity, you must validate your suppliers. It is your responsibility to conduct proper verification. If you are uncertain, it is best to refrain from adding the product to your listings. Avoid listing products that may put you at risk of authenticity concerns. As mentioned earlier, it is essential to purchase only from authorized distributors, dealers, or individuals who source their products from reputable distributors or dealers.
HOW TO VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY OF YOUR SUPPLIER:
Contact the brand directly:
Visit the official website of the brand you are sourcing products from and get in touch with their customer support or sales department. Inquire about the authorized distributor(s) in your area. They should be able to provide you with the distributor number or contact information.
Reach out to the distributor:
Contact the distributor directly using the provided information. Express your interest in purchasing products from them. If they are willing to supply you directly, that’s a positive sign. However, if they are not able to supply you directly, ask for the name of your supplier and inquire whether they are purchasing from the authorized distributor.
Validate the supply chain:
By contacting the brand and the distributor, you can verify the legitimacy of your supply chain. It’s important to ensure that the manufacturer supplies products to authorized distributors, and as a retailer, you are expected to purchase only from these authorized distributors.
2. INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY VIOLATION:
The next policy violation to address is intellectual property infringement or trademark policy violations. This occurs when you improperly use trademarks or brand names belonging to others. One of the primary reasons for this violation is when sellers attempt to map their products to other listings. It is common for new sellers and even experienced sellers to engage in mapping with the expectation of receiving more orders. However, if the rightful owner of the product files a complaint, Amazon may suspend your account. It is advisable to avoid mapping or linking your products to others and instead focus on listing your products separately.
Here are some ways to prevent suspension and ensure compliance:
Avoid using other brand names:
Refrain from including brand names belonging to others in your listings. Instead, focus on promoting your brand and products.
Use your images:
It is important to use your images for your listings. Take high-quality photographs of your products and upload them on Amazon. This helps maintain authenticity and avoids potential copyright or intellectual property infringement issues.
Apply for a trademark:
Consider applying for a trademark for your brand or product names. This provides legal protection and strengthens your ownership rights. By using only your brand name in your listings, descriptions, and images, you reduce the risk of trademark policy violations.
3. DUPLICATE ACCOUNTS:
Duplicate account suspensions occur when multiple individuals within the same family operate Amazon accounts in the same category or using the same pickup address. This scrutiny by Amazon aims to prevent the creation of duplicate accounts for the same business. It is not limited to family members but also applies to situations where public Wi-Fi or a friend’s laptop or internet connection is used to access and manage Amazon accounts.
To prevent duplicate account issues, it is advisable to follow these guidelines:
Maintain a single account:
It is recommended to have only one Amazon account. If you have a genuine need for multiple accounts, such as different business entities or brands, contact the Performance Team and Seller Central. Clearly explain the reasons for opening a new account and provide all necessary supporting documents. If they approve your request, proceed accordingly. However, if they deny your request, refrain from creating multiple accounts.
Avoid public Wi-Fi:
Using public Wi-Fi networks can lead to account suspension due to potential associations with other sellers using the same network. To mitigate this risk, use your own secure Wi-Fi connection when accessing your Amazon account. This ensures a clear distinction and prevents the system from flagging your account as a duplicate.
Keep devices separate:
Do not share your laptop or computer with other Amazon sellers. Similarly, avoid logging in with another seller’s credentials on your system. Maintaining separate devices and login credentials helps maintain the integrity of your account and prevents confusion or potential duplicate account suspicions.
In conclusion, the reasons mentioned above are some of the major factors that can lead to account suspension on Amazon. However, it’s important to note that there are other suspension reasons as well, specific to each seller’s situation and business practices.
If your account has been suspended, it is crucial to take prompt action to address the issue. Amazon requires sellers to submit a well-crafted Plan of Action (POA) outlining steps to rectify the problem and prevent future violations. The POA should address the root cause of the suspension, provide a detailed action plan, and demonstrate your commitment to maintaining compliance with Amazon’s policies and guidelines.
For more information on other suspension reasons and access to template examples of effective Plans of Action, check out our course on How to protect Amazon Seller Account.