How to Write an Amazon Appeal Plan
If you’re an Amazon seller, it’s more than likely that you will need to deal with a suspended account at some point, even if you did absolutely nothing wrong. Maybe your metrics took a dip from a few orders shipped late, or you became the victim of a competitor attack. Whatever the case, the way you write your Amazon appeal makes all the difference in both your chances of reinstatement and the speed in which your account gets reinstated.
Your specific appeal strategy depends on the reason for your account suspension. Regardless of the situation, though, it’s not a lost cause. There is a method for appealing your suspension that does actually work.
The Anatomy of an Amazon Appeal Plan
Your basic outline should address three major points: root cause, corrective actions, and preventative measures. Here’s a quick rundown of these three core aspects of your appeal.
This is the first part of your appeal, and it should clearly address why the account suspension happened. A successful root cause clearly explains what happened, and shows that you understand why that occurrence led to a suspension. It’s best not to be too concerned with whether or not seller performance will keep your account banned because of what you include in your root cause — they’ve heard everything. Be frank and detailed. A vague root cause will cause your whole appeal to fail.
When your account is suspended, you need to perform damage control before you create a strategy to avoid another suspension disaster. This damage control is your corrective actions section. Here, you need to outline exactly what you have already done to correct whatever you can while your account is still suspended. For example: deactivating your ASINs temporarily to review them for accuracy, making sure any buyer complaints are resolved in full, and triple-checking your listings for compliance according to Amazon policies. These are three solid examples of corrective actions — just make sure you actually do what you say you did.
Your preventative measures section is the true “plan of action” involved in your appeal. This is where you’ll outline the exact steps you have implemented to make sure the issue that caused the suspension will not happen again. In this section, it’s up to you to convince seller performance that you’ve changed the way you handle your Amazon business drastically enough for the problem to be truly avoided if they choose to reinstate your account. Depending on the issue, some examples might include rearranging employee roles, conducting additional reviews of your physical products or listing style, or implementing creative, compliant ways of generating customer reviews.
Do’s and Don’ts to Remember
Now that you’re familiar with the overall structure of your appeal, let’s talk about a few things that will cause your appeal to fail — and a few things that might dramatically increase your chances of success.
DO be specific.
It seems counterproductive to outline exactly how badly you broke TOS, but it’s often the best path to reinstatement. Explain in detail what you did wrong, own up to it, and provide sincere details on how you can be sure it won’t happen again. If you omit key points, seller performance will probably know anyway.
DON’T give a sob story.
Unfortunately, seller performance doesn’t really care how badly you’re hurting while your funds are held, or how many employees you had to lay off during your suspension. Their main concern is making sure the rules don’t get broken again if they reinstate you. Focus on the facts.
DO be concise.
The most effective way to write an Amazon appeal is by saying as much as possible, in as few words as you can. Seller performance won’t have time to interpret what you write, and they won’t have time to read a novel. Explain what happened and how you’ve remedied it in a clear, detailed manner.
Especially if it’s about something they can conceivably check on. This is one of the fastest ways to fail at your appeal plan – you’ll lose the trust of the receiving end and get nowhere.
DO be courteous.
It’s not the fault of the seller performance agent reviewing your appeal that you got suspended. It may not be your fault either, but blaming Amazon won’t do anything for you. Be polite and use a respectful tone, no matter what. This approach can move mountains in any aspect of your business, long after your account is reinstated.
Kristen Leccese has been active in the Amazon seller industry for 10 years. With strong roots in writing, her expertise in suspension appeals has helped reinstate hundreds of sellers throughout her years as a consultant.