The Lifecycle of an Amazon Appeal
One major mistake we’ve seen far too often with suspended Amazon sellers is also the most natural reaction one can have when their business is in jeopardy. It’s an unfortunate truth: too many failed appeals will delay, or even prevent, a successful reinstatement of your account.
It’s human nature to immediately hit the panic button and try everything you possibly can to get Seller Performance to understand, but in this situation, patience is an absolutely necessary evil.
A Rough Timeline of Account Suspension
So, it’s your worst nightmare coming to life. You’re suspended. Your funds are held. You’ve already spoken to seller support, they gave you no help, and you have no idea what to say to convince them to reinstate your account. Things are looking grim.
This is the time to research Amazon policies, strategize different ideas to use in your appeal, and learn everything to avoid when you’re writing your appeal plan. Take your time. These words are going to make or break the ultimate fate of your seller account, so do not rush!
What to Do After You Get Suspended
It’s totally understandable for sellers to want to fire a response back immediately. Here’s a valuable compromise, and it will help your case when you submit a completed appeal as well. Don’t write an appeal – write a brief message stating that you acknowledge the notice of suspension and are actively working on a complete plan of action to be submitted within an appropriate time frame. This lets Seller Performance know you’re taking the situation seriously, and hopefully it satisfies your urge to defend your seller account as soon as you see the suspension notice.
How Long Should Sellers Wait to Submit a Plan of Action?
The appropriate time to submit your appeal depends on the reason for your suspension. What length of time makes sense to resolve the root cause of the reason you got suspended? If it’s metric-based, order defect rate or shipping issues for example, it’s likely that you will need more time to write an appeal that will get you reinstated. The actions needed to fix this type of issue involve coordinating with your staff to revise any procedures that fall short, informing warehouse teams of new protocols and so on.
On the other hand, let’s say you got suspended for something far more serious, such as rank manipulation or buying reviews. If this is the case, it would be appropriate to submit an appeal sooner, because the path to reinstatement is largely based on the volume and validity of the information you provide to Seller Performance. Writing down what you did to manipulate the algorithm takes less time than overhauling your shipping procedures, even though the latter is a much simpler suspension to reinstate.
Do Multiple Appeals Reduce Your Chances of Reinstatement?
If you submit more than one appeal that gets denied, your chances of getting reinstated will absolutely decrease. There’s no exact number of failed attempts you can reach to automatically cause Seller Performance to write you off entirely, but apply a bit of common sense here. If you’re striking out over and over, why should Amazon believe that you’ll get it right the next time you submit? They’ll take you less seriously, and the worst thing you can do while you’re suspended is irritate the team responsible for reinstating your account. If your appeal is denied even one time, the best move is to get help from an experienced Amazon suspension consultant. If you wait to strike out two or three times, it makes the task much more difficult for the professional you ultimately hire
What to Avoid While Your Appeal is Pending
What to do while you’re waiting for a response is far less important than what not to do. Here are the deadly sins of conduct while you’re in limbo between suspension and reinstatement:
- Do not open multiple cases. Sometimes it seems like your appeal will never even be seen, but rest assured that it will be reviewed. It might not be as fast as you would like, but opening many cases with seller support and calling incessantly just confuses the issue and delays your reinstatement.
- Do not open another seller account. Hopefully you know better, but we’ve seen it all. If you open another account out of sheer impatience, you’re taking a major risk of losing both your original account and your new stealth account. Once again, patience is a necessary evil.
- Do not change vital account information. Changing your bank account on file, your credit card, or your personal details on your seller account should always be done carefully, but while you’re suspended, it’s something to avoid. Any actions that might deter Amazon from reviewing your appeal and reinstating your account as soon as possible should be avoided, and changing vital details falls into that category.
When is it Appropriate to Escalate?
If you submitted your appeal over a week ago and got no response, it’s appropriate to follow up and ask for an update. If your message prompts a denial from Seller Performance, don’t stress. This isn’t the worst thing – a denial means things are moving along, and you’ll probably get some valuable insight on what you need to add or remove from your appeal in order to get reinstated. However, if Amazon fails to respond again, consider working with a consultant to help you escalate your appeal to some of the higher teams at Amazon. This isn’t something to try at home — unlike normal appeals where there’s no set number of denials until you strike out entirely, you only have one real shot at truly escalating your case.
Hopefully, these tips will keep you from making errors in the timeline of your appeal that might cause an even longer delay in reinstatement. Remember, every suspension is different, and there’s no guru with a magic formula that works for everyone. Information and transparency are your most valuable weapons when it comes to successfully reinstating your Amazon account, so learn as much as you can and don’t overcomplicate things with an elaborate story.
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.