Hopefully, sellers have read all of Amazon’s policies before investing time and money into a new product launch. It’s important to know the rules. But, there are some types of policy violations that will absolutely get your Amazon account suspended far more quickly than others.
We’ve worked with enough sellers to understand exactly what’s not a big deal — and what is a sure shot at a suspended account. Here’s a quick outline of the 7 Deadly Sins of Selling on Amazon. Do these things for a guaranteed account suspension.
The Most Dangerous Amazon Seller Violations
(1) Attacking a Competitor. This is marketplace abuse at the highest level, and it falls under the Code of Conduct policy. Regardless of how you choose to go about starting a competitor war, it’s more than likely that Amazon will catch on and suspend you under the Code of Conduct. That means at best, it will be extremely difficult to get your account reinstated. So just remember, there’s room for everyone – seriously. It’s not worth it.
(2) Rank Manipulation. This isn’t the same as review manipulation, which of course, we have seen more times than we can count. Rank manipulation involves a variety of methods intended to drive artificial traffic to your listings, usually in order to quickly outrank competitors and obtain a better BSR. This can throw off the Amazon algorithm, which means seller performance really hates it — even more than review abuse. Rank manipulation, if caught, will get you a Code of Conduct suspension as well. It’s hard to explain this one to Amazon, and it’s quite difficult to reinstate.
(3) Linked Accounts. It’s a well-known fact that having a seller account linked to another seller account is a violation of Amazon policy. This has been a difficult type of suspension for many years. However, the level of enforcement and how Amazon enforces this policy has evolved over time. These days, simply having two accounts isn’t as likely to get either of your accounts suspended. However, having an account that’s linked to a suspended account, especially one that’s been flagged as fraudulent or abusive, is highly likely to get both of them banned for good.
(4) Counterfeit Products. This is another type of violation that hasn’t changed much over time. Amazon has taken a lot of heat for the validity of the products sold on the platform on both a PR and legal level, so this is an absolute zero tolerance rule. You can’t sell fake products — there’s no excuse for it, even if you thought they were real or the shipment came from the same supplier as always. A confirmed counterfeit violation will get you suspended on the highest level, almost always with no path to reinstate.
(5) Safety Concerns. Again, this is an issue of liability for Amazon. If your product is expired, if it has ingredients that will hurt someone, or if it actually hurt someone already, you’ll have a huge problem on your hands. Unfortunately, it’s a common method for competitors to report your product for a safety concern when it’s not true — that’s why it’s important to have all your invoices, safety sheets, documentation and whatever else applies to your product category ready to send to Amazon in case this does happen.
(6) Manipulating the Catalog. Catalog errors cause a huge headache for Amazon. Anytime a seller abuses the ASIN creation policy with a listing that violates this policy, a suspension is sure to follow. This includes making a listing with improper variations, using a brand name in a misleading way, or any other deceptive or simply wrong information within the detail page.
(7) Forged Documents. If Amazon is able to prove that you provided an invoice or other document to them that has been altered, they will suspend your account right away. Usually, this is a type of suspension that doesn’t have any path to reinstatement. Amazon is a massive platform with millions of sellers, and they simply don’t care to risk their monumental popularity amongst online shoppers if they believe a seller is a risk to the platform. A forged document generally means that one of these other violations is hidden beneath that file, and we can’t blame them for not caring to find out what it is.
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.