The Most Common Causes for Account Suspension on Amazon

Every seller on Amazon knows the importance of avoiding account suspensions, as being notified that your account is no longer active can severely harm a business’ performance and sales.


You can therefore save yourself some bad news by knowing what the main reasons are for why Amazon suspend accounts.


1. Inauthentic Complaints


Inauthentic complaints are one of the most common types of issues seller face on Amazon. Despite the fact that these types of complaints are often made by consumers who are dissatisfied with their purchases, Amazon takes them very seriously. If a seller receives one or more of these complaints against them, Amazon will most likely suspend their account.


In an effort to avoid these types of complaints, Amazon sellers must be proactive in their response to buyers- by responding as soon as possible. In addition to this, always providing invoices early, and maintaining this for all products over a 1-year period at least, would also help in avoiding such issues. It is also key to note that complaints over damaged items are most often marked as inauthentic, therefore ensuring products are packaged securely when being shipped is an advantageous way to avoid inauthentic complaints.


2. Operating Multiple Amazon Seller Accounts


Sellers must not operate more than one seller account without prior approval from Amazon. On Amazon’s Prohibited Seller Activities page, it is clearly stated that ‘Operating and maintaining multiple Seller Central accounts is prohibited. If you have a legitimate business need for a second account, you can apply for an exception to this policy’. Despite many sellers having a necessary need for another account, they most often fail to follow the procedure by asking Amazon for permission before-hand.


3. Using images and/or text without permission – Copyright Infringement


Copyright infringement is a type of intellectual property issue which can be difficult to resolve as Amazon requires the seller to sort the problem out with the owner who has the rights directly first.


Owners of the rights need convincing to withdraw their complaint and to notify the dispute team at Amazon – which can be a difficult task for sellers. To avoid such complications, sellers should ask owners for permission prior to using their images/text, and if they have not, should remove them for their product listings.


4. Failure to Address Intellectual Property Complaints


This is one of the most common reasons for account suspension. This law concerns patents, trademarks, and copyrights. Most often when a rights owner files an infringement complaint against an Amazon seller, Amazon will first inform the seller about the complaint made. They will then most often remove the listing and instruct the seller to resolve the conflict directly between them and the rights owner.


If the Amazon seller ignores these notifications, and they accumulate multiple complaints, this will consequently cause Amazon to suspend their seller account. Once an account has been suspended, the sole way a seller can be reinstated is via working with the rights owner to get the complaint removed. The higher the number of complaints, the more difficult this process becomes.


5. Amazon Seller Account Hackers


Despite sellers not doing anything explicitly wrong, most often suspensions occur due to hackers accessing Amazon Seller accounts – whereby bank information is changed, funds are transferred to the hacker’s account, etc. If Amazon suspects this kind of activity on their own, Amazon will suspend the account to protect the seller. If Amazon sellers themselves notice the activity, they will inform Amazon of the suspicious account activity. From there, they will verify the account details with Amazon.


Amazon may put the seller’s funds on hold to avoid hacker’s attempting to make unauthorised payments. Despite there being a delay in a seller’s communication with their customers, this must be done to ensure the integrity of the account and that no security is breached.


6. Sale of Restricted Products


Amazon restricts the selling of several types of products on their platform. In their policy it states, ‘The sale of illegal, unsafe, or other restricted products listed on these pages, including products available only by prescription, is strictly prohibited’.


Operating a seller account can be overwhelming, so overlooking this policy can be easily done. To avoid this, sellers can review the policies every month to check for any updates, and to ensure their products are permitted to be listed.


If an Amazon Seller is informed that their product(s) needs to be retracted, they should remove the item(s) and address the issue by creating a plan of action to prevent from occurring again.


7. Amazon Sellers Accused of Unauthorised Sales


Amazon Sellers can be accused of intellectual property infringement if they are unauthorised sellers of certain products they have listed. Because Amazon only want distributors to sell their products, many manufacturers enter exclusive distribution agreements with them. However, because Amazon does not enforce exclusive distribution agreements, numerous Amazon Sellers have been the target of invalid or unjustified accusations.


The First Sale Doctrine allows these sellers to resell the products without worrying about intellectual property infringement as long as they are resold in exact factory condition, often protects Amazon Sellers who lawfully purchase legitimate products. As a result, complainants who assert intellectual property infringement only as a result of ‘unauthorised’ sale of their items are making unjustified claims and, in accordance with Amazon’s report infringement website, putting themselves at risk of being charged with perjury.


Amazon Sellers who have gotten one of the aforementioned complaints shouldn’t give up hope. Maintaining a seller account can be extremely demanding, so should try their best to adhere to the recommendations stated above to best avoid such issues.

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