If your Amazon seller account is deactivated or suspended, you might be wondering why it happened and how to reactivate Amazon seller account. Having a deactivated account can be stressful. However, there are still ways to reactivate it.
In this article, I will explain what a deactivated seller account is, the top reasons why an account may be suspended, how to reactivate it, and when to seek legal help.
Don’t skip the last section of the article to find out how you can avoid account suspension.
What is a Deactivated Seller Account on Amazon?
A deactivated Amazon seller account can either be initiated by the seller or Amazon. A seller has the option to deactivate their account if they want to stop selling or close their Amazon store.
If it was Amazon that deactivated a seller’s account, selling privileges will be lost. There are many reasons why Amazon will deactivate an account. Mostly due to a violation of one of their policies.
Amazon is strict when it comes to implementing its Terms of Service (TOS) and policies. If they catch you doing something against their TOS, your account may be suspended and deactivated.
What are the Reasons for Seller Account Suspension?
Account suspension is something that all sellers would like to prevent from happening to them. However, there are sellers who still try to go against Amazon’s policies and hope they won’t be caught.
Here are some of the most common reasons why a seller’s account may be suspended.
Selling Restricted Products
While there are thousands of products available for sale in the Amazon marketplace, there are several restricted items that they don’t allow sellers to sell. It is important for sellers to read the Restricted Products Help pages to be aware of them and avoid accidentally listing them.
Examples of restricted products on Amazon are animals, alcohol, weapons, explosives, human parts, and drugs. If you are caught selling one of the prohibited items on their list your account may be suspended.
It is always best to check their list of restricted products since most of them are normal items and may not seem dangerous such as food, beverages, electronics, and jewelry.
If you want to sell these products on Amazon, make sure you comply with local, state, and federal laws and Amazon policies applicable for each restricted item and product listing.
Apart from complying with the law, you need to get approval from Amazon to allow you to sell items under Restricted Products. Here are the steps on how to apply to sell or list a product that requires approval.
- On your Amazon Seller Central account, from the Home Page click on the Catalog menu.
- Choose Add Products and search for the item you wish to list or sell.
- From the search results, click on the Show Limitations link beside the product.
- Choose Apply to Sell to start your application process.
Selling Fake Items
Amazon does not allow the selling of fake or counterfeit items in its marketplace. It is the responsibility of the seller to ensure that they only sell authentic products. They even have the Amazon Anti-Counterfeiting Policy in place to ensure the authenticity of all products sold on Amazon.
Sellers must provide records of authenticity if necessary and they are not allowed to sell items that have been illegally manufactured, reproduced, or replicated. Failure to comply may result in the suspension of your account, selling account termination, and product disposal.
Having Multiple Accounts
Having multiple Amazon seller accounts is not always permitted by Amazon. However, Amazon allows some sellers to create multiple seller accounts as long as it is a legitimate business reason and it is done the right way.
To open a new seller account, you should use a different email address, bank account, and product. Your first seller account must also be in good standing.
Use of another seller’s intellectual property (IP) without approval from the rights owner is called IP infringement. Whether you did it intentionally or as an honest mistake, you will still receive a notification from Amazon if the rights owner had filed an IP complaint.
Failure to address Amazon’s notifications may lead to account suspension. Examples of IP infringement are copyright, patent, and trademark infringement. You would need to submit an Amazon appeal letter to get your account reinstated. However, there are no guarantees that your account will be reactivated after submitting an appeal.
Negative Seller Feedback
The last thing sellers would like to receive is negative feedback from buyers. However, you can’t please everyone, and no matter how much you’d like to avoid getting one, receiving negative feedback is all part of selling.
When sellers receive too much negative seller feedback it can affect their Account Health. If your Account Health has been suffering for too long it may lead to account suspension, especially if the cause is the same issue. Buyers can give negative feedback not only for your products but also regarding shipments, customer service, and a lot more.
It is important to note that negative product reviews are different from negative seller feedback. A product review is more about feedback on the quality, functionality, authenticity, value for money, and other factors about the product. Product reviews allow other potential buyers to decide if the product is worth buying.
Seller feedback is comments on delivery processes and shipment for Fulfilled by Merchant (FBM), customer service if the product was advertised correctly, and the product packaging. It’s more of the performance of the seller rather than the product itself.
Who wouldn’t want to get positive reviews? Of course, every seller’s dream would be to receive only praises and good reviews for their products and services. Some sellers might be carried away and attempt to get paid reviews.
However, that is a big no on Amazon and is a violation of their policy. If Amazon detects that you are buying positive reviews, then your account might get suspended.
Hacked Seller Account
Sometimes it’s not always the seller’s fault why their account has been suspended. There are cases where sellers are victims of hacking. If Amazon detects any suspicious activity in your seller account, they may lock it for security purposes.
Examples of suspicious activities are accessing accounts using a different IP address and unauthorized access to a seller’s account to change bank information.
How To Reactivate Deactivated Seller Account?
If your Amazon seller account has been locked or suspended, you can take several steps to reactivate your Amazon seller account. Here’s a guide on how to do it.
Know the Reason Behind Your Suspension
Find out the reason why your account has been deactivated or suspended. This is the only way you can take the next steps to reactivate it. Most of the time, Amazon includes a reason for the deactivation or suspension of an account, not unless it may affect the investigation.
While they may provide the reason, it is still best to investigate on your own to get to the bottom of it and check if Amazon is right.
Write an Appeal Letter
Once you’ve confirmed the reason why your account has been deactivated or suspended, it would be easier for you to write an appeal letter. When writing an appeal letter it should include an introduction, description, plan of action, and conclusion.
The plan of action is very important as you will state here the actions you have taken to correct or resolve the issue. It should also include your long-term plan to ensure that the same issue will not happen again in the future. Again, keep in mind that submitting an appeal letter won’t guarantee that your account will be reactivated.
You can also include evidence or proof that you did not violate any of Amazon’s policies. This may help strengthen your case. If you need help on how to write it, I wrote an article on how to create a winning Amazon appeal letter.
Submit and Follow Up
Once you’re done writing an appeal letter and you have gathered all your evidence, you can now submit your appeal letter. Make sure to send it the right way. Check your suspension notice and find out if it states where you can submit it.
There are several ways to send it such as through the appeal button found in account health or through the “Contact us” section in Seller Central. Once you have submitted it, make sure to follow up and check the progress of your appeal as this can take some time.
When Do You Need to Hire a Lawyer?
In most cases, you don’t need to hire an Amazon seller lawyer when faced with issues such as multiple account creation, payment disputes, and abuse of product reviews. However, you should seek legal help when you’re dealing with IP infringement, selling illegal or restricted products, and counterfeits.
Hiring a lawyer can help you craft a more compelling appeal letter and may help avoid facing civil and criminal penalties.
How to Avoid Account Suspension
To avoid having to deal with a deactivated or suspended account, here are some tips you should follow.
Review Amazon’s Terms of Service and Other Policies
Make it a habit to review Amazon’s TOS every now and then since they update it from time to time. Before listing any product, check the list of restricted items to ensure it is not included in the list. Be sure to follow Amazon’s policy and any law on selling restricted items.
Keep Your Seller Account Health High
As much as possible, try to avoid getting negative seller feedback. In case you receive one, make sure to respond and resolve the issue with the buyer. Always take action on customer complaints, returned items, shipping issues, and other metrics that may affect your account health.
Never Sell Counterfeit Items
Make sure you only source your products from reliable and trusted manufacturers to avoid selling fake or counterfeit products. It doesn’t matter whether you’re aware or not that you’re selling fake items. When Amazon finds out about it, your account will be suspended.
Keep Your Account Protected
You’ll never know when a hacker will try to access your account. To prevent from getting hacked, make sure you don’t share your bank information, password, and any other important details about your seller account with other people and only share them with Amazon. Best to use the two-step verification to increase the security of your account.
Having to reactivate an Amazon seller account can be a tedious process. To avoid all the hassles and lose potential sales, make sure to follow the tips mentioned above and always follow their TOS and policies. Was your account recently deactivated? What steps did you do to reactivate it? Please share them in the comments below.