It takes hard work to become a successful Amazon seller. It can be understandably heartbreaking, therefore, to have your account suspended. Sometimes, the reasons for suspension are obvious, like in cases where sellers knowingly break the rules. Other times, the situation is less clear. Regardless, it can be a frustrating, disorienting process that can be difficult to resolve. The best thing you can do is avoid it entirely.
In this article, we’ll go over some of the things that can put your account at risk for suspension, what you should do if your account is suspended and how you can protect your business with insurance designed specifically for the needs of Amazon sellers.
1) Pay Attention to Your Seller Reputation
Did you know that getting too many negative feedbacks can put your seller account in jeopardy? When customers are complaining about late deliveries, broken or defective products or other quality issues, you better believe that Amazon is paying attention. The online retailer is all about pleasing consumers, so if you aren’t keeping up your end of the bargain, you can expect Amazon to take action.
No one wants to see complaints, but sometimes negative feedback or reviews are the best type of responses you can receive. They’re hugely valuable because they can help you identify packaging issues, problematic SKUs, listing problems, or other customer complaints as soon as they arise.
Discovering these issues, along with having the opportunity to correct them, is exactly why tracking product reviews is so important. It’s time-consuming, but can be easily automated by setting up review monitoring with FeedbackFive.
Resist the temptation to respond emotionally to negative reviews. Instead, approach the comment with the goal of providing excellent customer service and support. Not only will this help protect your brand’s reputation, but it will also keep you aligned with Amazon’s goal of providing a customer-centric experience.
2) Review Manipulation
According to Amazon, review manipulation is “any attempt to manipulate reviews, including by directly or indirectly contributing false, misleading or inauthentic content.” It is strictly prohibited.
What does review manipulation look like? Sometimes, it’s the result of an innocent mistake, while other times it’s a calculated effort to try to falsely boost the number of positive reviews. Here are some examples:
- Using multiple accounts to increase the number of positive reviews.
- Misrepresenting your company name, address and phone number to get more reviews.
- Soliciting reviews for products that were given to customers free of charge or heavily discounted.
- Failing to include important details about your products in an effort to mislead buyers.
- Using language that implies you’d only like reviews if the customer liked the product.
- Asking buyers to reach out to you before they leave any comments.
- Offering gifts to those who provide favorable reviews.
- Encouraging friends and family to leave good reviews on your listings.
- Intentionally sabotaging the competition by leaving fake reviews.
These types of solicitation efforts go against Amazon’s terms of service and will probably lead to your account being suspended. If it happens and you get caught, don’t make excuses. Show humility, acknowledge your mistakes and make the most of your second chance — if you’re given one.
3) Failure to Comply with Amazon TOS
You don’t want to deviate from Amazon’s guidelines for any reason. Follow the rules at all times, stay informed about any updates or changes and be honest when you make a mistake. Ultimately, trying to skirt the rules will never be worth it. (Take a look at this Review Compliance Checklist to ensure you are following Amazon TOS.)
Be clear about your intentions as well as understanding Amazon’s goal. This will go a long way towards eliminating any borderline practices. Amazon wants people to keep shopping on the site, and your intent should be to follow policy. When those two things align, making smart business decisions will become a lot easier.
No one’s denying that keeping up with policies can be exhausting, especially when things change without notice. This is your business, though, and it’s your job to stay in the know. So, if you need to brush up on sticker or shipping requirements, set aside the time to get familiar with those policies. Remaining compliant and avoiding suspension really can be that simple. Don’t put it off another day — it will be worth the effort!
4) Have Amazon Seller Insurance
You must comply with Amazon’s seller requirements for insurance coverage, and a commercial General Liability Insurance policy is the first line of defense. For this reason, it’s crucial to look for an insurance product that adheres to regulations, but also protects your business assets.
While some categories carry more risk than others, anything can happen when you’re selling things to the public. Recalls, defects and human error can be catastrophic financially or even legally. You want to make every effort to safeguard your livelihood, and finding insurance coverage designed specifically for eCommerce businesses is the right move.
Don’t Risk Suspension
The Amazon marketplace gets more competitive by the day, and it can be tempting to go outside the TOS or engage in “black hat tactics” to try to get ahead. Although this can lead to some short term success, it will likely come back to haunt you in the long run.
Instead of resorting to unethical tactics, roll up your sleeves and get to work. Keep up-to-date about what Amazon requires of you as a seller, avoid breaking the rules and show remorse for mistakes if you get caught. Earn those positive reviews and build your brand the right way.
[icon name=”address-card-o” class=”” unprefixed_class=””] Author: Jeanne Croteau
Jeanne Croteau is a staff writer at eComEngine. She’s also a psychology professor and freelance writer with a keen interest in exploring the minds of online shoppers (including her own!). She loves hockey, cooking, running, and spending time with her husband and six children.