If you have been the unfortunate recipient of a message from Amazon Seller Performance which begins: “Your Amazon seller account has been suspended” you are not alone. Because of an inefficient vetting process, the seller performance team has been suspending sellers right and left, for various reasons. The most common of these are complaints by customers of “inauthentic items,” failure to maintain proper seller metrics, and intellectual property violations.
When you opened your seller account, you signed away your rights to sue Amazon in court. You do have the right to arbitration, but Amazon looks at your relationship with them as a privilege, not a partnership — your privilege. You see, you need Amazon more than the giant etailer needs you. That is why, with Amazon, which has established a “buck stops here” appeal system with Seller Performance, if you have been accused of violating their policies, you are guilty until proven innocent, and they don’t want to hear you protest your innocence. They would rather have you confess your sins and give them a plan of action showing that the likelihood of you doing it again is non-existent.
This creates an enormous burden on the seller with the suspended Amazon account. They are not going to decide whether it was a fellow seller trying to shut you down who made a bogus complaint. You have to prove it to them beyond a shadow of a doubt, and that is not often possible. Sometimes, after drafting detailed plans of action, an Amazon seller receives back a form letter from Seller Performance saying they have reviewed the information and decided you may not sell on Amazon again. Have a nice day! Often, this form letter comes several minutes after you have sent the appeal, leading you to believe that nobody has read your plan at all. You cannot call Seller Performance; all you can do is send them an email. That is just the way they work.
At Amazon Sellers Attorney, I help sellers regain their selling privileges through detailed research, planning and sheer persistence. Often, Seller Performance will not tell you what they are looking for in a specific invoice they have requested or what the subject of the product complaint they received was. They will just keep sending the same form letter over and over, or remove your selling privileges and stop communicating with you.
If your account is still viable and you are dealing with a complaint of inauthenticity, IP violation, listings or a product issue, you can use the “chat” feature to contact Seller Support and ask them to communicate your questions to to Seller Performance. If you decide to do this, make sure you keep a copy of the chat as documentation. In the chat, you may find out more information, or you could find out that Seller Performance contends you didn’t address an issue that you have already addressed in your appeal. That is evidence that may help you in an escalation of the matter to Jeffrey Bezos’ office. Believe it or not (and it is getting more and more difficult to believe) he does care about the quality of his “seller police.”
If you get hung up or overwhelmed, simply call or email us for a free consultation. Having an Amazon sellers lawyer is a wise move before pushing that Amazon appeal button.