Amazon holds Amazon sellers to an incredibly high standard. As a seller you are likely doing everything in your power to ensure that your customers receive authentic, undamaged products that will leave them satisfied and wanting to purchase more. Yet, running a business through the Amazon platform has many obstacles sellers need to overcome in order to avoid an Amazon suspension.
Amazon frequently updates their policies and expects you as a seller to keep up with the pace. Even when you sell products following their policies, people still have the ability to leave complaints, and if you receive a negative complaint, there is a chance your account will be suspended.
A major aspect of the most common types of complaints leading to suspensions are rooted in buyer complaints. Here’s a breakdown of what each of these types of complaints mean for the future of your selling privileges on Amazon.com.
Types of complaints that lead to Amazon suspensions:
The best way to have your account reinstated due to a false claim of your product being inauthentic is to provide the receipts or invoices from where you purchased the product. Include the distributor’s phone number and website.
Second, do what Amazon wants: Dive Deep and do a self-analysis. Think to yourself and ask your team, “Why would my customer believe this is inauthentic?”
You may be selling authentic products, but the packaging is inconsistent with the customer’s expectations. Sometimes, complaints are misplaced which leaves you, as a seller, in a frustrating position. Your products are 100% authentic, but you realize the customer has made the complaint regardless. Either way, you will need to address why this happened, and how you plan to fix this problem to avoid future Amazon suspensions due to these types of complaints.
Once you find the root cause of your problem and attach invoices to a well-written Plan of Action, your account should be eventually restored.
Used Sold As New Complaints
You check your email and realize Amazon has sent you a message suspending your account due to a used sold as new complaint. You are baffled. You have a product, it has never been used before, so you sell it as a “new” product.
What you may have failed to realize is that the packaging is not the same. Or the item, while never being used, was returned. Amazon now considers these products used and you cannot sell them as new. Yes, even if the product truly was never used, just returned, the product cannot be labeled as new. Amazon and their customers expect perfect packaging, and that is exactly what you need to provide if you are selling a product labeled as “new”.
If your Amazon seller account has already been suspended, you will need to show that your company has been updated on the new policies and will never repeat the same mistake again. With a well written plan of action, it is likely that your account will be reinstated.
Copyright / Trademark Complaints
- In sum, if the product is genuine and you are simply reselling it, there is usually no trademark violation.
- If you are listing on a detail page that someone else created, there is usually no copyright violation.
- In our practice, most of the copyright and trademark violations asserted against our clients are baseless.
- Whether the complaints are baseless or valid, Amazon often suspends your account.
What should you do if your account has been suspended? Amazon tells you to contact the person that made the complaint. You get the email address in your suspension notice. You will need to convince the complaining party to retract their complaint from the same email address from which it was asserted. You may also need to submit a Plan of Action that seeks reinstatement whether or not the complaint is withdrawn. Your Plan of Action might state that you are not going to sell that listing anymore and also provide mechanisms for avoiding these types of complaints in the future.
Trademark Bullying: this is where companies assert baseless complaints. Its existence is recognized by the United States Congress and the USPTO. Don’t be a victim.
Products Not As Described Complaints
Many sellers want to be as descriptive as possible when selling their products. You may even describe your product as a “type” of product, while it is not exactly that product brand. The best solution is to take immediate action. You need to clarify precisely that your product is not a certain brand, but rather is like this brand. This mistake could lead to multiple complaints for inauthentic items and for not as described items.
In your Plan of Action, you will need to show that you quickly corrected your mistake and that you will take preventative actions so that this never occurs again. It also may be in your best interest to look back at your listing and make sure the pictures match exactly to the product being sold and that the descriptions perfectly describe the product you are selling.
Ordered Wrong Item or Unwanted Item Returns
Amazon will notice when items are returned. They will hold you as a seller responsible when someone returns an item because it was the wrong item or an unwanted item. You as an Amazon seller need to be proactive so that this does not occur again. By improving your listing with quality photographs and thorough, easy to understand descriptions, buyers will be less likely to mistakenly purchase a product.
Another way to avoid returns for unwanted items is to eliminate selling returned items that may have some damage to the packaging. Even if the customer knows that the item is used, if the packaging is not perfect, they may be discouraged and return the item. If your account has already been suspended, you will need a Plan of Action that thoroughly describes how you fixed your mistakes and how you plan to avoid making these mistakes again.