Bundling is when a seller takes products out of the original manufacturer’s packaging before reselling them. In this case, our client had their account suspended because some of the items did not have expiration dates on them.
Expiration dates are a major cause of safety suspensions – they must be clearly visible on the product.
Our firm was hired to write a Plan of Action to address the account suspension.
We addressed the bundling issue directly; we told Amazon that our client was not aware that they could not bundle their product. We also addressed packaging – a seller cannot resell a product without the original manufacturer’s packaging because each product must have an expiration date clearly posted so that the customer receiving the product can see it.
Generally, we do not advocate admitting to Amazon that there is any wrongdoing, as it puts the ball in their court as to whether or not they should reinstate the account. Admitting to doing something wrong means that you will not be able to take the case to arbitration.
Occasionally, we will recommend admitting wrongdoing if you are generally a good seller who just happens to get busted doing something wrong; sometimes it can work in your favor.
Our Plans of Action almost always have three sections: Root Cause, Immediate Corrective Action, and Systemic Changes. They should be concise, persuasive, organized and backed by documentation if necessary. A Plan of Action will not always work to get an account reinstated on the first try.
Amazon will respond to a Plan of Action in one of three ways:
- ‘Your account has been reinstated’
- ‘needs more information’
- ‘you are not permitted to sell’
The first Plan of Action that we submitted to Amazon for this case was denied because it needed additional information. We redrafted the Plan of Action, stressing that the client would check all inventory regarding expiration dates, make sure that all products have expiration dates that could clearly be read by the customer, and no longer bundle. After the second submission, the account was reinstated.