Some related account suspensions are Amazon errors, some are ancient history
By: Lesley Hensell
A flood of related account Amazon suspensions has sellers wondering what is going on. Unfortunately, the answer isn’t a simple one. Earlier this year, Amazon changed its policy about multiple accounts. Before, if a seller wanted more than one Amazon account, they had to request approval and follow a set of simple rules. The most important of these rules was that the accounts could not sell the same inventory.
With the policy change earlier this year, Amazon said no advance permission was now necessary. However, sellers with more than one account must have a valid business reason for doing so. Plus, Amazon explicitly stated that if one account is suspended for whatever reason, Amazon reserves the right to suspend all of the accounts that seller owns.
Since that time, we have seen a rash of accounts going down for “related” or “linked” accounts. In some cases, these are real linkages. For example, we have sellers who owned a different account a long time ago and it was suspended, or they worked for another Amazon business and that created a linkage.
In other cases, our clients are being caught up in false positives. For whatever reason, Amazon thinks there is a link – but there honestly is not. Finally, in some cases, Amazon makes a tremendous mistake. They suspend a seller for having an account in another marketplace – be it Canada, Japan or elsewhere. These are flat-out technology errors on Amazon’s part. Appeals for related account typically require an escalation for reinstatement. Unfortunately, front-line Seller Performance does not feel empowered to turn these accounts back on.
Your best strategy?
Make sure there are no linkages between your Amazon account and another selling account, such as account owners, tax ID numbers, bank accounts, credit cards, IP addresses, warehouse addresses, etc.
If you have more than one account, ensure you have a valid business reason for doing so. This might be using one account for private-label products and another for goods purchased via wholesale. Or, some sellers are developing multiple brands on separate accounts.
If you have more than one account, never sell the same inventory. Stay away from offering the same items, brands or – if possible – categories.
If your account is suspended for related accounts, be ready to provide a reasonable explanation – even if you’re guessing.
Be ready to offer detailed verification information about your account.
If you’re stuck or have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Riverbend Consulting. We are happy to discuss your case. Let’s talk 877-289-1017 or visit our website.
Lesley is co-founder and co-owner of Riverbend Consulting, where she oversees the firm’s client services team. She has personally helped hundreds of third-party sellers get their accounts and ASINs back up and running. Lesley leverages two decades as a small business consultant to advise clients on profitability and operational performance. She has been an Amazon seller for almost a decade, thanks to her boys (19 and 13) who do most of the heavy lifting.