Having your Walmart or Amazon account suspended is always bad news, but account reinstatement can be achieved more efficiently if you follow six guidelines.
Many third-party sellers on ecommerce marketplaces such as Amazon and Walmart are mom-and-pop shops, meaning their accounts represent the primary source of income for the account holders and their families. Other sellers have dozens – or hundreds – of employees to support.
So it’s no wonder that account suspensions are often met with a lot of emotion and fear. Deactivated sellers need immediate account reinstatement to maintain their livelihood and make payroll.
You, as a seller, could be doing everything right (or at least trying to). Then one day, thanks in part to the marketplaces’ security algorithms, you’re met with an email or a message detailing your suspension.
Whether you’re a small seller or a large one, though, if that time ever comes, following are some guidelines for getting your account reinstated.
It is tempting to assume that Amazon or Walmart made a mistake on your account suspension. Both platforms, however, base their actions on data. So, whether you agree with the suspension or not, you’re more likely to get reinstated if you assume that the account was suspended for potential problems – not because the platform made a mistake.Most important, don’t let the emotion of an account suspension ruin your reinstatement appeal. No matter how frustrating, you should always take a cordial, fact-based approach when creating a Plan of Action.
Don’t Be Reactive; Become Proactive
You first need to do your internal homework and assess the situation. Gather all necessary documents, and don’t respond until you’ve thoroughly researched and understood the implications of the violation.
Realize That You May Be at Fault (at Least Partially)
If you refuse to admit some kind of responsibility, Amazon or Walmart are less likely to accept your appeal. Get creative. Find ways to cop to “lesser” crimes or shortcomings. No matter how smooth and efficient your operations might be, there are always some areas in your processes that can be improved.
Demonstrate the Ability to Rectify the Situation
Once you’ve outlined where mistakes may lie in your operations, you need to develop an action plan to correct those mistakes. That’s what the appeals teams at Amazon and Walmart really want to hear: how you will do better next time. It is the key to your account reinstatement. Create new internal standard operating procedures (SOPs), get new suppliers, hire new people – whatever you need to do to truly solve the problem for now and in the future.
Write an Appeal Letter
Once you’ve gathered this information and have a plan in place, create and send an appeal letter that directly, factually and objectively addresses the concerns outlined in your notification message. Attach copies of necessary documents, if needed. Then follow up with them consistently (but not too often) until you receive a resolution.A word of caution: don’t try to throw too much supporting information into your appeal and make it long and difficult to read. Only include what is necessary. The appeals teams have many appeals to address, so by making yours factual and to the point, you have a higher chance of success.
Seek Professional Help if Needed
Sometimes you may not receive account reinstatement on your first attempt. If you’ve failed in appealing to Amazon and Walmart, it’s a good idea to bring in an expert to help.Also, there are certain appeal types that are best handled by professionals from the start. For Amazon, these include Section 3, Code of Conduct, forged documents, counterfeit and platform manipulation issues. Amazon gives sellers fewer opportunities to appeal these suspensions – and also reviews these appeals to very strict standards. Don’t waste chances on your own. Hiring a professional may be the right call.
Account reinstatement can be a grueling process. If you need help along the way, feel free to reach out to our team of former Amazon employees if you need expert help.
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.