What to Do When Amazon Requests a “Root Cause”

By Published On: July 26, 2021Comments Off on What to Do When Amazon Requests a “Root Cause”

As many sellers already know, when Amazon requests an appeal, they will ask for the Root Cause. Seems simple and easy to explain, but is it?

Example Case: A “Used Sold as New” Story

A seller received a notification that the account or ASIN has been deactivated due to buyer complaints regarding the condition of the items they received, specifically items that appear used when the customer ordered new.

The first reaction may be that you have invoices to show that the items were new and that is all you need because that proves they were new. If they were new, then the buyer is wrong, so there is nothing more to say in an appeal.

This is where you must dig a little deeper and find out the actual cause. Buyer misconception is a symptom, not the cause.
Riverbend Root Cause

How Do We Address “Root Cause”?

  • Did it arrive in damaged packaging?
  • Was it broken or in less than perfect gift-giving condition?
  • Had it been opened?
  • Is there anything that may cause the buyer to question its authenticity?

Now you are getting closer, but we are still looking at symptoms. Once you have figured out the reason the buyer believed the item was used, you must determine what caused that.

  • WHY was the packaging damaged?
  • WHY did the item arrive broken or in less than perfect condition?
  • WHY was it opened?

Answering these questions will point you in the right direction for finding the true root cause and not just addressing symptoms.

This will expose process issues such as inadequate quality inspections, poor handling procedures, storage issues, or any number of deficiencies that led to the buyer thinking the item was used.

This can be true of many actions taken by Amazon. The temptation to address the symptom as it seems the obvious cause, but just like when you are sick, the symptoms are not the cause.

There is also a big benefit to you, the seller, in finding the true root cause. If you only address the symptom, you will likely have the issue again in the future. By addressing the root cause your actions will be stronger and more effective at maintaining your account health and preventing future deactivations for the same reason.


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