July 14, 2022

By:

Lesley Hensell

When you sell on Amazon, it can be easy to inadvertently miss important details. Perhaps you added complementary products that weren’t big sellers or listed against an incomplete/incorrect detail page. While having a lot of products can be good, if your catalog listings aren’t optimized, you can end up with a restricted product you didn’t see coming. One day, you may receive that dreaded email from Amazon with notification of a restricted product for removal–then what?

This notification is Amazon’s way of informing you that the product is no longer available because Amazon has removed it. We all know the fear and anxiety that creeps in when a listing is down. Your Amazon listing is the most crucial aspect of your digital shelf – without it, you can’t sell. At the same time, your Amazon selling account can be put at risk if Restricted Products issues are not immediately addressed.

Sellers often panic when their products are removed from Amazon because restricted product violations directly impact Seller Central account health. If the product is already selling, its removal can harm your sales and leave you scrambling for answers. Mitigating these risks takes a proactive approach and is vital to your success.

In this article, we’ll discuss the possible reasons for an Amazon restricted products violation and how to prevent one.

Why does Amazon sometimes restrict and remove products?

Amazon Restricted Products

Amazon has numerous policies in place that sellers must abide by. These policies ensure that millions of shoppers on the marketplace can trust the product offers available for them.

To ensure that Amazon sellers continuously comply with their established terms of service, Amazon monitors every listing and blocks restricted products/listings that don’t comply with their rigorous standards.

Amazon restricted products include:

  • Illegal and/or potentially illegal products (like guns and ammunition, prescription medication)
  • Sexual materials (like adult toys)
  • Harmful products (like tobacco, alcohol)
  • Intellectual properties
  • Restricted media (like recopied media, promotional media, movies, software, etc.).

Listing such products or their variants can land you and your account in big trouble. To sell products like these on Amazon, a seller must prove that they have the necessary license from the appropriate authorities or have a label rehash that allows them to sell the products in the United States.

Amazon also recalls products for safety concerns, especially if there’s an issue with the manufacturer or product source. They will also suspend defected, expired, or bad products listed on the online marketplace. Amazon will do whatever it can to protect customers and avoid legal repercussions from unsafe products.

Can you continue selling other ASINs that have the same Amazon restricted product problem?

When Amazon restricts an ASIN for violating its terms of service, sellers must cease selling these products or other ASINs with the same restricted product problem, or Amazon may take swift action.

When Amazon recalls a product for whatever reason, it’s best to check your catalog and remove similar products yourself before Amazon removes them.

For example, Amazon can restrict a supplement product and remove it from your seller catalog because of an ingredient that is not approved by the FDA. It’s vital that you delete any other of your product listings containing the same ingredient, even if the other ASINs are still live.

The same rule applies to other product categories that Amazon describes as drug paraphernalia or products with pornographic or inappropriate images. Once an ASIN is blocked, find out why, and do due diligence on similar ASINs.

What should you do if Amazon removes an ASIN?

When Amazon removes a seller’s ASIN for the first time, it’s usually a warning, and unfortunately, the seller may be under further scrutiny. If you experience an ASIN removal, you’ll do yourself and your Amazon business a lot of good by finding out why and cleaning out your Amazon catalog listings with related or similar products before Amazon does.

If you don’t do so, Amazon will most likely find the products you may have long since forgotten about. A repeat of the same violation will affect your seller account health and can potentially land you in legal trouble if Amazon Safety or Seller Performance is engaged.

4 Steps to reinstate your product listings:

Before you can reinstate a restricted product listing on Amazon, there are a few things you should do. Following these steps will improve your chances of having your suspended listing reinstated.

1. Close/Archive the affected listing
Ensure that all your products and listings comply with Amazon’s policies and the applicable state and federal regulations. Once you realize you have some products that are not up to the expected standards, you must close, archive, or delete their listings from your seller catalog.

2. Check notifications
After pulling down the affected listing, ensure you understand the issue by reviewing the original performance notification. By doing so, you will understand the changes you need to make to your listing.

3. Review your ASINs
Evaluate the ASINs removed for Restricted Product Policy Violations and compile a single, holistic appeal for all of them. This will help you save time rather than going back and forth with the Amazon Seller Performance team– we know how challenging that can be!

4. State your reason(s) for appeal
If you believe your product is compliant and should be available for sale, or you’ve addressed Amazon’s issues with your listing, you can appeal the restricted products removal decision. Do this by providing evidence and other documents like an appeal form or a plan of action. The Amazon performance team will review the appeal and let you know their decision within 7 days. If you require assistance preparing an appeal, please reach out to the experts at Riverbend Consulting.

Final Thoughts

Amazon is a global marketplace big on customer trust and fairness. They want shoppers to have the best experience, and there are laws guiding their business operations. As a result, Amazon carries out compliance checks continually to take down products they believe violate their policies.

As a seller, having your product listing pulled down by their compliance team for restricted products violation can be frustrating. This is especially true if you’ve done everything right or you’re a newbie.

You can prevent these issues by avoiding listing the restricted products highlighted in the Amazon restricted products policy.

If your listing still gets hit by a notification of a restricted product, an appeal is still possible. You should also aim to clear your catalog of any product you believe Amazon can consider restricted. This will help you protect your account from warnings, provide your customers with a safe and trusted shopping experience, and build a reputable Amazon business that can look attractive for growth in retail or an exit.

Do you have any questions about your seller account health or challenges related to Restricted Products? Drop them in the comments below.

If you need help appealing a restricted product ASIN or account suspension or need assistance determining whether you need to delete related listings, reach out to the experts at Riverbend Consulting!