May 3, 2022

By:

Lesley Hensell

The older an Amazon account suspension, the more likely it is that it can be reinstated.

Surprised by that statement? So were we, the first time we took on an “ancient” account appeal.

Now, after several dozen “old” account appeals, our team here at Riverbend Consulting has established an impressive record of resurrecting long-dead seller accounts. The oldest suspension that we’ve managed to appeal to date occurred a full 14 years ago.

What were You Doing 14 Years Ago?

Nearly a decade and a half ago, one of our clients got his Amazon account suspended. At the time, he was a college student who listed his textbooks on the platform for sale after the semester ended. The books sold, and he forgot to ship them. Amazon rightfully suspended his sellers account, and he walked away.

Fast forward 14 years, and this same gentleman launched an exciting new brand. He wanted to sell his new products on Amazon. Alas, Amazon Seller Performance detected that he had a prior closed account.

That’s when Riverbend came to the rescue! We got this ancient Amazon seller account reinstated in only a couple of weeks, and the client was off and selling again.

This isn’t an unusual circumstance. We’ve worked with plenty of sellers who’ve lost accounts many years ago:

  • An auto parts seller got behind on shipping the flood of unexpected orders received on Amazon. They couldn’t get their account reinstated because of their Late Shipment Rate. About six years later, we got their account back.
  • An electronics seller was shut down when Amazon detected he had a long-suspended account taken down for Order Defect Rate. We got the old account reinstated, which led to his current account also coming back online.
  • A health and beauty seller wanted to re-launch on Amazon, but she knew her old account would be a problem. She had an account that was shut down a decade prior – but could not remember the reason. Unfortunately, the data in her account had disappeared, as it does after many years. Together, we put on our best Sherlock Holmes outfits, and uncovered the reasons for the suspension, and got her back on Amazon.

How Does Amazon View Old Accounts?

Amazon believes in second chances.

Sellers who have struggled with Seller Performance in the past may find this hard to believe, but it’s true.

In the case of older accounts, sellers have had the benefit of time to:

  • Mature in both their personal and business lives
  • Improve and expand their business operations
  • Build a track record of success elsewhere

All of these factors can be built into a business case for a second chance on Amazon.

Structuring an Appeal For an Old Account Suspension

An Amazon account appeal should include three key sections:

  1. Root Cause. In this section, identify and explain the root cause for your suspension. It must be specific and address the concerns that Amazon had about your account. In the case of older accounts, it can be difficult to remember the details. Search your old emails. Look through account data. Talk to people in your company. Do whatever it takes to at least get an inkling about the root cause for the suspension.
  2. Actions Taken to Resolve the Issue. Explain to Amazon how you made either the platform or customers whole. How did you apologize and show concern or remorse? Did you try to rectify your mistakes in any way?
  3. Steps to Ensure the Mistakes Don’t Happen Again. This is the most important part of the appeal. Explain in detail how your company will ensure that you don’t repeat the poor behavior and what systems you have in place, if any, to help keep it from happening. Be as specific as you can be.

The most challenging part of an older account appeal? Getting someone at Amazon to read it. Typically, you’ll need to escalate your issue to an executive or executive group, if you want a timely response. If you don’t do that, then you might be waiting for a response for an exceedingly long time. If you’d like to read more about what general guidelines you should follow in the aftermath of an Amazon account suspension, follow that link. We’ve written an entire blog post on just that topic.

Success! What then?

Once your account is reinstated, it’s critical to do the following:

  1. Make Amazon Your Priority. Assign at least one employee to watch your Amazon account like a hawk. Empower them to make decisions and direct the team to ensure that orders are filled on time and quality standards are met.
  2. Operate Under Your Plan of Action. What promises did you make in that account appeal? Follow through on every single one of them. Amazon will be watching you closely for some time.
  3. Keep an Eye on The Data. Don’t allow your metrics to get out of whack. You are operating on a truly short leash, and even a momentarily high late shipment rate or order defect rate could result in an almost immediate suspension.

In brief, don’t let anything take your Amazon account down again. You already had a long haul getting it reinstated after so many years. Yes, Amazon is willing to give you a second chance, but don’t blow it – or you may find yourself permanently blocked.

If you’ve got a long-dead seller account that needs resurrection, give the crack team of Amazon Seller consultants at Riverbend Consulting a call. Let’s talk about it! Alternatively, you can visit our website’s Amazon Account Suspension page and fill out the form, then we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.