If you’ve been unfortunate enough to have your Amazon seller account suspended in 2021, you may have seen some messaging that sounds very legal and somehow more severe than other messages.
Specifically, Amazon calls out “Section 3” in its Business Solutions Agreement:
What does this mean? What’s the Business Solutions Agreement? Great questions and good information for sellers to know and understand- it might help you avoid being shut down.
The Business Solutions Agreement
This agreement, also called the BSA, is the policy all sellers agree to when they sign up to sell on Amazon. Every seller digitally ‘signs’ it during registration, signaling their willingness to abide by Amazon’s policies. You can look at the current BSA here.
This agreement is Amazon’s Terms of Service (TOS) for sellers and talks about all the things Amazon is responsible for, sellers are responsible for, and what powers Amazon has (spoiler: it’s a lot). As always, with any contract, read it in full.
So, What’s Section 3?
Section 3 is where Amazon talks about its ability to terminate the agreement (aka suspend a seller) for any reason:
The layman’s read of this is pretty straightforward:
Amazon can terminate its agreement with you using a 30-day advance notice
Amazon can suspend you if they notify sellers of the breach and they fail to cure it in seven (7 days) after that notification
Amazon will waive any sort of head’s up or give sellers time to fix things if they think a seller has:
Exposed Amazon to liability with a third party
Amazon thinks its services were used for illegal or fraudulent activity
Use of their system has harmed Amazon, its buyers, and other sellers
Though section 3 sounds super-mysterious and legally scary, it’s not. Amazon is merely spelling out steps it may take if a seller breaches the agreement. In 2021, Riverbend has seen many clients get suspended, and Section 3 is referenced for all different suspension reasons. So why is Amazon including it suddenly?
Amazon Protects Itself- First and Foremost.
Amazon never does anything without ensuring it has protected itself and can point to the BSA or sections of it to justify its actions.
More than likely, Amazon felt they would reduce litigation or arbitration attempts by “showing” sellers where they breached this voluminous agreement in the most general sense. It may also think that such official language will dissuade some sellers from appealing their account closures.
If you’re a seller, it’s a good idea to read all of the BSA and to understand Section 3. It could help you avoid accidentally violating a policy and seeing the dreaded language above. However, if it happens to you, Riverbend can help – we have world class experience in appealing account suspensions.
Don’t let Section 3 scare you.
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Learn more about how Riverbend can leverage our expertise to free you up to focus yours on growing your business. We are happy to help!
Kelly Johnston is the glue that holds Riverbend Consulting together and was with the company at its founding. She survived 10 years in the digital salt mines of Amazon Seller Performance. Before that, Kelly held other e-commerce roles where she worked in content, sales, and operations. When not helping clients, Kelly is a talented artist. Collage and up-cycled assemblages are her current passions.