The Amazon Suspension which almost Destroyed my Amazon Business

 

My Amazon Business was on fire, in April I was turning over almost £2k per week and it was still growing, when out of the Blue I received the dreaded email from Amazon titled “Your Amazon.co.uk selling privileges have been removed“…

I was finishing up for the night and about to head to bed when I received the dreaded email:

amazon suspension

My Heart Sank into my Stomach. All I could think about whilst I tried to get to sleep that night, was what the heck I was going to do to restore my Income stream. Having quit my Day job in January, Amazon were providing my main source of income, and without it, I was screwed.

I had been building this Amazon account for 8 months with over 3000 units in FBA warehouses and daily sales approaching £300, the Amazon suspension crushed my passive income world.

The timing of the suspension email was about an hour after Amazon disbursed my 2 weekly payment to me. The following day they reversed the payment and advised they were going to hold the funds potentially for 90 days. Thanks Amazon, I needed that money to pay the rent and survive, great.

My Options were:

  1. Appeal the Suspension and recover the account
  2. Get a Job
  3. Improve my eBay Sales
  4. Win the lottery
  5. Move to the Forest to live off the Land

So, I started researching Amazon Appeals, and I started looking for a Job. I figured I would have to get a Job and see if I can successfully appeal the Suspension as well.

I soon realized I had gotten used to the freedom of being my own boss, and I could not picture myself working 9-5 for somebody else again. The idea filled me with dread.

Why Did the Suspension Happen?

My own stupidity and inexperience in a nutshell. I mean, I had a few Policy Warnings in the past, which I never appealed, I accepted them and closed my listings for the products concerned. I saw these as warnings and I removed the listings to comply.

Anyway, I had started to experiment with new product lines and inadvertently purchased a Fake product from China. I had no idea it was a fake, but Amazon don’t care, they have policies and I broke them.

In hindsight, this was an easy mistake for anybody to make, but also in hindsight – with good product and Market research, this wouldn’t happen.

I was to blame, nobody else, I accepted this fact.

So, what Happened Next?

I found a couple of companies who claim to be able to get your Amazon account re-instated following a Suspension. I started to research these companies and drilled down to 2 potentials.

I had considered doing my own appeal, and I started making one, but I didn’t want to blow my only chance at this, so decided to hire a professional company.

One of the companies wanted a retainer payment and then more money once and only once you get re-instated. I liked this idea, but I was not fully sold on this company, they didn’t appear very transparent and they were based in the USA.

I decided to go with a company in the UK (not even that far from me) called Thompson and Holt, and I paid £400 to them to assist me with the Appeal.

So, I paid the £400 on my credit card and a few days later I was given an Appeal to send to Amazon. I remember sending it before I went to bed.

The next morning I had a response from Amazon – they requested a copy Invoice from my Supplier for the product.

Okay, so I messaged the Supplier through Aliexpress, this took days due to his poor English and not always being at the office, but eventually, I had an Invoice sent to me (made in Excel).

I re-sent a revised appeal with the new Invoice. Amazon responded requesting I address other issues not related to the suspension. I had an Intellectual Property Violation warning a few months back.

I send the second appeal to Amazon (provided by Thompson and Holt) on a Sunny Sunday morning and went out riding my Motorbike and tried to ignore my Email all day.

After a good blast in the sunshine I decided to check my Email whilst still out – this was the happiest Email I had ever seen…I rode home happy after seeing this!

Amazon Reinstatement

Amazon Reinstated

I couldn’t believe it – I had almost resigned myself to getting a Job or moving to the Forest.

I mean, I had a LOT of work to do, but I had my Seller Account back!

I had a lot of work to do because I had cleaned up my listings, and I had started to recover my stock from the Amazon warehouses back to me. In hindsight, I probably should have waited, but I thought it was all over and I wanted my stock to sell on eBay.

I was suspended for 20 days, and even now some of the funds are still reserved by Amazon. It took an extra week to get the EU markets back (France, Italy, Spain, Germany). As it stands now I am only doing 50% of what I was at the time of the suspension, but this is growing and it won’t be long until I am back in the same position I was.

What Did I Learn from This?

I learned that as an Amazon Seller, it is not Me who controls and runs my business, it is Amazon. And Amazon don’t care about my situation and whether I have enough money to live – they care about their policies.

I learned that an Amazon Seller can get banned from Amazon for the slightest of oversight, and it is a customer which initiates this when they start the complaints process, not Amazon.

I learned that your appeal is not overseen by one individual through your appeal process, it can be dealt with by whoever is on shift at the time you contact them.

I also learned that having all my income come from Amazon alone is a risky business. I do make money online in other ways, but Amazon was my breadwinner. I know now that I need to build up my other income sources in case this happens again.

Going forward, I am changing my business model on Amazon and I will be taking steps to limit my risk.

Thanks for reading, if anybody is interested in the Appeal template I used to appeal the suspension – or if you have any suspension stories of your own, please drop me a comment below!

 

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Dave
Hey there, I'm Dave Dixon, and I am the founder of LearnOnlineMoneyMaking.com.

It is my aim to help others avoid online scams and to learn how to Make Money Online.

Feel free to connect with me on my social channels above, or drop a comment here and I will do my best to get back to you soon.

This article has 28 Comments

  1. Hey Dave, OMG I would have shat myself. I am so sorry you had to go through with that but being the person you are I can see that you have seen the gift in the situation and learned from it. You are so right, it is not good to have all your eggs in one basket, especially when you are not the one in full control.

    Funny thing is I also got a scary email recently but from Google Adsense stating that some of my pages were not compliant and they have suspended my Google Ads on those pages until the violation (god I hate that word) has been sorted out.

    Those pages were reviews of PTC opportunities which I wasn’t even affiliated with, anyway I just removed the ads from those pages and sent them a request to review which they did and all is fine again.

    It did make me a little nervous though and like you say at the drop of a hat they can decide to ban me from Adsense just like Amazon could do to you. Thankfully that is not my only source of income though.

    I am happy to hear that all is back on track and that you are now going to spread your income streams a bit.

    1. Hi Lynne,

      Yeah it was scary, I must say. The suspension itself lasted 20 days, but I had no income from Amazon for well over 30 days.

      Even now they are withholding a large amount of my earnings from the last month, which is making this month a bit of an uphill struggle.

      It all happened at a point where the business was almost running itself – and I was about to dedicate more time to my other endeavors. The suspension happened and it took up all my time, and I lost focus and motivation because I was unsure what to do next.

      Just goes to show, working for yourself is not a glamorous life of luxury as we all imagine when we start out! It’s tough, and if you fail, your life is affected in serious ways.

      Anyway, I’ll try take each day as it comes and continue my journey with new lessons learned!

      As the quote goes – “It’s not about how hard you can get hit, but how hard you can get hit and GET BACK UP!”

      Talk soon, Lynne!

      Dave

      1. Hi Dave,

        Could you send me the template you used to get reinstated. I am having a similar issue with an authenticity claim.

  2. Hi,

    I am thinking of using Thompson and Holt, as others had a boot of Amazon for to many a to z’s (my own fault I was off for a week and did not reply to customers)

    Could you ping me the template (I know it no good for my circumstances) but I would love to see it if you could.

    Cheers,
    Ahh

  3. Hi Dave,
    Could you send me the template you used to get reinstated. I am having a similar issue with offering items that may be inauthentic. Thank you!!!

  4. Hi Dave,
    Such a motivation story you gave us. Could you send me the template you used to get reinstated. I am having a similar issue with offering items that may be inauthentic.
    Thank you!!!
    Have a great sale season !

  5. Hi Dave,
    I tried another company who weren”t returning my calls and emails for almost two weeks . I was losing money everyday like you and then I found Thompson and holt, it worked! Now they have offered me a free month monitor and protect which includes a suspension insurance, I’m not sure if I should take this. Did you use it, did it work?
    Thanks

    1. Hey Joshua,

      Glad you got sorted!

      Yes I used that month of free insurance – it’s like a reporting tool which tells you of any slight change to your KPI’s.

      All the best!

      Dave

  6. Hi Dave,,

    – My account was being suspended for IP right on 13 Nov 2017
    – I have appeal 4 times but to no avail
    – The last statement from Amazon came back:

    Hello,

    Despite the opportunity to appeal, you have failed to provide evidence demonstrating that you sold authentic products. For this reason, we will not disburse funds to you.

    The sale of counterfeit products on Amazon.com is strictly prohibited. If a seller account was used to engage in the sale of counterfeit or infringing item(s), funds will be withheld.

    Learn more about our policies in Seller Central Help (https://sellercentral.amazon.com/gp/help/201165970).

    We may not respond to further emails about this issue.

    Regards,

    Account Specialist
    Amazon.com
    http://www.amazon.com

    – To explain my situation, I joined Amazon in June 2017 doing dropshipping
    – I drop-shipped from ebay to Amazon therefore I do not have official invoices
    – I am naive and stupid as I follow / tagged blindly the context in the amazon listing which stated “not original”
    – So I thought it was ok to sell as an inauthentic product in the listing
    – I just want to get back my money as most of it is my capital because I do drop-shipped
    – I do not mind to be banned for life but I need my the money back because is my savings

    Regards,
    Lin Koh

    1. Hi Lin Koh,

      Sorry to hear this. You might be in a tricky situation due to your drop shipping.

      I wouldn’t know what to suggest, other than trying a company which specializes in providing an appeal for you.

      I hope you get sorted soon, best of luck!

      Dave

  7. Hi Dave

    Like many of your readers, we are in a similar situation today too. We’ve been in it before and had the listing reinstated few months back, but this time Amazon keep sending the same regurgitated email. I would be grateful if you could also share the template with me.

    Many thanks

    1. Hi Maik,

      Sorry to hear it. The template which I will send you now isn’t really for your situation, but I hope it helps somewhat!

      Regards,

      Dave

  8. Hi,
    I am in the same boat as you are. Can u pls send me the template you used?
    What service should I use. I am already at loss and now this blow of spending more to get my account reinstated.
    Would love to hear from you.
    Thanks
    Sreemanti

  9. A valid retraction sent to Amazon directly from the original rights owners who reported the infringing content listed at the end of this email. We do not accept forwarded or attached retractions. Please contact the rights owners listed below to request that a retraction be sent to notice-dispute@amazon.com.
    and Proof of product authenticity (e.g., invoice or Order ID). Please ensure that your proof of authenticity includes an invoice or order ID. It must clearly prove that your products do not infringe on the intellectual property of the rights owner. Please send this information, any other documentation, and a list of impacted ASINS to notice-dispute@amazon.com.
    ……………I’m in a soup. Could you pls help me with your template? Will that work in my case?

  10. Hi
    along with so many people we really need assistance to try and get our business back up and running on Amazon. a copy of the template you used would be very much appreciated.
    thanks

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