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 – see below – or if you have any suspension stories of your own, please drop me a comment below!


Amazon Appeal Template:

Dear Amazon,

 

As requested, please find below updated action plan including;

 

  1. Description of the issues that caused the complaints.
  2. Explanation of the steps we have taken to resolve the issues and ensure that similar complaints won’t happen again.
  3. Additional details we would like you to know.

 

 

  1. Description of the issues that caused thethe suspension 

 

Our account was suspended due to complaints of inauthenticity. We take full responsibility for this issue and can confirm we have put steps in place (as detailed below) to prevent it from happening again.

 

Following our investigation we now realise that although we were assured that these items were genuine products that this is now not the case. We asked the supplier for a certificate of authentication, which they were unable to supply.

 

We have attached our invoice for ASIN YOUR ASIN.

 

Summary: We take full responsibility for the suspension, as the problems have occurred due to our mistakes. We have implemented changes into our company to make sure that we do not have any inauthentic and counterfeit complaints. We have deleted all products from our inventory that we feel could have been infringing intellectual property and will not purchase goods in this way again.

 

  1. Details of the steps taken to prevent similar complaints from happening again;

 

Inauthentic Complaints;

 

  1. We will liaise with any complainants to offer refunds/replacement items where appropriate if we receive complaintsdirect.

 

  1. We will only list and sell items that are purchased either directly from the manufacturers orauthorisedsuppliers. Furthermore, we will verify all suppliers authorised status with the manufacturer direct to ensure any unauthentic items do not reach our listings.

 

  1. In themeantimewe have rechecked our inventory to ensure the authenticity of the listings and to ensure we have the right to sell all items. This process involved checking each item’s supply chain. This will prevent any future complaints of inauthenticity.

 

  1. We have also implemented a thorough quality control process whereby all items are checked on arrival to ensure they are in full, undamaged manufacturers packaging. We will also ensure each item is properly sealed. This will ensure items are in perfect condition and match the relevant listings before being sent to customers.

 

  1. I have also provided thorough training on our new systems and Amazon’s policies and guidelines to ensure they are adhered to. This training will be updated regularly which will prevent any claims of inauthenticity.

 

  1. When we list products for sale using an existing product detail page and ASIN, we will make sure that the product being offered is accurately described and matches the data currently visible under that ASIN including the EAN or UPC Barcode, product title, brand, manufacturer and part number. We will not list against an ASIN that does not match our item description, condition or does not contain the relevant health and safetylabelling. This will prevent inauthentic complaints and manage customer’s expectations.

 

  1. I understand we are responsible for ensuring that the products we offer for sale are legal andauthorisedfor sale

 

In addition to the above to avoid generic customer complaints I will ensure are queries are dealt with efficiently and all messages are responded to within 24 hours during working hours. I will also carry out daily performance audits to monitor and review our performance metrics to ensure we are performing to and maintaining Amazon’s targets.

 

Going forward our supplier of some of our goods will be;

 

SUPPLIER NAME, ADDRESS, PHONE, WEBSITE
 

I can assure Amazon that I have taken note of, and will make sure we work to the following policies and guidelines;

 

– Prohibited Seller Activities and Actions

– Product Detail Page Rules

– Condition Guidelines

 

  1. Any additional details;

 

We have implemented a number of controls which will prevent customer complaints including; purchasing from the manufacturer or authorised suppliers only, checking all products on arrival to ensure they are in perfect condition and match the item description and providing thorough staff training.

 

I assure you that we have resolved all the issues that caused our suspension and that we are committed to providing customers with a positive buying journey. We have had lots of positive feedback from customers and would like to continue this success with Amazon.

 

If you have any queries or need any further information please do not hesitate to contact me on YOUR CONTACT NUMBER.

 

Best regards,

 

YOUR NAME

YOUR AMAZON NAME

YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS

YOUR CONTACT NUMBER

 

 

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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 47 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

  11. Hi Dave,
    OMG it’s like reading my own story. God bless people like you. Could I kindly ask for the template too please? Thank you!!!

  12. Hi dave could you please help me as well.
    My Amazon account has been suspended due Inauthentic item i dont understand.
    I purchase directly from the main distributors.
    Could you please send me a template of your appeal and also guide me whats the best steps.
    I have appealed twice but in vain.
    Kind Regards

    1. Hi Dave,
      My Amazon acccount was being suspended 2 days ago. I’m quite desperate now.
      Then i found this. Could you please send me the template?
      Thank you very much

  13. Hi Dave,

    Have a very similar email. Went from 50k a month to zero overnight and first appeal rejected.

    I also made a similar mistake selling a t shirt with a popular trademarked word on it.

    The invoice is from some random t shirt company from where i sourced the products from to have custom made. Do I need to show this invoice with my plan of action?

    If you do not mind sending me your appeal I would be so greatful.

    Thanks

    1. Hi Brent,

      Ouch, that is quite a blow.

      If they ask for the invoice, yes you need to send it if you can.

      I will send you the appeal template, hope it helps, all the best!

      Regards,

      Dave

  14. Hi Dave,
    Would you please to help me to send your Appeal template I used to appeal the suspension?
    My Amazon account seller was removed my selling privileges because I infringe the intellectual property rights of others.
    My world was down when I received that message from the Amazon.
    Please help me.
    So many thanks and best wishes to you.

  15. Thank you so much. I didn’t just learn how to structure an appeal for in-authenticity specifically. I also learned a great deal about how I can avoid it in the future. This page is educational.

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