From time to time even the best of sellers can fall foul of some arcane rule and wake up to an eBay or Amazon account suspension. It might be your fault or at times it might be circumstance that you consider out of your control but (trust me) it’s still your fault as far as the marketplace is concerned.
Your immediate reactions
How dare they! You’re a good seller, you know you are! How dare the marketplace shut you down.
You just lost your income. You have staff to pay, warehouse expenses and a load of stock with no where to sell it.
It’s not your fault. The marketplace is to blame for their stupid rules and your customers are to blame for being too demanding. You do everything right and you want to lash out at the world.
All of the above reactions are only natural and the best advice is to do absolutely nothing until you’ve calmed down and can think rationally. You need to accept that only you can rectify the factors that got you suspended and figure out an action plan to get your Amazon seller account or eBay ID back and start trading again.
Take time to think
The first thing you need to do is to establish the reason that you account was suspended. There is always a reason and generally whenever a seller has approached Tamebay convinced that they’ve done nothing wrong we’ve take a quick look at their feedback and account metrics and find it’s not looking as good as they thought. If you’re scraping along at the bottom of the seller metics there’s your answer.
Often sellers will have a long term history of delivering the minimum and this is perhaps more difficult to appeal than if one or two exceptions caused the issue. For instance if you add on two or three day’s handling time then over a longer term you’re much more likely to have habitually lower delivery ratings than if you ship everything the day it’s sold and a couple of mail sacks go missing causing an unusual one off blip in your ratings.
Stop blaming the marketplace
You may not view it this way, but it’s a privilege to sell on a marketplace and telling them that their silly rules and regulations are ridiculous isn’t going to help you get your account back. They are not going to change their policies to suit you and your business, if you want to sell on marketplaces then you need to shape your business to their requirements.
Put together an action plan email appeal
Once you’ve taken an honest and dispassionate look at what went wrong you need to identify the issues and put a plan together on how you’ll address them moving forwards. Bullet points work best when composing an email to appeal your suspension. Take full responsibility for your account and remain factual and unemotional. You need to demonstrate that you understand what went wrong and any hint that it’s Amazon or eBay’s fault won’t help your case in the slightest.
Your email should include a brief introduction stating that you understand selling on the marketplace is a privilege. State that you’ve identified and outlined the previous issues with your account below followed by the steps you’ve put in place to rectify your processes to avoid repetition, if they will consider giving you a second chance and reinstating your account.
Acknowledge the reasons for the suspension
Include every defect or other issue that has impacted your seller status for example:
- A number [state number] of orders were cancelled as we [or our supplier] were out of stock
- A number [state number] of customers claimed that their orders were not delivered
- We received a number [state number] of negative feedbacks or low detailed seller ratings
- A number [state number] of customers said they received a broken product
Set out your action plan
Address each reason in turn with the process changes you have put in place to rectify them for example:
- We use a product feed from our supplier which is updated several times a day. We have adjusted our feed to the marketplace to only list products with a minimum availability of 5. We update our supplier feed four times a day and our multichannel management software updates the marketplace constantly. When available inventory levels at our supplier drops below 5 we will remove our offer until inventory levels are replenished which should eliminate out of stocks or at the very least make them an exceptionally rare occurrence in future.
- We have traditionally shipped low value items via an untracked method. We will be placing these items in Amazon FBA so that they can be fulfilled by Amazon Logistics which will eliminate all items lost in transit.
- We have examined our negative feedbacks and identified that they all relate to just two product lines. We have taken the decision not to offer these two products on the marketplace again as they are lower quality. In future we will only offer quality products on the marketplace.
- We have identified one particular product which has been damaged in transit on an unacceptable number of occasions. We have re-evaluated our packaging and sent test shipments via our normal courier all of which arrived intact at their destination. In future we will be using our new packaging solution to eliminate damage in transit.
There may of course be other reasons that your account was suspended. There may be one major issue or a number of minor issues which when taken together led to an Amazon suspension or eBay account limitation. When you appeal your marketplace suspension you need to be honest and accept the issues and crucially set out what steps you have taken to prevent repetition of the same issues moving forwards.
Can Tamebay help appeal an account suspension?
We do get a number of sellers contacting Tamebay hoping we can help but sadly we can’t. We do hope if your account is suspended that you’re successful in your appeal and are reinstated but Tamebay has no influence when it comes to marketplace appeals. We’re happy to give advice although there’s not much more that we can add to that set out above and our best advice is to remain calm, accept responsibility and appeal with an action plan which addresses the issues you were suspended for.
There are a number of companies who will handle your appeal for you but in reality they offer little that you can’t do yourself. They are of course excellent at putting together your case in a cohesive manner in good English, but what they can’t do is construct and put your action plan into place. If you appeal and don’t change your working procedures you’ll doubtless be heading for another suspension and second time around it will be much harder to resurrect your account.
For more information on how to appeal yourself, Amazon have actually created a help page with advice on how to appeal a suspension. eBay say that if you want to appeal your account suspension, reply directly to the suspension notice and include any relevant information.
I wouldn’t go along with the idea that it is a privilege to sell on on eBay or Amazon.
It is more like a mutual agreement, you agree to abide by the rules of the marketplace and the marketplace agrees to provide you with the means to sell. The idea it is a privilege puts forward the notion that you are somehow beholding to the marketplace, that they are doing you a huge favour, which is not the case. They are getting a fat load of fees out of it all.
You could turn it around and say that the marketplace is privileged that the seller has chosen to sell on your marketplace and not another.
There is no privilege to either, it is an agreement to abide by the rules. Unfortunately the Marketplace has no one to answer to and they hold all the cards, and all you can do as a seller is to trust that the marketplace will not abuse their power over you, which unfortunately is not always the case. That is why it is wise to not put all your eggs in one basket and have other means in place sell your goods. Withdrawal of your trade means they don’t get the fees, and if you have other strings on your bow it will ultimately hurt them more than it will hurt you.
“The first thing you need to do is to establish the reason that you account was suspended.” That would be sensible wouldn’t it, but that assumes that the marketplace even knows itself why one of its automated scripts suspended your account. And even if they do know they rarely share that with you, so you are left to guess.
3015 feedback 100% top rated with premium seller badge, EAN numbers etc
After a review they decided I’d had too many vero warnings for fashion watches over the years and wrongly linked my account to that of an my ex business partner
Even emailed rob Harrell but got a sorry nothing we can do on this occasion
Looking for a job
Thanks a lot Ebay
Great article! (full disclosure – I work for SellerEngine and we offer this service). While it might be true that sellers can manage the appeal process on their own, over the years, we’ve learned that Amazon is very particular about the language and structure of both the appeal and plan of action letters. They also usually only give you 2 to 3 chances tops to appeal their decision. We’ve seen many sellers take this task on themselves and fall short of Amazon’s expectations. Some of them are ultimately unable to recover their Amazon selling accounts and Amazon’s decisions are usually permanent. When the stakes are high, it can be worth spending a bit of money to get expert help.
A buyer contacted me through the messaging system gave me his email and phone number…I didn’t ask for it never heard of the chap before.
Ebay sent me a warning !!! For adverse communication with him.
The company is rubbish with a cap “R”.
You get one lot in the Philippines that cant understand English properly. They do one thing then another who do the opposite.
A certain gender who work there are the worst.
Vote with your finger tips and go to VINTEd or GUMTREE
They’ll soon get the message.
The call centre in the land of the 5 leaf clovers is about as contrary as a leprechaun on too much of the black stuff.
I love this one seller buys a watch off me say an omega, gets a cheap $40 dollar fake on top, goes to police and gets a crime number using the fake copy with the real box and papers, then the paying authority gives them the money back they keep the real watch and get a refund.
Best advice is to ensure you are not 100% reliant on income from either Amazon or Ebay.
Even if it’s just 10 or 20% that you can earn independently through smaller platforms or your own website, it’s worth doing to give you at least some income, if the worst happens.
Lots of options out there. None will replace the big two, but individually they each add a few % and will give you some independence.
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