For a plethora of online businesses, selling products through Amazon is a pivotal tool for gaining product exposure to millions of individuals, supplementing the business’s bottom line with additional sales, and boosting overall brand awareness in considerable ways.
But for every Amazon Seller that flourishes through stellar sales, fantastic reviews, and outstanding customer service, there are a bounty more that get their accounts shut down for shady practices or flat-out policy ignorance. These folks are certain to lose sales in the immediate future, some lose out in the long term, and others will never be able to reclaim the seller status with the e-commerce titan again.
If you are looking to keep your Amazon Seller account free and clear of suspensions or even worse, closure, check out these sure-fire ways to tick off Amazon:
Opening a Second Seller Account
Opening a second seller account or establishing a new account after one has already been suspended is one of the fastest ways to end up on Amazon’s blacklist. If Amazon finds out that you are operating multiple accounts with the same information and products, you can rest assured that your accounts won’t be around for long.
Do keep in mind, however, that this rule has not been etched in stone and there are a few exceptions. Firstly, do not confuse opening a second account with establishing an account on Amazon.co.uk as well; it is not only permitted but it is necessary to have separate accounts for each marketplace.
In order to gain a second account within the same marketplace, you must obtain Amazon’s permission and meet certain criteria for them to consider your request:
- Your account must be in excellent standing with stellar customer metrics
- You will not be selling the same products / services on both accounts
- You plan to sell merchandise in entirely different categories than your first account
- Inventory for each account must be different
- The second account will require an independent email address and bank account from your other seller page
If you feel that a second account is completely necessary and you meet this criteria, Amazon might grant your request. For all others, don’t hold your breath.
Price Parity Negligence
What is price parity? If you don’t know then you didn’t read your seller contract closely enough because you agreed to abide by this guideline.
Price parity essentially means that you have agreed to not sell the same items on other retail sites like Shopify for a lower price than what is listed on Amazon. Doing so encourages customers to shop on other e-commerce platforms and drives them away from Amazon. Regular searches are conducted by Amazon for this type of behavior so don’t think you won’t get busted.
Avoid this disastrous occurrence by understanding and respecting the boundaries set by Amazon and ensure that all of your employees are well aware too. It is also advisable to utilize repricing software and setting limits for each platform to ensure your Amazon prices are lower or identical to those on other sites. And speaking of encouraging people to shop on other platforms…
Guiding Shoppers Away from Amazon
While most sellers are aware of this rule, it is helpful to reiterate as some may have become a bit more lax in their practices and are in need of a refresher. Remember when setting up your storefront that absolutely nothing can advertise or imply any outside sales channels. There have been plenty of business that have broken these rules inadvertently and did not realize until it was too late.
To avoid getting punished by Amazon be sure not to:
- Utilize images with promotional text or company watermarks
- Include .com, .net, .biz, or the likes in the seller name
- Write details (or anything at all) about your business in the product description
- Utilize outside links
Try to take money out of the Amazon’s pocket with any of these practices and your account will be shut down before you even know it.
Abused / Embellished Ratings and Reviews
Seller ratings and reviews are a critical point for success on Amazon. Without substantial feedback from customers, shoppers are likely to purchase from other sellers with more evaluations. While possessing superior reviews is something that everyone on Amazon strives for, these should come naturally as trying to “game the system” will certainly end in your account getting shut down.
Over the course of Amazon’s history, sellers have tried posting positive reviews on their own accounts, writing negative reviews on competitor accounts, and offering incentives for buyers to post positive feedback; all of which are considered unethical by Amazon. Do keep in mind, however, that you are allowed to motivate customers to leave honest and unbiased reviews through offers like product giveaways. These can be included on the packing slip or emails to buyers after a purchase. Just do be aware that these reviews can be positive or negative and your message to your consumers cannot influence the review in either direction.
Disregarding Communications Guidelines
While this may seem simple enough, sellers breach this policy unintentionally on a regular basis.
In the world of online retail, customers expect to be able to reach sellers or customer support at nearly any time. Additionally, customer messages that receive a response within 24 hours are 50% less likely to gain negative feedback.
When dealing with customer interactions, remember that Saturday’s are included in response time metrics for Amazon so be sure to check your inbox at least once a day. When you do reach out to buyers, always go through the buyer-seller messaging system and only for reasons pertaining to the transaction. Contacting customers for others reasons will likely draw unwanted attention from Amazon that will be accompanied by unfavorable actions.
Amazon is an incredible resource for businesses all over the globe and helps many branch out to do bigger things on a more independent level. Be sure to abide by Amazon’s policies and guidelines so that you can reap all the benefits possible from selling your products and services on the nation’s largest e-commerce platform.
Ready to establish your legendary Amazon presence? Call us at 760-262-4252 or send an email to email@example.com and will can build you up and help make sure you don’t get shut down.