An Amazon suspension can be a significant blow to your company’s reputation and profitability.  There is no denying it, no getting around it, it is a pretty big setback.  But there is no need to panic or lose hope.  You don’t have to just sit there and watch your competition steal your customers while you are out of commission, you can appeal the suspension and try to get yourself back up and running.

Appealing your suspension is not a complicated process but it is one that takes more than a little consideration.  Here’s what you need to do to get your account back in good standing.

1) Understand The Rule You Broke

Before you can appeal a suspension, you need to clearly understand the rules.  Look up the policy you are said to have violated and pour over the details to make sure you are clear about what it all means.

2) Understand Exactly Where You Went Wrong

In all likelihood you have been suspended for one of two reasons: either you’ve violated the Seller Policy you agreed to when you opened your account or your Seller Performance has fallen below the minimum acceptable standard.  It’s not enough to know where your violation happened, you need to know exactly how it happened.  Check the metrics in Seller Central and examine your internal processes to identify any problems customers may have been experiencing.  Check your inventory and listings to make sure everything lines up with Amazon’s stated terms.  You need to be able to identify the problem before you can even begin to fix it.

3) Write A Plan Of Action

The plan of action is arguably the most important part of the appeals process.  The good people at Amazon will review this plan and decide to either reinstate you or uphold the suspension.

In your written plan you need to identify the problem you have been cited for, what caused the problem to happen in the first place, and any steps you have taken to make sure that it never happens again.  You can’t just say it won’t happen again, you need to clearly demonstrate to Amazon the changes you have made in your process to prevent a future recurrence.

Your plan of action should be structured like this:

Intro Paragraph: State your seller name, give a brief description of your business and explain why your account was suspended.

Second Paragraph: Describe the issue that lead to your suspension.  Explain how you have identified the issue and circumstances that caused it to happen in the first place.  Use data and specific details to support your findings.  Make it clear that you are taking full responsibility.

Third Paragraph: Explain the steps you have taken to correct the issue since your suspension and the changes in your procedures that ensure there will be no violations in the future.

Conclusion: Reiterate the steps you have taken and clearly state that you wish to have your account reinstated.

4) Request an Appeal

Now it is time to submit your appeal to the Seller Performance team.  Choose “Performance Notifications” from the “Performance” tab in Seller Central.  Find the notice you wish to appeal click the appeal button.  From there you can upload your plan of action and wait to hear back.

If you do get reinstated, make sure that every member of your team understands that this is the last chance to make things work.  Everyone needs to be on the same page and have a clear understanding of Amazon’s policies as well as your new procedures.  Before you submit your appeal, deactivate your listings.  They will need to be up to date when you’re reinstated.  This gives you the chance to check your stock levels to make sure that everything is correct when you come back online.

If you do not get your suspension lifted, you can submit additional appeals but they are likely to end in the same rejection. In this case, try to focus your efforts on other sales channels.  While Amazon is a massive marketplace, it is not the only marketplace.  There is still plenty of profit to be made in other places.