Amazon Seller Performance
Amazon Seller Performance is responsible for monitoring third-party sellers on the Amazon marketplace and ensuring compliance with the platform’s policies and guidelines. In this chapter, we explore the details of Seller Performance, including the actions that may put sellers at risk, strategies for recovery, and preventive measures. We introduce key terms such as performance metrics, policy violations, and account health, emphasizing the importance of maintaining a healthy account and adhering to Amazon’s guidelines. By understanding these concepts, sellers can proactively manage their accounts, mitigate risks, and foster a positive relationship with Seller Performance, ultimately leading to long-term success on Amazon.
Account Health is a crucial aspect of your Seller account’s performance, represented by a summary located in the top-left corner of the Seller Central homepage. It evaluates your account based on six key criteria set by Amazon: Order Defect Rate, Cancellation Rate, Late Shipment Rate, Policy Violations, On-Time Delivery, and Contact Response Time.
If your account is not deemed “healthy,” it becomes a top priority to identify the root cause or causes of the issue and take immediate action to address and resolve the problem. Ignoring account health issues can lead to the suspension or, in severe cases, termination of your seller account.
To maintain a healthy account, it is essential to proactively monitor and manage your performance metrics, ensuring compliance with Amazon’s standards and guidelines. By promptly addressing any issues and implementing corrective measures, you can protect your account’s health, uphold a positive reputation, and continue operating successfully on the Amazon marketplace.
If you require assistance in addressing account health defects within your day-to-day operations, we have assembled a team of former Amazon employees who possess a deep understanding of the platform’s internal workings. Our team specializes in helping sellers mitigate account health defects, prioritizing immediate catastrophic issues to lower priority concerns that could potentially lead to account suspension. Subscribe to our Account Health Maintenance program to proactively prevent suspensions and maintain healthy account metrics.
Account suspension is a serious consequence that can occur if your Account Health deteriorates over an extended period or if you commit severe violations, such as selling counterfeit products or diverting traffic away from Amazon to your own website. When your account is suspended, all your offers on Amazon are suppressed, leading to a halt in sales and disbursements from Amazon.
To appeal an account suspension, it is crucial to provide Seller Performance with a clear and detailed plan of action. This plan should address the cause of the problem and outline specific steps you are taking to rectify the issue going forward. Depending on the nature of the problem, you may need to take actions such as removing certain products or brands, improving internal processes, hiring dedicated personnel, or transitioning products to FBA to resolve issues like late shipments or pre-order cancellations. In cases involving accusations of selling counterfeit products, you may be required to provide extensive documentation proving the legitimacy of your products.
However, even with substantial documentation, account suspension appeals can take time, and sellers often remain suspended for 30 days while Amazon allows for a “cool-down” period. The consequences of account suspension can be significant, impacting cash flow, supplier relationships, and overall sales performance. Communication with the Seller Performance team during the suspension period is primarily through email, and the lack of direct human interaction can make the process frustrating and challenging.
It is crucial for sellers to take proactive measures to avoid potential issues that could lead to account suspension. By prioritizing adherence to Amazon’s policies and guidelines, addressing any performance issues promptly, and maintaining a strong Account Health, sellers can mitigate the risk of suspension and ensure a more successful selling experience on Amazon.
If you are facing an Amazon seller account suspension and are unsure about the steps to regain compliance with Amazon’s terms of service, worry not. We possess extensive knowledge of Amazon’s infrastructure and decision-making processes, enabling us to assist you in assessing your situation, identifying the root cause of the issue, and resolving any operational defects. Our goal is to help you restore your account’s standing within the Amazon marketplace. Visit our Services section – Seller Defenses or Got Suspended? and get your seller account reinstated.
Account Termination / Closure
Account closure or termination is the most severe consequence a seller can face on the Amazon marketplace. In such cases, sellers are permanently expelled from the platform, and their accounts are terminated. The process of account closure can be prolonged, often taking months to receive the final disbursement from Amazon and to have FBA inventory returned to the seller. Once an account is terminated, the seller is permanently barred from returning to Amazon, whether under the same or different seller credentials.
While it is exceptionally rare for Amazon to reverse its decision on terminated accounts, we would like to emphasize that we have successfully reinstated seller accounts previously flagged for “Fraud Notes.” Account termination can occur due to various circumstances, such as engaging in fraudulent activities, repeatedly ignoring accusations of selling counterfeit products, attempting to manipulate feedback through false reports against competitors, or colluding with other sellers on Amazon. These activities not only violate Amazon’s policies but may also be unlawful. To regain trust within the Amazon marketplace, sellers must demonstrate strict compliance with the rules and diligently address any operational defects in their appeals.
Amazon’s commitment to maintaining a safe and trustworthy marketplace for customers, sellers, and its own brand integrity drives its strict stance on account closure. By permanently removing sellers involved in such activities, Amazon aims to preserve a fair and reliable platform that benefits all stakeholders. It is crucial for sellers to uphold ethical business practices, comply with Amazon’s policies, and prioritize customer satisfaction to avoid the severe consequences of account termination.
If your seller account has been terminated and you seek reinstatement, please reach out to us so that we can assess your situation. The duration of the reinstatement process for such cases can vary, ranging from 6 months to 2 years. For assistance with your case, you can visit our seller defenses or utilize the services of Got Suspended?. We have successfully handled challenging cases similar to yours, provided that you acknowledge your commitment to adhere to Amazon’s policies moving forward.
As a seller on Amazon, it is important to be aware of the performance targets set by the platform. These targets are based on the six main categories included in the Account Health measure: Order Defect Rate, Cancellation Rate, Late Shipment Rate, Policy Violations, On-Time Delivery, and Contact Response Time. Each category has a minimum bar that sellers are expected to meet.
To ensure you are meeting the performance targets, it is crucial to regularly review these minimums in Seller Central. By understanding and striving to meet these targets, you can maintain a healthy account and improve your overall selling performance on Amazon. Monitoring your performance metrics and taking proactive measures to address any issues can help you avoid account health problems and potential penalties imposed by Amazon.
When it comes to dealing with notifications related to counterfeit or questionable products, having proper documentation is essential. It is crucial to gather all relevant documentation from your suppliers that can be shared with Amazon to demonstrate the authenticity and legitimacy of your products.
For sellers involved in the gray market, where products may not have a clear origin or eligibility for sale in a specific country, the risk of encountering issues with documentation is higher. In such cases, it is advisable to exercise caution. If you are unable to obtain sufficient paperwork from your supplier or they cannot provide a clear explanation regarding the product’s source, it is best to avoid purchasing those products for sale on the Amazon marketplace. Taking such precautions can help mitigate the risks associated with selling unauthorized or questionable items, ensuring compliance with Amazon’s policies and regulations.
Comingled FBA Inventory
We have previously addressed the potential risks associated with comingled FBA inventory. When you choose to have your products comingled with those of other sellers in the FBA program, it becomes challenging to track whether the inventory you sent in is actually used to fulfill your specific orders.
In this system, it is entirely possible that another FBA seller’s product may be utilized to fulfill an order that should have been associated with your inventory. Consequently, you may find yourself liable for any product defects or issues arising from the other seller’s inventory, as the comingling can blur the distinction between individual seller responsibilities.
Later on, we will provide guidance on effective strategies to mitigate the risks associated with comingled inventory and offer recommendations for managing this particular challenge proactively.
Featured Merchant Status
As previously mentioned, winning the buy box is crucial for maximizing your sales on Amazon. When your seller account meets the eligibility criteria to win the buy box, it is referred to as having “featured merchant status.” This status applies on a category-by-category basis, allowing your items in those specific categories to compete for the buy box and secure the customer’s purchase.
However, it’s important to note that excessive performance issues can result in the loss of your featured merchant status for a certain period of time. This loss significantly impacts your ability to secure sales as your offers may not be prominently displayed to customers. Amazon implements this measure as part of its commitment to present customers with reliable and trustworthy offers.
Maintaining a strong account health, adhering to Amazon’s policies, and delivering excellent customer service are essential to retaining your featured merchant status and maximizing your chances of winning the buy box, thus increasing your sales potential on the platform.
To effectively manage your seller account and navigate Seller Performance, it’s important to embrace a comprehensive philosophy. Here are seven guiding principles that sellers should follow:
Serve The Amazon Customer: Your top priority should be to serve Amazon customers. Align your actions with their expectations, offering authentic, accurately represented, and reasonably priced products delivered on time. Respond promptly and honestly to customer inquiries, ensuring a positive buying experience.
Contact Seller Support When in Doubt: If you have any uncertainties or questions, reach out to Seller Support for guidance before taking action. They have the expertise and experience to provide clarification and assistance in various situations. Utilize their knowledge as a valuable resource.
Avoid Shady Practices: Steer clear of engaging in any unethical or questionable practices. Engaging in dishonest behavior may lead to severe consequences, including account termination. Even seemingly minor or insignificant actions can have detrimental effects on your selling privileges.
Expect Some Losses: Despite your best efforts, it’s inevitable that you may encounter instances where customers attempt to take advantage of your business. Accept that there will be certain losses, and focus on maintaining a fair and customer-oriented approach. Always strive to handle such situations with integrity and professionalism.
Stay Organized: Maintain proper organization of all purchase orders and shipping paperwork associated with your products. This documentation plays a vital role in addressing any inquiries or disputes related to your products. Having a well-organized system will save you time and facilitate efficient communication with Amazon and customers.
Know Your Suppliers: Exercise caution when considering deals from unfamiliar suppliers. If an offer appears too good to be true, it’s likely not a reliable opportunity. Conduct thorough research and due diligence to ensure that you are partnering with reputable suppliers who can consistently provide quality products.
Communicate With Your Suppliers: If you encounter issues with specific SKUs or products, proactively communicate with your suppliers. Engage them in discussions to determine whether the problems stem from production or distribution processes. Building strong communication channels with your suppliers is essential for resolving issues promptly and effectively.
Next We Look At How Sellers Get Into Trouble, And Back Out Of Trouble On Amazon
Amazon closely monitors sellers’ performance, evaluating every order and analyzing all customer communications.
While this may seem reminiscent of a “big brother” scenario, Amazon’s aim is to ensure that sellers on the marketplace meet specific requirements focused on keeping customers satisfied and informed. Consequently, Amazon tracks sellers’ performance based on various customer service metrics.
As Amazon emphasizes, “Failure to meet these targets does not necessarily put your account in negative standing, but failure to improve may negatively affect your account.” While some level of defects is allowed, there are minimum performance levels that sellers must meet for each metric.
Falling short on these performance metrics can result in account issues. On the other hand, excelling in these areas can help maintain good standing, allowing sellers to retain their “featured merchant status” and increase their chances of winning the buy box.
Certain sellers consistently face difficulties with specific performance metrics. Although their accounts may not be suspended, they are likely to lose their featured merchant status, as Amazon considers them high-risk and less deserving of priority exposure to customers.
In the following sections, we will examine each of these metrics individually, providing a comprehensive overview of their measurement criteria. While we touched upon these details in the pre-registration chapter, we will now delve into the specifics of the six types of metrics that Amazon tracks over 7-day, 30-day, and 90-day periods. By understanding these metrics and working towards meeting the established standards, sellers can enhance their performance and maintain a positive reputation on the platform.
Order Defect Rate: The Order Defect Rate metric focuses on three key measures and ensures that sellers maintain a rate of no more than 1% of orders categorized as “defective.” This encompasses various factors that can negatively impact the customer experience, such as negative feedback, A-to-Z Guarantee claims, and service chargebacks.
Negative Feedback Rate: The negative feedback rate is determined by dividing the number of orders that have received negative feedback (rated as 1 or 2) by the total number of orders within the specified time period. This metric reflects customer dissatisfaction and serves as an indicator of the seller’s performance in meeting customer expectations.
Filed A-to-Z Claim Rate: The A-to-Z Guarantee claim rate calculates the ratio of orders that have resulted in A-to-Z Guarantee claims to the total number of orders in the given time frame. When a customer encounters an unresolved issue with a third-party seller, they have the option to escalate it by filing an A-to-Z claim with Amazon. This step involves Amazon acting as an arbitrator to address the customer’s concerns.
A-to-Z claims signify a breakdown in resolving customer problems directly, which is undesirable for sellers. While some customers may exploit the system, Amazon reviews all interactions between the seller and customer to assess whether sufficient efforts were made to resolve the issue independently.
Service Chargeback Rate: The service chargeback rate measures the number of orders that have received a service credit card chargeback in relation to the total number of orders within the designated timeframe. Service chargebacks refer to disputes that do not involve unauthorized or fraudulent use. Amazon provides sellers with the assurance that they are not held responsible for such issues, which commonly include non-receipt of items or instances where the merchandise was damaged or inaccurately described.
Cancellation Rate: The cancellation rate represents the percentage of orders that sellers cancel before they are ship-confirmed. In essence, it reflects the proportion of orders that were initially accepted but later cancelled by the seller.
Having a high cancellation rate is highly discouraged by Amazon as it indicates a lack of reliability and preparedness on the seller’s part. Typically, cancellations occur when sellers realize they either don’t have sufficient inventory to fulfill the order or come across a pricing error that renders the transaction unprofitable.
A simple pricing error can unexpectedly generate a surge in orders that sellers may be unable or unwilling to fulfill. Consequently, they may have no choice but to cancel these orders, resulting in a significant spike in their cancellation rate.
It’s not only the elevated cancellation rate that poses a problem. The act of canceling orders often leads to negative feedback from customers, compounding the impact on the seller’s reputation. In some cases, sellers may face multiple cancellations due to pricing errors or inventory discrepancies, putting them at risk of facing penalties or consequences from Amazon.
To mitigate the cancellation rate, it’s crucial for sellers to diligently manage their inventory levels and promptly update available quantities. Maintaining accurate stock information can help prevent situations where customers place orders for items that are no longer available.
By striving to minimize cancellations and addressing any pricing or inventory errors promptly and proactively, sellers can uphold a positive relationship with customers and maintain a favorable standing on the platform.
Late Shipment Rate: The late shipment rate represents the percentage of orders that have a ship confirmation completed after the expected ship date. It is essential for sellers to ensure that orders are shipped and confirmed by the expected ship date to maintain a positive customer experience.
When orders are ship-confirmed late, it can lead to various issues such as increased customer claims, negative feedback, and customer contacts. These consequences can have a detrimental effect on customer satisfaction and overall seller performance.
Amazon sets a standard for sellers to maintain a late shipment rate of no higher than 4%. Failing to meet this requirement can result in penalties and a negative impact on the seller’s account health.
There are several reasons why orders may be shipped late. Sellers might encounter unforeseen circumstances such as staff absences or operational challenges that hinder their ability to fulfill orders on time. However, it’s important to note that customers and Amazon are not sympathetic to these challenges, and the expectation remains that orders are shipped promptly.
Additionally, some sellers may face difficulties in handling sudden spikes in demand, leading to delays in shipping orders. It’s crucial for sellers to have proper systems and processes in place to manage and fulfill orders efficiently, even during periods of increased demand.
Another common issue is the failure to properly confirm shipments. Sellers must ensure that they promptly confirm the shipment of orders, not only to receive payment but also to keep customers informed about the status of their deliveries.
By maintaining a low late shipment rate and consistently meeting the expected ship dates, sellers can enhance customer satisfaction, minimize potential issues, and uphold their performance standards on the Amazon marketplace.
Policy Violation: The Policy Violation metric is an important aspect of seller performance on Amazon. It indicates whether you have received any communications or notifications from the Seller Performance team regarding policy violations or account-related issues. It is crucial to regularly check the Notifications page on Seller Central to stay informed about any warnings, performance notifications, or account suspension notices.
One significant concern for sellers is receiving a notice about potential counterfeit products. This often occurs when a customer complaint or reviews suggest that your product may be fake or counterfeit. In such cases, Amazon’s Seller Performance software programs analyze feedback and product reviews to identify potential authenticity issues. For OEM products, Amazon may request proof of authenticity before making a determination.
However, it’s important to note that Amazon’s physical inspections are not always accurate, especially if your FBA inventory is comingled with that of dishonest sellers. This can lead to unjust accusations of selling counterfeit products and potential account termination. To safeguard your business, it is highly recommended to maintain all order documentation from your suppliers, which can serve as evidence of the product’s legitimacy.
Policy Violations can sometimes catch sellers off guard. Failure to promptly read and address policy change emails from Amazon can result in a Policy Violation notice. These notices are primarily intended to ensure that sellers are aware of policy updates and have read the relevant information. Once you have read the email, the warning usually disappears within 24 hours. These violations typically do not have long-term consequences for your account.
Throughout the year, Amazon sends various informational emails that pertain to product updates or rule changes. These emails are specific to your catalog, which includes both active and inactive products. It is crucial to regularly review and update your catalog to remove any products you no longer plan to sell. This ensures that you are not held responsible for products that may be subject to legal or procedural changes.
A notable incident in 2014 involved numerous Health & Beauty sellers on Amazon being suspended due to repeatedly ignoring Amazon’s product notification emails regarding ingredient restrictions. Many of these sellers were unaware of which ingredients were present in their products. Consequently, when certain ingredients were banned by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA), these sellers unknowingly continued to sell prohibited products. The reinstatement process for these sellers proved challenging, and some are still struggling to regain their selling privileges on Amazon.
Staying vigilant, promptly addressing policy updates, and maintaining accurate information about your products are vital to avoid Policy Violations and ensure a compliant and successful selling experience on Amazon.
On-Time Delivery: Your on-time delivery score plays a significant role in measuring the success of your seller account. It represents the percentage of packages that buyers receive by the estimated delivery date and is determined based on confirmed tracking information. Additionally, Amazon tracks the percentage of packages that are shipped with tracking to ensure transparency and accountability.
Timely delivery and the ability to track packages are crucial factors in ensuring customer satisfaction. Research conducted by Amazon indicates that orders with tracking have significantly fewer defects, and tracking information helps reduce buyer inquiries related to orders.
Falling short of Amazon’s target for on-time delivery may not lead to immediate suspension of your selling account. However, it can have negative implications such as receiving negative feedback from customers or facing claims related to late delivery. These outcomes have the potential to impact your selling account status and reputation.
Maintaining a high level of on-time delivery is essential to meet customer expectations and enhance their overall shopping experience. It is recommended to prioritize efficient shipping processes, accurate estimated delivery dates, and reliable tracking information to ensure prompt and reliable delivery to customers. By consistently meeting or exceeding Amazon’s on-time delivery targets, you can enhance customer satisfaction and strengthen your seller account performance.
Contact Response Time: Timely and effective communication with Amazon shoppers is crucial for maintaining a strong seller performance. As a seller, you are expected to respond to customer emails within 24 hours, or promptly notify Amazon if a specific email does not require a response. Failing to meet this timeframe can have implications for your future eligibility for featured merchant status.
By ensuring timely responses to customer inquiries, you not only fulfill your obligations as a seller but also contribute to a positive shopping experience for prospective buyers. When customers receive prompt and helpful responses, they are more likely to make a purchase and have confidence in your products and services.
Neglecting to respond to customer emails within the designated timeframe not only affects your seller status but also hampers your ability to convert potential customers into actual buyers. Amazon values sellers who prioritize customer service and actively engage with shoppers.
Maintaining a high standard of contact response time demonstrates your commitment to customer satisfaction and helps build trust and loyalty. It is essential to promptly address customer inquiries, provide accurate information, and resolve any concerns or issues they may have. By doing so, you enhance the overall customer experience and increase the likelihood of positive feedback and repeat business.
Regularly monitoring and managing your email communications is crucial to meet the expectations of Amazon shoppers and uphold your reputation as a reliable and responsive seller. Make it a priority to respond promptly to customer inquiries, ensuring a seamless and satisfactory shopping experience for all potential buyers.
Refund Rate: Amazon closely monitors a seller’s Refund Rate, which measures the proportion of orders that result in refunds. While different product categories may naturally have varying levels of customer returns, it is important to keep a vigilant eye on refund rates to identify any spikes that may indicate manufacturing defects in specific products.
I recall a personal experience when my seller account was suspended due to a sudden increase in return rates for a specific SKU. Upon investigating, I discovered that all the FBA units of that product had a manufacturing defect. Although my supplier replaced the defective units, I faced a loss of three days of sales, incurred negative feedback, and had to cover the return shipping costs. This incident highlighted the critical importance of closely monitoring product quality and maintaining open communication with suppliers.
During the initial stages of starting a new seller account, there is a heightened level of vulnerability because of limited order history with Amazon. As a result, even a single defect or error can lead to warnings or suspensions by Amazon. While it is always important for sellers to strive to fulfill the promises made to customers upon receiving an order, new sellers must be especially diligent in double-checking their work to avoid errors.
To ensure a strong performance and minimize the risk of suspensions, new sellers should focus on meeting the following performance targets
- Order Defect Rate: Less than 1%
- Pre-Fulfillment Cancel Rate: Less than 2.5%
- Late Shipment Rate: Less than 4%
- On-Time Delivery Score (seller-fulfilled orders only):
- Delivered on time: More than 97%
- Packages with tracking info: More than 98%
Additionally, it is crucial for sellers to prioritize timely and effective communication with buyers. Aim to respond to buyer contacts within 24 hours for at least 90% of interactions, ensuring that no more than 10% of contacts exceed the 24-hour response time. By maintaining low refund rates, meeting performance targets, and providing excellent customer service, sellers can establish a strong reputation, build trust with customers, and mitigate the risk of account suspensions. Remember, a proactive and diligent approach is key to success on Amazon’s marketplace.
Valid Tracking Rate: Ensuring a high Valid Tracking Rate is crucial for sellers on Amazon. This metric measures the percentage of orders that have legitimate tracking information provided to customers. It serves as an essential indicator of a seller’s reliability and commitment to delivering orders on time.
Amazon places significant importance on valid tracking as it allows customers to track their packages and adds transparency to the shipping process. Moreover, orders with valid tracking information are less likely to result in customer inquiries or disputes.
It is vital for sellers to understand that providing false or manipulated tracking information is a severe violation of Amazon’s policies. Using tracking numbers from unrelated orders or fabricating tracking information to create the illusion of timely shipments is strictly prohibited and can lead to severe consequences, including account suspension.
To maintain a high Valid Tracking Rate and uphold the integrity of your business, it is crucial to follow these guidelines
Use Legitimate Tracking Numbers: Only use tracking numbers that are genuinely associated with the orders you are shipping. Ensure that each tracking number corresponds to the specific package being sent to the customer.
Provide Accurate and Timely Updates: Input the tracking information accurately into Amazon’s system and promptly update any changes or delays in the shipping process. This ensures that customers have real-time visibility into the progress of their orders.
Verify Tracking with Shipping Carriers: Double-check the validity of the tracking numbers provided by shipping carriers to ensure they are legitimate and can be traced back to your shipments.
Maintain Detailed Records: Keep thorough records of each order’s tracking number, carrier, and shipping details. This documentation will serve as evidence of valid tracking in case of any disputes or inquiries.
By adhering to these guidelines and maintaining a high Valid Tracking Rate, sellers can demonstrate their commitment to providing reliable shipping services and gain the trust of Amazon customers. It is essential to prioritize honesty and integrity in all aspects of your business operations to build a strong and sustainable reputation on the Amazon marketplace.
What to do when you get a Performance Notification
When you receive a performance notification from Amazon, it can be confusing and challenging to understand what actions you should take. The Seller Performance team is not looking for generic responses or empty promises. Instead, they want a clear explanation of what caused the problem, followed by a detailed plan of action to address the root cause and prevent it from happening again. Additionally, it is essential to address any impact on affected customers and outline steps to rectify the situation.
If you are aware that you have made a mistake or violated Amazon’s policies, it is crucial to take responsibility and provide a thorough explanation of the steps you are taking to immediately correct the issue. Seller Performance appreciates detailed information, and it is rare to provide “too much” detail in this situation. Demonstrating your commitment to resolving the problem once and for all will show that you are serious about maintaining a high standard of performance.
In cases where you genuinely don’t understand the reason behind the performance notification, it is important to communicate this to Seller Performance and request more specific details. Amazon’s notifications often lack comprehensive information, leaving sellers to navigate the situation with limited guidance. You may need to ask for clarification or inquire about specific actions or events that are being referenced.
As you gain experience as a seller and familiarize yourself with the Amazon seller community, you can learn from the experiences of other sellers who have faced suspension issues. Their insights and strategies can provide valuable guidance on how to approach and resolve similar situations.
When crafting your response to Seller Performance, be as specific as possible about your plan of action. Describe the concrete steps you are taking to address the problem and prevent its recurrence. Providing details such as process improvements, additional training, or system enhancements will demonstrate your commitment to continuous improvement and maintaining a high level of performance on Amazon.
Remember, open and transparent communication with Seller Performance is key to resolving performance issues effectively. By addressing the root causes of problems, offering clear solutions, and actively seeking guidance when needed, you can work towards maintaining a positive and successful selling experience on Amazon.
Hiring New People To Take On Specific Tasks
To address the issue of late shipment rates, I have recently hired a dedicated team member whose sole responsibility is to double-check all outgoing shipments and ensure that each one has a ship confirmation. By adding this extra layer of quality control, we aim to improve our on-time delivery performance and provide accurate tracking information to our customers.
Lack Of Accountability: In the past, our failure to act on previous Amazon product notifications was due to a lack of assigned responsibility. However, I have taken steps to rectify this by assigning two specific individuals on my team to read and act on these notifications promptly. They are responsible for notifying me of any notifications that affect our products and taking immediate action to ensure compliance with any changing rules.
Improper Cataloging: We experienced issues where we shipped out the wrong products to customers because our warehouse lacked a proper cataloging process. To address this, I have hired an external consultant who will be developing a comprehensive cataloging system to be implemented within the next three weeks. This system will streamline our inventory management and ensure accurate product selection and shipment.
In the meantime, we are proactively reaching out to all affected Amazon customers who may have received incorrect products. We are offering them a full refund to make things right, recognizing that it is critical to take care of our customers’ needs even if it involves a significant expense or inconvenience for us. Providing exceptional customer service is a top priority for us, and we are committed to rectifying any errors promptly.
Supporting Documentation: When responding to Seller Performance, it is advisable to attach any supporting documentation or evidence that can substantiate your claims or demonstrate the actions taken to address the issues at hand. Scanning and including relevant documents in your response will provide a comprehensive and coherent explanation of the steps you have taken to rectify the situation.
Communication with Seller Performance: It’s important to note that when emailing [email protected], you may not receive a response unless Amazon requires additional information or decides to take further action. Therefore, it is crucial to provide a thorough and complete response in your initial communication. While waiting for a response, you may feel uncertain about the outcome, as Amazon’s communication process primarily relies on email correspondence without direct human interaction or phone calls.
Dealing with Amazon Mistakes: Seller Performance may occasionally make errors or misunderstandings, so it is essential to have your evidence or data readily available to support your case. If something doesn’t make sense, take a systematic approach by identifying potential issues, forming hypotheses, and ruling them out one by one. This analytical approach aligns with Amazon’s process, and presenting a logical and well-supported argument will strengthen your position.
Long Road to Recovery: If you have engaged in illegal activities, such as knowingly selling counterfeit products, or inappropriate practices, such as offering money to remove negative feedback, the path to reinstatement as an active seller in good standing can be challenging and lengthy. While there are lawyers who specialize in helping suspended or terminated Amazon sellers, it is far more preferable to avoid engaging in high-risk behaviors altogether. Maintaining a clean record and adhering to Amazon’s policies and guidelines is the best approach to ensure a positive and sustainable selling experience on the platform.
Pre-Emptive Actions To Avoid Trouble
Order Defect Rate: To minimize your Order Defect Rate, it is crucial to focus on customer satisfaction and product quality. There are several pre-emptive actions you can take:
Increase customer feedback: Consider using external feedback providers like feedbackfive.com, feedbackgenius.com, or qtools.com. These tools automate the process of sending feedback request emails to customers, allowing you to gather more feedback. You can customize the timing and exclude specific products if necessary.
Maintain an honest business with high-quality products: Ensure that your products are legitimate and of high quality. If you use FBA, prioritize reliable service to provide a positive delivery experience. Check the packaging and quality of the products you source regularly to ensure they meet your standards. Keep spare packaging and parts from customer returns to make necessary substitutions and updates before sending them to customers or FBA.
Regularly review customer feedback: Amazon removes customer feedback that is actually a product review. Additionally, feedback related solely to FBA issues can be struck by Amazon. Monitor your feedback and report any instances that meet these criteria to maintain an accurate average feedback score.
A-to-Z Claim Rate: The A-to-Z claim rate can be managed proactively through effective communication with customers. Follow these guidelines:
Work with customers: When a customer has an issue, try to resolve it through direct communication. Even if the customer seems unreasonable, make an effort to find a mutually satisfactory solution. Most customers will reach out to you before filing an A-to-Z claim, so addressing their concerns promptly and politely can prevent escalation.
Be prepared for dishonest customers: Unfortunately, some customers may attempt to cheat you or exploit the system. While it is challenging to prevent such situations entirely, maintain a professional approach, adhere to Amazon’s policies, and clearly communicate your actions and policies to customers.
Service Chargeback Rate: Service chargebacks are relatively rare but can occur following a contentious interaction with a customer. To mitigate this risk:
Prioritize prompt and polite customer service: Strive to address customer concerns promptly and professionally. Even if it involves a cost to you, make every effort to find a satisfactory solution that avoids the need for a chargeback.
By implementing these pre-emptive actions and maintaining a proactive approach to customer service, you can minimize the likelihood of encountering issues with the Order Defect Rate, A-to-Z claim rate, and service chargeback rate. Remember that maintaining a positive customer experience is crucial to your success as an Amazon seller.
Cancellation Rate: Effectively tracking inventory in real-time is crucial for managing your cancellation rate. Consider the following strategies:
Utilize inventory management software: If you sell on multiple marketplaces, using software that provides real-time inventory updates can help you effectively track inventory levels. This ensures accurate availability information across platforms, reducing the chances of overselling or canceling orders.
Consider Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA): Using FBA for your products can simplify inventory management. By relying on FBA, only the inventory stored in Amazon’s fulfillment centers is made available on the platform. Amazon takes responsibility for tracking and managing the inventory, significantly reducing the risk of cancellations due to inventory inaccuracies.
Set realistic inventory levels: If you don’t use FBA or prefer not to rely on software, ensure that you post realistic inventory levels on Amazon. Consider maintaining a buffer by listing slightly fewer units available than you actually have in stock. This allows for potential discrepancies and gives you a margin of error while managing your inventory.
Late Shipment Rate: The late shipment rate primarily affects non-FBA orders. To mitigate the risk of late shipments, consider the following measures:
Cross-train your staff: Train multiple team members in order fulfillment processes, even if it is not their primary responsibility. This way, during periods of increased orders or reduced staff availability, you can allocate additional personnel to assist with order fulfillment, ensuring timely shipments.
Consider leveraging FBA during peak periods: If you anticipate a surge in orders during specific peak periods, consider utilizing FBA for certain products. This allows Amazon’s fulfillment centers to handle the increased demand, relieving the burden on your staff and ensuring on-time shipments. Leveraging Amazon’s expertise in managing peak periods can help avoid delays and customer dissatisfaction.
By implementing effective inventory tracking methods, leveraging FBA when appropriate, and cross-training your staff, you can minimize both cancellation rate and late shipment rate concerns. These strategies will help ensure smooth order fulfillment and maintain a positive customer experience.
To minimize the risk of policy violations, consider the following recommendations
Documentation: Keep thorough records of all your interactions and transactions with suppliers. Establish relationships with trusted suppliers to reduce the likelihood of encountering counterfeit or problematic products. If you deal with close-outs or clearance items, conduct thorough inspections before listing them for sale on Amazon to mitigate risks associated with these types of products.
Avoid “funny business”: Cutting corners or knowingly selling prohibited products is a surefire way to get into trouble. Avoid engaging in any unethical or deceptive practices that violate Amazon’s policies. Always prioritize honesty and integrity in your business operations.
Consider avoiding comingled FBA inventory: While comingling inventory might offer some initial cost savings, it can lead to complications and counterfeit claims. It is recommended to sticker your FBA inventory and refrain from comingling to ensure that you are not held accountable for issues caused by other sellers’ inventory.
Familiarize yourself with the products you sell: Have a comprehensive understanding of the ingredients, components, or specifications of the products you offer. If you are unable to effectively track complex components or ensure compliance with regulations, it’s best to avoid selling such items altogether.
Read and respond promptly to Amazon emails: Stay vigilant and regularly check all communications from Amazon. If an email from Amazon requires you to take action, such as removing or adjusting listings, address the issue promptly. While you may incur some costs, it is more cost-effective than facing a suspension or permanent shutdown.
Though you may not be directly responsible for delivering packages, you can take measures to enhance on-time delivery performance
Choose reliable shipping options: Opt for reputable shipping carriers like USPS, UPS, FedEx, or DHL, which provide reliable tracking and delivery services. By using trusted shipping providers, you increase the likelihood of packages reaching customers within the promised timeframe.
Consider adjusting promised delivery dates: If you encounter issues with late deliveries, consider extending the estimated delivery time on Amazon. Allowing an extra day or two can provide a buffer and increase the chances of meeting customers’ expectations.
Offer packages with tracking info: Ensure that your shipping options include tracking numbers. USPS, UPS, FedEx, and DHL all offer tracking services, which provide visibility and reassurance to customers. When calculating shipping costs, include the cost of tracking if you offer free shipping.
Contact Response Time
Maintaining prompt communication with customers is essential for good customer service and avoiding penalties
Designate a point person: Assign a team member responsible for promptly responding to customer emails. While this responsibility may rotate among staff, it’s crucial to have someone regularly checking and addressing customer inquiries.
Respond as quickly as possible: Strive to respond to customer emails within the 24-hour window. If, for some reason, you miss the deadline, make it a priority to reply as soon as possible. Consistently unanswered customer inquiries can lead to warnings from Amazon.
In summary, since these performance metrics can impact your featured merchant status, it’s important to strike a balance between operational efficiency and maintaining this critical status. Running a clean business and avoiding trouble as much as possible is essential for long-term success. While it may be tempting to take risks for short-term gains, prioritizing the featured merchant status will ultimately benefit your business in the bigger picture.
We understand the vital importance of maintaining a healthy Amazon seller account to ensure your ongoing success on the platform. With our meticulous approach and comprehensive analysis, we uncover specific details that others may overlook. Our team of experts possesses extensive experience in the Amazon marketplace and stays ahead of the curve by staying up-to-date with the latest changes and updates.
Our professional Amazon reinstatement services are specifically designed to support sellers who have faced suspensions from selling on Amazon. We specialize in resolving a wide range of suspension issues, including order defect rates, linked accounts, inauthentic product sales, verification concerns, mismanaged inventory, negative feedback, and even account terminations.
However, our commitment to account health goes beyond mere reinstatement. We go the extra mile by collaborating closely with you to develop a personalized plan that proactively prevents future suspensions, ensuring the long-term good standing of your account.
Our Account Health Maintenance Program
offers a range of powerful services to safeguard your Amazon seller account and secure its uninterrupted operation:
Account Health Analysis: Our team conducts a thorough review of your account’s performance metrics, including order defect rate, late shipment rate, and cancellation rate. By identifying any areas of concern, we can implement strategies to improve these metrics and maintain a healthy account status.
Policy Compliance Check: We ensure that you are consistently following Amazon’s policies and guidelines to avoid violations that can result in account suspension. Our experts stay up-to-date with policy changes and help you navigate the complex landscape of Amazon’s policies.
Ongoing Monitoring: We provide regular checks of your account’s health and performance to catch any issues early on. By promptly identifying potential risks, we can take proactive measures to address them before they escalate and cause account suspension.
Proactive Solutions: Our team takes necessary steps to address any issues identified during our monitoring process. By tackling the root causes of violations and defects, we work towards creating a sustainable business environment that mitigates the risk of suspension.
We offer tailored appeals for any violations or potential suspensions on your Amazon account. Our experts craft persuasive and effective appeals, leveraging our in-depth knowledge of Amazon’s processes to maximize your chances of a successful resolution. By subscribing to our Premium Suspension Prevention Service, you can ensure the security and uninterrupted operation of your Amazon seller account. Our team proactively handles all aspects of suspension prevention, allowing you to focus on expanding your business while we handle the intricacies of maintaining account health.
We want to emphasize that our expertise primarily caters to the Wholesale and Private Label business models. We have assembled dedicated teams with specialized knowledge and skills to tackle scenarios specific to these models. Unfortunately, we do not cover Online Arbitrage Dropshipping or Retail Arbitrage as these business models knowingly contravene Amazon’s policies and often result in frequent suspensions or even account terminations.
During suspensions, we understand the urgency to reinstate your account and get back to business. While we cannot provide a definitive timeline for reinstatement, rest assured that our priority lies in conducting a comprehensive analysis of your account, addressing any underlying issues, and taking the necessary steps to reinstate your account. We are committed to ensuring full compliance with Amazon’s policies and establishing a solid foundation for sustained success in the long run.
Prevention is always better than fixing suspensions. That’s why we also offer consultation services to optimize your business processes and mitigate common mistakes. With our expertise and guidance, you can navigate the intricate landscape of Amazon’s policies and guidelines, reducing the risk of suspensions and maximizing your growth opportunities.